Tag Archives: rock

Work hard, play hard, engage or die …

So.  I’ve just had a bit of a rant over on Facebook (no change there), but it actually made me so cross that I actually felt I had to write a ‘piece’ about it.  Of course, it’s only my humble opinion, but it makes sense to me!

Bands that quit when the going gets tough.  There.  I’ve said it and I’m almost foaming at the mouth again just with those eight words.  I went on to a band’s Facebook page this morning, only to discover that they have changed their name and started again.  Fine, no problem with that.  The pinned post at the top of the new page, however, was a great long diatribe about how they’ve given their all for however many years but feel that they can’t continue, blah, blah, blah.  It was a self indulgent whine about how hard it is these days, what with venues closing up and down the country, the music scene dying off and basically slating the very people who have kept them going, because they’re moaning that no-one ever came to see them.  It may not surprise you to learn that I have some thoughts on this.

Firstly, your music was probably mediocre anyway.  You can get quite a long way with the support of a few hundred fans even when your music is crap.  It’s called ‘loyalty’ and these are the people that will come out and see you, buy your tee-shirts and wristbands and spend money they haven’t got on travelling to some godforsaken hole in the middle of nowhere, even if they know in their heart of hearts that actually, you’re not that good.  Hey, you might improve and they’ve already invested time and money, so they’re sticking with you because they feel part of something and are glad to be involved from the start.  I know, because I have done this many times (and just occasionally, I’ve backed a winner).

Secondly, everybody accepts that the music scene, particularly rock and metal, is changing.  If it doesn’t adapt to roll with the way the music industry as a whole is evolving, it will die.  All those millions of fans (yes, they’re still there, contrary to popular belief) don’t want it to die, so they keep buying the music and merch.  If the band is good enough and fully committed, they will make the effort to get off of their sofas and come and see them.

This brings me to the heart of the problem.  I don’t consider myself to be an expert in all things music, nor do I claim to be some kind of social media guru or have a degree in the music buying and gig-going habits of the general public.  I do, however, listen to a lot of music, spend a lot of time on social media, talk to a lot of musicians and have some contacts in the music industry who like to wax lyrical about every music fan’s favourite topic these days.  So, based on my experience and in my humble opinion, I’m just going to put this out there.  Bands that quit – YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM.  There.  I feel so much better …

These days, musicians have to roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty.  They need to get on the phone, become a keyboard warrior, engage to a new level with their fans and basically work their fine arses off just to exist in the world of rock and metal.  Yes, it’s hard.  Yes, venues ARE closing up and down the country (and I’m not commenting on that specifically – it’s a whole other article), but I see it this way; when I go to a gig with a band who is good, whether it’s a well-known and loved venue or some flea pit that nobody has ever heard of, they will pack it out.  If it is a band that is, at best, mediocre and who are giving a half hearted effort (and who haven’t bothered to create a buzz around them and build a fan base online as well), of course it’s not going to be busy and they won’t get invited back.  Word will spread and yes, they will find that nobody comes to see them.  Stick with me, I do have a point and I am getting to it.

My memory of the nineties ‘heyday’ is hazy, but I don’t recall there being quite so many bands who were on the local gigging circuit.  Also, musicians seemed to stick with one band, for the most part and worked bloody hard at it (and played hard too).  I don’t remember many crap bands, although I’m sure there must have been some, but the gigs that I went to were always pretty much packed.  These days, there seem to be bands coming out of our ears and sadly, some of them should never have picked up instruments in the first place.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that virtually everyone has the opportunity now and feels able to give it a go, but frankly, it’s a cut-throat business and it’s over-saturated with new music.  If you don’t take it seriously, or you’re in it for the money, then you may as well hang up your drumsticks because you’re never going to make it, unless you get through via some steaming pile of excrement that passes for a talent show these days.

I’m going to name some bands here – I have chosen them purely because I have seen first-hand how hard they work to keep their heads above water.  So, bands such as Heaven’s Basement, The Dirty Youth, and Feral Sun actually work their arses off.  They cane their social media, making sure they engage with their fans – you can knock me for saying that all the time, but it’s the only way to go these days.  They make a superhuman effort to make sure that they keep selling their merch, because let’s face it, that’s where the money is nowadays, it certainly isn’t going to come from album sales alone now that we’re in the age of the digital download.  The Dirty Youth have successfully got people involved with going down the crowd-funding route.  Feral Sun have risked everything by self-financing their debut album to get it out there into the public domain.  Most importantly, each and every time they get up on that stage, they make sure they give it 110%; and on the rare occasions that they don’t, they acknowledge it and make damned sure that they do it better the next time.

All of these bands started from nothing and whilst they’re not yet at the top of the mountain, they’re making sure that they have everything in place to be able to reach the top whilst other bands are dropping off around them.  Crucially, they are also extremely approachable with fans and will bend over backwards to make a gig an experience that people will remember and want to repeat.  Music has become a customer service industry and if you’re not a people person, then you need to become one, or make sure that the rest of the band are.

There’s so much competition out there these days that bands need to be doing it bigger and better than everyone else.  If you turn up to a gig, have faces like smacked arses, don’t engage with the people that support you, play your set in a somewhat mediocre and uninspired fashion and then leave without seeing any other bands or speaking to your fans, you don’t deserve to be taking that slot.  Give it up to someone who is hungrier for it than you are, because they’ll give it everything they have to try and get to the top.

www.facebook.com/themusicjourno

Interview with Dendera

 Stalwarts of the Hampshire metal scene, DENDERA smashed their headline gig at the Joiners at the end of July – I caught up with them for a brief chat beforehand.

Dendera band pic

Your first album, ‘The Killing Floor’ was well received; what can we expect from album no. 2 and when might it be released?

The album will hopefully be released in the first half of 2015. We are really excited about the new album, the new material is sounding heavier, bigger and maybe a bit more modern, but still has a distinct Dendera sound.

How do you keep your writing innovative and fresh when people come to expect a certain style from you?

Our influences are always developing and changing with what we are into at the moment, but when we write together the end result is consistent with the sound we are aiming for.

You cite many influences as a band, including Iron Maiden and I’ve heard many people say that you sound like them.  Does that bother you or do you take it as a compliment?

Any comparison to one of the best metal bands in the world can only be taken as compliment. We write music that we love and like to play, and so our influences will always come into the music. But that’s not to say we will always sound the same as we are always striving to find our own niche.

Have you any touring plans for the rest of this year?

If an opportunity arises we will definitely take it, however our priority is making the best album possible.

You’ve played with some big names, including Saxon, Soulfly and Gloryhammer.  Who have you most enjoyed sharing a bill with?

