Rebecca Downes – More Sinner Than Saint Mad Hat Records Release Date: 24/05/2019 Running time: 59:33 Review by Paul Monkhouse 10/10
The Midlands has always been a hotbed for musical talent. When you consider that the area saw the birth of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Magnum amongst world beating others, you can now add another name to that prestigious list: Wolverhampton based Rebecca Downes. Whilst she has been solidly touring with the likes of The Quireboys and (the aforementioned) Magnum and putting out great albums, this latest should see her most definitely promoted to the big league. “More Sinner Than Saint” mixes her blues rock styling with a hefty dose of AOR and this potent brew of balls and soul is so well written and produced that it stands head and shoulders above most of the releases this year.
‘Take Me Higher’ opens the album and immediately impresses with its huge sound and epic scope. The insistent guitar gives way to Downes rich vocals and swirling keys, leading to an absolutely hook filled chorus that will have you singing it for days. This is all covered in the sort of gloss that the very best of the classic 80’s rock songs boasted and is equally memorable. It should be pointed out though that this is not just an exercise in nostalgia but very much a modern album that will appeal to a wide audience due to the quality of the whole package, not just the echoes of the past. ‘Chains Fall Down’ impresses with its aching vocals, great playing by the assembled musicians and its superb, slowly building structure and ‘Screaming Your Name’ is incredibly passionate, a world-beating track dripping with real soul but eschewing any overwrought guitar soloing that so often plagues other big rock ballads.
Rocker ‘Hurts’ lets loose and is full of ballsy grit, revealing the more primeval rock ‘n’ roll side of Downes and co-writer and guitarist Steve Birkett whilst Magnum main man Tony Clarkin returns the favour of Downes appearing on their recent live album to play some beautifully fluid guest guitar on ‘Breathe Out’. Already a fan favourite live, ‘Wave Them Goodbye’ sees multi-instrumentalist Birkett not only play some great slide guitar but unleash his impressive vocal chops in this, the albums only duet. Whilst it is Downes name on the cover, her musical partnership with him is the key to their success as they complement each other in the same way that Jagger and Richards and Plant and Page mastered, the perfect combination of singer and guitarist and this chemistry is perfectly highlighted on the album.
The titular ‘More Sinner Than Saint’ is all you could want it to be, starting with a church organ this is upbeat song laced with dark lyrics captures something halfway between Fleetwood Mac and Heart in its big sound and delivery. King King’s Alan Nimmo guests on ‘If I Go to Sleep’ and it’s another, harder rocking tune that stomps its size 11’s all over you and mixes sweet female vocals with rougher male ones. Nimmo’s solo sounds huge and the fact that Downes and Birkett can call upon him and Clarkin to guest on this release speaks volumes and new Magnum keys player Rick Benton plays throughout, all adding their own magic to the recordings whilst not putting anyone in the shade. Here, the music is the thing and egos are left at the door.
‘Stand on My Feet’ transports you to the Deep South, swaying in the summer heat whilst the landscape shimmers and chrome glistens under a beating sun. For anyone who fell in love with Alannah Myles first album, there is so much to enjoy here and this track brings to mind that magnificent debut, all southern sensuality, road trips to New Orleans and long, cold beers. ‘Big Sky’ ups the tempo again from the languid pacing of the previous track and has a real bite and groove and the sort of production that Mutt Lange gave Def Leppard, Shania Twain et al. The album continues in such a strong vein and finishes with ‘In Reverse’ which features an absolutely sky-scraping vocal from Downes and the hugely powerful ‘With Me’. This closing track is probably the most affecting one of the album and ends it on an emotional high, a song of promise, hope and protection that is so intensely emotional that you may well find yourself with a tear in your eye at the end of it. All the very best music should move us is one way or another and in ‘With Me’ you have a classic love song that never falls into clichéd moments but genuinely touches the soul and shows that you don’t have to be loud to be powerful, eschewing bluster for genuine heart. In “More Sinner Than Saint” Rebecca Downes has made not just the album of her career so far but one that will stand the test of time as a genuine classic. Without any doubt, one of the finest releases this year.
01. Take Me Higher
02. Chains Fall Down
03. Screaming Your Name
05. Breathe Out
06. Wave Them Goodbye
07. More Sinner Than Saint
08. If I Go To Sleep
09. Stand On My Feet
10. Big Sky
11. In Reverse
12. With Me
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with UK based solo female Rock artist Kaima! Huge thanks to Kaima 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?
