We Talk To Brazilian Jazz Fusion Pianist Ricardo Bacelar Just In Time For The Release Of His Brand New Album ‘Sebastiana’

 

 

Multi-instrumentalist Ricardo Bacelar has recently released his brand new album ‘Sebastiana’, a collection of sounds influenced by different musicians, and instruments. However, the main theme is seemingly Brazilian, which suits, as leading man Ricardo is from Fortaleza in Brazil.

We got the chance talk to Ricardo about the life he has lived leading up to this time, and how he feels about where he is now:

Q: At what age did you start to really take music seriously, When did you know that’s what you wanted to do? 

A: The piano has always been very present in my life since childhood. My father plays the piano and used to sit me on his lap to play with him since I was a baby. I started studying music at the age of 5 and after studying harmony, ‘still an adolescent’, I began to accompany some Brazilian singers. The music began to take up a lot of space in my life and I was gradually entering the world of recording studios and concerts.

Q: What has inspired you most throughout your career? 

A: Keith Jarret, who opened my mind to wide improvisation, a specific training that promotes its creativity. The second one is Chick Corea, which mixes various colours and influences, creating an environment with a lot of personality. The last one is the Brazilian Egberto Gismonti.

Q: Over the years, what has proven to be difficult or challenging?

A: I understand that coherence and discourse are important pillars. I understand that the musician should not remain in a comfortable zone. They need to push their boundaries, recycle, advance in their studies, and try to record discs that have pre-set concepts that bring together elements that add value to their music.

Q: And finally, as a musician, what is your definition of success?

A: Success is being able to touch what you like and have a faithful audience. In fact, success is not what you do, but what you did.

 

Spotify: http://bit.ly/Sebastiana-Spotify

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ricbacelar/videos

Facebook: https://facebook.com/ricbacelar

Instagram: https://instagram.com/ricardo_bacelar

Website: http://bit.ly/RicardoBacelar-Sebastiana-en


			

Heavyball Give Us The Inside On Their Brand New Album “When Can Start?”

 

With the much anticipated release of brand new album ‘When Can You Start?’, the guys from Heavyball managed to have a little talk through the release and explain, why they chose the subject of a normal working week as the theme for their new venture.

So, What can you tell us about the new album? Where did you get the ideas?

“When Can You Start? recounts a week in the life of an ordinary office worker. The diary of a nobody who represents everybody. He doesn’t know it, but this week is different. Because this week is his last on earth”.  

“Storytelling, humor and everyday observations wrapped up in sharp melodies.  When Can You Start? is a story of the very ordinary told differently”.

Can you give us a taste of one of your songs, What does it tell us, What stories do you explore? 

“The first track to be released from the album is ‘Top of Your Game’. You used to be someone, you used to be a contender.  Now you work in an office doing nothing of consequence for people you hate.  The memories are still there though, and there’s still a small chance you could still make it big!”

How would you guys describe Heavyball for people that have never encountered you before?

“Heavyball are a self titled ‘new tone’ 4 piece band originally from Nottingham; signed to Magnetic North Melodies.”

So there you have it, a little pre release teaser, be sure sure to stay up to date with all things Heavyball:

 

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/heavyball       

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7l1XJIYCH6Kop2j6plDWvk

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HeavyballTV/videos   

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Heavyball/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/heavyballreal

Instagram: www.instagram.com/heavyballreal/         

Website: www.heavyball.net  

Waxing Lyrical with Mexican Rockers, Ikkarus

Introducing you all to Ikkarus, a Mexican funk-grunge band who are tapping into some of the rock sounds of the early 1990’s and bringing them crashing into the present. What inspires a band to form a rock band in one of the less fashionable rock n roll centres of the world? We set off to find out.

IKKARUS is:

Wendy Castellanos: Keyboards, Synthesizers, Vocals.
David Ramos: Drums.
Javier Lardizábal: Guitars, Vocals

https://ikkarusofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

What attracted you to the genre of music you work in?

Dave:

The genre we are working on is very appealing to me because it incorporates a lot of elements present in the music I’ve always listened to, since I was a little boy. It is music that has marked many important moments of my life.

Wens:

It has many elements such as rhythms, phrases and sounds that put together make me feel great. They are elements through which I can achieve a certain type of catharsis, relief, happiness, tranquility, and even a very particular bodily energy when we are playing live. It all becomes a great personal experience at the time of playing together, recording, improvising and especially when sharing our music with an audience.

Javo:

This genre has basically spawned a lot of the music I’ve been able to connect to, emotionally. No real effort needed.

Within the Alternative Rock niche, I have been able to find an ample spectrum of sentiments that are very attractive. From mellow tunes to infuriating, distorted guitar riffs, inspiring choruses and reflective interludes… It has practically been the soundtrack of my youth, always present in important moments of my life.

 

What is your local music scene like?

