Fear Of Falling – Breaking Point EP

Breaking Point EP Cover Art

Fear Of Falling – Breaking Point EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 28/05/2021
Running Time: 21:39
Review by Beth Jones
9.5/10

There’s been some really exciting new music appearing over the fateful year of the 2020 pandemic, and all the chaos that ensued from it. Lockdown has spurred a lot of musicians into a real push to get their music out there and rank up the creativity, which personally I’ve found inspiring, even though the only thing I was spurred into was drinking too much and posting stupid memes on Facebook (my bad, I’m sorry). One of the many wonderments to come out of that terrible period is South African Hard Rock/ Alternative band, Fear Of Falling who have now burst onto the recorded music scene with their debut EP, “Breaking Point”.

Covering themes of depression, anxiety, addiction, and complicated love, this 6 track recording ticks a whole lot of boxes for me, and I can see these guys really making a big impression on the Hard Rock/Alternative scene in the coming months, especially when live shows really kick off again. So much so that I’d be willing to put money on it! They’re already established musicians, with a variety of wins between them in the fields of performance, sound engineering, and production, as individuals. But for me, on the evidence of this EP, their coming together has created that magic alchemy to launch them even further into the stratosphere of global music.

There’s a whole lot of influences going on here which, despite the dark themes, make it a familiar and soothing sound. It’s got smatterings of The Foo Fighters, Seether, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Evergrey, and even a little crossover with mainstream Pop Punk. Now, that kinda shit usually irritates the hell out of me, but here it’s just visible enough to make it really clever. This is an EP that will be equally appreciated across the board, because it will form connections with people who admire a variety of different sounds. That’s something that many just can’t, or don’t want to do, so it’s a big tick from me for having the balls to embrace it.

Musically, it blends really driven guitars, that do dabble in the heavier end occasionally, with tasty rhythms and bass, some lovely synth and sampling work, and vocals that are just gruff enough to be edgy but retain a cleanliness that makes the whole sound crisp and polished. It places anguish in a comfortable blanket, making it relatable. And damn it’s got some catchy choruses. On the second listen, I was singing along, which is always a draw for me. I do love a good singsong, even if it’s melancholy as hell!!

If you like any of the aforementioned bands, or Alternative/Hard Rock that surrounds you with reassurance, despite not being completely the same as that which has gone before, then you need to get all over Fear Of Falling. In a year that’s already held some supremely exciting releases, this is one that I will remember, and I’m already thirsty for more.

‘Fear Of Falling’ (Official Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sex As A Weapon
02. Fear Of Falling
03. Fake It
04. Numb The Pain
05. End Of Days
06. Won’t Let Go

LINE-UP:
Lloyd Timcke – Guitar
Jack Atlantic – Vocals/ Guitar
Brendon McCaig – Bass
Dale Schnettler – Drums

LINKS:

Fear Of Falling Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review 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.

Red Eleven – Handled With Chaos

Handled With Chaos Album Cover Art

Red Eleven – Handled With Chaos
Secret Entertainment
Release Date: 23/04/2021
Running Time: 47:51
Review by Beth Jones
9/10

It’s the weekend again, which can mean only one thing! Housework. Goddamn, I wish someone would invent a self-cleaning house! The first job on the list today was clean the oven, as my rather tasty home-made pie had decided to share itself with it. There is no chore more unloving than cleaning the oven, and I refute any suggestion that there is!! I managed to clean the bathroom too. The second most unloving chore. But now I’ve decided that that is quite enough cleaning for one day and everything else can wait, because now I’m going to write about more music. So there!

Next up on my ‘To-Review’ list is Finnish Alternative Rock band, Red Eleven, with their newest release; the long-awaited 4th studio album, “Handled With Chaos”.

The title track opens the album, and we’re instantly hit with 80’s synth sounds, which briefly gives it an industrial feel. But that soon gives way to a hard-hitting groovy riff, with some punch. However, the synth sounds don’t leave, instead playing the role of expanding the sound. Which is great.

Their press release says that Red Eleven have ‘found their own sound, but not forgotten their inspirers, such as Faith No More.’ Well, I love Faith No More, so that’s a good start. But can I hear that influence?

In short, yes! And it’s Epic (pardon the pun)! The whole thing has that sound, but I can hear it particularly on track 3, ‘Universe’, which reminds me so much of ‘Epic’ in the chorus, it could literally be a Faith No More song. But it’s got more of a 90’s Grunge feel to the verses, which adheres to the band’s own style. This is my favourite track on the album, by a smidgin, because there are some absolute bangers!

The one thing that hits you with this album is the lovely rumble of downtuned guitars, and bass, and the punching drums. The riffing is second to none as well. It all makes for a sound that’s fresh, exploratory, and exciting, as well as having that comforting recognition of 80’s Hard Rock. And didgeridoo (featured in the intro and ending of ‘Against My Will’)! I mean, what can’t be made infinitely better by adding Didge to it? I’ll tell you – nothing. Didgeridoo is always a winner in my book.

‘Starry Eyes’ is another awesome tune. This one’s a ballad, and you really get to appreciate the smooth vocals, and impressive range of Tony Kaikkonen here. It’s a simple song, but beautifully executed, which to me indicates an understanding of music in its purest form. It doesn’t have to be flashy and immensely technical to stand out.

‘S.N.O.T.’ takes us in another new direction, with punk elements, and classic heavy metal guitar soloing. But those heavy, punching, downtuned riffs are still ruling the day. It’s an exciting sound.

The closing track of the album, ‘Half A Life, Full Circle’, isn’t only epic in beauty, but it’s epic in length too, at just under 7 and a half minutes. It’s atmospheric, and has elements of doom, progressive rock, and the good old sounds of the 80’s. I can’t be absolutely sure if it’s synth or real, but there’s also what I believe to be a Soprano Sax solo in this. An awesomely well-placed instrument choice, again, as, alongside Didgeridoo, everything can also be improved by adding sax!

There really is a bit of everything in this album. It’s like cherry picking all the best bits of the last 4 decades and mixing them all together into a marvelously tasty creation. If you liked 80’s synth, Faith no More, the heavier Grunge that the 90’s had to offer, and something a little progressive, but still accessible, with heavy riffs, catchy melodies, and luscious vocals, then this is for you. Superb album, and another one to add to the ever-growing list of bands that I need to check out further.