Hi! My name is Kaima – I am a rock/metal vocalist, and I am a female solo rock artist! As a solo artist I have been around for nearly a year, however I was born from my old band, Wild Card. We were around for about a year before we disbanded, and from the ashes I decided to not give up, but face the problems we struggled with – cohesive music direction, the same beliefs, passion and dedication, and come back as a solo artist. This past year has professionally and personally been the hardest in my life, and I’ve been very open about my mental health issues, and experiences with abuse, and so I took that gap to sit down with my guitarist James, and take control of the narrative, instead of letting things defeat me. I wrote, and sang out all of my pain, and turned it into power. It’s the most empowering thing in the world to work through a scarring/negative situation and make something beautiful/positive out of it instead. I also decided to come back as a solo artist because I didn’t want to have to rely on anyone else to get to where I wanted to be – this last year has been full of realisations, and I think my biggest has been this exactly – I don’t need anyone else but myself.
How did you come up with your band name?
It is half of my surname – I am half Cypriot, and my name is very unusual. I am very proud of my heritage, and my family history, and I wanted to keep a part of it with me always, but ‘Kaimakami’ is quite a mouthful, and friends from school used to call me Kaima, so now it is just my preferred name and stage name! My logo, the eye is a variation on the Mediterranean ‘evil eye’ which is tied in heavily with our culture, with crazy eyelashes because I always have makeup or glitter running down my face!
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I am from England, and the metal/rock scene is… well it depends where you are! Where I grew up in the West Country, you are hard pressed to find any musicians, let alone any rockers, whereas I live closer to London, where the scene is teeming with metalheads.. finding ones that are dedicated, or aren’t already taken is a bit harder though! But never give up. It took me long enough…
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)
Liar Liar! My debut single as a solo artist… this song came from a lot of toxic anger toward an individual for infidelity, and lots of other fucked stuff like manipulation and emotional/physical abuse… But instead of letting the toxic anger fester inside me, I used the strength I shared with a close friend of mine who went through this with me, to turn the message into one of solidarity, and made what could have been a potentially quite bitter track, a kick-ass thank-fuck-you-were-the-one-that-got-away anthem! It came out back in February 2019, and I’ve been planning my next single, however I’ve been doing my best to fundraise for this to get into the studio/get it mixed/mastered.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Freddie. Gaga. Lzzy. In that order. They shaped everything I truly love and value about myself. I learned to love singing, appreciate truly special music, and be ok with being a drama queen on stage through Freddie, and Queen… I always knew I was a bit different, but didn’t know why/how, and when I sang their songs I felt ok with it for the first time and pretty fucking fabulous too! I credit Gaga for growing me up and teaching me all the things I should have learned at school/home – to love myself and drop anyone that didn’t by the wayside. She pushed me to push myself, and accept all the parts of me that weren’t ‘normal’ – her popularity just for being her awesome theatrical self when I was a kid was proof that I’d get through all the bullying and horrific experiences, and make it someday, and I could stay true to myself whilst doing it. Halestorm and Lzzy Hale in particular introduced me to slightly heavier music – and it blew my mind. I knew from the moment I heard them that that was what I wanted to do. It was exciting, it was sexy – here was a WOMAN who loved herself, her sex life, and was unapologetic about it.. and my god that VOICE… I was determined to be able to sing like her and it took about a year of training but I got there! All 3 paved the way for other beautiful freaks like them to follow down their paths. Without them, the industry would be a very different place. They didn’t just stand up for their beliefs – they fought like hell for them, and they made you feel like one of their own, whilst also taking you on a beautifully wild ride.
What first got you into music?
