"Music will save lives, not haircuts." - An interview with Ginger Wildheart
2013 has so far been another crazy year for Ginger Wildheart. The amazing success of his second fan funded album projects Mutation and Hey! Hello! (which is released commercially from Monday!), the reformation of The Wildhearts, non stop touring and news of a new Pledge Music campaign on the way, is there any stopping this guy? The answer is definitely not.
2013 has already been an incredibly busy year for you, what has been your favourite part so far?
There really have been too many great moments to isolate any single one. Being acknowledged by Classic Rock by being given an award was amazing, as was the whole occasion, Hey! Hello! being received so well in US and Japan, The Wildhearts shows, the Slash tour, playing with Courtney….aaaahh, the whole year has been amazing! And I have a feeling that next year will be even more insane.
Your Mutation project was something completely different to 555%, did it worry you at all what peoples reactions may have been, or were you confident the fans would love it, as they clearly did?
As I said in the Pledge video I don’t expect everyone to like everything I do, for me that’s part of the relationship with a band or artist. There are albums by Cheap Trick, Sparks and Zappa that I just can’t listen to, but I love that they have the drive that makes them want to make these albums. I will always warn people that my albums might or might not be to their taste, but that’s why I try to make Pledge albums collectible, so they can sell them on if they don’t like them.
Where did the idea behind Hey! Hello! come from?
I had wanted to play all the instruments on an album for years now, and when I decided to make a power pop album I figured it’s that time. I specifically wanted the songs to have an element of AC/DC basics in the rhythm section, but with accents that hit every syllable and to be honest I don’t know any drummers who would do that better than me, being as i wrote the songs and know where all the accents are.
The Hey! Hello! album has been extremely popular, was this something you were expecting? And how did this contribute to the decision to release it commercially? We love it.
Nothing about Hey! Hello! has been anything like what I was expecting. In fact I was expecting very little apart from people saying “it’s catchy, I like it”. I guess it’s happened at the right time where the world is in steady turmoil, that and the current heatwave presumably makes catchy, fun pop more appealing that it might normally be.
Whatever the reason, and there’s no point in trying to find one, I’m really enjoying seeing this funny little project develop confidence in front of a new and loving audience.
Are their any plans to tour either Mutation/Hey! Hello! (or both) further?
I really don’t know what will happen as far as playing live with either of those two. It’s not something I want to spend too much time dreaming about when I could be writing new material for new projects. I’m a man possessed these days, and tend to just run in the direction of my inspiration. And I’m really enjoying the recording process more than I ever did before. Having said that, if I start getting into recording that’s usually when a ton of touring work will turn up.
You have already indicated that work will begin soon on your next Pledge campaign, what sort of thing can we expect from that?
It’s the Ginger Wildheart Band, my touring solo group, featuring Random Jon Poole, Denzel, Rich Jones, Chris Catalyst, Victoria and now Bryan Scary, our newest recruit. So many talented people and a private residential studio for two months. What could possibly go wrong? Don’t worry, you’ll be in there with us to find out. The music is going to be an insane array of styles that I’m hoping will redesign what a rock album should sound like. I’m crazy excited about this one.
Interacting with fans is a big part of what you do, why is it so important to you to keep them involved?
They’re the boss, they pay my wages. I will never understand bands or artists that don’t want to maintain a close relationship with their fans. Surely you want them to be proud to be on your side, right?
I’ve always believed that you should do the right thing by your people, and that feeling only gets stronger every year.
You have recently hinted at your disappointment in the UK press when it comes to independent music/artists, why do you think it is that they tend to shy away from giving exposure to new/independent music?
Because they’re slaves to the advertisers that plough money into their mundane little rags. That’s why these companies hire editors that will happily tow the line, and if they try to make too many waves they’ll just replace them with another faceless, passionless drone who will do what they’re told. It’s an insane situation that stinks just as bad as the cookie cutter bands they feature.
Just as long as the general public don’t buy the bullshit, and mistake this for the real face of UK music, then I’m fine with it. Who cares about passionless journalists and identikit magazine attitudes anyway? The reason why I get frustrated is because a gullible public could actually believe the shit these mags try to feed you, and lose sight of the underground scene.
We’ve seen too many great things disappear to make way for advance, like vinyl, CD’s and DVDs, the inevitable casualties of tech war, but I won’t sit around and let the live circuit and independent bands suffer the same fate. I’ll go down fighting if nothing else.
You have inspired many other bands/artists to go down the Pledge route, and also won awards for your own efforts, how does it feel to be a kind of spokesperson for keeping it DIY?
It feels very frustrating right now, because not enough people are taking notice of the slow death of an actual DIY scene. But I’m a strong believer in water finding the right level, and suspect that there are a bunch of young kids who are more interested in their sound and songwriting than getting their entire body covered in tattoos.
Shit, if half of these bands spent as much time writing as they do being inked we’d at least have a few decent songs, but once again it’s style over substance, and this traditionally makes way for a bunch of pissed off youth saying “fuck this”.
That’s the punks spirit I pray to see now. It is the only thing that’s going to take the power away from corporate stooges and refocus attention on actual music.
Music will save lives, not haircuts.
What advice would you give new bands wanting to break through? And is there any bands/artists at the moment you want to shout about?
I’d just say do things your way, play hundreds of gigs and write better songs. Everyone, including me, needs to write better songs.
Get amazing as a live band by playing every shit hole with electricity, and if you’re great word will get out, I’ll hear, and I’ll get you a gig.
The passion that Baby Godzilla have at every single show they play is the passion I want to see from everyone.
Lose your shit, lose your voice, lose your mind, but make it count.
You only have this chance, don’t waste it by trying to fit in or join the trends. No one really cares about that shit anyway, and you will not make lasting fans if you look and sound like everyone else. Trust me on this.
Lastly, congratulations on the amazing reception the Earth vs shows received, are their any other plans to fit in anything else Wildhearts related into your tight schedule?
No plans as of right now, but then the real stuff happens when you’re busy making plans, right? So I’ll avoid making them and just enjoy the ride, if it’s okay with you.
Hey! Hello! is released on Monday 22 July, get involved with what is probably the best album you will hear all year!
