Category Archives: Interviews

The Voyage Andromeda / EP Review + Interview

To kick off the month with something great and special, let me introduce you The Voyage Andromeda – Brighton based alt rock band whose first EP ‘They Thought The World Was Round’ will be released on May 26th.

Now having had the pleasure to review this EP and interview the lead singer Dan Rumsey, I am happy to discover a band that has so much potential for their diversity of songs and instruments,  great melodies and a quality vocal.

The EP consists of 6 tracks, starting off with Don’t Drown Yourself (watch video below) which is the best track to kick off the album for it’s epic guitar intro, catchy melody and lyrics. As Dan says below in the interview, Nirvana was a big influence on this song. You can’t help but be highly impressed with the guitar riffs through the whole track. Simply rocking.

Next track Years and Years is a very laid back but powerful piece with heartfelt lyrics, featuring piano and a guitar which builds up amazingly through the song and gives it a special wow factor.

One of my favorite songs on the EP is called Waves, for it’s dark appeal and striking sound. Plus Dan’s vocal in it is absolutely amazing. It’s a song you can get completely lost in. Mesmerizing.

One of the band’s influences and also one of my favorite bands is Interpol. And I bring that up because of the next track called I will never sleep which reminds me a bit of their sound and it’s truly fantastic. This shows that The Voyage Andromeda can pull off any sound.

In If My Heart Stops Beating, Dan is really pouring his heart out as well as in the last track on the EP –  Heart To Follow, Shore to Find; a heartwarming acoustic guitar track that gives it the perfect finish with a statement that this band won’t go unnoticed for much longer.

Just because you’ve might not heard of them, doesn’t mean they don’t make some cracking music.

So give it a go and let The Voyage Andromeda take you on a very special musical journey. It’s worth getting on board!

the voyage andromeda

 

Here, the lead singer Dan Rumsey answers some of my questions about his band, EP, etc.

Could you describe the meaning/purpose behind both, your band’s and EP’s title? 

Yes, the name of the band came about because I found I was writing songs about things I yearned for and only ever dreamed of doing. So I wanted a title which would encompass that. I think it’s fair to say, the Andromeda galaxy is pretty far away and the chances of anyone ever getting there, even after our lifetime are extremely slim. So The Voyage to Andromeda would be full of risks, but full of excitement too, and if you never got there, think of the adventure you had along the way. That’s the long version anyway!
The EP title came about partly because I love that people did believe once that our world was flat, that fascinates me. But it’s also a statement. See the world how you want to see it, and live your life how you want to live it, not how you’ve been told, you know?

How long have you been writing and recording songs and what’s the best part of making music? 

I’ve been writing and playing for about 10 years in various different bands, some good, some great and some plain awful! A great part of making it is hearing something you’ve just jammed in your room by yourself be transformed into a finished song, all ready for people to hear. But the best part is when people tell you how a song affects them, because everyone has a different way of interpreting your songs. Someone told me once that one of my songs made them cry and I was shocked at first and couldn’t understand how that could happen, but it’s knowing that someone can connect that deeply with your work that really is the best part.

I’ve shared your track ‘Don’t Drown Yourself’ with some other fellow music critics and a few of us agreed that it has a bit of Nirvana feel to it, which is a good thing. Do you take any inspiration from them or any other bands/artists? 

Thank you, I’m glad you said Nirvana because they were a big influence on that song, in fact I remember seeing a video or clip of the recording of the guitar on “Smells like teen spirit” where the guitar feedback decays through an entire verse. In verse 3 of this song I tried to do a similar thing, it’s obviously no teen spirit but hey! Other artists I love and take constant inspiration from are Alkaline trio, Modest Mouse, Interpol, Tom Waits, The Cure, The Smiths…. the list could go on.

Do you have any special/memorable experiences from live shows so far? 

