Tag Archives: Interviews

Interview / The Microdance

London based 5-piece The Microdance come with a high dose of dreamy atmospheric sound, providing a great mixture of 80s synth pop, 90s alt rock and shoegaze. They are ready to dazzle you with their engaging tunes, which are charged with magnetic vocals. The band can pride themselves  with an ability to produce truly unique and appealing tracks, that will take you on a special musical journey. Even The Joy Fomidable love them!

Good news is the band are about to release their next single in September and start working on a debut album!

Read on to discover more about The Microdance in the following interview with the lead singer Alex Keevill.

When and how did The Microdance come together as a band?

This incarnation? Through a shit load of trial and error! Originally it was just our old drummer James and me, we recorded a couple of EPs together and I wasn’t too bothered about playing live, I was kind of down on the idea of other people! But since the live version – for want of a better word – came into being, it’s been like a revolving door, that’s my fault though for showing zilcho discretion! Lots of mismatches and some pretty horrible gigs later, we’ve got something close to the perfect blend. I’ve said this a few times before, perhaps overly optimistically, but this time I really think it’s true; this band and the people in it, Gavin, Thom, Rob and Shona are a fucking killer – more than I could ever of hoped for. Pretty much nobody knew anyone else in the band and it’s all been done through classified ads. We’re not very organic like that!

How would you describe your sound and the meaning behind your music?

I think our music is a cocktail of lots of exciting elements. We love shoegaze, we love alt rock, some of us love heavy metal, we love new wave, we love post punk, we love dream pop and psychedelia – it’s all in there and we try to keep it cohesive. There’s a lot of pain in the music; but it’s bright pain, tinged with hope. It’s never been my goal to bring people down with a song – what’s the point in that?! So while it’s emotional vomiting, it’s the vomit of someone who’s eaten a lot of skittles! I hope we’re making music with substance because there’s not a lot of that around at the moment.

What’s your favourite song you have written so far and why?

It’s probably one that’s going to be on our album, ‘The City Was Cruel to Our Love’ – it manages to be slow and beautiful without being maudlin and then somehow it manages to be super intense and pretty heavy without touching on metal. It’s a great blend of contradictory elements that never get lost. We think this one will be kind of the centre piece for the album, although it’s in very good company and may well be usurped by one of the other 7 minute plus songs!

Were you influenced by any other musicians or records that gave you the idea to start playing music?

Too many to mention but I think it gets to a point where this thing, this notion of being a musician, gets its barbs into you and becomes your raison d’etre without any conscious reasoning. That could’ve happened when I first got Purple Rain when I was four (i think), but it’s probably an accumulative thing.

Other than the people you’re with now, if you could get any musician, living or dead, who would be in your “dream band?”

Prince, Morgan Kibby, Stevie Nicks, Billy Corgan, Peter Hook and Jimi Hendrix. I’d sit that one out and just spectate while having a milkshake with J Mascis – who didn’t quite make the cut, on the grounds that Billy and Jimi are already soloing excessively on every song.

Can you tell us about one of your fondest musical memories?

The summer of 1993, falling in love with Siamese Dream – that thing didn’t leave my ears for 3 months – and meeting my childhood sweetheart, soulmate and now wife. Unbeatable!

Is there any particular place on earth you’d like to tour with the band?

There’s nowhere that I wouldn’t love to play, so  I guess the answer would be determined by my dream travel itinerary – because I’ve given up predicting audiences’ reaction to our music – it’s led to way much disappointment in the past. Speaking of which, scratch that first sentence – Uxbridge and Kings Cross, I’m not playing Uxbridge or Kings Cross ever again!

What can we expect from The Microdance in the upcoming weeks/months regarding shows, releases etc.?

Hopefully we’ll have a new double A-side in September, then we’re gonna chill out on the live front for a while as we prep the album which we hope to have done by February. You’ll probably see us greased up and ready for action in your town within a year.

