Ward XVI – Unplugged And Sedated EP Self-Released Release Date: 24/11/2020 Running Time: 23:45 Review by Simon Black 9/10
So, the thing is, this record wasn’t supposed to happen. Many acts have had to take all that 2020 had to give without the benefit of lubrication (which many may not survive), but it’s a double kicker when you are a self-produced act on the verge of something special and desperately need to get out on the road to spread the word. Judging by the fact that in the intervening time since last year’s quite sublime “Metamorphosis” album, Ward XVI have managed to get that album on a whole bunch of Top 10 articles as the year burned out (including my own), not to mention cropping up on a couple of top track listings too. This all seems to tell me that I am worrying needlessly – and quite right to, as I firmly believe that this bunch have the potential to go the distance. They’ve come a long way since their Bloodstock New Blood performance and have used that platform for exactly what it is intended to be – a springboard to better things. They’ve taken the ball, run with and it and are in the process of kicking it out of the park, whatever the world throws at them.
The band’s Facebook page had been debuting snippets of this on the run up to Christmas, and this EP finally landed before the year ended. At twenty-three minutes run time, it is short and sweet – consisting of five acoustic versions of previously released songs (four from “Metamorphosis” and one from 2017’s “The Art Of Manipulation”). It’s a release born of necessity, with lone acoustic guitar work from Dr Von Stottenstein and the most hauntingly beautiful vocal performance from Psychoberrie. What it also does is expose brilliantly the deeply rich and powerful song-writing that sits at the heart of this band, and it takes a moment for me to acknowledge that yes, this is the same Shock-Rock Metal band that I’ve been raving about for the last few months. The only negatives I can throw in the direction of this release (and I really am scraping the bottom of the barrel in even bothering) is that it is so short, as you really are left wanting more.
It’s 2021 and we’re all inmates now…
TRACKLISTING: 01. The Cradle Song 02. Burn The Witch 03. Daisy Chains 04. Shadows 05. Ward XVI
LINE-UP: Psychoberrie – Vocals and Lyrics Dr Von Stottenstein – Guitar
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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.
Before I hand you over to Simon for his Top Ten list and extras, I just wanted to thank him for putting this together so quickly. He is our newest writer so we are forgiving him for not ranking these in a particular order, we will make sure he does that next year 😊. Enjoy.
OK, so some statistics for 2020 first:
Albums Reviewed: 153 Web Sites Contributed To: 2 Live Gigs / Festivals Attended: 1 (Sob!) Live Streams Watched: 6 Pints of Beer Consumed: I couldn’t possibly comment. It has been a really odd year.
Having only got back into this whole reviewing thing at the start of this year, I was looking forward to catching a few more gigs along with the normal stuff, but the curse of 2020 meant that album reviews are all I have done so far. Not that I am ungrateful at the chance, as quite frankly this year seems to have been an absolute blinder for new music. The start of the year less so perhaps, as bands released material they already largely had in the can, but as the year wore on and musicians started adapting to the changes Covid-19 has wreaked upon the industry, the bands well and truly stepped up to the mark.
The albums that followed that turning point all seemed to step up a notch for me, as musicians rose to the challenge, worked out how to write, rehearse and record (sometimes with whole countries between the different members and indeed their producers). They turned that frustration and need to do something into a flurry of creative enthusiasm the likes of which I have not seen since the 1980’s. Some established acts chose to take a break during this – well, you snooze; you lose – plenty of new acts have stolen the thunder and they predominate in my top list this year.
So, a little about the methodology I have employed for my highlights.
The Top Of The Crop – Although I have reviewed over 150 releases this year, not all the items here are ones I had the opportunity to review at the time. There are three on here that I have discovered (either from other reviewers recommendation or blind chance), but if they are here it is because they are recordings that I have returned to a lot throughout the year when I perhaps should have been listening to new stuff from the review pile.
It was painful enough getting down to these albums, so deciding on any kind of pecking order was just too hard, which is why they are in alphabetical by band order.
Notable Mentions are largely records I gave a strongly favourable review to at the time, but which have not stayed on the platter for so long. Again, cracking albums in their own right, but up against tough competition, I have stuck with my consistency of a high volume of re-listens as being the deciding factor.
And then there’s the Should Have Known Better category. Well it only has one entry this year and this speaks for itself. It’s the only 1 out of 10 score I have given all year and that’s only because I wasn’t allowed to give it a zero.
Dynazty – The Dark Delight (April 2020)
These young Swedish Melodic High Octane Metallers have been at it a while, but having had the chance now to peruse the back catalogue, this is so far their magnum opus. From the catching refrains of Presence of Mind this album hooks you in – astounding vocals, catchy hooks and beautiful production, this album is a blast from start to finish. It was my first ten out of ten this year, and I stand by that decision:
Highlights: Presence of Mind From Sound To Silence The Man And The Elements
If someone had told me at the start of this year that one of the best Symphonic Metal records I was likely to ever hear hailed from Doncaster I would have raised more than a sardonic eyebrow (especially as Brits I would have expected them to spell ‘Fibre’ correctly). When that’s the only complaint you have about a record, you know you are onto a winner. Revitalised by the addition of new lungsman and multi-instrumentalist Iggy Rodriguez, who has well and truly pulled them out of the doldrums after a five-year break, with one of the most amazing records I have ever had the privilege to review.
Highlights: Railrunner Fiber Of Our Being Remnants of a Dying Star
I’ve been seeing a lot about these guys on my social media feed (who hail from my home town of Nottingham) for a while. And quite deservedly too. They’ve been at it for a decade, having produced a couple of EP’s and an LP up to this point, with plenty of buzz on their live shows, athough it’s been a few years since that first full record was released. At this point, many bands start to lose their mojo, but Incinery are absolutely flying on all cylinders for this album. It’s clearly born from a love of 80’s Thrash, but it’s also as modern as hell and straddles those forty years effortlessly, bringing the same breathless energy that made me start listening to that stuff all those decades ago. Both pure Underground, but crisp with the richness that maturity brings, this album is an absolute triumph.
I’m going to say this again and damn the abuse. Nightwish sound at their best with Floor Jansen on the mike. I missed the whole Tarja Turunen period, and whilst I don’t deny that her replacement was somewhat lacking in the delivery department, Jansen is another kettle of fish entirely. Her sheer power, range and eclectic delivery are way above and beyond what has gone before, and on this release she is absolutely allowed to shine. But this whole album feels like one where all the other members seem to have been allowed to show their wares and showcase their abilities, whilst still sounding like a cohesive whole. Well, when bandleader and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen has been allowed to indulge himself with a whole second disk of progressive and largely instrumental experimentation, then letting the others have a little more free reign was inevitable. And wasn’t it worth letting Troy Donockley fly in The Harvest, which feels like the distillation of Levellers in a pint jar of Nightwish mead. The consequence is what feels like Nightwish’s strongest album to date.