We are a fairly new band at the moment so haven’t done many gigs as this line up but gigs I played when I was gigging the band as Dan Rumsey and the Bitter End were all great and I’ll always remember them as special, mainly because I was onstage each night with two really awesome friends, that’s what it’s about. If you hate each other it’s not worth it. Some people say there needs to be friction and I agree with that to a certain extent but you it can’t work if you dislike who you are playing with.

The EP release show is happening on May 26th at the Prince Albert in Brighton. What do you have in store for people? 

It’s going to be a good one, rehearsals for it are going great, it sounds really big and epic. We have lots in store… but beware as there may be a storm… and whales. Also on offer are two other incredible bands, Spit Shake Sisters and Emperor the Stagit’s basically going to be a great party with three really great bands making a load of noise! 

The EP will be available to purchase from the 26th of May on iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp.

LinksWebsite, Facebook, Twitter

Getting to Know Automatic Writing

Automatic Writing consists of two London based brothers Neave and Jamie Merrick who create their own original type of electro-pop-noir with a style.

Great electronic elements, very cool and unique vocal plus their creative homemade music videos add a special effect and personality to their brilliant sound.

Here Neave and Jamie answer questions about music, their influences, likes, plans for the future etc.

When and why did you start making music and what made you choose the style/genre of it?

(NM) When I was about 9, I remember hearing Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights on the radio and being blown away by it. The voice and the atmosphere really inspired me and I saved my pocket money to get a tape of her ‘Whole Story’ collection. She was my introduction to music but it was discovering The Cure that inspired me to start writing songs at the age of eleven. Since then, I’ve been hooked.

(JM) I only got into the idea of actually making music relatively recently. Neave would like to think he influenced me but that’s far from the truth. Although he did get me into The Smiths and Bowie so I’ll give him that.

(NM) When it comes to our style of music we never sat down and decided on a specific sound. It just comes from the music we listen to really. I’ve always been more drawn to electronic acts for some reason.

What influences you the most while writing the lyrics?

(NM) Day to day thoughts and feelings quite often influence my lyrics. It can be quite cathartic writing things down and getting them off your chest that way. Although it can also be fun writing from someone else’s perspective instead of just your own. Sometimes eves dropping on other peoples conversations can trigger a song. That’s something I like to do a lot haha!

Which musicians/movies/books do you like? 

(JM) Film wise we’re both big David Lynch buffs. He has such an original view of the world that you can’t help but be inspired by it. His soundtracks are incredible too.

(NM) We both love the likes of Bowie, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Suicide, Arthur Russell, Brian Eno etc etc. I’ve been hooked on more recent like Grimes, John Maus and Anna Calvi too so I’m not completely stuck in the past!

(JM) I’ve been reading quite a few of Quentin Crisps memoirs lately. He’s really funny and endlessly quotable. A modern day Oscar Wilde if ever there was one.

(NM) I recently read JG Ballard’s High Rise. It’s both gripping and unsettling. Some of the images he creates have stayed with me ever since.

Your music videos are quite unique and interesting. Do you make them yourselves?

(NM) I made the video’s for ‘Continuous’ and ‘This Is Happening’ on my own at home with some footage I found whilst trawling the deepest darkest recesses of the internet. Then both me and Jamie worked on the video for ‘Crystal Visions’ and my girlfriend Charis filmed it.

(JM) We both think it’s important for a band to have a strong visual element and making video’s just adds another dimension to what we do.

There are many unsigned artists out there trying to make it in music. What are your thoughts about todays music industry?

(JM) There are loads more people making music now because you can do virtually everything from your own bedroom. That’s great in one respect but it does mean it’s harder to get noticed.

(NM) Yeah that’s true but there are also way more avenues in which you can put your music out there and at the end the day all you can do is make music that pleases you and hopefully other people will get a kick out of it too.

All your songs are available for free download on Sound Cloud. Do you have any more music, shows coming up?

