Tag Archives: Interviews

Interview / The Ninjas

We all love a band with strong likability factor and we all love a band that can produce songs with the word ‘repeat’ written all over them.

Brisbane based garage rock 5-piece The Ninjas posses those qualities and impress you with not only their cool band name but also their catchy ‘jagger swagger’-ish character. Their track Yeah Yeah is a tuneful energy packed blinder which mirrors the band’s witty personality. You can check out the video for it right below our interview. I dare you not to love it!

Two members of The Ninjas’ crew – rhythm guitarist Jesse Gold & drummer Mark Cosgrove describe what makes the band original, share quite a memorable moment from one of their live shows and tell us what motivates them day to day…

How would you introduce The Ninjas to the UK audience?

Ideally, we would be spoon fed to the masses much like The Strokes were back just prior to the release of their debut album “Is this it”.

What or who influenced you to start a band?

I guess like most bands we started because we wanted to impress the ladies, and of course that old cliché of fame and fortune, unbeknownst to us at the time that instead of impressing the ladies, we would attain a fan base made up largely of rowdy male punters…

What do you think is the most special characteristic of yours that makes you stand out from other bands?

I think it’s the Jagger/Richards combo of song writing between our singer (Josh) and lead guitarist (Pat). Pat has his own sort of zest on guitar that’s very rare – you can tell it’s him playing and not some session musician, and Josh is South African but his accent is kind of a hybrid, so when you hear it it’s not quite British, and not quite American, but at the same time it’s very international. And then there’s that “Jagger swagger” he gives off.

How would you convince people to listen to your latest single Yeah Yeah?

We would lock them in the room, turn the speakers up to 11 and let the song do the rest.

What’s the usual music making process in the band?

Pat & Josh write the songs, then bring them to us to jam out live and they sort of take mould from there. Sometimes Pat will have a riff or a chord progression and Josh will have a melody that fits right on, sometimes Josh will have a chord progression and Pat will play a melody on guitar that Josh will follow on vocals. We’re sort of lucky in the way that we don’t really find it hard to come up with new tunes, and they get better each time.

So far, what’s the most memorable moment from any of your live shows?

Our memories are all a little hazy so this question is a little tough! But, I’d have to say this one show we played with very low expectations (it was out of our home town so it was a very random crowd). Anyway, we played to the locals who were all drunker than us (a rarity in The Ninjas camp). It was probably the first encore we ever played, in order for us to play another song our singer engaged with the crowd, that one of the chick’s demanding we play another song would have to earn it – a boobs for music kind of deal… Next thing you know off comes the lass’s top, the crowd goes bonkers and we finished up with a nice lil outro to a good night.

What’s the music scene in Brisbane like at the moment?

Brisbane’s music scene is doing great at the moment. We’ve got Violent Soho, who are absolutely killing it, DZ Deathrays are beasting it too, Jeremy Neale kicking goals, young little heartbreakers like Eves running around, and then there’s us popping out hits left, right and centre.

Which famous band would you like to join on a world tour and if you had to audition to get picked, what would you do to impress them?

Well we intend on doing our next record with Josh Homme of QOTSA, so we wouldn’t mind touring with them as to develop a repoire. Other than that, maybe Arctic Monkeys, I think it would be pretty hard to impress them though, maybe we would challenge them to some sort of tournament involving marijuana and who can smoke the most of it.

If you had to choose a quote or a line to describe what motivates you day to day, what would it be?

“Bitches, money, power”.

And finally, what’s the main goal for The Ninjas?

As above 😉

Links – Facebook, Twitter

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Ones To Watch / Interview – Hunter & The Bear

London based trio Hunter & The Bear are with no doubt one of the greatest upcoming acts on the British folk music scene. Inspired by greats such as The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bruce Springsteen – whom they recently supported at Hard Rock Calling Festival, the band is gradually gaining recognition with their excellent melodies and astonishing harmonies. Their music leaves you smitten by its significant energy and makes you desire more of this wondrous sound. Hunter & The Bear will release their debut single ‘Forest On The Hill’ on 29th September, taken from their upcoming EP ‘Dusty Road’.

The guys took some time to tell MGMB about their music, touring, favourite albums and more.

What’s the story behind forming of Hunter & The Bear and how would you introduce your sound to the music listeners?

We (Will and Jimmy) started writing songs together in August 2012. There was no real aim or direction, we just wrote songs we liked to play. Moved from Scotland to London in September, played a few shows and realised that to take it seriously we needed to build the sound. This meant calling our old friend Josh in to slap some bass. As for the sound, in a sentence: a rocky blend of folk and country.

You’ve recently performed at Hard Rock Calling Festival alongside amazing musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Kasabian. What was the experience like for you and how did the audience receive you?