We’ve loved sharing the stage with all those acts and the Gloryhammer tour was definitely a highlight. I think we will all have our own personal favourites for example, Steve playing with one of his guitar heroes Vivian Campbell with Last in Line.

If you had to choose one Dendera track to introduce a new fan to the band, which would it be and why?

If we had to choose one it would be Senlac Hill, we feel this shows our own sound and where we come from and our influences in one package.

You already have an existing, loyal fan base; how do you engage with people to promote the band?  Do you think social media helps or hinders bands’ growth?

Social media is a valuable tool and allows bands to directly connect with their fans all over the world. It’s helped us to grow our fan base and reach people that would never had, had the opportunity to see us live at this point. In terms of engaging with fans we are a very social band at live shows and always try and interact with our fans.

What’s been the biggest Dendera highlight so far?

It would be hard to decide between releasing our debut album or the UK tour with Gloryhammer.

Dendera the killing floor

If you could tour or record with any band or artist (current or past), who would it be and why?

You would probably expect us to say Iron Maiden and that would be amazing, but we all have our own particular favourites! Whilst Tony would say Van Halen, Steve would say Dream theater.

I watched the Gloryhammer tour diary from last year – most amusing!  You’re like one big family; who throws the toys out of their pram the most when you’re touring?

Thanks for watching our tour documentary! Others can watch it at the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpIZnbzc5Jc . In all honesty, on the road we all get along so well so there aren’t many toys being thrown. If we were to pick something though Andy doesn’t seem to enjoy falling flat on his arse in the shower whilst hungover!

What’s your opinion of the state of the local/national music scene?

Based on our most recent headline show the local music scene seems to be doing well. That being said, it takes a lot of effort from bands and fans alike to keep it going. We all need to pull together to help it thrive.

What’s next for Dendera?

After recently joining AMP Management, the new album on the horizon and big tour plans for next year it’s a really exciting time. We can’t wait to show everybody what we have got coming. Can we also take this time to thank everybody who has supported us so far. We love you all!

See the link below for the Rock Regeneration review of Dendera’s headline gig last month at the Joiners in Southampton.  You can catch them again when they support Phil Campbell’s All Starr Band back at the Joiners on 29th August 2014 – it’s sure to be a huge gig and tickets have been flying out – message Dendera via their Facebook page for further details!

www.facebook.com/DenderaUK

www.dendera.co.uk

http://www.rock-regeneration.co.uk/wordpress/2014/07/denderatoledo-steeldeath-headscreaming-steel/

Interview with Between The Void

I had a nice, pre-show chat with local Dorset-based band, Between The Void, before their gig at the Lord Nelson, Poole Quay on 20th July.  The full interview is here, but you can also access the review article via Rock Regeneration via the link at the bottom.  Check it out!

Between The Void logo

You’ve been doing some dates locally in and around Dorset and Hampshire, how have you been received?

John:  Pretty well, I think.  You don’t necessarily hear from everyone who sees you, but we’ve had people come up after shows and say that they like it.  We’ve also had a few follows on social media, which is nice and promoters have asked us back.  We’re playing a lot in Southampton because there are a lot of excellent venues there so we’re making steady progress.

Marc:  It is difficult playing out of town shows because you don’t have a fan base that you can call upon to come to your show.  You just have to go in blind and hope that people come along.  You need fans to call upon fans, that’s the difficult thing.

John:  Every time we’ve played at the Talking Heads we’ve got a lead which has led to other gigs.  Last time we played at Battle of the Bands, the Septic Stars were very nice, very complimentary, so I’m pretty sure that we’ll do some gigs with them.

You mentioned the lack of a fan base; are you not seeing some of the same people at your gigs?  Is it different faces every time?

Marc:  The difficult thing about a new-ish band is that once you’ve brought your family along to a couple of shows, they don’t want to come any more because they’re bored or have other things to do.  It’s difficult to build a fan base from that.

John:  We have seen some people more than once though, we’re still on first name terms with all of our fans!  We’ve got some people coming to the Railway (in Winchester) who have seen us before.  I think if we went back to the Joiners we would get some of the faces that we saw the first time around.  You just hope that it will snowball, really.

You’ve been going for just over a year, so how did you come together?

John:  Ten years ago Oli and I were in a band and then he went to Tanzania for a while.  When he came back we both still had the bug so we advertised on Gumtree and Join My Band and we got Pippa, after going through quite a few people who weren’t really appropriate; they didn’t like what we were doing, we didn’t like what they were doing or they didn’t necessarily fit.  We went through about eight drummers before Pippa found Marc.

Marc:  I’d just finished with a band called Dead By Dawn – the singer moved back to Scotland and we disbanded.  The two guitarists went to play in a wedding covers band and the bassist went to Metaprism.  That left me so I went back on to JMB, I didn’t really want to go back into heavy metal hard core stuff, even though it’s the music that I love, but I wanted to have something a bit more rocky and a bit more intelligent, with various different levels.  Pippa asked me along to a practice so I just turned up and that was it.  It just worked and happened.

Oli:  It was quite comical, the drummers that we went through.

Pippa:  We had quite a few people come along and play with us as a favour, even John’s brother.

John:  We had a guy who only played the double bass pedal.

Oli:  The best one was the guy who was fresh out of Deep Purple.  He was an absolute 70’s rocker and hadn’t played the drums for a while – he turned up without drumsticks.

John:  Eventually it clicked and everyone was happy straight away.

We’re glad it did!  If you had to pick one BTV song to introduce the band to a new fan, which one would you pick, and why?

Pippa:  I think I would pick ‘(The Silence of) Alex Marshall’ because it’s got the range of lighter and heavier sounds. Also I like playing it!

Marc:  I would say ‘Relax’ based on the reaction that we’ve had to the song, everybody seems to go nuts for it.  It’s got riffs, it’s got heavy drums, it just seems to work, it’s got some funky bass parts, it’s got melodies.

John:  I agree with Marc that ‘Relax’ has probably, on balance, got the best response, but I’d have to play them ‘Alex Marshall’, just because it’s most representative of our sound all round.  ‘Relax’ seems to be every sensible BTV fan’s favourite song …

Oli:  I would say, to listen to, ‘Alex Marshall’, but to play it would be ‘Relax’, purely because it’s got a fantastic guitar solo.

John:  Oh, very modest …

When you’re writing, what are your biggest musical influences?

John:  It’s a big mixture; I’m a massive Seattle fan, so in general, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains – they’re some of my favourite bands that I still listen to a lot, even though everyone else has stopped listening to them.  Also Incubus, Funeral For A Friend … although I don’t know how much they [Funeral] influence the writing as they haven’t written anything good themselves for a while.

Do you all write together?