Interview: The Burning Crows
Whippz Crow of The Burning Crows tells us all about The Burning Crows’ exciting new PledgeMusic campaign and the Autumun/Winter tour with The Quireboys…
LTMDTT: The band has just launched a PledgeMusic campaign for your new album: what inspired you to do so?
Whippz: Well it really came down to the fans to be honest. PledgeMusic has essentially blown the whole game wide open and given fans the power to help musicians and bands achieve their goals by helping to fund whatever project they’re currently working on without the need for any label backing. That’s why it really made sense to us to put what we love in the hands of the people who love it as much as we do, whilst still being able to stay true, real and honest to ourselves and everyone that’s backed us from the start… Recording in the way that we do can be expensive business and this is where a lot of bands fall down as it’s so easy for things to fall apart when there’s no cash coming in. We’ve been offered record deals in the past where they would have helped with recording, but the problem was that they wanted to completely change our sound & image and essentially turn us into something that we’re not, so it kind of defied the point of us recording the album at all if you’re no longer the band that people loved in the first place. People have been asking for a full album for ages now and this seemed like the best way to get it done and keep those who want it in the loop and in control.
What can fans expect from the new album, will it be in the same direction as the “Never Had it So Good” ep or something different?
For better or worse we just sound like we do, so it’s unlikely we’ll be going down a “Sounds of The Andes Pan Flute” route to be honest. Whether that’s good or bad is all down to the listener I suppose haha? Aside from the usual influences you’d expect from a Rock n’ Roll band though, we all listen to very different things so there’s a lot of different flavours in there but if you liked the EP, you’re going to love the album and although naturally we’ve evolved as band since “Never Had It So Good”, it’s still us. It still sounds like us. It still has the same sentiments as us. We’re not going to pretend we spend every night out on Sunset Strip because the reality is that we live in a fairly quiet part of England. We won’t however pretend that we’re angels that your mum would be pleased to have round for dinner… It’s just good time, Saturday night, party music. If that’s your thing, come get involved!
What is the most exciting thing about writing and recording new music?
We love every part of the writing and recording process but getting out there and playing it live has to be the most rewarding for us. It’s always really cool to sit around in a studio for weeks on end putting songs together, getting things tight and sounding like they do in your head then hearing it all come together back on tape but it’s when you get up on stage and play them to a crowd that the magic really happens. It’s really cliché but there really is nothing better than hearing people singing your song back at you with everyone getting off on each other’s buzz. That’s what make the show; it’s the combination of the music, the atmosphere and most importantly… the people.
Where do you usually gather song writing inspiration? What is your usual song writing process?
That depends on who you ask! Normally though I’ll have the song written and have in my head how it’s meant to sound. Then I’ll spend a while trying to communicate how it’s meant to go, usually unsuccessfully, using noises and charade style actions until after a period of time someone suggests what I was actually trying to say in the first place and we get there in the end… Our drummer cant see colours or hear notes though so that can make things a little tricky. Seriously though there’s a lot of cool ideas from everyone and the mix of styles and influences just fit together and make it all sound like us. As far as inspiration goes, I never really set our to write a song, I just wait for an idea or a line or a melody to pop into my head, then if I’m still singing it at the end of the day, I’ll write a song around it and hopefully have something other people catch hook on to too. As for subject matter, we’re not kidding ourselves into thinking we’re changing society with our music. We know nothing about politics or anything like that so we keep our true to who we are what we know about… If you want to put a stamp on it, Chris put it quite eloquently when he said all the songs were about “Girls, Booze and Girls with Booze”
The PledgeMusic campaign is already a good percentage complete. What does this kind of support mean to you and the rest of the band?
It’s incredible and it’s gone beyond what we expected, even at this early stage. A lot of people have put it down to the band but as much as we appreciate the compliment, I think it’s all down to the fans. Without them, we’re just 4 guys playing songs together and as we’ve always said we are so so lucky to have such a dedicated fan base and as with most of things we do, we can’t do it without them. That’s the main reason we’ve tried to make the Pledge as rewarding for the people who pre-order the album as it is for us and given people the opportunity to get involved with the band in ways that weren’t possible before and really give them the option to get their hands on something special (One of a kind merch, secret gigs, personal acoustic shows, studio holidays) in return for their hard earned money, as believe me, we know just how tight it is at the moment… Since we released the “Never Had It So Good” EP things have gone from strength to strength and a lot of that can be attributed to all the fans new and old who get behind us without fail every single time we announce . If any of you are reading this – Thank you all so much, we love you all!
You are about to start another tour of the UK, this time as special guests to The Quireboys which must be really exciting. What do you think fans of The Quireboys are going to make of The Burning Crows?
Can’t wait for this! I’ve always loved The Quireboys and they’re still in my top 5 bands of all time, so to be able to watch them every night is a winner for me… Even now, live, they put most acts to shame, they’ve got excellent songs and they’re all great guys too. The cool thing about both bands is that we’re all about putting on a show, getting the crowd involved and having a good time, so all things being well it should be a party from start to finish! The response we’ve had from their fans so far has been great and whether they’ve checked us out because we’re on tour, through our lovely Manager Matt (Goom – Drummer of the Quireboys) or Keith (Weir – Keys in The Quireboys and played on The Burning Crows’ “Time”) everyone seems to be really into what we’re doing and just get what we’re about, so it’s going to be really cool for us to go out there and re-connect with all the friends and fans we made on the last tour as well as meeting a load of new ones on this tour. We’ll be at the bar 10 mins after we finish, so come say hi for a drink… or two ;)
The tour also includes a slot at the Hard Rock Hell festival in Wales. Have you played anything similar before and how is it going to differ to the rest of the tour?
We’ve played festivals before which have all been great but we’ve never had the privilege and pleasure of sharing a bill with so many bands of this calibre. I mean, Electric Boys, Sebastian Bach, Buckcherry…. The list goes on and these are all bands that have all had a massive influence on us, so it’s a huge buzz to be a part of it and also to have been one of the first bands confirmed and announced, so in the that respect it’s going to be slightly different to the rest of the tour but as far as our show goes… it’s the same rules every night. 100% of us 100% of the time. No excuses, no regrets. If there’s people who want to see us, then they get all of us, no questions asked. It’s been a while since we’ve been on the road so unless something drastic happens in the form of someone losing a limb, every show’s going to be electric!