This one may have landed the most recently, but judging from the complaints from my family to please play something different, this Swedish bunch of Melo-Rockers are here to stay. The dark cover of a plague masked medieval medic and the gloomy title coming at the end of a year of pandemic belies what is actually an incredible uplifting album. This year seems to have been a great one for Swedish bands, and this piece absolutely deserves a wider audience. It’s catchy, it’s lively, it’s quirky, it has some blistering guitar work hidden away in there and one of the most charismatic frontmen I’ve heard in a while. It’s also a consistently good record, and one that I can listen to throughout, effortlessly. My only regret was only giving them a nine out of ten on initial review, as I think it really deserved top marks.
Sole Syndicate – Last Days Of Eden (November 2020)
Another band who absolutely get the balance between Retro and Modern are Sweden’s Sole Syndicate. My, that country is riding consistently high in my top ten this year. This is a thoroughly on-target slab of Modern Melodic Metal, with enough of a Hard Rock groove to make it accessible to the ‘Not We’. It’s open, free and has an effortless groove and some of the catchier tracks to make my top spot, judging by the fact that two of them found their way to the top of my Spotify playlist this year as well. These guys really deserve a wider audience, so go on, you know what to do.
Highlights: Glory Days We Came To Rock When Darkness Calls
If you know me, you know that with one or two notable exceptions, I hate, loath and detest the vast majority of anything associated with the Nu-Metal movement. I spent most of that decade in denial with my fingers in my ears waiting for the likes of Priest and Maiden to swallow their collective pride and reform, and Static-X consequently passed me by. Which is a shame, as the Industrial Metal hybrid would probably have caught me ear had I heard it. So, with some trepidation that the surviving members of the band (even though they had been kicked out in the past) had raided the archive for unreleased material, and rustled up a stand-in, in a dead skin mask of Wayne Static, I gave it a go. …And promptly found that they had produced what could be their greatest recording, which like everything else about this incarnation of the band is downright bizarre. But it works.
Highlights: Worth Dying For All These Years Bring You Down
These Canadian Power Metallers were the unexpected highlight of this year’s European Metal Festival Alliance / Bloodstock Substitute and despite having the least impressive performance space to work from in the form of somebody’s rather cluttered garage, went on to give the stand out performance of the whole event for me. The album followed shortly after, and has been consistently played throughout the rest of the year. Epic, powerful, moody, occasionally technically outstanding and downright brilliant, these guys (and gal) have gone from this year’s ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’ to a top-notch bone fide hit.
Highlights: Abyss Faster Than Light The Wind That Shapes The Land
One of the things I love about the Bloodstock Festival is the New Blood Stage. For those outside of the UK, this is the culmination of a year’s worth of regional competition for a slot on the bill at this prestigious event – in a tent entirely dedicated to the winners. Sadly, for many, this becomes the pinnacle of their career. Dozens of bands have earned that slot, had a blast on the day and then faded away. A few use it for what it is intended to be – an opportunity, to be taken and run with, and Ward XVI have definitely done that. Having stormed the UK with their insanely avant-garde stage shows, this Preston-based bunch of shock rockers have well and truly delivered with this, their second LP – a powerful and disturbing concept piece on the singer’s alter ego – Psychoberrie (think Alice Cooper with corpse paint). It’s simultaneously dark, disturbing, accessible and fun, and four months in I still absolutely love it.
Highlights: Broken Toys Imago Catch Me If You Can Shadows
As I have said, it has been a really good year for music. So much so that I could not let the following go without worthy mentions:
AC/DC – Power Up Annihilator – Ballistic Sadistic Avatar – Hunter Gatherer Cats In Space – Atlantis Onslaught – Generation Antichrist Ozzy Osborne – Ordinary Man Primal Fear – Metal Commando Scarlet – Obey The Queen Smackbound – 20/20 Twister – Cursed & Corrected
Should Have Known Better:
Danzig – Sings Elvis And don’t we wish that he hadn’t…
To read the original reviews, where available, follow these links:
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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.
Hello to you all, It’s me. Here are my top ten releases of 2020. I think this is the toughest time I’ve ever had choosing. Unless you’ve been living under a rock then 2020 has been an incredibly strange year and being at home so much has meant that I’ve listened to even more albums than I usually do Even though I don’t get much chance to write anymore, it’s safe to say, that the quality of music this year, under difficult circumstances, has been mesmerising.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the whole Ever Metal Team for their continuing hard work, all the bands/artists who create the music that we love so much, all the record labels, PR/Management companies, Radio Stations, Venues and Festivals we work with and to each and every one of you who likes, shares, listens, comments and follows Ever Metal on our various platforms. This is a labour of love and, without you, we wouldn’t have an audience, and neither would the bands.
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays, and let us hope 2021 is a little kinder!
To read the original reviews, where available, follow these links:
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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.
Welcome to Sheri’s top ten releases of 2020. Sheri is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. Apart from being hugely passionate about our scene and music, she is so friendly, caring and always there for her friends, even though she’s had a tough year herself. It doesn’t matter how down you are; Sheri always makes you smile. Her lovely nature means she is excellent at interviews and she has become my interview guru, always managing to get the best out of people, in a year where the nearest we have been able to get to most bands, is on Zoom. We can look forward to many more of those. I am incredibly lucky that she is a part of Ever Metal and my friend. Thanks Sheri.
To read the original reviews, where available, follow these links:
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Interview with Psychoberrie and Dr Von Stottenstein of WARD XVI By Sheri Bicheno
I was so happy to be able to sit down recently and talk to UK based Avent-Garde, Theatrical/Horror Rock/Metal band WARD XVI to get an insight into their music and concept behind their art. Ginger and lemon tea at the ready, I pressed the Skype button and was greeted by two familiar painted faces, Psychoberrie (Kerrie – Vocals) and Dr Von Stottenstein (David – Guitars)! WARD XVI, based in Lancashire, tell us all about their fabulous new album “Metamorphosis”, the concept of the band, the Whittingham Asylum and how the music has unexpected twists. They also go back to their roots and explain the meanings of their music below the surface.
Sheri: We know that the name WARD XVI was inspired by Whittingham Hospital and the disturbing reports surrounding the Asylum. For our readers, let’s explore a bit on what drew you to this and how it represents you as Artists?
Psychoberrie: We spent quite a long time finding a name for the band at first, because the story element was in place but then we couldn’t agree what to call it and one day I was reading on the internet and I found the Asylum which is based near us – Whittingham Asylum – where there was some horrific abuse that took place there and the worst of which was on Ward 16.