John:  Normally one of us will come with the bones of a song and we’ll flesh it out together.

Marc: We build organically …

John:  Well done.  We promised that we would work in the word ‘organic’ at some point … I think it’s different for everyone.  We had to do a cover for one of the Jurassic Mark Battle of the Band nights, so we did Day Tripper and Pippa just went on a reggae/funk trip.

Marc:  We actually realised that we listened to the same bands at the same time of our lives.  We grew up listening to ska and punk and moved into heavier rock and hard core but we draw influences from everything; jazz, rhythm and blues, Chilli Peppers and the grunge stuff of the 90’s.

Oli:  We’re not idiots, we realise that if we rock up here at the Nelson and play an absolute chug-fest then it’s not going to do down very well.  I’m not saying we play to each venue, but with the songs we’ve got from start to end it varies a lot.

Marc:  I think that plays into our hands with venues like this.  In other bands it was difficult to get gigs in pubs because it would be a heavy metal venue that put on heavy metal bands and that’s it.  We have the flexibility and opportunities to play in a much wider area.  The Goblet is a bar that we played last week – we’d have never got in there if we were in any way heavy.  We have heavy riffs, but we’re not shouting and screaming.  Anybody and everybody who can appreciate a little bit of this or that in a certain song can latch on to us – that’s the idea I suppose, isn’t it?

What do you think of the state of the local music scene at the moment?

John:  I think it’s thriving in certain genres; if you’re a doom band, there’s a lot of support for that.  I think Southampton is buoyant – it’s brilliant, but I think a lot of that is down to the venues, there are really good venues with good sound that are prepared to give local bands playing original music a chance without the prerequisite of having to sell 100 tickets.  I would love to play Mr Kyps, but I totally understand why they put on bands like Dirty DC and not us.  They need to keep their head above water.

Oli:  The problem with Bournemouth and Poole, well Poole especially, they shut the centre down, which doesn’t help.

Marc:  With Bournemouth being a Uni town, the Uni has no music scene and the students don’t seem to want to get involved in live music.  Back in the days of the Gander and Mr Smiths, where you used to play rough and ready punk gigs …

Ah, the days of the Gander and Mr Smiths – happy times!  Back to the present, if you could play with any band or artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Oli:  Stevie Wonder.

John:  I think Led Zeppelin would be hard to beat.

Marc:  Probably any punk band that went through the late 1970’s, just for the whole scene and how much influence it had on the culture at the time.  It would have been really cool to have been a part of that.

Pippa:  I’d play with Mr Bungle but I would be star struck by Mike Patton the whole time so I wouldn’t be able to do anything.

So, what’s next?

John:  Recording.  We’re going into the studio.

Pippa:  We’ve recorded a couple of songs, but we want to go and get the drums down properly.  I think we’d like to play some festivals.

Marc:  I think we’d like to write some new songs between now and Christmas.  I’d like to do some open mic nights.  We can transfer four or five of our songs into acoustic versions and I’d like to do an experiment to see how that would go down.  There’s people drinking in a pub, they don’t come to see you, they don’t pay to see you, they’re just there soaking at the atmosphere. You come on, you play a couple of songs which are catchy, they go home and think – next time these guys are playing a live set we’ll go along.  Building fans is impossible through social media and with friends and family because there’s only a finite number of people available, but I love the thought of just getting out there and playing some songs and seeing what happens.

BTV coming to an open mic night near us soon, then?!  Anything else to add?

John:  Thanks to everyone that’s come along to see us!

You can catch the BTV review article here –

http://www.rock-regeneration.co.uk/wordpress/2014/07/between-the-void

facebook.com/betweenthevoid

Interview with Villains’ Matt Steane

Following the triumphant release of their first single, ‘The Fall’, Chelmsford rockers Villains are back to caress our ears with a new tune, ‘Wicked Ways’.  I managed to grab five minutes to interrogate guitarist Matt about the latest happenings in their world.

Villains group shot

Your new single, ‘Wicked Ways’, has had over 1,600 views so far and seems to be creating a buzz on social media.  How does it feel knowing that people are getting into your music?

It’s one of the best feelings in the world! We played a hometown show on Saturday and it was great to see so many people singing along. Wicked Ways is one my favourites from the album and was always seen as a potential single, so to see that people are picking up on that and enjoying it means the world to us.

Did you enjoy playing Ipfest and did you catch any new bands that you can recommend?

Ipfest was an awesome show. We’d actually shot a video during the day for our next single so we were all pretty shattered by the time we got to the show. But when we went on there were a fair few people down the front and that definitely gave us the boost needed to play. Because we got there a bit later we didn’t get to catch all of the bands, which was a shame, but I can safely say that people need to check out WHEN GIANTS FALL.  I don’t listen to much heavy music these days but I was well impressed with these guys. I think it can be difficult to make decent heavy music without being typecast as one thing or another so it was really refreshing to see them putting their own slant on it.

You’ve supported some pretty big names on tour like Soil, Blitz Kids and Fearless Vampire Killers; who has been the best band to tour with so far?

I think they’ve all been great for different reasons. The Soil/Fozzy tour was the first tour we did and it was a great opportunity to get out there and to play to a lot of people in different places around the UK. Playing with Blitz Kids was awesome as well; they’re good friends of ours and being asked to play their album release show was a really great moment for us. It coincided with our single release at the time as well which was perfect really. The guys in FVK are awesome too; some of the nicest guys in rock music to be honest. So I couldn’t really pick a favourite if I’m being honest. Every tour we’ve done has been great for different reasons.

Are you planning on doing any more dates this year?

We’re always keen to get out there and play to new people. We’re hoping that we might get the opportunity to hit up some more support tours later on this year and play in some new towns that we haven’t visited before.

If you had to pick one band to tour with, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

From a completely personal point view it would be The Who. In my eyes they are the greatest band in the world so it’s pretty self-explanatory as to why I’d want to tour with them! I can’t imagine the rest of the boys would necessarily agree with me on that one but hey, I’m doing the interview so I’m answering the questions!

Who or what inspires you when you’re writing songs?

When it comes to song writing I think the key for us has always been to write about things that you can relate to. We all listen to a variety of music and that blends well to create a sound that we would typify as ours. Renz writes the lyrics and a lot of what he writes is auto-biographical and is based on events that have happened directly to him or were close to him. He writes in quite an open-ended way though, which means that his lyrics are always open to interpretation. That still happens with me sometimes; I’ll ask him what a song is about and it will often be something very different to what I thought originally!

Might we expect an album any time soon?

We’re writing at the moment with a look to record a few more songs at the end of the summer. So we hope that they will be available for people to listen to in the not-too-distant future. That’s all I can say about that at the moment….

