TEDDY ROCKS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE NEW WAVE OF BANDS

Teddy Rocks Festival have announced the first wave of bands on the bull for 2019’s full-on lineup. Featuring a mixture of bands known for generations, as well as newer artists on the scene, this announcement already makes a statement.

After moving Teddy Rocks to an outdoor field in 2015 for the three day event, the festival aims to raise money throughout its course for children’s cancer research. The festival also upholds its status, becoming larger each year and attracting more fans to the annual event. Headlining Saturday are nostalgic Christmas rockers The Darkness, with The Zutons rocking Sunday’s a lot. Spread across the three days are also a variety of artists from the likes of Dream State, Press To Meco and The Lounge Kittens, all doing their part for the fundraising festival.

Make sure to check out the full lineup below!

TECHFEST RELEASE FIRST LINEUP ANNOUNCEMENT FOR 2019

TechFest have released the first wave of bands playing the festival next summer, with some pretty big names gracing the bill.

Top of the bill sees death metal band Dying Fetus return to the UK for the first time since 2017, alongsie UK prog metal band Monuments, metal quartet Psycroptic and Boston hailing Revocation.

The 6th event held in Newark Showground, Nottinghamsire is set to take place from Thursday 4th July- Monday 8th with more announcements due in the next year.

Weekend tickets can be bought HERE and the current list of bands announced can be seen below! Let us know who you’re most excited to see.

Dying Fetus, MONUMENTS, PSYCROPTIC, John Gomm, Revocation, Archspire, BLACK TONGUE, Polaris, Black Crown Initiate, A Night In Texas, Sarah Longfield, Adimiron, Palm Reader, The Omnific, Voices From The Fuselage, Cold Night For Alligators, The Intersphere, 22, Time, The Valulator, Project MishraM, Jonestown, The Paralell, Hypophoria.

INTERVIEW – OLIVER KAMYSZEW – SCARIM MANAGEMENT

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The music industry is expanding every day, with exponential growth in all sides from PR to label managers becoming even greater. To see how the industry is moving, we talked to Oliver Kamyszew, a graphic designer turned PR, artist manager at Scarim Management and Black Box Booking about the industry and how it’s moving.

Who are you and how did you get involved with Scarim Management?

My name is Oliver Kamyszew and I am an artist manager and public relations representative at Scarim Management (www.scarimmanagement.com). I also book tours under the moniker Black Box Booking Agency. I got involved with Scarim Management during a time where I was working as a graphic designer and I came across a great band called, “Of Virtue”, whom I now represent. The band had a powerful album but little traction meanwhile I saw that my current colleagues & old friends had launched a management agency and I met with them to see if they’d be interested in representing Of Virtue. Instead they inspired me to take them on and start my current management career. This, of course, didn’t come randomly but instead because I had previous experience being in bands where I was in charge of finances, booking, and so on. Here I am today!

You also run Black Box Booking, an American based booking agency. Do both jobs as a PR manager and booking agent crossover? (EG: Is it easier to book the bands on your PR roster onto tours because of the agency?)

That’s correct, I run Black Box Booking Agency (can be found at www.facebook.com/blackboxbookingagency while we rebuild our website). I do not believe that either job crossover. In the case of that guy recently, whatever his name was, who spoofed the UK with his fake ticket sales and such, surely you can say they CAN go hand in hand if need be – but realistically speaking, when I work one job I do one and when I do the other I do that one. The only way it helps each other is if either one is well received for marketing purposes – so if a band is doing great things press-wise, the booking will be easier. If a band is touring hard and has a lot of attention because of that, it’s easier to get press interested. So on and so forth.

Do you feel that living in America makes it easier to get a job within the international music business path? (such as PR, management, labels etc)

No. What I believe has helped me, if anything, is living overseas in Asia for a number of years and learning about a number of scenes as well as having many friends and colleagues who have spent a lot of time in the international touring community.

What has been one of your greatest achievements working in the music industry so far?

First – Finding a team that believes in me and bands whom I respect and admire who allow me to work with them. Second, 1M+ streams on Of Virtue’s single “Surrounded” in 2018 alone, but that was this year and I’m only looking forward to a bigger, better 2019! Ask me this question again next year – I’ll have much more to say.

