Category: Feature

New Music Friday: We Are Giants

Northampton trio We Are Giants, with the huge sound and quirky style, keep coming up with the goods. Following last years well-received debut album The Empire they are back with…

Northampton trio We Are Giants, with the huge sound and quirky style, keep coming up with the goods. Following last years well-received debut album The Empire they are back with new single ‘Respond’. Time to ch-ch-chat…

How did you guys get together?
We first started in mid-2015, originally connecting through adverts on joinmyband.com. Our first gig was on NYE of that year. We started off as a four-piece playing softer rock and practising in Griffs lounge, but soon found our heavier sound and transitioned into a trio. Alex came on board as a WAGlad [and drummer] last summer. We play together as good friends and because of our passion for writing and playing original rock music.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
This is the question that usually throws people off! Our sound is heavy modern rock but with gritty vocals rather than any screaming. That being said….Griff can sing quite beautifully as well. Our influences range from Alexisonfire, old-school Biffy Clyro, Don Broco and Press to Meco and we certainly think that you can hear a little bit of each of those bands in our tunes.

What was the reaction like to The Empire?
Lee’s Nan loved the artwork but not so much the music. Being serious, it’s tough being a small unsigned originals rock band, and unless you’re pumping money into pushing your stuff it’s difficult to get heard. That’s why it’s always fantastic when people grab a CD from us at gigs or stumbling across us on the streaming platforms. BBC Introducing has also played some tracks off of The Empire, which is cool! We’re proud of the songs that we’ve created and recorded together, and if nothing comes from it then at least we’ve had some good times doing it all and have something for our grandkids to listen to [and hate].

Tell us about this new song, ‘Respond’.
‘Respond’ was written by all three of us pretty much as soon as Alex came on board. Griff came up with the riff at 1am when we were all pissed, and we never looked back. We recorded the song at the WAG studio and had a great time adding all of the layers….especially the ukulele in the breakdown! When it was time to release the song, we thought about ideas for a music video and being the lazy bastards we are, we decided to stand in front of a green screen and shoot a one take dancing video…..but it turned out great! It seems that when we run out of ideas we always turn to the comedy, crazy costumes, green screen video approach. We probably did the main video in one take but also created five or six bonus clips that we released before the launch and those probably took the most time because we were laughing so much! Recording and shooting videos is the most fun part of being in a band for us because we get to have a laugh and record whatever idea pops into our heads.

What are your live shows like?
We like to have fun and bring energy to the stage, it’s usually a weekend so why would we want to be all serious and moody? Crowd wise, it’s always hit or miss. We’ve played some absolutely insane gigs, and also played to practically no one on many occasions. Our proudest moment has to be when we were runners up in MK11’s battle of the bands competition, but we won the best bassist and guitarist award. We also got a cool support slot for a CJ Ramone gig from that show.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We’ve had the opportunity to play with 100s of bands in 10s of venues in our brief history. We’ve made great friends playing shows in Northants and always enjoy playing at The King Billy, The Roadmender and the cool pubs in Daventry. These days there are a lot of gigs where the majority of the crowd is the bands that are on the line-up, so it’s important to drop the egos, have a beer and enjoy each other’s show.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Shooting the music video for our next single…coming out soon! The video was soooo much fun to film and we hope that comes across on camera. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more details soon on that.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Lee – Biffy Clyro Balance Not Symmetry
Alex – Press To Meco Here’s To The Fatigue
Griff – Acoda Truth Seeker

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We have a new single coming out soon with an awesome video to match. We think that this is possibly our best work to date so we’re excited to release it! After that we’re just going to focus on having a good time being in a band: whether that’s working on new tracks, jamming or recording and shooting video content. We’re not ruling out the odd live show but we live busy lives and the rewards for the time, effort and money that you put into playing shows is slim, but that’s cool….we have a laugh together and do what we want, when we want.

Respond is out now

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Spiral Archive celebrates 20 years of making Northampton better

This Saturday is a day to celebrate a Northampton music institution. Spiral Archive has been selling records and showcasing local bands for a whole 20 years now. In a world…

This Saturday is a day to celebrate a Northampton music institution. Spiral Archive has been selling records and showcasing local bands for a whole 20 years now.

In a world in which vinyl has taken a back seat to first CDs, and latterly streaming, that’s nothing short of miraculous. Inside an industrial-looking building on St. Michael’s Road lies approximately 50,000 items for sale.  Seriously. New and old music-related records, CDs, tapes, DVDs, books, t-shirts, mugs, badges, it’s all there. The man to thank? Alex Novak of course. He’s been at the helm since the very beginning, the first shop location on Wellington Road.

This Saturday August 25th you can join the celebrations two-fold

1. Spiral Archive the shop offers a one-day half-price sale on ALL STOCK. The shop opens at 11am for that.

2. Alex Novak plus guests will have a DJ party upstairs in the function room at The Charles Bradlaugh [1 Earl St] from 10pm to 3am, and it’s free entry.

