Interview with The Outlaw Orchestra NozFest 2019, 10/08/2019 By Lotty Whittingham
NozFest had just opened its doors and the atmosphere was already buzzing. There was excitement in the air and already punters ready to watch the first lot of bands. Lotty Whittingham grabbed a quick chat with The Outlaw Orchestra about NozFest, their sound and supporting the scene.
Hi guys, thanks for joining us today. First can you introduce yourselves to the readers in terms of what your sound is all about?
Ryan: Hi, I’m Ryan and I am the drummer/vocalist for The Outlaw Orchestra. Dave: I’m Dave, I try to sing for The Outlaw Orchestra and try to play guitar. Pete: I’m Pete and I barely succeed in trying to play the banjo and lap steel for The Outlaw Orchestra. Ryan: There is also Alex who is the giant violin player who is not here at the moment. Dave: It’s because he’s looking for his bass somewhere. Seriously, he messaged me then phoned me to say he was on a train and he will be tracking down my double bass, which is somewhere. In fact, we played a gig in Sheffield and it was about 4am. Alex and I were extremely inebriated sat with about five other bands on the bill, we played in the 02 and at about 4am, we looked out the window and we saw Alex’s double bass laying there in the car park. We realised we had been dropped off at the 02 at 11pm, we taken it out of the taxi, laid it down, went into the hotel and forgotten all about it. I looked out the hotel room at 4am and pointed out his double bass. Nobody had pinched it, it’s too big to steal.
It’s quite amazing that you can lose a double bass in the first place.
Dave: You can lose a guitar; you hear that all the time but a double bass is huge. So, there you have it, Alex is on his way hopefully with his double bass.
So, we’re here at NozFest today and you’re part of the original line up.
Dave: I think so, Jodie contacted us a long time ago as a first conception. Ryan: I think we were the first or second band she asked Dave: Actually, we were first, I’m joking. At the time, she was toying with different venues and as the local boys, she picked our brains as to what’s a good venue. There was a venue we were gunning for that had a kebab shop at the back in Bedford Place, no not really. We suggested The Engine Rooms, we ended up at The 1865 so here we are and it looks like it’s going to go off today.
It’s sold out in advance, punters coming in early for the first lot of bands so it’s looking promising.
Dave: There are plenty of bands. Now I’m not sure if you have been to the dressing room area, we were there earlier and we had to leave. We don’t use nearly enough hair spray and nail varnish to be there. We are also way too grounded. Ryan: Our leather pants aren’t tight enough.
What about the leopard print?
Dave: I shit you not, there is a lot of leopard print in that dressing room. Pete: It’s basically like Lily Savage’s boudoir up there.
If someone hasn’t seen you guys live before, what can people expect from your live show today?
Dave: We play country tinged hard rock. We do everything from hard rock to almost country. Pete brings in a new flavour with playing the lap steel, which is traditionally a country and western instrument. I personally love this as it gives the music a different angle. Pete plays the banjo as well; Ryan’s drums and I play guitar with a lot of country and western tuning. I would describe it as country and western through a Marshall.
Please tell the readers why it’s important to support the scene.
Dave: Or we go hungry. You start in your hometown although having said that, no one in our home town knows about us apart from a bus driver the other day he beeped at and shouted out “I love your record mate.” However, usually you are known in your home town. Def Leppard got huge because Sheffield love them. We are bigger in Sheffield than we are in Southampton. So, Sheffield is our adopted home town. So, support your local music then hopefully good things happen from that. So hopefully after playing here today, more people from Southampton will come check us out when we next play The Coach and Horses.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Interview with Jodie Bowie, NozFest Organiser Interview by Lotty Whittingham on 10/08/2019
Rick Here – Back in April our reviewer Lotty Whittingham interviewed NozFest Organiser Jodie Bowie to discuss the inaugural event. On the day of the event Lotty caught up with Jodie again for a brief chat before the doors opened to see how she was!
It’s the day of NozFest, it has finally arrived. There was a lot of anticipation and nervousness leading up to the event. It was all brought together and organised by local promoter Jodie Bowie. After a series of Rock Nights, she was holding her first festival. Before the doors opened I grabbed a quick chat with her about the festival, her plans for 2020 and any advice she would give to those trying to make it in the creative industry.
Hello Jodie, thanks for joining us today here at NozFest. How are you feeling today?
Really good thanks, really nervous though.
So, this is your first festival today, please tell us more about it?
It’s a New Wave of Classic Rock Festival and it’s featuring all the best up-and-coming bands in the New Wave of Classic Rock. It’s completely new, self-funded, self-promoted and it’s an independent festival. It’s different and new, hopefully it will grow. We have bands such as Massive Wagons and Marco Mendoza.
What can the readers expect?
I have no idea but I do know we can expect some fun, discovering new music, making new friends. Everyone here is super lovely, there’s already a group where people have started meeting each other and stuff which is amazing. People are already calling themselves Nozzers. It’s going to be fun and I expect there will be lots of excitement.
Word has it you already have plans for NozFest 2020?
Yes, indeed there is already a plan for NozFest 2020. There’s a date.
Can you tell us a bit more about the bands playing today?
Most of the bands are New Wave of Classic Rock bands so it means they have their own modern spin on the modern rock sound. Some of them are quite big, others are just starting out. 27 Days come from just down the road and they’ve only been going for about a year. We’ve got The Wicked Jackals who have recently changed their name, they’re from Watford. We also have Massive Wagons who have just come off tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Those Damn Crows have just played Download and of course, Marco Mendoza from The Dead Daisies.
What advice would you give to those who are trying to make it into the creative industry?
Work very hard at it and don’t listen to those who tell you that it’s not going to happen because if you want it enough, it will happen!
Rick here again.
As you can imagine Jodie was incredibly busy on the day and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for inviting Ever Metal to cover NozFest. This is the first of a series of interviews that Lotty completed on the day of the Festival and we will also have a live review and pics up very soon!
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Marco Mendoza is no doubt one of the hardest working and passionate musicians to date. He has played with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and currently The Dead Daisies. He is due to appear at a brand new festival ‘NozFest’ which takes place very soon. Lotty Whittingham spoke to him about this festival appearance, his latest release “Viva La Rock” and his process when it comes to songwriting.
Hello Marco, thanks for joining us this evening. So, you are due to appear at the brand-new festival NozFest soon. Can you tell us more about that?
The UK are famously known for having some of the best festivals around. This one in particular is special to me because it’s been organised by a friend of mine. Jodie and I have worked together previously on other events and she have been a great support of my solo career. Jodie approached me when I was on tour with The Dead Daisies and she said she was putting a festival together. She said there isn’t a lot going on in the south of England at that time of the year. Jodie, her dad and I came to an agreement that we should move this thing forward using my name so we could get the ball rolling.
I was very clear with them that I might be busy with The Dead Daisies at that time and if I needed to pull out, I would have to. She was very cool about it and stated that she was trying to get commitments from some bands. She also said that my solo stuff would make a great fit at the festival. It turned out that The Dead Daisies weren’t doing anything until towards the end of the year and I have been putting a lot of time into promoting my latest album “Viva La Rock”. In order to do that, you have to do any and everything you can to promote your music. I was happy to say yes let’s do this.
I have worked alongside a lot of the bands that are on the bill for NozFest and I am happy to be participating in that. I have some great cats rocking with me; I have Micky Crystal from Tygers Of Pang Tang and Kyle Hughes who has been with me for a while and he’s a great drummer. We have done a lot of touring together when they aren’t busy with their other projects. So, it’s a great fit and I am looking forward to appearing at this festival.
I can’t quite believe how quickly it’s come around.
It has come around so quickly. This year I have been to Japan twice, Europe three times, Russia and it’s only July. So, an extremely busy this year! After August, I will be spending time with my family and do a US run that we are putting together. After that, it’s back to Europe. Unless things change, I will be staying away from the UK for a bit to work on my new album that we’re shooting for next Spring. NozFest will be a chance for me to show people who I am and what my music is about.
Will this be your first time in Southampton?
It won’t be no. I have been part of the Thin Lizzy camp since 1994 or 1995, I am almost sure we played there a few times and I have toured with my solo project there. I can’t think of the exact venues, so I have toured there and the surrounding areas such as Bournemouth. I remember playing this little club called The Anvil. It’s got a lot of history, to me it’s like the whiskey of that area.
Actually, I remember the venue in Southampton was The Talking Heads. The Talking Heads was where I met Jodie and her Dad. They came to one of my solo shows, they approached me and said they would like to do more to support my solo career. She told me she can hook me up with shows in the south of England. She’s been a bit of champion when it comes to supporting my music, they are both fans of Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake.
This tour is promoting your latest release “Viva La Rock”. There is a variety of different sounding songs on there. Who are your main influences?