With streaming at its peak, from an industry perspective, do you feel the number of streams online more important than physical or online purchases?

Well – both are quite important, as they define different things and it takes many more streams to technically sell one cd (so support your friends by streaming a LOT or buying physicals!). However, if you’re looking at the future (which if you’re working any role in the music industry you always should be) then I would say streams are significantly more important now as they’re more accessible and now you don’t need as much help from an external source such as a label to help you reach your fans or get you paid if you know how to set up distribution and publishing collections. Basically – you can be more independent with streaming than you ever could be with a physical product.

With the closure of grassroots venues being a prevalent issue both in America and the UK, what do you believe can be done to stop these closures?

I believe this is a tough one. First, government art budgets. Second, more needs to be invested into making each small show with as much effort as a big one on the part of the promoter and the bands involved. There’s a lot of areas where bands and promoters could be picking up slack in both, America and the UK, especially with how oversaturated both markets are. But – this is also a time thing. We’re in the age of hip-hop and rock/metal are slowly dying – it’s an ebb and flow … It will come back, just like fashion.

Finally, what is your most controversial opinion about the music industry?

Maybe a few. First, there aren’t enough hours in the day for this line work and if you believe this is a 9-to-5 job then it’s not for you. Second, there are too many people not giving this job close to 100% of their time or effort band making the hard workers look bad. Go big or go home.
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HOLDING ABSENCE TO TOUR THE UK NEXT YEAR

Rising post-hardcore outfit Holding Absence have announced they are touring the UK early next year.

Embarking on an 8 date tour spanning Southampton, Birmingham, Manchester and others, the tour is already set to be the biggest headliner for the group. Bringing Capsize along on all 8 dates, you have the chance to catch two great bands this March.

Full dates can be found below!

EUPHORIA OF BREAKDOWN’S TOP TEN RELEASES OF 2018

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After another great year of releases, the time has come to whittle down to the top ten of the year. With a plethora of music from bands internationally recognised and artists just building up in the national scene, it shows that anybody can produce an album with high quality that resonates with its listeners. With such great releases, honourable mentions go to Harmed (From Day One), Stand Atlantic (Skinny Dipping) and Against The Current (Past Lives) for just missing out on the top 10 list, but still produced high quality releases of the year. Make sure to check out the list and let us know your top 10 releases below!

Continue reading “EUPHORIA OF BREAKDOWN’S TOP TEN RELEASES OF 2018”

INTERVIEW – AVENOIR

Finding time to record an audio interview between Rebellion’s fire alarms spazzing out and other bands blasting audaciously loud music is a lot harder than I anticipated. After almost hitting a poor staff member with a door walking into the venue, the night was definitely starting off in a more unexpected sense.

In the rock scene, people are becoming more and more inspired to start projects of their own, spreading their thoughts and sharing their passions in their own time. Avenoir are a band created from an interesting experience – ‘we were bored’. Or, in (slightly) more serious terms – ‘me and the old guitarist were in the old band – Sammy being the fangirl was like ‘please let me jam’ so me, the guitarist and Sammy played, wrote a song and it all went well.’ so reiterated by the band’s drummer Jack Hendy. After the departure of previous guitarist George Space, ‘we were kind of panicking’, enlisting the help of friend Rob Arkle. We were expecting it to be Rob not really joining in at first trying not to step over our toes but you (rob) really got involved just went straight for it.’ Soon after, I discover this is perhaps the most serious the band will become for a large majority of the interview.

Filming a new video for their unreleased single, this music video finds Avenoir reaching a new depth of meaning in their music. ‘There’s a lot of themes of abuse and we won’t go into too much detail, but I guess this music video is a statement. We really are trying to break out now and show this can happen to anyone and to reach out.’ Commenting on his songwriting style, Sammy being the main lyricist explains ‘if there’s anything dark its either a story, character or something personal. I’ve never publicly said this before but Krakow- p is a very personal song for me. There’s a line that goes ‘I hope you know that you’ve been replaced’ and the drummers dad Chris is now a father figure to me.’ But even for such carefree people, there is a harsh reality behind the music you hear and see live ‘I always find it very hard as it brings up all those things very personal to me having to re-live them. By the 3rd or fourth gig you become kind of numb to it. That’s why Avenoir is a coping mechanism to me.’ However, in no way is Avenoir a painful experience for the band, if anything tis a sense of brotherhood – Metaphorically anyway. ‘So, you’re my brother’. Sammy’s quick realisation of the situation plays out into a very strange conversation of ‘Noncey incest. The incest noncest’ before claiming another band playing stole their track. A slight similarity, but debatable nonetheless.