SPIRAL ARCHIVE RECORDS 1999-2019. The record shop was opened in 1999 by Alex Novak (of The Venus Fly Trap fame) as an alternative to the mainstream stores. It is one of the few independent record shops left in the area.
Open WED-FRI 11-4pm/SAT 11-5pm [tel.07974 885450]
Or alternatively online; stores.ebay.co.uk/spiralarchiverecords
The shop stocks INDIE, GOTH, ELECTRONIC, INDUSTRIAL, ROCK, METAL, PSYCHEDELIC, PUNK, NEW WAVE, SKA, MOD, FUNK, SOUL, REGGAE, PSYCHOBILLY, ROCK N ROLL, SOUNDTRACKS and more.

To commemorate this auspicious milestone Peter Dennis caught up with proprietor Alex for a chat.

SPIRAL ARCHIVE on Facebook

 

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New Music Friday: Rolling Thunder

West Northampton outfit Rolling Thunder are the fresh-faced assassins come to kick in your ears on the grubby indie dancefloors of 2019 and beyond. Seemingly fully-formed already, New Boots asked…

West Northampton outfit Rolling Thunder are the fresh-faced assassins come to kick in your ears on the grubby indie dancefloors of 2019 and beyond. Seemingly fully-formed already, New Boots asked singer Charlie Smith about how they got here and how music gives them their kicks.

How did you guys get together?
The band was formed in a history class at school in 2015 by Ryan and myself as a bit of a joke. No one took us seriously because only Ryan could play an instrument. We were studying the Vietnam War at the time and that’s where the name came from. We were just a bit obsessed with the idea of being in a band and thought it would be pretty cool, so we have just gone from there really. Joe and Harry were also proper keen to be in a band despite no music background or experience at all, so they learned their instruments from scratch by themselves – which again was another reason I think people didn’t take us very seriously. We’ve only really called ourselves a proper band since 2018 when we started doing local open mics. Harry asked his cousin Josh to drum for us when we got some gigs and has recently become a fully fledged member of the band. He was the missing piece and brings so much experience and level headedness. He holds everything together when the rest of us are getting a bit overexcited and making mistakes and stuff.

How would you describe your sound?
Definitely heavily guitar-driven. The sound is quite varied though, and there’s all sorts coming from different decades. Predominantly like an indie 80’s jangle, a more raw 90’s rock ‘n’ roll sound and then some early 00’s indie. What’s interesting is that when people try describing our sound we get completely different responses. We’ve had comparisons to all sorts, from Mod to post-punk to Britpop.

Who are your main influences in music?
The likes of Oasis, Kings of Leon and The Strokes influence the songwriting and guitars. The guitars are also influenced by Harry’s love of early Arctic Monkeys and obsession with Interpol. Joe on the bass idolises Peter Hook [Joy Division/New Order] and Bruce Foxton [The Jam], so there’s definitely some older new wave and post punk vibes there. Josh on the drums is influenced by Radiohead and Counting Crows, which is different again, and then my main influences in terms of vocals are people like Bernard Sumner [New Order], David Byrne [Talking Heads] and Damon Albarn [Blur].

What was the reaction like to the first single, ‘Break In At The Nachtwinkel’?
It’s been mental; we were completely taken aback by the positive response we got. People had only ever heard us live, so we weren’t sure how they’d take to the studio version of the track. But they seem to love it, and it means so much to us. We were on holiday the night it came out and so things got pretty silly. We were just so overwhelmed that something we had made was now out and available on the same platforms we all get our favourite music from, it was unreal. Josh has been in lots of other local bands and said he’s never seen such a quick online uptake of a track, so that seems really promising and gives us the confidence we need.

Tell us about this new one, ‘John Doe’.
At the time Ryan was struggling to write any songs, he wanted to try and write in a different way. He was listening to a lot of Paul Weller and the Kinks so he wanted to write a song in a more observational way. He looked at some of his neighbours and saw how well kept their gardens were and how clean their cars were, and that gave him the idea of writing a song based on people we’ve seen out in Northampton and Nottingham [our uni location]. The idea of a bloke who has all these outward possessions and a seemingly perfect life, but on the inside their life is a bit of a mess. We’re not saying his neighbours are actually like that either, before they try and kick his door down.
From this general idea the whole track has grown into what I suppose you could call almost a concept piece with the artwork, promotional pictures etc…all elaborating on the lyrics and initial idea. Things escalated when I even wore John Doe’s tattered suit and tie on stage. Sound wise it’s pretty big: definitely heavier than ‘Break In At The Nachtwinkel’, with a more rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Especially with the lyrics and vocal delivery the whole track has a lot more attitude. It also has a groovy bass line, driving drums and the usual big guitars. The recording of it was a good laugh, and the overall sound is massive thanks to the great work of Jon Martin at Stalker Studios.

