Category Archives: Band Features

Video of the Day / Black Belt KARATE – Building Walls

Black Belt KarateSometimes you come across a sound and it instantly clicks. Love at first listen. That’s it. Boom!

And if you’re a true admirer of pure, sexy, energy loaded, blood pumping, (I could go on and on…) rock and roll, and I mean ROCK AND ROLL that sets you on fire within a few seconds, then my friends, you have found what you’re looking for right here.

Meet Black Belt KARATE, a 4-piece super handsome group from LA, who were clearly born to make music that will rock your world in the most euphoric way.

I’m almost certain you’ll end up thinking ‘Where the fuck has this been all my life?’ and wishing there was MORE, MORE, MORE of this strikingly delicious noise out there.

This is the type of music that sets you wild and free, awakes all your senses and makes you feel so damn alive.

Now go and break your repeat button. You’ve been warned.

Also check out this fab interview with the guys from BBK and Andy Barnes from Mudkiss – http://www.mudkiss.com/bbkinterview.htm.

Links – iTunes, Soundcloud, Website, Facebook, Twitter

Interview / Adding Machine

The Adding MachineBristol based four-piece Adding Machine formed in 2011 by Hazel Mills, Greg Stoddard, Andy Sutor and TJ Allen, who have all worked with some pretty great musicians, including members of Roxy Music, Goldfrapp and Bat for Lashes. Their sound features a great mixture of post-punk, 80s synths and beautifully haunting vocals of Hazel Mills. This is the kind of sound that transforms you into a different dimension with its fascinating and mysterious allure.

In the following interview, you’ll get to find out about the forming of Adding Machine, their interesting collaborations, upcoming plans and more.

What’s the story behind forming of Adding Machine?

Hazel Mills: Adding Machine started life as my solo project. Tim (TJ Allen) and I had been working together for a few years on various projects, including Andy Mackay + The Metaphors, and he also produced my debut EPs. Greg (Stoddard) and Andy (Sutor) joined the live band for my album launch in 2010, and we just gelled. The fact that we were having so much fun and that it was becoming really collaborative meant it was the logical step.

How would you describe your sound and what do you think makes your band stand out in today’s music scene?

It’s a mixture of elements of post-punk, krautrock and wonky 80s synths/drum machines. We’ve thrown in a bit of doom on occasion too, and are really influenced by a lot of 70s/80s horror soundtracks. The four of us have quite different musical backgrounds, which often makes for some interesting combinations.

You’ve also worked, or are currently working with some other great artists/bands. Could you tell us about it?

Yes, Tim and I (as I mentioned before) have worked with Andy Mackay (Roxy Music) on his solo album and tour. I’ve also done a few shows with Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory in his Moog Ensemble (a group of 11 odd synth players), and hope to do more in the future – a really surreal and worth while experience! Tim’s also been touring with Bat For Lashes for the past year as a member of the live band. They’ll be supporting Depeche Mode in September, which is pretty nuts.

What can you tell us about your track ‘Ships to Sink’?

It started off as almost a wonky waltz, and was nearly shelved until Tim did a new arrangement (using the instrumentation that you’ll hear on the finished version). The four of us then developed it in the studio together. I love the junk-shop percussion in verse two – we had a lot of fun dropping weights and bags of bottles on the wooden floor in the live room and compressing the hell out of them.

Are you planning on recording some new material in the near future?

Adrian Utley (Portishead) is going to be producing some tracks for us – we’re currently talking dates in the studio in a couple of months when Tim’s back from the BFL tour. Other than that, we’ve been doing a lot of our own recording and demoing at our own studio.

Are there any musicians you admire or got inspired by to become a musician?

There are so many people who have inspired us individually over the years. Here are a few of them:

HM: Steve Reich, Jim Morrison, Grace Slick.

GS: Tom Waits, Jonny Greenwood, The Cure.

AS: John Bonham, Randy Rhoads, my brother John Sutor.

TA: Delia Derbyshire, Robin Guthrie, Christian Fennesz.

How is the Bristol music scene at the moment and how do you think you fit in?

There are quite a few pretty great bands around in Bristol at the moment. I saw Thought Forms supporting Chelsea Light Moving a couple of weeks back, and was completely blown away. There’s also Cursor Major, ANTA, Beak>, Fauns. These guys are all friends of ours (and most of which are bands we have played/are playing with) – there’s a definite communal feel to the Bristol music scene.