What’s your take on the state of the music industry right now?

That’s a good question. I think it’s very difficult to judge really. One minute you can be on the up and all of a sudden it is ripped from under your feet. I think British rock music in general is amazing at the moment. There are so many great bands out there that are absolutely smashing it, but how many bands have you seen come and go in the last few years? I think it’s very much a case of living for the moment when you’re in a band these days, because one minute you can have the world at your feet, and the next you’re back stacking shelves at Tesco.

What are you listening to at the moment?

I’ve been spinning the latest Canterbury album a fair bit recently. It’s unbelievably good. The new album from our friends in Verses is also incredible and well worth checking out.

What’s next for Villains?

As I mentioned, we’re writing and recording towards the end of the summer. We’re then hoping to get out on the road towards the end of the year on a support tour or two. We’ve also got another single coming out towards the end of the summer which we shot the video for the other week, so we’re all pretty excited about all of that.

We’re excited too!  You can check out the video for ‘Wicked Ways’ at the link below, as well as the band’s Facebook page.  Look out for some tour dates and some more music later this year!

http://www.muzu.tv/villains/villains-wicked-ways-music-video/2266781/

www.facebook.com/villainsofficial

Slipknot release new single ‘The Negative One’

slipknot the negative one

Legions of maggots all over the world are wetting themselves with joy right now to be hearing the new Slipknot single ‘The Negative One’.  I like the band, although I’m not a super fan, but I thought I had better give the track a listen in the name of research.

It has everything that we’ve come to expect from the ‘Knot.  I had the volume right up and I feel like my brain has been pulverised.  Although it is unmistakeably Slipknot’s style, it’s wholly new for 2014 and our heroes are back with a vengeance.  Let’s face it, with all the issues they’ve had and with a six year gap between the last studio album and the forthcoming effort, they could either have folded, or come back with something pretty special … and that’s what this is – a massive middle finger up to all the haters.

Corey Taylor sounds angrier than ever and there are some serious musical props going out to him and his boys for knocking out such a tight, killer track.  I foresee absolute pit carnage in clubs up and down the country when this hits the turntables.

The video is set for release on 5th August, but in the meantime you can find the audio here: –

http://youtu.be/B3K_q3PpKpY

www.slipknot1.com

Interview with Hours

 I recently caught up with the awesome band Hours to have a chat about their impending tour and new single ‘Crossfire’.  Enjoy!

Hours pic

I believe the band is just over a year old. How did you come together?

Yeah, that’s right. It’s been a crazy year! We came together through knowing each other from previous bands and over a period of messaging each other, writing and laying down demos, we eventually came together to give it a go as a group. Before we knew it, we were in the recording studio and doing gigs. It’s certainly been a busy first year!

How would you describe your style and what to expect from a live show to a new fan?

We certainly find inspiration in a lot of different places, which has really helped us to shape our own style, but I’d say our music would be for fans of bands like The Dangerous Summer, Deaf Havana and Mallory Knox. When it comes to live shows, we’re really proud of our live performances. We definitely don’t hold anything back – we leave everything on the stage. That’s how it should be when you’ve paid to come and see us, right?

Glad to hear it! You released your debut single ‘Casino Lights’ last year and you have been featured on the BBC Introducing show; what sort of opportunities has that opened up for you?

We were really proud to release ‘Casino Lights’; we wanted to make sure that when people asked what we were about, all we had to do was show them the song and it went down really well. BBC introducing was a great stage for us to do that. After the release we managed to land some really great shows with the likes of Natives and We Are The Ocean, which were all great opportunities to further our fan base.

How did it feel to see yourselves in Kerrang! Magazine?!

Opening up the magazine that is essentially the alternative music bible and seeing an article about ourselves in there was very surreal. I think we all felt a very childish sense of excitement that Wednesday morning, haha!

You’re touring next month, how are you feeling about getting out on the road?

We’re all really looking forward to it but there’s a bit of nervous anticipation amongst us. There’s a lot of temptation on the road and we’ve been known to enjoy a drink or two. So, lots of partying, 8 days in the van, sleeping on peoples floors … it should be a lot of fun if we make it out the other side!

Do you engage with fans, i.e., are you happy to hang out after shows, talk to people on social media, etc?

We love to engage with our fans, we’re big fans of twitter and we’re always hanging around after our shows to talk to people and make friends, it’s one of the best things about being in a band getting to meet all these wonderful people.

Your new single ‘Crossfire’ is out in August – who/what do you draw your musical influences from?

For this single, as corny as it sounds, we definitely influenced each other. Each idea that was hatched was followed by another from someone else. We kept challenging each other to go further and now we’ve ended up with a song that is a really honest representation of who we are and what we’re about.

Any notable ‘fantasy’ rock star moments so far? Who would you most like to meet?

We’ve been really lucky in previous bands as we’ve gotten to brush shoulders with some really cool people like Ed Sheeran, McFly and Deaf Havana. We were also good friends with the Mallory Knox boys too. In our short year, we’ve still managed to pick up a few messages from Go Radio and Anavae, plus we’ve enjoyed the company of both Natives and We Are The Ocean. As for who we’d like to meet … I think we’d all like to catch up with the Mallory Knox boys again at some point, that would be pretty cool.

If you could tour with any band of your choice, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Probably You Me At Six, they’ve been such a big influence on each of us at some time or another and I can’t imagine any part of that tour being anything but fun!

What’s your opinion on the current state of the music industry?

To be honest it’s hard to care about the industry side of things when all we want to do is go to new places, meet new people and play our hearts out each night. If it gets to a point where we can’t do that our opinion might change.

Where do you hope Hours will be in 5 years?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, all we hope for is that we can keep enjoying playing the music we love, to the people we love. Anything more than that is a bonus. Sure, we’d love to see things go as far as we can take them but at the end of the day we’re here to enjoy ourselves.

Hours Crossfire pic

You can catch the Hours gang on the following dates in August: –

1st, London – Relentless Garage 2
2nd, Leicester – Lock42
3rd, Birmingham – Rainbow
4th, Newcastle – Think Tank
5th, Manchester – Sound Control
6th, Nottingham – The Maze
7th, Norwich – Waterfront

Check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hourstheband 

Pulled Apart By Horses – new single & tour date news

Mark the date of 1st September in your diaries!  That’s when Pulled Apart By Horses’ new track ‘Lizard Baby’, and their third album ‘Blood’ will be hitting your ears …

PABH

“[Lizard Baby] has all the hallmarks of a future anthem, with a call and response verse and an explosive, unforgettable chorus” – Gigwise

Pulled Apart By Horses have announced details of the next release to be taken from their hotly anticipated third album ‘Blood’.  ‘Lizard Baby’, which received it’s premiere on Radio 1 as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record on 8th July, is out on 1st September on the band’s own label, Best of the Best, through Sony Red.