‘S.N.O.T.’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Handled with Chaos
02. Before I Fall
03. Universe
04. Against My Will
05. Starry Eyes
06. S.N.O.T.
07. Nothing Left to Hide
08. Die with Honor
09. My Own Space
10. Dark Water
11. Half a Life, Full Circle

LINE-UP:
Tony Kaikkonen – Vocals
Teemu Liekkala – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Petteri Vaalimaa – Bass
Pasi Pasanen – Drums

LINKS:

Red Eleven Promo  Pic
Kuva Anna-Katri Hänninen, RED ELEVEN LAHTI

Disclaimer: This review 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.

ForeignWolf – Your Weapons, Your Words EP

Your Weapons, Your Words EP Cover Art

ForeignWolf – Your Weapons, Your Words EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 14/05/2021
Running Time: 18:03
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

Heavy Alt Rock is a genre that’s all encompassing for anything that doesn’t quite fit into the Metal bracket, but is just a little too heavy for Pop Rock, AOR, and general mainstream. That means it throws up a fairly broad spectrum of sounds. Some of it is utter detritus, but a lot of it is very good, and certainly in the last few years, the calibre of new Alt Rock bands has seen a significant bar raise! Thankfully, my dear readers, today’s subjects fall into the latter category, which makes my job a hell of a lot easier, as I really don’t like criticising musicians for trying.

Hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, ForeignWolf are a fairly new name to the scene, having released their debut EP in the heady days of 2019, before the world went completely insane. This new EP, “Your Weapons, Your Words” is billed as a deeply personal EP, taking a journey through the emotions and mental health. It’s only a short EP, but every track certainly does have something different to offer, both in its tone, and lyrically, however the sound in its simplest form, is driven by heavy riffs, gruff vocals, and steady rhythms, giving it a ‘Grunge with a modern twist’ feel.

The first track, ‘Alone’, sets a fast-paced tone, and throws out a catchy chorus melody. It has some great breaks in it, too – going from everything to silence quickly. They’re a big risk in any song, because when it comes to playing it live, it can all go horribly wrong and sound horrific, but done well, I think they really enhance tunes. They’re certainly done well on the recording here, although you do still get a bit of ring from the snare drum, which is pretty hard to avoid, but still irked me slightly (yes, I’m a fussy bugger, sorry, not sorry).

This fast-paced punchiness continues through the next track, ‘Afterthought’, too. But we get a change in pace in ‘No Limit’, and here the sound reminds me of Deftones, combined with 30 Seconds To Mars. There are some synth strings in this track too, which add a different depth to the sound.

The thing I like about this EP is its melancholy undertones – it’s certainly emotionally charged and passionately connected, which is something I always desire from a band. I want to feel it, not just feel them going through the motions. The rough vocal style of Gerard McCann gives it a rawness, which always seems to express passion and pain more effectively. The final track, ‘Gradual Destruction’ is my favourite. Call me maudlin and angsty if you like, but sometimes there is nothing better than a stripped back song, written in a minor key, with low rumbling bass, and depressing lyrics, because, you know, life’s not always a bed of roses and it’s nice to feel connected, whatever emotion you’re experiencing.

And on that happy note, I’ll shut up! Another very well created EP from a talented young band, who I’m, sure we’ll see a lot more of in the coming years.

‘No Limit’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Alone
02. Afterthought
03. No Limit
04. Gradual Destruction

LINE-UP:
Gerard McCann – Vocals/Guitar
Dave Brady – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Justin Lee Jamison – Bass
Mick Teague – Drums

LINKS:

ForeignWolf Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review 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.

EMQ’s with SKAGS

SKAGS Logo

EMQ’s with SKAGS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Athens, Greece based Alternative Electronic Psychedelic Rock band, SKAGS. Huge thanks to them for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

In 2017, founding members vocalist Spyretta Driva, Kostas Sokos (guitar), and Sotiris Angelidis (bass/vocals) came together with others to form a cover band, taking the first letter from each other’s name to form the acronym, and band name – SKAGS. Keyboardist Christina Papandreou and drummer Christos Alexandris would later join the band, as SKAGS found a solid line-up. Even though 2020 was a turbulent year for many, SKAGS used it to their benefit as they created what would become their debut album – “Digital Cage Of A Cursed Generation”. Released in November 2020, the record fuses together several styles and influences, giving way to a unique sound for SKAGS. With its theatrical grandeur, euphoric synth lines and guitar-led soundscapes, “Digital Cage Of A Cursed Generation” is a compelling collection as the Athens five-piece tell thought-provoking stories.

How did you come up with your band name?

The band’s name began as an acronym, formed by the first letters of our member’s names at that time. Since then, inevitably, some members left and other came, but in the meanwhile we decided to keep the name. Actually, the word “skag” is slang for recreational drugs, and such we consider our music, intense and highly addictive.

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

We are located in Athens, Greece. The music scene here is mostly focused on mainstream pop, folk and hip-hop hits. In terms of metal there a few great bands from Athens such as Rotting Christ, which in fact are from the same neighbourhood as us. Moreover, there is also a popular heavy rock scene building up lately. There are quite a few Greek bands like Planet of Zeus, 1000 Mods, Puta Volcano, Villagers of Ioannina City (VIC) etc. who have established a strong fan base with dedicated followers even outside Greece.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our latest release is our debut album “Digital Cage Of A Cursed Generation”, released on the 5th of November 2020.

‘The Man Sitting Right Next Door’ (Official Video)

‘The Weekend’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We all share the love of music, however each one of us has his/her own personal taste. As a result, our music is influenced by diverse music genres, composers, and bands. It is worth mentioning though, Pink Floyd , Radiohead , Guns N Roses and Dream Theater which are the band’s most favourite artists and the ones that we grew up listening to.

What first got you into music?

Spyretta: Ever since I was little, my life always included music: from having piano lessons, to singing in choirs, to just listening to it. Being in a band, though, is the most intense experience I’ve had, concerning music. It is a much-needed way of self-expression.

Chris: Music has been part of my life since I can remember myself. Listening to the radio and records from friends and family shaped my overall taste in different styles and genres.