Describe your live show in five words?
Energetic, Entertaining, Endearing, Exciting and Sweaty.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire?
We’re definitely becoming more and more integrated, our first gig in town was supporting The Keepers and we’ve supported them again since. They’re really good guys and we’re big fans of them. We recently played at TwinFest which was an awesome experience, and it meant we got to meet a lot of the other bands from Northampton and we got a really good reception which was cool. The more we play the more connected we feel which is really promising, so hopefully the scene will continue to reveal itself to us or grow around us. In terms of venues Peggotty’s Lounge in Towcester is our Cavern Club; an awesome place for us to do our own thing, as its proper local, so we get silly.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Playing live is our favourite thing, the best reception we’ve had was at a local gig at Peggotty’s Lounge. The place was totally packed and there was mosh-pits and pints going everywhere. To have people singing and screaming our own words back to us was really special. We loved every second of it.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Charlie: It was a 12” single rather than an album – ‘Life During Wartime’ by Talking Heads
Ryan: Dogrel by Fontaines D.C.
Harry: Part 1: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost by Foals
Joel: Joy as an Act of Resistance by Idles
Josh: The Fall of Hobo Johnson by Hobo Johnson

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
The ambition is just to be as big as possible. Ideally we want to be on tour supporting bands and playing festivals as soon as possible. Hopefully in the not too distant future a gig at the Roadmender will be on the cards. An ultimate dream of ours would to be become proper successful and do a big homecoming gig either at Sixfield’s Stadium or Franklins Gardens. As well as big live gigs we want to push ourselves technically and develop the songwriting. Even though we think the current songs are pretty awesome we’ve only just got going and think it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

‘John Doe’ is out there now on the usual digital shelves

 

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New Music Friday: Props

It’s good when the music scene surprises you. Wellingborough’s idiosyncratic Props popped up out of nowhere earlier this year. Off-kilter lo-fi digital pop-psych might cover it as a description, with…

It’s good when the music scene surprises you. Wellingborough’s idiosyncratic Props popped up out of nowhere earlier this year. Off-kilter lo-fi digital pop-psych might cover it as a description, with various reference points from the 80s, 90s, and 00s thrown in the mix. It’s great that this is where music can go in 2019, and still sound gloriously fresh.

Curiosity got the better of New Boots, so we got the keyboard working for an interview…

Hello Props. Who are you, and where are you based?
I’m Mark. I’m in and out of London a lot nowadays, but most of my music is still made in my old bedroom at my mum and dad’s house in Wellingborough. There’s something nostalgic and comfortable about being there which makes being imaginative and experimental easy – and they don’t mind me making noise too much…

How/why/what/when did you get this project together?
This should have happened years ago but I think laziness, ironically, had a positive part to play. I’d write an idea for a tune and then just abandon it, because I thought I had something better to do. But then I gradually started stitching the good bits together and decided it sounded okay!

How would you describe your sound? Who do you feel are your main influences?
Weird alternative psych pop I guess. Odd sounds, cheerful melodies, sarcastic and usually pessimistic lyrics. When I was younger, classic US emo-pop was my jam, which I think influences my desire to find a killer hook. Nowadays my Spotify playlist covers everything from new indie bangers to weird new jazz… My new favourite artist is Hobo Johnson. He’s so fun.

What was the reaction to those two song releases earlier in 2019 [‘Wired’ and ‘House on Fire’]?
Considering I did all the production/artwork/mixing etc. myself and the fact that hardly anyone I know is aware that I’ve been releasing songs, it’s been quite good!

Tell us everything about this new one, ‘You Don’t Care’.
This one’s only been in the pipeline for about a year and a half [everything else is way older]. It’s pretty miserable, political and a bit stupid. When I wrote it, I’d just come across the band Superorganism and I accidentally (on purpose) copied their kind of trippy and colourful production style.

Any plans for live shows?
Eventually. I’ve only got so many limbs, so I’m working out how I can play my stuff live. And obviously I don’t want to be employing musicians, because I’m skint enough as it is!

Do you identify with a wider musical scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourites?
I’m a self confessed bedroom musician at the moment, but Slowthai is absolutely killing it. Such a vibe for the times.

What has been your favourite Props moment of the past year?
I’ve been sitting on these tunes for a while, pretty nervous about putting anything with my voice on into the world. Getting some pretty positive industry responses has been a boost…

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m really good at discovering stuff that other people have known about for years and getting hooked on it. So Frank Turner Positive Songs For Negative People.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’ve always wanted to put an album of my own stuff out. I’m about half way there…

You Don’t Care is out now via the usual digital spots

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New Music Friday: Robyn Wilson

Northampton singer Robyn Wilson has been a mercurial talent from a young age. Now a young adult she embarks on the next stage of her burgeoning career with breezy new…

Northampton singer Robyn Wilson has been a mercurial talent from a young age. Now a young adult she embarks on the next stage of her burgeoning career with breezy new summer single ‘Hotel Room’. Interview time then!

You broke ‪through at 16‬ with your debut EP. When did you first pick up an instrument and began writing songs, and how did it get from there to that first release?
I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember, I would always be singing along to a bit of Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus. If I’m honest, they are the artists that inspired me to learn the guitar at the age of about 12. After getting the guitar I would learn covers but I always preferred messing about with my own stuff, it was so much easier because I could just mess up and say it was intentional. One day the messing up turned into whole songs.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music do you feel?
I listen to a lot of different styles of music and have a lot of favourite artists, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that there is any single style or artist that has influenced my sound. Some people say I sound ‘poppy’, some people have even said I sound a bit country. But I just sing whatever comes out.