As you can tell, I grew up in the thirties. I was born in 1935, just kidding. The first CD I got as gift at Christmas was Abbey Road by The Beatles in the early seventies. It had been around for a few years at this point so that was the first album I got and let’s just say it had the Pandora’s Box effect. It ignited something in me and from that point I knew I was going to do music for the rest of my life. Once you start growing, you start seeing music in a different way and you start digging.
Creedance Clearwater Revival were a big band in the mid-sixties to mid-seventies, they had a lot of hits on the radio so for me they were a natural fit. I used to sing and play a lot of their songs. From then I got into to The Stones, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. To this day, I believe some of the best music and songs ever written were by these bands.
I am a big on a lot of these bands. Some of these bands I have been a part of myself. What they managed to accomplish in their time in 1964 or 1965 whenever they came out, they had an influence on the planet. Creatively and musically, the music business had its doors opened to these bands and what they managed to do was history in the making. So, I have a lot of respect for these guys.
When it comes down to song writing, do you have a specific process for it?
Lyrics for me are like the frosting on the cake. I might have a hook or theme or chord progression ready, it’s only because I try to fit in as much as I can when I have the time to do so and write it down. A lot of those ideas might not go anywhere and when it comes to write the album, you have all these ideas and whatever sticks is what develops and what you develop.
At the moment, I am in a really good place where everything is positive, optimistic and uplifting. All the lyrics are about my own experiences in life, relationships and love. There’s a song on the album dedicated to my wife because I was by myself in a studio in Denmark and I was missing my family. I was just like a little kid, if I could have got on the next plane home I would have done. However, we had studio time booked and had to make the commitment, then I had two months of touring straight afterwards. I was going to be gone for a while and had already been gone for six or seven months.
So emotionally I got a little drained and a little trashed. You know how it is when you’re tired, your emotions come to the surface. At the end of the album, we literally had a few hours to finish and we had to terminate it then because we had the tour the next morning. The producer said that we didn’t have a ballad for the album. We agreed on this but we spent so much time on everything else. Long story short he said “I got this chord progression; I really love it and it reminds me of something.” As soon as he started playing it, I realised that was the one. The song was written within two hours.
I’m not embarrassed to say that it was emotional when I was singing it. It’s one thing when the music and lyrics are written, when I started singing the words, I got knots in my throat. We had to stop a few times because I was blown away. I was asked if I wanted to take a break or do it another time but I thought we don’t have another time.
It probably won’t be played at NozFest as festivals are about going crazy and we have about forty-five minutes to an hour so there won’t be time to slow down.
Thanks, Marco, for taking the time out to speak to us today and best of luck with your UK tour.
NozFest takes place on Saturday 10th August at the 1865 in Southampton.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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.
Kim Jennett is a force of nature. With a voice that rivals the power and feeling of Lzzy Hale, Glenn Hughes and Robert Plant matched with an utterly magnetic and feral stage presence she has been tipped as a stellar talent and someone destined to be absolutely huge. After blowing away audiences the length and breadth of the country fronting Voodoo Blood she’s about to fully step into the spotlight as a solo artist with a warm-up show at the Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool before heading to the hallowed ground at the Download Festival the following weekend.
Whilst her work with Voodoo Blood was phenomenal, it has been her musical partnership with former Jagged Edge/Skin/Red White & Blues guitarist Myke Gray that has rocketed her into the stratosphere. A hugely talented guitarist and songwriter along with being one of the hardest working, experienced, driven and most well-respected professionals in the business, Gray spotted the raw talent therein after being sent a couple of video clips of Jennett and contacted her regarding some studio work. With the first of the dates debuting his titular band looming, he also offered Voodoo Blood the opening slot and it was this memorable evening at the Academy, Islington in early June 2018 that the public got to witness the two sharing the stage for the first time during an incendiary duet between Jennett and Phil Conalane, Gray’s vocalist. When Conalane was unable to make a support tour with Black Star Riders, Jennett was the first and clear choice as replacement and any who saw Myke Gray on that tour knows that the band blew the roof off, night after night after night, giving the headliners a real run for their money.
To call the results of the Gray/Jennett mix ‘alchemy’ would be wrong as it is much more akin to gold being purified and shaped into something exquisite by a master craftsman. Bringing to bear his vast skill, experience and depthless passion, Gray has certainly brought the best out of Jennett, refining her incredible vocal talent and stage craft with a real understanding of not only the talent but the person too, mentoring and driving her to heights she continues to exceed with each and every new release. The perfect pairing, committed to making the very best music they can, there seemingly is no limit to what they can achieve together. With the looming potential/probable headline-making appearance at the UK’s biggest and best rock festival, now seemed the ideal time to find out a bit more about the person behind the soon-to-be household name.
What initially got you into music?
From a young age I always enjoyed performing and I was always involved in school plays and drama clubs and things. I struggled to make friends or fit in when I was young (and now haha) so I used performing as my release and found it was the only time I felt myself and truly happy. I realised I could sing when I was involved in larger musicals in my mid-teens and then I picked up a guitar and it just snowballed from there really! I started writing my own songs to help me through some of the troubles I was going through at the time and it’s been my medicine ever since.
Who were your influences and inspirations?
Honestly my mum is my biggest inspiration. She isn’t a singer but she’s a creative and raised me as a single mother while pursuing a career in art, I think that’s really badass. She always just encouraged me to do what makes me happy and music makes me happy.
I have never set out to “be like” anyone else. From a young age I’ve always wanted to stand out as an individual as I think there is something incredibly awesome and inspiring about other people who do this. Stand-alone female artists like Lady Gaga, Jessie J and Beyoncé have that strong female energy that really gets me going and excites me! I also have a deep love for old-school blues artists like Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, Howling Wolf and Etta James etc. There is something that just touches my soul with blues music, maybe because the music comes from a true place of pain and from that pain they created something beautiful. I find that era truly inspiring too as it shows that music can literally help change the world with the huge role blues had in the end of segregation. I just love how music brings people together.
There has been a big change from your earliest pub shows/gigs you did as a singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar until now…how did that develop?
I’m constantly evolving and changing as an artist, even if you look at the first song I did with Myke (‘Take Me Home’) to ‘Unbroken’ (the latest single) they‘re only a year apart but are completely different and I barely recognise myself in the first video now. There is something inside that drives me to always be better and be on top of my game. I Iove mixing things up and I’m always looking to improve myself and my art. However specifically I think I put the guitar down as I started to sing heavier music but, who knows, I may pick it back up for a few shows at some point again.
You created the Voodoo Woman persona with Voodoo Blood and seem to have really grown more into yourself as an artist away from that image. How does it feel to come out of that strong visual statement and really blossom into Kim Jennett, artist in her own right? Was it slightly scary to leave that mask behind or a testament to your personal growth?
I created the persona in a way because I was scared of being myself. As I grow and shed a lot of the things that were bringing me down, I become less angry and more grateful for where I am and who I am now. I am not afraid of standing on my own two feet as just me, Kim Jennett, and I don’t need to hide behind a mask anymore.
You’re projecting such a positive and strong image as a woman in rock. Do you feel that things are positively changing regarding how women are viewed now in the music industry?
Thank you! My gender isn’t a disadvantage and I am proud to be a woman. I would like to think I’m a strong person, but women are very strong, we go through so much shit and pain (Every month in fact haha). I am just here doing my thing as many other female artists are and there are so many women out there at the moment absolutely killing it, it’s very inspiring to me and I want to inspire other girls too. I want those girls to know they can stand on their own two feet; they don’t have to take shit from anyone and they shouldn’t be afraid of going out there and being themselves. ‘Kim Jennett’ as a standalone artist is the embodiment of me saying “fuck you I’m going to just be myself and that’s all I need to be”. As I said before I really look up to strong female artists in the industry and now I’m here I feel empowered to stand alongside them. Hopefully I will inspire other women (or people who identify as women) that have faced some of the same struggles as I have in this weird time we are in.
You’ve been working with Myke for just over a year now, firstly in the studio and then more and more live. What’s he like to work with and what is the song writing process?
To be honest meeting and working with Myke saved me from going down a very dark path. He’s been super inspiring and I am truly grateful for everything he has done for me. He’s relentlessly driven and completely passionate about what he does. It’s essential for me to work with people who match up to my intensity about things. He’s taught me that my intensity is a positive thing rather than being scared by it like a lot of people may have been in the past and have tried to drag me down for it. With mine and Myke’s work ethic I think we are an unstoppable team.
Myke has produced and written the album, he lives and breathes it and has tailored each song around me, I have never worked with anyone in my life that believes in me as much and works as hard as he does.
How would you describe the last year?
The last year has been like… Getting pushed off a mountain by the people you thought were your best friends but then you land in a giant bowl of ice cream.
How do you feel about the reception you have received, from the times fronting Voodoo Blood and onto the shows you’ve done with Myke? The reviews have been pretty phenomenal.