Sheri: So that’s how it came to light?
Dr Von Stottenstein: And you thought you’d have it with Roman Numerals so that forever and ever we would have our name said in different ways, mispronounced haha.
Psychoberrie: Hahaha just to make it hard for people to find us on social media…
Dr Von Stottenstein: Bring the Roman Numerals back! Haha
Sheri: I was gonna say the Roman Numerals are a good input because it confuses people but in a good way…education! Hahaha.
Psychoberrie: Hahaha yeah!
Sheri: As theatrical artists, you have a concept to the band and your brilliant live performances. Tell our readers about what expression on stage means to you and how you put your message across?
Dr Von Stottenstein: It means quite a lot to be honest. I think, myself and some of the other members of the band, they’ve been influenced in the past by bands that dress up like idiots haha. Or like Iron Maiden or Alice Cooper – Artists that aren’t just turning up in jeans, there’s a concept to it. It’s almost like it’s 3D – I know music shows are 3D anyway but it feels like there’s more of a bridge between ourselves and whoever’s in the crowd and it’s easier to bring the crowd into the stage show. For me personally, I’m quite boring in real life…
Sheri: Surely not!!
Dr Von Stottenstein: At first I was quite worried about putting face paint on and things like that and then it actually…well, when you get to the gig, to be able to become somebody else and disassociate yourself! When I’ve been in bands in the past where you just wear T-shirt and jeans and whatever, it’s hard to become who you are on stage and then come back off stage to the same person. So, at first, I was hiding behind the mask and I became more liberated on stage to become someone a bit freer, to express how I felt. In the 7-8 years I’ve been in the band, I actually almost feel like this is me now and when I go to work in the suit and whatever, that’s the alter ego. When I feel stressed the first thing I wish is that I had my face paint on. So, it’s like a front in terms of who I really am.
Sheri: So everyday life sort of thing…
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah.
Sheri: Understood. What about you, Kerrie?
Psychoberrie: I think I’ve just always wanted to be in the ultimate form of entertainment sort of thing. Because I think it’s best to appeal to as many senses as you can. The whole point of doing it is to entertain all the people that listen to it and all the people that watch it so rather than just being auditory, you’ve got something to watch as well, it’s entertaining.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, It has evolved in the last 5 or 6 years because at the beginning we were all just dressed up in random masks and face paint and it really didn’t mean anything, it was just like a gimmick really although the seeds of the concept was there, there was no uniformity to it, it was everybody just dressing up and it was hard to get engagement either from the band members or the people that would come into see us and then go away because we wouldn’t be able to associate it with anything. So we slowly started to build a story as we got along towards the first album and it’s got to a point when we started to record the second album that it was like an identity and there was a storyline that was then ready to be created and developed even more.
Sheri: So, there’s an ongoing concept to you guys. When I think of WARD XVI, I don’t put your sound into a label or box, you cover a lot of genres and don’t conform to just one… you’ve got different elements to your style – how would you describe your sound to those that are starting their own journey with you?
Psychoberrie: That’s one of the questions we’ve always struggled to answer which is why we came up with Avent-Garde Theatrical Rock, we didn’t actually want to put ourselves in a box cuz we’re trying to represent what that story is about in that particular song so…
Dr Von Stottenstein: Well it’s funny isn’t it because going back to being liberated by the face paints and all that – we don’t actually force ourselves into writing in a different way, we don’t go “We’re gonna write this bit dark and we’re not gonna write this bit like Eastern European or whatever – we’re not good enough musicians to do that…”
*I pull a frowny face*
Dr Von Stottenstein: No, no, but we’re not technically and theoretically good enough, we blag it haha! So, we kinda jam stuff and then because we like so many different types of music, it just falls into place. So it means that we cannot be tied to quite a narrow tool when we’re writing music…and to be fair, when we wrote this album, because there’s a few more of us writing this album than there were writing the first one, I thought it was very much more focused and the range of music was a lot narrower…but we’ve been told that it’s actually even broader than it was in the first one which surprised me and made me happy.
Sheri: I felt that too! Let’s briefly talk about your first album “The Art of Manipulation”, which was released in 2017 – the concept to this was of a psychopathic woman manipulating a man into killing her for her own pleasure. In the album, it speaks as if it’s in the first person, we can see this in tracks such as ‘Take My Hand’, ‘Blackened Heart’ and the title track – however ‘Crystal Ball’ is different to the others, which indicates another side to the story telling. Can you broaden on that at all?
Dr Von Stottenstein: We’ve never been asked that question before! Haha.
Psychoberrie: Haha! That one’s about him – he’s going to see a fortune teller and he is warned against her so I think that’s a part of the story that just was needed for someone to tell him “This person is really bad.” But not for him to completely ignore them because he’s got his rose-tinted glasses on.
Sheri: I love that track, it’s one of my favourites actually because it comes from another person’s perspective. There are a lot of different emotions in “The Art of Manipulation”. The one that stands out to me is ‘Hold Me’ which shows a glimpse of inner recognition and clarity in a warped kind of way, like an ocean of sadness – it makes the listener sympathise with her which ultimately, could be the most dangerous track on this album, so to speak. What are your thoughts?
Psychoberrie: I think that’s bang on to be honest because that would be the intention really, would be to get everyone to feel sorry for her and for her to use it as a form of manipulation.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, it’s almost like Stockholm Syndrome – but it’s funny because we get that almost like the ‘Every Breath You Take’ similarities. People have told us that they love the song and we’ve had it at weddings and like really romantic parties and it’s actually quite a sinister song haha. People think it’s actually something that’s a just position to what the actual music’s about.
Sheri: You brought out a new album on 25th September! “Metamorphosis” and I have to say, from my perspective, this album is much darker in some ways! You’re still true to your touch on theatrics and exploring the deep corners of the mind. I feel this is a follow up to Psychoberrie’s story in “The Art of Manipulation”?
Both: Yes, it’s a sequel-prequel haha.
Psychoberrie: If we follow the timeline of the interviewer, it’s all about what order of the questions he’s gonna ask and the first album is asking about some events that have taken place before she’s locked up and talking to him. But in this one, he wants to find out why she is the way she is. The only place you can go is right back to the beginning.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, so it’s a flashback So the first story is the prequel, and the second story is the sequel haha.
Sheri: So, we’re taken back essentially to find out why she is the way she is. That’s brilliant.
Dr Von Stottenstein: We’re twisting it to the point where in the first one she’s just a random nutter haha
Psychoberrie: Haha. Yeah, we’ve had to kind of flip and turn it on its head.
Dr Von Stottenstein: But yeah, at the end of this, what the hope, is that you go “Well if it was me, would I have done the same kind of thing?” and really empathise!