Tell us everything about this dreamy new single, ‘Hotel Room’. It’s about the events of your travels…
I wrote and recorded Hotel Room in 2016 after a holiday in Mexico. I was 16 and really fancied a guy at our resort. I put the recording online and people started listening, it was just for fun really. But then I was contacted by somebody who heard it and said he could help me release it properly as a single! Shout out to Matt! We re-recorded it and and also have plans to record more. Following this I’m going to record an album, so what started as a stupid crush turned into this incredible experience and new journey.

Have you played live much? More plans to do so?
I’ve played at open mics and small festivals and venues since the age of about 13, with the occasional bigger gig. However since my focus has been on recording the single I haven’t been around as much. I definitely plan on gigging a lot more after summer, and hopefully it will include Northampton and other areas too.

What’s been your experience of the Northamptonshire music scene so far? Any favourite people/act/venues etc you wanna give a shout out to?
Everybody involved in the Northampton music scene is so supportive and friendly, it feels like you belong to a very special club and everybody supports and follows each other. There are some great venues, my favourite was performing on the main stage at The Roadmender. To grace the same stage as some absolute legends such as Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay and Oasis was amazing! It was an event called The Y Factor, where local artists performed and we managed to get the venue full, it was awesome … I wish they still did that.

You seem to be travelling a lot. How has it been, experiencing different cultures? Has it influenced your sound at all do you think?
I love travelling and it’s always been a passion and ambition of mine – so many places on my bucket list! At the moment I’m travelling around Eastern USA with no firm plan apart from I need to come home by September 😂. It’s most definitely given me lots of inspiration for new songs, lyrics are buzzing around my head. I’m soaking up the vibe ready to bring home and tell my stories via some new songs. I feel like my songs are personal diary entries ….apart from I share them with everyone!

What has been your favourite artistic moment of the past year?
I’ve had lots of great artistic moments, they don’t come every day but when they do it’s like a little boost to let me know that I should carry on on this path. Things like getting a random message from somebody you have admired and followed for years, a musician or songwriter. A random follow on social media or an inbox from somebody telling you they love your music.
For years I’ve been singing my own songs in front of small crowds, big crowds and sometimes no crowd. Sometimes people will listen and sometimes they talk over me – I’m sure every singer-songwriter knows this feeling. What has been the most amazing thing is with ‘Hotel Room’, people are actually singing along – they know the lyrics and it feels fantastic! 😊 I can’t describe how it feels when I play the song and the whole audience starts dancing and singing at the top of their voices, it’s kind of euphoric 🤪

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Ed Sheehan, it would be rude not to!

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
If I can carry on singing and writing music in the future then I’ll be happy, and if I could make a living off it then I’d be ecstatic! So if all my dreams could come true I would carry on expressing myself via music, and people would enjoy listening to it. And I need to travel the rest of the world too obviously 😂

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New Music Friday: Ashborn

Northampton metallers Ashborn – Marcin D on vocals, Mietek on guitar, Peter on bass, and Marcin K on drums – are preparing for the release of their debut album Awakening….

Northampton metallers Ashborn – Marcin D on vocals, Mietek on guitar, Peter on bass, and Marcin K on drums – are preparing for the release of their debut album Awakening. New Herculean single ‘Light That Creates Darkness’ precedes it. Following their recent well-received HOP Fest appearance, New Boots spoke to Marcin D to get the lowdown.

How/when did you guys get together?
We have been together since December 2017. We met before playing some gigs together in previous bands. 

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music?
We are trying not to copy anyone, but obviously we will sound similar to some bands. I don’t really want to mention any bands. I will leave it to listeners. 

What was the reaction like to your demo EP from last year?
The reaction was really really good. We did get lots of messages and comments from people saying that they like our music. It was similar to our Metal 2 The Masses win from last year. Not many people knew us then. We played, I think, two gigs before entering the competition. It was kind of surprise for some people.

Tell us about this new single, ‘Light That Creates Darkness’.
First thing that is really unusual for us is the fact that the lyric to this song has been written by our drummer Marcin [Ozzy], not myself. He did really good job. In a few words, the song is about nuclear weapons. Not really about political side of the attack, but more about consequences. How much it can destroy and how much pain it can bring.

What are your live shows like for those that haven’t seen you?
We have a lot of energy! We’re a never ending head-bang! We do love playing gigs and I think people on front of stage can feel that. Northamptonshire is very strong in metal music, and we are so proud to be part of it. 

What can you tell us about the debut album?
We did the best what we could. The songs are going to be a bit different from each other, so people shouldn’t get bored while listen to it. It’s going to be heavy! Probably one of the best albums of 2019, hehe, 

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Winning Metal 2 The Masses and playing Bloodstock Open Air! But we are enjoying pretty much every moment of being in this band.

Who are you currently listening to?
I’ve been listening to [American death metallers] Deicide quite a lot recently. I do listen to lots of different music and bands. 

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future?
We are trying to get better and better so we can play bigger shows. Also we will try to get to the bigger festivals as well. Promoting our album as much as possible.