Is there anything you would like to add?
Just want to once again say a massive thank you to everyone who’s supported us and a special thank you to all who have put their hard earned money, regardless of how much, into recording the album. We don’t take any of it for granted and we really do appreciate all the love and dedication. There’s a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon too, so keep them peepers peeping and if we don’t see you before, we’ll see you on the road with The Quireboys this Winter!
For more info:
The Burning Crows on Facebook
The Burning Crows on PledgeMusic
- Becky Martin
Known as one of the best technical guitarist in modern rock, Alter Bridge/Creed creator Mark Tremonti released his first solo project earlier this year. We caught up with him Newcastle during his first trip to the UK with Tremonti.
Did you originally intend to start a solo project or just decide the material you had written didn’t fit with Alter Bridge or Creed?
Mark: Most of the ideas for the record were tried with both Alter Bridge and Creed and they just didn’t fit, and this idea of making this record came about. I just wanted to get ideas out that were never going to see the light of day put on CD. Most of those were the heavier stuff that didn’t fit.
How did you approach becoming a vocalist/frontman? Did you ever think about bringing a singer in or always planned to do it yourself?
Mark: No, I just wanted to do it myself because my favourite thing is writing vocal melodies and being able to sing those melodies exactly how you hear them in your head is liberating.
How much creative input did the rest of the group have?
Mark: Well I would break out my laptop and play ideas and these guys would kind of ‘I like that one, I like that one’ and then we’d just sit and arrange them together and it kind of went really quick. It took us 3 or 4 weeks or something.
Garrett: Yeah we’d average about 2 songs a night so it was pretty simple.
How did you all come together as a band?
Mark: I’ve known Eric for probably 13 or 14 years. I’ve played so many ideas for Eric over the years it was just natural for us to work together. Then Garrett and Eric were in a band called Submersed years ago that I co-produced and that’s how I got to know Garrett, and he lived in Orlando as well and we definitely needed a drummer who could do all the more progressive metal drumming and have a good pocket which is hard to find. Wolfgang came in very last minute when Brian couldn’t do it the night before our tour and Wolfgang was in town and came to save the day!
How’s that been for you Wolfgang, coming in late and having to learn everything?
Wolfgang: Well yeah, having a night to learn the entire record was a little rough but yeah, we pulled it off and it’s been really smooth, fun month of touring.
How are you finding the UK shows?
What’s the difference in the crowd like between support and headline shows?
Mark: When it’s your crowd it’s definitely more energetic for you but I think the Slash crowds have been great as well because I think there’s a lot of Alter Bridge fans out there.
How did you end up landing the support slot with Slash?
Mark: I was…I forget what I was doing but I think I was on tour with Creed and my manager came up and said we just got the offer to do some Slash shows over here and I said yeah grab them up, definitely want to do them. Initially we were thinking about doing the whole tour but it just didn’t work out so we just did three.
Has Myles given you any tips about being a frontman?
Mark: No, no…
Wolfgang: Be anti-social and drink lots of tea!
Mark: He’s been taking vocal lessons from Ron Anderson for years and I took one lesson with Ron Anderson and just the other day before our first gig he kind of gave me tips on how to do his warm ups.
How do you keep yourself motivated for a solo project?
Mark: I’m always motivated; I just love doing it regardless of what band it is. Playing music is what I love to do.
Have you started work on the new Alter Bridge & Creed records?
Mark: Yeah, always writing.
If your career were to end tomorrow, what would you feel would be your greatest achievement?
Eric: That’s a good question!
Mark: I would say the song Blackbird is probably my greatest achievement.
Eric: For me it wouldn’t be any particular song or moment, it would just be the fact of making it to this point and getting out there and getting to be in a travelling band. Not having to pay to travel the world! It’s been incredible; it’s something you can’t really take for granted.
Wolfgang: Yeah same, just to be able to say that I do this and can look back on my life saying that, that’s what I did.
Garrett: Without sounding too corny, I would say this record. From a drumming stand point, since day one they’ve always been like ‘just swing for the fences, go for broke!’ And any other projects I’ve been in it’s always kind of been, you can only do so much so for this record, to do what ever I wanted was liberating.
Do you think you’ll all do another record together?
How do you feel about the reception the album has received?
Mark: It’s been over the top! People have just loved it since day one and we see it live. People are still getting familiar with the record and when we play usually half the people have the record and half don’t so we hope they buy the record after and next time we come through there’s just bigger and better crowds everytime.
Will you be playing more dates when you return in February?
Mark: Yes, we’re just opening door with this tour and February will do a more extensive tour and maybe come back again in August.
Eric: Seeing the reception the way that it is, is just makes us want to go out there and play in front of as many people as possible.
Garrett: Then next time round everybody will know about us.
Eric: It kind of feels like we’re not doing the right thing if we’re not touring.
Wolfgang: The more people we play for now the more exponentially better it will be the next time.
Thank you for your time!
Mark: Thank you for coming down!
Check out our review of All I Was here.
Interview: Home Grown Rock
Carrying on from our piece on the importance of independence in the music industry, we had a chat with our good friend Lisa Loczy from Home Grown Rock, who is doing amazing things for unsigned bands in the UK. Have a read below…
What was the thinking behind setting up Home Grown Rock?
I set this up because I wanted to see more local UK bands getting the promotion they deserved and I wanted to provide them with the best stage to perform on to help boost their career as musicians. A stage that usually they only get to play on if either they pay to play, or have a paid PR company or management team backing them. These local bands need someone to help them who can do it for free and so I thought have the time, energy and passion to do just that, so I made it my mission having been into rock music all my life.
How did it all begin?
One day listening to Planet Rock radio in my car, a band came on and I thought ”wow who is this, this is new, this is amazing!” They then announced it to be ‘Slam Cartel’ the song being ’Wishing Eye’, so I contacted them that day on Twitter and asked them if they were from London, as in London UK - or in the USA, and if they had any gigs / plans to come over to the UK. They replied “we are from London, as in Landan Taaan UK and no we haven’t any gigs at the moment” so I exchanged numbers with Terry Warville (guitarist / songwriter) and we began setting up some gigs for the band. We used to joke about booking The 100 Club, and he even helped me with my first presentation I did to get a foot in the door. 3 weeks later I’d booked the venue and found a heap more amazing British rock bands to play there too in support of Slam Cartel and on other nights.