I play music because I love playing music, I love the power it has to unite people, I live and breathe it. I think that comes across in my performances and when I see rooms of people enjoying themselves as much as I am, that’s the best feeling in the world.
How did you feel when you got the call from Myke to do the Black Star Riders tour as his singer? It must have been a special moment.
As a singer going on tour is an absolute dream so being asked to do a tour with a band like BSR was just crazy. I’ve always been a fan of Thin Lizzy and I remember stealing my dad’s mp3 player and getting told off in school for listening to them in class haha. They were a dream to tour with and really amazing guys. It was an amazing experience going on tour with people who are complete professionals. Ricky Warwick said I had a killer set of pipes and Scott Gorham said to me before we went on “don’t be too good” haha, as you can imagine the school girl in me was screaming and I thank her for listening to Thin Lizzy rather than doing division, it paid off.
You’re currently working on your first solo album. What can people expect from it?
It’s a roller-coaster (a bit like my life) and a real mixed bag so I think there is something for everyone. We have some slower songs that are really emotional, some straight up killer sexy rock songs and even some heavier stuff. The thing I love about working with Myke is that he’s written the songs for me and to show the strengths of my voice, the more he’s gotten to know me the more “me” the songs are becoming and I’m so buzzing for everyone to hear it! Each song shows a different side of my personality.
Your latest release, ‘Unbroken’, seems like an incredibly personal track. Is there a story behind it?
You will have to ask Myke about that one but what I take from it is: finding your true strength and passion from reaching rock bottom, the times when you feel like you are at your lowest point (and I’ve been there, times were you feel like there is no way out) you either let it break you or find your wings.
What’s been the best gig you’ve done thus far in your career?
Every gig is a blessing. I just love performing, from gigs I’ve done in small towns in sweaty clubs to the BSR tour where we were performing in front of two thousand people a night. Obviously the larger the audience the better though.
You’re just about to head towards the biggest gig of your life thus far. How does it feel knowing you’re playing under your own name at Download? It must be mind-blowing seeing your name on the line-up poster, know that it will appear on thousands of event t-shirts and that Andy Copping himself is touting you as one of THE new acts to see this year.
I mean it’s a dream come true. I’ve worked hard for this though, relentlessly for many years and my feet are planted firmly on the ground. As incredible as it all is, I still have a long way to go and a journey ahead of me! Although it’s my name on the poster I couldn’t do any of this without the amazing team I have behind me. Myke especially who has worked so hard to get us to this point. I’m just looking forward to the future now and seeing what’s next for us.
If you could work with anyone in the future (in addition to Myke) who would it be? Any dream tour partners band-wise or duet partners?
I’m happy with who I am working with at the moment but, if had to choose, Halestorm would be amazing! Lzzy Hale is another huge inspiration to me and she’s one of the reasons I got into rock music. At a time in uni where I was struggling a lot with my mental health I discovered Halestorm and hearing how powerful Lzzy was, really made me feel strong again. I taught myself how to scream so I could sing ‘Love Bites’ at a uni end of term gig and then the music I wrote got heavier too. I rambled a bit there haha… basically it would be a dream to duet ‘Love Bites’ with Lzzy Hale. It’s the kind of thing I fantasise about on the bus.
When is the album coming out?
When we have finished recording it! In Myke’s words it needs to be a record people will be listening to in years to come and it can’t be rushed but it is on its way!!
Being two perfectionists who want to create the best album possible, you and Myke are (rightly) taking your time with it and want it to be something that you want to be proud of. Has it seemed a very long process despite that?
Myke gets shit done. It feels like we’re smashing through it really. We only met about a year ago and we already have 4 singles out and an album on the way. It can’t be rushed though and you’re right we’re both massive perfectionists.
What’s next for Kim Jennett?
World domination… hopefully… I’ll probably just make a coffee first though and do some yoga.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.
Interview with Know Your Enemy Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ April 27th, 2019 By Andy Jansons
It’s always nice to see young bands ascending to new heights, more so, when they are from your own state. New Jersey’s local rockers Know Your Enemy have just released their first full length album called “Root Of All Evil”. Their material is fantastic, but to find out more about that you’ll have to read Stephen Moss’ live review.
I was fortunate enough to attend Know Your Enemy’s album release show and sit down with band members (except drummer Ralph Riccardi who was running late) and discuss their music, influences, new album and to introduce themselves to a new audience.
Andy Jansons: So this is your first full length album. Talk about the emotions, how it is to get your first album out?
Fonz Rodriguez (Vocalist): Well, I mean it’s super exciting, I’ve been like really excited, nervous, but in a good way, for a week or two, I’m just…the anticipation has been just crazy. You know, for me as a vocalist, to express how I see the world and how we see each other, from my own perspective. It’s really important for me personally because it’s difficult to get those emotions out verbally, you know? It’s not easy to just speak to people, so when you can you do your best, and the reaction and the feedback that we get, makes me feel like it’s worth it. This is a complete collection of how I truly feel like, really what embodies me as far as like me trying to be part of society. To me this album is like my feeling.
Jay Kent (Guitarist): Yeah. I’m very excited about the album. We put a lot of work into it. It’s a big collection of all of our thoughts on a lot of different subjects. And I think if you listen to it, you know enough, you’ll definitely feel what we’re trying to convey. I think we did a great job expressing our thoughts.
Steve Bishop (Bassist): Great lyrics, good music to it. I think it’s going to be something real exciting for people to listen to. It means so much to me.
Andy: Who wrote the lyrics for the songs?
Fonz: I would say on this album, probably about 80% of them I did. And the songs that I didn’t write fully, it was collaboration, let’s put it that way. You know, Jay wrote some of the lyrics. He wrote the lyrics for ‘Deep Inside’ and ‘Bound’, and there was a time period where I was not playing with the band and, for example, the song ‘Bound’ already existed. But it’s just the way he may have wrote it, the way he puts it, and then the way I deliver his lyrics, perfect and unique. Like he told me, they had a couple other guys try. He even tried himself. I’m not boasting myself or anything; this is just what he told me. So even though, I didn’t write the lyrics for it, I was able to tap in the emotions, the feeling of when he wrote those lyrics down.
Jay: He (Fonz) is a perfectionist, which really shows through, because he got so much of it just like spot on. Like what he’s trying to say. You can understand it fully; he did such a great job in writing the lyrics.
Andy: How would you guys characterize your music and the genre you play?
Steve: That’s a little iffy. Um, we’ve been compared to a bunch of other bands. Most of them were like back in the rap rock genre, like P.O.D. We’ve had that more than a few times and Killswitch and Sevendust. I guess hard rock with like some hip hop and a little bit of blues.
Fonz: I would say alt metal, not alternative itself, because we got something which seems like a mixture of genres. It got a metal base to it, and then we bring in just different genres. It’s really not intentional, it’s just like you hear it and you go, oh this is the part that it needs to be because this is how I feel it needs to go. I would say personally alternative metal, that’s how I feel it. As far as comparisons, recently someone said, Oh, you guys are like, if P.O.D. and Killswitch had a baby. It’s a compliment (laughs). And the other one I got that I liked that we sound like Anthrax and Faith No More. I mean I’m a huge fan of Anthrax. My favourite is the album with John Bush “The Sound of White Noise”. I always think, you know, we kind of like to admire someone and we try to like mimic in some way, something. So to me, and I know it’s hard, because I love hip hop and I love all genres, it’s hard to really like just one. So I think we bring a lot more stuff, which brings me back to the alternative part, so we bring a lot more, more different styles.
Jay: Uh, I am a huge Zack Wylde fan with Black Label Society, Sevendust, the old Metallica, you know the good Metallica? I love blues guys. I love Hendrix and Stevie Ray, all these guys and you can hear that in my playing, you know, from my solos and a little bit of the funky kind of melodies that we bring along to the music as well. So, yeah, that’s me.
Steve: Yeah, I think it’s a healthy mix. I don’t think you can pinpoint it in one way or another. I think we flow with a lot of different bands because of that. We play live shows all the time. And whether we’re playing with a metal band or a hard rock band, or occasionally with a sort of post hardcore, punk kind of band, I feel like we always fit because we don’t play one genre. What binds inspire me? I’ve been playing music since I was a teenager. I was really into Nirvana and Green Day and like all that stuff at the time. But since then I’ve listened to so much stuff. Uh, Gary Clark Jr and The Cure and I just love music. If it’s good, I’ll listen to it.
Fonz: One of my favorite bands is He is Legend; I love The E-Town Concrete, which is a New Jersey band. Honestly, my all time favorite band is Tool. Like, I just love them, I feel like they’re the band of our generation, like the Led Zeppelin of our generation. Their contribution to metal and hard rock is like, it’s unique, It’s different, It’s real rock. It’s like real rock star mentality; we didn’t give a shit about anybody. They don’t care. 10 years we’ve been waiting for their album now, we’ve been waiting forever. To me it’s like, every single member of that band is super important. You can’t replace any of them. So I would say Tool is number one for me. Yeah, definitely but we can’t forget about Rage Against the Machine. Yeah, that band changed my life!