Sotiris: My first encounter with music was at the age of ten when I started learning classical guitar. 3 years later, when I was a teenager, my father bought me an electric guitar and this was the time that I realized music is a big part of my life. I instantly started writing my own songs, creating bands with my friends and spending almost all of my free time playing the guitar.

Christina: Ever since I was a little girl we were listening to music with my parents. I started piano lessons at the age of 9 and violin two years later. Deep down I was convinced that I was going to be a musician. I have spent innumerable hours practicing and there are still more to come…

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Our top picks would be Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Guns and Roses and Dream Theater.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Glastonbury, because it is one of the top5 greatest festivals worldwide and we also believe that we fit musically.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

After the end of a concert, a fan followed our singer to the toilet and opened the door, in order to ask for her cell phone number. Not exactly a gift , but he had the balls (hahaha).

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

We have a lot more things to present to you and we thank you so much for your support so far.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Ohhh, so difficult a question…Can we bring them all ??

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Being a musician is a blessing. Especially being in a band, where you are somehow connected with other people, is a unique form of expression. It is a gift. What we hate is that you always need to invest money in order to improve your sound and it is very difficult to make a living out of it.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

We would give more opportunities to independent artists.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Chris: Deep Purple – “Machine Head”
Sotiris: Pink Floyd –-“The Division Bell”
Spyretta: Radiohead-“OK Computer”
Christina:  Guns ‘N Roses – “Appetite For Destruction”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. CD’s are the best in terms of audio quality. But in terms of the experience of listening to music, Vinyl is by far the best. Putting the needle in the disk is incomparable, it is a ritual.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Well, the best show we played was about 1 and a half years ago, at a bar in the centre of Athens. The vibe that we were getting from the crowd and the connection we had, was very unique and we couldn’t stop playing for them.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Spyretta: If I hadn’t gotten into it, I’d probably look for a different way to convey my feelings, most probably theatre.

Chris: Not into music? I think I would be a really boring person. Music is a way of life, so not being into it, is not living.

Sotiris: If I had not gotten into music maybe I would be a chef or a football player.

Christina: If I had not gotten into music, I would be an animal rights lawyer.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

David Gilmour, John Petrucci, Thom Yorke, Axl Rose and Richie Blackmore. And we would cook moussaka for them (hahaha).

What’s next for the band?

The band has many plans for the future and only some of them are:
-A release party for our album
-A live videoclip
-A new photography session
-Recording and releasing our second full album

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

We use Facebook and Instagram for promoting our work. Our music is included in all the major digital platforms worldwide and also in our Bandcamp page one can buy a physical release of our album.
www.facebook.com/skagstheband
www.instagram.com/skagsband/
www.ffm.to/zozp9je
www.skagsband.bandcamp.com/releases

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are biscuit-sized cakes 😊.

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

We really thank you for this interview and we really hope to see you someday in a festival or gig.

SKAGS Promo Pic

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

Kyros – Four Of Fear EP

Four Of Fear EP Cover Art

Kyros – Four Of Fear EP
White Star Records
Release Date: 27/11/2020
Running Time: 24:33
Review by Steven Hooke
8/10

Not content with releasing one of 2020’s most expansive and anticipated albums in June, London quartet Kyros surprise released this EP in November with only a two-month writing period, owing their newly-found free time to the plethora of COVID-19-related tour cancellations. Frontman Adam Warne went on to say that the band had achieved a streamlined online workflow that resulted in “Four Of Fear” as well as their new band project: ‘Celexa Streams: Isolation Gigs’, a series of lockdown gigs that saw socially distanced collaborations with members of Haken, Frost* and Ihlo.

With this intensely creative response to our new lockdown world, you would be forgiven for thinking any music made in this streamlined tunnel may sound rushed or a little scrambled, but “Four Of Fear” is nothing of the sort. An unimaginably visionary and warmly complex collection of music, the songs on this EP are all written in isolated creative vacuums, resulting in four tracks all sounding completely different, but owing to the songwriting expertise of the band, all sound like natural bedfellows next to each other.

Opener ‘Ace’s Middle’ begins with a War of the Worlds-esque imposing synth riff and tune, interspersed with smatterings of drum and synth duality. As the song progresses, and the synthline takes over the bass, guitars and even vocal melodies, the fluctuations and bastardisation of that tune create music of genre-ignorant structure that echo prog’s keyboard-heavy precursors of Yes, Genesis and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

From the 60’s and 70s’, we then move into the 80’s for the back-combed synthpop joy of ‘Fear Of Fear’. Arguably the most “normal” song of the release, and the song the band most liken to the 2020 album “Celexa Dreams”, the track is a bass-heavy electro armada complete with short drum blasts and a synthline on the chorus that sounds like the doorbell at your nan’s house.

‘ResetRewind’ completes the stepping stones of seminal decade genres by skipping the 90’s and going straight for 2000’s dubstep, mixed with just the subtlest whiff of new wave. Building on an experiment they employed on their 2016 sophomore album “Vox Humana”, ‘ResetRewind’ doesn’t feel too far away from Alex Clare’s wub-wub days, but a brilliant collective effort from bassist Peter Episcopo and drummer Robin Johnson do not let the song whist too far away from their proggy realm.

Lastly ‘Stop Motion’, the song that actually kicked off the songwriting process of “Celexa Dreams”, is a much more tempered, focused affair. A dramatic, emotional drop reflects the heavy nature of the song lyrics, dealing with some painful themes about suicide and depression, yet it is this drop and subsequent section thereafter that circles back into a War of the Worlds-ian sci-fi climate as Warne’s keyboards and Joey Frevola’s guitars battle it out for song supremacy.

This is an absolutely fantastic release. From only four songs, so many styles and experiments are on display, never once faltering and never feeling like a caricature. A Devin Townsend-like approach to a wall of sound-style production, allows for so many layers of musical storytelling to come through, partnering Adam Warne’s genre-bending voice exquisitely. If this is Kyros’ version of going stir-crazy in lockdown then shut down the planet and hook it straight into my veins (not actually because I’ve forgotten what grass looks like and want to go outside but you get what I mean, it’s proper good like).

TRACKLISTING:
01. Ace’s Middle
02. Fear of Fear
03. ResetRewind
04. Stop Motion

LINE-UP:
Adam Warne – Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Joey Frevola – Guitar
Peter Episcopo – Bass
Robin Johnson – Drums

LINKS:

Kyros Promo Pic (Credit: Jake Owens Photography)
Jake Owens Photography

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke 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.