Sheri: Yeah, it makes you think.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, she’s ruined. (To Kerrie) You’ve ruined Psychoberrie for me haha.
Sheri: I’m looking forward to what else you’ve got in store for her because I feel like this is not the end…
Dr Von Stottenstein: Nope! Once the nervous breakdown has finished from writing this one, we’ll start writing the next one.
Sheri: When we enter into this album, one of the first tracks, ‘The Cradle Song’, which is another of my favourites on the new album, shows a depth of songwriting that is displayed through this album that touches on the emotional and I want to say – a somewhat mysterious connection to mentality – in both lyrics and composition. How do you decide on your songwriting and what makes it all come together?
Psychoberrie: With that particular song, it started with the music box at the beginning because I’ve always been obsessed with the idea that the first song on the album would take you back to childhood with the music that you hear, so I wanted to kind of mimic maybe a children’s mobile or the kind of sounds that you would hear as a child – even if you took the introduction away that’s at the beginning, you would know that that’s what happened. So, with that particular song, that’s where we started it and we built the rest of the song from that introduction.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, it was quite easy after that. I know we had this idea in mind of having almost like an idea of waltzing around the baby, so that could be quite easy to come up with that polka type of feel. But I thought it would end up quite a bit heavier, but it ended up being quite power ballad like.
Sheri: Yes, it is powerful!
Dr Von Stottenstein: Which surprised me because we didn’t expect it to go that direction, it just did.
Sheri: But you’re happy with it?
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah… the baby is on it as well!
Sheri: That’s brilliant! In terms of your songwriting how do you piece it together? Kerrie, do you write the lyrics and does someone come up with another part or is it something you all piece together?
Psychoberrie: A mixture of different things. On the last album it was very much the band was jamming and I was having to cram in lyrics to whatever they had done, but with this album a lot of the songs came as the lyrics were first so it was mainly me and David working on it…
Dr Von Stottenstein: Who’s David? Hahaha.
Psychoberrie: Martin was doing the keys so we were demoing at home and jamming at the Room so we really structured it around the story, and it really enabled us to put a lot more thought into the direction of the song. So, Dr Von Stottenstein had come up with an intro or something like that and it would lead into how it goes…
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, we discovered home computers and home studio and we didn’t do it with the first one, the first one was bodged, really, all put together jamming. But this one we could just be really pre-meditated and record a demo all the way through and see if it worked and if the sound was good – you could just listen to it just like an normal album, you can pick out flaws then quite well.
Psychoberrie: I think last time I would come up with vocal ideas but then I would be going to a room and expecting people to just be able to jam. I think putting music underneath vocals is something that a lot of people find quite hard to do.
Dr Von Stottenstein: But I like to have an idea of what the mood is so that I can then write it in that mentality, where Psychoberrie likes to have the guitars first sometimes and it’s kinda finding a happy medium to it.
Psychoberrie: I don’t like to have a whole song in place, sometimes maybe just an intro because that would then set the mood and inspire some of the lyrics. Because what I don’t want to do is get caught in the trap of singing in the same key and then the same chord progression, where I can hear a different chord progression, I can think of something a bit different.
Dr Von Stottenstein: It’s also luck, loads of luck really. You never think of what it’s going to be like…
Psychoberrie: It’s just natural.
Dr Von Stottenstein: A lot of it, we didn’t put a lot of effort into writing some of the music. We practised a lot and we worked hard on it, but we didn’t really strain ourselves, we didn’t get writers block or anything like that, it just flowed out…
Sheri: It went pretty smooth?
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, it felt a lot more natural than it did last time.
Psychoberrie: It went a lot easier working with less people and I always thought that would make the music less eclectic. What we didn’t want was to lose how random our music is, it incorporates a lot of different genres so I just thought with less minds working on it, it would end up becoming too narrow.
Dr Von Stottenstein: But because we got two minds on it, we’ve got the double psychotic similarities haha.
Sheri: Partner’s in crime! Hahaha. You have a different ambience on this album, you have some melodies that really take you through to a realm of longing and sadness, like ‘Shadows’ and then there are tracks such as ‘Mister Babadook’ that are heavier and more fast paced and also ‘Broken Toys’ which is more fun, fast and upbeat. When you do come to song writing, how do you decipher which feeling fits with the way you are heading on a particular track?
Psychoberrie: I think it’s because we said that we needed this album to be the darkest album as the subject is dark, but it’s also got to be childlike, I think! With ‘Broken Toys’ I always wanted to do a prequel to the song ‘Toy Box’ which is on the first album so I wanted to tie into the Toy Box theme when she’s an adult and the reason why she goes to that when she’s grown up is because that was her safe place when she was a baby. We kind of tied it together in that way so there’s different thought’s behind every one of then I think.
Dr Von Stottenstein: You just added so much to it! When we wrote ‘Shadows’ I never expected it to be as powerful as it is. I knew it was meant to build up and build up to some kind of crescendo, but the lyrics are just phenomenal…
Psychoberrie: I think where ‘Shadows’came from is the idea that we wanted the last song on every album to have their own storyline so it’s always going to be about a time when she was in the Asylum so, it was always gonna be the last song wasn’t it?
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, but again, there was nothing pre-meditated about what made ‘Mister Babadook’ heavy, it was just you’d written it in B, and I thought “Oh! I need a new guitar, I’m gonna buy a seven string”!
Psychoberrie: Yeah because I learnt the piano piece with no understanding of the bearing on what that would have on him playing the guitar haha and he was playing along with it and because he had a six string, he was playing stuff that was really high and it just didn’t work – so he had to buy a new guitar hahaha.
Sheri: Hahaha. Perfect excuse for a new guitar!
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah! Haha!
Sheri: Your daughter is featured in the video for your single ‘Mister Babadook’! Did she enjoy being part of the visual side of WARD XVI?
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, she’s also the voice at the beginning of the song! She enjoyed it too much haha. She was in trouble for it because she was meant to look scared, but she just laughed all the way through it haha. I was worried it might traumatise her a little bit but she’s seen us dressed like this for so many years and she’s drawn pictures of us and the original ‘Toy Box’ video, there’s a bit of it where there are cartoon characters dancing, they drew them. So, I think they’ve always seen that, and I was worried it would be frightening for her but because she’s had so much time watching us do what we do and everything, she loved it! It makes it a lot more emotional for me to watch the video. I feel kind of like she’s vulnerable and I’m you know…haha
Psychoberrie: Hahaha you’ve got to go and save your own daughter haha.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah haha!
Sheri: She must have probably felt safe because it was you guys you know?