Partly inspired by the birth of the royal baby last summer, you can make your own interpretation as to what that means!

“I guess it vaguely touches on the media & public attention given to people in the lime light and how people can adopt alter egos or change with power” explains Pulled Apart By Horses front man, Tom Hudson. “There’s also a bit of a dig at bands and performers who put on a false show or a contrived act.”

Listen to ‘Lizard Baby’ & watch the pseudo video here (official video to follow soon):

http://smarturl.it/lizardbabyaudio

A three minute, hypnotic rock sleaze fest, ‘Lizard Baby’ is the follow up to ‘Hot Squash’ which received amazing responses, spent four weeks on the Radio 1 playlist and caused the NME to proclaim “Pulled Apart By Horses are now a serious rock band.”  Of the new track, Q said “this time around they’ve slowed down their schtick to a stoner-rock chug on this snarling gem.”  These two teasers from their new album ‘Blood’ demonstrate the new musical and lyrical maturity the band have achieved since their last release.

Pulled Apart By Horses have also just confirmed some new regional UK dates in addition to their European dates for Dr Martens and main stage Reading & Leeds Festival slots.

Full live dates are now:

August –
18th – Coventry, Kasbah
19th – Nottingham, Bodega
20th – Liverpool, East Village Arts Club
23rd – Reading Festival
24th – Leeds Festival

September –
8th – Paris, Maroquinerie
9th – Hamburg, Molotow Exil
10th – Copenhagen, Rust
11th – Stockholm, Debaser Strand
13th – Amsterdam, Bitterzoet

Album track listing:

  1. Hot Squash

  2. ADHD in HD

  3. Lizard Baby

  4. You Want It

  5. Hello Men

  6. Skull Noir

  7. Grim Deal

  8. Bag Of Snakes

  9. Outahead

  10. Medium Rare

  11. Weird Weather

  12. Golden Monument

Links:

http://www.pulledapartbyhorses.com

http://www.facebook.com/pulledapartbyhorses

http://www.twitter.com/PulledHorses

 

 

 

Chasing Cadence – new release ‘Heartstrong’

Those cheeky Hertfordshire rockers, Chasing Cadence released their brand new single ‘Heartstrong’ last week, with the track receiving its first exclusive radio play the week before on Alex Baker’s Kerrang! Radio Unsigned Show.

Chasing Cadence Heartstrong

Having already supported the likes of Don Broco and Taking Back Sunday of late, the Cadence boys are ready to conquer the rock world this year.  From where I’m standing, it looks as though they’re well on their way!

They kicked off 2014 in a big way after their single ‘Paper Sails’ was play listed on Kerrang! TV, as well as smashing their sets at both this year’s Takedown and Download Festivals. The band play Tramlines Festival in Sheffield at the end of the month, with a full UK tour planned towards the end of the summer.

Watch the brand new video for ‘Heartstrong’ here:

Live dates: 

July 18 – Club 85, Hitchin
July 26th – Tramlines Festival, Sheffield
August 1st – Beacon Court Tavern, Gillingham
September 12th – The Empire, Swadlincode
October 25th – The Imp, Scunthorpe
October 31st – The Cockpit, Leeds

You can check them out further at their Facebook page – go and give them a cheeky like!! www.facebook.com/ChasingCadence

Review of Download Festival 2014

Review of Download Festival, 13/14/15 June 2014

Arriving on the Thursday night at Donington Park in bright sunshine just felt … wrong, somehow.  Where was the rain?  The mud?  Why was I sitting round a BBQ with a beer instead of huddling miserably inside my tent?  I decided I would live with it, although I was strangely comforted when I was woken by the sound of rain during the night …

Download 3

FRIDAY

Expecting a sodden swamp, I stumbled out of my tent to find a few clouds but no mud, no rain and it was ridiculously warm.  Perfect weather for a beer and some live music so I wandered into the arena just as Miss May I took to the main stage.  The American five-piece band brought their brand of metalcore to a bright eyed and bushy-tailed Download crowd who seemed to enjoy the interaction and thundering music on the main stage.  I left them to it and headed to the Red Bull Studios tent, which is where I pretty much spent my whole weekend.  The first band on that stage were Goldray and I must admit when I saw the guitarist’s spangly jacket, coupled with the long red dress and headdress the vocalist was sporting, I nearly turned tail and walked out.  They weren’t bad, however, sort of a less heavy Die So Fluid and the vocalist had good ability.

I found next band, Bad Touch on twitter some months ago and I was eager to see them up close and personal.  I have to say they didn’t disappoint, however I found them to be similar to Irish rockers, The Answer.  There was a good crowd, however and singer Stevie did a great job of engaging their audience.  A short walk took me over to the Jägermeister acoustic stage for Brother and Bones.    They had drawn a very decent-sized crowd and were playing out of their skin with their funky, melodic rock.  The performance was pretty intense, with the entire band absolutely rocking out and the crowd was lapping it up, totally engaged with the fresh sound.  Their set was wrapped up after some first class musicianship and vocals and there was some pretty nice guitar sliding going on too.  One of my highlights of the weekend, for sure.

Brother and Bones

Brother and Bones

Chilling out on the grass with a beer, I managed to catch the set from Mia Klose, albeit from ground level.  Swedish Mia’s voice is somewhat of an acquired taste and whilst I can see why the band is generating a buzz, it wasn’t really my thing.  I also thought their cover of Guns ‘n’ Roses classic ‘Paradise City’ to be a bit weak.  Another band I caught by ear only was They Say Fall – a packed Red Bull tent was chanting for them and their post hardcore style went over very well with the crowd.  All I could hear from outside the tent was distorted guitars; I can only imagine how it sounded from the inside.

I headed over to the Zippo Encore stage to meet up with some friends and happened upon The Answer.  I’ve seen them before and thought they were really good performers live, however I felt that this set was a little samey, although featuring some superb guitar solos and vocals.  There was a decent size crowd to pay homage to their Irish rock roots however and they seemed to go down a storm.  The next band had my full attention and they absolutely smashed the Zippo stage.  The Temperance Movement gave a stunning performance, although I thought the crowd could have been bigger considering the buzz that the band has been generating over the last eighteen months.  The set featured a supremely funky bass guitar solo and last track ‘Midnight Black’ was sublime, ensuring that they ended with rapturous applause.