EMQ’s with NINTH DEGREE

Ninth Degree Logo

EMQ’s with NINTH DEGREE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Edinburgh, Scotland based, Alternative Rock band, Ninth Degree. Huge thanks to them for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

We’re Ninth Degree and we typically play Alternative Rock. We are a 5-piece Rock band founded in September 2018 out of the ashes of Misselbrook and Watt which was a small project between two of the band members Hamish and Cameron. Hamish (Vocals/Keys) and Cameron (Vocals/Guitars) are two of our three vocalists and have been in bands together for many years having been friends since they were kids. Connor (Vocals/Bass) and Murray (Drums) came in to be Ninth Degree’s rhythm section after Misselbrook and Watt disbanded. They were fans of the band and so it just made sense because they knew the material well already.

How did you come up with your band name?

We spent the first 2 months or so brainstorming ideas that fit the vibe we were going for. We then had a list of around 10 of our favourite names and got our friends and family to vote on them. It ended up being a tie between “Fool’s Paradise” and “Nth Degree” and the band voted for “Nth Degree”. Unfortunately, we realised there was a popular song from the 2000’s called Nth Degree which would make it hard to google us. So, we went for the next best option “Ninth Degree”.

What country/region are you from and what is the Rock/Metal scene like there?

We’re from Scotland and the scene is really strong here.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We have just released ‘Fade Away’ which is our second studio single. It was recorded back at the start of 2020 by Nicholas Franck of Mix By Nico and was tracked live in the studio allowing the band to capture the raw energy and emotion of the song. The song was then mixed and mastered by the band’s guitarist Cameron Watt in his studio. Ninth Degree knew they wanted to put their best foot forward in 2021 and so enlisted the help of local legend Sam Hayles of Dose Productions to design the artwork for the track. The song was released at midnight on New Year’s Eve with an accompanying music video shot during the recording process.

‘Fade Away’ (Official Performance Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Our biggest influences are probably Queen, Green Day, Rush and Franz Ferdinand.

What first got you into music?

Cameron: For me, it was when I first started going to shows as a kid with my parents, I remember seeing AC/DC in 2008 and that’s really what sparked my interest in guitar playing.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

We would’ve loved to collaborate with the original line-up of Queen. They all seemed like great musicians and songwriters and so it would’ve been amazing to see how they worked.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Probably the Reading and Leeds festivals, they always have great line-ups!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

We’ve actually not had many gifts, so I guess if you’re reading this, feel free to send us something odd haha.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

We can’t thank you enough and we really appreciate every single one of you.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Freddie Mercury.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

The thrill of playing live is amazing and probably all the waiting around is a pain!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Definitely streamlining the distribution system for getting your music onto streaming sites.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Stadium Arcadium” – Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

They all have their place to be honest. I don’t think any one format is perfect!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Definitely, our single launch last year!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Cameron: I’m not entirely sure what I’d be doing if I didn’t do music, but I was really into snowboarding and skiing as a kid, so I probably would’ve gotten into that.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Slash, Miles Kennedy, Mark Tremonti, Jack Black and Kyle Gass

What’s next for the band?

In the long run, we are aiming to bring out our debut album once the pandemic is fully over and we’ve built some more momentum. Then hopefully we will go on a small UK and/or EU tour to promote the album. In the next few months though we are looking to start work on an EP to release over the summer (all COVID dependent at the moment).

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

To listen to our new single.
www.linktr.ee/NDFadeAway

To find us on social media
@ninthdegreeuk

Our website
www.ninthdegree.co.uk/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Biscuit.

Ninth Degree Promo Pic

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

Interview with Ryuko

Interview with Ryuko
By: Alun Jones

“Grandpa, what’s a gig?”

“Well son, a gig was what we used to call a band playing live music, in front of an audience.”

“What, people watching musicians play their instruments? Crazy!”

“I know it seems like a strange idea to you youngsters, but it used to be a fantastic experience. Actually being able to gather with friends and strangers to enjoy hearing music. It was another world.”

That’s what the situation seems like right now: no gigs, no gatherings for entertainment – the old days sometimes feel like a lifetime ago. At least it seemed a whole different world back in February 2020, before the pandemic, when I caught up with Chester based band Ryuko at Pentre Fest.

The three piece – comprising The Bobfather (guitars/vocals), Captain Andy (bass) and MattMan (drums) were something of an anomaly at the metal-centric Pentre Fest.  Not that Ryuko don’t rock out, but their brand of punky, alternative rock was a little different from the other bands on show. I found their style of honest, yet far from pretentious rock’n’roll refreshing and it added a vital tone to the proceedings.

Post gig, I caught up with the band to pose some questions and contemplate the meaning of life.

Alun: First off, the cliched yet crucial discussion on influences:

Bob: It’s weird, ‘cos we’ve got influences from all over. If you listen to one of our sets, it has stages: it starts off punky, then it goes alternative rock. Then it goes a little metal/grungy, then back to punk at the end.

Matt: Drop D then back to punk! I’m a huge fan of Motorhead and Metallica, the list goes on, so me being the drummer, I was always doing these thrash beats. To go from that to stepping into this, this was more fun to me. I really enjoy myself when I’m behind the kit with these guys.

Bob: When I write the songs, I listen to quite a broad variety of music, so I think that becomes apparent in my songs. I don’t like to write the same song twice. As far as when I started out, I would say when I was a teenager, I first started listening to Nirvana, Carter USM. I also drew influences from a lot of electro – The Prodigy and stuff like that – so sometimes I’d try and work out how to play dance songs on a guitar. And then that would give me the influence to write more interesting songs. I like to try and fuse a bunch of different genres together, make it more interesting.

Andy: I listen to a lot of Neil Young; I think he’s a very diverse artist. He’s done folk, he’s also done electric stuff.

Alun: How do you promote yourselves?

Matt: I’m more into social media than these guys are. We’re promoting ourselves on Facebook, we’re gonna make a new YouTube account. That’s kind of going up and down at the moment…

Bob: We don’t know how to work it!

Alun: Where does the name Ryuko come from?