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, I’m not too sure I’d like someone else pulling her under the bed haha. She was really good. She’s only nine and so when you look back and watch the videos, she’s so sincere in walking around, she took so much interest in what everyone was doing so…
Psychoberrie: And that candle was red hot wasn’t it? She was holding it all the time and it was burning her arm, but she was persevering, she was saying “No, I’m alright.” Hahaha!
Dr Von Stottenstein: Don’t say that…don’t say that we burnt our own child, you never know who might be reading hahaha!
Psychoberrie: Hahaha. It wasn’t like 3rd degree burns haha.
Sheri: Resilience hahaha. Bless her haha! Does she portray Psychoberrie in ‘Mister Babadook’? I want to say that there are pieces on “Metamorphosis” that take us back to Psychoberrie’s past…
Psychoberrie: Yeah that’s exactly what it was, when we went to do the video, I didn’t want to play Psychoberrie, it wouldn’t make any sense, it’s supposed to be a young Psychoberrie so…
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, it was her timeline, her pathway from childhood to then so the videos will hopefully show the story, they’re obviously a single on their own but the intention is that if we were have to cancel every gig, we would get a video for every song and there should almost be a theatric timeline so it’s almost like a theatre show rather than stand-alone music videos.
Sheri: So, you would be able to piece all the music videos together and it comes out as one story – it’s very clever hahaha!
Dr Von Stottenstein: We’re just blagging it haha We just need to make it so – we’re skint now! Hahaha. We’re broke.
Sheri: I don’t know many Artists that do that kind of approach, it’s really quite clever.
Dr Von Stottenstein: There’s a few bands that are doing that, the likes of Avatar. Avatar have been doing things like that, they’re last album was so amazing, and their concept was amazing. We cheat a little bit because we do talk to people as they seem to do, they seem to immerse themselves, like Ghost do too, they do the same so I think it’s having confidence in the story and portraying a storyline with theatre that the music comes alongside to it. That makes us a little bit different to other bands that kind of do what we do. We are fully in the concept, it’s all in the story and I think the hardest thing for us to do really…
Psychoberrie: Paying for it hahaha.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Other than paying for it, when you’ve got 30 or 40 minutes to do the show, we still want to show the timelines and show the narrative and sometimes it’s very difficult, especially if people are just wandering in and out and don’t necessarily know the story so it can look like there’s a gimmick cuz there’s some crazy woman running around with a chainsaw, it’s all part of the album storyline and it’s trying different ways to still portray that and allow people to know that there’s context to it, that it’s almost like a trailer to a film. Where you can see the unabridged version of something like that when you listen to the album.
Sheri: So, it needs to be obvious that it’s part of the story when you’re on stage.
Dr Von Stottenstein: We’ve got an actor on stage with us, he hands out sort of like newspapers with the storyline in it so people can read it – so it’s almost like going to a theatre and getting a programme. We’ve started to do that because it allows people to piece together what the story is without needing to really pay a lot of attention whilst they’re getting drunk and bouncing around everywhere haha.
Sheri: It’s more fun to watch you though hahaha
Psychoberrie: I think people just put it in their pocket and read it when they get home and are like “oh that’s what it’s about!” hahahaha.
Sheri: I think it’s a clever concept and because it’s something you have to keep to as well so… I imagine that when there’s a later release, it’s going to be quite a long process of that concept on stage because it is like obviously watching a band and their music but also a theatre.
Dr Von Stottenstein: That’s the thing, I don’t usually like musicals!
Sheri: You have our friend John Badger on the drums and Russ from Footprints In The Custard joining you on guest vocals for ‘Shadows’! How easy was it for everyone to collaborate during this pain of a year?
Dr Von Stottenstein: We finished recording two days before lockdown.
Psychoberrie: I was just thinking it was another Swine Flu when we were in the studio…
Dr Von Stottenstein: We finished recording something like 9 o’clock on the Friday night and then Sunday night it was announced that lockdown happened, and I was just going into shielding, so we were really really lucky! It was difficult because our producer couldn’t get to the studio
…he had to shield a little bit as well and that pushed things back, but it allowed me and Psychoberrie 24 hours a day for 5 months to really really just go mental on it.
Psychoberrie: The artwork on it, I put a lot more effort into because normally it’s just me coming home after work and the last thing I wanna do is get on the computer and do the same thing I’ve been doing all day at work. So, this one I could just focus on it 100% and I enjoyed doing it.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah you did all the merch, all the PR and everything like that. We were sitting in the sun and it was just nice to spend time with my family and do what I love to do. Now it’s out, we can’t actually go out and sell it so it’s like OHHHH!
Sheri: I mean, there’s only so much that social media can do isn’t there…
Dr Von Stottenstein: We’re trying to do things a little bit different like running competitions and things like that just to make it a little bit less spammy which can be really difficult because Facebook have just completely closed all up the algorithms so it’s just been hard for everybody. Not just us, it’s not like we are going to lose our livelihood through it, other people are but it’s obviously something that we love, and we want people to enjoy it.
Sheri: What are your next plans for WARD XVI?
Psychoberrie: We’ve got the album coming out, so fingers crossed the album launch on 30th January. We’re hoping to also do a tour so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for that one.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, we really want to do a UK tour where we can take it up and down the country so we’re hopeful, but we are realistic. We were meant to be launching a gig tomorrow- but if we can do January with Footprints in the Custard, then Pulverise at Manchester Academy then that would be ace but if we can’t then we will just have to be responsible and try to find an alternative and find something else to keep momentum. I think we will probably have to think laterally what else to do. Because it’s quite difficult.
Dr Von Stottenstein: We’ve been offered to do so many virtual gigs and things like that, which is ace – but because it’s a show, we need people interactive within it, it’s become very difficult you know, we can’t just get in front of the camera and do it, it takes a bit more for us to do that – a bigger stage and things. Fingers crossed though!
Sheri: It will happen, and I think it’s part and parcel of testing these things out.
Dr Von Stottenstein: We’re all in it together though aren’t we so…I think it has brought people closer together. Hopefully when the scene opens up again, the scene is going to be so desperate for it, they’ll probably appreciate it more than what it was before.
Sheri: Absolutely. And people are going to be wanting to get out to them as well.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Venues were shutting down before COVID happened so fingers crossed it’s made people more of aware of what they’re missing.
Sheri: Any advice you can give to other artists?
Dr Von Stottenstein: Yeah, keep the faith! You only have to look at Van Halen and his death where it was completely uniting a scene that was 2 days before kicking off and were becoming almost tribal. The music is beloved no matter what… and people love playing it or people love listening to it, they love being a community based upon it. And we can’t lose that… if we can’t perform it live, then we all need to find ways to keep the scene moving and keep it positive and just be happy that we are still able to create music – we just might have to do it in a different way. It’s a hard time but hard times bring good things with it too. Even just really good ideas and really good things to the scene that no one anticipated. Power to the people haha!