Why are you so passionate about promoting these bands and spreading the word?
Unless a band pays for a PR company or gets signed to a small independant record label with its own PR, they have no voice outside of their local circles. The bands I have found and booked to play at one of my events deserve to be noticed throughout the UK and I want to play a part in helping them get that recognition. The energy on Twitter, for example, is very powerful and it only takes a few shout outs about a local band to get other people listening to them and I have even gotten some bands airplay around the world, which makes it all worth while to me.
Do you think it is important for bands to be more independent and self promote?
Yes, it is very important. I am doing all of this for free and in some cases I am funding the venue hire upfront, so it is only fair that the bands I have chosen to play do their part in trying to sell some tickets to their own fans - afterall it is their band the fans want to hear and see, not the promoter. I have been on some bands social media sites and have seen that their events pages are not up to date, or their biographies are wrong. If a potential record label looked at this they could be put off by this as nowadays labels are looking for bands who are extremely proactive. The music industry is afterall a business and labels are investors. No one will invest money in something that won’t invest time and energy in itself.
What do you think to sites like Twitter/Facebook and the role they play in promoting unsigned bands?
Twitter deserves a medal for allowing bands and fans to join in global conversation. It has unified the music industry and has provided a free and powerful marketing tool for us all. I find, book and promote bands using Twitter which links to my Facebook for the fans that are not yet on Twitter.
The same goes for sites like Pledge Music that allow bands to gain funding to record etc, is this the way forward?
Studio time is expensive and so is making your own album if you are not signed to a huge label, so having the facility in place for fans to pledge to help bands with costs can only be a way forward. Since there is so much ‘free’ music out there for people to listen to or legally download, depending on bands settings on Reverbnation, Soundcloud, Spotify etc, labels are not making the money back like they used to, so even signed bands are using this to help fund themselves alongside the contribution the smaller labels give them toward making their album. I have pledged on many an album myself!
Finally, what are you hopes for HGR in the future?
I am planning a festival next year in association with ChildLine Rocks, an amazing organisation set up to help the charity ChildLine. We want the festival to be affordable and accessible for all fans of the bands who have played (or will have played) for Home Grown Rock and estimate a few thousand people attending from all over the UK. I will be donating towards ChildLine and using the remaining profit to launch my own record label (which actually exists already) so that I can start funding a few lucky bands with a full ‘Manufacture / Distribution / PR’ package that will launch them into the mainstream. I will also continue booking bands into venues across the UK.
You’ve heard their music, now it’s time to get to know our featured artist a little bit better. We caught up with vocalist Scott to find out more about the people behind that wall of sound.
Liam Gore Photography
First of all, you’re a fairly new band but have managed to secure some great support and festival slots, were you surprised how quickly things started happening for you?
Yes and no. yes because it’s always great to get recognition for all the hard work you’re all putting into the thing you love, but no because that’s exactly it. Any success we’ve had and will have is because we’re constantly busting our sides to write better, play better, perform better, record better. And all the promo and securing opportunities, well as iIm sure you know, these don’t just knock on your door. You have to go out and get them, fight for them. It’s amazing how much about being in a band is paper-work and networking, pestering people (in the right way of course) or approaching industry folk. If you’re lucky and work hard enough, and have music that’s good enough, you’ll be able to get yourself in-front of people that can really help, then you can start to build a little momentum. But we’re very aware that each success we achieve, our next one has to be bigger and better in order to keep that momentum growing. If you don’t you just disappear. There’s so many great bands out there sometimes it really can just come down to who’s trying the hardest and making the most noise.
You recently became involved with Home Grown Rock, have you noticed any major changes since?
Home Grown Rock are one of those industry set ups I just mentioned. they’re a great set of people and if they like what you do and what you’re about then they can help you start opening doors for your self. I say for your self ‘cause in the end it all comes down to what you put into it. They’re great at recognising something special in a band or an artist and their passionate about promoting them, which is obviously really important for bands like us that are just starting to step out of that grass-roots scene. Home Grown Rock have been really great to us over the last few weeks though. it’s thanks to them that we’re finally starting to get chances to play on some of the stages we’ve always wanted to play.
How important do you think social networking sites are to spread the word of new music?
It’s hugely important now, more than ever. with the shift that’s been going on in the music industry it is becoming more and more important that we, the artists and bands, take up the reigns more, and things like facebook, twitter, reverbnation and so on are amazing tools to help us do that. They’re also brilliant formats to communicate and bond with your fans, or family as we call them! It’s weird though cause on the one hand it’s a great way to create and maintain a close and personal relationship with the people that love your music, but on the other hand nothing will ever beat meeting people face to face. We just try to use them as another way to connect with our folks along side our shows and any other promotional stuff we may do, like this for instance!
You’re EP Taking root was released earlier this year, any plans for an album?
Yeah an album is definitely on the horizon. we have plenty of material to make one but for us we want our records to mark where we are as a band so we want to really make sure we have the right songs for it. When we went in to studio to record Taking Root, it was about us saying ‘look, this is who we are’. That’s why the record doesn’t have any fillers (besides the fact that we don’t believe in them!) and it’s why each track on their has a strong sense of it’s own personality. We wanted to make sure the record showcased each side of us effectively. Hopefully if all goes to plan, and the stars align in the right kind of financial way, we’ll be recording our first album sometime in 2013. It’s going to be big when we do though. We want our first album to make a loud announcement to the music world and hopefully we’ll achieve this with the songs we’re currently writing.
Who are your main influences?
They come from all over the board really. we have a big classic/blues rock tinge to our sound and that comes from bands like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Free, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Who. Where as that kind of sleazy, off the cuff lead guitar work can often come from John being inspired by Guns’n’Roses and some of the other west coast bands of that era. But then there’s some big doses that have come from more recent bands like Black Stone Cherry, The Answer, Down, Avenged Sevenfold, Pearl Jam and Rival Sons. So we take our influences from a lot of places really. But like most bands we love music and our influences are typically just our individual starting points. Our sound comes from our own personalities understanding those influences as individuals and as a band, and then through them finding our own voice and what we want that voice to say. That’s what BlackWolf is. Above all though we aim to make music that’s honest and authentic but also present and never comfortable. That’s what rock’n’roll’s all about, being all these things but then not being afraid to just throw everything up in the air and have fun with it.