It was massive pleasure to be involved in such a great event. It was our first ever festival so our minds were fixed on keeping it together and smashing our set. The audience were great and made us feel very welcome. We had one eye on the clock so we could go watch Bruce do his thing.

Did you manage to bump into some cool musicians at the festival?

We had a great night and met loads of lovely people. Despite our best efforts we didn’t manage to find Zac Brown. There’s always next year…

What can you tell us about your upcoming debut single ‘Forest On The Hill’?

It’s a song we wrote when we were just starting out. It’s out 29th September and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it. We think it’s a good summary of our sound at this stage.

You’re also set to release your new EP ‘Dusty Road’ soon. Could you describe the recording journey of this EP?

We had a great experience recording it and we’re all really proud of the results. We were lucky enough to meet Jamie Bell, an amazing producer who really understood our sound and what we’re about. We had an idea in our heads of how the songs had to sound and he helped us achieve that. Can’t wait to get back in the studio with him.

Are there any highlights from your recent UK tour you’d like to share with us?  

There’s so many! It was our first experience with touring and we just love playing shows to new people. Cornbury festival and Live at Troon are the two biggest stages we’ve played and it was amazing to play to crowds with so much energy.

What’s the best atmosphere for you when writing and working on your songs?

We have no formula or routine, we’re still learning. We love getting out of the city where we have a room to think.

What are your three favourite albums of all time and what have you been listening to lately?

That’s such a difficult question and it changes all the time. Seeing as there’s three of us, we’ll give you one each:

Will – Bad Company, Bad Company

Josh – Nirvana, Nevermind

Jimmy – The Band, The Band

We listen to lots of different stuff individually but our current radio favorites while on tour are Stereophonics and Arctic Monkeys.

If you could read one newspaper headline about yourselves in 2013, what would it be?

Dusty Road EP goes platinum in 70 countries.

What’s the main goal for Hunter & The Bear?

We want to play our music to as many people as want to listen. We love to write and play together and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Links – Website, Facebook, Twitter

Ones To Watch / Interview – High Tyde

Brighton based band High Tyde arrive with an infectious sound filled with extremely uplifting vibes and great energy. The young and passionate four-piece have been named as one of THE bands to watch in 2013 by BBC Introducing and have recently sold out both headline shows at The Haunt and Concorde2 in Brighton. Their newest single ‘Get Up Tonight’, taken from their upcoming EP, will be released via iTunes on September 15th! Check out the new exclusive video for the single below!

Spencer (lead guitar) gives MGMB some more info about the band in our following interview.

Can you tell us about the forming of High Tyde and characterize the sound you make?

We formed about a year and a half ago just through all being very good friends within other bands and decided to put it together and create different sound prior to what we had been doing before. Sound that we have created takes many influences and genres stuck together – a bit of this and a bit of that.

How would you describe each of you in the band with one word?

Passionate.

You’re about to release a new EP. What was the recording of it like?

It was a great progress and we had a lot of fun with it. We record in a small studio and it makes us feel very at home, so we can have a laugh whilst taking it seriously and creating something we love.

What’s your favourite track on this EP?

We all have separate favourites on this EP but mine would probably be ‘Bicycle Trixx’.

Is there a particular song of yours, you enjoy playing live the most?

Most of our songs are equally fun and enjoyable to play live purely to the fact of adrenaline from the crowds buzz, but I would probably say ‘Waiting’ at the moment.

Which is the best show you have played so far?

There’s two – the first time we played The Haunt in Brighton, where we were just shocked at the amount of people who came down to see us and had such and interest, and then our own headline show there in July.

If you could go on tour with any band, who would you pick and which places would you like to play?

We would choose The 1975 or The Rolling Stones and play over the world. Japan would be amazing, New York – Madison Square Garden… EVERYWHERE!

What’s your favourite live venue in Brighton?

That would definitely be The Haunt.

What are the long term goals for High Tyde?

Gig, gig, gig, write, write, write and just get out there as much as possible and expand.

Apart from your EP release, what are your plans for the near future?  

After the EP release, we are going out on our first tour around the UK in November/December.

Links –  SoundcloudFacebook, Twitter

Interview / Kid Felix

Six-piece South Jersey rock band Kid Felix have been taking the Philladelphia music scene by storm for the past few years and rightly so. Their sound overflows with intense passion, perfectly layered instruments and soaring vocals. The band’s two newly released tracks Jericho and I Am The River show the band’s amazing writing abilities and tight musicianship. Kid Felix can pride themselves with accomplishments such as being the Grand Prize regional finalists of the 2012 Hard Rock Rising Global Battle of the Bands, as well as playing Bamboozle, Warped tour and opening for fantastic bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden.

Ken (keyboards) talks to MGMB about the start of Kid Felix, title of the band, latest releases, working as a group and more.

Could you give me some details about how and when Kid Felix formed?