Where would you like to see yourselves five years from now?

We don’t tend to think that far ahead! Hopefully we’ll still be doing what we love.

Links – SoundcloudWebsite, Facebook, Twitter

Ones To Watch / Broken Links Interview

Broken Links
Photo by Rob Luckins

Southampton based alternative trio Broken Links create music that’s full of sin. Yes, that’s exactly how the band’s drummer Phil describes it in our interview below. It might sound pretty dark, but also quite appealing, don’t you think? Let’s not deny that we all like a bit of a sin from time to time… And when it comes in the form of music, offering itself gloriously to your ears and enchanting you with the powerful atmospheric melodies, striking guitars and haunting vocals, then it turns into a sin you want to repeat all over again. And that’s the type of sound Broken Links master.

Want to find out more? Then read on to learn some more of an interesting stuff about the band.

I’ve heard you’re working on your second album! Is this true?

You’re sources are exceptional!  Yeah we’re about half way through the ‘difficult second album’. 6 tracks are recorded and we’re writing the remainder as we speak, with the studio booked in the coming months to get them sounding massive, thanks to Producer/Engineer Chris Coulter!!!

In what ways will this following record differ from the first one?

Well all the songs will be different that’s for sure! But more specifically I think the new will album be more diverse as a whole. We’ve got a couple of quite dark/industrial tracks recorded and some heavier numbers planned for second half of recording, as well as an instrumental. With a tad more space pop thrown into the mix…..a much more mature album!

How has your sound and songwriting evolved over the years?

Our sound has evolved as technology has. The first songs we ever played together were raw and more riff-based but as we’ve got new gear over the years, our sound has developed into a thicker, more film-like quality with the use of more synths and dual-tone bass. All the songs are built up from the music more than the lyrics. Once some good synths or guitar effects have been found, the arrangement of the song is worked on, then usually a vocal melody naturally surfaces. The lyrics are chosen based on the mood of the music, and maybe one of life’s most recent torments.

What do you think are the key characteristics of the music you’re making?

Dirty rock n roll!! Most tracks are written around a disgusting bass riff with an even more disgusting bass tone. Soaring and passionate vocals are the final layer of the sandwich which are sometimes accentuated with vocal effects for that unique sound. It’s full of sin….music to make love to…furiously.

Have you always wanted to become a musician? Who or what inspired you to choose this path?

Ever since childhood yeah, there became a summer when I realised chart music was tosh and guitar music was awesome. Stereophonics’ ‘Word Gets Around’ was the album that brought me to my senses and I’ve never looked back. That same year I felt myself tapping constantly and started learning the drums as soon as I could!

What are your most and least favourite parts of being on tour?

Being on tour is the best thing about being in a band. Other than performing, favourite parts include the banter in the back of the ‘tour van’, playing at new venues and sampling the finest local beers! Least favourites would are being stuck in traffic jams in the middle of Holland and almost losing our van when it got locked into a car park!

If you could choose any band to tour the world with, who would it be?

That’s gotta be the mighty Queens of the Stone Age. As one of the main inspirations of our band they just never get old. They’re the ultimate rock stars really, effortless levels of cool and writers of some of the best modern rock albums ever. Trent Reznor would be a welcome buddy on tour!!!

At the moment, what’s your favourite album by another band or artist?

For me it’s definitely Bring me the Horizon’s ‘Sempiternal’. I wasn’t a fan of them until I heard Shadow Moses and since then it’s my must played album of the year. It’s the perfect level of heaviness; hard rock with good melodies and the odd bit of screamo. Can’t wait to see them live!

What’s the main philosophy of Broken Links?

Industrial, sexy, sin filled life changing, smut music.

Except working on your next album, do you have any other plans you’d like to let us know about?

Yeah, we’ve got a mini tour this month where we visit London, Manchester and Liverpool to road-test some of the new tracks. Later in the year we plan to shoot 2 or 3 music videos for the new album and probably a new photoshoot for you all to peruse over. We’ve got more plans for this year too but we’ll tell you about them when we’re ready…the secret is not allowed out yet.