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New Music Friday: Dizmack

Northampton rapper Dizmack returns to the fold after a short break with perhaps his most interesting work yet, and there’s plenty more to come. Strap yourself in for an in-depth…

Northampton rapper Dizmack returns to the fold after a short break with perhaps his most interesting work yet, and there’s plenty more to come. Strap yourself in for an in-depth interview; trust us, it’s worth it.

How would you describe your sound in 2019?
I’d like to think I’m still making lyrical, meaningful, I’d say emo music. Its still very truthful and personal. I couldn’t really put it into a genre, as I feel like I’m make so much different kind of sounds. It’s a bit difficult to put under a genre. I’m influenced by all sorts. I don’t tend to listen to grime or hip hop, I’m more into bands and indie music. Anything with feeling. I try and just create good music really: go into the studio and see how I’m feeling and whatever the vibe is that day work with it, and try and come out of my comfort zone. The new songs are quite melodic, the format is in a more traditional song format, what with loads of pre-hooks, post bridges, stuff like that.

What’s influencing you the most right now?
Just life really. I live a very unconventional life. I deal with ADHD and Aspergers on the day-to-day, but then I’m a practitioner of Chinese medicine working towards my doctorate. And then I get to live a bit of a musician’s lifestyle, so between those three elements it gives me all the ingredients I need to cook up my music.

The ‘Spectrum’ EP from 2017 was a big moment for you, musically and emotionally. How did you feel after its release? Did it get a strong reception?
That’s really personal for me. It’s kind of a life changer really, because it was my first proper release that I’ve been working towards for a while. It was the end of a chapter and the start of a new one. I lost my grandma a week or so before it was released. Then it was released on the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Because it came out the worst time: Christmas, getting prepared for the funeral, and burying my grandmother. There’s a lot of emotions. Plus ‘Spectrum’ is about me being on the autistic spectrum. I was just going to the studio and cashing in on my moods really. I didn’t really have a plan. There wasn’t a direction for the project. It was like “well I’m going through this, this down feeling today, let’s document it”. Because my moods are so all over the place, it’s kind of crazy. I could be happy this morning and then proper emotional later. It was interesting making it. It helped me grow a lot. It was good to touch on certain things, and get certain things off my chest, and put it out in the open. It helps coming to terms with getting the diagnosis of having Aspergers and ADHD. It took a lot out of me. But it needed to be done, because I had so much to touch on and music I wanted to make. I felt like until I touched on certain things it was never going to happen. It was very emotional; good and bad. It just came such an unfortunate time. There was a lot going on and it summed up how my life was and all of the stuff going on. I say on ‘How About That’ “I’m both happy and sad”. That sums that up. I was going through some of my hardest times of my life, but then I achieve something that I wanted to achieve for a while, and really worked hard to do it. I feel like I did achieve that. It’s hard to be happy about something when such a big event happens in your life, and it puts everything into perspective. But it kept me going. Soon as I got that out I finish my follow up EP a couple of weeks later, which I have been sitting on for a while. It set the tone for that because the next one is ‘357’, which is the acupuncture formula for emotions. It’s quite fitting. It’s funny how universe, God or whatever you believe in kinda gives you all the ingredients and aids you on your journey. I think it was more of a case I’d finally done it, and people were happy that I got it out and there’s a body of work for them to listen to. I can’t complain. It showed me that I’m doing what I should be doing and I need to keep at it. Plus ‘Spectrum’ is 1 of 3: the plan was to do three projects in the year. Put them all together and you’ve got an album, so I’m keen to get the other two parts out that have been recorded for over a year now. Hopefully by the time you get the third project you see the bigger picture, and it will all make more sense.

Fellow NNer Izzie Gibbs is a regular collaborator, you both appearing on the Foreign Beggars tune ‘Toast’ last year. Tell us about that relationship.
He’s actually my younger cousin, so we’re always on the phone, always creating. He’s currently producing an EP for me now. We’ve got a few things in the works. I worked on his last EP. It’s always great to have a family member you get along well with. Plus we’re both on the same things, we are both very similar.  We’ve got a collective called Camotage. When we do our things we roll under the name Two. We are working on a joint project called The Amazing Adventures of Two, which will be him and I. It’s been fun. Obviously I’m on the road with him, gigging with him a lot. He took me to America to do South By Southwest. That was great. He’s took me on loads of tour dates: Bugzy Malone, V Fest, the lot. I’ve got to touch many stages with him. We’re constantly talking about ideas, sending each other references: what we like, what we should do. His basically the little brother I never had. And I’d like to think I’m the older brother he never had. We are so tight, to the point that we’re on the verge of communicating via telekinesis and telepathy because we just seem to get it. We can look each other and we both know what we’re on about. He’s a blessing, he’s an amazing artist. The best little brother I could ask for, and a good friend. Definitely someone I can turn to. It was great to appear last year on the Foreign Beggars album, and Big Narstie’s. Obviously we did the Channel 4 Big Narstie Show together and performed the track. I couldn’t ask for a better relationship, nor I couldn’t be any tighter. Hopefully there’s a lot of great music to come from both of us this year; it’s only going to get bigger and better.