It was kind of accidental that we all got together. We went to the same high school but had different projects going on. Brett (guitar), Julian (bass), and Johnny (lead guitar) were playing together and it worked out that Jake (lead vocals), John (drums), and I (keyboards) were looking for another band. We got together and it turned out that we were all able to write really well together, and we’ve been going at it ever since. Two years later, here we are.

Is there any special story behind the title of the band?

Jake saw the word Felix in a movie and we found out it meant luck in Latin. We kind of just ended up on Kid Felix. For us, it stands for getting lucky enough to make our music for a living.

If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?

Our friend Matt described it best: “Melodic over structured chaos.”

You’ve recently released a couple of tracks ‘Jericho’ and ‘I Am The River’. What can you tell us about them?

They’re definitely the best representation of the band’s sound as a whole. It took a while but we finally found the best way to construct a song together, and these really show what the band is all about.

What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?

I think it definitely varies for each member of the band. For me, it was seeing my favorite band, Manchester Orchestra, play live. Knowing that they got to play the songs they wrote to a huge venue of people who knew all the words made me want to do the same more than anything.

Who writes the songs and how do you normally work at them together with the band?

We actually all write together. Someone in the band will bring a riff or chord progression to a writing session and then everyone will start to add in their own parts. It’s nice writing this way because everyone feels more a part of each song.

What is the music scene like in New Jersey at the moment and how do you think you fit in?

The music scene we’re in is awesome right now. There are so many great bands playing in our area and everyone is out supporting and promoting each other. Our music may not be the same as many of these bands, but I think we fit in great.

Is there any show you have played, which you would class as your favourite one so far?

I’d have to say opening for Alice in Chains and Soundgarden at Susquehana Bank Center for 93.3’s WMMR-BQ. It was such a surreal experience playing to so many people with such well-known bands.

What can people expect to see at your live performance?

A ton of energy. We try to leave everything we have on the stage.

Do you have any releases coming up, that you’d like to let us know about?

We just released our two singles and are working on writing now for a full-length. We don’t have any date set for a release yet, but I’m sure we’ll start working some of the newer stuff into our live sets very soon.

Links – Website, Facebook, Twitter

Singer-Songwriter Interview / Deetrich

Deetrich is an Irish singer-songwriter who writes exceptional songs with a touch of rock, pop and country and her beautifully haunting vocals add an alluring feel to her music. Her debut album ‘Tug of War’ ‘was produced by Leo Pearson who has worked with great artists like Elvis Costello and U2. She’s set to release a new single ‘Beating On That Drum’ soon, so stayed tuned.

In our interview, Deetrich talks about her album, recording of her video ‘Danger In My Feet’, influences and more…

When did you start playing music and who or what influenced you to become a singer-songwriter?

I was always making up songs even as a child…I wrote some pretty out there songs which I still remember but could never repeat! I learned how to play the guitar when I was 17 for accompaniment.

Where do you draw your inspiration from when writing songs?

Everything around me from people to objects (hence the song ‘Yellow Radio’), also interesting things people say. I keep a log of it on my phone and try to use it in a song.

Can you tell us about the recording process of your debut album ‘Tug Of War’?

I wrote the album first without any words. I had an idea of what I wanted them to be about and played them for the producer Leo Pearson. I had over 20 songs & we whittled it down to 10. The rhythm of the songs initially was more important to me than the words, which followed after.

How was the shooting of your video ‘Danger In My Feet’ and where did it take place?

Great, I was delighted with how it turned out as it was my own idea and I edited it myself, which was a first for me! It took place in woods and an old graveyard in my home town of Thomastown, Kilkenny. It was filmed by my husband M.J. O’Carroll.

Which one of your live shows has been your favourite so far and why?

It’s hard to choose! Playing with John Martyn’s backing band was quite amazing. I also sang along side Mundy and Leslie Dowdal on stage later that night. Supporting ‘Donovan’ in the Set Theatre in Kilkenny this summer was also pretty cool. The balcony and floor were full and it was a very intimate gig.

What other musicians do you admire and class as your main influences?

P.J. Harvey, Gillian Welch, Nina Persson, Joni Mitchell, Vashti Bunyan, Bjork, Patti Smith…I’m intrigued by female artists and how they use their voices. I like music that’s artistic, poetic and has a bit of attitude.

If you had to choose a quote or a line to describe what motivates you day to day, what would it be?

Happiness is not something ready made, it comes from your own actions (Dalai Lama).

Do you have any new music releases or shows coming up?

I will be playing at Electric Picnic this year. I’ve also recorded a new single called ‘Beating On That Drum’, I’ll be releasing on Reekus Records soon. I will have more details of that and all my upcoming gigs on my ‘Deetrich’ facebook page.

Links – Facebook, Twitter, Reekus Records