(NM) We’ve just recorded a track that we’re really excited about and we’re planning on releasing it as a limited 7″ in the summertime.

(JM) We’re also in the process of booking more dates for the coming months. We gigged so much last year we though we’d have a break from it and focus more on  writing new material and planning our next moves…

You can download Automatic Writing music free on Sound Cloud and if you like, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Hot New Band Q&A: Catfish and The Bottlemen

They are from Wales, they are young, energetic, open minded and mostly they make some cracking and fresh rock’n’roll music.

Catfish and The Bottlemen are the new IT band. Their new single Brokenarmy has been selling fast and its first 50 copies signed by the band sold out in a day an a half!

At the moment the guys are taking the UK by storm with their live shows and for sure they’re about to gain many followers on the way.

Lead singer Van McCann has found some time to answer my questions to give us an idea of what Catfish and The Bottlemen are all about.

How do you guys know each other and what made you start a band?

Me, Blakes, and Whittle knew each other from school.  They were a few years above me and I used to wag a few lessons and go write tunes with them. Dr.Bob came through Blakes. Blakes is really into yoga, which I know is weird for a “rockstar”, but he says it helps him sleep haha. Dr.Bobs mum was the yoga teacher and Blakes mentioned to her he was starting a band and needed a drummer. She mentioned he drums, then BAM! Here we are. We started the band for the money, obviously! haha. Naaaa, we all love music and love writing it, so we just tried it and people seemed to dig it, so we’ve just not stopped.

Describe your music in a few words.

Explosive, Energetic & Elephant.

Who writes the lyrics and what is your main inspiration while writing?

I write the words. To be honest my main inspiration are people and the stories they’ve got. Ever since I was little I loved hearing stories about my family and stuff. I always pick a few good songs on the road. The company in which I’m with is pretty exciting haha. Whittle and Bob are always getting up to no good so being out of the house and stuck on the road with them monkeys helps. In terms of music, I only know 3 chords so I just rip everyone off and change the titles haha.

What kind of music do you listen to and are there any specific artists/bands you look up to?

To be honest we’re all into older stuff like Van Morrison, Dylan and Elvis; stuff like that. But the only person I’ve ever been in awe of is Stephen Fretwell. I think he’s a genuis, he’s like a modern Dylan. I met him last year and I just froze up like an idiot. It was weird. It never happened to me before that. My dad’s quite inspiring too. He says a lot of one-liners when he’s drunk and trying to get all deep. That I use and chuck into songs haha.

What are your hopes for the future? (What would you like to achieve as a band?)

We just want to keep getting bigger and bigger. Moving up on the scene. Get a bigger van, get longer hair. All the important stuff really.

You have many UK shows going on at the moment. How are you enjoying the tour and what is the best and the worst part of it?

Yeah, 22 I think it is now? Being on tour is amazing, love it! When we get home, all we do is fight. Off-tour-blues. We hate it. But the tour’s just kicking off, we play our 2nd show Friday night in Derby so we’ve not got much to write home about yet…

What can people expect from one of your live shows?

Its exciting. We’re really passionate about the tunes and apparently that comes across on stage. I just think it’s something fresh. We’re not doing anything unusual or trying to create something out of this world. We’re just four lads with guitars and drums playing rock n roll music. We’re just putting a fresh spin on the older stuff. The tunes are good though, so if you come see us I think you’ll like the tunes. Our drummer’s good too.

Your new single ‘Brokenarmy’ is available now and it’s doing really well! Any plans for a full album?

We’re not too sure yet. We’ve got a load of songs, in terms of albums we’ve finished our 3rd already. But we don’t want our debut to be something that goes un-noticed, so we’re just waiting for someone to take a risk on us and throw a huge wod of cash up our little Welsh asses. Then we’ll stick it out to the world. I think the Japanese will love it though. They seem to be well into the new single haha.

You can order the band’s new single ‘Brokenarmy’ on their website  Catfishandthebottlemen.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!