You’ve had some changes on the backroom side of things, which has hampered you releasing new music. What can you tell us about that? What have you learnt?
Life is full of surprises for me. I’m constantly learning. Finding out more about myself and life. I’ve learnt loads about the music industry, and being on a label. There was no problem on the label side of things, they’re like family. Big Narstie is one of my best friends, so it’s all love there. I’ve just realised that what with my life and having Aspergers and ADHD I just like to have things a certain way. I like to have control and to be able to implement my vision. I’ve noticed sometimes on a label, or whatever, you have to deal with outside people who don’t always get it. People can’t see your vision. I know what I want to do, from start to finish: how I want it to be presented, and what I’m aiming for. I found it difficult waiting: making so much music, waiting and then getting things done. I don’t think people saw my vision, and knew want to do with me, or where to put me. I just thought I know what I want to do, I know where I want to go. I’m capable of doing it. I’ve got a lot of music, so let’s just try and do this my way and have full control over it. I’d much rather that than try and do it a way I’m not fully comfortable with, and that doesn’t work out. I’ve got nothing bad to say about my situation. It just wasn’t working for me and how my life is set up at the moment. I just wanted to be more of myself, and embrace the weird side of me. I’m a proper artist, and I’m not really interested in image and all the other stuff. I’m about making quality music with meaning, and getting it out there. Everything else is secondary. It’s all love. Big up to everybody at Dice Records. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. I’ve got good memories. I’ve got to do some great stuff that wouldn’t have got to do otherwise. I wish everybody the best, and hopefully my thing goes from strength to strength now, even though it may be a bit different and a bit weird to some people. I think that’s a good thing, because it’s unique and that’s who I am. So I can’t do anything better than by being me, and doing things my way.

Tell us everything about these new songs, ‘Leanface’ and ‘Stress/Basic Procedure’.
The new singles are quite old actually, recorded almost two years ago now. It was just music from the sessions I’ve been doing that I hadn’t done stuff with. Obviously with my odd situation certain things are meant to go a certain way. It didn’t turn out like that, and and I have ended up sitting on a lot of music that I want out before I push these next EPs out. There’s no time like the present really. ‘Leanface’ was produced by Izzie Gibbs and Spooksville. Trolley Snatcha brought it all together with a final mix and some arrangements, adding a few sounds here and there. ‘Leanface’ is about THC or CBD-based syrup that I drink to help manage my Aspergers. Obviously there’s a big thing going on about Lean, which is made with promethazine and codeine. I’m not for any of those kind of things. I like to keep it natural. I don’t take medication for my conditions, and I find that cannabis and CBD helps, so it’s about me being a bit of a herbalist.
‘Stress/Basic Procedure’ is a weird one. I was actually at my cousin’s funeral, and I came home still drinking. I’ve had a couple of bottles of champagne; I ended up playing Monopoly with a friend all night. Then still being drunk and going to the studio, and just continuing drinking. I had a song that I was working on that I was struggling to finish. A kind had a bit of a meltdown, what with my emotions being high, I got a bit tearful. Then obviously I felt stress. I made a phone call to one of my friends, and he was basically like “suck it up, go in there and make something new”. So it was just kind of messing about, playing with sounds and what not. So I got ‘Stress’ locked in, then I started working on something else. This time I was so drunk I could barely stand up, and that turned out to be Basic Procedure. Trolley Snatcha was playing the beat, and I was just freestyling. I didn’t write a word for that. We freestyled and dropped in and and ended up with that. I thought they complemented each other, so let’s give them a two-in-one.
We are using them to try and build up a bit of momentum into this next EP. So I’ve got a few more tracks to come out and then we can start with ‘357’.

Obviously people like slowthai and Izzie are doing great things locally. But any brand new producers or MCs in Northamptonshire that you rate, that you want to give a shout out to?
I’m out of the loop with who’s coming out of Northampton at the moment. I like DeBe, he’s got a lot of stuff going on. I follow the Northampton band scene to be honest, I’ve got a lot of friends in bands. I’d say Born Stranger and Kinships are favourites. Rest In Peace to Matthew King and Daniel Padmore; they were both musicians I had the pleasure of working with, and friends of mine.
It would be the same people that I have always known, like your Ill Murk and Jam D and CP. Audio Nurks, he’s got a nice project coming out soon. He would be a good one to watch. I quite like Weirdoe and Samuel Lox, I like their sound and what they’re doing. Also you got producers like Harlz and Spooksville. Oh and Kaotic, my favourite lyricist and brother from another mother. We’ve been through a lot together and he’s a genius when it comes to music. Slowthai and Izzy are flying the flag really hard, so props to those two – they’re doing their thing.