Andy: Cue, the name of your band?
Fonz: That’s right! ‘Know your Enemy’, that song. They are an influential band, and I think for anybody that has this dissatisfaction with the way that things are, they deliver it right. They’re really super smart guys. You know, they were unique at the time and when it comes down to really going against the grain and being brash it’s RATM
Andy: Okay guys, let’s get back just to you. What are your plans now?
Fonz: Well, we definitely want to go touring, we’ve got a bunch of festivals planned for the summer, so that’s mainly what we’re going to do. I think we’re not going to be able to tour until after August, but we want to, definitely. I just want to take it on the road. I would love to go up to New England, you know, maybe down the east coast, and show what we do. That’s ideal. We talked about it a lot. It’s just difficult. You got to pay bills and it’s a little bit more of a balancing act if you’re going to go and hit the road. But that’s definitely going to happen.
Andy: Right now you are unsigned band, are there any movements towards finding a label?
Fonz: I would love to. I would love to, but I think we need to get the tour done first. We actually have already started writing the next album. So ideally if we can make the timeline correct, then we’ll tour, put new record out and then try to show to the label and see what happens. It’s so much work being independent, and trying to do everything. Even for example, the record release show, we did it independently and I feel like we’re lucky that we were able to find a venue and other bands and make it happen. It really takes away from rehearsing and writing and working on the other things to make more progress. And so a label is definite, you know, I mean it only makes sense to do that.
Andy: So obviously this is an important stepping stone with moving forward and how you see the road from here?
Jay: Uh-huh, I think, like Fonz said, we’re going to concentrate on continuing to write new material, get a new album going. The one that we’re just releasing today we will see where it takes us.
Steve: We planned to play a lot of gigs recently to support this album. We’re just going to keep writing, keep doing it. We put a lot of hard work into this particular album where I feel like we all learned what to do, what we do well and how to just keep doing that, and just to get our music out and see what happens from there.
Andy: Lastly, what have you got to say to your fans?
Fonz: If I could say anything, I just want to thank everybody who helped us and believed in us. And I mean there’s our friends, our family, and new friends and people that we’ve gotten to know as, you know, as we make our way through the scene. But I think that would be all the people out there who’ve listened to us. I feel like that is the number one most important thing is to be thankful and grateful for. I want to say that I’m super grateful for these guys (points to band mates). You know, because I’ve so many bands that we played with and we’ve met throughout the last few years. And I would say that a lot of ’em aren’t together anymore and there’s always problems! I could say that this is probably the smoothest relationship. These guys have made it, we just chill!
Jay: Likewise. Yes. We are very lucky to have a talent front this band, it’s been a long time for myself personally looking for somebody like him to come in and do this and he just blows us away every time he goes up there. So we’re just proud to be with him as well as, as any other.
Steve: That’s one of the better compliments we get. People think that we sound really tight. Our chemistry together, especially live is good. I hope it really comes through on this album. We tried to put it that up front and centre!
Andy: Thank you very much guys!
Huge thanks to Know Your Enemy and Andy for the interview!
Interview with Dave Hunt of Anaal Nathrakh By Sheri Bicheno
Good Evening – Rick Here. On 5th April Sheri was lucky enough to go to The Asylum in Birmingham to cover the Anaal Nathrakh / Akercocke Co-headline show. Whilst there she also got the chance to interview Anaal Nathrakh’s vocalist Dave Hunt. I’d like to thank both Dave and Sheri for a great interview. Read on…
I was invited to Uprawr Studios, Birmingham to have a chat with Dave Hunt, vocalist of extreme metal band Anaal Nathrakh. He greeted me warmly and we went to find a place to chat away from the hustle and busy sounds. We found an empty studio and with one chair between us, no one was rude enough to take it.
Sheri: “ANAAL NATHRAKH! That is from a film is it not?”
Dave Yes, it’s from Excalibur.
Sheri: In the 80’s. No? Dave Well, I first saw it in the 80’s – I think early 80’s is when it came out. It’s just a film that me and Mick both liked. It’s all it was. There’s no great significance to it to begin with, because when we started out doing stuff, we were just knocking about in the front room of a… shit house (laughs). So we weren’t thinking “what would you like your band to be called when you’re on the bill at Wacken” or ya know, nothing like that was in our heads. It was just some name for a thing haha.
Sheri: Dark sounding, really haha.
Dave: Yeah haha that’ll do. But by the same token, I’ve said this in interviews before, what’s a Metallica? No one knows what a Metallica is because it’s just a bollocks word that’s just a name for a band. Ours has slightly more significance than that, so in comparison to that, we’re doing alright! Haha! It’s part of this spell that’s used in the film, it’s a very destructive force that the actor who plays Merlin, he had a great voice… he did refer to it as The DRAGON haha!
Sheri: I’ve friends who have seen it who recommend it. So you guys have been going for 20 years now?
Sheri: Haha does it feel that long?
Dave: No it doesn’t, that’s the thing! We didn’t know. We’ve never paid much attention to things like that and we did this album and people are going “You’ve been going for 20 years now” and we’re like fucking hell really! I didn’t know. So to us, it’s never seemed that we’ve been going for more than about 4 or 5 years really.
Sheri: That’s really humble…?
Dave: Well, it’s the way it is, we don’t notice it, we’re not really self grandiosing and we’re not very reflective about what we’ve done…
Sheri: You’re just loving it?
Dave: Yeah, we’re just interested in what we’re doing now and what we’re doing next. So when I say apparently… haha. It’s true. I am now aware of it, but we weren’t until recently.
Sheri: You are now on tour with the guys in Akercocke… I’ve known Sam for a good few years, brilliant bunch of guys… you kicked things off in Bristol the other day?
Dave: Yeah, it’s only a Tourette, the one in Bristol and then the three over the course of this weekend – it’s not some great big long six week night liner affair, but it’s been nice to play with them, they are a good bunch of lads, we’ve been known and for years we’ve played with Sam and Dave haha! I like the idea of calling them Sam and Dave… I got an email that was addressed to me and it said “Dear Sam and Dave”, cuz I like my Motown and Soul music that Sam and Dave were, ya know, “Hold On, I’m Coming” and all that… But yeah, obviously we’ve played with them and the guys in Voices…
Sheri: I do love Voices!
Dave: Yeah, we’ve played with them a few times. It’s been nice playing with them and it kind of feels overdue cuz we’ve known them for years and we’ve played once or twice with Mistress when me and Mick used to be in another band called Mistress. So yeah, finally playing properly together like this, it’s kinda cool.
Sheri: It is cool, because you do compliment each other as artists and are compatible with each other.
Dave: There’s this thing in really early neuter, it draws a distinction because he used to go on about Ancient Greek culture and stuff, it draws a distinction between the Apollonian and Dionysian, stuff that takes after Apollo – and stuff that takes after Dionysian. I think that, in a weird way, sort of limits the difference between us and Akercocke. Apollo is clearly defined lines, it’s architecture so, in terms of its application…Dionysus is more drinking and dancing and no clear lines and the orgiastic experiences, they tend to be a bit more technical and a bit more sort of careful with the way their style of their playing and stuff like that and we’re a bit more punky and anarchic… we sort of compliment one another quite well.
Sheri: Two extremes on either side of the spectrum. I hear you. As you’ve have been going for this amount of time and with your experience… do you have any advice for aspiring bands that want to keep ideas fresh within their writing, inspiration and such? There isn’t a bad Anaal Nathrakh album so have you got any wisdom for other bands that you want to bestow?
Dave: In respect to younger bands… no. Haha. But also the opposite of no. I sort of actively haven’t denied them any advice within those lines. There’s loads of advice they should be given when they first start out. Haha. Most of it, in my experience, revolves around getting legal counsel when it comes to signing to record deals and I mean that’s in just one specific instance. But generally, just in general getting someone who knows that business side of things, just to make sure you don’t fuck up. Because no one wants to concentrate on that… that’s not why anyone does any of this. But you will get hamstrung by people who do concentrate on that and you know, aren’t necessarily interested in your creative output. So some advice along those lines, make sure someone is taking care of all that for you. They are doing so that you don’t have to think about it so much, THAT kind of advice, yeah. Know what PRS is, know what mechanical loyalties are, know what things like that are so that you don’t have to think about it. But on more of the creative side, certainly in terms of insuring longevity or anything like that… no. Because… if you don’t already have the answers to that, then just stop!
Sheri: There’s no point…You have to take your own journey?
