Baleful Creed interview

John Allen / Fin Finlay – Baleful Creed Interview

October 2017

by Beth Jones

About a month ago (I’m slow, I know – hey I’ve been busy!) I had the great pleasure of interviewing John and Fin, the guitarist and front man and founding members of Northern Ireland heavy rockers Baleful Creed. We had a very jolly 40 minutes on Skype, covering everything from Buckfast to Jaffa Cakes. So here it is:

Baleful Creed band pic

Ever Metal: For those who haven’t heard of you, can you give us a brief history of the band. Where you came from, what you do and where you are now?

John Allen: Well it started back in 2009. Previously Fin and me had just been dabbling about with a covers band, nothing too serious, it was just a way to get out of the house, crank up the volume on the amps and the guitars and just sort of have a night out! We only did a few gigs as the cover band – probably because we weren’t very good!!

Fin Finlay: No, I think it was probably because we picked songs that we enjoyed playing, not what the public wanted!

John: Yeah, we didn’t do songs like ‘Summer Of 69’ or anything like that!

Fin: We didn’t do the stuff that people wanted to hear – so the covers band was like playing an original set – people going ‘we’ve never heard of any of this!’

John: Yeah, then just at some point, Fin came to me with this disc of four or five demo songs that he had put together. I was fairly reticent of actually listening to it because I didn’t want to! When did he write a song? You know! But he totally surprised me and that ‘first material’ morphed into what became the debut EP. That hooked straight away on his style of writing. I think I had the guitar tone he wanted so we put that together. Plus, I had the band name as well!

Fin: Yeah you had that from a long time ago!

John: He had to get me on board I think! From that, that pushed me into starting to write stuff so it then developed into what we are and who we are now.

Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?

Fin: I can answer his – Black Sabbath!! I have a really wide range of music I like – from heavy metal to… When I was about 8 or 9 my cousin gave me some LPs – Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Judas Priest – stuff like that, and ever since then I’ve just always liked rock. It wasn’t like ‘Oh I was in to rock last summer and I’m into hip hop this summer’, once you go into rock, it’s in your blood. It’s not a phase. It’s a love.

John: Queen was the first band that got me in to listening to rock. I was watching Top Of The Pops going ‘this is absolute rubbish this stuff’, I had no interest in music at all, but I always sort of knew about Queen, and then when I got my first pay packet, I was thinking about buying an album and it was Queen and it started me down that road.

Fin: Yeah, it was the 80s – people always go on about the 80s and 80s music, and it was horrible! And the style was terrible as well!! I was just jeans, leather jacket and cut offs. I didn’t mind that look, but I didn’t like that whole new romantic thing.

John: Yeah that style of music is probably best just left in the past!!

You have recently released your second album “Seismic Shifter” how is that being received so far?

John: Yeah it went down really well – it’s been a real pleasant surprise for us! We were so shocked to get a first album out! Then to carry on and move in to a second album – at the end of the day this was all started as just a hobby and a bit of fun – but it’s just escalated – like a small snowball rolling down a hill and growing in size and volume as the years go on. So, it was great to get another album out – it was something we probably both thought we would never do again. It was great that we weren’t the one album only and that was it done. It’s great that we have achieved another batch of songs that we could go out and record. And the reception for it has been phenomenal. It’s been out since June and the reviews have all been pretty incredible so we’re exceedingly chuffed with that. It’s been good putting it all together for the last three years or so.

Fin: We had to do that with the new guys coming on board – the two Daves – we had to give them time – they wanted to get out and gig, so they had to learn the first album, then they wanted to gig it, so it took a while before we could actually get writing again. John had a lot of riffs from ages ago anyway, so when we did decide to write another album it was good because the Daves’ influences helped as well.

John: Absolutely, and a lot of people have said there is a definite change – it’s still the Baleful Creed core sound to it, but definitely the grooves have changed and that’s got to be down to the new engine room that’s in place! People are noticing that live and certainly on the record that there’s a wee different set of influences in there, that have just changed the way the final product is and luckily, it’s all been really positive and favourable, so we’re exceedingly chuffed with that.

We have actually commented on that – it definitely does sound different – your live sound appears heavier to your album sound – do you prefer the measured experience of studio recording for an album, or do you prefer the rough and ready of live performance – the heavier, the chunkier, the ‘we can whack it up as much as we want here’?

Fin: Yeah, playing live is really good. That’s what we want to do all the time, but you do have to do new material for the fans and the people listening. You go into the studio and it’s all excitement you know, but it does get a bit tedious after a while! You’re just sitting there waiting and either John or Dave’s laying down bass lines or riffs or something, and its only more fun when you’re doing it yourself!

John: Ey, the studio’s a strange place to be in! For me it’s exceedingly nerve wracking – when you’re playing and everybody’s looking at you and you’re on ‘take 55 of this wee bit’!! Like OCD to get that solo right. Whereas live, you’ve got to get out there, you play it, there’s no room for error. You make wee blips here and there and whatnot, but its raw – you’re feeding off what’s happening in the audience, you’re feeding off the other players in the band, you’re basically feeding off the volume cos you can get out there and get that amp cranked up.

Fin: I would actually love to be out in the crowd to hear that sound because on the stage you don’t hear that sound – you get the monitors, and you hear a bit of volume from your amps, but you don’t hear the overall sound. Some people say, ‘WOW that was really, really loud, I loved it!!’ I’d love to be out there just to hear it!

John: Yeah you can still hear a bit of what is actually going on. Obviously, the studio captures that, but the studio is always going to be quite restrained in a way, where every note needs to be just caught and put down on tape. You’re working to click tracks or whatever, so it’s all quite precise and polished. Going out live, you get that……. You know we’re just a live band at the end of the day, so it does flip over a bit. Certainly nothing changes tuning wise, it’s maybe just the volume that we operate at!

Fin: Eleven!!!

John: Mr Jeffers is a loud drummer so yes, our amps go to eleven in good old Spinal Tap world!

What is the rock and metal scene like in Ireland?

Fin: It’s ok…….!! It’s very good actually. There’s so much talent over here. The only thing is, it’s a small country so everyone’s fighting for a place. We do want to break over and get on to the mainland more because, if you just want to stay in the one wee country, you just do nothing! You can’t get out to a wider audience.

John: It’s very easy to over saturate yourself here. You’re playing to a limited audience. There is a very good hardcore of folk who will come out and support the local music and the local scene here. When you go to a big gig – and our biggest would be the SSE Odyssey which holds 8-10,000, those mainstream rock bands, metal bands crowds don’t filter down into the local scene really, and there are a lot of really good bands and really good albums that are just floating about here in Northern Ireland, because people just don’t seem to want to go out and see what’s on their doorstep. I was like that in my early twenties – all I went to see was cover bands and the big bands that came through – my night out was going out to see what band was playing AC/DC and things like that. Then I discovered a couple of local bands I sort of went ‘Hang on – there is stuff happening on my doorstep that is really good’! I think you just need to be introduced to that, then you actually just start delving in. A lot of people – us included only ever went to big gigs, and then Darren heard Citizens. I think they were supporting Blaze Bayley or someone like that and they just totally blew him away and he was like ‘What the hell’s going on here – they’re from here!!’ And he then started delving in. He set up a local festival, because his son had been really ill in childhood and it was a way of saying thank you to the hospital that had treated him. He put on all the best local talent. It was probably the most successful festival round here and that was from him just seeing one local band and thinking ‘Bloody hell there’s something good going on here on my doorstep!’

Fin: Yeah, his festival would be one of the biggest gigs over here – everyone wants to be part of it – it’s always a really good, big crowd and it’s very successful.

JA: Yeah – apart from that though, nothing like Rockwich, that you were both at, happens over here and for me it’s a big gap in the market. You get your evening gig where there’ll be three or four rock and metal bands on, but we really only have Sunflower Fest here.

FF: But that’s more main stream isn’t it.

John: It’s a bit more eclectic – its indie, its world music and stuff like that – you only get a wee bit of rock and metal coming through. So, there’s a market here for a one dayer, maybe two – day Rock and Metal festival. There’s a wealth of bands here. And there a quite a few Northern Ireland bands punching through onto the mainland, so I think for a wee small country we’re doing alright!

Is it difficult attracting exposure in England, Scotland and Wales? How easy is it for you getting over here to the mainland to play?

John: Well we have been over about three or four times, but it was all Scotland based gigs before. Our first English gig was Rockwich a few months ago. This fella here (Fin) doesn’t fly, so it’s big money heading over with him cos we’ve got to take a ferry and a car!! But we’ve reached the point now where we know we need to get over now and we’ll invest that money just to get over and get reaching the audience. Online you can do so much as well now, you know, you can reach out to people and let them hear the band.

Fin: Yeah years ago it used to be flyers – you used to have to put flyers up or pass them around and just hope that they got to the people who wanted to come and see you! But there wasn’t a big original band scene here in the early nineties – there was a lot of cover bands and stuff.

John: Maybe then it was just we hadn’t discovered that there was all these original bands ourselves – we might have been off radar!! Whereas now we’re more clued in to what’s happening. Certainly, our focus is to listen to our contemporary bands round here.

Who is the song writer, or do you all have a hand in it?

John: It’s a mixture of all of us really.

Fin: We like to write music that we want to listen too.