Links – Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter

Interview / Vessel

Louie Bo Charles IV (bass) and Elmo Strauss (guitars & vocals) grew up together listening to Led Zeppelin, started jamming and paving their way to becoming Auckland’s alt/blues rock treasure called Vessel. Now a three piece band, Vessel keep blowing minds across the New Zealand’s music scene with their visceral rock’n’roll and slowly reaching to a wider audience outside of their home land. They come with a fresh, unpretentious, killer-riff sound that ought to impress you and creep under your skin within seconds.

The following questions, willingly answered by Louie Bo Charles IV, will give you some interesting info on the band and their music.

Could you tell us a bit about your musical background and how did Vessel form?

Elmo Strauss and I have grown up together digging the same sounds and sharing new musical experiences – this has been going on for eighteen years, although, we only started playing music together about five of those years. We moved to Waiheke Island, which is in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf (about 40 min ferry trip from the city) and started to jam around. I was a green but enthusiastic bass player and Elmo had been playing guitar for a while but didn’t really think of himself as a vocalist. After chatting to a local, we ended in a wood-shed with a drummer called Steve Hastings and from there started the B-Squared Blues Band. Consequently, we played and formed a few cover bands (Whiskey Mac, Mister Lastboat) and played with some of Waiheke Islands finest before forming Feral Vessel, where we started to pen our own material. Just over twelve months ago, we moved to town to further our ambitions and drummer-less entered the National Battle of the Bands. We shortened our name to Vessel and put the call out for a stickman – enter Mr Fons Peeters. Within two weeks we learnt enough material to get us through the heats but we started to gel fairly quickly and eventually made the final! It was a baptism of fire that brought us together and after that were playing regular gigs, where we started to forge our sound into what you can hear on the Friday Drive EP.

Which three special characteristics would describe Vessel the best; ones that make you stand out on the music scene?

To limit us to just three special characteristics is fairly mean because we sweat special characteristics, but if we narrow it down into a neat list:

  1. We pride ourselves on our live performance and we are not precious i.e. myself and Elmo use vintage, beat up gear and the drum-kit we use is bust but we rip into it all the same.
  2. As a band we not bow to clichés but we do wear our influences on our sleeves whilst trying to remain as original and fresh as possible.
  3. We are not arseholes but lovable chaps who happen to have a penchant for killer rock n’ roll.

Your EP ‘Friday Drive’ was released last month. How did the record come together?

The goal of this project was to have some recordings, so that we could boost our reputation throughout Auckland. We also wanted to capture the raw energy of our live shows and sound like a kick-ass garage band of course. We recorded the tracks at a friend’s (Mike Clarkin) new studio digs in Morningside (Auckland, NZ) after a failed DIY attempt at our own practise space. Once we realised that it would be a good idea to put the recording and mixing process in someone else’s qualified hands, we were able to finish the tracking in a couple of hours. Easy peezy. Our main man Mike Clarkin looked after the recording and mixing and the lovely Michelle Klassens-Rawstron handled the mastering.

Are there any songs on the EP with a special story behind them, you’d like to tell us about?

June Marine is written about my sister who is a very formidable character and I am in debt to her for shaping my own character, but the song with the most specific band story is White Trash. Anyone who listens to that track may mistake the lyrics for typical booze and sex rock lyrics, but, in truth it is a recollection of our very first live gig that happened to be a Rednecks and White Trash party on Waiheke Island (not that there was a lack of hedonism at that particular party).

What’s the usual music making process in the band and the best atmosphere for you to create songs?

Elmo and I share the song writing duties, usually it will all start with a riff and then we shape the crux of the song from that. We usually get together in a practise situation and jam ideas out searching for kernels of cool and if we hit one, then we become quite persistent and coax and stroke until it begins to take shape. The song will usually have a theme or story that hints at how we want it to sound, and we then bounce ideas back and forth until we are content we have a song.

What other bands/musicians have influenced your music?

Zeppelin was our first love, Nirvana our second and as a result have been influenced by sounds that range from The Beatles to Mudhoney – all the gooduns really.

Do you have any favourite quote/lyric by another artist?

Well I have always been fond of these delightful lines:

I am my own pet parasite
I don’t need a host to live,
we can feed off each other
we can share our endorphins

Nirvana, ‘Milk It’, In Utero, 1993

If you could pick any three bands to tour with as a part of one tour, who would it be?