Dave: I think, yes. You should have that in your mind, heart, and soul, whatever it is. Somewhere within you, you should have some kind of answer to that, even if you can’t put it into words before you pick up a guitar, before you write a song. Mick said to me once, as he records bands and stuff, he says sometimes he gets the impression some people aren’t sure why they’re doing it. One thing you have to do when recording bands is to help them get into the right head space to produce a good performance – and that can involve a conversation you know, remember what it is, what is this song about for you and all that kind of thing. I think if you struggle to answer questions like that then you’re doing something wrong in a more fundamental way. Then again maybe I’m just talking bollocks! Haha!
Sheri: Not necessarily at all. One of the things that I don’t see eye to eye in the music industry with is, you know, I work with festivals and a number of underground bands and there is a lot of exploitation going around with a number of people who are kinda out for themselves. I get that a business is to be run but doing things for the love of it is more rewarding…
Dave: I think so too. At the same time though, if you do things for the love of it, you’re laying yourself open sometimes to being exploited by people…
Sheri: And this is why you were saying you have to be clued up…?
Dave: Yeah exactly and that I say the two sides do have to go hand in hand. You have to know what you’re doing on the annoying business side just to make sure that someone isn’t taking advantage of you – but beyond that minimum, you shouldn’t have to worry.
Sheri: This in itself is good advice. So… your vocals – let’s talk about your vocals… they’re very diverse. Do you coach and stuff or…
(Dave shakes head sheepishly and grins)
Sheri: Ahh! Self-taught! I mean it’s very low, very high, very deep and then very raw all at once. A good example is ‘Reek of Fear’ – I was listening to that the other day – how do you go from one extreme to the other?
Dave: Badly usually haha! Maybe practice haha. I’ve always been guided only by what I thought sounded right. Sounds like the appropriate thing to do. I’ve never paid any attention to whether or not I could do it. Cuz if you try something and it doesn’t work, you just do something else. So you give it a go. But beyond that, I’m terrible! Haha, I haven’t got a clue about technique or anything like that. In the past couple of years, I’ve started doing a bit of warming up before gigs and that’s about all I’ve done… and that causes problems sometimes, you know, it can hurt and stuff like that. But… I’d rather have it that way. Because I’ve attempted at times to exercise a bit of technique or control or anything like that. Not that I know massively what I’m doing haha but you can find things on YouTube or whatever that tell you what to do. I think it’s antithetical to doing music properly, personally. I can’t stand the idea of being halfway through a gig and the thing that’s in the forefront of my mind is “hmmm, how’s my technique?” Just doesn’t seem right. And it’s… maybe you can get good enough at technique that it ceases to be something that enters your head and even though you’re doing it properly, you’re still thinking about what I would think are the right things. I don’t think Pavarotti struggled thinking about technique. He was able to stay focused on what he was doing because his technique was flawless in the first place. Or close enough to it. I’m not good enough for technique to do that, I’d have to be thinking about it and that to me detracts from what you’re doing. To me it’s more important to have the method acting sort of a mind set about it. It comes out the way it does because you felt the way you did. Not because you studiously practiced.
Sheri: With feeling behind it… and that’s how it should be?
Dave: I think so, yes. The thing is… that ends you up with a sore throat haha!
Sheri: And a multitude of Vocalzone haha?
Dave: Yeah haha! I’m not saying that is the right way to do it but that’s the only way I can…
Sheri: I think that’s probably good advice as well. I mean I have friends that are in younger bands that DO have that barrier there about their technique.
Dave: Music is about expression to me, if it’s not expression then you’re doing it wrong.
Sheri: This leads me onto… Where is the most interesting or most memorable place that you have played?
(Dave pauses for a moment in thought and laughs)
Sheri: I know you’ve been to many exotic corners of the world haha!
Dave: We’ve played a few…haha! So yeah… trying to think of something… I mean we not long came back, before Bristol last week, the show we did before that was in Brisbane in Australia. That was, in Australia, was sort of on the way home almost, from Japan. Four shows in Japan. Not to overlook Australia which is a wonderful and fascinating place in its own right, haha, but Japan being so exotic and so different to the West… especially in Osaka. We went around a few places and that can be weird, sometimes you go to a bit and it looks, sort of like… like England? But you know big cities all over the world, you know, big tall concrete buildings, great big state roads, but then you go to some places and the back streets of Osaka are not anything like that. Some places, you’re just like… I really am somewhere else… Cuz there are stages of difference. If you go from here to Holland, you know, then in Holland the buildings look a bit different and the people have a certain atmosphere about them that people do in every place and everywhere. But other than that, it’s mostly the same. Or you go to Germany and it’s very very similar, the food is quite similar and all that. But then if you go a little bit further to say, Greece or Bulgaria or somewhere like that. The writing is different on the road signs. You know, there are tell-tale signs that this isn’t the same place. Then it seems to me, having been around to a lot of places, possibly the strongest difference in that sort of thing is being translated somewhere in the back streets of Osaka, haha. Because you don’t know what anyone’s saying haha. You don’t know what any of the shops are because they’re selling things or doing things that you don’t get back home. You don’t know what any of the signs say, you don’t know what any of the food is. The smells are around you know…?
Sheri: And that can be really cool actually. Just kinda getting lost and not really knowing where you are can be one of life’s most thrilling experiences.
Dave: It can be yeah! It does depend where haha! I was in Bogota in Colombia with Benediction and I was tempted to just go for a wander. I went to a place in Copacabana in Bolivia, it was about 3 or 4 in the morning and I was a bit drunk…and I thought I’d go for a good walk, go for a look around. The local guy as I was walking off, just grabbed my arm and was like “Dont go that way…go that way” (points to the opposite direction) and I was like right… and then it sort of dawns on you, actually I’m not in Kansas anymore and apparently down there, wherever down there was, was dangerous especially if you were foreign and stuff. The difference is sometimes of questionable benefit to you haha, you could end up in trouble kind of thing… but for the most part, difference is a good thing.
Sheri: Your most recent album was released at the end of September last year, it’s still pretty young but has had great reception, and one of my favourite songs from it is actually ‘Forward’!
Dave: Ok, cool!
Sheri: There are elements of, I think a World War One kind of vibe… can you elaborate on that a bit?
Dave: Yeah, World War 1 was one of the big aspects of inspiration for it. Because it was 2018, obviously it was 100 years since the First World War and although there had been a significant amount of commemoration of it, I thought culturally in this country, we had undersold the centenary of the First World War. Some good stuff on Radio 4 actually, they had a day to day series called Home Front and stuff like that. I mean there were things but it seems to have passed a bit more easily for me. One of the things I remember from school was some of the war poetry we studied. Which was our first exposure to it, I don’t know if kids nowadays, I don’t know if you did it at school, but it was standard…
Sheri: Haha I’m 32 this year, we studied pieces of scripture…!
Dave: There you go haha yeah, well I’m 10 years older than you haha, so things might have changed. But apparently not no, haha. But one of the things that made a profound impression on me from that was a poem called Dolce et Decorum Est – and that is basically a poem, a first-hand account of being in a Chlorine Gas attack.
Dave: Yeah…it’s not…fun. There’s another one by Siegfried Sassoon and the authors of those poems knew one another in real life…and Sassoon who did “Aftermath” which appears on the album, basically got to know Wilfred Owen, who wrote Dolce et Decorum Est, in hospital and begged him not to go back out into the war. But he did and was killed seven days almost to the hour before the Armistice was signed…so one week, on the 4th of November… and to know that was his story of this you know, poor sensitive boy who was thrown into Hell… and to read the words of that poem and others like it… that seems to me to capture something that was absent from the commemorations and centenary. So it felt fitting for us to include some of that for inspiration on the album.
Sheri: That’s a good concept to have for the album, it’s not something that many people would look into, and things are looked into on a much larger scale…
Dave: Yeah and one thing that struck me about reflecting on all of that, because first of all, the poetry and some of the art was pretty impactful and profound you see, but it was also the parallels between then and now, or last year – so for example, the mention of use of Chlorine Gas in that poem, Chlorine Gas had been used in warfare before – I am no war historian, I’m aware that it had been used before – but not on that scale, because no one would do that, because that’s just too horrific! … until they did it. Then at the time that we were putting some of the album together, the Satan 2 rocket system was unveiled by Putin. This is a continental ballistic missile system capable of delivering payloads anywhere on the globe, so i gather, including nuclear ones. It just struck me how strong the parallel was between that and Chlorine Gas. We can put a nuclear bomb anywhere on the planet – but we wouldn’t because that would just be too awful! In just the same way that Chlorine Gas was… and at the same time, Chlorine Gas was being used as an interior, still. Like, 100 years later, we are still doing this to people. So yeah, a series of parallels seem to crop up between that and the modern day as well. It was kind of like having settled on that idea of part inspiration, it was the gift that kept on giving, and you know, there’s loads more stuff that just falls out of it once you start to think about it. So there’s quite a lot going on the album haha! Conceptually speaking.