John: Mostly the second album came about because of somebody bringing riffs into the room – whether that was stuff that Fin had, or myself, you sort of jam it out in the room a bit, then the Daves bring in their influence – they sort of pull and push it whatever way it needs to go, then the vocals will come in on top. This time round everybody was putting their eggs into the mix, whereas before it would have mostly been Fin. We’re all quite open. He will get an idea and tweak it to his own sort of style cos he knows how many syllables he needs to sing in a particular line, so where we might have written a novel, he’ll tone it down to a singable level but keep the gist of what the song is about. So it just goes into a big mixing pot really and gets shoved around until we get an end product that we are all pretty happy with.

Baleful Creed Seismic Shifter Cover

What’s next for Baleful Creed? Are you writing still or are you just concentrating on the live stuff?

John: Well, we are heading into a quiet period gig wise, so this will open up the chance for us to get back in writing again. We do only get to meet once a week anyway on an evening because of work commitments and family commitments, so we do only get a couple of hours a week to get into the room and start mixing stuff up. But a goal has been set to try and get a third album out within a couple of years.

Fin: But hopefully make it a wee bit different again.

Thinking forward to that album, and the future; If you could work with one producer in the future, who would that be, or would you self-produce?

Fin: We like producing it ourselves!

John: We’re fairly fortunate that Neil up at Manor Park (Neil Calderwood – Manor Park Studios) knows our sound, and knows the sound that we like, and captures it really well for us. I think that comes through in the reviews that we have got off the album. For me it would be Martin Birch, if he’s still alive, because he is Rainbow, he is Heaven and Hell, he’s all those classic Iron Maiden albums. I’d like to work with Martin Birch.

Fin: I’ll go with what he says!!

John: You can’t do that – you’re more Bob Rock!(Laughing)

If you could do a world tour, what countries would you like to gig in?

John: Errrrr….. All the countries that are connected by land so he doesn’t have to fly!!! I don’t think there are any restrictions really. I would really love to play America – we’ve a lot of good friends and supporters over there – it would be great to just get over and do a gig for them at some point.

Fin: It’s just about financing ourselves, that’s all.

John: Yeah, we run this as an independent thing ourselves, so everything we make is just churned back into the band funds again.

Fin: Yeah nothing goes into our own pockets – it all goes back in for recording, merchandise, it’s like a big wheel that just goes round and round.

John: Yeah and it’s been good fun, and everything we do we can look back on and go, ‘that’s our own achievements’. We’ve never tried to be signed in any way shape or form.

Fin: In this day and age, I don’t think that’s even necessary – I’ve read articles where bands are actually encouraged to market themselves, to do those things themselves and cut out the middle man so to speak. We don’t want to be signed though.

John: Yeah, we have had a couple of approaches in the past and you look at it and think ‘What’s in it for us?’. There’s not a lot of money generated in this industry now, so what we are doing, we want to keep on doing. You invest back into the band and that maybe funds a trip over to the UK or hopefully further afield, hopefully from this new album and getting the merch items out there, but there’s nobody looking over our shoulders going ‘you need to get a record out by such and such a date’, so we can do everything at our own pace with no pressure. At the end of the day this started out as a hobby and it’s maybe not just a hobby any more, but there’s no pressure on us. We’re not going to get into financial difficulties, we’re not going to owe our label money or anything, so we can just do this under our own steam.

Fin: Unless we get a million pound record deal!! That would make us do a record quickly!!

What is your favourite song to play live, and why?

Fin: I Love ‘God’s Fear’, I just love that..

John: Yeah I was just about to say that. ‘Devil’s Side’ for me has a really good feel to it. That, ‘The Wolf’ and ‘Levy’ were the last three to get put together for that new album.

Fin: Yeah and that was nearly dropped!! It’s a wee bluesy feeling, ‘it’s just too simple, it’s maybe not our sort of thing, but we just put it out and it’s become one of people’s favourites…. But for me it would be ‘God’s Fear’.

John: And for me it would be ‘Devil’s Side’ I think.

Fin: I still get a kick out of playing ‘Autumn Leaves’ though. It is the reaction that you get back from the audience – everyone loves it. It’s dark – and I like that.

Give us your best rock’n’roll story – what’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you on stage etc?

Fin: For me it would probably be getting completely wasted playing Dublin and making an absolute arse of myself!!

John: Yeah and then you went and re-enacted it again the next time we were in Dublin. You didn’t learn your lesson!!

Fin: Yeah you could get away with that sort of stuff back in the 70s, but not now. I didn’t really think it through.

John: Yeah, the first gig in Dublin wasn’t a good start. I brought my own amp head down, but one of the guys in the other band said, ‘to save yourself bother, just use my rig’, and I blew it in the second song! All the sound just went ffftt. They were playing on, blissfully unaware that I was there, sweat rolling down my face, going ‘WHAT’S GONE ON’!! Trying to find out what the hell had happened! So that was my sheer moment of panic and terror, which I hope to never experience again. Meanwhile, these guys are all stoned and pished out of their heads, because they had taken a road trip to Dublin and I think they had forgotten that they had to play at the end of it! It was a steep learning curve!!

(Note: The band did elaborate further on this, but it may have been incriminating to print it, so we have edited it a little!! Needless to say, after consuming much Buckfast and other concoctions, they were a little worse for wear!)

John: I think that is probably why we have only played Dublin three times and never been invited back!!

Fin: Yeah, I don’t do the whole drinking before a gig thing any more. It’s not enjoyable……. For everyone else there. Maybe for me it is – I thought we were brilliant!!!

John: But it’s a different mindset now. In those early days we were just doing it for fun, but now you know you have got to get up on stage and perform.

Fin: Yeah people want to hear you playing it like the album, they don’t want you to just make stuff up as you’re going along – like Aerosmith – Houston ‘77  – which was woeful!! But the fans didn’t care because they were probably all off their heads as well!!

What would your best advice be for young kids wanting to start a band?

John: Don’t drink before you go on stage!!!!!! Er.. Just enjoy it. Try and get a bit of good equipment because I think that is half the battle – having a good sound before you get up on stage.

Fin: And if you are writing stuff, write stuff that you want to write, not what you think the crowd wants.

John: And don’t mind taking a few hits along the way – you’re not going to please everybody. Some people are going to think you are crap. Don’t take it personally, just get up and try and write another song and see what happens. Just enjoy it for what it is – at the end of the day, you are getting up and you’re playing and if you’re enjoying it, it’s a fantastic hobby / profession to have.

Fin: I would love nothing more than to get up every morning and all I have to do is come up with riffs and lyrics, that would be great. Unfortunately, we have to work!

And finally…Jaffa cake – cake or biscuit?!

Fin: It’s a biscuit.

John: It’s a cake. It’s sponge with chocolate on the top!

Fin: Yeah, but if you go into the supermarket, they are in the biscuit isle!!

John: Yeah, but do you know what the really big clue is? It’s on the box – it says Jaffa CAKE – it doesn’t say Jaffa biscuit!

Fin: What do you guys think?

Beth: Well I’m on the biscuit side!!

Rick: I’m on the cake side!!

Beth: Yeah, we argue about it quite a lot, so we thought we would ask everyone we interview and then collate it!!

John: Cake.

Fin: Nah I’m with Beth, it’s a biscuit all the way. Definitely a biscuit.

And that was that. The band did also tell us that they are working on a website, as not everyone uses social media, and that they are looking to book some gigs here on the mainland very soon. Thank you once again chaps for taking time out of packing merch to talk to us here at Ever Metal! We had great fun. If anyone wants to book the guys, which I would highly recommend, or if you just want to check them out, here are all the links you will need!

BALEFUL CREED ARE –

Fin Finlay – Vocals & Guitar
John Allen – Guitar
Davy Greer – Bass & Vocals
Dave Jeffers – Drums

Links –

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the permission of both parties.  Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Robin Beck interview

Robin Beck - love is coming cover

Robin Beck interview, 29/09/17

by Vikkie Richmond

Soft rock supremo Robin Beck knows a thing or two about music and the business in general, having just released her eleventh studio album, “Love Is Coming”.  As a prolific recording artist with a career that has spanned over four decades, she took time out of her busy schedule to share some thoughts on life.

Ever Metal: So, Robin, thank you for taking the time to talk to Ever Metal! Congratulations on studio album number eleven, “Love Is Coming”.  Tell us more about it …

 Robin Beck: Well, it’s the newest album, it’s on Frontiers Records and we’ve changed the dynamic around a little bit.  Normally I write most of the material … my husband James Christian [from House of Lords] co-produced it with Clif Magness, completely did all the tracks and we embellished them.  James played on it and Tommy [Denander] played on it.  I co-wrote a couple of songs, “Crave The Touch” and “Girl Like Me” and we put our own feel on it.  We did this album as three brains, in three different places coming together as one and it was brilliant.

You obviously enjoyed the whole process?

It was the easiest for me as I only had to interpret it, because the songs really mirrored who I am and meant as much to me as my own songs that I’ve been writing over the past couple of years.  It was really easy for me, probably harder for them.

Will you be touring to promote the album?

I am planning a tour, if you gave me something to do right now I wold be jumping out of my skin but you know, with the way the world is shaped right now, it’s a little bit tilted, so we really have to organise ourselves very well so as not to get ourselves jammed up in a situation that we can’t pull out of.  Europe is very unpredictable these days and I do most of my touring over there.  When I do tour over here, lately the weather and the way the world is going, the US is also a bit dodgy.  We’re pushing for spring, we were going to do October, but forces were not with us so we are rearranging. 

Well, we are living in uncertain times.  May I take things back to where you first started – you wrote your first song at around ten years of age, so what drew you into music?  It seems like music is all you ever wanted to do?