(I guess the above statement)
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
All of the above musicians – I would be honoured to collaborate with them, and also a band called The Struts. I really like what they’re doing at the moment – the lead singer Luke has a very Freddie attitude and sound which is incredibly sexy, and I feel like they’re kinda bringing their version of rock the mainstream, which is always awesome. I’ve also just discovered this insane fellow female solo artist – Kim Jennett. She was also in a band, and decided to go solo, is massively inspired by Lzzy, has ridiculous gritty vocals that are so rare in this industry nowadays… sounding familiar?! She’s a massive babe with a massive voice, and there are honestly so few of us rock chicks out there, I feel like I’ve struck gold! Society has a tendency to pit women against each other, but I honestly can’t be arsed with that rubbish – we need to stick together. Pulling someone else down doesn’t raise you higher. I supported Hands Off Gretal (another band I’d love to collab with) last week and I was shitting myself because I love their music, but every time I have played with women there has been nothing but love and support. No one is actually alone – we are all shit scared and thinking we aren’t good enough, so why add more stress and negativity to life – it’s hard enough as it is!! Be a damn cheerleader. So yeah – Kim Jennett, Lauren Tate (H.O.G) and 2 other local artists LUNA and Chinchilla – I adore you, lets team up and show the world how badass we are.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Glastonbury! It’s my biggest dream to play the pyramid stage at sunset. It’s my hometown, it was my first festival, and I just want a golden sea of people dancing and jumping to my songs whilst the sun goes down… I dream about it every night.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I haven’t received anything weird yet! Everything that’s made with love is important to me, but you never know!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Everyone feels like they are, but they’re not. Reach out. Social media is horrific but it can also be incredible at bringing people together. Facebook forums, Instagram pages, Tumblr, Reddit – there is always someone else that feels the same way you do. Emotions are meant to be felt, but if you struggle with them like I do – find a doctor. It’s free. Ring a helpline. Join a website to start walking dogs. Volunteer at animal shelters. Find something you love, and find a way if pouring your pain into it so there is something constructive to show for it. If your friends aren’t helping – find new ones. ‘we accept the love we think we deserve’ – from the Perks of Being a Wallflower, but it’s true. I’ve stayed in horrific relationships (platonic too) and situations because I haven’t respected myself to go ‘HELL NO.’ There are 7 billion people out there – you will find someone. They might not be n your hometown, but we have social media for a reason.
If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
As I said earlier, I love being able to take a really shitty situation, turn it into a powerful song, which helps me heal, and then in turn it helps someone else heal. I love when people thank me for my honesty, because it is hard to be vulnerable in such a tough industry, but I think this and admitting flaws is something that is swiftly becoming more applauded. I love being a platform to voice support for those that need it, such as MH, women’s rights, and sex worker rights. And the biggest thing… being able to scream into a microphone and call it my job. Getting sweaty and grimy all half naked on stage, singing about beating my demons?! It’s my dream come true! Fetus Kaima – we did it! I hate rumours. People that shit stir. If you’ve got issues, go and talk it out. You are helping no one here! This industry is hard enough as it is – help each other!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Honestly, I would make rock n roll the ‘current’ genre again… a lot of people tell me I won’t get far because it isn’t ‘in’ (but I do it anyway) and I see a lot of amazing musicians get put off or not follow the music they REALLY want to do because it ‘won’t sell’ which sucks, but in this day and age you have to make a killing to be a full time, successful musician. People think they have to go heavier, or rely on tech more. I just think I was born into the wrong era! It’s selfish, but I guess my ultimate wish would be that you could be able to be successful in the genre that you want to pursue. not what society dictates is the new ‘in’ thing. There is so much more rock has to offer, and I hope that movies like Bohemian Rhapsody and the Dirt have brought that kind of music back into a mainstream a bit more, so a wider audience can love and listen to this genre.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Queen – “Night At The Opera”. Or any of Halestorm’s albums because they showed me how to rock and Gaga’s “Fame Monster” because it grew me up!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I love vinyl because I’m a very visual person but realistically, downloads.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Probably the last 2 shows I’ve played – I headlined the Backroom Bar at the Hard Rock Café in London earlier this year, and there pictures of me as a kid at the Hard Rock café in Florida, and I still have hard rock merch up in my old bedroom. It was just a childhood dream fully realised. They all but rolled out red carpet for me, and I had massive imposter syndrome (and tonsillitis!). I was so humbled and honoured to have been given the opportunity, let alone treated like fucking royalty! So many people turned up, and the room just heaved with people living and breathing the same good rock n roll energy. I am grateful for that experience every day. My most recent show with Hands Off Gretal was a near topper for that though – despite having tonsil issues again, my voice held out for our nearly hour long set. To be able to support HOG made it an incredible night anyway, but playing to a packed crowd, seeing Lauren Tate in the front loving every second, being confident enough to incorporate a fully realised burlesque element into it, and having people stop me to tell me how much my music meant to them, it was just bliss. You can’t make this shit up. And I fully let go of absolutely everything – all of those fears and anxieties – for the whole set. I always snap out and over analyse and worry, but this time I was just totally lost in the moment. I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to do that when I am enjoying myself now – to snapshot that moment in my mind, so I can look back on that, and not the mountains of stress accompanying it.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Helping animals, kids, or being a Disney princess. Or makeup artistry!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, Lady Gaga, Marilyn Monroe
What’s next for the band?