Sheri: Fantastic! Is there anything you can let us know that might be going on for this for you guys? What are you up to?
Dave: I mean obviously we’re doing shows and that so we’re not in the studio at the moment. At the moment, we had the last album, A New Kind Of Horror – with the last one that we had under the deal that we had with the record company – so technically, we are sort of not signed at the minute – I would expect there to be an offer to carry on haha!
Sheri: Absolutely, it’s not gonna be long at all.
Dave: No, I wouldn’t have thought so, we’re sort of trying to figure out what we’re going to do. So we’ve got these gigs lined up but we’ve also got a load of live audio from the Japan and Australia tour – so we might put together a live release or we might keep it back for bonus tracks on stuff. Other than that, everything’s sort of up in the air – and we quite like that! Haha! I’m not sure what’s gonna happen next but we’ll find out!
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno 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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Interview with Jodie Bowie, NozFest Organiser By Lotty Whittingham
It’s no secret that it’s crucial to support your local music scene. It helps new bands progress in their careers, keeps venues open and it offers a great experience for the fans. Promoter Jodie Bowie is one of the promoters that is making sure this happens. She runs her own successful Rock Nights that showcase the best new talents. She is holding her first ever festival ‘NozFest’ at Southampton’s The 1865 on 10th August 2019 featuring the likes of Massive Wagons, Marco Mendoza, Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters and many more. I recently grabbed a few moments to do an email interview with her. We spoke about the importance of the local music scene, NozFest and how her story began in promotion. Enjoy the read.
Explain to the readers who you are and what you do.
I’m Jodie, I’m 23 years old. I’m a blogger, vlogger and promoter from the Bournemouth/Southampton area. I put on my own Rock Nights featuring a selection of bands from all over the UK. I have my first ever festival taking place in August featuring the very best of up and coming New Wave of Classic Rock bands.
You do both blogging and promoting, did one lead to another or did they both happen at the same time?
I started blogging when I was 16. I have always really enjoyed writing and still do. I was actually supposed to be going to University to study Music Journalism, but I stumbled into putting on gigs by complete accident when I was 18 and it led on from there.
What influenced you to start blogging and promoting?
I’ve always really loved writing, and I love bands and music so much. They are pretty much my entire world. I’ve sacrificed so much of my life for bands in all truthfulness and wouldn’t have it any other way. I was still a blogger whilst getting into promoting, however last year I decided I should turn my blog into a strictly music related blog as it goes hand in hand with what I do promotion wise. It really took off after that! As for promoting, I’m not sure anything really did influence me. I have just always wanted to help bands in whatever way I can.
You run successful Rock Nights, tell us how those started.
By accident! I volunteered at a local community centre to write press releases for their upcoming tribute band nights. They asked me if I had any ideas on how to bring in a younger audience, and I suggested putting on shows with young local bands and they pretty much said “you do it then”, so I did! I did Rock Nights there under their name for about 4 – 5 years. It was a pretty big venue so even if a night was a success, it didn’t visually look like it was. As the years went on, they became less supportive of my ideas. After one show, a local band called Our Propaganda recommended that I start my own Rock Nights under my own name. So I gave it a go, and it literally took off within a couple of months – however 2019 was when I really started proper booking them in. I had two Jodie Bowie ones in 2018 and both of them sold out. I also put on a show with Marco Mendoza in June 2018, he let me choose the supports and that also sold out. I’m just always looking for the next big idea, and to make my line-ups more and more awesome.
Tell the readers what NozFest is.
NozFest is a self-funded, self-run, self-promoted festival featuring New Wave of Classic Rock bands from all over the UK. It is a one day festival taking place at The 1865 in Southampton on Saturday 10th August. It features 9 bands for just £20. NozFest is solely run by myself, and I have put the whole thing together by myself, including booking the bands and all the other stuff that goes with it.
Where did the idea come from?
Out of nowhere really. I’m always looking for the next big thing to try and push myself out of my comfort zone. At the time I had recently discovered a lot of new bands and was kind of envious about all the festivals that were going on in the summer etc. One night I just thought “be pretty cool if I had my own festival”. My friend Luke actually phoned me that night, and we talked about exactly what I could do, how I could fund it, what bands I could put on etc, I stayed up all that night and planned the entire thing. Since then it was just a matter of piecing it all together. In September 2018, I got fed up of waiting for the venue I chose to hold it in messing me about – I had a friend design the poster, it was all hand-drawn, they’d spent a lot of time making it perfect etc, I had bands who wanted to play but needed the date confirming, sponsors were dropping out etc and nothing was happening. I went home and pitched my idea to my folks, luckily enough for me they believed in my vision and we decided to fund the whole thing as a family.
Why choose Southampton for the location?
Well, the original idea was for the festival to take place at the community centre I worked at. However, they were unsupportive, and I wanted this festival so badly that I decided to look elsewhere. Southampton is a great town for live music. I have found through just doing my Rock Nights that venues are so supportive and are happy for you to use them to yours and their advantage. Seeing as all my Rock Nights are in Southampton, it made sense to have the festival there as well. The 1865 are massively supportive of everything I do, and confirmed everything within a matter of moments. Very exciting, I cannot wait to work with them more in the future as they support my ambitions. As a local, I have noticed Southampton is a lot more open to live music of whatever variety, whereas Bournemouth just isn’t really interested. There are A LOT of awesome bands from the Southampton area also, definitely a place to keep an eye out for local acts.
What can we expect from the first NozFest?
Fun and Rock ‘n’ roll! Hopefully people will discover lots of fresh new and exciting bands also. I love my events to have an atmosphere of love, happiness and just really positive vibes. I am 100% sure NozFest will also be a fantastic day and night full of happiness and positivity, with the chance to meet new people, see new bands and just have a really awesome time filled with rock ‘n’ roll in the summer.
What does the future hold for NozFest?
I am really hoping I am able to expand NozFest, however long that may take. Without trying to sound overly ambitious, I really would love to see NozFest become something as awesome as Download. I’d love to have more than one stage, and then have the event take place over a weekend – slowly surely, I really hope it gets to that level. I also want it to stay run by my family and friends for as long as possible. I love giving my friends the chance to work in this kind of environment. I just want to give back to people and make people happy! I love seeing the happiness on people’s faces at shows, when that happens at an event of mine it fills my heart with so much joy and that is what I do all of this for.
What advice would you give to bands who are looking to apply for future Rock Nights and future NozFest?
Drop me and email over at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me over some music. If I don’t get back to you, keep pestering me. I do listen eventually; sometimes it just takes me a while – just keep messaging me, go completely over the top.
You and I both know how important it is to support local music, tell the readers why you think that is?
If we don’t support local music, music in general will just die out. If you’re bored of listening to what is on the radio, I totally urge you to check out your local music scene, or have a look at the New Wave of Classic Rock Facebook Group. There is so much talent out there right under our noses – don’t forget this is how The Beatles were found. Also helps support local live music venues; it’s so sad seeing so many having to shut their doors. The only way to keep them open is really to support the acts that play there. Puzzles me how society is okay with paying £70+ to see a well-known band, but won’t even pop in to see a local band for free.
Given your love for rock and metal music, I am curious to know which five musicians/singers would you have around for a dinner party. They can be dead or alive.
Ooh I do love this sort of question! Has to be Brian Jones, the founding member of the Rolling Stones I adore that man so much. Baz Mills from Massive Wagons, he seems like an awesome dude and I’m sure he’d be a right laugh. Scott Taylor of Mason Hill, just because his voice inspires me so much and I’d love to meet him. Nikki Sixx or Tommy Lee? I’m going to choose Tommy Lee because he is a proper lad, he’d definitely add some entertainment to the evening. Lastly, I think I’m going to say two because I can’t choose, but David Bowie as he is my idol (his conversation skills would be immense) or Ronnie Wood, I can imagine him and Tommy Lee getting on pretty well.
We would like to thank Jodie very much for the interview, Lotty will be attending and covering NozFest in August for Ever Metal so we will have a full review of the day and if you want to find out more about Jodie and her promoting or blogging then please follow the links below!
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
‘Candid Badger’ Interview with John Badger By Beth Jones
The underground metal scene is full of immense passion and hard work at the moment, and one man that embodies that is Manchester’s own super human, the elusive Mr Badger! The brains behind Badgerfest, and some pretty hot drumming, John Badger has to be one of the hardest working souls in the industry right now. I grabbed a few minutes of his time recently to do an email interview with him about music, Badgerfest 2019 and his upcoming charity event, ‘Drumming Up Change’, and here it is.
Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
Hello! I’m Badger a drummer and organiser of Badgerfest!
Can you give us a bit of history about Badgerfest – what made you decide to do it, and how did you start it?