Lastly, to the people who say rock n roll is dead, how do you respond?
Rock’n’roll, and I mean real rock’n’roll, is going through somewhat of a revival right now. bands like Rival Sons, The Answer, Black Spiders, Wolfmother, Vintage Trouble, Saint Jude and countless others they’re all helping to bring rock’n’roll into the present by keeping true to what it’s about, but making it relevant to today’s listeners and we’re proud to be riding this wave with them. People often refer to rock’n’roll and the music that ourselves and these other bands play as ‘through-back’, but it not that at all. it’s more ‘come-back’ music. We’re not just simply playing what was being played in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, we’re adding the next step to where those bands left off. We really do believe that there’s a strong revival of this type of music happening right now and there are a lot of great bands, big and small, that are helping to make this happen. So to any one that says rock’n’roll is dead, we say it can never be dead, ‘cause rock’n’roll isn’t a sound, it’s a feeling, it’s an attitude and you can’t kill things like that.
Interview: Todd Kerns
I can’t speak for the other guys but I sure am! The record turned out better than I could have imagined. It’s been really rewarding listening to audiences round the world singing along!
I love playing in the UK and Europe. The audiences are the best and really appreciate Rock N Roll. It’s great to get to go to places like New York City, New Orleans, Nashville etc etc.
I am currently in Canada and it’s amazingly rewarding being able to play in my home territory. Australia rocks, Can’t wait to get to New Zealand and back to Japan.
And of course South America which is the rowdiest audiences in the world.
I’ve been singing Doctor Alibi since the last tour. Sometimes I would sing We’re All Gonna Die. This tour I’ve been doing 2 songs. Alibi plus either You’re Crazy or Out Ta Get Me from Appetite. It’s always an honor to get to sing with these guys.
It’s a little on the early side to tell just yet but I truly hope that is the case. The chemistry of this band has been undeniable. Apocalyptic Love was so successful it would be a shame not to capitalize on it by following up with the bigger and the better!
Slash had initially wanted to call the band The Collaborators. I countered with The Conspirators and that was that. Both were taken from watching History channel shows about WWII.
Frank is amazing. He is my little brother. We have a good time. He plays great and is definitely 100% a Conspirator.
It has. I only made Go Time! Available again because of the demand for it. It means a lot to me that it has found a new life. It was initially released in 2004 so to see those songs finding life 8 years later is very cool.
Hell yes. We will be back your way in October I believe. We love it over there. So much of my favorite music is from over there.
We also had a few questions some of your fans wanted to ask…
Do you have any amusing anecdotes from the recording of Apocalyptic Love?
I think every day was amusing. We laugh a lot. We have a great time together. It was awesome to be in Hollywood recording a rock n roll record. We ate at a mexican stand almost every day. Good fun. I can’t think of any particular funny stories but the experience itself was such a good time.
My passions have always been the same. Music, movies, some TV, comics and comic related stuff, sci fi, some horror. But mostly music. My house looks like a cross between a guitar store and a novelty/records/books/movie store.
I’m pretty good with the nunchakus (we know them as nunchucks) believe it or not. I love Bruce Lee films and taught myself to use them watching his movies.
I’d probably go back and tell myself to stick with it! I don’t really have regrets but there are things I would have done differently had I known I’d still have such a passion for this.
Currently I am obsessed with Ginger Wildheart’s 3 part solo album 555%
I have always been a fan but have never gotten to see him live. Maybe next time I’m in the UK!
As announced this morning, you can catch Slash with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators back in the UK this October! You can also find copies of Todd’s solo album Go Time! over at www.toddkerns.com.
Interview - The Burning Crows
The Burning Crows are one of the hottest new UK bands out there - with a fantastic new EP and a national headlining tour this Autumn, these guys certainly have a bright future ahead of them. We caught up with frontman Whippz to find out more…
- Some of our readers may not have heard of The Burning Crows, so how would you sum up your sound?
Well, it’s fairly simple… There’ s no politics, no moral message, just a lot of good time British Rock n’ Roll. Does make you want to drink? Yes. Does it lead to making beasts with two backs? Quite possibly. People have said before that it sounds a lot like the best bits of the 70s & 80s, but with a more contemporary edge, which is probably the best way to describe it.
- Could you give a brief history of the band?
We spent a massive amount of time writing and recording a lot of demos when we first started out, really getting to the essence of who we were as band and what we naturally sounded like. After that, we just played up and down the country relentlessly - over 100 shows in a year if I remember correctly! After that it was off to the studio to record the EP, which was released a few months ago and now we’re getting ready to head out on our first headline tour of the UK & Ireland this September. Literally can’t wait!
- Who are your main influences and how do they differ from the rest of the band’s influences?
I’ve always taken most of my inspiration from ‘DC, KISS, Gn’R, Aerosmith - all the usual suspects. Those are the bands that really got me in to Rock from the start and is probably the reason why we sound a lot like we do. Growing up though, there was Northern Soul, Motown which I still love now. Lance listens to a lot of country whilst Will & Chris are metal-heads through and through, but we’ll listen to anything to be honest. You can find something that speaks to you in any kind of music, you just have to be willing to listen, you know?
- How do these influences affect your music?
There’s elements of them all in the songs. Everyone just plays in their own way, but it’s locked in tight, it’s a unit, and it just sounds like us. We never really try to write a song as such, we’ll just wait for a melody or line to jump into our head and if it’s still stuck there later on, its more than likely that’ll stick in someone else’s too. Those are the songs we love to write and people love to hear and as clichéd as it sounds, there’s nothing better than having a packed out venue singing something that just popped into your mind back at you. When you get one of those it’s like a musically divine intervention. Just boozier.
- This year saw the release of The Burning Crows’ first EP “Never Had it So Good”. How was the writing and recording process?