TTM 4

The Temperance Movement

I thought it couldn’t get much better, but I was proved wrong straight away by Californian groove rockers Rival Sons, who kicked off with a raunchy number and didn’t look back as they grabbed the crowd by their collective short and curlies and took us on a roller coaster of rock.  They’ve just released a new album, ‘Great Western Valkyrie’ and I’ll be buying it as soon as.  Definitely ones to watch – they’re going to be huge.

Rival Sons

Rival Sons

It’s taken me 20 years to get to see Rob Zombie live on stage and although he was worth waiting for, I did feel that his set lacked a little something.  It certainly wasn’t energy; he was running around the stage like a man half his age, chancing his arm by walking along the front barrier in the crowd, collecting a blow up sex doll and taking it back to the stage.  My favourite track, ‘Thunder Kiss ‘65’’ was included and an encore brought out the crowd pleasing ‘Dragula’.

At this point, the sky began to darken ominously, right on cue for Avenged Sevenfold.  With a theatrical backdrop and pyrotechnics aplenty, this was always going to be a spectacular set given how popular this band has become, with the release of ‘Hail to the King’ cementing their status as one of the decade’s most celebrted rock acts.  Kicking off the fun and games with ‘Shepherd of Fire’ from the aforementioned album, the crowd were straight into the performance, all singing along and enjoying a bit of banter from front man M Shadows.  The set featured some older material, such as ‘Burn It Down’ from the ‘City of Evil’ album and ‘Buried Alive’.  There was an emotional tribute to fallen hero Jimmy Sullivan in ‘So Far Away’, but the set ended on a massive high with yet more  pyros and some fireworks, bringing an epic first day to a close.

A7X 2

Avenged Sevenfold

Saturday

Everyone was talking about the enigmatic Iceman Thesis on Saturday morning, with rumours abounding as to who could possibly be in the band, as they were playing on two stages simultaneously.  Our group split in half and I got to the Red Bull tent to see a mannequin on stage, with a hessian sack over the head, an IT tee-shirt adorning the body.  When the band took to the stage, they sported full black face masks so it was impossible to tell who they were.  After ten minutes of brutality in a packed tent, the set ended as abruptly as it had begun, with members of the band throwing bits of mannequin and hessian head sacks into the audience.  Nobody was any the wiser.

It must have been hard for the next act to follow that, but Cytota managed admirably.  Heavy and very popular, judging by the amount of people crammed in to see them, the band had an amazing energy about them and the guitarist got up close and personal with the crowd, demanding that they start a circle.  Not a bad start to the day and I can’t wait to see what they do next.  Breathe In The Silence followed and it as frustrating that I couldn’t really hear the vocals properly.  The singer lost vocals anyway; as he swung his mic round the end flew off into the crowd and he had to wait a little bit before we could actually hear something again.  They certainly made up for any lack of substance in enthusiasm and gave a great lesson in how to carry on when things go wrong.

I headed over to the main stage again to catch a bit of Bury Tomorrow.  The lead singer was inciting people to start circles, even though technically, that wasn’t allowed this year.  I did like the fact that he told us all that the band “don’t take themselves too seriously” and then asked everyone to lie down and jump up at the count of 4.  They even had separate ‘girl’ pits and ‘dude’ pits going, which worked for about 20 seconds and was fairly amusing.  I left halfway through their set to go and catch Chasing Cadence on the Red Bull stage.  Playing to an empty tent is never a good sign, but more people gradually started to drift in as CC got  down and dirty on stage.  They were very enthusiastic performers with some eager supporters in the crowd and they belted out fan favourites such as ‘A Sight For Sore Eyes’ and latest single ‘Paper Sails’.  They also threw some free stuff out into the crowd, which always goes down well.  These guys were clearly stoked to be playing Download and that’s what it’s about; a sterling performance from them.  Japanese metalcore outfit Coldrain followed and they had the crowd bouncing from the very first scream.  I only saw three songs from them, but they were well received and I would like to catch another gig to see them properly.

Chasing Cadence 2

Chasing Cadence

Killswitch Engage are a band I’ve never really got into, although I‘ve only ever heard good things about them.  I always thought they were a bit heavy for me, but I caught most of their set and I loved it.  It was awesome the way they incited the crowd to “engage in responsible forms of dancing”, i.e., to get a pit going and look out for one another.  The crowd were well into them and very appreciative and they created a good atmosphere.

Although by now I was flagging a bit (not enough beer …), I headed back to my second home of the Red Bull tent to catch Nothing More who recently featured on the Introducing page in Kerrang! Magazine.  I thought the sparse crowd were a bit lukewarm, however it did start to fill up quite quickly once they got going.  They had a second, basic drum kit at the front of the stage and after the second or third song, the bassist clamped his guitar to a stand attached to it, whilst three of them proceeded to play it.  It was a strange set, but the crowd ended up loving them and I think we’ll see big things from these guys.  Certainly I would catch them again.

Finally, it was time for the big set of the day for me.  I had been looking forward to Bring Me The Horizon for weeks and although they were on quite early, there was still a massive crowd waiting for Oli Sykes & Co.  They kicked proceedings off with huge track ‘Shadow Moses’, from last year’s immense album ‘Sempiternal’.  The crowd went mad at the front, with sneering front man Oli inciting a wall of death.  ‘The House of Wolves’ followed with Oli imploring the crowd to jump.  More awesome power tracks from the album of last year followed, including ‘Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake’, ‘Empire (Let Them Sing)’ and ‘Can You Feel My Heart’.  Oli had everybody down on the floor, springing up to ‘Antivist’, finally concluding a stellar set with ‘Sleepwalking’.  This was a set that stuck a middle finger up to the haters and showed the world that BMTH should, and probably will, be headlining Download very soon.  In the meantime, we have the massive Wembley show in December to look forward to – a fact that Mr Sykes didn’t let us forget.

BMTH 3

Bring Me The Horizon

Penultimate band of the night was electro-punk rockers The Howling, back in the Red Bull tent.  Blacky, Rev and the boys were in fine form, opening up a storming set with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller’.  Considering they clashed with main stage headliners Linkin Park, they drew a considerable crowd and proceeded to rip through a killer set, with outstanding energy and enthusiasm.  I particularly liked the way they had somebody moving through the crowd handing out fake AAA passes, it was a nice touch that ensured people wouldn’t forget their set, but frankly that would have been hard to do anyway.

I couldn’t not head back to catch some of Linkin Park; ‘Hybrid Theory’ was a seminal work that I listened to non-stop when it came out and I was rewarded with just over half the album in all of its live, blistering glory.  I still know the words and I sang along quite happily with the rest of the songs.  I found the rest of their set a little bit tedious, probably only because I wasn’t familiar with the newer work, but I heard a few mutterings along the same lines as I made my way back to the camp site.  Still, it was great to see Linkin Park live as I had never seen them before, so again, I finished the night a happy bunny!