Avenoir are rowdy, reckless and rebellious, not constantly taking themselves too seriously, nor necessarily needing to. As Sammy explains ‘I write my songs at 1am huffing nail polish. I then bring it to these guys who make it better’ and each member does bring a different stylistic feature to the band. Inspirations range, with Sammy’s being ‘Tracy Beaker’ and Rob’s being ‘Basil Brush’ (maybe Green Day too’, a clear divide is felt in musical influences. Who are the band really? Without trying to build an image, Jack brings across the idea that ‘we’re not trying to be edgy we just do what we wanna do.’, that is until Sammy blesses the band with the loving emo label – ‘We are pretty emo I am wearing tights.’ Even among more serious questions that rise through the interview, Brexit and censorship, the band each put a personal twist on answers. As Rob truthfully intervenes ‘Censorship that’s a proper big thing as well especially with our music. You’re writing a lot of honest music with a lot of cursing lots of good music is like filtered out. As for Sammy, his inclusion focuses on one simple importance – The 1975. It is possible that at the time we could have even formulated a drinking game every time Sammy spoke of The 1975 (well me anyway, with the trio being underage). Passions run deep for Sammy, ‘because of their irony and their image and everything about their whole statement, nobody gets them or understands them.’ One day someone will understand, just perhaps not the remaining three people sitting on a bench in a venue bang in the middle of Deansgate. Each to their own I suppose.

For such a young age, the group have come pretty far, but it’s also where perhaps the slight prejudice of younger bands is exposed. This is a factor even frontman Sammy is aware of. ‘I think people take us seriously when they’ve heard us and meet us. If they don’t know us and find out were 17, people put a label on us being childish and having a long way to go. I think that’s why we don’t get hired a lot and have the reputation of young kids.’ Joking aside, the group have a high level of maturity and awareness of the scene around them. An idea many people, myself included, can relate to. Even Jack stating that ‘some people don’t treat you differently, but if before they know you’re 17, they just won’t take you seriously. The fact is we know each other as musicians and we know how we play so that really helps us as musicians. I think the older we get the stronger we will become’ Of course being the band they are, it doesn’t take long before the opposing comments come through – ‘Then again, we don’t take ourselves seriously.’ Bands are often quick to defend their serious approach to music, but sometimes it can be a breath of fresh air to be able to joke around a bit. Who would have guessed talking to a small student aged band would be the most laid back, banter filled interview I’ve done?

There is a more important issue on the line that is soon to arise in our 30-minute interview. As Rob states ‘I think the worst thing is jacks poor navigation skills.’ Obviously causing issues, both Rob and Sammy comment on being ten minutes late’ to a show as ‘you took us on a 40-minute detour to the motorway’, which Sammy claims ‘could have taken 5 minutes if I did it’. The culprits issue? ‘You check snapchat when you’re supposed to be the navigator! Undoubtably, the band have their occasional disagreements, the latest occurring during video filming, a day before this interview took place. The most outrageous cause being Jack causing Sammy to be ‘late for my bus’. In the true narration of the day ‘We were arguing while rob was crying in a corner. It was awkward for the Filmer.’ A message to director/cinematographer Declan, Jack and Sammy are very sorry. With the true cure for disagreements being a McDonalds, in the end, there’s always a resolution. As Sammy states ‘usually it’s me and jack that argue about things but you’re (Rob) never afraid to tell one of us when were wrong.

Avenoir are a band that definitely surprised me. Writing reviews of their music since their debut single last year, the band have developed musically in an upwards approach. Even live, the trio give off a tremendous amount of energy, a stage performance some more established bands could learn from. Perhaps only just breaking into Manchester, Avenoir are yet to capture the attention of the rest of the UK but trust us when we say this – they won’t stop trying.