We started with around 15 potential tracks and in the run up to the sessions, which we trimmed down to the 5 on the disk based on what people seemed to dig live and what people had said they wanted to hear on record. At the end of the day, it’s for the fans more than anything, so it made sense to us to pick them this way and in all fairness, I think they’re the best representation of us as band right now as well, so to anyone reading who’s came to a show and essentially demanded we record certain songs - Good work people! The actual recording process itself was incredible. We checked in to the world famous Rockfield Studios in Wales (where Bo’ Rhap was recorded along with some of Ozzy, Dio, Thunder, The Darkness & Oasis’ most famous albums) and it’s just one of those places where you feel like you’re just meant to be. It’s amazing and the whole process was incredibly humbling, especially when you think of all the people you grew up idolizing who’ve done the exact same thing as you, in that exact same place years before - it’s mad! The en suite jacuzzis were a nice touch as well haha. We were also lucky enough to have Nick Brine (worked with Oasis, Stone Roses, The Darkness, Springsteen etc) produce it and he just instinctively knew what we wanted to do and how it should sound, which just made the whole thing just feel really easy and organic. Plus he has a high tolerance for idiocy which helps…
- You have some links to The Quireboys - such as your manager Matt Goom and also Keith Weir’s contribution to “Time” on your EP. How did this partnership/friendship come about?
Matt’s a diamond. He’s been a massive part of the band for a long time now, both as a friend and a manager and we couldn’t have done a lot of this stuff without him. For me personally, The Quireboys have always been one of my favourite bands both on disk and live, so I’d met Keith a few times after shows a while back when they’d come to town. Coincidentally, Matt hooked up with us some time later, and to cut a long story short, we just ended up hanging out at festivals in the summer and it came up in conversation a few times. Skip forward a few months and tah dah - Keith’s on “Time” and to be honest his playing on that track really makes the song. Matt and Keith are both genuinely top guys. It’s just a massive buzz when you get people like that offering to help you out and incredibly cool to go from listening to a band, to having them involved with what you’re doing and being able to call them your mate.
- Starting in September, you’re off on a headlining tour of the UK. For those who haven’t seen a Burning Crows show before, what can they expect?
A show! An unrelenting, hot & sweaty, rawkus, balls to the wall rock n’ roll concert! It’s a two way street up on stage, where you and the audience just feed off of each others energy and vibe. We’ve always set out to be the kind of band we’d pay to go and see, where everyone literally gives it all they have to put on the very best live show around, as let’s be honest, nobody wants to see 4 guys looking at their feet for 2 hours. You can buy a CD and look at a picture and get the same experience in your bedroom. People want to be entertained, to get involved and be a part of something, so give them what they want!
- Are there any cities or venues in particular that you can’t wait to play?
They’re all looking like they could get out of hand to be honest haha! We’re playing a lot of places we’ve never been to before, but the response to the shows so far has been phenomenal. The supports bands are all great, the fans are great and everyone is just up for it! Kicking off in our hometown is going to be killer and probably the best way possible to get things warmed up, but after that, it’s anything goes. England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales… we want you . All over us!
- As a band, you have a good online presence on sites such as Twitter and Facebook and through these sites you have been recruiting for a street team, which is a great way to include your fans in the promotion of the upcoming tour. Would you recommend this strategy to other bands out there?
Absolutely! If people love the band enough to get involved, then get them involved - it’s a no-brainer. The whole social networking thing has a bit of bad name, but for a band it’s amazing. You can interact with fans across the world 24/7 and chat with all the people who may not be able to come to shows for whatever reason, but still give them enough of yourselves to reciprocate that love. It’s always a two way thing and it grows… quickly. I’ve answered emails, in this week alone, from people in Monaco, Japan and Russia wanting signed copies of the disc, which is incredibly flattering and crazy to think about all at once! As long as people want to talk to us, we’re there… they can even have my number, absolutely love it!
- If someone asked you for advice on starting their own band, what advice would you give?
Wow, never been asked that before! But in my opinion (and it is a very humble opinion) just go for it with everything you have. You’ll end up sacrificing up all your spare time and money, but nobody’s going to do it for you, there’ll always be people who want you to fail, but the flip side of that is that there might be people who want you to succeed, so you never know. Somebody once said “as long as I fail on my own terms, I still win” and that’s really stuck with me. If nothing else, being able to look back on the ride and honestly say you couldn’t have done anymore has got be better than living your life thinking “what if”, so get out there and do it.
- And finally, what are the bands plans and what can we expect to see/hear from The Burning Crows in the future?
There’s a lot of really exciting stuff happening at the moment, but typically, we can’t talk about it yet. The plan at the moment is to kick the hell out of the Tour in September (if anyone needs tickets get to www.theburningcrows.com), kill it at this years Hard Rock Hell festival then get back in the studio early next year to record a full album. In between that there’s some very cool shows being lined up, along with music videos, competitions and all the usual world domination kind of stuff. Keep them peepers peeping people – it’s all going on!!!
The Burning Crows is definitely a band to keep an eye out for! The EP “Never Had it So Good” is out already (and available through the usual places) and the tour starts on the 1st of September - see the poster above for more info!
- Becky Martin
Interview - Mia Klose
We caught up with new girl in town Mia Klose about her move to London, her forthcoming album, and what her plans for the future are!
You hail from Sweden originally, why the move to London?
Sweden is great and beautiful, but it’s very small compared to London. There is not a lot going on there. I wanted to live the big city life so I moved! In London you can really explore your creativity, you can be who you are without having anyone judging you! I think that’s what I like most about London!
Was it a concious choice in order to further your music career?
Initially I only planned to stay for a few months, but I quickly built music contacts that made it convenient for me to stay!
How did you become a singer? What brought you into the world of music?
A major part of my family is working with music professionally in one way or the other so I’m pretty much born in to it! I was standing on a stage the first time when I was only three years old and I have played many different instruments through the years. I started to sing in bands and take singing lessons when I was about 13 years old and since then it has been my main focus!
What music/bands do you take influence from?
I take influences from a lot of different sources. I’m not necessarily tied to one genre of music, as long as the quality is good I can appreciate almost all kinds. Though my strongest passion lies in the classic rock and metal from its golden era of the 80s and 90s! I like music that is expressive, makes you feel something and doesn’t leave you blank!
Which female singers/bands inspire you?
Janis Joplin, Gwen Stefani, Joan Jett, Lita Ford to mention a few!
How does in feel being a woman in the world of rock/metal? Do you think it is more tough?