Dave:

There are many projects I’m a fan of. However, I feel it can be monotone. It doesn’t really explore an original sound or seek to create one. Many local bands sound pretty much the same, and I feel emerging styles such as Indie-Pop and Indie-Folk constantly influence them and so the product all around is too similar.

Wens:

There’s a general lack of emotion in today’s music. You can hear it all around in the media: lyrics that have no meaning, almost like random nonsense put into a sequence with the sole objective of becoming a product to earn some people some money.

Javo:

I feel it has been a difficult scene in Mexico, for many bands (us included). It’s generally difficult to get a gig unless you have some sort of connection. It also seems that in order to get a spotlight here you need to emulate 80’s and 90’s Latin Rock sounds, as if there is an unspoken pressure to pay tribute to old Mexican bands that made it at some point…

However, there is a lot of emerging talent that’s looking for something else and doing it outside the usual channels. The Internet has been a huge game changer. There are projects that are great proposals and need to be heard…

The Mexican audience is one of the greatest in the world… When we attend a concert, we love to connect with the artist on stage. We shout with everything we’ve got and sing back to them. We always let them know how much we love their music. Because of this, we hope that our music will be appreciated at home at some point.

 

How do you think you fit in?

Dave:

Based on our live performances I feel we’ve had a good response from the audience, however, only time will tell what kind of part we played in our local music scene.

Wens:

I think it’s possible for us to fit in, in spite of all the repetitive stuff going on. I feel we have the capability of moving our audience outside their comfort zone because of our friendly-sounding textures that could appeal to many different people.

It would be profoundly satisfactory to be able to make a difference in what is being heard by our Mexican audience. We want to be part of that wave of fresh and worthy (…and worldly) proposals!

Javo:

We hope that the different elements we’re bringing to the table captivate our audience from the first experience, whether it’s live or listening to the studio record. If there’s something we’re looking to be, is emotional in our music. To create something that touches sensitive fibres and makes you want to connect and experience more. This is what we hope works on our local music scene as well as in any other.

 

How do you balance your ‘real-life’ jobs with that of rock musicians?

Dave:

I think balance should come naturally with the passion one has for doing what they absolutely love. Fortunately for me, this has been the case between my Graphic Designing day job and playing with Ikkarus.

Wens:

It all comes down to organising my time, which can be difficult occasionally since I teach at a Music School, give personal lessons and also play with a few other bands dedicated to Cumbia, Salsa and Mexican Folk music.

Playing with Ikkarus is something I love to do and fortunately I haven’t really encountered problems doing this.

Javo:

We organise ourselves in our free time and we normally land 3 to 4 rehearsals a month. It’s really not too different to other bands that for example, rehearse once a week. It can be difficult now and again because of the inescapable, occasional priority. We’ve all sacrificed many leisure/personal times in order to make this work and so far all of this (Stains & Echoes album, Live Session, more music yet to come, etc) is what he have come up with. We hope we find the time in which we’ll be making a living out of this in order to be full-time, Ikkarus musicians.

 

You’ve got a huge concert lined up – what would be your dream venue?

Dave:

Any music festival such as Glastonbury. Any outdoors festival, really.

Wens:

Not a particular venue, but a place in which the audience will be expecting us with all the excitement and willingness to have a great time. Any place in which we can share our music with our audience and make it a great experience.

Javo:

Any huge venue with a great sound!

 

Describe a typical live show by the band.

Dave:

A mixture of excitement and anxiousness, typical of a live gig. For my part, I give everything on the drum set. I absolutely enjoy the music, all the movement and the applause from the audience. I see Wendy projecting all her energy and talent on the piano and Javo connecting with the audience through the lyrics and his musical presence.

Wens:

The fact that we have an upcoming gig, gives me an explosion of positive energy. Just knowing that our music will be heard by others… We always try to make people feel happy and enjoy the moment with us. We’re just delighted; we jump, shout and run all around and seek to transmit to their hearts every sound charged with who we are.

Javo:

It is what I love the most to do. Once “I find myself” on the stage it just feels like home, but in all honesty, everything that goes on before that, from the moment we’re unpacking our instruments, the plugging-in, to the sound check, up to the first song out of my throat, it’s all very nerve-wracking to me!

 

Tell us about how you go about creating your music, from initial idea to completion.

Dave:

Normally, Javo gets to the studio with the main ideas, or sends them to us through email or any other means. When I listen to a “skeleton” I start to think about patterns, rhythms and fills that would fit into it. Sometimes I just work on it by humming.

Another “work-mode” we have is to jam over one idea with a specific, creative mindset. It is something I like to call “Cinematographic Simulation” (I hope you love my Cinematographic term!) and it goes something like this: We put ourselves to think about a specific intention from a specific movie scene, as if we were writing a film’s soundtrack. We go ahead and say something like: “Ok imagine you’re James Bond, you’re at some port in Italy at night, hiding behind some boat, the bad guy’s about to escape and you’re about to break all hell loose to catch this guy and fire upon all his guards. How would you print this whole situation into a rhythm, a melody or a riff?”

