EMQ’s with EMPTY FRIEND

EMQ’s with EMPTY FRIEND

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London, UK based, Grunge/Hard Rock band Empty Friend. Huge thanks to Dave Kirk and Karl Morgan 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?

Karl: I’m Karl, and I play drums for Empty Friend. Each of us in the band has his own take on our ‘origin story’, but here’s mine: I’d been playing punk, metal and rock with my friend and guitarist Ryan since we were teenagers. Then, in 2015, my friend and outstanding vocalist Dave and I both found ourselves without bands at the same time and put something together. We connected with Ryan and we were away. The current line-up was set in stone in 2016 when my friend and frequent collaborator on bass, Daverage, entered the fold. Since then we’ve just been writing songs, gigging, recording, and gigging some more!

Dave: Hey I’m Dave, and I’m frontman for the band. Me and Karl had got close through our old bands and we had been talking for ages about being in a band together. Our previous projects came to a natural end in 2014, and after a Soundgarden show that year we decided to make it happen. It’s been awesome being in a band with such good mates, who are, to a man, fantastic and experienced players too.

How did you come up with your band name?

Karl: Failure are one of my favourite bands ever, and when we were discussing possible names for the band, I looked at some Failure tracks for inspiration. ‘Empty Friend’ just seemed like a cool name for a band, in its own right, as well as serving as an affectionate and subtle nod to a band who’ve had an influence on myself, Ryan and Dave.

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

Karl: I’m from Dublin in Ireland, originally. Ryan and Davvers are 100% prime English beef, and Dave is a mysterious hybrid of Scottish, English, and other secret ingredients.

Dave: As a band we are based in London, England, and the metal, stoner and grunge scenes are all alive and well really. There are lots of good bands on the circuit, but it seems to be the venues that are struggling most of all.

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

Karl: That would be our EP, “Falter”, which came out about a month ago. It’s on Spotify, but if you feel like supporting an underground rock band, go to our Bandcamp page and buy it for whatever price you feel comfortable paying.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Karl: As well as Failure, I’d say one or all of us have been influenced by rock bands like: Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin, At the Drive-In, Metallica, Primus, RHCP, etc.

What first got you into music?

Karl: Growing up in Ireland I was exposed to a LOT of U2 from a young age. Now, while most people would describe that as a form of mild child abuse, I still maintain that their early material is outstanding! They were the first band I properly listened to, and the first band I ever saw live…at Wembley Stadium at the tender age of 8!

Dave: For me, it was my parents. My mum was folk singer, and my dad was a bass player (and choir singer), so I grew up with her playing shows and in cover bands later on with my dad. I grew up on rock classics, and before long I was getting up on stage doing Elvis songs at around 10. We did a certain amount of singing in church too, but there was always music playing at home. Queen, The Police, Elvis, Bob Dylan. I only seriously got into rock when I was a teenager in the early / mid 90s though, with the whole grunge wave.

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

Karl: I think it would be a bit boring to put another rock band here, wouldn’t it? It would be more interesting to collaborate with someone outside our genre and our comfort zone, so I’m gonna go with the amazing and strange Jaga Jazzist. Doing a collab with them would be INSANE.

Dave: Tough to give an insightful answer on this, but it would be pretty awesome to have Josh Homme or maybe Kim Thayil drop a solo on one of our tracks. We’re pretty focused on making our own music right now, but that would be insanely cool. Only if Ryan gave the ok though!

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

Karl: Predictable answer, of course, but it has to be Glastonbury. I’ve never been to it and going there for the first time as a performer instead of an attendee would be cool as hell!

Dave: Yeah for me it’s the same answer for different reasons. I’ve been 8 times as a fan and would love to be able to see the view from the Pyramid stage. It would be pretty emotional to do that, man.

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

Dave: In England we’re pretty old-fashioned! I think it would just be shots at the bar!

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

Karl: Thank you. If it weren’t for you guys, we’d be playing to an empty room.

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

Karl: Mac Miller. He might have been hip hop, but he was still a rock star (and he could shred on the guitar, by the way). I’d bring him back because he was taken from us far too soon.

Dave: For me it would Jimi Hendrix, beating Chris Cornell only by a whisker, as JH was simply not around long enough at all. I think he would have been a legend in any era. So original and ridiculously cool.

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

Dave: For me, playing on stage is the biggest privilege out there, and the greatest buzz. Also, the satisfaction of writing new material that tests all of us as a band. On the downside, it’s getting changed pre-gig in rank toilets all around London.

Karl: Playing live is definitely the highlight of being a musician, there’s nothing quite like it. The thing I like the least is having to lug my cymbals and snare drum on a crowded rush hour train!