Sunday

I have to confess, I was feeling pretty hung over on the Sunday morning, so we were late getting into the arena, however operating on the ‘go hard or go home’ theory, I grabbed a beer and headed straight to the Pepsi Max tent to see screamers The Charm The Fury.  They’re a female-fronted outfit from The Netherlands and not only is the lead singer an amazing vocal talent, but the musicians around her were also first class.  They hammered through a competent set which saw a packed tent showing their whole-hearted appreciation.  I stayed in Pepsi Max to see some of The Graveltones’ set, however it wasn’t really my sort of thing so I left after about three songs, but their funky, punk-rock stylings seemed to have quite a few fans in the tent.

Buckcherry were up next on the main stage, just after the heavens opened for a legendary Download shower.  They rolled through some of their best songs, including ‘Lit Up’ and ‘All Night Long’, but to be honest, I just wasn’t feeling it.  Maybe it was the rain, maybe it was the thought of going home that night, but I just couldn’t get into them.  Likewise with Richie Sambora, I was watching him, but he wasn’t really holding my attention.  I found his set kind of mellow and I appreciated the Bon Jovi covers of ‘Lay Your Hands On Me’ and ‘Dead Or Alive’.  I also really liked ‘Stranger In This Town’, but I’m not sure I would have chosen to see him outside of Download.  Joe Bonamassa on the other hand, had my full attention.  I’d not seen him before although of course I had heard about his legendary guitar playing.  I also thought he had an awesome voice and I thoroughly enjoyed his set, which included tracks such as ‘Slow Train’ and ‘Who Killed John Henry’.

‘Secret’ band Black Stone Cherry absolutely brought the house down at the Pepsi Max tent.  I understand they were a last minute addition to the bill, hence the placing on a small stage.  It turns out that there were around 20,000 people in and around the tent for their performance and I can well believe it – I couldn’t get anywhere near as I made the mistake of sitting down for five minutes beforehand.  I did hear them though and they completely killed it with tracks such as ‘Me and Mary Jane’, ‘White Trash Millionaire’ and ‘Blame It On The Boom Boom’.  All I could see was a sea of hands in the air as the crowd sang along to every track – absolutely awesome.

I almost didn’t head back to the Red Bull tent for the last time, however I wanted to see Canadian Reignwolf.  I almost missed them, but I’m so glad I didn’t.  I saw singer/guitarist Jordan Cook standing on a branded bass drum at the front of the stage and this seemed to be bluesy, dirty rock and roll at its finest.  By the time they were on their fourth song, the tent was well over half full and the crowd were going mad for it.  Jordan then decided to play the drums, whilst still playing his guitar – I’ve never seen anything like it.  He got short shrift from security though, when he climbed up on the amps to play; they were there like a shot to get him down.  The set finished with a track called ‘This Is The Time’ – rather appropriate for Reignwolf, I think.

Reignwolf

Reignwolf

On a bit of a high, I headed back to the main stage to see my band of the moment, Alter Bridge.  I had been waiting all weekend for this and as Myles Kennedy and Co appeared on stage and launched into the opening notes of ‘Addicted To Pain’, I remembered why I come to Download every year.  ‘White Knuckles’ and ‘Cry of Achilles’ followed and all I could do was sing along and stare helplessly up at the big screens as the band pumped out one belting track after another as the crowd revelled in singing along with Myles.  Halfway through the set he introduced the band, walking out along the barrier, singing to one lucky lady in the front row.  A stunning rendition of ‘Blackbird’ followed and I was moved to tears by ‘Watch Over You’.  Mark Tremonti did a sterling job with ‘Waters Rising’ and as they brought their set to a close, Mr Kennedy was looking suitably humbled and pleased with such a great reaction.  It was a truly awesome set and I found it hard to believe that Aerosmith would be able to top it …

Alter Bridge 3

Alter Bridge

So, we came to the headliners.  Aerosmith headlined Donington Monsters of Rock in ’94, which was the last time I saw them.  When they came out on stage, I found myself thinking that there was no way these guys could put on a good show –  after all, nobody is getting any younger right?  So. Wrong.  Aerosmith exploded on to the stage with ‘Train Kept A Rollin’; Steven Tyler resplendent in an Indian head-dress and an all-white outfit, still looking every inch the rock star.  Hit after hit followed, including ‘Eat The Rich’, the iconic ‘Love In An Elevator’, ‘Cryin’’ and ‘Living on the Edge’.  Unfortunately, we had a very long drive back home, so we had to leave at that point, but I could still hear them playing as we headed back to the car and I can only say that, from what I saw and heard, Aerosmith were pretty as much as good live now as they were all those years ago and I’m a bit gutted that we didn’t stay until the end.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend, with only a few minor band clashes.  The toilets were clean, the stewards, for the most part, were polite and helpful and there were only small queues in the beer tents.  Download just keeps improving every year and although it will be hard to top the last three years, I’ll still be buying a ticket for 2015.  Why?  Because it’s where I feel at home, standing in a crowd with thousands of other people, singing along to my favourite songs, watching my idols up there on that stage.  As the Kiss song goes “This is my music, it makes me proud, these are my people and this is my crowd …”.  So yes, I’ll be back next year for sure.  With bells on.

Interview with Matt Jones of Grenades – 10.06.14

I caught up with Matt Jones (a.k.a Django Black) of Grenades after their May show at the Talking Heads in Southampton, where they supported Pulled Apart By Horses.  Here’s what he had to say about the local music scene, his hopes for a future album and the state of the music industry in general …

Grenades logo pic

Couple of quick fire questions to warm you up …

Download or Sonisphere?

I would have to say neither, we’re more ATP kinda guys; private chalets and shellac.

North or South?

Both have their merits.  Leeds have got some cool bands at the moment, obviously PABH are from there, but it’s also home to my new favourite band, Eagulls.  Of course, we’re from the South though, so it has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ in comparison. Some might say a mystical allure..

Jägermeister or Firewater?

I’m not entirely sure what Firewater is, but if I wanna get proper grotesque I’ll go with a cocktail of absinthe and chemicals, followed by a self-loathing chaser.  I often abuse myself before writing, like an anti-chastigation to filthy the soul.

Classic Rock or Rock Sound?

I couldn’t say, I don’t read the music press.  The irony isn’t lost on me.

South Park or Family Guy?

I’m religiously South Park.  It’s so clever on so many levels. If someone just wants gross-out humour, then it’s there, but it also has cutting satire, stemming from socio-political observations that challenge the way we look at culture.  I think that if someone has a platform to express worthy, well informed opinions that question the way by which society behaves, then I can only commend them for doing so, and if they make it funny at the same time that’s even better. Family Guy’s good too though and I really enjoyed Ted.