How’s the acupuncture going?
It’s going great. I’m a fully qualified acupuncturist. Just about to start my masters and work towards my doctorate. So hopefully once I go back to that it will be two years, and then I will be a fully qualified doctor of Oriental medicine, which I’m excited about because I love acupuncture. I’m getting great results: it helps a lot to feel like I’m able to give back. I’ve got something of substance that actually means something, and can make a difference in not only my life but the people around me. Health is wealth. Plus I’ve got loads of knowledge, loads of stuff that will serve me for my lifetime, and serve my friends and families. It’s helped with the diet. Plus it’s the way I manage my own condition. I don’t take medication. That’s where ‘357’ comes from, it’s the acupuncture formula for emotions. That’s the name of the EP coming next. Acupuncture is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’m hoping to have a clinic in due time. That’s part of the bigger plan. Just keep going on from strength to strength. I went back to be a supervisor this year, I’m going to be a lecturer. I’ve also been esquire-ing for the Knights of Truth this last year. So I believe I will be knighted in October. It’s crazy; I think back five years ago and I was the patient going to get assessed for mental health reasons. And now I’m practically a doctor, and managing myself. I’m my own GP, and I take care of my family and all of that. I take the most pride in that, because I started it when I was in a really bad place and I struggled. At times I thought my life was going nowhere. So to go through it and come out the other side and build on it and now taking it to even higher levels is is a big thing for me. Plus I was recording the music at the same time. I’ve really applied myself in the last few years to get this stuff done, and fix up my life in all areas. I’m just grateful and thankful that I didn’t mess my life up too badly, and had the opportunity to redeem myself and right the wrongs.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
To show the world how good I am. And how the high standard of music is, the levels that I work at. I have a really good understanding of it. In all areas, not just personal stuff. Stuff I can work on with other people, the writing stuff. I definitely want to have a career and get all my projects out, and be consistent and deliver. I feel like I’ve got a lot of people waiting on my music, and asking for stuff and what not. Now I just want to get it done. Get that out, get my doctorate, get a clinic. Try and merge the music and medicine together. The EP series seemed to do well. I’m a big advocate for mental health. Just trying to do right, be a good responsible adult. An upstanding member of the community. Do my charity work for the Knight’s stuff. I would like to get to the position where I can actually do some stuff, where I’ve got money and backing. I could do stuff for other people, for the Next Generation. whether it’s music or medicine. Youth club, whatever. I just want to be able to make a difference. Give back to NN, make it cool. And just live a full life. Be a nice person. Get my music out to as many people as I can. Do some features. Try and see how far we can take it. I definitely want to be doing some live shows. I just want to get these next projects out, and start some new material. See where we are at. Then hopefully aim for a headline show. I believe I will probably be going on tour with Izzie when he does his tour. Right about now it’s just about getting the music out, the visuals out, and trying to work to the level where I can do my own headline show, and start doing something a little different because I’ve got so much music that covers a few different genres and styles. I’d like to be able to breakout an hour set into three 20 minutes. Give them some of the jump up, give them some emotive stuff, meaningful stuff. Then probably do some stuff with a band. That’s the ideal vision of my show, how to break it down. I’d also like to do a documentary series called Travelling The Orient, where I travel the Oriental cultures. Cover music, medicine, martial arts, fashion. I see it as a Vice style kind of thing. Go out there and bring a few friends, maybe Izzie and Big Narstie covering all areas. But base it around medicine and then try and build from there. I’d love to end up as a celebrity acupuncturist. Trying to get my music into a state where I’m recognised for that. And then cross it over and be like a Dr Hilary Jones type fella.

‘Stress/Basic Procedure‘ is out now via the usual digital platforms

 

 

 

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New Music Friday: Greasy Diablos

Visceral rock’n’roll will never go out of fashion, and from Rushden come riding those Greasy Diablos to provide some. Back in the saddle for 2019 with new single ‘Sarah’s Nose’,…

Visceral rock’n’roll will never go out of fashion, and from Rushden come riding those Greasy Diablos to provide some. Back in the saddle for 2019 with new single ‘Sarah’s Nose’, New Boots spoke to singer Matt Bland and guitarist Ian Marshall.

How did you guys get together?
Matt: Difficult to pinpoint really; I would say around 2010. I  joined after spending many of my youthful years as a drum & bass MC. I fell out of love with the scene and wanted to do something different. I knew Ian through BMX when we were younger, I found out he had a band; that was it. Dan Stocker was destined to be in the Diablos, and Matt on bass we met through the local music scene around Rushden.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music?
Matt: Definitely not happy hardcore, definitely not jazz. Its Rock & Roll, its Greasy Diablos!

You had a busy 2017 and then took a break in 2018, and are now back strong gigging again in 2019. Has the break recharged the batteries?
Matt: Rotation of band members didn’t help, that’s probably been more stressful than doing gigs and travelling etc. Now though we have commitment to the cause, so 2019/2020 is looking good and hopefully we can do a lot more festivals and further afield gigs.

Tell us everything about this corking new single, ‘Sarah’s Nose’.
Matt: I believe in all music and arts it’s best to leave to the listener’s interpretations. If you force a subject to strongly it ruins the fluidity of the ride. It’s Rock n’ Roll, and I hope you like it.
Ian: I’d been listening to a lot of old Chicago blues scene stuff from the 60’s, had bit of the riff and Stocker and myself went to the Bunker [our man cave] and finished it off roughly lay-out wise. We took it to practice and Bland was straight on it. It came together really quickly after that! I really enjoy playing it live as has good energy and bounce to it; also everyone loves a story!