Wens:

To write and play a song, it is really important for me that we are “synchronised” with each other musically yes, but also personally. We constantly hang out and that lets us be in the same high frequency vibration and emotion in order to come up with something new.

Sometimes we start by playing phrases or tones that detonate a deep emotion in all of us. Then we start thinking of rhythmic ideas and melodies and soon we land a base that we start giving structure to. After a while it starts to adopt a form.

We also play and jam for long periods of time. We normally start with powerful bass and atmospheric sounds and just let them take over our feelings. See where that takes us.

Other times Javo brings ideas to the table, whether it’s on rehearsal time, or sends them to us so we can let them sink in for a while. I listen over and over and see what kind of feeling it evokes on me and I take it from there.

Javo:

When creating music, I try to make it a spiritual thing. I ask for guidance within my beliefs and I start playing for a long time until something jumps out and catches my attention: Maybe a simple melody or guitar riff. Maybe just a chord sequence. I record that onto the computer, leave it sounding on and on for a while. Either the next musical phrase comes along in my train of thought and I record it, or if nothing comes at that moment, I start thinking of rhythms that could go with it, bass lines, variations, etc. I just listen to everything millions of times over. Every so often something comes along and many other times I just have to let it rest for a while. Then come back and see if anything from the already built phrase, melody, chords or textures is activating or provoking some new sound route in my mind. I also start experimenting with my voice over this structure. Just humming/singing random lines, or more bass lines, guitar lines, or just improvising on top of it with the guitar.

Other times I just have a tune going on in my head. Maybe it’s a male voice singing or saying something. A riff, a bass line or a melody that could do well with some weird synthesiser. If I’m not near my computer or my guitar, I simply hum it and record it onto my cell phone. It sounds really funny all by itself, but when I actually get to my recording software (Logic Pro X and before that Garage Band) I use bass, guitar, Reason software to write down a few chords and textures and rhythms. It just becomes a minute of a song. It’s normally the beginning. Occasionally it can be a sort of interlude, so now I’ve got to figure out the beginning and the ending movements! Then either I send it to the guys or just show them when we get together and start working on it.

On the Stains & Echoes record I practically finished the whole music before I met Dave and Wens. One of the things we also do on rehearsal is experiment on top of a song’s defined foundation. This has been the point in which Dave and Wens have imprinted the already existing songs with their personal touch.

When we came across this “work-mechanic”, we decided to keep doing it in order to play a slight variation of the songs for our live performances. We want the live experience to be entirely different and personal to the one with the record.

This has also become a sort of “standard operating procedure” with each new melody or phrase we’ve come up with. There is a lot of new material; we’re trying to condense it into the second Ikkarus’ album. Yeah. We’re already thinking about that! So now when we rehearse and experiment over given lines we’re all part of the creating process together. Ikkarus is supposed to be the three of us.

 

What equipment do you use (the more information the better – that way we can also target publications relating to specific instruments/brands)

Dave:

I really like the sound of Premier drum sets as well as Pearl snare drums. At the moment I’m using a Premier Cabria Drum Set and a 14” Pearl Maple Shell, that has quite a versatile sound, works well in many genres and fits great with the spectrum of genres we play.

For details such as bell overtones, atmospheres, etc, I chose a custom set of Paiste 802 series cymbals, consisting of two pairs of Hi-Hats, a Crash and a Crash Ride. A 16” Sabian Pro Crash, a 19” Custom Hybrid Zildjian China and a couple of 6 and 8” Zildjian Splashes.

Wens:

I use a Roland GW-7 Workstation (I really like the strings patches on this one) and an AKAI MPK249 Controller. At the moment I use it to control the Reason 8 software by Propellerheads. There are times in which Javo and I sit down for hours to try and come up with different, custom sounds apart from the pre-designed ones.

Javo:

I use a Parker Fly Mojo Midi electric guitar. I really like the endless possibilities you have with midi instruments. Like making a sitar, an organ or a trumpet out of your guitar with some weird effects. This guitar has basically become my personal synthesiser to spend hours and hours of fun with. I use it with the Roland VG99 Guitar System. For travelling light purposes, I use the POD X3 Live pedal by Line 6. Awesome delays.

In general, I’m in love with the atmospheres one can build with a delay and a Wah pedal.

I also like to sit for long periods of time at the computer using the Reason software by Propellerheads, exploring sounds and textures, choosing a few of them for our live and recording set, as well as making a few of our own along with Wens.

 

You took a particularly long time to put the songs on the album together – how did you decide on the final tracklisting?

Dave:

We practically went through all the finished songs we had. We took care that the ones chosen for Stains & Echoes were all part of the style and genre we’re trying to work on; and at the same time that they all had something to do with each other. The resulting record is a narrative, phonetic and conceptual unit.