GIG REVIEW – AS IT IS – 28/11/18 MANCHESTER

As It Is are lined up to play their biggest Manchester show to date – headlining the O2 Ritz. Moving from a pop-punk happiness to a much darker ’emo’ style, it’s safe to say a happy-go-lucky bubblegum pop atmosphere was not to be achieved.
While the band have been around for years, Canadian synth-rock Courage My Love (6.5) supporting large shows on the scale of the Ritz isn’t their forte yet. First on, the struggled to form a connection with a crowd of unresponsive attendees and despite Mercedes’s beautiful vocals and attempts, little could be done to capture a crowd. Through no fault of their own, perhaps it was just a tough crowd. The trio are excellent performers, aside from a slight sound issue causing the bass to smother the guitars, they are indeed a very tight band musically. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t their night.
 
Don’t be surprised when we say Holding Absence (9) are one of the bands on the cusp of breaking out in 2019. Already building a reputation in the scene, the quintet embodied a heavier side of music fans were perhaps not expecting. Instantaneous energy and brilliant stage presence, there was no holding back even in slower tracks ‘Everything’. Musicality was on point as well as stage presence and audience connectivity. If one point was to be made, perhaps more on-stage connection between band members, but otherwise this is a band you will hear a lot about soon.
 
Finally, after embarking on their first UK tour by As It Is in 2015, Trash Boat (7.5) return as supports once again. Generating the largest crowd of fans in the audience, the participation and enjoyment from crowdsurfing fanatics and mosh pit enthusiasts was through the roof. Yet, the bands performance seemed to lack. After witnessing the performance previous runners Holding Absence gave, there was a lacking stage atmosphere. Undoubtedly, the outfit were strong musically, but there was little to make them stand out, little to push them out to those unaware of who they were. An improvement they can work on.
 
Edinburgh’s show turned out to be quite the disaster. Sets being cut short and violent security, As It Is (9) we’re clearly unamused by the events of the previous night. Yet, with a day off before Manchester, the band had recouped to give it their all for this show, notably the biggest performance to date in Manchester.
 
Building a bridge with an audience is fundamental for any live show, and such levels of doing so can easily be seen. Patrick Foley on drums, we will give a pass to. Spending a good half of the show hidden behind a smoke screen (despite a higher platform) its also not easy to give much interaction from so far at the back. What can be said however, is that it can be rather embarrassing when your touring guitarist Ronnie interacts more with the audience than some of the others. Older tracks dug out from the discography ‘No Way Out’ and ‘Can’t Save Myself’ saw lead vocalist Patty Walters moving across the stage singing to front. Yet, it did feel connectivity from bassist Ali Testo lacked majorly in comparison. Granted, it is hard to multitask with instruments and backing vocals, but if guitar/vocalist Ben Langford-Biss can do it, what is the excuse?
 
Harshness aside, an onstage connection between the band could be felt. It’s clear these tracks mean a lot to the group. One of the more emotional connections came mid-way through a the set, slowing down the pace with ‘The Question, The Answer’ and ‘Still Remembering’. Looking in-depth it is almost as if there is a small shift in the emotion of Walters, between gaps going up to fellow band mates mouthing the words ‘I fucking love you’. To see songs played so much still striking deep in the performers is a sight that is heart-warming, as well as showing the depth the band encapsulate in music. A song, perhaps unexpected in the set was ‘The Great Depression’s’ closing track ‘The End’. As a conceptual stage show, voiceovers and formulated colour schemes added to the atmospheric feel. As It Is had an idea for this stage show, but at time almost felt like they were holding back. Going full out could really skyrocket this show, perhaps a thought for their upcoming American show. Aside from a slight timing issue on the spoken word bridge of the closing track, a clever way to end the show.
 
But it’s the performance in the encore of previous and new singles saw energy ramp up ten-fold, something incredible from a band already giving a high percentage of their energy in the show. Ending on ‘Dial Tones’, ‘The Wounded World’ and ‘The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry) pushed a strong end to the show. This group know how to structure a set. Even to the last minute all was given, with ‘The Stigma’ perhaps gaining the largest reaction of fans.
 
As It Is are pushing an important message in their music. To see a room of 1000+ people of all ages singing back such meaningful lyrics and embracing who they are is a beautiful sight. Such connections in the scene may be depleting but shows like this prove that there are still sparks in the darkness.