Queens of the Stone Age – The Black Keys – The Datsuns – oh fark yeah!!!

What’s your most and least favourite part of today’s music industry?

All that contrived bullshit that is in our faces, on billboards, television and radio. It’s morphine for the masses and I mean no disrespect toward morphine, but people just eat that shit up and seen to become atheistically sedated in some bad-ass trip, that results in a new pair of sneakers and a power boost in ignorance. Sigh.

What’s the main ambition for Vessel?

To put smiles on faces with a bucket load of distortion sprinkled with melody, and then bottle it and traverse the world spreading this infection.

Links – BandcampFacebook, 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

Singer-Songwriter Interview / Diesel13

Who would have thought, that London could be hiding a truly great country rock singer-songwriter, who’s music sounds like it was born and mastered in Nashville itself? Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s not a secret anymore. Meet Diesel13 – a talented musician from north London, who’ll dazzle you with his foot stomping sound and distinctive vocals in the same way as the one and only Mr Johnny Cash would. Just ask the ‘True Blood’ makers. They have chosen a couple of tracks from his upcoming album ‘Hobo Risin’ for the next season of the famous series and for all the right reasons. His music carries a unique spark within itself and once you hear it, it stays with you. It’s here,  ready to strike hard and make itself known.

One thing is for sure – you are going to be hearing loads of great things about Diesel13 very soon.

In the following interview, MGMB talks to the singer-songwriter about his latest single ‘Roar’, upcoming album ‘Hobo Risin’, his music influences and much more.

Could you tell us the story of you becoming a musician and the reasons behind the name Diesel13?

I started playing guitar at the age of 16 while getting into bands like Poison, Guns ‘n Roses, Skidrow, Motley Crew etc. The minute I picked up a guitar I was writing songs! My nickname Diesel came from when I was younger and the amount of energy I had.  The actual qoute that nailed it was: ‘ You don’t stop! You’re like a Diesel engine’,  and that was it.   13 comes from a lucky number of mine.

How would you describe the sound you are creating and what drew you to this particular genre?

In regards to the sound I have now (foot stomping country rock Cajun), I have naturally evolved into my style through years and years of trial and error. I have never had a plan to be in a certain genre or sound, I just let it flow.  I have recorded loads and loads of stuff albeit folk, acoustic, pop etc; and gradually found country rock (if thats my sound!). And here I sit comfortably.

What can you tell us about your debut single ‘Roar’ and where did the idea to write the song come from?

I am really pleased with the single. The inspiration came from a long and loving relationship with gospel and the American deep south.  I try and  use imagery in my songs through my story telling, so with ‘Roar’ I tried to conjure up a story of  a man trapped in prison way down the American South,  quite literally cracking rocks under hard labor as they did years ago and try to tell the mental anguish and feelings of being trapped within a prison of hate that certain people had against them in that time.

How is the recording of your debut album ‘Hobo Risin’ coming along and what has the journey of making this record been like?

My album ‘ Hobo Risin’ is almost finished!  13 tracks have been completed (it just had to be 13 tracks, of course).  To my amazement I am getting it mastered by Pete Maher, who has mastered the likes of Katy Perry, U2, The Killers and many more big bands!  He loves my music and has agreed to help me, which is utterly brilliant.  I am so pleased with the album – it sounds foot stompingly brilliant!. So, I just need to talk with my record label to see on release dates etc.

Diesel Hands edit

Two tracks from the album have been picked for the next series of True Blood. Congrats! How did it happen and what was your reaction when you found out? 

I was over the moon to have my songs picked out for True Blood. It was a massive kick start and confidence boost for me.  I seriously couldn’t sleep properly for a week with excitement.

You say your heart is firmly placed in Nashville. Is that one of the places you’re aiming to break with your music? 

The American south sound has always drawn me in musically, since listening to my mum’s collection of Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash etc, which I would listen to on her headphones before going to school in my younger days. The names and imagery surrounding Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and the surrounding  southern states have a certain magic with me that I can’t explain, but one day I will get there and truly know why. The thought of playing my music alongside a gospel choir has been a dream of mine for a long time. I have written songs specifically for a gospel choir and myself that I am saving for the day I get the budget and backing to record.