I don’t think the feeling you get from being a rock musician is depending on your gender! I love what I do and that’s all that matters in the end! J
You have yourself some killer tracks, can we expect an album anytime soon?
Thank you very much I’m glad to hear you like the tracks! My debut album LONDON is set to be released on the 1st of August this year! It will be available at miaklose.com and at iTunes. I love all the tracks on the album, and I’m confident if you like what you have heard online so far you won’t be disappointed! I’m very happy and proud of it!
Do you have any plans to head out on tour?
The intention is to plan a tour as soon as the album is out. In the U.K to start with, but we want to come and play for all our fans out there, so we will do it as soon as we get the opportunity! My favourite part of being a musician is playing live so expect to see us on the road near you soon!
Anything else we can expect from you in 2012?
Our new web store has just opened at http://store.miaklose.com/ and will have more items added to it soon. So keep your eyes on there! Make sure to grab a copy of the album once it’s out and come and see us live when we play near you!! Also find me online at www.facebook.com/miaklose or at www.twitter.com/mia_klose
Thank you for the interview!
You can find more info and listen to some tracks from Mia at the above links!
Interview: Spit Like This
They have been hailed as the coolest looking band around, but with a variety of different influences (musical, artistic and otherwise), a hefty dosage of outrageous attitudes and killer songs - there’s definitely more than meets the eye with Spit Like This. At the eve of the release of album "Normalityville Horror", Let The Music Do The Talking takes a glimpse at the world of Spit Like This with lead singer Lord Zion…
The release of “Normalityville Horror” falls during the tenth year of the band. Looking back, what do you think Spit Like This has achieved as a band in the past decade?
Lord Zion: Although we did form in 2002, at first it was just a studio-based project with only Vikki [Spit (bassist of SLT)] and myself tugging the strings. Our first live shows were in 2003 but it wasn’t really until 2007-ish that we really decided to knuckle down. I guess that was make-or-break for us. Up until that point, we had been winging it! Having said that, I am really proud of what we have achieved. OK, it may not be as much as a lot of bands but, by the same token, it is a helluva lot more than 99.9% of bands that ever form, so that’s good enough for me. I’m glad I didn’t know on Day 1 how long it would actually take to get to this point, though. That would have been a very daunting journey to start!
What do you think Spit Like This will have achieved in ten more years?
What decides that the time is right to go into the studio to record an album? Or is it an ongoing process?
LZ: Finances, really. We saved hard to record album 1 only to get shafted by some scrupulous people. So we had to save hard again to record album 2. As that is only just getting its UK release – and the rest of the world must follow – album 3 is a little way away yet. I am sure we will know when the time is right. When we have something interesting to say, I guess. Now I have discovered how to actually write lyrics, I want to put that to good use to invigorate the minds of the listeners.
What comes first the lyrics or the music?
LZ: Either Or. There is no set way of writing. The single, “Zero To Sixty” was lyrics first. The opening track, “Sick”, was lyrics and music simultaneously. The last song, “Dead To Me Now” was music first. The best way though seems to be both nudging each other along as they go, influencing the next move and counter-move.
I often think that a band is the sum of its parts and if each individual tried to produce music it would never be the same and more likely to be totally different. Which influence do each of you have that the rest of the band don’t share and where’s the common ground?
LZ: My influences are so ridiculously varied that it has taken me all of these 10 years to actually work out what the SLT sound is. It could have been anything but I knew it had to be something and, with this album, we nailed it.
The common ground is that we all like tight, rhythmic music. I am sure that we all listen to stuff that the others thinks is deplorable but, from that, I am sure we each bring some sneaky unknowns into the mix. It’s a good way to work. As long as Rob[Riot (guitarist of SLT)]doesn’t tell me that a riff was inspired by some insipid pretend pop-punk band, I will remain happy - if it is a good riff. If he told me though, I wouldn’t give it a fair listen. That’s prejudice and musical snobbery for ya! (By the same token, I won’t tell anyone that I was inspired by a Girls Aloud song to put a certain melody together *ahem*)
Spit Like This boasts a great & dedicated fan base - multiple people even have the band logos tattooed on themselves. With this level of dedication in your fans, do you feel that you have to be role models for them? And do you/would you make good or bad role models for some of the younger fans?
LZ: It always astounds me when people get our logo tattooed on them. It has happened so much now, you would think I would be used to it. But I’m not. I am always surprised, humbled and flattered by such dedication. I hope I never take that for granted. When the chips are down, I look at those tattoos and it reminds me WHY this band exists.
We are the band for the misfits, the geeks, the freaks. All those people that don’t quite fit. We welcome all and this is their safe-haven. Everyone is free to just be themselves with no-one judging them. That is what SLT is all about. Freedom and Individuality.
To that extent, I do actually think we are good role models. Each of us was bullied and each of us has overcome personal obstacles to get to the point we are at in our lives. When I was younger and going through shit, I would have loved to be able to have looked up at someone like myself and known that there IS a way out of it, there IS a future and it can be one that people envy. If what we do encourages one person to come out of their shell or achieve something sensational, job done.
With the popularity of social media these days, do you feel that it is important for bands to embrace such tools as Facebook or Twitter?
LZ: I think it is vital. I favour Facebook, but all social media has it’s place in music. When we first started, there was nothing like that. We had a couple of releases before MySpace started and, because we were quite slow at getting on that particular ship, it was like we were starting again once we did sign up. Won’t make that mistake again!
The best thing though is being able to connect with the people that matter. I really feel like I know a lot of the people that buy our music now. They aren’t just numbers, they are names and faces and nearly all of them are awesome.
How have social networks helped Spit Like This? Has it become easier or harder to gain fans/listeners compared to the earlier days of the band before social networks were so popular?
LZ: Like I said, at first, it was a hindrance. We had a Top 10 rock chart “hit” in 2005, just before MySpace took off, but then had to watch everyone else overtake us as we were slow off that particular mark. If you were a good marketeer, gaining fans without social media was easier. We did well. Once social media hit though, the competition grew exponentially. That didn’t necessarily mean there were a load more better bands, all of a sudden, just that they had been given a simple platform to reach people. The consumer has to wade through way more shit now to find the good stuff.
How does it feel to have gained moderate success in such a difficult environment - with the popularity of a so-called X Factor/Simon Cowell Culture and with the increase of musical piracy for example?