Wens:

Writing a musical piece is not easy at all and finishing a whole album does take time. Javo has worked on the project over the years and when I got to know it and work with it, he practically had all the material selected. It merely was a matter of working on the songs and enriching them even further.

Javo:

The music was practically all finished when we all met. When we started working together, new ideas started to flow. Some of them became part of the existing songs and others were totally different: darker, heavier and even progressive. They’re part of the new lot. Part of what’s coming next for Ikkarus!

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

Dave:

To build a solid career in music, make a living out of it and to put Mexico’s name way up high musically. To become worthy representatives of Alternative Rock. To keep creating spiritual and emotional art for everyone, specially for people in time of crisis and with the need of unburdening. It would be an awesome thing that our music could prove useful in this aspect.

Wens:

Our aim or in other words, the musical dream of Ikkarus, is to be heard all over the world and that well into the years we’re able to create and produce more music.

Javo:

We want to touch people’s deep, spiritual and emotional fibres with our music. When you go to a concert to see your favourite musicians live, it is something that’s simply otherworldly. A connection’s made from the moment you make their music your own; when a certain song of theirs “soundtracks” an important event in your life. It just becomes part of who you are, so when you experience this in front of a stage it’s one of the most meaningful experiences I feel one can have.

I wish our project would cause that same effect on many people. We want our music to be the life soundtrack of many. To know that what we did leave a mark somewhere. Transcendence.

We’d like to be heard all over the world. To play all over it. All the time.

 

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

Dave:

Stains & Echoes is our presentation card to the world and at the same time seeks to be an instrument to find some good vibes, solace and consolation through art.

Wens:

Sure! I want to say that Stains & Echoes has a little piece of our hearts tattooed into every single song of the album. We want it to be a good medicine or antidote to each soul that wishes to listen to it; we really hope our songs give out something good to every heart, as it was the case with me. A huge detonation of good vibes and a relaxing voyage in which people want to remain constantly…

Javo:

Stains & Echoes is a huge thing in my life. The hope of its existence at the beginning led me personally through many rough places, helped me push through a multitude of musicians who just wouldn’t believe in this project, through a huge lack of self-belief and many other things. I would listen to those great records like Pearl Jam’s Ten, Vitalogy, Yield, etc Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine, Downward Spiral, The Fragile, etc Porcupine Tree’s In Absentia, Soundgarden’s Superunknown, etc just thinking what must have went through these musicians’ heads when they were creating, recording, rehearsing all of it. Just dreaming and dreaming and keeping hope that one day, an album would be finished and that I had something to do with it.

It took its time, but everything inside is filled up with our passion and our love. We tried to be thorough artisans with every single sound, chord, texture, word, etc.

Countless sleepless nights, crying, fighting, making up with each other made of this set of songs an album and a family out of us.

Anarchy Reigns’ Hitch Has No Plans On Slowing Down After The Release Of ‘Hypocrisy’

 

 

 

Over the last 4 years, the band Anarchy Reigns have been hard at work, with over 20 metal and rock tracks written and recorded, 5 music videos, 5 lyric videos and the completion of their very own recording studio, Hitch and the boys can now start to take it easy, or will they?

At an early age, Hitch was involved in his local music scene, where he saw bands such as Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, in Liverpool where he would go every Friday and Saturday. Throughout his life he had great love and respect for hard rock and metal, he then went to a show, and it all changed.

During the show, where he was going to town on the air guitar, his wife said, “why don’t you learn to play the guitar?”, after this, Hitch had the idea to follow this dream, and throughout the years has been building his career and reputation. and with the drop of the album on the horizon and the recent release of brand new track ‘Hypocrisy’, the guys seemingly have no intention of slowing down.

So be sure to check these guys out:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/duncan-hitch-morris

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJTh2uHiEgnw0LoIdrzSWtQ/featured

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anarchyreignscy/

Website: http://www.anarchyreigns.net/

 

In conversation with: Temper Cartel

We’ve been having a chat with with the boys from indie-rock four-piece Temper Cartel, who are looking to make a name for themselves with their new single ‘Babysitter’, for which the video is out 9th August! Check it out here:

 

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

Josh Alden – ” I think that I got into music through film, probably. I was obsessed with the TV from a very, very young age. My mum and dad were both working so I would get dropped off at my Grandparents (on my mum’s side) and we would watch old westerns and lots of 50’s and 60’s films etc. The music is just great in those films, and a lot of them just turn into musicals half way through or stick a song in! I think that was probably the first introduction to the power of music whether I knew it or not.”

Sam Alden – “Our Grandad was a drummer in a couple of different jazz bands, he sung too. We used to go and watch him play a lot and it influenced Josh to pick up the sticks and start playing drums but later he switched to guitar. Josh is older than me so by the time I was his age I had got into drums because of our granddad too. But I stuck with it, so now I play drums in the band.”