Where do you usually gather the inspiration from when writing songs?

The process of writing songs is always the same for me. A line or chorus hook comes to me that reflects the chords that I am playing around, and that line 99 per cent of the time holds the key of the whole song within it, feeling, story and beginning.

Who would you class as your biggest musical and non-musical influences? 

My main influences for writing songs have to be a lot of the country singers which I have mentioned and many more of the old school tradition, like Elvis, who had an amazing rhythm.   Bob Dylan was and still is an inspiration for song writing and imagery, John Fogerty from CCR and the Waterboys’ lead singer and song writer Mike Scott, who is an amazing dude.

Besides making music, what other interesting hobbies do you have? 

I love circuit training! Killing myself with lunatic exercises one after another until I collapse! Sounds crazy but I love it.  I’ve also done quite a few marathons and mountain runs, which I also love.

Other than the album release, what are your plans for the upcoming weeks/months? 

I am starting to get out and play solo gigs at the moment, just me and an acoustic guitar, as well as reheasing with the band to get ready for the album Hobo Risin’ s release.  And fingers crossed, we may even get across the great pond and get to the U.S. one day and fulfill that dream of mine. Watch this space.

Links – Facebook, Twitter, ReverbnationLabel

Ones To Watch – The Diamond Noise Interview

The London based rock and roll 4-piece The Diamond Noise storm in with truly thrilling, energy-awakening and infectious noise, that’s packed with all the aspects of a proper rock and roll bliss. The striking guitar riffs, drums beats and vocals blend in effectively and create an exciting and powerful sound storm.

The band are releasing their next single Do You Like Me Too? in September and they’re also planning their first UK tour!

Find out more about The Diamond Noise in the following interview with Hugh Viney (vocals).

Can you tell us the story of how you all met and formed the band?

I was at uni with Hugh SM (drums), school with Luke (bass) and Scott (guitar) is my brother. So it was pretty easy getting the band together after finishing university in London. We used to run our own club nights and the band came out of that.

How would you describe your act in the style of an advert?

This one from Artrocker is our favourite so far: “”Sexily monolithic guitar heaviness which sounds like rock hail descending from a QOTSA fork lightning power blues sky”

You’ve recently released a track off your debut EP called ‘Catastrophic’, for which you’ve also made a video. How was the filming of it?

We dreamed up the concept in 2 hours and took 2 hours to film it on 2 iPhones. We wanted to capture the immediacy of the song and get across the TDN live experience, without over-thinking the concept.

What’s your favourite track on the EP and which one do you enjoy playing live the most?

We’ve all got different favourites. ‘Blue Champagne’ has recently been a favourite live because the crowd has responded so well. But the next single ‘Do You Like Me Too?’, which we are releasing as the title track off the EP in September, seems to be getting the biggest reaction from everyone at the moment.

What do you think is the main attraction of your live performance?

Our energy and ‘togetherness’ as a unit. We are a classic rock 4-piece that holds nothing back live. It’s our biggest strength. Come see for yourself.

Who writes the songs and what’s the usual music making process in the band?

This can vary. Most commonly me and Scott come up with the core of the song – the chords, melody, basic sturcture and lyrics – and then everyone adds their own Diamond Noise juice into the final product. But Luke also composes, like with ‘Yippie Yeah’, where he wrote all the music first and I added the melody and lyrics after.

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with in the future?

QOTSA – or is that too obvious?

Can you name three albums you never get bored of listening to?

The Strokes – Is This It
QOTSA – Songs For The Deaf
The National – High Violet

What do you think about the current music scene? Which artists/bands are your favourite at the moment?

NME still think Liam Gallagher is relevent. ‘Nuf said. Obviously there are still some great new bands emerging. God Damn for one.

What’s next for The Diamond Noise and what’s the biggest ambition that you would like to realise?

We are releasing our debut EP ‘Do You Like Me Too?’ in conjunction with our first UK tour in September and October. As for ambition, we just want to be touring our album next year, hopefully round the world. Ha! …

Links – SoundcloudWebsite, Facebook, Twitter