Bob: I’m really into anime and all things Japanese, Japanese music…At the time I was watching an anime called Kill la Kill. The main character is called Ryuko Matoi and I just thought it was a really cool name. Some really fun facts: Ryuko is one of the least popular names in Japan. It basically means “rebirth”, start over. So, I thought, we’re starting again, it’s a really cool name.

Andy: Well, it’s not a cool name in Japan, is it?

Bob: It’s cool to me! I think it’s cool!

Andy: I do wish we’d chosen a name that’s easier to spell and pronounce.

Bob: People can never say it.

Alun: Your cover of the Madness classic ‘Baggy Trousers’ tonight was a surprising choice, but great!

Matt: We decided to spruce that up to make it ours. The original is completely different to how I play it, I add extra little bits just to make it more funky.

Alun: Do you feel you’ve got the right band dynamic between the three of you?

Bob: We’re pretty good as we are. More people add more complications cos you’ve got to think – are they free; do they drive, are they going to be available…

Matt: I’ve got a son, he’s 9, we discuss upcoming gigs before we agree to it. If I’ve got my son and he comes along with us, if he’s allowed in the venue we play – he’s got his little ear defenders, he just sits in the corner and watches us or plays his game.

Bob: I’ve got three jobs…

Alun: Sounds like a positive environment to work in.

All: It’s got to be positive, if it’s not it just doesn’t work. If no-one’s happy, nothing gets done.

Alun: So, what’s next? What are your plans?

Bob: World domination!  One step at a time…

Andy: We’ve been working on re-doing our EP, we’ve been recording on and off. Recording, playing as many gigs as we can.

And there you have it: an enjoyable chat with the gentlemen of Ryuko. Make sure you check them out live, as and when we can return to the experience of live music. If grungy, punky alt rock with some metallic crunch is your thing, then Ryuko will be just the antidote you need in these dreary times.

With apologies to Ryuko, who have waited months for this interview to see the light of day.

Check the band out here:

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

Quinn The Brain – Open Wide EP

Quinn The Brain – Open Wide EP
Self – Released
Release Date: 29/05/2020
Running Time: 17:10
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Good evening, my dear ladies and gentlemen. I am lounging upon my chaise longue, sipping from a delicately jewelled chalice and sporting my Seventh Invocation Robes (Autumn Weight) after a busy couple of days involving proselytising, being endlessly shouted at by the Dread Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover, smashing up indestructible sofas and having Mrs. Dark Juan experience medical emergencies requiring trips to the apothecary and then the hospital. This is of course not in order of importance and rather more to do with my permanently derailed train of thought. I should have been wrangling young gentlemen as per my normal employment, but Mrs. Dark Juan comes first. At least that’s what I promised her when we first started seeing each other. Wink wink. I’ll let you judge how trustworthy I am on that score.

Also, for Seventh Invocation Robes (Autumn Weight), read beat up old (yet supremely comfortable) Batman onesie. I’m all about full disclosure, me.

I’m also all about writing about the music I’m listening to. What a segue. Tonight’s offering is an intriguing and beguiling band of Texan misfits called Quinn The Brain. Now, if you are of a certain age (and can recall MTV actually playing music videos and having Vanessa BLOODY Warwick ruining Donington for everybody) you may remember a poorly animated and distinctly sarcastic programme on MTV called Daria, about a young alternative lady called Daria Morgendorfer and her adventures with Jane and Trent.  And her endless watching of Sick, Sad World. Digressing? Me? Never… Anyway, there was an episode of Daria called Quinn The Brain That’s where Quinn The Brain got their name from. They have therefore earned a bonus point for having a cool name from a TV show beloved of Dark Juan in his youth. I’m easily bought.

As this is a four track EP, I am going to do a track by track critique. Let us begin…

The record opener is also the title track. Beginning with a simple, chiming guitar lick, it rapidly goes down a rage-filled rabbit hole of fury and reminds this reviewer greatly of ‘Bruise Violet’ by Babes In Toyland in the delivery of the vocal by Arta Salehi in parts. This is not a criticism as Kat Bjelland is a fine, fine basis to take your performance from. Musically, the song rampages from riot girl rage and kickass riffs to alt-rock twanging before hitting off kilter vocals and rapid loud-quiet-loud dynamics. I like this very much so far. Hopefully track two lives up to the promise of this stomper of an opener…

Track two is ‘Step On Me’. My, this is grungy. All lo-fi guitar and angst-ridden lyrics with a tough punk edge to take the grunge undertones up a notch and out of the navel gazing bollocks that most grunge was. Special mention goes to bass player Steve Blackheart on this one, who serves up some of the filthiest, sexiest bass I have had heard for a long time. Lyrically, this one is about working in an industry where no-one cares about you and the futility of your trying to achieve something when no-one will ever notice. Welcome to the world that most of us inhabit. Although this is the weakest offering it’s still a fucking slamming song and well worth your time.

Lucky three then – entitled ‘Comes In 3s’ and about bad luck coming in threes and dreading the next piece of shitty bastard luck to empty its capacious, disease-ridden arse in your unsuspecting lap. Again we enjoy some sexy, sexy fucking bass from Mr. Blackheart and some very tasty guitar work from Arta as well as a vocal that oozes snotty, fuck you attitude without having to resort to the kind of inane, ball squeezing squealing that large, hirsute, bearded men frequently employ when they are playing heavy metal. This is one of the more unusual songs as it straddles the fence between grunge, punk and metal (is that more than one fence? Fuck knows.) Oh, and it’s a full moon at the end of the song too, so all fucking bets are off…  Another top, top song.

Onto the record’s closing tune now, and it’s called ‘Dark Skies’ and it is by far the most metal of the songs on this EP. It’s got an absolutely doomtastic central riff and just drips melody and menace at the same time. Vocally, Arta treads a finely judged line referencing strong female vocal leads like Brody Dalle, Kat Bjelland, Die So Fluid’s Grog and even a bit of faux-cute Courtney Love and the words reference the loss of innocence, while skilfully leaving it to the listener’s imagination just what innocence has been lost. Such subtlety in songwriting is a rare and precious thing, especially in metal and other extreme music which tends to just bludgeon you over the head with the message the band wants you to understand. This is also a fucking kickass tune.