 

Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

Josh Alden – “If I’m honest… Chas n’ Dave, Michael Jackson and Roy Orbison! Haha my grandparents used to take me to Somerset a lot, on the drive I would sit in the back and sing along to Roy Orbison. They just had a tape player in the car and we used to take a pile with us, I was always asking my grandma to change it to the next song, so she was taking tapes out and putting new ones in for the whole journey! It would go from Roy Orbison ‘working for the man’ to Chas n’ Dave ‘London Girls’ then finish on Michael Jackson  ‘Man in the mirror’ then I’d ask for Roy Orbison again. I think everything you’ve seen and heard has to play a part in how you write songs but I couldn’t pin point what music and when has made me write how I write or what I write.

 

How long have you been playing/writing?

Danny Fisher – “I think all of us have been playing instruments since we were kids, I started at 6.”

Josh Alden – ” I started writing songs in the styles of people I liked around 12 years old. So I would listen to the pattern of a Nirvana song and then try and write my own. That’s how I started writing. Then you realise that you can’t write them as well as those people so you move on to another style and learn that. Gradually you mature and grow as a songwriter and before you know it you’ve studied lots of styles and in the process, found your own.”

 

How often do you play live?

Sam Alden – “we started out playing every week to get the experience. Now we play once every 2 or 3 weeks. We’ve been enjoying gigs in London, Oxford and Brighton. We want to venture out and go up North but for now this is where we are building a fan base. Our next gig is in London at –

 

What has been your favourite moment in music?

Everton Barbato – I think for all of us our highlights have been recording with Mark Gardener, finishing the album and supporting The Strypes. They’re nice guys, great musicians and really good at what they do.”

 

Where is the best place to find you online?

Danny Fisher – ” it depends on what you prefer to use I guess, you can catch us on Instagram (@tempercartel) which we use for more silly stuff, messing around in rehearsal etc.”

Sam Alden – “Or Twitter (@tempercartel) for links to articles or radio shows we’ve been on. But if you want a bit of everything including gig info, vids and pics, then Facebook @Tempercartel or our website www.tempercartel.com will have everything you need.”

Josh Alden – “We will be posting links to our new video Babysitter on Wednesday 9th August across all of these platforms!”

 

 

Get to Know: Voldo Blanka

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Electro-pop connoisseur and craftsman Voldo Blanka kindly had a little chat with us to tell us where his unique brand of music comes from. You can listen to ‘Go Your Way’ here:

 

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

I’ve been playing music since diapers, and playing in bands since I had terribly filthy long dyed black hair in jr. high, but it wasn’t till later I knew this would be what I was going to do with my life.

I went to coachella alone in 2007. First time I’d ever been to a festival like that. Rage Against the Machine reunited and I really dug into electronic music. From that day I knew there was ONLY one thing I’d do with my life. And that is to make records and play live.

I had a few projects on the go but the one that broke was my last band Head of the Herd. We were the first band in our country to have a #1 song without a label and that taught me everything I know – making the music YOU want to make, and standing by that.

Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

I grew up in a house with a lot of jazz, classical and rock n roll. And while the latter took over my life, you can’t discount how everything you hear creeps into your own creations.

So I’ve been making rock n roll since I was a boy and film scores for the past few years. The combination of those two makes up Voldo Blanka and the record ‘nuns enjoy a madman.’

 

How often do you play live?

I’m keeping off the road for the moment. Few videos and films being worked on. But when I hit the road, it’ll get announced on the Voldo Blanka Facebook page.

 

What has been your favourite moment in music?

There’s no feeling on earth like when people sing along to your songs live. It’s surprising, beautiful, uplifting, and terrifying every time. Fuck, I just love it.

 

Where is the best place to find you online?

Go to www.voldoblanka.com and sign up for the email list but Facebook and Instagram are where most of the updates come from.

Soundcloud: https://tinyurl.com/yczk5ewq

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/voldoblanka/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/voldoblanka/?hl=en

Thanks for having me out. Now play that record as loud as you can!

In conversation with: Short Sharp Scratch

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This week, we’ve been lucky enough to have a chat with long time producer/songwriter, Jak Chantler, of Short Sharp Scratch who is currently releasing his latest soul-funk hybrid single ‘Shell Suit’. Here’s what he had to say:

 

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

My earliest musical memory is my mum making deliveries in her pickup truck for the family business, my sister and I strapped in together in the front seat (it was the 80s!), with Appetite for Destruction blaring out the truck stereo.  Mum always used to turn the volume down at the sweary bits!

When I was about 10 I rediscovered this record and it inspired me to start playing guitar.

 

Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

I was obsessed with rock growing up, back then you were not allowed to enjoy other stuff too as it was seen as soft, so for many years I also had a secret pop and disco flirtation.  Thank goodness when you reach the age where you can proudly enjoy all music! I’m not sure if it’s like that for rock kids today, I think people can listen to whatever they like peer pressure free!

 

How long have you been playing/writing?