Sheri: Thank you so much guys, it’s been lovely to talk to and see you!
WARD XVI: Thank you!
WARD XVI’s new album “Metamorphosis” is out now and receiving fantastic reviews.
Read Beth’s full review of the album here:
More Information on WARD XVI can be found at the following links:
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno 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.
Ward XVI – Metamorphosis Metal Rocka Recordings Release Date: 25/09/2020 Running Time: 49:43 Review by Beth Jones 9.5/10
Well hello there my fellow crazy fiends. Now, those who know me will know I’m a fairly measured soul, and I’ve also been referred to as ‘the shy and retiring type’, even demur (pahahaha)! But those who know me well, will know that underneath this cleverly disguised exterior, I have a darker, more deranged side, that’s held back for special occasions. And this is one of those occasions, so please forgive my musings. Getting the chance to become an inmate on Ward XVI at Whittingham Asylum is something quite appealing to me. And getting admitted here is simple. You only have to share in the joy of the deranged, unhinged and slightly peculiar. And that is something I can definitely do!
The latest wing of Ward XVI – “Metamorphosis” – is about to open, and us lucky special inmates get to have a sneak peak, and tell you what it’s like! I’m afraid that I was admitted to the ward fairly recently, so missed the arrival of the other wings, and am now exploring them out of order, Tarantino style, apparently! But I’ve been told, that if you explore them all in order of their creation, you can see how they all fit together!
So, what’s it like here in “Metamorphosis”? Well, as you would expect from Ward XVI, it’s conceptual and follows a theme. It’s a chilling and macabre circus of the mind. The kind you dream about after too much cheese late at night. Its haunting accordion melodies conjure images of deranged, black and white striped clowns doing odd things with organs – and not the sort of organs you can play… At least not without draining the blood from them and drying them substantially first. This is backed up by the solid rhythms and riffs, and some pretty trippy electro work. Get the probes out nurse, I’m ready for my lobotomy!
The first sounds you are hit with upon entering “Metamorphosis” are that of a conversation between doctor and client, setting the scene of the decent into evil madness, the reasons for which will become clearer as we move along. This leads into ‘The Cradle Song’, which paints the picture of where the madness started. A lullaby with a dark twist, complete with ominous music box sounds. The haunting melodies and guitar work here set the mournful tone.
As you move along the twisting corridors of “Metamorphosis”, the bitterness stemming from years of neglect sing out, with Psychoberrie’s vocals delivering all the disturbing tones and nuances you would expect from one so deranged. This is pummelled further into your brain with the freak circus melodies, strange ambient sounds, and the measured work on guitars, and ska inspired bass and drums that sit below the melody.
I think my favourite area of this new wing is ‘Shadows’. It’s melancholy and disturbing, and finalises this new chapter in a perfectly dark way. Its message is sorrowful, and its lilting melody matches the hurt within the walls of the asylum…
In case you didn’t understand any of that, here’s the important bit! If you like to be taken on a theatrical journey into the madness of despair, in the style of Alice Cooper or Avatar, then Ward XVI, and this new album, are for you. It brings another level of depth and depravity to their ‘Shock Rock’ style, both musically and production wise, it’s masterfully handled. The instrumentation is ingenious, mixing ska style off beats and classic rock riffs. The use of sound effects, as well as spoken word, and some operatic and harsh vocals, add to the drama, darkness and madness throughout. Lyrically this disturbing concept album creates a deep and sorrowful picture, that draws you in from the very start. Terrifyingly beautiful, or beautifully terrifying? I’ll let you decide. Until the next chapter, inmates. Stay safe…And don’t let the shadows bite…
TRACKLISTING: 01. Retrogression 02. The Cradle Song 03. Mister Babadook 04. Daisy Chains 05. Broken Toys 06. Imago 07. A Goodnight Shot 08. Burn The Witch 09. Catch Me If You Can 10. The Verdict 11. Shadows
LINE-UP: Psychoberrie – Vocals and Lyrics Dr Von Stottenstein – Guitar Wolfy Huntsman – Bass
Guest Appearances ‘Retrogression’: The Psychiatrist – Chris Barton ‘Verdict’: The Judge – Steve Walker Drums -John Badger Martin Crawley – Keyboards & Accordion Anabelle Iratni – Operatic Vocals Russ Custard – Guest Vocals: ‘Shadows’
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.
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Whittingham Asylum based Theatrical Avant-Garde Rock band, Ward XVI. Huge thanks to all of them for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us about the history of the band?
Psychoberrie: I’m Psychoberrie, lead vocalist. We formed in 2013 although it took a few years to find our footing as we had a few line-up changes in the beginning. We released a 4 track EP in 2015 and then our debut album in 2017 and that same year we progressed through the Metal 2 the Masses competition to bag ourselves a slot on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock. On the back of that success we went on to tour with Doyle of the Misfits and played many other festival slots including Amplified, Hammerfest, Hard Rock Hell, Breaking Bands and SOS to name a few. We now have a sturdy following of inmates all around the UK. We took a short break from touring towards the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 to write and record our follow-up to ‘The Art of Manipulation’ which is called “Metamorphosis” and will be released on 25th September. We also recently signed to Hard Rock Hell’s label Metal Rocka, a new sister label to Off Yer Rocka and we’re looking forward to what the future has in store.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Guitar
Wolfy Huntsman: I play the bass and the Doyle tour was my audition for the band. I was a huge fan of them for years before I joined as well.
The Badger: Drums
How did you come up with your band name?
Psychoberrie: Back in the 1960’s there were reports of cruelty and mistreatment which took place at Whittingham Hospital, a psychiatric hospital based near our hometown of Preston. The worst of which took place on Ward 16 which was an all-female ward.
Whilst this helped inspire the concept it is only based loosely around the ward at Whittingham as the story revolves around Ward XVI for the criminally insane which is completely fictional.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Psychoberrie: We’re from the North West, based in Preston. The Metal/Rock scene has always been fairly good in Preston; however much like the rest of the UK more and more live venues keep closing and the Rock/Metal club nights have ceased. There used to be a great club called The Warehouse which had 3 floors of Rock/Metal and Punk; however, if you venture there nowadays, you’ll find 3 floors of dance and hip hop. I’m not sure why they decided to switch to playing the same music as every other club as it was always busy, and it still has the same owners.
Wolfy Huntsman: I’m from the North West of England and where I live there are two small pubs for cover bands and small gigs but if I want to see a bigger band or go to a metal bar I’ve got to travel 2 1/2 hours to Manchester.