Now, down to serious business ….

Are you finding that you have the same faces turning up to gigs, i.e., are you building a solid fan base?

To be honest with you we’re lucky for anyone to turn up at all. The crowd were wonderful at the PABH + Wytches show, but they hadn’t come to see us. Hopefully we entertained them though. Winchester has a brilliant venue called The Railway which puts on some really cool acts, I recently saw Nick Oliveri down there who was raw and awesome, but there just doesn’t seem to be any kind of scene. There are some excellent bands about like Cavaliers and The Wynona Ryders, but there’s just no consistent crowd of people who seem to go out for live music. It’s amazing when you consider that students make up about a quarter of the city’s population. Obviously, I’m not talking about every student, but the majority don’t seem to be very inquisitive, supportive of local art, or interested in what else is happening outside of their Uni bubble.

It’s quite worrying that presumably the future generation of leaders and professionals seem disinterested and unengaged with what’s going on around them.  After all, the arts at their grass roots are what define our culture. So for anyone who might be reading this, don’t just sit in your room listening to music on the internet, don’t just attend the already well attended festivals, don’t just sit on your bum, in front of the TV obsessing over glorified karaoke contests, head down to your local venue and check out who’s playing. That’s where you’ll see the magic, unspoiled, pure creativity before the corporate machine chews ’em up and spits ’em out. These guys ain’t doing it for a job, this ain’t their 9 – 5, they’re doing it because they love it, and I for one think it’s amazing to experience that first-hand, because once you take part, you become part of the history and that’s how legends are made.  I appreciate every single person who has spent their time and money on coming to see us play, do you think that Mr Rock & Roll feels the same way when he’s performing to a sea of anonymous faces, made up of lads and Dorises at some Disney Land festival sponsored by the Devil.  I’m not saying don’t go and see your favourite bands, I’m saying do both, because there’s great stuff happening on your doorstep.

Well said and entirely agreed with!   When you’re writing, what influences you?

I think the most obvious influences are the Pixies, Nirvana and Fugazi. Essentially, I’d become pretty bored of the indie-pop bands that were dominating the alternative music scene. Don’t get me wrong, I really like acts such as The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club and Bloc Party, in fact, Grenades’ early material fell far closer to that camp. It’s just not my passion. Simply, I want to make music like the music I grew up on and I have a lot to say. After graduating from Uni last year, Chris De Roux and myself really struggled to find employment and were forced to sign on.  Now, Winchester is an expensive place to live so what we received in benefits didn’t cover our outgoings. Once rent and bills went out we were left with about £15 a week for everything else; food, toiletries, clothing, washing up liquid, etc. I had to go out administering hand jobs in public toilets just so I could eat and apparently I’ve been told that’s illegal work, like I enjoyed it or something …

Anyways, during my sordid year of living in poverty I became acutely aware of so many social and political injustices. Why do the rich exploit the poor? Why can’t people look after the environment? Why do people kill each other over things like idealism and religion? What the hell is racism all about? Racists are weird. The list can go on and on and that’s what the songs are about. The funny thing is, as a teenager and young adult I was very much concerned with these themes in my first band Yenpox, but over the years I guess my lifestyle became more comfortable and I suppose I became apathetic, losing my edge. Maybe falling on hard times was a blessing in disguise because I got my mojo back.

If you had to pick two of your tracks to turn a new fan on to Grenades, which two would it be?

My favourite track that we do is probably ‘Santa Maria’, I think it’s cool, visceral and gnarly. The others see it as more of a fan favourite, but I would want to release it as a first single. I think it would really announce the band. The others like ‘The Mark of Cain’ best. I think the other one I really like is ‘The Rapture’. Actually, this is a tough question, it’s like Sophie’s Choice. I really enjoy playing ‘Babel’ too and can be heard singing it in the shower.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Obviously, I’ve already mentioned a few bands, but the others I’m digging at the moment are Men of Good Fortune from Hackney Wick and Royal Blood from Worthing; both excellent. The cat’s out of the bag regarding Royal Blood but MOGF are equally worth listening to.  On top of Grenades I also do quite a bit of acoustic stuff under the name Django Black (I have a Soundcloud) so often pay attention to that scene as well. At the moment I’m listening to guys like Chris Simmons, George McCanna and Greg Vernon, who are all really talented songwriters.

What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever given you?

I don’t think anyone’s ever given me anything weird. In truth, I’m far more likely to give them something weird, weird and unexpected. It weirds me out when people ask for autographs though. It really isn’t worth anything. If it was I’d be selling it myself, I’m completely broke.

What’s the best/worst thing about being in a band on the local music scene?

The best thing about playing in local venues is there’s no driving involved, therefore we can all get pissed. The worst thing is limited exposure – obviously, I want to be performing to as wide an audience as possible.

Grenades

Grenades supporting The Wytches and Pulled Apart By Horses at The Talking Heads, Southampton, 10.05.14

Have you had any notable ‘celebrity’ band moments?

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘celebrity’? The most star struck I’ve ever been was supporting Eric Bachmann of The Archers of Loaf. They’re one of my all-time favourite bands, and he made a point of watching me play. With his permission, I even did a rendition of ‘Web in Front’ during my set. It was a special night for me, and I’d like to give Andy Rossiter at Love Thy Neighbour in Brighton a shout out for booking me, thanks man.  If you mean the reverse of that scenario I always love it when other people cover my songs. It’s a massive compliment and reaffirms to me that I’m doing something right, even if I don’t get paid for it.

How do you see the music industry evolving in the next 5-10 years?

Who can say? I think rock music will actually start rocking again. I think for the last 15 years roughly, rock music has been very tame and more like pop. That’s not to say there haven’t been some fantastic acts, it’s just I think it’s time the pendulum swung back the other way. Commercially I hope that more people start paying for music again. If you don’t buy the music, the artists don’t get paid, they have to work day jobs to fund living and ultimately the quality dips. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the moment people stopped paying for music it became a bit more shit.

Can Grenades fans expect an album in the near future?

I would very much like to put a record together. We have some small label interest, but we’ll see. I would like a certain amount of autonomy over the recordings, so doing it ourselves might be for the best. I want it to be as filthy and gnarly as possible. Basically, I want my parents to hate it. That’ll learn yer for getting me an Admiral Akbar instead of Boba Fett for Christmas 1984, I still carry these scars.

What’s next for Grenades?

Over the next couple of months we’ve all got bits and bobs here and there, but I’ll probably write a few more tunes over the summer. I just need to get angry and induce some alcohol-fuelled misery and pain.

Check out the Grenades facebook page at www.facebook.com/GrenadesMusic