I started out writing guitar parts for my old band Kingskin.  As we got busier with gigs our singer was less interested in writing lyrics so I started doing that just as it had to get done in order to finish anything.  Then at some point I discovered Prince and saw that he would write, play and record everything!  I’m not on that level as he is a God as far as I’m concerned, but it definitely helped me.

 

How often do you play live?

I am very busy live performer, it’s often private events.  However there are some live opportunities coming up, watch this space…

What has been your favourite moment in music?

My best experience has been either recording with Steve Albini in Chicago or recently I got to record my new single Shell Suit at Abbey Road

Where is the best place to find you online?

https://m.facebook.com/shortsharpscratchmusic/

‘Shell Suit’ is set for release 15th September.

Introducing: Luna Blue

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Brighton’s latest musical sensation has emerged in the form of recent University of Chichester graduates, Luna Blue, and they’re making their mark on the scene with their unique brand of funky indie-pop. Here’s what they had to say:

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

Ryan: I first fell in love with music at about the age of 5/6 where I would listen to a huge amount of AC/DC and Guns n Roses, when I got to about 15 I discovered Jimi Hendrix and this man alone gave me a huge drive to become a guitarist.

Seb: My brother got me really into music when he came home with CDs from the likes of Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Korn. I was always fascinated with the powerful drumming in these tracks after I picked up the drums at a young age. But my real inspiration came from two albums in particular. The first was Dream Theater’s Train of Thought. Some of Mike Portnoy’s drumming in songs like Honor Thy Father opened me up to what real powerful, fast and complex drumming sounded like, whereas Danny Carey’s drumming throughout Tool’s Lateralus made me realise just how creative and musical you could really be behind a drum kit.

Tom: I was classically trained on the piano from the young age of seven, being inspired by artists such as Ludovico Einaudi and Chopin with a deep-rooted passion for composing film scores. Later on in my youth I began to self teach guitar which led me onto songwriting taking influences from Ben Howard, Newton Faulkner and the Frey. Towards the end of my first year at the University of Chichester, after meeting the band, my motivation to bring out the best in my voice picked up and I trained my voice for several hours a day with a minimum of 1 hour vocal coaching a week. I continue to keep up the daily practise as I am constantly looking for ways to push my voice and so that I can maintain it for the duration of my musical career.

Nick: My dad is a music teacher so I’ve been playing music from a very young age on the trumpet and piano, so I have a strong background in classical and jazz. I took up the guitar when I was 12, the drums at 13 and I first picked up a bass guitar when I was 15 after being asked to play in a wind band. My dad has always been my biggest inspiration, making me aspire to be the greatest musician I can possibly be. But Progressive Metal band Tool were the first band I started listening to that wasn’t my dads music, and that was what inspired me to pick up and learn to play the guitar.

Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

Ryan: AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin. These where the big bands that I used to listen to all the time. These days I listen to more Jazz Fusion such as the Aristocrats, Greg Howe, Allan Holdsworth.

Seb: I grew up listening to Rock and Metal primarily, before shifting more towards Prog Metal and more recently into the quirky realms of Jazz Fusion. Personally, I like to try and put in a little bit of the complexities of Prog Metal and Jazz Fusion into my playing. I get bored if I’m not spicing up my drum grooves just a little. We’re always trying to toe the line between keeping our music accessible to everyone, but also keeping a hint of subtle complexity…mainly for our own amusement!

Tom: I grew up listening to a wide range of genres from classical and jazz to pop punk and rock. A major inspiration of mine is Jeff Buckley this is due to his effortless vocals and emotive language which is something that I aim to achieve through dedication and practise. My inspiration to pick up guitar comes from the funk rock and indie sounds of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Foals.

I use a lot of metaphors in my music as I love songs which don’t go straight to the point. Every individual who listens to the music can interpret it totally differently, which for me, makes the music timeless due to its endless possibilities. This realisation came to me from listening to Jeff Buckley and the Arctic Monkeys vocalist, Alex Turner.

Nick: I spent the first decade of my life listening to my dad’s music (Chuck Mangione, Tower of Power, Haydn, Shostakovich) which has had a massive impact on the range of music styles I listen to today as most of it is a mixture of classical, jazz and funk. But after I started listening to Tool, I started listening to more and various contemporary styles of pop, rock and metal such as Muse, Bullet for my Valentine, Toto, Megadeth and Avenged Sevenfold. Later in my teenage years I got more into the progressive side of music such as Pink Floyd, TesseracT, Periphery, Animals As Leaders and Karnivool. All of these bands and styles have had a huge impact on my playing and musicianship. The Classical side helping me to read music and gain skills such as arranging and composing, and the Contemporary and Jazz for my feel, memory and technical side to my playing.

Ryan Guitar photo

How long have you been playing/writing?

Ryan: I first started playing at the age of 5 and ever since then I’ve had guitar lessons where I learnt classical and rock guitar. As for writing I was in a band with the same name (Luna Blue) in college where I met our drummer, Seb. This is where I properly started to write my own music.