That’s the answer right there in the question.  All I ever wanted to do and all I really knew how to do was what came natural to me and I feel very fortunate that it worked out for me on so many different levels.  All of my life I just kept stepping into situations that were real, as opposed to scams; a lot of kids get scammed these days by producers and by ads in magazines, then there is all the rigmarole with YouTube and a lot of – pardon me for saying – very untalented people competing with some very worthy and talented people, so it’s a big, fired-up mess.  I feel really comfortable in saying that, from the era that I draw my inspiration from, with the Beatles, the Supremes, Joe Cocker and Janice Joplin, I had so much to draw from and such a colourful start that it was so much built on fantasy and thinking, I can do this.  Nobody ever tried to stop me and I honestly never had any bad experiences.  It just kept rolling and I kept pursuing and things were just, maybe rightfully or maybe magically, falling in my lap.

It’s a bit of a fairy tale, isn’t it?  You knew what you wanted, you went for it and you got it?

Yeah, it took me thirty two years to make the goal, but … (laughs) I was always in the music business, either in a band or in a studio singing backgrounds, or trying to make a record or performing live, getting into commercials … I was always in the arts in one aspect or another, so I never felt the weight, if you know what I mean.  I always felt like with every little experience, I was getting a break.

Robin Beck pic

Do you feel that these days it’s a bit of a different ethos?  There are a lot of hard workers out there, but there are those that just sit back and think it will happen for them?

Well, I didn’t know how not to put one foot in front of the other to do what I loved doing, it just came very natural.  I don’t know if there’s a lot of people sitting out there waiting for it to come, I don’t know that that’s really the case.  The way YouTube is and Facebook and all of the social media, I think it’s just a great big sensation that there are people that are deserving who don’t get their due and there are people that are really not deserving but somehow or another because of their social media skills, they get a lot more attention and go viral.  I’m not 100% sure that people are sitting there waiting, unless we’re talking about the ‘entitled’ generation, but you know what, every generation goes through their judgement period.  Now we have a world of social media and a lot of technology; this is the generation that maybe feels that they don’t have to beat the pavement the way that we did in the seventies, eighties and the nineties and even just recently, when you’ve come from my roots, we don’t know how to do anything other than put the hammer to the nail.  We may know technology completely and be very versed at it, but it’s not in our blood to fabricate it through social media and to hype it that way as much as it is to create it and provide it and watch it spin out of control and straight onto the charts, if it’s possible.

Do you think that the proliferation of talent and reality shows fuels the fire, when people think it’s going to happen for them just like that?

Oh, there’s a lot of broken hearts.  I’ve seen those crowds and I’ve seen the kids from my daughter, when she was in grade school and high school and all of her friends, they all went to art school and out for those sort of things.  I’ve been to one or two where I’ve watched with friends and even with my own kid and said we’re not sitting through this and we’re not going through this with tens of thousands of people.  I don’t think it’s a bad thing, come on, I mean look what happened for Kelly Clarkson and for Carrie Underwood.  You know, what they say is the cream always rises to the top so no matter what vehicle that you have to take to get there, you have to own it, so if X Factor and American Idol are going to be out there and they’re gonna go through from the clowns to the crowns, then so be it.  If the parents can handle it and the kids really want it – that may be their only way to get from Oklahoma to the stage, it’s not so easy.  It’s a good thing, talent shows are always good – we’ve had them since the beginning of time.        

Do you ever feel jaded by the music business – that you might want to hang up the microphone and not do this anymore?

(Laughs) Of course!  When I had my daughter I was ready to hang up my tap shoes; I only wanted to be her Mom and I had made my greatest achievement; I created another life.  My goal in life is always happiness and health over money and I was never trying to be famous, ever, maybe that’s why I’m not as well-known as I should be worldwide.  It was never my goal, it’s not who I am and I never did it for that reason; I did it because I loved doing it.  Occasionally it does wear your soul down, but the good news is that when inspiration comes knocking, you have someone like Clif Magness who comes [back] into your life after two decades and says, hey do you want to write a song with me or hey, I’ve got songs for you.  It regenerates and the spark is ignited.  If it’s in your blood and it’s real, it would be pretty hard to stop, unless your health stopped you.         

If I may mention THE song (“First Time”, which was used in a Coca Cola advert in 1988) – that was massive for you and you stayed at number one for ages.  How did you feel about the song at the time, because it kind of launched your mainstream career?

It’s absolutely true that it was my breakthrough as a recording artist because I couldn’t have gone as far as I did, I mean as far as I know, because that’s the way it happened, I can’t say it might have happened another way because it didn’t.  Let’s face it, it started out as a commercial and the requests coming into the BBC and Radio 1 were astronomical.  When the request came to me to come and sing it, I came in and I sang it as a job, if you will.  It was like, I did the commercial, I’m thrilled to pieces that it’s doing so well, I’m thrilled that I have an audience because at the time I didn’t know if I would ever get any closer to being an artist than having people appreciate what I did for television commercials and actually recognising me by name was phenomenal enough as it was. Going in and singing the song and knowing that I could put my own spin on it, I could use my own voice, I could sing it will all of my heart and not be told how to sing it, that right there made it a pleasure to do.  Wondering whether or not it was going to be a hit was the very furthest thing from my mind because I knew better than to put all my eggs in one basket.  Four months later, [I got] a telephone call from John Watson from the label and it all began there – come to the UK and do Top of the Pops, I could not believe it was a real phone call. 

TOTP was quite the thing over here.

Oh my God, I was on that show with The Bangles, I loved The Bangles!  I think a couple of The Beegees were in the audience, I was like what the …?  Are you kidding me? I was very shy, too; I’m much more outgoing now because I have a lot more confidence, but I was very scared and it was new territory for me.  It was everything I ever dreamed of, happening literally overnight.  After so many years of trying, you forget about what that goal is and you just love your music, you do it with all of your heart.  There’s just so many times that you can send demos around saying here’s me as an artist and compete with the names that were out there at that point – don’t forget grunge was coming out so that was going to turn everything on its ear anyway.  It cracked that door open for me and I have never looked back since.

You’ve worked with a legendary who’s who of musicians and songwriters.  If you had to pick out the highlights, who would be the favourite people that you’ve worked with?

Oh boy, let’s hope no-one ever reads this!  In many ways, it’s not so much about the actual artists that I was working with as much as it is the whole environment.  The most fun that I ever had and what I appreciated the most was working with Arif Mardin; Arif had produced everyone from Aretha Franklin to Chaka Khan and every other artist in between. David Bowie, Chaka Khan and Leo Sayer … being in that environment, being even able to stand in the same room as someone like George Benson!  In the old days, you went to the studio, sometimes there would be a full orchestra there and there’s the full band, the rhythm section, the background singers, the producers, the engineers … the party never ends and it’s intense.  Aside from doing my own sessions and working with the singers and producers that I work with, it would be most difficult to say I enjoyed doing that project the most, because they are all equal in terms of the vibe that you get and then you separate that from the really bad ones you do, where they are really awful and you want to forget them and I’ve done hundreds of those.

Is there anyone that you haven’t collaborated with that you would really like to work with?

I think the list is really long!  I always wanted to do something with Steven Tyler and wished I could do something with Bryan Adams and Steve Perry.  I did get to do Rock Meets Classic and I got to share the stage with Ian Gillan and Jimi Jamison, who is one of my favourites.  I feel lucky that I did.  I did a duet with Clif Magness and he’s one of my favourite singer/songwriters and producers so that’s pretty cool.  I’ve sung backgrounds for Michael Bolton and back in the day he was just too much.  I do wish I could do a duet with him, I think we might have too much of a past history as friends to go there.  I also dreamed about doing a duet with Julian Lennon; he’s also a dear friend of mine, but I don’t think that that is in the cards.  I sure wouldn’t mind doing a duet with Ann Wilson but I think her sister would kick my ass!  

Having listened to the new album, your voice is still sounding really good; how do you look after it and keep it healthy?

Just using it – it’s a muscle.  If I’m over-singing, then of course I rest my voice, but in terms of doing scales and all that stuff, I was never into it and I’m far too lazy.  If you don’t use it, it gets a bit rusty, you have to get back in there and exercise that muscle, so I would say the more I sing, the more in shape my vocal cords remain.  Drink a lot of water!

If you had to introduce a new fan to your music, which album would you pick and why?

I think everybody should listen to the “Trouble Or Nothing” album, because everything that goes around, comes around; we’ve been in that phase with the resurgence of eighties rock music for a while now and it’s still going pretty strong.  Some of my other albums are very sentimental and on the softer side.  I’m going to have to say “Love Is Coming” is easily the best album I’ve ever done, from top to bottom, where there wasn’t a moment or a second of regret doing one single song.  I don’t listen to it over and over and over again, but when I do listen to it, I go “I really do like it!”  I think “Human Instinct” is also a really good album, although a bit dated sounding at this point.  It would be really hard to differentiate them in terms of their quality.

What do you listen to when you’re chilling out?  Do you have any recommendations for new music?

I’m always listening to mix tapes on my iPod.  I listen to Aerosmith and Bonnie Raitt and I listen to people that I don’t sound like.  I love jazz and I love all kinds of pop, but what I don’t love is rap [music].  I have to say it loud and proud, I am not a big fan of rap music, so you will never find that on my iPod.  My recommendations are still old school, go back and listen to some old Joe Cocker records, go back and listen to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.  Go back and listen to Billie Holliday, you know?   That’s where I always found my inspiration and the colours, the soulfulness and just the moods that were set.  A lot of times with the music that we have now, there’s no real mood.  I love some of the more modern pop singers of today, but I don’t spin them.