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

Dave: I would want governments to support music venues a lot more. They are where tomorrow’s bands are honing their skills, and they are an important part of a country’s culture. They need tax breaks and more support.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Karl: Neil Young – “Harvest”

Dave: Soundgarden – “Superunknown”

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

Dave: I love the format of vinyl, and the artwork, but for convenience and quality, gonna say the humble CD!

Karl: I’m with Dave. It’s probably the 90’s nostalgia talking but the CD is king.

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

Karl: For me, a show we played last November sticks out in my mind as being the best. We shared the bill with an outstanding band from Holland called Black Monsoon, and the atmosphere in the crowd was just fantastic.

Dave: I think it was our December show at the Monarch for Camden Rocks. We had a great crowd, good sound, and we were really pumped. It felt great to be in full flight as a band, and to play for lots of neutral rock fans.

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

Dave: It’s so important for me psychologically, honestly, I think I would either be dead, living in a van, or living in some off-grid commune somewhere. Being a musician is literally the only thing that keeps me able to hold down a day job.

Karl: I’d probably do something like acting or stand-up. Something that involved taking a risk of some kind, and also sated that strange urge to perform.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Dave: Like celebrities? Living or dead? If we’re saying living, let’s say the Pope, Barack Obama, Beyonce, Flea, and my wife.

Karl: Thundercat, Alan Moore, Paul Rudd, Benny Greb, Patrick Stewart.

What’s next for the band?

Dave: Well, we’re already working on new material for a debut album before too long, but until that’s ready we will be working hard trying tour and play shows once this virus situation has passed.

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

Dave: We like Bandcamp the most, as it tends to be used by true music fans and gives a better share of sales!

If you check out our website www.emptyfriend.co.uk you can find all our other links there.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Dave: Unbelievably, this case was proven in UK courts at taxpayer expense. They are, legally, a cake. If you are saying ‘in my opinion’, I think they are eaten more as biscuits. If you are asking what the king of biscuits is, I’m gonna say Scottish shortbread or Oreos.

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

Dave: Thanks for yours man, and thanks for taking an interest in our music and what we’re about.

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 FINDING KATE

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EMQ’s with FINDING KATE

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London based, Rock/Alternative Solo Artist Finding Kate! Huge thanks to Kate for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Finding Kate and I am a solo artist based in London. I am Australian/Cypriot and moved to London about 5 years ago. My music is Alternative/Rock with undertones of Pop and in 2016 I released my debut album “If I Fall”. Now I have just released my new single called ‘I Feel Bad’, almost 3 years later! I sing and play the piano.

How did you come up with your stage name?

Well my name is actually Katerina but everyone calls me Kate! When I first started my career, I decided my artist name would just be KATE. Then I realised no-one could find me online – if you searched for Kate there were millions of results about Kate Bush, Kate Winslet, Kate Upton, Kate Middleton and never me :-(. Since no-one could find me, I decided to go with Finding Kate! True story!

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

I am from Australia and Cyprus. I grew up in Cyprus and I think there’s a pretty good metal scene there for the size of the country. I’ve discovered that there are a lot of metalheads scattered all around Cyprus! In general though, the music scene over there is not very big. There are limited venues to play at and almost no festivals around. We don’t have promoters or agents, it’s pretty much direct contact with venues which is both good and bad. It’s very different to the UK.

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

My latest single is called ‘I Feel Bad’ and it is available on all platforms! Also the video is out on my Youtube channel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppguXD6k9GU

Who have been your greatest influences?

My greatest influences are all within the Rock/Alternative world! Avril Lavigne, Flyleaf, Evanescence, The Pretty Reckless, Halestorm, Paramore – there are a lot of females that really inspire me. Also some of my newer discoveries like Deftones, Nothing But Thieves, Highly Suspect, PVRIS. I grew up listening to amazing bands like Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi, Linkin Park, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and more thanks to my dad’s musical tastes. I guess all of these artists/bands have influenced me in some way. 🙂

What first got you into music?

I remember seeing a piano tutor’s flyer on my parents’ car when I was about 11 and we decided I would try out piano lessons. Then I took vocal lessons and here I am today! I also think listening to all these different artists/bands I mentioned previously on a daily basis at home helped me really get into music.

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

Avril Lavigne!

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

Download or Rock Am Ring. I’m not sure which I’d choose. They both are huge in the Rock world and I love the fact that they are both quite diverse with their line-ups.

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

I haven’t received a gift yet. What am I doing wrong?!

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

Believe in yourself & keep going.

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

Chris Cornell. Chris has a special place in my heart.