Seb: I’ve been playing for far too long now. I think I started at the age of 10? Since then my taste in music has grown and changed. I’ve gone from AC/DC covers to playing along to Prog Metal artists like Meshuggah and Tool. During that time, I’ve been in countless bands, from terrible Nirvana tribute bands who played exclusively in the local village hall, to jazz and function bands playing in bars and pubs. I started writing music with my brother (who plays guitar) when I was very young, and joined a few rock and metal bands in my teenage years. But when I met Ryan and formed (an albeit quite different) Luna Blue, I wanted to stick with it and continue writing more seriously.

Tom: I have been playing piano since the age of seven but prior to that music was still a huge part of my life. I can recall always singing along to 70’s and 80’s hits that I would often hear in the house or on car journeys.
I have been improvising and composing music for piano since I was around the age of 12. This then led me to want to compose and improvise on my dad’s 12 string guitar which is what lead me to learn the standard 6 string guitar. After knowing how to play chords and messing around with different sounds, the vocal melodies came naturally to me and the lyrics were my internal thoughts and emotions.

Nick: I have been playing for as long as I can remember, and I have been writing and arranging since I was 15 in terms of Classical and Jazz. I wrote a lot of contemporary music back then as well but the first time I started writing more accessible contemporary music was when I joined Luna Blue on Bass. Before then I experimented more with Heavy Metal and Prog.

How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

We try to gig as regularly as we possibly can. Whenever there is an opportunity to play, we will always try to take it! Below are some of our upcoming dates, but this is always being updated and filled, so check our website for a more extensive list!

Jul 29

Lambs Steyne

Bognor Regis, United Kingdom

 

Aug 10

Watson’s General Telegraph

London, United Kingdom

 

Aug 12

The London Stone

Staines, United Kingdom

 

Aug 25

Hope & Ruin

Brighton, United Kingdom

 

Sep 09

Fishstock

Brixham, United Kingdom

 

Sep 29

The Buff Club

Glasgow, United Kingdom

 

Sep 30

Pi Bar

Leicester, United Kingdom

 

Oct 04

New Cross Inn

London, United Kingdom

 

Oct 28

Pavlov’s Dog

Reading, United Kingdom

Seb photo

 

What has been your favorite moment in music?

In March of 2017 we held our own two-hour long concert back by a 30 piece orchestra on the University of Chichester’s Bishop Otter Campus. This concert took months of hard work, practice, composing and endless rehearsals and organization, but came together to become the favorite moment in our musical career for all four of us. The venue reached full capacity and over £120 for Nordoff-Robbins, a charity chosen to commemorate one of Nick’s closest friends who was hit and killed by a drunk driver the year prior. Bryony aspired to work for the charity, so we dedicated the night to her memory. Luna Blue will be repeating the event with a bigger and better orchestra, new songs and further orchestration in the hopes of raising even more money for Nordoff-Robbins. For more info and updates, please visit our website!

Where is the best place to find you online?

You can find us pretty much everywhere online! Our social media links can be found below:

Youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVkV54sLs9_A9tc93CzIx9A

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/weareLunaBlue/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/weareLunaBlue

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/lunablueofficial/

Itunes & Spotify – (Just search for Luna Blue!)

Websitehttps://www.lunablueofficial.com/

In conversation with: John Dylan

john-pos neg with shadow

Unsigned Interviews were lucky enough to be in conversation with dream-pop artist, John Dylan, who talks about his influences, his earliest memories of music and his song writing. Check out the the new video for ‘Get Beyond’ at the bottom!

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

I don’t remember when I first got into music. I have tapes from when I was 4 or so where I am hosting a “radio show” (i.e. recording into a tape deck). I play records from the likes of The Police, Michael Jackson, The Specials, The Ramones, Marshall Crenshaw, and Sesame Street. I also go from there to playing songs I made up this portable little harmonium, and playing my toy drum set along to the records. My parents both play a little guitar and liked to put on Austin City Limits and VHS tapes of concerts and play records around the house. I just don’t remember it not being that way. 

 

Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

I was too young to enjoy the grunge explosion in person, really… I was in 6th grade or so when Nevermind came out and was underage for the entire 90s. And where I was, which was Tulsa, Oklahoma, was pretty musically desolate. But that kicked things off, I suppose. From there I fell into this rabbit hole as a teenager… Starting with the cooler music blocks on MTV (Alternative Nation, 120 Minutes, Yo! MTV Raps), then into music press (Spin, Alternative Press, Flipside, Maximumrockandroll), then writing for music press (reviewing records for Foxy Digitalis and Punk Planet) and getting into the tape labels (like Shrimper, Catsup Plate, Union Pole, Sing Eunuchs, and Cactus Gum, which I helped out at). At that low of a level, getting a compilation from one of those labels was like MTV — a great sampler of what that label was about. Then you’d send concealed cash and a note and get a handmade tape and a note back. It was wonderful, and personal, and interactive.