Your daughter, Olivia, has followed you into the business.  Do you encourage her?

Olivia’s passions are with musical theatre, but she can sing anything from opera to metal and anything in between.  Between me and her Dad [James], she just has it in her genes.  She’s a very talented actress and she’s signed to two major agencies, she does commercials, she’s doing some film, she’s singing on record.  At the age of 20, I was still going to Seven Eleven for dinner and she’s going to five star restaurants.  I’m really happy for her that she’s working and beating the path.  I encourage it, but if she didn’t love it, I wouldn’t say a word.  I’m extremely proud of her.

The music business has always been and is still relatively male dominated.  Do you feel it’s been hard going as a female artist?

I think being a woman is always an advantage.  I’ve never felt threatened by men or by men running any business, so long as they don’t paint me into a corner and do something to me personally, it’s business.  As far as singing is concerned, I take all my cues from guys who are the greatest singers ever, they’re who I follow, so it only made my life easier to listen to people like Steve Perry and Steven Tyler.  It’s never been a problem for me, but it really isn’t a ‘man’s world’, that is such nonsense.

What advice would you give to any new singers or bands that are just starting out?

First of all, I would ask them to please not be full of themselves.  Secondly, I’d tell them not to kid themselves.  Thirdly, I would tell them that there’s a lot of bad elements in this business and it is not a walk in the park; you really do have to dig your heels in and you’re gonna have to fail a lot before you succeed, but don’t give up.  If it’s your passion, just stick with it; if ever a day comes where it doesn’t make you happy and doesn’t bring happiness to the people around you, take on something else, but never give up your passion. Never.  Okay, so get a day job and move along with it, but keep it going.  Everybody that’s worth their salt that I’m friends with and that’s helped me throughout their career, they’re not making money out of it.  The most beautiful thing about that is that they’re such terrific people.  I’m a great collaborator and that’s also a piece of advice – collaborating is loads of fun and that’s the way you learn.  A lot of inspiration will come from what you do with other people.

What’s next for Robin Beck?

I don’t think about it very much.  If I thought about it, I might think I was missing out on something, I mean so many of my friends are going on cruises and they’re travelling the world, basically with their feet up.  When I try to do those sort of things, I do love it, but for very short spurts.  I get bored quickly and I really do think that for myself and also for James, we’re happiest and healthiest when we’re creating and I think we’re nicest when we’re happy with what we’re doing.  Thinking forward, do I want to stop [doing this]?  I haven’t given it any real thought and the music business may stop me before I stop it, but I have no plans to stop.  I don’t know if I could do anything else, to be honest, and I certainly cannot sit and do nothing.  I want to be on stage – that floats my boat.   

Links –

 

Disclaimer:  This interview is solely the property of Vikkie Richmond and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the permission of both parties.  Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Jens Westin / Corroded Interview

Corroded logo

Jens Westin / Corroded interview

by Rick Tilley

I really hadn’t heard much of Swedish band Corroded until their latest album, the brilliant “Defcon Zero”, was sent to Ever Metal earlier in the year. However, this is a band that has created music for a Swedish TV show and the hugely popular video game Battlefield plus has topped the music charts in their home country! Now signed to Despotz Records they are intent on spreading the name Corroded much further afield and with the ‘international’ sound they have it’s not going to be difficult to do that. Recently I was lucky enough to get the chance to chat to Lead Vocalist and Guitarist Jens Westin about the band and even though he is a man of few words it’s clear to see is passion about his music!

Rick – Hi, I’m Rick from Ever Metal. It’s great to be able to ask you some questions. Firstly would you be able to give us a little background about Corroded for those who haven’t heard of you before?

Jens – CORRODED started out in 2004 and I (Jens) am the only original member left from that setup. Today the setup is me on vocals/lead guitar, Bjarne Elvsgard on bass, Tomas Andersson lead guitar and Per Solang on drums.

Your latest album ‘Defcon Zero’ has recently been released. I think it’s fantastic but how has it been received so far?

It has been received really good by the fans and also by the critics .

It’s been five years since your previous album ‘State Of Disgrace’ was released. I know you’ve been gigging regularly in-between albums but was there another reason why it took so long?

We decided that it was time for us to change label, and it took a really long time for everything to come together the way we wanted it to. But our new label (Despotz Records) is awesome, so it is all fine and dandy nowadays.

Your music is difficult to categorise! I don’t like giving music genre tags but most readers like to know where a band sits on the Metal/Rock spectrum and the closest I could come up with was Pantera meets Shinedown! To most that might sound like an odd combination so how would you describe your music?

I usually say that it lies in the ear of the beholder. It’s very hard for us to, to say what kind of musical genre we find ourselves in. Our standard answer is Hard Rock, because I think that it encompass almost every genre within the spectra.

I wasn’t expecting your music to be so hugely catchy, to add to what I said previously, it sounds like a dose of Modern Metal mixed with commercial American Hard Rock. How do you go about writing new material? Is it an individual or complete band process?

 It is a complete band process. We tend to start with a riff from me (Jens) or Tomas, and then we will take it from there as a band to a finished song.

In this day and age it’s not easy standing out, however, I cannot think of another band who sounds quite like Corroded! Who were your influences when growing up and what current bands do you like?

We have one common denominator and that is Black Sabbath, otherwise we have a lot of different musical influences within the band. For me it started with The Beatles and then AC/DC, then came bands like Black Sabbath, Metallica and so forth. For the moment I’m really in to Mastodon, Biffy Clyro, Meshuggah, Testament and Clutch.

You’ve become very popular in your home country of Sweden. Can you try and tell us what that rise in popularity has felt like?

It’s really hard to describe, because for us it has been a gradual climb up the ladder so to say. But one thing is for sure..…..It feels great J

You recently played Sweden Rock Festival to what looked like a huge crowd. That must have been a special moment?

Yeah, that was a real hallelujah moment. We didn’t think that it would be that many people there, since we played rather early on the last day of the festival. But when we came up on the stage and saw the crowd, man that was something else.

Scandinavian Countries seem to produce a vast amount of successful Metal and Rock bands. Why do you think that is?

I’m not sure. If I knew the reason why, I would sell it by the bottle and be a billionaire. I think that part of the reason is because we have a good music school for the kids, and I really think that the Scandinavian weather is a part of it too.

You’ve also recently been announced as main support on Pain’s European tour in October and November. How are you looking forward to that?

It’s going to be great. We spoke with Peter Tätgren when we played at Sweden Rock, and pretty much decided there on the spot.

Unfortunately, there are no UK dates on that tour. Are you trying to plan any UK dates in the near future?

We would really like to come to the UK as soon as possible, but as always it comes down to monetary issues.

What other countries/parts of the world would you love to play?

Everywhere. Where there is a CORRODED show going on, that is a good place to be.

Are you constantly writing new material or will you be waiting until the end of this touring cycle before coming up with ideas for your next album?

We are more or less constantly writing stuff, but we won’t do any recording until we feel that we have the time.

I’m sure you don’t want to wait a further five years before releasing another album so do you already have plans for when you would like to release a follow up or are you just going to see what happens next with ‘Defcon Zero’?

We have a couple of ideas, but nothing that we can be specific about for the time being.

The internet is now such an important tool for promoting a band and its music but it’s also a curse for illegal downloading so how do you budget how much to spend, for example, on a video or cover art knowing that some people will just download the album or individual songs for free?

That is something that our management and label takes care of.

Is there anything else you would like to add before we finish?

We are really looking forward to meet all of you out there on the road, but until we do….. Horns Up

I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you for taking the time to chat to Ever Metal, continued good luck with ‘Defcon Zero’, it’s a great album, and I hope you can get over to UK shores soon because I for one will be there to see you!

Thank you!/Jens

There you have it! As mentioned in the interview, Corroded will be supporting Pain on their upcoming Mainland European Tour (Dates below) and if you get a chance to see them then please do! Since this interview was completed Corroded have also released ‘The Nevo Sessions’, a beautiful acoustic EP that should definitely be checked out as well! Jens may not be a man of many words but Corroded let the music do the talking and that is the most important thing!

Corroded tour date pic

 

Links –

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties.  Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Dean Foxx / Knock Out Kaine Interview

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Dean Foxx / Knock Out Kaine Interview

By Beth Jones & Rick Tilley

RockWich 2017

Lostock Club Sunday 27th August

Rick has had the great pleasure of talking to and interviewing Knock Out Kaine front man, Dean Foxx, on many occasions before, and we were really looking forward to seeing them perform at RockWich on the Sunday evening. It was my first time seeing them live and it was an added bonus when we bumped into Dean earlier in the day, prior to their set, and he was more than happy to have a brief chat with us about what’s new and upcoming in the Knock Out Kaine pipeline. It was my first time talking to Dean, but it was great fun as he is such a diamond geezer! And here is what he had to say:

Rick: So, you’re doing a new album – how’s it going?

Dean: Its going absolutely brilliantly!

Rick: I saw a recent comment on Facebook that you were up at 3.45am listening back to new tracks…?

Dean: Yeah, it’s going to knock the other two albums into a top hat!