Getting the funds to go into the studio and release these tracks I’ve been saving up for you all! Then gig, gig, gig. Being on stage is my obsession, feeling the reaction from people who have their own personal connection to the songs I’ve written. I just want more! I’d like to work with some mental health charities, support women’s rights, and sex worker rights. As a provocative performer and a burlesque performer, the sex work industry is looked down upon, but there’s nothing shameful about our bodies! We love them, and we get that other people love them too. Being able to incorporate burlesque into my performance is something I haven’t had the confidence to do until recently but I’m over the moon that I did. We are such a large, loving community, and we don’t have time for hate.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
… Uhhhh I’m sorry for rambling! I have a lot to say… but I always do! Thank you for having me… and just keep an open mind, and an open heart! It’s much better to add love in a world full of hate. KAIMA <3 x
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 parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Photograph supplied with kind permission by J Law Photographs
Pythia – The Solace Of Ancient Earth Golden Axe Records Release Date: 17/05/2019 Running Time: 54:23 Review by Lotty Whittingham 9/10
As a fan of Symphonic Metal, I have come across the name Pythia several times. It’s a band I am familiar with, I have caught them live with their previous line-up. Their latest album “The Solace Of Ancient Earth” provided the perfect opportunity to start listening to them again. It’s been four years since the release of their last album “Shadows Of A Broken Past” and given the strong content on “The Solace Of Ancient Earth”, it’s easy to see why it has been an anticipated release.
For those who don’t know Pythia, they are a Symphonic Metal act from the UK and they formed in 2007. Since their debut live show supporting Tarja, their fan base has grown significantly and continues to do so. “The Solace Of Ancient Earth” will ensure fans stay in Camp Pythia and will draw in new listeners.
From the opening track ‘An Earthen Lament’ you can already hear the strength within the enchanting melody. Throughout the album, Pythia take you on a journey of soaring melodies with grand symphonic keyboards, flawless soprano vocals and that much needed escapism that’s needed in today’s fast paced world.
This is the first album with new vocalist Sophie Dorman who has taken over from long time vocalist Emily Ovenden. When this happens, the pressure is high to live up to the previous singer. Given that Sophie’s impeccable vocal work was one the first things I noticed when I started to listen to the album, it’s more than safe to say she is a great fit to the band.
The album contains a beautiful portfolio of stunning and passionate melodies that provide an escape from whatever stressful reality you are living in. Below are just some of the examples of what this brilliant album has to offer.
‘Ancient Soul’ was the song I included on my own blog’s Spotify playlist. The reason? I felt this track was a great example of what Pythia offer up as a band. The song has a stunning melody that consists of angelic vocal work, soaring symphonic keyboards and great guitar work. The mix of tempos in the track work very well too. The faster arrangements suit the verses well and soaring beats suit the chorus nicely.
‘Dawn Will Come’ starts off strong. The swaying rhythms and smooth guitar solo get the track off to a great start. It also shows the versatility of Sophie’s vocal range. She can hit the low notes as well as those high notes. Both of these work for the dynamics in the song. The hint of bagpipes is also a brilliant touch.
‘Soul To The Sea’ ends the album on a truly mesmerising note. The beginning of the track reminds me of Delain and Evergrey, the melody on the keyboard and the guitar riff echoing are the elements that remind me of these bands. The chorus of this song has got to be a new favourite of mine, it’s very hypnotic and reminds me of the sirens drawing the sailors to their deaths.
The album is a wonderful work of art. This is a Symphonic Metal gem; one that should be treasured and valued for a long time. Not to mention it requires extra care and attention. Highly recommended for fans of Nightwish, Delain and Evergrey.
01. An Earthen Lament
02. Spirits Of The Trees
03. Ancient Soul
04. Black Wings
05. Your Dark Reign
06. Dawn Will Come
07. Hold Of Winter
08. Ghost In The Woods
09. Crumble To Dust
10. Soul To The Sea
Disclaimer: This review 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.
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.
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