Links – Website, Facebook, Twitter

Band Feature / Interview with The Sirens

The SirensEmerging from the fast growing London underground music scene, The Sirens strike with a great dose of fresh 90’s influenced grunge rock. After the first listen, you’ll find yourself hooked on their sound and excited to discover yet another very talented band that ought to be recognized.

London is full of hidden musical treasures and The Sirens are definitely one of them.

Find out more about the band in the following interview with the lead singer Josh.

Could you give us a bit of background information about the band?

Josh: The Sirens formed in September 2012. I’d recently quit a band I’d been playing guitar with for a year and fancied fronting a band of my own, so I put out a few adverts on the internet. Tom answered and we went through a couple of drummers through summer before we secured Pietro. I think we only had 2 practices with Pietro before we went and recorded “Just Be Cool” and “If You Ask Me”. We don’t sit on our hands much, we want everything done yesterday.

How would you define your sound?

Josh: Early 90’s influences, it’s grungey but also has tinges of psychedelic influences and lots of pop hooks and melodies.

Have you always wanted to play music and what made you want to start a band?

Josh: Since I was about 14 I’ve had no other plans what so ever. It scares me to think of anything outside of music, like if my focus shifts it won’t happen so I believe it and will it to happen.  I’ve just always wanted to tour the world with my best friends playing the music I love and seeing new places all the time. Who wouldn’t want that?

What can you tell us about your record ‘The Sirens’?

Josh: It’s a collection of the tracks we’ve recorded at Bonafide studios as well as 2 rough demos we recorded in Tom’s bedroom on Abbey Road (not exactly Abbey Road studios but he does his best!) It’s a collection that we think showcases our writing talent and our varied sound. There’s something for everyone on this demo. You can pick it up at thesirensband.bandcamp.com — that’s an advertisement…..

What are your main influences when writing songs?

Josh: I try and think about what’s going on in the world today, or feelings or opinions I have.  Like I’ve written about the usual stuff like loneliness and isolation as well as love, boredom and so on, or I try and paint a picture in my mind or sum up my feelings in a past situation or time. I find it refreshing sometimes to think that everything we do and we’ve done on earth will one day be engulfed by the sun, I know that sounds mental but I kind of like that  “who cares we’re all fucked anyway” mentality, it loosens me up when I’m up tight and has influenced a few of my songs.

Could you name any album, which you’d class as your all time favourite and tell us why?

Josh: Really hard question but I think for me sound wise and guitar wise I’d have to go for Siamese Dream by Smashing Pumpkins. I just think sonically it’s out of this world and it’s a great mix of hard rock, dreamy pop and psychedelia.

Tom: Abbey Road by The Beatles cause it’s the best example that shows The Beatles taught the world how to write pop music.

Pietro: Lonerism by Tame Impala, it’s a record that pays homage to the 60’s but also takes the sound in a modern direction, great bass lines, and great lyrics with a great message.

How often do you get to play live shows and why should people come and check you out?

Josh: We play roughly every 2 weeks in London. We put everything we have into our live performances, anyone into good music should come check us out, anyone who likes early 90’s music, catchy hooks and loud energetic rock music.

Do you go and see any other upcoming bands live? If yes, who should we be looking out for?

Josh: Not too often really. I saw Oscar Suave last Saturday at Purple Turtle who were good.

If you could change something about the music industry nowadays, what would it be?

Josh: I’d like to make everyone honest. I’ve met a lot of industry people who talk like politicians, they never really answer questions just flake around and it’s annoying because I’m very black and white and I’m always honest.  I’d rather people show me their hand rather than poker face.

Where would you like to see yourselves in a year or two from now?

Josh: We’d love to make an album with the right label, tour the world or something and just get the exposure we need. I think if every grunge/rock  fan heard us, they’d get excited (I hope). We just want to write music that makes people want to get up, makes them feel positive or inspires them.

Links – Bandcamp, Facebook

Single of the Week / LTNT – Blessing

LTNT

London based alternative rock trio LTNT deliver a mind blowing debut single Blessing that pulls you into the world of big explosive riffs, effective melodies and compelling vocals. The haunting track acquires a irresistible power and embraces your music soul instantly.

The newly released video perfectly mirrors the atmosphere of the song and leaves chills down your back. This is a rock music in its finest form.

Links –  BandcampWebsiteFacebookTwitter