Rick: Really?… Because I was blown away by the first one, and I got blown away even more by the second one so…

Dean: Yeah. We’ve hit that little sweet spot I think. It’s going to be heavier – not all of it, but I think 50% of it is going to be heavier than we have done before, still melodic, still rocky, but definitely with a heavier edge. But we’ve still got some quirky little bits and pieces that people are going to go “What?!” at, which is what we always do!

Rick: yeah you like to throw in a few curve balls don’t you!

Dean: Yeah. It’s certainly shaping up to be the best thing we have ever done, without a shadow of a doubt. I am bowled over by the material because it isn’t something we have written for an album, it has kind of organically grown, because we weren’t even going to record an album. We weren’t going to do anything creatively to put into the commercial arena for quite some time to come, and then it just happened. And it is the first time we have had a producer as well, which I was really cagey about being such a control freak! But the guy is brilliant. After the first studio session, I was quite happy to go, ‘Do you know what…run with it’!

Rick: Who have you got?

Dean: His Name’s Sam Cooke – no not the soul singer! I think he’s dead, isn’t he? – so that would be horrible!!! The smell in a studio environment is never any good after a few hours anyway so that would be horrible! But yeah, it’s turned out to be great, and this is the first time that we have had the scope to be able to spend some time on things. In the past, we’ve had a contract with someone and we’ve had a deadline and it’s all got to be done in that time, but this time we’ve let Sam in and he’s said ‘the album’s finished when it finished’. It’s lots of different studio sessions and it gives us time to breath and not have to slog, and it has just turned out brilliantly. We tracked the drums first as everyone does, but instead of going to the studio, Sam said ‘no we’re going to this place’, and he gave us an address and it was an old deconsecrated church! He had rented it out for a couple of days for the drums! And the drum sound is absolutely amazing – its intense. So, there is a lot of experimental and weird stuff going on as far as we’re concerned, with the new environments he has been putting us in to, but it’s turned out amazing!

Beth: Do you think that your creative sides came out more this time, because you didn’t have the constraints of thinking ‘we’ve got to write an album’?

Dean: Well the songs had already been written – I think you probably know from speaking to you before Rick, that we always have this pool of material because we’re always writing. So, we still did lots of demo’s round at Jim’s home studio to put them in a place where we knew exactly where they were going arrangement wise. That has been done in exactly the same way as we always do it. We are continuously working. We never go into a place where we are writing specifically for an album I suppose. So, we just went through a load of the demo tracks that we have done very recently. The first two albums had loads of songs that I had written that came to fruition in the studio, but I’d written them years and years and years ago, before the band ever even existed. On this one, there is one song that was written by me well before Knock Out Kaine existed, about 14 years ago, but the rest of them are new and exciting and FULL OF VIRVE! FULL OF VIM AND VIGOUR AND SPUNK!!!!

Rick: Haha! Is it more collaborative this time?

Dean: Yes – it is! Everyone has put their two penn’orth worth in, and as far as writing goes, this will be the first one where the credit on the album for each song will say, ‘written, arranged and performed by Knock Out Kaine’, rather than individual names, which makes me happy. Because I like that! …It’s because I’m a rock and roll socialist!! Not a communist! A rock and roll socialist!

Rick: There’s a song in there somewhere!! (laughter)

Beth: So, what’s next?

Dean: Well we will spend the rest of this year working on this record and that is it really. We have a handful of shows – we spent the first half of this year touring wall to wall like we normally do, but this last part we have some shows, like this one today here at RockWich, a couple of festival dates and then we will probably put together a Christmas Knock Out Kaine – KOKstock! At some outdoor venue in Lincoln later in the year, but the rest of the year is going to be spent doing the record!

Rick: I have been pushing your name for the new Stonedeaf Festival next year. I know a lot of people have and I think it’s perfect – cracking band, local to what they’re trying to do – it would be perfect to have you on.

Dean: Yeah! We’ll see what happens there. I’m hopeful it will be a good bash. If we’re not playing it and not doing something else, I will come along to have a look at it. It’s a great idea – it’s is a great premise to get back to the old one day thing!

Rick: Yeah, we are hoping to go.

Dean: It should be great. Anyway – I will give you a sneak preview of some of the album.

Rick: Oooh – are you sure?! Awesome.

Beth: Well this interview is a bit ‘off the cuff’ so that is about it, but I do like to try and ask everybody a random question at the end, so…. Jaffa Cakes – cake or biscuit?

Dean: Ooooooh you see, now everyone is going to say this, but you have opened a can of worms there haven’t you!!! I reckon cake, unless you leave it out too long on a plate and then it’s definitely a fuckin’ ‘orrible crunchy biscuit!!

Beth: But why is it a cake in the first place?

Dean: It’s spongey. It’s got a filling. It’s not a creamy filling accepted, it’s like a marmalade hybrid something!

Beth: But Jammy Dodgers have got jam inside.

Rick: Yeah but they’re biscuits – they’re not sponges!

Dean: And they are also horrible as well!! No one wants to eat one of them jam biscuits that ain’t got a little bit of that creamy shit in as well!! Creamy shit??! Where did that come from?! Creamy shit! That’s a story for another day that is!..(lots of laughing)

And on that note, Dean got his headphones out and played Rick a couple of tracks from the new album. To say Rick is excited about the release after hearing this sneak preview would be an understatement. We will be keeping you all up to date with release news for it, and recommend that fans, old and new, check it out.

We would like to thank Dean again for talking to us – always a pleasure, never a chore – and we looking forward to hooking up with him and the rest of Knock Out Kaine again very soon!

LINKS

(‘Ain’t Your Kind’ Video taken from the album ‘Rise Of The Electric Jester’ 2015)

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Richard Tilley, Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities

 

Interview with Luke Appleton

Skype Interview with Luke Appleton – Sunday 3rd September – Somewhere around lunch time, with a cup of tea!

Interview by Beth Jones and Rick Tilley

For those of you who have not encountered the Appleton family, they are a beacon of professionalism and dedication in the hectic UK Metal scene. Today we had the pleasure of interviewing the baby of the clan, Luke, the rhythm guitarist with Absolva, in preparation for their up and coming European tour. It was great to chat to Luke to find out all about the tour, his journey with Iced Earth, and his views and experiences of the past, present and future of his career.

Ever Metal: It is lovely to be able to catch up with you again – it has been a while since we last spoke. So, the new album with Absolva, ‘Defiance’ came out about a month ago – tell us how that’s going down and how’s it has been accepted by everyone?

Luke: It’s been fantastic actually! We’re really happy with the response all the fans have given us. We’re very proud of this album. It’s been a very pleasurable experience in the studio recording it with everyone. Myself and Chris –  my brother, we’ve been working very hard on the writing –  a lot more together more than ever actually. On ‘Never A Good Day To Die’, our previous album, we co-wrote a lot of the songs together. However, this time I think we did it even more; I think you can tell that we’ve taken a lot of influence from the Iced Earth side, and the Blaze Bayley side, and kind of fused them together. I think that definitely shows with ‘Defiance’. It’s been a brilliant experience so far, and all the fans have taking it very well. I can’t wait for the tour really and to play all these new songs live!

Beth: That was my next question! The European Tour is starting 15th September – tell us all about that?

Luke: Well! Big European Tour!! It’s been a while since we’ve toured together due to our other commitments, but we’re very excited about it. We’ve got a good bunch of dates; a lot of these places we’ve been to quite a few times before and had some amazing crowds. We are returning to Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Czech Republic and we’re doing some shows in the UK in December as well. But we’ve got a very good hardcore following in France at the moment, which has been building for the last few years. We’ve got a very special show in Chez Paulette, for example, that’s going to be really good, we’re selling a lot of tickets for that! It’s always been full of die-hard Absolva fans, so we’re especially looking forward to that. But the whole tour is filled with amazing venues that we’ve been through in the past. It’s almost like a ‘best of’ tour kind of thing, but it’s going to be really good to tour this album. We’re extreme excited to get all the new songs out there.

Beth: So, at the moment the rest of the guys are in America touring with Blaze; What have you been doing while they’re out there?!

RICK: In case people don’t know, of course, you also do another job!

Luke: Yeah! Well whilst the boys have been out over in the States with The Blaze Bayley Band –  they’ve been out there for a while now, but they’re coming home soon –  I’ve been keeping busy with Iced Earth as I’m the bass player. I have been doing the summer festivals with them, which has been very fun actually! We’ve only just finished a few weeks ago, but we had about 12 festivals all over Europe. We did some really amazing ones. One of my personal highlights was Alcatraz Festival in Belgium. Belgium has always been kind of a second home for me. I’m sure the Belgium beer has something to do with that!! (lots of laughing) But the people are amazing.

We did Metaldays in Slovenia, and Sweden Rocks Festival. We did some amazing stuff, and we were out there promoting our new album, ‘Incorruptible’, which was released only a couple of months ago again. So, it’s been fantastic to tour that album a little bit and get to see all the Iced Earth boys again!

Beth: How does the balance between Absolva and Iced Earth work?

Luke: It’s surprisingly easy! The scheduling has been pretty amazing! As soon as I joined Iced Earth I thought, ‘everything is going to be 110 percent Iced Earth’, which in a lot of ways it is – Iced Earth is the priority for me – but I just thought I’d have no time for anything else. My down time would be just me sitting at home waiting for the next Iced Earth tour!  But, it’s worked out well, so in between those gaps I’ve had with Iced Earth, we’ve been able to plan Absolva tours with my brother (Chris Appleton – Absolva singer and lead guitarist) and so far, we haven’t really had any clashes, so it’s worked out very well – if I’m on tour with Iced Earth for a couple of months, it’s usually the case that my brother and the rest of the Absolva band are on tour with Blaze. It’s got such so much potential to become very messy, and we could clash a lot of the tour dates, but so far, it’s worked out really brilliantly! Fingers crossed that it will carry on like that for the coming years.