The Badger: Manchester, I think it’s one the strongest underground scenes in the UK.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Psychoberrie: “Metamorphosis” is available for pre-order now and our first single from the album will be released soon. Our last single from our debut album was ‘Hold Me’ which was released in February last year. It can be found on all music platforms and the lyric video by Andy Pilkington of Very Metal Art can be found over on our YouTube channel. Just search ‘Ward XVI Hold Me’
Who have been your greatest influences?
Psychoberrie: Alice Cooper, Guns n Roses, Alter Bridge, Skindred.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith was and is my number one inspiration, but Richie Sambora, Dave Gilmour, Steve Rothery, and Mark Knopfler initially.
Through the years I started to like more technical players like Kee Marcello, Nuno Bettencourt George Lynch, Steve Vai, Jason Becker and Mark Tremonti from Creed and Alterbridge etc…
Wolfy Huntsman: Guthrie Govan as he’s so chill yet a true master at what he does, Erlend Caspersen, the bassist of my fave band IGORRR. Mixing all types of techniques and genres together in one song is what he’s master of and Justin Chancellor, the bassist of TOOL because of how he plays and writes… it’s all so genius.
The Badger: That’s a tough one as there are a few influential people not just in music. Dave Lombardo drummer from Slayer, Filmmaker John Carpenter and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
What first got you into music?
Psychoberrie: I’m not from a musical family and had no way of really discovering heavy/rock music until MySpace became a big deal. I’d always written poems and lyrics but I didn’t go to a gig until I was 16 and then I went all out and booked a ticket to Download Festival for my first live experience. I remember looking up at the stage knowing that’s exactly where I wanted to be.
Dr Von Stottenstein: For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to music. I can remember air guitaring to The Final Countdown in 1986 and there were times before.
I was a sporty kid but when I went to Secondary school, I got into the music crowd, and 7/8 of us all got our first guitar at first year Xmas together and kinda helped each other learn and jam through the rest of the 5 years of school. Was pretty cool looking back, and a couple of us have done pretty well… one of this group ended up as Liam Gallagher’s guitarist.
Wolfy Huntsman: Just everyone in my family surrounding me with it. My mam would play the likes of Bon Jovi and other rock, my brothers would play drum n bass and techno… I like all types of music.
The badger: I was brought up on dance music from the early 90’s, finding drum n bass as my first great musical love. I then encountered Metallica “Master of Puppets” on MTV from a concert Cunning Stunts in 1999 opening up another world of music to me.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Dr Von Stottenstein: Avatar or Iron maiden.
Wolfy Huntsman: IGORRR. my fave band. Pure musical genius.
The Badger: Carpenter Brut from France.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you play?
Psychoberrie: Download Festival purely because it’s where my journey began and it’s where I told myself I would be as a 16-year old. That will be the absolute pinnacle for me.
Dr Von Stottenstein; I’d like to go back to Bloodstock with our new stage show. Since we played, we’ve grown and developed so much, and the show has become more intricate and ambitious. It would be nice to go back to where it all started amongst all our friends. I’d like to play a European festival like Metal Days or Graspop too as I believe our music would be well received over there. My aim is to hit Download as it’s something I’d promised Psychoberrie I’d get her to.
Wolfy Huntsman: Hellfest. I’ve been once and out of all the festivals I’ve been to that is the best and biggest.
The Badger: Hellfest: reason is because they never fail to put on a great line-up.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Psychoberrie: I think our daughter has received more gifts than us, she’s had a Black and White crocheted baby blanket, Ward XVI Babygro’s, bibs, books, teddies, you name it. We’ve received some cool pieces of art from both children and adults and we keep all of it. In my last band I was gifted a rubber chicken and some men’s boxers but nothing particularly weird whilst with Ward XVI, which is strange because this is a much weirder stage show.
Dr Von Stottenstein: We’ve had Ward XVI cookies made for us.
The Badger: I never had anything weird, but I was sent a bottle of Slayer Red Wine.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Psychoberrie: Thanks, we’re absolutely shocked and humbled at the response we’ve had to the “Metamorphosis” pre-order bundles. The support they’ve given us has been crazy, we see our T-shirts everywhere we go. It became a struggle continuing with Ward XVI after we had some trouble with line-up changes in addition to me having a baby but I had to carry on because I know there are people out there waiting for the second chapter, people out there with our imagery tattooed on them and I couldn’t let them down.
Dr Von Stottenstein: What Psychoberrie said. I’m as much of a fan of our fans as our fans are to us. We’re just a big group of inmates that feed off each other like a community. Their loyalty will be paid back, this new album is something we’re very proud of.
Wolfy Huntsman: The underground music scene is suffering. try going to see more live bands. Keep the momentum going! Obviously when Covid-19 goes away
The Badger: Continue to support the underground scene as much you already do.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Psychoberrie: Bon Scott.
Dr Von Stottenstein: I’d say none. Obviously death isn’t something I wish upon anyone and many deaths of people have affected me, but when artists die, something special and timeless happens to their music and spirit… think of Freddie Mercury, absolute tragic death to a monumental talent, but so much good socially and musically resulted from that death… a lasting legacy that has positively inspired since. I’d not want such legacies ruined. I don’t believe in maybe’s; I just believe in what is and how all things have led to this point in time.
Wolfy Huntsman: Kurt Cobain so I could ask how he died.
The Badger: Cliff Burton.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Psychoberrie: Performing our own songs and meticulously planned stage show is what I most enjoy, especially when the crowd get really involved, the feeling is ecstatic. The bit I hate is having to fit it on around a full time job, motherhood and a horse, it’s a hell of a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, I do all the artwork, we make all the props, do all the organising on top of rehearsals and it doesn’t leave much time for friends and family so I feel guilty that I’m not able to give them my time, not visit grandparents as much as I should, rush time with my horse etc. I feel guilty and selfish.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Good: meeting incredible people who seem to enjoy what silly things we do. Bad: wish it paid enough not to have to work full time to afford what we do.
Wolfy Huntsman: I do it for the FEEL, music just makes me feel good in a world of crap. that and the social aspect of meeting so many AMAZING people on the journey! The ONLY things I hate are when I get an injury or when some of my gear breaks. both are very quickly fixed.
The Badger: I enjoy nearly all parts about being a musician, from writing music to preforming live. The only thing I dislike is carrying around the equipment.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Psychoberrie: I’d put it back to the way it was before when people had to pay for music, not stream it for free. I preferred it when everybody downloaded music illegally because at least then they knew they were ripping the bands off haha. We obviously do it for the love of music and performing but the future always looks bleak. How long can we keep working ourselves to death day and night and keep on putting all our wages into the band? It’s expensive and extremely time consuming and those are the main reasons most bands split up.