So, this is only a 17-minute EP but as a body of work it is extraordinarily complete. It’s a short but comprehensive journey down an absolutely rage filled tunnel of violence, edged weapons and negative emotions, and the musicians back this up by being able to emote this on their instruments as well as being able to rely on Arta’s witheringly intense vocal delivery going voraciously straight for your soft, white throat. I CANNOT WAIT for a full album, boys and girl! This really is one of my favourite records of 2020 so far, and I have listened to some high-quality alternative music this year. Quinn The fucking Brain are fucking magnificent!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (y’all) awards Quinn The Brain a colossal 10/10. Treasure this, Quinn The Brain. It is a rare and precious thing. Dark Juan officially loves you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Open Wide
02. Step On Me
03. Comes In 3s
04. Dark Skies

LINE-UP
Arta Salehi – Vocals and Guitar
Billy Kimmel – Drums
Steve Blackheart – Bass

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ 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.

EMQ’s with UNDER THE TONGUE

EMQ’s with UNDER THE TONGUE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Berlin, Germany based Alternative Rock duo Under The Tongue. Huge thanks to Mark Eden for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hey Ever Metal, thanks so much for having Under The Tongue here and thanks for your support.

My name is Mark Eden, I sing, play guitar, drums and drum programming. Julia Eden sings, plays bass and piano.

How did you come up with your band name?

I remember walking out of our courtyard here in Berlin and we were talking about different ways that people heal themselves and what they use to do so. One of the ways that came up was Homeopathy and quite often you have to take drops as part of the remedy that has been prescribed. Under the tongue was the main way and Booom!!! There it was, that was the name, it was screaming to be used. We love the ambiguity as other substances are also taken under the tongue for a different desired effect…that wasn’t lost on us.

What country are you from and what is the Rock/metal scene like there?

I am from Australia, but I live in Berlin and the scene is quite healthy here with many clubs to play and many festivals also. After all Germany has Wacken which is huge.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our latest single is ‘Waterfall’ and you can watch the video on youtube. It was filmed in Berlin and is dark, fun and filmed like an action movie, it’s pretty cool if I do say so myself. We are totally DIY and did everything ourselves.

Our new song ’I Can’t Breathe’ is now released, as of August the 21st, with a video to follow.

Waterfall (Official Video)

I Can’t Breathe (Spotify)

Who have been your greatest influences?

The Beatles to be honest…not very Metal …sorry 😉 (The Beatles are just fine with us – Rick)

What first got you into music?

Actually, my Dad used to play guitar at home when we had house parties in Australia. They are the kind of parties where people would actually come to your house to party. People would get up spontaneously and dance, scream and go nuts and the atmosphere was pretty wild for a 7-year-old I can tell you. That is what made me get into music I am sure of it now but wasn’t thinking about it at the time.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Puscifer would be cool.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Oooh!!! That’s a hard one. Wacken would be cool but there are so many other cool ones.

The audience is 100% into it, go nuts and that’s my kind of festival where the participation from the audience is as important as the band that is playing.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I have had a few weird ones. It was not a gift but an experience that comes to mind.

I was actually standing getting ready to pee at a urinal in Australia and a fan came up and started to sing one of my songs as loud as he could in my face while I was standing there…that was very weird but at the same time it was kinda cool.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Go for it, life is not a rehearsal, live, love do crazy stuff, dance like a maniac, travel, enjoy, trust yourself, listen to new music whenever you get the chance and whatever you do, do it with your whole heart.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain & John Lennon, sorry that was 2!!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love the process of writing songs and doing videos also, playing live is awesome and the feeling of playing tight as a band is wicked. I don’t really hate any aspect, but some things really get on my nerves 😉 ‘Music Promoters who get paid thousands of Euros and don’t do a thing to promote your music…actually yes, I fuckin’ really hate that.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Refer to the above 😉 Also that we would have many more places where independent bands can play.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Sgt Peppers!

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Gotta be Vinyl!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

That’s a hard one as some of the small intimate gigs have been awesome. Playing at a festival in Austria where people went crazy and also playing in the middle of Australia at an Indigenous festival was definitely a highlight.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I would be doing more painting and sculpting and probably robbing banks 😊

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Osho, John Lennon, Nietzsche, Basquiat and Janis Joplin.

What’s next for the band?

Our new single ‘I Can’t Breathe’ is now released with a video to follow. Also, we will be releasing new music every 6-7 weeks with a video then the album after 8 singles. Touring next year is in the planning stages as this year is not happening for everyone.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.open.spotify.com/artist/0ODOqiRiyO1YnumWEX1EUs
www.instagram.com/under_the_tongue/
www.facebook.com/UnderTheTongue
www.youtube.com/user/UnderTheTongueBand
www.twitter.com/UnderTheTongue

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Sorry for my ignorance but I have never had one.

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

I would like to thank you on behalf of Under The Tongue for the cool questions and for having us here. It really means a lot to us.

Cheers
Under The Tongue

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

EMQ’s with DIRTY POWER

EMQ’s with DIRTY POWER

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Dublin, Ireland based Alt Hard Rock trio Dirty Power. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Brendan for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

The band is Dirty Power. We’re a trio that plays modern alternative hard rock. I’m Brendan. I started the band, write the songs, play guitar and sing vocals.

Dirty Power was formed in London (UK) sometime around 2013 under a different (very bad) name… We’ve been Dirty Power since 2015. Now we’re based between London (UK) and Dublin (IRL). I brought together some of the most capable rocking musician buddies in the London scene to play (now coming together from all over Europe). Demos were circulated and years of songwriting, recording sessions and touring followed. Some great venues and more established acts all leant a hand in getting Dirty Power on its feet, for which I’m extremely grateful.

For a few years, we gigged and toured without releasing anything officially, because that’s what our influences did, and I wanted Dirty Power to be built on a strong backbone of performing live and writing solid and meaningful- but still actually fun to play- songs. Now we’re putting stuff out. In the meantime, the band has been an evolving collective of musicians, so the line-up of who’s on drums and bass changes from time to time, depending on the way we want to do things. That’s how it was from the early days, so it’s cool to be able to call on different people for different circumstances, especially as the music seems to benefit.

How did you come up with your band name?