RICK: Does John (John Schaffer – founder member of Iced Earth) mind? Because I seem to remember when you first joined that there was a thought that you wouldn’t be able to do other stuff, but in the last couple of years, especially, I’ve seen, you more and more with Absolva. So, is he still happy with you moving across and doing other stuff?

Luke: Yeah. I basically just asked his permission, and what he thought about this thing, and he was perfectly fine with it. He was always fine with me doing recordings with the band and then as Absolva grew, I did more tours with them. Obviously, the past few years Iced Earth haven’t been completely full on, so I’ve been able to do more and more Absolva tours. Iced Earth are going to get ramped up again next year and do a full on proper tour for ‘Incorruptible’. That’s more potential for things to clash, se we are going to have to prioritize and plan out with a bit more care. But so far so good! I’m very happy with the way I can balance everything out and it’s been good. I think everybody’s happy about that.

Beth: So, you’ve had a pretty crazy year, so far; What’s been your highlight of this year?

Luke: Well, playing live is my main drive in the music business really. I love playing live and to play at these festivals this past summer has been fantastic really. There’s been some amazing audiences; some huge crowds we’ve done, so that is always my biggest adrenaline rush. That’s always going to be a highlight for me. At the beginning of the year, it was quite hectic because I was recording two albums!! I was recording ‘Incorruptible’ for Iced Earth, and ‘Defiance’ for Absolva. We did ‘Defiance’ first, I think it was the end of December beginning of January, something like that, then literally a few days after I finished in the studio with Absolva, I flew out to the States to record ‘Incorruptible’. So, it was ‘right I’ve got to switch from Absolva a mode and go in to Iced Earth mode’ which I found really fun, because it was just a good solid month or two just on the songwriting and recording. It was brilliant to just zone out everything else and focus purely on the songs, and to go over to the States and stay with John and the boys for a little over a week or so, record my bass parts and just hang out –  that was really nice. It’s something we don’t get much chance to do because we all live so far away from each other – everybody lives in the States, the singer lives in Canada, and I live here in England. So, it’s great to just hook up and do some song writing and get to hang out a bit.

Beth: How do you keep going with the schedule you have?! Do you ever sleep?!!

Rick: Not just you – it’s Chris and the boys too, as well as Mark and Lynne – you just never stop!!

Luke: That’s the way we like it! When Chris had some down time, he decided ‘I don’t want to have down time – I’m going to record an acoustic album and going to call it Restless!!’ So, it kind of like that with all our lives really, because we just don’t really want to stop! Whatever opportunity we get, we’ll always find something to do – go on tour, write an album, do something you know, whether it’s within the grounds of our bands and what we do; Me and Chris have similar kind of goals and aspects with what we do – our main thing again is playing live really. We want to play as many shows as possible, but also make sure the quality of those shows is the best possible. So those are our goals, and I think in this tour with Absolva coming up in a couple weeks, that is definitely going to show. It’s going to be fantastic to play this new album because I think this is going to be a big album for Absolva. We both have that same feeling and hope for this tour.

Beth: It is a superb album. We were listening to it again last night. I love it – it’s brilliant!

Luke: Thank you. We are very, very proud of it.

Rick: Well there aren’t many bands, nowadays, that can do four studio albums and a live album in basically five years is there? I can’t think of any other bands that could work at that schedule. It’s very old school isn’t it – it’s how it used to work?

Luke: Yeah exactly. It’s just an album a year we kind of used to work off, and whether it’s a live album or a studio album, we’ve just done it. We’re very, very pleased with it. And again, it’s something we want to do – we want to keep busy, keep the fans entertained, keep the material coming out – every time we release an album, a couple of months down the line, they ask ‘when’s the next one out?’! We haven’t even toured this one yet!!! (lots of laughing)

Beth: So, what’s next in the long term? Your plans for the next year with Absolva and Iced Earth?

Rick: You’ve mentioned Iced Earth touring much more next year, so if Absolva tour again, they will be going out without you, we assume?

Luke: We try and avoid that as much as possible – It has happened where Absolva have done it without me, I think it was SOS last year – SOS Festival which is the Appleton run festival in Manchester -Absolva did it without me and they just performed as a three piece because I was playing at Bang Your Head Festival in Germany with Iced Earth. That’s probably one of the only times we’ve ever done it, but we try and avoid that as much as possible and plan ahead as much as possible so that we can all be together, because the line -up is us four in Absolva now, we’ve established that, it’s not a three piece. It’s definitely us four as a band. So, we like to try and make that happen as much as possible.

There is going to be more Iced Earth touring because we really want to push the new album ‘Incorruptible’. Plans are going to come to a head for next year, but whilst that’s going to happen, the rest of the boys in Absolva have got another album to do with Blaze Bayley, which I believe they are recording at the end of this year. That will kind of finalize the trilogy of the Blaze Bayley’s story. They are going to tour that heavily, pretty much do exactly the same as they’ve done this year and last year, just do a mega tour for this as a finale of his trilogy. I think the scheduling is going to line up pretty similarly again. Iced Earth are going to be on tour whilst Blaze are on tour so it’s impossible to do any Absolva in that time. But something probably will happen for Absolva – we’ve just got to plan it and finalize it. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

Beth: You are playing in Sound Control, Manchester in December as part of the Absolva tour. How much are you looking forward to that– your home coming gig?

Luke: Very much so actually! Because even though we live here, we don’t actually get to play it that much, so it’s really nice that to finish the tour off, the last two shows of the December run, after Newcastle and Glasgow, are Manchester which is mine, Chris’ and Martin’s home town, and then we’ve got Swindon, which is Karl, our Bass player’s home town, so it’s really cool! We get to finish the whole tour off with two hometown shows. I think that’s going to be really special – there’s going to be a lot of good vibes, a lot of friends, family and a lot of really good hardcore fans there. I’m looking forward to that because it’s going to be a very good celebration, and home coming, if you want to say that, after a big long tour. It’s going to be good – definitely a highlight.

Beth: With you all being so busy, is it difficult to find a good work / life balance? Or does it just become your life?!

Luke: It’s pretty much become my life. Whenever I’m at home, I’ve got some hardcore friends and whatnot who really have stuck by and supported me throughout the years, since we really started to be honest, but the band comes first. There’s so many birthdays and family occasions that we’ve missed because the band always comes first. Many relationships with the boys have come and gone, kind of thing, but you know – it’s a hard life to handle, but we’ve got our eye on the prize!

Beth: An interesting one for you here – Will we ever see a Fury UK gig again for nostalgia’s sake?

Luke: We get asked this quite a lot actually! I really like the idea of it. However, it’s just finding the time to do it! Obviously, we’ve got three bands to balance with, so throwing a fourth in there – there are only a certain amount days in the year, you know! I would really like it to be honest. My dream plan would be getting Fury UK to headline at SOS Festival one year and make a little mini tour around that – a lot of people in the UK ask for it and a lot of people in Belgium were really keen on Fury UK, so it would be really good to do that again; to bring back all those lovely memories that we had, and to treat the fans. A lot of those Fury UK fans have gone on to follow Absolva and keep on backing the band. We still get people coming to Iced Earth shows even with an old Fury UK CD, wanting me to sign that. So, the fans still remember! It would be really cool to do that one day and we’ve talked about it a few times, it’s just finding the time and the place really. I think it will definitely happen. We’ll just discuss it and figure it out first.

Beth: If you had one story, from your career so far, that you’d want to tell the grandkids in years to come, what would it be?

Luke: A non-explicit one probably!! (Lots of laughing) I think one of my most memorable times was in Iced Earth, I would say. It was my first show with the band. We were in Toronto Canada, and we were opening for the band Volbeat. This was my first tour with the band, I think about five years ago now. It was an unbelievably nice but scary feeling. Just before the show I was crazily nervous, because Iced Earth had been one of my favourite bands for many years, and I was over the moon when they offered me the job. I knew a lot of the songs already, and when I was rehearsing and everything, I’m like ‘this is great! I’m playing some of my favourite songs, playing with my favourite band’. Then when it came to the day, maybe 10 minutes before the intro was going to start, I was just so nervous – my whole body was shaking – I was just unbelievably nervous and I remember John just coming over to me and giving me a big hug and just saying ‘you’re going to be all right. You’re going to do really well – have fun, just be natural out there’, and then I went on stage, played the first note and the fear went away and adrenaline took over. I think if I ever have grandkids, that would be one story to tell, because that was just such a monumental part of my life and experience. The way I look at it is just overcome your nervousness and your fear, and just go for it and then, ultimately, you will prevail – and something amazing has come out of that. That would be a story that I would like to tell one day.

Beth: You’ve already mentioned next year you going to have a heavier schedule again with Iced Earth in the summer. Have you got any festivals lined up that you can tell us about yet that have already been announced?

Luke: Not at the moment. We’ve not got anything concrete yet. Anything that I would be able to say has to be announced first, but we’ve got some very good plans. I’ve heard a lot of cool discussions about what we’re going to be doing next year. It’s very, very exciting, and it’s killing me that I can’t say it!

Rick: I want you at Bloodstock!

Luke: Yeah, that would be nice. I would love that!! I feel like it’s like a Game Of Thrones spoiler kind of thing! (laughing)

Beth: What about with Absolva – have you got anything with them that is already announced that you can fill us in on?