In December 2016 I organised a mini tour for Impavidus, with Deified and God Shaped Devil. All the bands had a great time, said it was well organised and fans loved it. A few people said, ‘you should do more promoting and maybe even arrange your own festival’! The suggested name, as a joke, was “Badgerfest”. After a few months of deliberation, I thought about it more and I decided to put a post out for feedback, asking “If I was to put a festival on, firstly would bands be interested in performing and, secondly, would anyone turn up?” I was overwhelmed by the response, so I decided to give it a go. Before I did anything, I decided to get some advice from Simon Yarwood at Resin Events / Uprising Festival, Steve Dickson at Terrorizer / Mammoth Fest and Jason McGuire at Breaking Bands Festival / HRH / Hammerfest for research. Their collective was: ● Don’t aim too high ● Get a good headliner ● Get a small venue (200 maximum) ● Research the bands ● PR & Marketing ● Network (face to face) ● SELL OUT I feel I did this to a high standard and as a result it was successful, bearing in mind this was my first time putting on an event! But I always knew it would succeed due to the insane line-up, affordable tickets, the backing of the bands, the music community from gig goers, the marketing, and most of all my commitment & desire to succeed. I was shocked when people were asking on the day, ‘will there be Badgerfest again next year’? I decided to say yes if people want another one! Two weeks after the initial event, I had secured the line-up for Badgerfest 2018- The Sequel!
What can we expect from this year’s Badgerfest?
I would like to say hopefully the same as 2017/18, but with more oomph! The bands this year are more diverse compared to the previous years, as I didn’t want to hash another similar line-up, especially going in your 3rd year. I have some things planned to get more interaction with the punters/ customers. I want Badgerfest to be a lasting memory, as it has been so far, especially for those who’ve attended before.
You have a lot of bands this year that are lesser known to the festival circuit – do you think this is a risk?
Well they’re only lesser known if you’re not familiar with the bands already. In the background I have a media team who I let know the bands before they’re announced to the public and most of the bands so far they haven’t heard of and I think that’s great! The response is always very positive, and it means they’re finding new bands to listen to, which is what I like to do with Badgerfest.
Badgerfest Mission Statement “KEEP IT FRESH, KEEP IT RELEVANT, and KEEP IT EXCITING”
What are your plans for the future of Badgerfest?
My plans for the future of Badgerfest is to open the door to more genres. At the moment Badgerfest is mainly a Metal festival and that’s only because it is the genre I’ve worked the most in as a musician, but I do have other musical tastes that I would like to incorporate in to Badgerfest. This is giving the customer an opportunity to find some other musical journeys. I understand this won’t be for everyone and they’ll go see the bands they wish. Next year I am planning on having two venues; offering Metal (sub genres of) in one venue, and the other offering more Rock, Prog and Indie – another great way of bringing people together who all share a passion for music regardless of the genre.
What advice would you give to bands who apply for Badgerfest in the future – what are you looking out for in an application?
The best advice I can offer, as most other event organisers would agree on, is make sure you read the application details before applying. Imagine you are applying for a job and you really wanted it. We have specific things we ask for from an applicant and only those who follow this will be provisionally accepted.
Tell us a bit about this year’s venue, and why you chose to move it there from Rebellion?
This year is at The Bread Shed, also in Manchester, and the only reason for the move was due to the fact the previous venue was going to go through a refurbishment and they were unsure whether or not it could accommodate two stages. I have seen events at The Bread Shed and think it’s a great venue, which has pub attached, so when people need a break there’s somewhere else to go.
Tell us a bit about the ‘Drumming up Change Challenge’ charity gig that you have set up?
Well in the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to play in a few different bands, whether that was to help out a band due to an injury a drummer has had, or if I’ve been invited to perform as a session player live. Now, there’s been a common theme, or a running joke that if I’m at a gig –I get asked how many bands I am playing with that night, which is quite funny! If it’s only the one band that night, then I’m slacking hahaha!! So, I decided to up the stakes, let’s drum for 10 bands and raise money for good causes at the same time!!!
For this gig, you are going to drum with every band. Are you mad?!! Why did you decide to do this?
Yes, some people will say I am mad, but I am very excited to do this!! The reason for doing this is drawn from my own personal experiences, but I wouldn’t want to burden anyone with the reasons why. I can say though this means a lot to me, and that’s why chose to raise money for The Homeless working in association with The Big Issue North and Mental Health (Charity to be confirmed), as more and more people are ending up with more mental health issues, being made homeless, and even taking their own lives, which is unacceptable. This got me thinking about my own life, and whilst I’m here fit and healthy (touch wood) what can I do to make a difference to someone who is not?! On the event itself, most charity gigs, in my opinion are not exciting; yes, bands get an opportunity to play, but a lot of the time it just feels like a normal gig or all-dayer, where someone goes around with a bucket getting donations for a charity, and in some situations it does work. Most run a marathon, jump out of plane, swim the channel, or cycle from Manchester to Blackpool, which is still an amazing way of raising money and awareness. But I wanted to make a difference where I could, in a different way, drumming for as many bands as possible in one day! In my opinion it’s more exciting, more appealing and it allows people, including musicians, to get involved.
For this, when you play with every band, are you doing just one or two songs with them, or is it a full set with each band?
Yes, the plan is to play with every band and do full sets. The estimate of actual drum time will be about 5-6 hours, but the difficult thing is that it’s playing different styles, some of which are very intense, and it will certainly have its challenging moments!
Will you organise more charity events in the future?
I will, potentially, but only if I think I can put something on exciting.
We know you have recently parted ways with Impavidus. What brought you to this decision, and what are your plans going forward for yourself, as a musician?
Yes, I have recently parted with ways with Impavidus, but on very good terms. It was a personal decision to leave the band. It was just my time to move on. We are all very good friends and we will be gigging together in the future, but I’m also looking forward to seeing them play from out front! Musically, for me at the moment, it is working hard with Frozen in Shadows on a new record, which is in the recording stages and due for release end of July/ early August. I also have another project with a Progressive Post-Black Metal band (unable to disclose who this is at the moment), and I am with Scott Beveridge Project currently as a live session drummer, which is great fun, and some other stuff in the background! It’s fair to say I’m a very active person, and always on the go! My wife says she really admires my drive, but she has no idea where I get the energy from, and that maybe I should rest! I always say don’t worry “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”!
We have recently had our one remaining good venue in Wrexham close down, and venues across the country are under threat – what do you think of the live music scene at the moment, and what can be done to stop audience apathy?
This is a very tough time for venues across the country, and for people’s pockets. Over the recent years there has been a surge of new bands starting up, but the problem is that there aren’t enough venues to cater for them. People unfortunately have to choose one band to go and see over another, and of course where they spend their money. Some venues don’t go out of the way to really push events, especially if you’re in saturated city. What I also find is that some venues put on the same bands, which is potentially why a venue might suffer, and the same goes for a festival. Yes, we like seeing our favourite bands, but isn’t it good to see and hear something new and exciting? When I was given the opportunity to organise the bands at Grand Central, I said to venue owner and punters, ‘I will bring as many new bands as possible to Manchester’ and I did!
If you could have any band in the world to headline Badgerfest?
You put me right on the spot there??!! So, I’m being cheeky and putting a few down! Metallica class 91-93 Carpenter Brut Ministry Anything that Dave Lombardo is involved with. Sphongle Strapping Young Lad Kyuss
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Well of course come to Badgerfest 2019! Why else are we having this discussion!!! On serious a note, yes, support your scene where you can. Also, if you see anyone struggling, and you think you could help, go and do it! You’ll be surprised how good it feels to help someone, no matter how big or small it may be. -Badger
We would like to thank Mr Badger for this brilliant interview. Personally, I can well recommend going to anything that he is involved in, as you will not be disappointed. This year’s Badgerfest is on 18th and 19th October, at the Bread Shed, Grosvenor Street, Manchester, and the Drumming Up Change charity event is on 16th November at Rebellion, Manchester. For more information, please visit the links below. Get yourselves down there and support the scene! We will see you there!
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
With the launch of their third EP “Smile You Son Of A Bitch” on January 18th 2019, which we have already posted a review for, I also had the chance to interview the band, who hail from just down the road from me! Here are their responses.
For those who don’t know who you are, can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
We’re Bearfist – a four piece metal band hailing from Chelmsford in Essex. We’ve been together for about 4 years, simply put we’re 4 mates who make loud music!
Where did the name Bearfist come from?
To be totally honest in the search for a name we started throwing two words into a hat and Bearfist came out. It came from nothing but we feel is actually quite fitting for our style now, loud and aggressive!
Your new EP “Smile You Son Of A Bitch” is due to be released in January 2019 (It was released on 18th January 2019). Are you getting excited about that?
This is our 3rd release to date and by far the most exciting one for us yes. Getting to work alongside Justin Hill has been such a great experience and we believe we have created a great EP for people to wrap their ears around.
Where is the launch party?