I suppose when you vacillate between writing about music and putting other people’s music out, conversing and working with musicians, and then making your own music, it all seems very accessible and like the artifice of pop and the barriers between performer and audience are really stifling and silly. I had very good exposure to people who both took music seriously and took the music industry very unseriously, and who weren’t afraid to do it themselves. I really want to live in that space; in my heart of hearts the democratization of music is really my goal. My hope is that by recording the album at home with me playing all the instruments, self-releasing it, and making the multi-track stems open source, that I am living up to the ethos of DIY and the conversation between artist and listener being 2-way. I want so much to connect with people through this music. In part because in other parts of my life I feel sort of isolated, but also because I genuinely believe that personal contact with the musician makes the healing power of music much more effective. 

 

How long have you been playing/writing?

As “b-sides” for my first single, I made this 60-track montage of my entire life in recordings. I count that time, which starts in 1993, as the beginning. At the beginning of the montage my guitar playing is very feeble and it progresses from there. Since I got started with drums much earlier, that was always more solid. But whatever might have been going on beforehand, I wasn’t writing any songs until ’93, ’94.  

 

How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

I actually just finished assembling the lineup for our live band so you’ll have to stay tuned. Shows will always be on the front page of john.audio.

 

What has been your favourite moment in music?

I like the beginnings of new ideas. The birth of Rock N’ Roll with Chuck Berry. The British invasion and The Beatles. Early reggae tracks, early punk tracks, early new wave, early alternative, early g-funk rap, the ascendance of instrumental post-rock. If you grow up with music at a young age you start to get a little numb to ideas that you’ve heard before. I can’t really choose a favourite from all of these, but if we want to talk “formative,” I can say that if you watch the documentary 1991 the Year Punk Broke, try to imagine a 12-year-old me taking all that in and having my mind blown.

I am also very attracted to heavily political music, particularly when that music is offering higher critiques than some contemporary statement on a current event. With something like Bob Dylan’s “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding,” I feel like the better nature of man is being revealed — that a moral universe can exist where we have moved on from our cynical political leadership and we care about getting things right. Also John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and Operation Ivy’s “Here We Go Again.” Not accidentally, I am working with Klaus Voormann, who played bass on “Imagine,” and Jesse Michaels, who was the singer/lyricist of Operation Ivy, on my project as well (they are contributing album and single artwork). I was honored when they agreed. I really see them as complete packages — multimedia talents who worked on music that had the clearest vision of the human condition that I know about — people that are heroes to me. I’m trying to do this all in the best and most meaningful way I know how. I can’t pinpoint that to a moment so much as people through which the right ideals shined.

 

Where is the best place to find you online?

john.audio is my site and links to all my social media. Look for John Dylan on IndabaMusic.com and start remixing my music. Or John Dylan on pretty much anything (Bandcamp, YouTube, etc). 

Links

https://www.facebook.com/johndylanaudio/

https://twitter.com/johndylanaudio

https://www.instagram.com/johndylanaudio/

https://johndylanaudio.tumblr.com/

http://john.audio/

GET TO KNOW: Atticus

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

I was into songwriting from an early age, almost by accident. My first memory of it was primary school. We were doing a song in class the next day and the teacher asked if anyone could play the guitar. Nobody put there hand up so I did. I thought, how hard can it be? Turns out it was hard and I stayed up well past my bedtime learning the song on my mums old guitar. I later taught myself piano and the basics of production.

When my mum died at 16 my music really kicked on as I put down on paper all of the confusion I was feeling at that point. The emotion that drove that music is still very much prevalent in what I make now. Only the way in which I create has evolved.

 

Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

As with many people my parents were a big influencer on what I listened to. I still remember the 6 cd changer in my dads car. Bowie, beautiful south and Fleetwood mac (‘roomers’ of course). Bowie certainly influenced my style, in the staccato way in which I compose, allowing raw vocals plenty of space to cut through. My dad was into a lot of bluesy indie back then so I know I’ve adopted and modernised that style.

 

How long have you been playing/writing?

I’ve been writing for almost a decade now, feels a bit strange to say. This project (ATTICUS) though is brand-new and super exciting, I feel like it’s the music that I’ve always wanted to make. It’s been such a journey, working with some amazing people along the way, i’m so grateful and I just can’t wait to get the music out there.

 

How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

At the moment we are seeding the music out online, but I love playing live so when the EP drops, there will be plenty of gigs in and around London and maybe a tour.

 

What has been your favourite moment in music?

Quite a few years back I played at the 02 arena. The thrill of playing to a crowd like that was intoxicating.

 

Where is the best place to find you online?

My debut track as ATTICUS lands on 24 March, when that drops you wont be able to miss it; Spotify, YouTube, Apple, Soundcloud. The best place to follow me is my Facebook @officialatticus.