I had been searching for absolutely ages, for a name that somehow reflected the light and dark shades of our influences. Something that combined the simple pleasures and raw, electric energy of AC/DC and Rage Against The Machine, with the profundity and craft of Nirvana and Muse. Plus, if there was anything resembling a joke to the name, it would help me from getting sick of it immediately. At a rehearsal, while trying to fix a nightmare buzzing sound coming from my guitar effects pedal board, one of the band’s bassists shrugged in despair and said, “sometimes you just get some dirty power”. I said, “that’s it – that’s the band name!” It ticked a lot of the boxes I wanted ticked. Especially that there was something redemptive about it… A power that’s been dragged through the mud and somehow still made it out the other side, all the better for the experience. That seemed pretty ‘Rock’ to me. It was also silly enough to not be pretentious, because ‘Dirty’ is slang in Ireland for “fucking great”. As in, “I’d murder a dirty pint of Guinness right now”, or “that riff is absolute dirt”.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I’m half Irish, half Belgian. The bigger half is Irish, but the Belgian part is powerful too.

Ireland has got some great rock and metal bands, whatever your taste may be, along with some cool venues. For acoustic, look no further than The Scratch and Headtrip Acoustic Project. For experimental instrumental rock check out Bicurious and Restive Nation for some extraordinary rock soundscapes. For absolute independent punk moshpit glory, it’s Audible Joes. But if all-out, death-defying heaviness is your fancy, have a little listen to Dead Label and Ten Ton Slug.

The central Chapel of Rock and Metal, in Ireland, is without a doubt Fibber Magee’s Rock Bar in Dublin. We have great memories of playing there, along with Cork’s Fred Zeppelin’s and Galway’s Quays and Sally Longs Rock Bar. I love that these places are flying the rock flag in Ireland, and we’ve made it our business to play them all several times each, and other places in between.

Belgium has places like Rock Classic in Brussels, and I have great memories of going to countless rock and metal festivals in Belgium over the years. From Rock Werchter, to Pukkelpop and Graspop Metal Meeting. Whereas Ireland has a longstanding and unrivalled music culture that runs very deep for the Irish people, Belgium is a crossroads for all the big bands touring Europe that would often unfortunately not include Ireland as one their destinations. I’m very grateful to have had the best of both those worlds, and to pour it all into Dirty Power.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our latest single ‘Oh God’ is the most recent addition to our ongoing EP “Notions”.

It’s about the relationship with our most primitive, powerful and pervasive natures, the resulting vulnerabilities and how those keep evolving in ever more sophisticated ways, with such impressive effect. The multiple meanings of- and varying ways that people use the phrase- “oh God” reveals a lot about ourselves and the moments we consider to be significant or not. It can mean anything from “oh yes!” to “oh no!” to “oh here we go again…”. Anything from a joke, all the way to being a genuine plea or prayer for something deeply meaningful. A person might also consider themselves to have grown out of classical religious beliefs and traditions, only to find that other things, people, priorities, or idols begin to occupy that part of our minds, personalities and preoccupations. It’s an interesting part of being human that is there whether you know it or not.

In the Dirty Power spirit, of combining deep stuff with simple pleasures, I decided to make a joke of a music video for it. We went to Hyde Park’s ‘Speaker’s Corner’ in London, where people genuinely get on soap boxes and shout at passers-by about their favourite religious texts, politics, or anything really. We did the same, except we were dressed as monkeys and threw bananas at each other. One ‘musician monkey’ handing out free food and water, one ‘religious monkey’ wearing kinky fetish gear and bullets, and one ‘money and power monkey’ who was getting all the attention with his Dirty Power phone, blue suit and dishevelled blonde hair. It was supposed to be a total joke and I realise that not all the themes are obvious in the joke of a video, but people stopped to pay attention and started filming us with their phones, giving us much more attention than we expected… it was a real rush to pull off and film into a coherent story, before things got messy, or the police hovering nearby got involved.

Normally, we would tour after releasing a single. But, along with everyone else, our touring plans were squashed by the pandemic. We decided to release the track and video anyway, because we didn’t want to sit on it for ages longer. Without detracting from the harshness of many people’s circumstances, I hoped it’d give hungry rock fans something to check out and it seemed timely, with everyone re-evaluating their priorities, especially the ones they maybe didn’t realise they had.

The video and track, along with everything else are available at www.dirty-power.com

Who have been your greatest influences?

The band’s more obvious musical influences include Alternative, Punk, Metal and Hard Rock, combined with Progressive elements. Much of the Dirty Power sound is built on Rage Against The Machine foundations, layered with Nirvana arrangements, and topped with occasional intricate instrumental solo sections out of the Satriani, Vai, or Dream Theater playbook. The independent, artistically punk and D.I.Y. -ness of some of our influences also feeds into the whole approach to making music in the studio and live. I’ve also gone out of my way to make the songs translate to acoustic setups too, because we loved Nirvana’s Unplugged album so much that I wanted the band to work in that setting as well as in a loud foot-stomping rock tent at a festival.

What first got you into music?

My Belgian grandfather was a famous poet, and my Irish clan have a great musical legacy that’s still going. Back in primary school, I remember making mix tapes by recording my favourite songs from CD’s. There was an art to it, kinda similar to making playlists now, I guess. It got me through the bus ride home each day and was also a way to connect with other kids on the playground. That was back in my “questionable pop and Belgian electro” days. It was all I knew. But I would occasionally get given a tape, to be told that “this is your cousin’s band over in the US”. Then in secondary school, I really clicked with people who were musicians on some level. They had the best sense of humour and always seemed to have the best time doing anything. Whether it was a civilised family shindig, or a debaucherous house party, music was always a catalyst in the mix. That was when I discovered Rock, Punk and Metal. I already knew and had appreciated lots of music I’d heard as a kid, at home on the radio or on TV – a lot of classical, Irish, pop, etc. But this was different. It was definitely an acquired taste, and some elements took a while to grow into… nevertheless, the likes of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ blew my mind and kicked open so many doors into experiences, skills and perspectives. It was both down to earth and had its head in the stars at the same time. Nevermind and RATM’s first album sum up what was an era of discovering so much good music for me. That backdrop, along with meeting really inspiring musicians along the way, got me into music with no looking back.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Dave Grohl. All day. Equally, Matt Stone & Trey Parker (aka DVDA).