Describe the Greasy Diablos live show in less than five words?
Loud, filthy, greasy Rock’nRoll!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues/people you wanna give a shout out to?
Matt: We live on the Northants/Beds border and other than SBD Promotions we have mainly been supported from the Bedford side of things- The Pad Presents guys. As gigs go supporting The Spitfires at The Picturedrome was a great night, and with Salpa Sulpa at Roadmender also. Shout outs to Garden, Type 22, and Kenneth J Nash.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Matt: Getting over 5,000 hits of ‘Sarah’s Nose’ the first week on Spotify.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Matt: The Kumari [self-titled] – shout out to them, great band.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Ian: Get more of our songs recorded and released. I would love to play some iconic festivals next year; the smallest stage will be fine!
Matt: Enjoy ourselves & be happy! Keep progressing: new songs, and getting them out there.

Sarah’s Nose is out now via the usual digital platforms

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Video premiere: EGO

We spoke to Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO recently about their eponymous EP. Well now’s time to bring you their spiffing new video for second single from said EP, ‘I Don’t…

We spoke to Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO recently about their eponymous EP. Well now’s time to bring you their spiffing new video for second single from said EP, ‘I Don’t Even Bite’.

EGO effortlessly make raw and noisey bangers to help you awaken any dead soul. EGO is the brain child of Sean Grant [S.G Wolfgang / Fierce Panda Records] & his pals Phil [guitar] & Dazza [drums]. Click below and catch the lo-fi VHS stylings of the vid below; it’s going to make you happy, we just know it.

https://www.facebook.com/egoegoband
https://www.instagram.com/egoegoband
https://www.egoband.co.uk

The EGO EP is out now digitally via AWAL / Alt:Disco Records

 

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New Music Friday: Krysthla

Emerging in 2012 from the ashes of Gutworm, Krysthla bring you intense heavy metal, emanating from the Wellingborough area. They released their debut full length album, A War Of Souls…

Emerging in 2012 from the ashes of Gutworm, Krysthla bring you intense heavy metal, emanating from the Wellingborough area. They released their debut full length album, A War Of Souls And Desires, in September 2015, and speedily following it up in 2017 with Peace In Our Time. Krysthla’s powerhouse delivery is brought by Adi Mayes [vocals], Neil Hudson [guitars], Carl Davis [bass], Noel Davis [guitars], and Wayne Minney [drums]. On the verge of album number three coming out New Boots shares the new video for single ‘Zero Sum Game’, and spoke to bassist Carl for more juice.

How would you describe your sound, and how has it evolved over the three album cycle?
It’s basically the groovy end of extreme metal. The sound has evolved over the albums and we’ve introduced more melody, texture and layers as we’ve progressed.

What was the reaction like to the last album from 2017, ‘Peace In Our Time’? You seem to have gotten great press and radio support.
The reaction was amazing. To be sat at number two in the Amazon rock and metal charts was pretty mind blowing. We received some great reviews, and the support from the industry and the fans has been great all along.

Tell us about this new single, ‘Zero Sum Game’. Who directed the video?
‘Zero Sum Game’ is about life, death and everything in the middle. The constant pursuit of a way of life that ultimately doesn’t fulfil yourself, either emotionally or spiritually. The video was directed by Josh Gurner from Hacktivist. He did a great job.

What can we expect from album number three, Worldwide Negative?
It’s another progression and it’s a darker album than the first two. There’s a lot of personal elements and it’s probably more relatable to the average person. It’s going to be heavy. Very heavy.

You are a strong part of the music scene in Northamptonshire. Any favourite bands/venues/people you wanna give a shout out to?
The Northampton scene is very strong at the moment and there’s loads of great bands. From Eden to Exile are one of our favourites.

Looking forward to Bloodstock 2019? Have you played before? What other festivals do you love to play?
Yes we played with Gutworm back in 2004 and Adi played with Deadeye in 2005. We played it with Krysthla in 2016. It’s an amazing festival and we can’t wait to hit up the main stage. We are also playing HRH Metal in February [in Birmingham].

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Adi and I both bought the new Wildhearts album. It’s a great straight up rock record. The latest Vola album Applause Of A Distant Crowd is awesome too.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future after the album is out? What plans do you have?
We’d still love to play Donnington as that’s a box we’ve not ticked as yet. The plan is to spread our wings and hit as many cities as possible. There’s plenty of countries that we are still to cover so we’ll be back on the road in support of the release that’s for sure.

Zero Sun Game’ is out now via the usual digital/streaming platforms. Worldwide Negative is out August 16th

Krysthla live this summer:

13th July – WOLVERHAMPTON, The Giffard Arms
20th July – AMPLIFIED FESTIVAL, Eastington
10th Aug – BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR (Mainstage), Catton
25th Aug – NOTTINGHAM, Ye Olde Salutation Inn
27th Sept – GLASGOW, Nice N’ Sleazy
28th Sept – DUNDEE, Hordes X
29th Sept – INVERNESS, The Market Bar

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