Dr Von Stottenstein: I guess it can be cynical at times and down-heartening at times and there’s always someone looking to exploit someone who is naive and just over-zealous. Certainly, things like Spotify and so on which doesn’t really support artists and the associated costs to produce music.
Wolfy Huntsman: We’ve come across several Sound Techs who dont seem to have a clue what they are doing. I’ve seen musicians themselves correct Sound Techs.
The Badger: Not an easy question to ask but all I would say is pay artists fair and don’t exploit them.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Psychoberrie: Guns N Roses – “Appetite For Destruction”
Dr Von Stottenstein: Iron Maiden – “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”
Wolfy Huntsman: Rishloo – “Feathergun”
The Badger: Ministry – “Sphinctour”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Psychoberrie: CD’s. I’ve only just started collecting vinyl and it’s cool but it’s a bit cumbersome. While I don’t deny the vinyl audio quality is better, with a CD you just stick it in and hit play, but you still get that physical experience being able to read the album booklet and such. I don’t like downloads; I appreciate that they’re more convenient, but I just prefer having something to hold.
Dr Von Stottenstein: I’m old so I have many fond memories of vinyl- how awesome the 12” art was and reading all the credits and lyrics on the gatefold etc. Picture discs too!! Legendary! I do love the scale and concept of vinyl and what extra such space can enhance the overall product.
Obviously, CD’s and now Digital are more convenient/practical/better quality sound etc… but you don’t half lose that visual magic. Music isn’t just about what enters your ears. It’s a multi-sensory experience.
Going to record exchanges, filing through millions of old records and seeing all the ace art is way better that scrolling through Sterile iTunes and so on.
Wolfy Huntsman: I’ve done too much research on this… vinyl is the best but only if you spend a good amount of money to get a good set up, purely as it is the best uncompressed sound quality… there is better than that though something called Laserdisc but we won’t go into that.
The Badger: CD’s is what I grew up on, but I also see the importance of streaming websites as we are able to discover new bands a lot.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Psychoberrie: Bloodstock Festival 2017. We’d only ever played small clubs prior to that so it was insane and the amount of people that came to see us at 10:30am was astounding. We were worried about our set time, so we did a lot of promo prior to the event and when they opened the gates there was literally a stampede of people running towards the tent. It was packed with people spilling out of the sides. It was such a rush playing that day and we spent the rest of the day being interviewed in VIP which was completely new to us
Dr Von Stottenstein:BOA 2017
Wolfy Huntsman: I’m not sure… there’s A LOT but I’m going to say when we played London on the Doyle tour as that was the last day of the tour, I got very emotional that day.
The Badger: I would have to say my Drumming Up Change Challenge event, where I performed with 10 bands in one day, raising money for mental health.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Psychoberrie: I work full time as 3D and graphic designer producing magazine ads, event banners and exhibition stand designs for a motocross distribution company. My job’s pretty cool but if I could turn back the clock, I’d have done an apprenticeship instead of a degree so I could do a job that’s more hands on as I hate sitting at a desk.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Bass player
Wolfy Huntsman: I have a few hobbies, but if I weren’t playing bass all the time, I’d probably dedicate my time to rock climbing.
The badger: I couldn’t honestly say.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Psychoberrie: Alice Cooper, Slash, Myles Kennedy, Benji Webb and Greg Davies.
Dr Von Stottenstein: Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden, Mark Tremonti, Viggo Mortensen, The Predator, My Mum
Wolfy Huntsman: This is going to be rather boring but I’m going to say 5 of my friends as I know if I do that it is guaranteed to be a good time no matter what happens. Joe, George, Becca, Stacey, Will.
The Badger: Rik Mayall (R.I.P.), Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lars Ulrich, Quentin Tarantino, Simon Pegg.
What’s next for the band?
Psychoberrie: We have a couple of singles to release shortly followed by the album release on 25th September. Then after that we’re going all out for the album launch show on October 9th at Manchester Academy 3 with some great supporting bands on the bill, Footprints in the Custard and Pulverise, plus a magician Lyndon Webb. We’ll be playing the new album in full with a whole new stage show. We’ve been working on some insane props.
Dr Von Stottenstein: we’re insanely proud of the new album and the sacrifices and effort it’s taken to push through countless chances to quit to make it.
Psychoberrie’s told the timeline, but I just want an opportunity to tour with bands to learn from, play on larger stages which allow our props to be used without tripping over each other and so on.
A full 2021 UK tour will be planned soon.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Psychoberrie: Our new website is now up with our brand new shop where you can find all our pre-order bundles and a few cheeky one off items: www.wardxvi.com
Psychoberrie: Cake, for one it says so on the packet.
Dr Von Stottenstein: if these troubled times have told us nothing more it’s that adding labels only fuels division and marginalisation.
The Jaffa is exactly what it wants to be, and I’ll support its choice… never had one to be honest.
Wolfy Huntsman: It’s a cake. a small cake with jelly and chocolate. nothing more, nothing less.
The Badger: Cake.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Psychoberrie: For those who don’t know us, Ward XVI are a theatrical horror band. Our albums revolve around a central fictional character known as Psychoberrie, the UK’s most violent serial killer. Now incarcerated, during an interview with a psychiatrist she tells tales of events that took place prior to the incarceration. “The Art Of Manipulation” tells the tale of how she used her feminine charm to manipulate a man into killing for her own twisted form of amusement. The next chapter “Metamorphosis” is due for release on the 25th of September and the synopsis is as follows:
Deep inside the walls of Whittingham Asylum, a new inmate is tortured mercilessly at the hands of those who keep her. Consumed by a ferocious rage, she succumbs to the comfort of insanity. What emerges from the shadows is more evil and profane than any of her tormentors could have imagined…”Metamorphosis” challenges everything you think you know about the notorious fiend, Psychoberrie. Travel back to the very beginning and ask yourself: is evil born, or made?
A mother’s love, formed in a haze of dolls and daisies, is blackened by merciless addiction. A little girl seeks protection from the broken and abandoned, anything to quell the monster that comes at night. Corrupted by unspeakable cruelty, pious innocence undergoes a malevolent transformation. Experience the elation of a first kill and the debauchery that ensues, culminating in a desperate run from the law.
Wolfy Huntsman: MONUMENTAL THANK YOU to everyone who supports us. “Metamorphosis” our second album is out on September the 25th and we can’t wait to show you all what we have in store!
Dr Von Stottenstein: Come and join the other inmates in our Facebook group. Loads of chats and intellectually challenging posts to get your teeth into.
Oh… not sure if anyone has mentioned, but we’ve an album out on the 25/9/2020. Head to www.wardxvi.com to pre-order.
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