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

In the UK, it would be Download at Donington, because despite having been to many, many other festivals, that’s where I witnessed the perfect storm of a line-up a few years back: Day 1 – AC DC to get the party started, Day 2 – Rage Against The Machine to take us to the deep end, Day 3 – Aerosmith for when you’re too exhausted for anything other than perfect ballads performed masterfully…along with about 20 other bands I really wanted to see (Slash, Airbourne, Deftones, etc.). It was perfection in a rock festival.

In Belgium, it would be any of the festivals I grew up going to. Rock Werchter, Couleur Cafe, GMM, Pukkelpop…because those festivals were formative in my younger years and we went to a few of them every year, so I have amazing memories from all of them. Muse would be playing at one, Iron Maiden at another, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Faithless at yet another…I had to catch them all. Like Pokémon. But better.

The German festivals Rock Am Ring, Rock Am Park and especially Wacken have such an amazing legacy, that it would be an honour to ever get to play them. The same goes for NOFX’s own independent festival – Punk In Drublic, which I caught in Germany and Spain. I just love that they went D.I.Y. with their own punk and beer festival.

Lastly, but certainly not least, in Ireland it would be Slane. But that would be intimidating as all hell and I would legitimately not want to do it, unless it was miraculously, abundantly obvious that we had somehow done something that was actually significantly meaningful to Irish musical culture and heritage. Otherwise, we just wouldn’t get away with it. Nobody would. You’d be shot just for thinking about it…“Oh you’re fantasising about playing Slane someday, is it? We’ll see about that. *Bang!*”

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

A request to sign their tits. She was not pretty. She also “gifted” me a knock on my hotel room door. I did not answer.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

I’m grateful to be in this for the long haul and consider the inspiring stuff that’s been done by previous generations to be an invitation to do more of the same. So, if you get something out of what we’re doing, cool! Consider it a nudge to start or continue to get good at something you consider to be worthwhile too.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

It would be a zombie called Cobain-Cornell-Hendrix-Lennon.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I get a lot out of learning and discovering more about music and then applying it to playing, songwriting, performing, creating, touring and connecting with people. The theory, the art, the craft, the techniques… It’s a phenomenal endeavour and really varied set of traditions to participate in. It brushes with the highest of intellectual pursuits, all the way down to the deepest instincts and most basic emotions. Every culture has its musicians. I can get really into any aspect of it. Even genres of music I don’t actually like on first try, to find out what the baby in the bathwater is. Or just to see what they’re doing badly that I might be doing badly too. I’m also into exploring musical equipment and the instruments themselves. You’d be surprised how many good chats you can have with musicians about that stuff, over beers. Some people really know their stuff about their function and character within music (as opposed to how they actually work physically or technologically – that’s not my thang, but I love that others are into that, so I don’t have to be). I’m not an ‘endless setting-tweaker’ at all. I’m into ‘plug-and-play’. But the physics of music – the ‘harmonic overtone series’ and how sound relates to- or interacts with- the world really inspires me, because its subjective and objective components go hand in hand in such a way that really seems to bridge what’s physical and what’s experiential. There also seems to be an unspoken, healthy balance of ‘give and take’ to interactions with musos. Musicians all know what musicians are aiming for – it’s that ‘amazing thing that music can do’ – so it’s always cool to see how and why different individuals are going for that, or collaborating towards it. Apart from being a musician in general, it’s beyond cool when people respond to the music we make in Dirty Power, and it turns out that the things they like most are exactly what we were going for – be that the songwriting, the performance, the theme, the energy, the production or the mix of influences etc.

I don’t really ‘hate’ anything about being a musician. Maybe in the beginning it’s not ideal that the easiest money to be made is by playing a narrow set of crowd pleasers all the time, because there’s so much originality out there to be developed. It’s a shame when so many people sadly don’t seem to know the value of it, how to develop it, or how to appreciate it. I’m not really in love with the way some people have their ego too intertwined with music, either in the form of arrogance as a performer or as a critic. Being a good musician is no substitute for being a decent person, regardless of how well you play the sax. And I’m certainly not into how often being a musician is confused with wanting or needing to be a celebrity or even the centre of attention all the time. And the misunderstanding at large, which resulted in ‘artists’ being voted ‘the most expendable occupation’ during the Corona Virus pandemic, by people who turn to films, games, books, and music during such times of intense vulnerability, without realising that all these things were made by artists is… sadly an unsurprising symptom of a pervasive lack of understanding. But I think I understand how all these things arose, and genuinely see them as things to work around. I’m not a total hippie, but hate doesn’t come into it much.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

No middle men. Artists and fans. Fans and artists. That’s it. I call it the ‘fuck everyone’ business model. All the middlemen would be invited to become musicians and/or fans.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Nirvana – “Nevermind”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Streaming*

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Although I’ve played bigger gigs, I’d have to say a private gig at a friend’s house in the middle of nowhere. Tiny gig, massive energy. Epic session.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Drinking and talking nonsense.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Dead: Jesus, Einstein, Shakespeare, Michael Jackson and Hitler. The icebreaker would be ‘never have I ever’.

Alive: Matt Stone & Trey Parker, Dave Grohl, Billy Connolly and Dave Grohl again.

What’s next for the band?

We still have the release of our latest single ‘Oh God’ to fully celebrate. Normally that would be with a tour… so we’re looking at alternative ways to do that online. We’ve already got another great song recorded – the final instalment of our debut EP ‘Notions’ – along with another instrumental ‘Trailer Track’ and video to accompany it, but the lack of live gigs has given a great window to continue working on other unfinished material. Before the pandemic, touring in parts of Europe had been on the horizon, with whispers of rumours of something happening in the US. But it’s all on hold until it’s a good idea to do anything like that. For now, I’m reconnecting with the Irish roots and traditions. I have a strong feeling that’ll feed into the next chapter, in the form of a second EP full of singles. Or maybe a spree of live streaming hangout sessions.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Our own website is our Headquarters. All our best stuff goes there first. We’ll be using our mailing list, to get the infrequent summary of the story out to people at:

www.dirty-power.com/

After that, find us on:
www.facebook.com/dirtypower/
www.instagram.com/dirtypowerband/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Probably not. Who knows what’s in those things?

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

Thanks right back at you! Give us a shout online to let us know where you’re at so we can include new places to tour in the future!

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