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

I enjoy singing and playing the piano – I love creating music and letting go of little parts of me. I feel like with every note I sing or play I release things from inside me.
I hate how expensive certain gear is…hahaha.

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

That’s a tough one, I don’t know where to begin. I’ve been thinking about this question for the last few days but I don’t have a solid answer! I think overall the music industry causes a lot of pressure & stress to a lot of us. You have to put in a lot of work and most of the times you may not be seeing any results (well, visible results anyway). I wish the industry was easier to tackle from many different aspects. From a finance point of view all the way to social media and promotion. So, the one thing I’d change is how complicated the industry is! Haha.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Let Go” – Avril Lavigne.

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

I’ve never had vinyl before but I am interested in getting some in the future!
I personally love CD’s and CD artwork though. I much prefer them over downloads.

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

Probably back home in Cyprus at Ravens in 2015. I loved the atmosphere so much!

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

I think I would still be involved in the music industry, maybe within a label doing marketing, social media, promotions etc. Or maybe a make-up artist!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Amy Lee, P!nk, Lacey Sturm, Lizzy Hale and Taylor Momsen. They all seem like they’d be really cool to hang out with.
Sorry Avril, I don’t have space to invite you this time…

What’s next for you?

I have a series of singles ready to be released over the next few months. Eventually, they will go on an album, but there’s no rush for an album yet. The singles will hopefully set the ground for what is to follow from me! I am planning some more shows as well!

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

My website http://www.findingkatemusic.com has all my music, videos, tour dates etc. I am also on all the usual digital platforms like Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Deezer etc.
I use Instagram & Facebook the most out of all my social media – but wherever you search for me, you should be able to find me. Just type in ‘Finding Kate’ into Google!

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are biscuits and I am obsessed with them. I can eat so many of them in one go. I just stuff them whole in my mouth. Haha.

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

Thank you for the questions & for supporting independent artists such as myself.
Hope you like the new track. 🙂

 

Finding Kate

 

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 both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Dirty Thrills – Heavy Living

Heavy Living Cover

Dirty Thrills – Heavy Living
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 15/09/2017
Running time 45:00
Review by Vikkie “Queen of Rock” Richmond
8/10

It’s no secret that blues rockers Dirty Thrills have long since been a favourite of mine; I found them through twitter some time back and have followed their journey with interest.  Most noted for front man Louis James’ trademark soaring vocals and bassist Aaron Plows’ gurning, bendy performances on stage, the Thrills’ could be described as a modern-day Led Zeppelin.  However, they have a style all of their own so I was interested to hear this, their second full length offering.

Opening track “I’ll Be With You” kicks off with a heavy bass line and a dirty riff, with James’ vocals slinking in.  This is instant gratification if you’re a fan of bands such as Rival Sons, Deep Purple et al, but don’t think for a minute that Dirty Thrills don’t have a unique sound – this track gave me goosebumps when I first heard it.

“Go Slow” has a similar, almost seedy feel to it but features some epic vocals and sweet riffs, not to mention some pretty cool harmonica work.

From the slow and sexy tempo of “Hanging Around” to the thoughtful and rather lovely “Lonely Soul” and the semi instrumental interlude of, well, “Interlude”, this album exudes a smutty charm that is rarely seen these days. If I had a physical LP, it would be smouldering in my hands. From the big, big sounds of “The Brave” and back to picking up the pace with the very vocal “Rabbit Hole”, this does have something for everyone, although I can’t help but make comparisons with bands such as Rival Sons.  It’s inevitable, the style is comparable and these days, it is hard to be completely individual or ground breaking.

So, basically what we have here is a triumphant third release for the London quartet.  There is certainly evidence of a maturing sound, although I am surprised that “No Resolve” is featured again, having made its debut on the eponymously titled first album; perhaps it’s because it’s probably one of their most recognisable tracks as well as being a great song.

Dirty Thrills are clearly in their ascendancy; with a plethora of live shows under their collective belts, including very successful slots at this year’s Ramblin’ Man and Camden Rocks Festivals, the slow burn is starting to flare into something altogether more hot and out of control.  I say best of luck to them – they’re perky, hard-working chaps who deserve their break.

Stand out tracks:  Go Slow, Drunk Words, Get Loose

TRACKLISTING:
01. I’ll Be With You
02. Go Slow
03. Law Man
04. Hanging Around
05. Lonely Soul
06. No Resolve
07. Interlude
08. The Brave
09. Rabbit Hole
10. Drunk Words
11. Get Loose

LINKS:

Dirty Thrills band pic

Disclaimer:  This review is the sole property of Vikkie Richmond and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce any part of this review, unless you have the explicit permission of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and reported to the relevant authorities.