Luke: At the moment, we’re just focusing on this next tour for Absolva. We want to build a big hype for this and focus really on the shows. Stuff will happen for Absolva again next year – a particular festival in Manchester may happen as well! Everyone can read between the lines there Maybe!! But no, there’s going to be a lot of good stuff coming up and it will be announced very soon, so we’re very excited! Again, it’s going to be Iced Earth and Blaze Bayley; they’re the priorities for the first half of the year and then we’re going to dig into some more Absolva stuff.

Beth: If you were forming a super group, who would your perfect members be?

Luke: OOOh Yes! I’m going to be good at this question because my friend asked me that not too long ago! Is it anybody I can have? (Anybody! Anyone.) Anybody right? Well. Me on bass! Bit biased there, but me on bass. I’d have Tony Iommi on guitar. Glenn Hughes on vocals, ooh, drummer – not thought about that…Oh Mikkey Dee would be a good drummer, from Motorhead, I think that’s a good start for a super group! I suppose I can have another guitarist in there – I’ll have John Schaffer!

Beth: I’d pay good money to see that!

Luke: I think I’d pay good money just to be in the band!! (laughing)

Beth: What’s in your essentials bag for the tour bus?

Luke: No adventurous things. Lots of socks!! Lots of Socks – but I just take general stuff, you know, clothes and everything. I don’t go anywhere without my laptop – that’s my baby!! I always take a little interface with me as well, so I can actually plug my guitar into the interface, into my music program on my laptop, so I can just jam away in the dressing room, or if I’m in a hotel room, or something like that. So, inspiration can spark up anywhere kind of thing. The rider is much better than what I put in my bag actually! Bottles of rum and beers everywhere! That’s more like it!! (laughing)

Beth: What’s the most random thing you’ve ever had on a rider then?

Luke: Well Blaze likes to put a pair of socks on his rider!!! We don’t like doing laundry on tour, you see, so if we get a pair of socks every gig we’re all right!!! There was a funny one, one time; it was something to do with a banana! It had to be chopped in a particular way. The theory behind it was if you put this strange thing on the rider, the tour manager walks into the dressing room and sees that the promoter has done this crazy thing with the rider, he doesn’t need to check everything else because if they have done this really stupid thing, then they must have done all the normal things! That was the theory behind the M&M trick, you know, putting all the green M&Ms in a cup or something. So, yeah, that was probably the weird one with the banana!

Beth: We have seen a couple of instances recently of 80s pop icons singing with metal bands – Kim Wilde with Lawnmower Deth, then last week Rick Astley sung with The Foo Fighters. Who would you pick to sing with you?

Luke: I’m not very good with knowing who’s from which era… erm…. Was Bonnie Tyler from the eighties? Sorry – I’m a baby! Yeah, I’ll say Bonnie Tyler! We played a gig with her once actually, so it was very close to happening! It was cool because we played this festival in Sweden with Iced Earth. It was a very eclectic festival – there was all sorts of stuff going on – so it was Bonnie Tyler and then us!! I didn’t really know how it was going to go, but then all these swarms of metal heads came in after all the Bonnie Tyler fans!! It was quite a sight to see!

Rick: There’s one thing I’d like to ask – I have read about it in the magazine you did with the new Absolva album! Swapping between bass and guitar – how do you find it? I used to drum and it’s all I could do to remember the drum parts sometimes, but you’re going from one band playing bass to another band playing guitar – how do you find it? And I know you get on well with Karl (Bass player in Absolva) but how does the relationship work there?

Luke: Changing in-between the instruments I find quite fun, because it’s good to get a perspective on both sides of what you’re playing. With Absolva, I think it works very well because I do twin lead guitar solos and whatnot with Chris but I’m mainly the rhythm guitar player, so I’m all about staying with the bass and the drums. So, I’m still on the rhythm section page.

My relationship with Karl is very good, we get along really well, we have a lot in common, but we also have this little friendly rivalry going on. If we’re playing an Absolva a song that I demoed and wrote the bassline for, I’ll say, ‘Come on Karl – you need to play this properly!’ and then he will return and say, ‘you may have written the bassline but I improved it!’. So, there’s this little friendly rivalry and jokes going on but it’s all friendly you know – we never start punching each other or anything!! Not maliciously anyway!

But, the swapping between guitar and bass Is fine. I find it very fun. I love playing guitar. I find it a lot easier to write a song on a guitar than I do a bass. However, I prefer playing a bass because I feel like I have a little bit more freedom; improvising with the drums, and whatever fills the drummer does, I feel like I should follow. With a guitar, I believe that you’re a little bit more limited with what you play, because it’s all about the melodies really, and the guitar you can hear playing those melodies a lot more than a bass player would do. As long as I’m staying within the groove of the song, I like to throw in a lot of fills with what the drummer is playing whether that’s Iced Earth, Fury UK, Whatever. The best way of describing it is what John says; I believe the bassist has to be the rock of the band. It needs to be together with the drums and the glue between the drummer and guitar player. That’s the best way of describing it in my opinion because it really is the base of the band – it’s like creating a house; You’ve got your base, then your upper levels and your singer is your roof. I had a comment when I went into the studio with John and I was playing bass and he said, ‘right snap out of guitar mode get into bass mode’! So sometimes I do just have to say, ‘right, okay, I’m playing bass right now’! But I find it fun, more often than not!

Ever Metal: Well that is it Luke. Thanks so much for talking to us today and we are really looking forward to the tour, and hopefully we will get to the Manchester date to come and see you.

Luke: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me and we’ll have a beer in Manchester!

The Absolva ‘Defiance’ tour 2017 kicks of next week in Germany and, from listening to the album and knowing how hard these boys work, we can pretty much tell you now with 100% confidence that it is going to be amazing. If you can make one of the dates, do, because we promise you won’t be disappointed!! We would like to thank Luke again for his time talking to us, and wish him and the rest of Absolva immense luck and success for the tour and beyond.

For more information on the Band, the tour, and of course their other bands, Iced Earth and Blaze Bayley, here are the links you need:

 

Absolva Tour Poster

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Richard Tilley, Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities

JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR INTERVIEW with Jack Starr

 

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JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR INTERVIEW

Jack Starr’s Burning Starr is the band formed by guitarist Jack Starr after he left Virgin Steele. Here I had the opportunity to question him on all things Burning Starr and music in general.

Hi, I’m Dawn King from Ever Metal. I would like to thank you for taking the time to talk to us and I hope you are all well?

Thanks Dawn, I am happy to talk to you and the readers of Ever Metal , I am doing good and feeling great about the new album

For those who don’t know much about you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and about the band?

My band is called Burning Starr and I started the band in 1986. Our first album was called ‘Rock The American Way’, prior to that I did a solo album with Rhett Forester called ‘Out Of The Darkness’ and before that from 1981 to 1984 I was in a band I founded called Virgin Steele

You have been described as US Power Metal. Would you say this is an accurate description of the music you play?

Yes I really think it is an accurate description in fact sometimes, because of my history with Virgin Steele, I have been described as one of the founders of Power Metal and certainly in 1981 the ranks of people playing power metal were very thin as this music was just starting out

I have read you being described a “one of the unsung heroes of heavy metal” How would you react to this?

I think it’s true at least from the financial stand point lol, I see some musicians who came out at the same time as me like for instance Metallica who have done incredibly well and live like royalty while I am still struggling a bit, and when Metallica came out we were on some of the same labels like for instance the British label Music for Nations we appeared on a half dozen compilation albums together so yes in comparison I am pretty “unsung” but to tell the truth I do have fans all over the world (just not as many lol) and all of my many albums have been reissued sometimes 2 and 3 times thru out the years so I really can’t complain!

You were one of the founding members of Virgin Steele. Was it difficult to escape that name to branch out on your own?

It really was and it has been just recently that I am seeing more articles and posts about me that don’t mention Virgin Steele, so I think that it has taken time but finally I am being recognized for Jack Starr and Burning Starr after all this is our eighth studio album and we have been together for over thirty years no. Initially it was not hard to branch out on my own, as soon as I left Virgin Steele I got a very big record deal with the biggest independent record label in America called Passport who had big acts on their label like Leslie West, Wendy O Williams, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones (that one really impressed me at the time), I was on the same label as one of the Stones!! But as time went by I started playing a more epic style of music which was better received in Europe and my focus starting shifting to Europe and new metal markets like Germany where our albums started coming out with regularity!

Apart from your own bands, you have participated in many different projects e.g. Devil Childe, Phantom Lord, Thrasher and Strider. Does this mean you have an open mind where music is concerned?

I really do have an open mind when it comes to music, I like to quote Beethoven who said “the only rule in music is that it has to sound good” and for me that means that any music is cool if it sounds good including Middle Eastern, Blues, Folk ,Jazz and lots of classical too!

The current line-up features you, Todd Michael Hall on vocals, Ned Meloni on bass and Kenny “Rhino” Earl on drums. How did the four of you come together?

We came together when I signed a record with Magic Circle Music, the label that was founded by Joey DeMaio the bass player for Manowar, he actually helped us find Todd Michael Hall and introduced us to ‘Rhino’ who was a former drummer of Manowar. I had contact with Joey back in the eighties when my band Virgin Steele did shows with them since both bands were considered stylistically similar. So I would have to say that Joey did the introductions and we all got along great and decided to stick together.