LZ: It is both nice and frustrating. If we were born 10 years earlier, I am sure we would have got a major label deal and got zipped off around the world earning oodles of cash. The music scene isn’t like that any more and I doubt it will be like that again. Whilst the Internet has, in one way, levelled the playing field, it has also made it much harder for bands to be discovered simply due to the volume out there. I pity any A&R person in one way and kind of understand why they play it safe. The thing is, there is no such thing as a sure thing and, eventually, they will realise they have to take risks again. As I see it, there is no Pink Floyd or Rolling Stones of the future. Labels don’t invest any more. It’s a scary time to be a musician, for sure, and a much harder way to simply earn a living than it used to be. But I’m not complaining – I wouldn’t change what I do and, for each rung up the ladder we get, we are poking the eyeballs of people like Simon Cowell!
We have heard news of a new music video - what can you tell us about it without giving too much away?
LZ: Um, other than saying that it is quite probably the Best Music Video Ever, no! Honestly, I would love to, but I just don’t want to ruin the surprise. It is unique and very SLT. It’s also very funny.
You are playing at the Hard Rock Hell Road Trip in Ibiza. How do you think it will differ to playing a festival slot in the UK (weather excluded)?
LZ: Well, to be fair, we did play at the first one so we kind of know what to expect! As I sit here having endured about a month of constant rain, I must admit, the idea of sunnier climes is a welcome one. Not that I am a sun bunny, you understand, but I do miss that Vitamin D.
What are the plans for Spit Like This for the rest of the year?
LZ: To work hard to make this album a success; to tour; to visit new countries; to see the album released in new territories. Whatever we end up doing, it will be a lot – A LOT – of fun!
"Normalityville Horror" is set for release on the 21st of May and is available for pre-order now from all good outlets. Check out our review of the album here!
Interview: The Treatment
From a small unsigned band in Cambridge, to being named in the new generation of classic rock, The Treatment is a name being thrown about left, right and centre. It’s been a crazy year for this quintet and we caught up with them in Manchester whilst on tour with Steel Panther.
How does it feel to be back in Manchester? Do you like playing here?
Swoggle: It’s always great.
Dhani: Yeah, we’ve played here a few times, it’s always really really good.
What’s it like being on the road with Steel Panther?
How did this tour come about?
Dhani: I don’t actually know. One minute we were like ‘oh, we haven’t got any gigs’ and then the next minute we were going on tour with Steel Panther; packed our bags and we were off!
Swoggle: We’ve got a really good team behind us and they just managed to get it all together and it’s been great.
Ben: Obviously we all love Steel Panther.
How were the Europe dates?
Tag: Blinding, absolutely blinding!
Dhani: Europe’s always been really really good. The last tour we were out there a few people saw us and they came back and were really great and really responsive.
You’ve received a lot of buzz over the past year, you’ve had people like Nikki Sixx say that they’re fans of yours, what’s the like?
Ben: It’s weird to begin with…it’s…I don’t know! It’s one of those things where you can’t really believe it. Obviously Nikki Sixx is someone that all of us have grown up with.
Dhani: Seen him on TV.
Matt: I had his poster on my wall and everything!
Ben: It’s absolutely amazing and we couldn’t be more grateful, and for the fans of the band as well.
Did you just see on the internet what he’d said?
Ben: Someone I know just sent me a text and was like ‘Nikki Sixx just tweeted about you’ and I was like…what? We weren’t even on Twitter at this point!
So Nikki’s a fan, and now it’s just been announced that you’re supporting the KISS/Motley Crue tour in the US, how do you feel about that?
Dhani: It’s two of the biggest bands ever!
Ben: In the States! It’s a dream come true.
You haven’t played the States before have you?
Ben: Before last year we’d barely been out of Cambridge!
Dhani: Literally! Before last year I’d never even flown.
It’s a pretty extensive tour too
Dhani: Yeah, I think it’s about 2 months.
Matt: It’s 4 isn’t it?
Ben: I think it’s 3.
Dhani: 3/4 months.
Ben: So it’s between 2 and 4 months!
How did that opportunity come about?
Ben: We were on our way home in the van the other night
Dhani: We just saw our Facebook erupt
Ben: We got like 1000 new ‘likes’ in 2 seconds so we were like ‘well, something’s gone on here!’
Dhani: And Nikki Sixx had announced that we were on the bill!
Swoggle: It was like, ‘Is this the right Treatment?’
Dhani: From when we saw the tweet to when we got home our Facebook has gone up 1500 ‘likes,’ it was ridiculous.
Swoggle: We only went to the shops as well!
Ben: Got a celebratory pack of peanuts and went to bed!
What have you guys got planned for the rest of the year?
Matt: We’ve got a couple of dates with Thin Lizzy and some more with Steel Panther.
Swoggle: Download, Graspop…
Have you got any plans for a new album?
Dhani: We’ve got an EP coming out in April. It’s a covers EP. We spent so long getting our album out with switching labels that we thought, now we’ve got a little bit of time we’ll do a covers EP of some tunes that not many people will have heard.
Ben: It was a bit of Christmas fun.
Dhani: We were just having a laugh and then we thought the stuff we were doing was coming out really well so we thought we’ll make an EP out of it.
What sort of stuff have you got on there?
Dhani: There’s a Slade cover
Matt: ELO,Jo Jo Gunne
Dhani: Chris Spedding. Very, very obscure songs. I think a lot of people from our generation won’t have heard them. It’s a good thing because it will bring a lot more aspects.
Ben: Giving them ‘The Treatment!’ Whey!
Do you play any of them in the set?
Matt: We used to.
Ben: But we play a different Slade one now.
Do you feel you guys have enough time on stage to get across what you’re about?
Ben: Yeah, we just go out there and try to keep everything at a pretty high pace.
Swoggle: We’re so unfit that’s all we can manage. We were offered an hour!
We saw you guys on the Powerage tour last year, did that help you out a lot?
Dhani: Yeah, we made some great mates, we still have contact with them. Andrew and Gareth from Lethargy are doing a side project at the moment and they came out and supported us on our tour, so did New Device. We still meet up and stuff, it was a great tour.
Well I think that’s everything! Have a great show!