Tag: interview

UPCOMING BANDS – IDLE HOURS

Having only officially released just three tracks on the market, Idle Hours are making their way through the Manchester indie music scene, building their way up to the surrounding areas.

A key aspect of Manchester, is that you’ll never fail to find the uprising indie talent in each corner, one of which is Idle Hours. The four piece outfit formed of Jack Waldron (Vocals, Guitar), Alex Needham (Bass), Tom Ashton (Guitar, Backing Vocals) and Jimmy Brown (Drums) are described as a blend of surf-pop, infused with tinges of indie rock, catchy melodies and impactful lyricism. Meeting at University and forming in 2017, the band released their debut ‘Powder White’ in April this year influenced by the likes of Blur, Artic Monkeys and Bloc Party.

https://youtu.be/mSL3pwP05JA

Soon after releasing second single ‘TV Crush’ in May, the group band added to their live performance list playing venues along the likes of Zombie Shack and Jimmy’s whilst also venturing out to Liverpool. As a band also shortlisted for the opportunity to play Truck Festival, it’s no surprise the quartet have played headliners at Music events such as Friday Night Live and Indie Week.

https://youtu.be/2aUEeqbh3sM

Now releasing third official surf-pop single ‘Happiest Place On Earth’, the band are set to support Deco at Gulivers this Saturday (3rd November). If upcoming indie deviations are to your taste, take a look at Idle Hours for your next indie playlist addition.

https://youtu.be/EB96L4EWwWw

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TRACK OF THE WEEK 28/10/18- IMMINENCE – PARALYZED

This weeks track of the week goes to Swedish post-hardcore four piece Imminence.

After a slight lineup change and a distinctive switch in musical styles, Paralyzed embodies the bands new direction, a path they aim to head down. Mixing elements of debut ‘Return To Helios’ and fan-favourite single ‘The Sickness’. A far step from ‘This Is Goodbye’ but still containing their signature styles and Architects-style influences. A track (and video) to hear now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HKRfKeVS78&feature=share

https://open.spotify.com/track/3vCHQhRlQTflUbMzQn6HZe?si=gJaAO4zgQ4u6J4Qm_FbAcw

INTERVIEW – HARMED

12:30 interview with Harmed at the Star and Garter. Easy enough unless you moved to Manchester less than three weeks ago and couldn’t tell your way to the local Sainsbury’s and back. It’s times like these where punctuality is a virtue, getting to the venue at 12 (as well as the band themselves) only to find the venue doesn’t open till 4. Times like these, you also learn to improvise with a nice coffee shop setting, that is until you have to guide 7 people to the Arndale Centre in search of food. Having no sense of Manchester’s direction helping lead 7 others who have never been to Manchester around is certainly a story for the books. Nothing stressful at all, especially when you lose the bands vocalist Levente in Affleck’s .Stopping off at a drab McDonalds around Piccadilly Gardens, sitting in the lower levels surrounded by busy adults and screaming children with 10 year old pop-hits loudly blasting over the speakers, this is more than a casual setting for an interview, but improvisation is a road we all must head down occasionally.

https://youtu.be/FYfWnrnoVws

In the end the group whittled down to me, Levente (Vocals), Gabor (Guitar), Steve (Bass) and photographer James Barbosa sitting in a rather tight booth. Welcome to England. However, with Harmed living and growing as a band in Hungary, its learning from the stories of European bands just how difficult it can be to breakout as a band, as well as the culture shock in different countries. Following on from Levente’s slight confusion of the UK McDonalds queueing system, the difficulties of touring the UK also came to light. ‘Obviously money is an issue while on tour especially for us Hungarians cause for our Hungarian pocket England is super expensive. You pay £4 for a beer here in Hungary an expensive beer is just £2’, somewhat bringing a short introduction to the strange exchange rates of the UK. Thanks capitalism! Yet, while the UK obviously encompasses some similarities of Hungary, each city has something different to offer. Every corner of Manchester has some hidden musical experience in the underground venues, even to the buskers in Piccadilly Gardens, but it’s the different ways this is portrayed in other cities that truly got the trios thoughts going, especially from Levente. We played with a few cool bands in Brighton. We arrived at the venue and there was a 5-piece girl band, kind of punk-ish, like wow this is cool! Brighton is a place that resonated through the band, something that really left an impression on the group as a place not just of seaside’s, piers and overpriced food, but of musical expression and culture. ‘everyone looked so happy and didn’t really care about things. The artistic expression and what they do in that town is just crazy.’

Yet another interesting thing about our conversation in a cosy corner at the lower level of McDonalds, is the lack of any language barriers. The UK isn’t known for any language achievements, hell we’re probably the worst for learning languages, something realised talking to people fluent in more than one tongue. In Hungary, mainstream pop artists often breakthrough with their tasteful Hungarian lyrics, which leads to an interesting topic of why Harmed decided to write in English opposed to Hungarian. As Steve explains, ‘I’ve always imagined myself playing in an English band lyrically. I never really wanted Hungarian lyrics, I still think it’s kind of weird’. There’s a debated idea as to whether you are more likely to be known in Hungary if you sing in Hungarian, an acceptable idea looking into it with a logical mindset, so why is there a divide in musical styles and languages? Like Gabor states, ‘People get into you more if you sing in Hungarian’ in which Steve follows on with the fact that ‘In the underground scene, more than half of the bands sing in English but if you wanna be more mainstream I guess it’s easier to sing in Hungarian. Even catering more to personal opinions of musical styles Levente has an input believing ‘metalcore music doesn’t really work with any other language than English. Hungarian languages are good for poetry but using it in metalcore is just weird I think,’ or at least a personal perception of that.

Even through a divide of language, there is still a connectivity of music and an understanding behind that. As a simplistic music journalist, there is little first-hand experience that one can personally give about touring, but the hidden side many fans don’t see is something quite interesting. Through the (possible) jokes Steve gives about starting to ‘hate each other slowly’, there is a connectivity between the three, even with their photographer James casually snapping the odd shot alongside us. Negatives of touring are a given, if anything the struggle of learning to cope with 7 others in a bus is a big factor. From having to guide 7 people around parts of Manchester, it is understandable how it can be a little stressful. As Steve reiterates ‘there are 8 people in a van and each person has different needs, everyone’s different and sometimes those different needs collapse’, an acceptable reasoning for losing sanity. Yet, there are such important topics such as mental health struggles people easily forget can come to light on tour. ‘I used to get anxiety attacks and one time we were playing a show and I lost almost 5 mins of time and I don’t know what happened’ as Gabor recalls, showing these are real life issues that can affect anyone and are a hidden aspect of touring. As a more humorous round-up Levente’s biggest issue is sleep. ‘The biggest problem is that you don’t have a private life here, also, you’re not getting much sleep. I don’t have creative talks I’m just like oh food, ah van, ah gas station, ah l wanna sleep ah load in. The daily stuff just eats my fucking brain’.

The thing that connects us all through any sense is music. Being a touring musician, the last thing you can want sometimes is music. ‘Sometimes I’m happy I don’t have to listen to music, I like the quiet’, with Steve growing up in a musical household with a DJ father, its understandable, but there is no escaping the joys of talking about it and having fun debates around the topics. On the idea of genre labelling ‘you have to describe your music somehow and for me labels are not barriers they’re just the best way to describe your music type’ but while some describe it as a barrier, Harmed are adamant in the face that ‘we are not stuck in one as we all listen to different kinds of music and have different things we like so we mix it together’.

https://youtu.be/V7aXWxCEeac

One can spend hours on such a topic, serious factors about the music industry and how people put musicians in genre boxes (as a music reviewer, something I am perhaps guilty of), but while the music industry has serious factors, most are in it for the reason of enjoyment. To have fun and let go… literally… like Gabor who fell on stage. ‘I fell on stage… but I did it in a really weird way. I just fell on my guitar’, clearly a memorable experience amongst the entire band with the instant relation to ‘embarrassing moments’ being a wave of ‘Oh! Tell them about Romania’. Even at the worst of times, Harmed take things in a way which is just move on and learn, do what you can to have fun even if it is sitting through a tour, which Levente happened to have to do. ‘ I dislocated my knee in Budapest, that wasn’t even our set I was featuring for another band! it was boom boom boom and I just realised I was on the ground like oh no oh no… one hour before our set. True rock stars in the form of a Dave Grohl style performance moment, even if the rest of the tour was on crutches and chairs, its still a one-up for completing the tour, bonus points to the band for doing so.

Rounding up 30 minutes of conversation, its clear that these three members of Harmed bring something different to the band other than musical style. As they say, ‘the thing is that normal day life we are all chill, were not crazy people. We work, but for us maybe this band is where we can just release it all. Like someone goes to the gym we do this instead.’

Releasing it all is a coping mechanism perhaps, a way of letting themselves go and as individuals they all have a personal way of doing so. Asking them to use one lyric to personally describe themselves in the band, this is where quite interesting sides are revealed (and a question of who actually knows the lyrics to the tracks!) ‘Release my worst’ because when we go on stage we lose our shit.’ Is Steve’s, referring to having a release in music. On the other hand, Gabor offers the more personal approach, along with Levente in lyrical descriptions. ‘No recognition’ because I like to hide behind my hoodies and hair and all that stuff. It’s really good to have that mystical feel to it.’ The band bring truths and acceptance to themselves, they’re aware that others may mock them, but refuse to give in to the hatred. Levente adds on for his lyric ‘in all my presence, cast me out of your circles I’m losing the essence of participation’ because we’re all a bunch of weirdos I think. People have been mocking us since were kids. Kids are evil, so I don’t want to be part of the big picture, the crowds of people because that’s kind of normal, I’m not interested in normal. Whatever you do they’re just going to bully you and you know what fuck them.

Harmed refuse to fit the normal, something that is good. From the two-hour experience I had talking with the group (and trying to find their respective tour/bandmates in the busiest part of Manchester), there was a lot to be learned and a lot I reflected on from our conversation. Not only was there the cultural aspects and the differences between Hungary and the UK, but also learning how they are ones to accept themselves and do what they want to when they can.  Harmed come across as a band of substance, there’s something within them that has that determination to work hard, get out there but have fun at the same time, just one conversation can show this. Be sure to listen to their music and more. Engage in the music, catch their shows, start a conversation with them. You can check them out at the links below.

FACEBOOK: https://m.facebook.com/harmedfromdayone/

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/harmedfromdayone?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=oj3t8gz3h5wz

Words: Caitlin Homfray

INTERVIEW – STEPHEN BEERKENS – THE FAIM

Touring with Against The Current, writing with Pete Wentz and their experiences in the UK, we asked Stephen Beerkens (Bass/Keys) from The Faim all about recent experiences in their quickly booming career.

Could you tell us your name, role in the band and favourite album of the year so far?

I’m Stephen Beerkens and I play bass and keys. My favourite album for this year would have to be the new Boston Manor record which was released a few weeks back!


You started off writing demos back home before recording in LA. Are there any unreleased demos we will hear in the future?

There are! Some of the demos that we recorded at the very beginning, before heading to LA for the first time, will be featured on our debut album.


The music you’ve created also ranges in rock sub-genre styles, is this a more natural occurrence or did you strive to have a mix of different tracks?

I would say that the diversity in our music is both something that we strive for and that comes naturally. We’ve grown up listening to so many musical influences and wanted to express all of that in our music in a way that is true to us.


https://youtu.be/7oNcPG_uXWI

You worked with incredibly well-known producer John Feldmann on your last release, what was it like working alongside him?

It was a truly amazing experience that pushed us as both musicians and songwriters. John brought us out of our comfort zones in the best way possible, to tap into parts of ourselves that we’d yet to express until that point. 


Coming from another side of the world, did you find you found new inspirations to incorporate into your music whilst in LA?

Absolutely! We learnt so much about the process of songwriting that we implement in everything we write today. We found inspiration mostly in the events that have made us the people we are today. It’s these experiences and emotions that we tap into in our writing that keeps our songs personal and true to ourselves.


As a band, you have blown up massively in the past few months, with such a fast build-up do you fear anything about the future and coming to terms with your success?

We’re just stoked that people are loving our music and live performances. We want to share our art with people all across the world, so to be able to do that so early in our careers is a real blessing. 


https://youtu.be/H_1pMc9DuUI

Playing Slam Dunk festival and now touring the UK with Against The Current , is there anything you have learnt about performing here that is different to Australia?

The crowds in the UK are definitely the most passionate crowds that we’ve played to so far. They bring a real energy to the show that makes us feel right at home.


Individually, do you feel that different locations have an impact on how you perform through different shows?

Whether I’m performing to 10 people or 1000 people, I’ll always give it my full effort. The same goes for location; it doesn’t matter where we play, putting on the best possible show is the priority.


Have you ever had any experiences where you’ve felt almost ‘starstruck’ when meeting or working with certain artists/producers?

Definitely working with Pete Wentz and learning from the advice that he gave us was a moment that I’ll forever remember.


Have you ever had any embarrassing accidents or experiences while performing or on tour?

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tripped over Against The Current’s drum kit during our set!


If ‘Summer Is A Curse’, then what is your favourite season and why?

Definitely Summer! It’s the best time to get outdoors, hit the beach, and see friends.

INTERVIEW – A-Z WITH CINDERS

Check out American acoustic-pop outfit Cinders take on our A-Z interview below!

A Song Which Made You Want To Make Music:

Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears. Who doesn’t get super pumped when that song is playing? It is one of the greatest songs of all time and it inspires you to move and smile. If we could bring a little more of that feeling to the world with our music then we have done our job. We will always be inspired by Tears For Fears

Best Experience While On Tour:

The first time we toured we didn’t expect to see anyone come out to our shows. We were a brand new band. One of the best experiences for us was showing up to a venue for the first time full of people who were wearing our t-shirts and screaming the words with us. It is still crazy every night to see all those kids in the audience singing and dancing along. It never gets old.

Cover you would really like to do?

The only cover we have ever played was In Between Days by The Cure. We made a weird agreement that if we ever do play a cover it will be by The Cure. Their music coined the sub genre of “Happy Sad”. Cinders definitely fits into that sub genre so it is hard not to pay tribute to the originator.  Short answer would be Just Like Heaven by the Cure.

Deepest Lyrics One Of Your Songs Features:

“Old friend, look what you’ve done

I held your hand while you shot the gun

A part of me has died inside my mind”

-Walls

Our new record Looking Forward To Looking Back is much heavier emotionally than our previous releases. It has many more analogies and metaphors relating to overcoming depression and self doubt. Walls is lyrically one of our favorite tracks. It is a strong self realization that life can be very hard, but much of that is self inflicted. We all want someone to help share our pain that we often feel. Though sometimes we need to gain enough strength on our own, to climb out of these pits we dig ourselves into.

Easiest Song You Wrote:

It was probably the first song that we wrote for this record. It is called Gigantic. This is one of the only songs where we sat down all together and said “alright whatever we start playing next is going to be the first song we writing for the next record.” That song was finished in about a week. It has gone through some changes during recording but the actual writing of it remained the same from that first week.

Favourite album/single/EP you have released:

We have been extremely proud of everything that we have released and very pleased with how much our fans have enjoyed the music. We would definitely say Looking Forward To Looking Back is our favorite! We feel we have come much farther as musicians, performers, and song writers, and that is shown in this new record. We can’t wait for everyone to hear these 11 brand new songs on September 29th!!

Greatest Show/Festival You Have Played:

Our favorite festival that we played was this year on the 4th of July. We were asked to headline an Independence Day music festival/firework show for 25,000 people. It was an incredible night and one we will never forget. Also the fireworks went off so close that ash, debris and sparks were flying into the crowd. It was the kind of danger that felt cool rather than being in actual jeopardy.

Happiest Moment You’ve Experienced In The Band:

Finishing this new record and listening to it front to back for the first time. This has been a 2 year process and we are so happy and excited for our fans to finally be able to hear it! The next happiest moment would be when our two saxophone players happened to date and got married. That is definitely second place.

Interesting Fact About One Of Your Members:

Our bass player Adrian was in a metal/hardcore band before joining Cinders. That is where he gets his crazy energy and aggressive stage presence. He also has helped sculpt some of the heavier moments in the songs from his background in heavier music. Aside from being in a metal band, he is an accomplished jazz guitar player. Makes sense why we have him playing bass right?

Jokes You Have In The Band:

We have a vision board in our with all of our goals written on it. We have a lot of goals written on there. One of them being to have one of our songs featured in a major motion picture. We have been banking on Infinity Wars part 2 for a while now. We know it is finished.. But there is still hope that they will use one of our songs. Spider-Man could have his big return while Call it Home is playing. Just imagine the emotion that would consume that audience.

I guess that is our joke.

Kicking Off Your Set Is Best With Which Song:

We can’t remember the last time that we opened up a set with a song other than Dog Heart. That song is perfect for new and returning audiences. It is a great way to show the crowd what they can expect for the next hour. It is also one of the easiest songs to sing and dance along with.

Longest Distance You’ve Travelled To Play A Show:

The longest distance was probably the drive from Southern Utah to Northern California. That was about 12 hours. It was a lot of time spent playing Mario Tennis. Without Mario Tennis it would have just been a lot of time sitting. I guess it was still a lot of time sitting. But with Mario Tennis that sitting became very competitive

Movie That Best Represents The Band:

That Thing You Do! It took a while for the whole band to finally see it. But it probably represents us the best. With that being said, Brad will be the only one who has a happy ending and Adrian will most likely die in combat. So maybe it doesn’t represent us in exact detail.

New Band You’d Recommend:

Recently discovered a group called HIGHS. They are awesome. Their mix of male and female vocal melodies with punchy perfect guitar tones creates a sound you can listen to for an hours.

Opening For This Band Would Be Ideal:

We talk about this one pretty often. We usually end up with the same few answers. Probably Twenty One Pilots, The Front Bottoms, Grouplove, or The Head and the Heart. We feel like our music would match well with any one of these bands. The real dream is that in the near future they will be opening for us though.

Place You’d Most Like To Tour:

Right now we really can’t wait to make it to the East Coast of the US. We tour the West a lot and absolutely love it. We just can’t wait to make it out east to see more of our fans!

Quote That You’d Like To Pass On To Readers:

“The roughest road often leads to the top.” – Christine Aguilera

Christina said it best. I think it should be added that no road will be easy, so you might as well pick the one that takes you to the top. Otherwise you may just be walking in circles forever.

Reason For The Title Of Your Recent/Forthcoming Release:

One of the songs on the new record has the line “I’m looking forward to looking back.” It was our drummer Brad that had first brought that idea to us. From then on we ditched any other name we had in mind. It sums up the ultimate feeling and theme of the entire record. Whether there is a moment that you love in life or an extremely difficult hardship you are trying to make it though, you can take some comfort knowing that one day you will be able to look back on it. Either as a great memory or as a trial you overcame, it can be celebrated.

See Us Live At:

Cindersmusic.com/shows

We have a list of Western US tour dates all throughout October in celebration of the album’s release!

The First Song You Ever Played Together As A Band:

At our first practice together we jammed our song Closed Blinds. Following that we played songs Last Year’s Winter and I Could Do Better. Those were 3 of the first Cinders songs written.

Unusual Merchandise:

We once put one of Brad’s sweaty post show t-shirts on sale. That may not be very unusual, though the funniest part of it was that Jordan’s mother-in-law is the one that purchased it before anyone else could.

Variations You’d Like To Do On Any Of Your Songs:

We’d say a dubstep version of Call it Home but apparently someone already did that! It is pretty sweet actually. You can check out the remix on YouTube!

Worst Experience On Tour:

I guess it would be boring to say that sitting in a van with no leg room for 10 hours a day is the worst. Though it really isn’t. Some of our best stories come from being crammed in that van. The worst experience was playing a venue with 0 in attendance. The venue owner also said we could only play 4 songs because they had to pick up a friend from the airport. It was a rough night for sure. The awesome thing is that we have 6 of us to share the pain, so we can laugh about it now. That is a great example of something that we were looking forward to looking back on. Glad that is over. To every artist out there who has struggled with pulling a crowd in a new area, we have been there!!

X-rays Or Any Other Treatments For Band Related Injuries:.

Our lead guitar player Montana had to have surgery on his wrist due to carpool tunnel. It was a music related injury though so it is equally as cool if not cooler than a sports injury. Also Jordan hit Adrian in the face with his guitar on stage once. No treatment needed… but there was a lot of blood.

Your Favourite Show You’ve Ever Played:

We love our hometown crowds so it is hard to choose anywhere else. Our single release show for Tree House earlier this year was insane. The crowd was as rowdy as we were and they were screaming along with every word. At one point in the show we went out into the crowd and did what we believe to be the world’s largest group hug. Guinness says other wise though.

Zoo Animal That Best Describes The Band:

Probably a Pygmy marmoset. Those are the craziest and weirdest little monkeys. I’m sure people have described us in the same way after watching us preform.

INTERVIEW – ROTTEN MIND

A Song Which Made You Want To Make Music: Ramones – Oh oh, I Love Her so. Brilliant song writing.

Best Experience While On Tour: Ofcourse when there’s a sick show. I remember playing Munster, Germany the first time, that was amazing.

Cover you would really like to do? We don’t do a lot of covers, but we did Waiting For The Man by the Velvet Underground, so I’ll go with that.

Deepest Lyrics One Of Your Songs Features: Hmm, tough one. “Still Searching” is one of the deepest ones so far.

Easiest Song You Wrote: “I don’t wanna be the one”. Wrote that one in 5 minutes and stole lyrics from another song I wrote before.

Favourite album/single/EP you have released: The next one! “Fading Into Oblivion” will be the shit.

Greatest Show/Festival You Have Played: Uppsala shows are always the best.

Happiest Moment You’ve Experienced In The Band: When a record is out, it’s all done, and you head out on tour.

Interesting Fact About One Of Your Members: We’re not that interesting.

Jokes You Have In The Band: I did a thing where I tried to look like a lion by just open my mouth and everybody freaks out screaming “there’s a lion in the room”. Everybody thinks we’re the most stupid people in the world.

Kicking Off Your Set Is Best With Which Song: We’ve done “Wish You Were Gone” for well over a year now, so I guess it has to be the one.

Longest Distance You’ve Travelled To Play A Show: Oh, it has to be Sydney – Brisbane last year. At least it felt like it took forever.

Movie That Best Represents The Band: Goonies.

New Band You’d Recommend: Svart Katt from Sweden. Sick band.

Opening For This Band Would Be Ideal: Don’t really get the question here.

Place You’d Most Like To Tour: South east Asia, the US, South America etc. Everywhere!

Quote That You’d Like To Pass On To Readers: “A cancelled gig is also a gig” – Ulf Lundell

Reason For The Title Of Your Recent/Forthcoming Release: It just fits well with the lyrics. The lyrics are dark and pessimistic so “Fading Into Oblivion” fits well.

See Us Live At: Every show you can.

The First Song You Ever Played Together As A Band: “Damaged State Of Mind” I think. That was the first song we had.

Unusual Merchandise: Don’t have anything strange now, but I wanna make all kinds of things.

Variations You’d Like To Do On Any Of Your Songs: I guess some songs could be done acoustic, but it’s not something we wanna do at the moment.

Worst Experience On Tour: Haha I can’t really say where and when this was, but we played a few shows a couple of years back in another country and everything around it was completely shit.

Xrays Or Any Other Treatments For Band Related Injuries: We’re good people. We take care of ourselves, so no.

Your Favourite Show You’ve Ever Played: First show we did in Uppsala. Sold out house in our home town with all our friends. A special night for sure.

Zoo Animal That Best Describes The Band: I heard something about an immortal jellyfish, so I’ll go with that.