Unfortunately nothing official but if anyone fancies buying us a beer at any stage that’d be great….We are however playing Ice Breaker festival in Portsmouth on the 26th January.
This is your third EP. Do you think your sound has evolved since you released your first“Bearfist” in 2015?
100% I think it took us some time to find a sound that worked but we are well and truly in the Bearfist groove now.
There are four of you in the band. What do you think makes you gel together so successfully?
The band was formed originally over a few beers, the songs tend to be written with a few beers and the live shows consist of having a few beers…In summary the gel that sticks us together is not gel it’s beer.
You played Bloodstock Open Air in 2016. Do you think this has been the highlight of yourcareer so far?
We have been very fortunate to play some big stages over the last few years. As well as Bloodstock we have also played main stage at both HRH Metal @ Birmingham O2 academy and Hammerfest 2018.
It would be difficult to pinpoint a highlight but I would definitely say winning the London Metal to the masses to play Bloodstock in 2016 is our proudest moment.
Who is the main songwriter or songwriters? Do you write the lyrics first or the music?
Music always comes before lyrics, our main way of writing usually consists of Dan (guitarist) bringing 4 thousand riffs to rehearsal along with a massive grin! From that point on it becomes a fairly organic process.
Do any of the lyrics come from personal experiences? I know a lot of songwriters use this asinspiration for their songs.
If you were to read Bearfist lyrics out loud and even suggest any of them were to do with life experiences I think you would have to call the police and a mental health worker instantly!
Rob (vocalist) just really enjoys writing about death, blood and more death….
You released a video for “Destroy The Magnet” from the new EP in November. What has theresponse to this been like, both from the press and the listeners?
We have had positive feedback from both fans and Press alike, we are so happy with the video and again working with great people (Loki films) you get great results.
What goes through your minds when you are on stage? Do you just focus on the music orcan you take the time to appreciate the crowd?
A lot of the time concentrating on not falling over is the main objective!
Is the band your full time job? If not, how do you all cope with having day jobs as well as theband and would you like it to be a full time job?
Obviously the ultimate dream is to be a rock star! But unfortunately we are all at an age where we need to work to live.
So, are there any other activities that you participate in when you do have some down timefrom the band?
As mentioned above beer always plays a strong part in and outside of the band, Rob is also a keen golfer!
Who is the driving force within the band? Is there any particular one of you that takes control?
Not really, we’re pretty good at sharing the load to be honest, we’d be quick to let each other know if they weren’t pulling weight!
A lot of “older” metalheads complain that there is nothing new coming through with regardsto metal music. Do you think this is the case?
I think if you get out to local shows and support local up and coming music it is amazing what you can find. We have been fortunate enough to play with some great bands over the last few years and in turn made some great friends.
So with venues closing down all the time and people seemingly preferring to listen to coversbands and tribute acts, where do you see the future of metal lies?
I think there is a big enough following of metal that it’ll never die. The concern about venues closing is always there but the only way to help that is by going out and having a few beers and watch some bands.
If you could bring back one metal legend who would it be and why?
Been a crap couple of years for legends leaving us hasn’t it? Was a few years ago for Dimebag but he and Vinnie Paul are the ones that stand out. We’re all of the age to have loved Pantera back in the day – so just on the off chance that a reunion could’ve happened it would have to be them.
And who have been your biggest influences, both individually and as a band?
This is always a tough question as we’re not really a band who wear our influences on our sleeve. We all have different tastes in music, and it just melds together into what you hear. We’ve used this quote a few times recently but it sums it up quite well – stick us 4 in a room and this is the noise we’ll make!
So, what’s next in 2019 for Bearfist?
We’re just looking forward to releasing this EP and getting out playing shows to support it – there’s a few shows and Festival slots in the diary so keep an eye on our social media for announcements!
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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Interview with Paul Logue from Eden’s Curse December 2018
Congratulations on the release of your “Testament – The Best Of Eden’s Curse” album Paul. Does that mean you guys are splitting up now? 😉.
PL: Haha! No, but I get the context. A lot of band’s seem to break up and then release a ‘Best Of’ album to fulfil contractual obligations. But I hate to disappoint you – we are going nowhere!
So why now then?
PL: The timing of the release came via discussions with our label AFM Records. We have such an open and close relationship, having worked together for over 12 years and we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other. We both felt it was the perfect time, especially with us heading out on a big UK tour with Michael Schenker Fest. One of our main aims on that tour was obviously to win over new fans and ‘Testament’ would hopefully be a great tool for helping convert those people who liked what we were doing on the night into hardcore fans.
‘Testament’ is not your typical ‘Best Of’ release that has two or three CD’s full of the band’s greatest songs. You instead have opted for one disc with fourteen of the band’s best songs and a second disc of bonus tracks and a brand-new song. Can you explain why?
PL: Sure! The aim is simply to appeal to fans both old and new. Disc one is primarily aimed at potential new fans. If you always fancied checking out our music and don’t know where to begin this, is in our opinion, is a great starting point. For the guys that have the albums already, then it’s a good compilation with arguably all our big songs on one CD. Disc two was compiled especially with our long-time followers in mind. We are very much a band who listens to its fan base and for many years we have been asked “can you release all the bonus tracks on one disc?”. Unfortunately, for contractual reasons, that was unable to happen until now, as we extended our worldwide deal with AFM Records and they now hold all the rights. There are a couple of extra special tracks that have not seen the light of day on general release before and of course a brand-new song called ‘Forever’.
Who chose the tracks for the best album and put the running order together?
PL: I chose the songs with our A&R director at AFM Records, Mr Timo Hoffmann. I put together the running order exactly like we would perform it as a set list, if we were playing it live, and I think it really works.
In April 2019 you will undertake the ‘Testament’ tour in the UK. What will feature in the set?
PL: We will play ‘Testament’ in full along with the new song ‘Forever’.
And you have two amazing support bands in Mob Rules and Degreed as part of a brilliant triple package?
PL: Yes, that’s right! Mob Rules are one of my favourite bands, but I have never seen them live before. So naturally I was delighted when they accepted our offer. Degreed are relatively new to me. I have heard the name before but only caught them live for the first-time supporting H.E.A.T in Glasgow and then we played together in Malmo at Melodic Rock Fest Scandinavia in Sweden this past summer. So, I kept them in mind when it came to looking for a third band for the tour. We worked very hard on getting a package together that really stood out for the fans, and when it was announced it seemed to receive a very positive response. The proof is in the pudding though and it’s all about how many people turn out for the shows though. So, get your tickets bought people! 😉.
Speaking of tours, you are just hot off the UK tour supporting Michael Schenker Fest. How was that experience?
PL: The tour was excellent. As I mentioned above, our main aim was to win new fans and we certainly did that. We played very well every single night and got better as the tour went on. Some of the stage times were a little earlier than we would have liked, as Michael was playing a near three-hour set, but beggars cannot be choosers and we were delighted to be involved and playing on some of the UK’s most iconic stages.
What shows were the highlights?
PL: Glasgow, as always! SWG3 was packed and the gig went like a dream. We opened the Hard Rock Hell XII festival in North Wales in front of a very full room and London at the iconic O2 Forum in Kentish Town was superb.
What’s next for Eden’s Curse?
PL: First up, it’s a relaxing end of the year spending Christmas and New Year with our families. Then into 2019, we will perform at Planet Rock Radio’s Winter’s End Festival in England in March, and as mentioned above, we will undertake the ‘Testament UK Tour’ in April. For the remainder of the year though, we will be focusing on writing our next album, which we have begun but not in earnest.
So, you have actually started writing?
PL: Yes! I have recorded one instrumental track with our drummer John and have several new riffs and ideas recorded, but in very early stages, with maybe only one song pretty developed, instrumentally at this point.
You guys always seem to have a very clear idea of where each album is headed. Is it more of the same?
PL: First and foremost, I am always very sure of what I want to write, which for me is always just good quality melodic hard rocking metal music. It is never forced but I always write for myself first and foremost. We will never stray too much from what we are all about, after all it is our identity, but I think our fans can hear with the newer track ‘Forever’ what this line-up of Eden’s Curse is all about and capable of. We have several ideas that I am very excited about and that for me is what keeps writing fresh and interesting. If it doesn’t excite you then don’t bother!
Care to elaborate further?
PL: Not too much, but I am exploring some lyrical concepts that are pretty PL: I never said that haha!
But you never said no?
PL: No I didn’t haha! We will see. I am not committing to anything at this stage.
When do you expect to have the album ready?
PL: We haven’t even written it yet, so not before 2020.
Well there you have it folks – the Curse are going to be back with their sixth album at some point in the near future. Until then, we have the wonderful ‘Testament’ and the new track ‘Forever’ to whet our appetites. You can buy “Testament – The Best Of Eden’s Curse” and tickets for the tour with Mob Rules and Degreed from http://www.edenscurse.com and follow the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/edenscurseofficial
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, 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.