It has been eight years since your previous release as Jack Starr’s Burning Starr, the album “Land Of The Dead” What were you working on in that time?

It really was more like close to six years but it did feel very long.Iin that time I was also playing blues and doing local shows, it was difficult because Todd also joined RiotV and ‘Rhino’ was doing gigs with Ross the Boss and Ned was raising small children and learning how to use Pro Tools so everyone had their plates full, also we are really recording 2 albums and on the vinyl it is a double album ,we had to leave off some tracks on the cd but there is over 80 minutes of music not counting our remake of ‘Children Of The Storm’ the first song Virgin Steele recorded and also we did go to Europe and do festivals a couple times too in that timespan!

How do you think your music is received in the UK and are there any plans for a tour over here?

To tell you the truth I didn’t think we had very many fans in the UK but lately that has been changing and I really think that anyone who is into Saxon or Maiden would probably like our new album ‘Stand Your Ground’, without sounding cocky I think the playing and songwriting is on that level but to clarify what I am saying, we were not influenced by those band but since I am pretty much the same age as those guys I can say that we share a lot of the same influences and so if there are any similarities it is because of that reason more than anything else!

“Stand Your Ground” is an album full of 12 cracking tracks. Which is your favourite from the album and why?

That is really a difficult question because we tried very hard to not have any filler on the album and our producer Bart Gabriel was very adamant that we should only have the best of our songs and so we threw out a lot of songs that didn’t make the cut and what was left was the best of at least 20 songs, but that said, I would have to say that the title track “Stand Your Ground ” is my personal favourite, I am really happy with my solos on that track and I am also amazed at how great our bass player Ned Meloni played and of course the harmonies that Todd Micheal Hall came up with can only be described as delicious,(it reminds me of the great Freddy Mercury ) and there is nothing I can say about ‘Rhino’’s drumming that has not already been said but let me just sum it up that for me ‘Rhino’ is without a doubt one of the top ten drummers in metal!

We are just coming to the end of the festival season. Which would be your favourite festival to play and why?

I would love to play the Sweden Rock festival, it is something I always wanted to do and I was a little jealous a few years back when a friend of mine Mike Favata who is the drummer for Thor told me about how much he loved playing that festival, so yes it would be cool for me to play that festival and it would also mean that two old friends and classmates from Long Beach High School, New York would have played the same festival

Heavy metal and the rock n roll lifestyle kind of go hand on hand. What is the most “rock n roll” thing you have ever done?

Well really I am quite boring, so there is no driving cars into swimming pools or running naked in the lobby of hotels for me but I love reading about other people doing crazy things lol!

So what’s next on the horizon for Jack Starr’s Burning Starr?

The next thing for us is to make this record do well and climb up a few rungs on the ladder of rock success and go back to Europe and play and meet more fans and raise a glass or two

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks Dawn, the only thing I can add is that life goes by quick and I would recommend we all step out of our comfort zone and meet new people and experience new things like maybe the new Burning Starr album!

Metal On, and Keep the Metal Burning

Jack Starr Florida, 2017

Thank You

Dawn

Find out more about Jack Starr and his band Burning Starr using the following social media links

**Jack Starr used/new cassettes, cds, records, posters and magazines are available on eBay.com worldwide**

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Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities

 

Immortal Machinery Interview

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Immortal Machinery are a three-piece from London, England that have made ME, for one, sit up and take notice. With vocalist Steph K’s very distinctive voice, bassist Matt G’s jazz sensibilities and drummer Tom S’s hard hitting grooves they have found themselves making their own brand of metal, dark and melodic with gothic influences. I reviewed their second album “An Imperfect Storm” back in March of this year and jumped at the chance to get the guys to answer some questions for us.

Hi, I’m Dawn King from Ever Metal. I would like to thank you for taking the time to talk to us and I hope you are all well?

We’re doing pretty great, glad we could have a chat!

For those who haven’t heard of Immortal Machinery, can you give us some history about the band?

We started in the latter half of 2013 – we had met at a jam night in central London a couple of years prior, and once I put a few songs together we finally started pushing ahead with the band as a more serious entity.

It became apparent quite quickly that we’d have to do things the DIY way – both our albums have been recorded in a shed with no running water. No shiny studios for us! We also very early on started booking our own self-promoted shows; there’s something quite satisfying about taking control and having the chance to be a curator of other good bands.

Where did the name Immortal Machinery, which I think is great by the way, come from?

If I want to impress people, I tell them that the name sums up what I believe is the human condition – an immortal soul in a bodily machine. Then I realise how pretentious that sounds and admit the truth: I wanted to call the band “Mortal Engines” after a rather good sci fi book. But of course, in the age of Google (and lawsuits) you probably want a more unique name.

Your second album “An Imperfect Storm” was released in april of this year. How is it beng received (obviously other than by me because I thought it was fab!)

It’s a big step up from our first recordings, and I think people are really responding to that. The cliché is for bands to struggle to top the impression they made with their debut – I feel like we’ve grown significantly since then so showing everyone what we’re made of now has been really satisfying. Also, it’s nice to surprise people with such a big string-led sound.

And how was the launch party? I was gutted I missed it.

Aside from your absence, it was everything we could have hoped for! For those who don’t know, we took over an abandoned attic in Camden – we played a set, cracked a few bottles open and then people got into jamming and doing a bit of metal karaoke. People were only given the address after buying a ticket, so there was quite an air of mystery about the event. It felt more like a house party with live music; with so many venues closing, I’d love to see more bands do stuff like this. There’s a video of the party here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-3jL2OHUbw&t=67s

I stated in my review that your album “An Imperfect Storm” had an individuality and a uniqueness about it. Did you purposefully set out to record something that was different?

I feel as if there’s a fine line between doing your best to be original, and just making gratuitously weird music (prog..ahem…). Yes, we wanted to make something unique, but I’d like to think that we did so in a way that played to our strengths. I’ve been playing the violin since before the age of 4, so to orchestrate string parts felt like the most natural thing to do; Mat the bassist had the freedom to throw as much jazz virtuosity as he felt like into the mix – and Peter the drummer had full license to show off in his own way too.

So, Steph, you not only provide the guitars and the vocals but also the stringed instruments. How does that work at a live show?

A rather nice chap called Mr Samsung Tablet helps us out; it’s perhaps not in the spirit of rock’n’roll, but until we can afford to bring out a string quartet on the road, we have no choice but to play the string parts on a backing track. Though it’s a recording, I would dare to argue that from a sonic perspective it’s still more “real” than having a keyboardist play synthetic orchestra sounds – it’s still me playing, after all!

And your voice!! That was one of the highlights of the album for me. How do other people view the vocals?

Thankfully, it does get a fair bit of good feedback although I’m well aware that it’s just not some people’s cup of tea. I think the general expectation is for a raspy classic rock voice or a power metal-style belter, and what I do jars with that somewhat. If I could sing like Bruce Dickinson, you’d better believe that I would. But I’m stuck being a midget with a deep voice…

My favourite track on the album is “Nail Me Upside Down” What is yours and why?

For me, it’s got to be “I Did it for You”. I’m very happy with the album as a whole, but I feel like if I had to sum up what we were trying to achieve in one track, it would be this one. Close second is “Tongues of Fire”, as personally I think Mat and Peter’s abilities on bass and drums really got showcased there.

Its hard to pick out your influences as you have such a distinctive sound. What bands and artists have influenced you as individuals and collectively?

Collectively, what we seem to value the most is top notch musicianship. Though they’re not what you might typically think of as virtuosos, bands like Sting and the Police, Toto and Steely Dan stand out to us as a real gold standard of tightness and proficiency.

For me – I love anything dark and miserable. Type O Negative and Danzig are up there, but I also love the work of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and I’m also an insufferable Springsteen fanboy (his lyrics are far more bleak than they’re given credit for).

Mat’s first love is Pink Floyd; but he also loves weird and obnoxious jazz fusion from the 70s and 80s, like Allan Holdsworth or Frank Gambale. He’s also introduced me to an obscenely talented young trio from London called Preston Glasgow Lowe. It’s a world away from rock and metal, but I think that’s a very healthy thing for the band.

Peter is a huge fan of drumming icon Dave Weckl, and consequently any of the many projects he’s been in. He’s also the one who got us listening to bands like Toto and actually appreciate their ability rather than just belt along to the chorus of “Africa”.

Most of us have a musical guilty pleasure, perhaps a band or genre of music that doesn’t fall into what people expect us to listen to. Who or what are your musical guilty pleasures?

There’s a Swedish band called Dirty Loops who became a bit of a YouTube sensation by doing outrageously intricate jazz/funk re-workings of current pop songs. We are in awe of their ability, but no matter which way you dress it up we are still bouncing along to songs from Justin Bieber and Adele.

We are now in the middle of festival season. If you could play one festival anywhere in the world, which would it be and why?

It seems that when it comes to heavy music, the East Europeans and South Americans both seem to go nuts in a way that other countries just aren’t at the moment. So, anything from either of those two parts of the world.

So what’s next on the horizon for Immortal Machinery? Any plans for a tour?

We’re hatching some plans… We’ve already played 6 shows in Europe and Scandinavia, so we’d like to do more of that!

Well, thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

We’re just happy you enjoyed the album so much, it really means a lot.

Thank You

Dawn”

So, there you have it. Not only are this band great at what they do, they are also cool to talk to (albeit via email) Thank you to the guys for giving up their time to talk to me and if you haven’t checked out this fantastic band I highly recommend you do.

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities