Category: Feature

New Music Friday: Over The Influence

Northampton hard rock band Over The Influence today share their debut video to recent EP track ‘Can’t We Love’, filmed by Joshua Goff. Katie Montford marked the occasion for New…

Northampton hard rock band Over The Influence today share their debut video to recent EP track ‘Can’t We Love’, filmed by Joshua Goff. Katie Montford marked the occasion for New Boots by speaking to the band.

When and why did you form?
James: I went about looking to form the band in 2015; my last band split up from members moving away so I wanted to start a new venture.

What music inspired the band?
James: Too much to put into one list but to name a few: Guns n’ Roses, Motley Crue, Black Stone Cherry, Stone Temple Pilots, Halestorm, Led Zeppelin, Buckcherry, Monster Truck, The Dead Daisies, etc.

Growing up who did you listen to? Has your musical tastes changed?
James: The first band I ever really got into was The Rolling Stones. Their track ‘Brown Sugar’ is the song that turned me on to music, and then, when I discovered Guns n’ Roses my life changed, haha! Been listening to the same kind of bands ever since.

Do you remember your first band gig?
James: The first ever OTI show was held in my back garden – we decided to set the band up under a marquee and invite like 80-odd people over, BYOB. Safe to say we had a few angry people from the neighbourhood interrupt. If it’s too loud, you’re too old!

Who is on your playlist right now?
Bex – My choices change on a daily basis, but I’d say: Santa Cruz, Alter Bridge, Stone Sour, The Cruel Knives, Massive, and even some heavier bands like Feed the Rhino! To be honest as long as it’s got some killer riffs, a sweet groove and some awesome vocals it’ll usually find its way onto my playlist.
James: At the minute i’m playing a lot of Alice in Chains, Alter Bridge, The Dead Daisies, Lynch Mob, Skid Row and Ratt.

What inspired ‘Can’t We Love’?
Bex – ‘Can’t We Love’ is probably our most pissed-off song, because it’s all about being fed up with the way the world is ran and how it needs to change! There’s hints to the government and their decisions to prioritise money over human life, the media and the web of lies they spin around their viewers and audience and just the general lack of empathy we have for one another. We’d just hear about yet another terrorist attack from ISIS and were just so angry and ‘Can’t We Love?’ was born from that anger.

Do you change persona when you perform?
Bex: I wouldn’t say I change ‘persona’ per-say, but I would say that my general attitude and personality is just more exaggerated. There’s always got to be an element of performing, so I think you can’t ever truly be the person you are at work/home etc. But I also think it’s so important to be yourself on stage as that’s who your audience connects with and builds a relationship with.

Do you feel the band has changed with time?
Bex: Absolutely! I think as we’ve matured as musicians, so have our songs both musically and lyrically. If you listen to songs like ‘Take Control’, which is one of our older songs, you get that more classic rock and bluesy feel, whereas ‘Can’t We Love’ is far heavier and meatier and shows influences from modern rock and even some of the softer sides of metal, which is more in the direction of the next EP’s sound.
James: I agree with Bex, we’ve definitely naturally developed a heavier, more ‘modern’ edge to the sound which I think will shine properly on EP #2.

What was the musical process like? Did you have the idea of the whole song? Lyrical content, instrumentation?
Bex: If I’m honest we don’t really have a set ‘process’ for writing. For ‘Can’t We Love?’ James wrote the riffs and set the structure of the song. All that was left were the lyrics, and this was actually the first song I’d had any lyrically input on. The lyrics were written when me and James were sat in his dining room after hearing the news about the most recent ISIS attack and just needed to write this song.

Who writes the music/lyrics?
Bex: Generally speaking, James writes the main riffs, but each instrument takes ownership of their parts. We like to all sit in a room and bounce ideas off one another, as that tends to create the most ‘OTI sounding’ songs. Previously, James wrote all the lyrics too, but pushed me to take over that role from him once I joined the band on a permanent basis.

What made you make ‘Memories’ so different to the rest of your EP? Both vocally and musically.
Bex: This is actually quite a funny story. So I went to Reading festival with James and of course he found himself in a mosh pit at Five Finger Death Punch’s set, and he broke his finger! This meant he lost all real movement and strength in his bottom two fingers, so really struggled to play guitar for a good couple of months. Whilst he was in a cast he was playing around with an acoustic guitar and wrote the chorus for ‘Memories’. Me previously being an acoustic singer songwriter I fell in love with the song, and myself and James wrote the lyrics and finished the song together. We played it to a few of our friends and family and they loved it too, so we ended up gigging it at a few acoustic shows we played and it got such great feedback we knew it had to go on the EP. We love that it shows our softer side, and I love that I’ve been able to bring my ‘lighter’ vocals to the band, and we feel it just shows a different and more vulnerable side of us to our audience.
James: I’m a big fan of bands that can write both a killer, heavy rock song and also tame it to acoustic when needed. Alice in Chains are a great example of this. Like Becky said I’d broken my finger so the chorus was accidentally written, I went to play a power chord and realised i didn’t have enough fingers, this strange inverted sorta sound came out and i played with it for a bit and got ‘Memories’. In terms of the song itself: I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions in my life so I wrote the song about regret, Bex came in and helped write a lot of the lyrics too.

Did you always want perform rock?
Bex: Not at all! Previously I performed as a solo artist playing self-written acoustic pieces. Although rock music was always a huge passion of mine I never thought I had a ‘rock voice’. I never intended to join OTI but I was asked to fill in some shows on a last-minute basis as James knew I was a singer, and I’ve never looked back!
James: Always have and always will!

Do you have any upcoming shows?
Bex: We’re honoured to be supporting Stormbringer for the second time, playing at our local and legendary venue The Roadmender at the end of April. We love playing with those guys, they’re tight as hell and they’ve got some wicked tunes! In terms of other shows, we’ve got some exciting things booked including some festival slots, but at the moment we’re really focusing on getting some new material written in preparation for our newest EP.

What can we expect next?
Bex: We’re currently in the process of writing the next EP, which we’re hoping will continue to demonstrate that slightly more heavier side that we feel ‘Can’t We Love?’ has begun to show. Think fatter, riffier and more groovy beats that’ll get your head nodding and your heart racing. We might even throw in another acoustic number 😉
James: The majority of the 2nd EP is written and sounding massive now, so it’s just a case of writing the last couple of tracks and then recording it, mixing, mastering and the usual bullshit that goes with releasing an EP.

 

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Deaf Trap: interview and new video for ‘Real Nice Night’

Following the release of their second EP, Miscreants, Peter Dennis spoke at length to Northampton alt-rockers Deaf Trap. The band comprises of Matthew Wetherill (guitar), Rob Gray (drums) and, rather…

Following the release of their second EP, Miscreants, Peter Dennis spoke at length to Northampton alt-rockers Deaf Trap. The band comprises of Matthew Wetherill (guitar), Rob Gray (drums) and, rather confusingly, the band has two Tom Wrights: Thomas (vocals) and Tom (bass). The lads tell New Boots about their songs, their scene, and their plans for the future. Plus, the new video for Miscreants track ‘Real Nice Night’ is below.

How easy was it to find three other guys with similar musical tastes who you could tolerate?
Matthew Wetherill: For me it comes down to genuinely being really good friends. It’s probably a clichéd thing to say…
Thomas Wright: We basically met up as mates and then Matthew started playing guitar and we used to cover things where I’d sing along and then we used to write songs about the hotel that we worked for and how much we absolutely hated it! [laughs]
Matthew: That was it. It was almost like Billy Bragg protest songs about a posh conference centre. We’d go for a night out and because we didn’t have any money we’d go round someone’s house, drinking, playing guitar, singing…
Tom Wright: Many years later…here we are! [laughs]
Thomas: We’re late bloomers.
Tom: It took us a long time to get our first gig. We were practising for over two years.
Matthew: That’s one of the good things. It’s like a slow build. You’re not forcing anything.
Tom: You see all these young bands, we play with them and they’re awesome.
Thomas: It’s depressing, isn’t it? [laughs] That band who were on at The Lab [The Keepers], they were really good and The Barratts were saying how young they were and The Barratts are younger than us! The Barratts were getting annoyed at how young The Keepers were and I thought, ‘Shit! That’s exactly how I used to feel about you!’
Matthew: That’s it. We have a closeness. I say it all the time but you have to be comfortable falling out with people. And that way when you do fall out with people, although it’s not always nice, because you’re comfortable enough you just go past it, because you’re that good friends, you’re happy to tell each other what you think. It means you don’t hold things in so much, there’s no tension. It’s a much more natural progression because of it.
Thomas: There is the occasional strop in this band and it usually takes a couple of beers to get over. [laughs]
Rob Gray: That’s a Deaf Trap recommendation. A good conflict and resolution solution. Always resolve it.
Thomas: [laughs] No punching!

Can we talk about your musical influences? What do each of you bring to the Deaf Trap sound?
Rob: My pretentious answer to that is everything I’ve ever heard. I know the stuff I like but it doesn’t necessarily influence what I’m doing here. It’s whatever you hear at the time. Within this band the style I play there’s a lot of Chad from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the way he whacks those drums. I can’t think of a nice way to say it but he slams those drums, he fucks them up, he really hits them. I’m influenced by hip hop and trip hop beats, it doesn’t play out in this band apart from some break parts. More recently Foals or Bloc Party, they’re both heavily tom-based, they don’t just do the straight beats, they’re almost dance beats with some rocky bits and then a lot of tom’s to make it sound tribal. The Trail of Dead do some awesome stuff and Ginger Baker is one of those guys with that swing.
Thomas: I suppose in terms of things I listen to, it’s traditional indie. I like a lot of Britpop, I like indie bands. These guys write some basic music first and I have to adapt and put my mark on it so… I kind of experiment with my voice and then it just comes out. I don’t draw on anything specific. I’m not a musician! I just keep trying until something good comes out. Sometimes it doesn’t!
Matthew: For me very, very early on it would have been The Cribs and The Libertines, that’s the age I was when I first picked up a guitar. I’d go to watch bands at The Soundhaus and always be a bit in awe and when I saw those bands and the carelessness with which they played but still generated more emotion out of me than any of the other bands did that made me think, maybe I could do that. As I got older I really listened to The Pixies and Sonic Youth. That’s where, if I need a bit of inspiration, it’s down that route. I wouldn’t write a whole song and come to practice and say ‘Right, how can you guys add to this?’ I might start off with something and then it will change so much from what it was with everybody’s input. It doesn’t come from one particular influence. By the time a song’s finished you can’t trace it back to anything because the ideas are so collected now.
Tom: This might come as a shock to the band but I listen to a lot of Nirvana, Foo Fighters. I listen to a lot of Rolling Stones, I like the bass in Royal Blood. I get a lot of my bass riffs and ideas from Royal Blood and stuff like that.
Rob: That drummer is sick, the Royal Blood drummer. I saw him live. Solid.

It sounds like you all have disparate influences. How do you bring them together and make them work cohesively?
Matthew: It tends to to be, I’ll have a guitar riff, Tom will have a bass riff and then we’ll loop and throw guitars and things over the top. In doing that and having a bit of a jam you can usually work out two or three different ways it could go because we don’t fall out as much now.
Thomas: Sometimes it does reach a point where, say, two of the band have got completely different ideas and at the end of a practice everyone’s a bit disjointed because it keeps going round because nobody can decide. Usually everyone goes home, has a sleep on it, comes back and says “Actually, that’s a good idea after all. We’ll try that”. There are certain points where there’s a bit of stubbornness .
Matthew: You have to draw a bit of a line, don’t you? But when you do come back to it and everyone thinks there’s two different ways we can do it, retry everything. That’s the thing these days, there’s no “We’re not doing that”. If one person thinks something and another the other, we’ll do two different ways. It’s very rare at the end of that we don’t agree.
Tom: We tend to go through at least ten ideas before we get to a song.
Rob: We do drop a lot because there’s too many things going on in there so we can’t agree so what’s the point in sticking with it if we can’t agree? We move on and we end up with the stuff we can agree on and when we have that one idea we can all agree on, that’s what makes it cohesive.
Thomas: I think that because everyone’s a bit different does slow down the process of writing a song, but it adds to the end product. We’re all usually happy with the way it sounds and at the beginning nobody thinks it’s going to sound like that, it’s always something completely different.
Matthew: Obviously when you listen back to some of our songs and you know the influences then as much as you wouldn’t say “That song sounds like Foals” or “That song sounds like Sonic Youth” if you really pick it apart and pay attention you can see where those ideas were spawned.

Your recent single ‘From the Floor’ is quite dark, and not what I expected.
Rob: I wasn’t aware that ‘whore’ was a swear word. It’s not in America.
Matthew: The interesting thing with that is, it’s worth putting on record, it’s a song about having struggles with alcohol, drugs, that sort of thing.
Rob: It’s a massive metaphor.
Thomas: Actually the core line in that came from Rob.
Rob: It was the first time we really started to sing together. That’s what really pushed it as a song. The original lyric was ‘Need somebody to love’ – it was too George Michael for us. So I sang ‘Please stop being a whore’ instead. It just sounded a bit rougher, a bit rock and about not going too far with things.
Thomas: We toyed with the idea of changing it to something that would be played on the radio, and then we thought ‘Fuck that!’; we’re not pandering to society. The thing is everybody’s offended all the time about whatever and to be offended is somebody’s choice and how they interpret our lyrics is how they interpret our lyrics. If they’re offended by that it’s because they’ve taken something from the lyric and it reflects on them rather than us.
Rob: It’s not necessarily talking about a woman. It could be talking about yourself, about a friend of yours. It’s just a general sense of going to far.
Thomas: When I sing it I think of it as a kind of battle. A first person singing to himself: “I’m going out tonight, I don’t want to do this, I’m always a whore when I go out”. That’s the avenue I take mentally when I’m on it. Obviously it’s a fictional character…I’ve never been a whore! [laughs]
Rob: We’ve got to make it clear that it’s not a re-imagining of The Police’s ‘Roxanne’. It’s not that. You don’t have to put on the red light. It’s not the same thing.
Thomas: No. We’ve got a lot of respect for whores and we’d never sing about them in a derogatory manner.
Rob: We’ve got respect for all ladies of the night!

While we’re on the subject of ‘From the Floor’ it’s accompanied by a great video. How involved were you in that?
Rob: We did it all. I tried to take the lead because I’ve got a little bit of video making experience, but it was all of us.
Thomas: Jack, the lead in the video, always comes to our gig dressed as a hot dog so we thought that because he’s been so committed to the band we’d give him a lead role in our first video.
Rob: He was really creative in that, he was full of energy, God bless him, he was up for anything and always available and we can’t thank him enough really.
Matthew: We all really like it. It came out really well considering we had no budget.
Rob: Zero budget. It was just an idea to do something like Peep Show. For me it’s a bit like a cheap version of The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ video. Someone goes out and gets wasted and we just tried to put an extra element to it…a hot dog!
Matthew: The point being, not being able to get over your addictions. You fall into it at the start and at the end you are trying to recover and you fall back again.

What do you think of the local music scene?
Thomas: It’s underrated. There’s loads of great bands around. It’s not just Northampton, it’s Kettering, Corby and all the surrounding towns. I think we’re overlooked towards this end of the country.
Tom: Northampton’s really strong musically.
Matthew: We’ve got so many good bands like Monarchs, Thomas mentioned The Barratts earlier. The Keepers are doing really well.
Thomas: And they’re all nice guys. We get along well with all the bands. There’s no egotistical band where they’re all wankers and they don’t talk to or want to have anything to do with the other bands. They’re all really decent, sound people who’ll have beers with everyone.
Matthew: That’s true. I can’t think of any band in the town who I don’t like. I mean there’s obviously styles that you don’t prefer but in terms of any band we’ve played with I can’t think of anyone who’s been iffy.

There’s some cracking small venues in the town but what we really need is a good, medium size venue that has bands on every night.
Thomas: Bring back The Soundhaus basically. That’s what we all feel like. I was devastated when it closed.
Matthew: The Lab, at the moment, is the best venue in town for bands being able to play. They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to get a great sound system set up, it’s really starting to take off and that’s why we’re here today. It’s Independent Venue Week but the only other real venue I would say is The Roadmender, but that seems to be club nights.
Rob: They’ve got the main hall and a side room. If you want to do a bigger gig in that type of venue then… The Picturedrome have had their entire room refitted. Our next video is due to come out, it’s done at The Lodge with Max, and he renovated The Picturedrome for it’s acoustics. I can’t wait to hear a band there. It’s a difficult place to play because it was originally a cinema, so I can’t wait to hear a band there because if he’s done a good job then that would be a major higher class venue rather than a pub.
Matthew: It was a travesty when The Soundhaus closed because that was 380 capacity and that was perfect because you used to get bands who were about to break playing there and they booked some great bands. The list of bands from The Arctic Monkeys to The Libertines and so on. They all played there and whoever booked them at the time had all the contacts and we’re crying out for someone who knows what they’re doing. The town’s missing that. The Lab’s great but it has a lower capacity.
Rob: The town is fine for that: The Garibaldi’s putting bands on, The Lamplighter putting bands on, you can get a couple of hundred people in there but they’re all squashed. They’re not venues that are originally designed for that.. The main venues are shutting down because of neighbours who’ve moved in and want quiet and venues are also struggling financially.
Thomas: I think that’s where a lot of local bands get their break by supporting touring bands and there’s no major bands passing through. That’s where you get most of your exposure. When our old band supported Space at The Picturedrome we had a whole new crowd to play to. It was a great opportunity and it got us loads of new fans but without the touring bands we never would have had that. That’s what it’s like pretty much all the time.
Rob: I think if you look at what some of the surrounding towns are doing like Corby, Bedford, Milton Keynes even, they’re always supportive of their bands. Some of those things are out there which we’re keen to play this year to open thing up for us. My friend Karl was saying it’s a shame Northampton’s got all these bands coming up but unfortunately the surrounding areas are doing more. I think in time it’ll come up. The Lab is doing a lot. I don’t think it’s dying, it’s on its way up but it’ll take time. For the time being it’s worth driving to play 20 miles out of town to play somewhere that’s got venues of a decent size.

How do gauge your music development between the your two EPs? Is one an extension of the other, or is it more a quantum leap?
Matthew: We talked about this not so long ago. The first EP felt more ‘demo-ish’ because we needed something to go “Right! We’ve got new music, we’re technically a new band, here’s what we’ve got for you to listen to”. It wasn’t rushed but it was a case of, you want to give people something to check out, to decide if they want to come and see you, there was an element of that, whereas with the second it’s a lot more precise in the way it was written. We could have done five songs again but, no; these three we’re really happy with.
Rob: At this time it’s also an economic thing as well, to get an album done in a top recording house it’s gonna cost you hundreds of pounds, that’s realistic. We’re lucky to get the bargains we have, working with the people we have. We can go in there with a short time frame and they do great jobs. I think now the reaction we’ve got from these EPs…in a way people are waiting for an album and I think that’s next on the cards.
Thomas: We probably won’t release any more EPs, will we? We’ve done physical copies for the two EPs. I think now, until we get to the album stage, we’ll release things as a digital single.
Matthew: we can go and record a song in two or three hours because we live-take it generally – then we sing the vocals over the top. We don’t do it bit by bit, we have it quite organic and because of that we can do it really quick. So if we wanted to get something out there it won’t cost us a fortune. It’s working out the best way to do it. We’ve got a good amount of material out there [with those eight songs]. I don’t feel we need to jump into something straight away.

That was going to be my final question. What are your future plans?
Rob: We haven’t really talked about it so we may disagree. I’d like to record more this year, stick everything on that because we’ve got enough EPs. Maybe double down on them and get a couple more singles out this year. Then we could work more on them, rather than doing them in a day, if we can have that luxury of doing them in a week or a month then we can concentrate on getting our best sound, then maybe next year look at getting a full album out.
Thomas: I think it’s important to stay on the radar releasing smaller amounts of stuff more often so people don’t forget about you.
Matthew: That’s a good theory. Whatever the end goal is, along the way making sure people don’t lose touch with you.
Rob: Like we said, go to other places and raise our fan base and this year we’re going to concentrate a lot more on festivals, to enjoy that element of it.

https://www.facebook.com/DeafTrap

 

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New Music Friday: GoGo Loco

Northampton’s ace rhythm’n’punk trio The Mobbs are no more, after four albums and almost a decade of existence. This would be much worse news if it wasn’t for the comforting…

Northampton’s ace rhythm’n’punk trio The Mobbs are no more, after four albums and almost a decade of existence. This would be much worse news if it wasn’t for the comforting news that two of the gang – vocalist/guitarist Joe B. Humbled and drummer Cheadle – have immediately re-emerged as GoGo Loco.

The first trash-rock single ‘The GoGo Loco Twist’ can be witnessed below. New Boots spoke to Joe about the new evolution.

Firstly: why have you hung up your Fender Strat as a Mobb?
‘Twas time to bring The Mobbs to a conclusion (for now). I wanted it to go out at it’s peak and not to fizzle out and fade away without a respectable cessation. There’s only so far I felt I could go with it in terms of songwriting and especially musically. [bass player] The Bishop handed his notice in back in October so we felt it was time to put it to bed for a while.

How was the last show at The Lamplighter? It must have been quite emotional after all this time
The Lamplighter show was a perfect end and a reunion of fans and performers who’ve been part of it all from the beginning.

Where do you intend to take this – this one seems to sound like inspired by Cramps-esque rockabilly trash rather than Medway garage…
The new project is something that’s been trying to get out for a while now. It is very much a sound that Cheadle & I are more akin to and neither of us are ready to quit yet. Based on the new song & video I suppose you might say it’s more Cramps-esque; however we’ve recorded a few other bits and pieces and in reality it is more of a departure to late 50s/early 60s R&B.

Playing drums with the maracas, that’s pretty wild. Who came up with that idea?
The maracas was a happy accident so we decided to stick with it! We’re massive Bo Diddley fanatics so it was going to happen eventually!

Where did the name come from?
I like the Spanish word “Loco” for crazy – the way it roles off the tongue is amusing to me. GoGo is just reference to Go-Go dancing I suppose.

What can we expect from 2018?
2018 will see the three other recordings emerge digitally to start with, then if the battering down of doors happens we hope to do a pressing in the form of a 7″ vinyl EP.

Are you doing anything else musically concurrently?
I’ve got some solo recordings that I’ve been working on with my brother [Jon Martin] – I might release these digitally at some point this year. Hoping to do a Deep Sea Mountains CD EP release this Spring – I’m merely the very amateurish drummer in DSM and in reality this is Will Sey’s baby – so I won’t go on too much about that!

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New Music Friday: The Keepers

Northampton quartet The Keepers release their fourth single this weekend. The A-side ‘Take Me On A Trip’ is a moody paean to the joys of escapism, wrapped up in desert…

Northampton quartet The Keepers release their fourth single this weekend. The A-side ‘Take Me On A Trip’ is a moody paean to the joys of escapism, wrapped up in desert rock guitars. B-side ‘Leaving Home’ is more of a Britpop/Beatle-esque pop song with some nifty artificial string lines in the chorus. You can hear both below. New Boots caught up with Jordan Jones (vocals, guitar) and Liam Taylor (guitars) for a quick chat

How did you guys get together?
Jordan: I formed the band a couple of years ago. I just had a few songs that thought would sound cool with a full band behind them. It’s been a long process really trying out different members.

How would you describe your sound?
Jordan: 1960s psychedelia with a 90’s kiss.
Liam: Yeah. Indie Britpop with an add of Psychedelic

Who are your main influences in music?
Liam: Wilko Johnson, Paul Weller, and Pete Townsend

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Jordan: ‘Wildlife’ by The Lovely Eggs
Liam: ‘The Masterplan’ by Oasis

What was the inspiration for ‘Take Me On A Trip’ and ‘Leaving Home’?
Jordan: ‘Take Me On A Trip’ is a recycled song we used to play a few years ago, we needed a more groovy and heavier sounding song, so I just took that, changed the words and added some extra riffs. ‘Leaving Home’ is inspired by The Beatles song ‘She’s Leaving Home’. We all know the original from a very upset mum and dad perspective. I had this concept of the song from the girls perspective – it sticks to main themes of the original like leaving the note, the man in the motor trade etc, but I’ve had to add a few bits like getting married and running away from university which I think makes it slightly more modern.

Being on stage vs being in the studio, which do you do prefer?
Jordan: studio
Liam: stage all the way; I love the atmosphere and the interaction with the crowd.

What has been your favourite band moments so far?
Jordan: Supporting The Moons at Roadmender, Space at The Picturedrome and playing Beano On The Sea festival down Hastings.
Liam: Supporting The Moons and The Spitfires

What plans do you have for 2018?
Jordan: We have some very exciting things coming up this year! We have more singles coming out and some fantastic gigs we cannot announce yet! Watch this space!

 

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That Joe Payne debut single and live show

Ex-frontman of The Enid Joe Payne launches his solo career on March 2nd with a single and accompanying launch gig at Northampton’s Picturedrome. Now going under the That Joe Payne…

Ex-frontman of The Enid Joe Payne launches his solo career on March 2nd with a single and accompanying launch gig at Northampton’s Picturedrome.

Now going under the That Joe Payne moniker, ‘I Need A Change’ is the first shot across the bow in a new phase of the singer-songwriters’ life. New Boots sat down and got the skinny on how he got here.

First things first: what’s your musical background – did your love come from family, school lessons, friends…?
I grew up in the small town of Tring, Hertfordshire where they had a community theatre. I spent all my spare time there, rehearsing and performing, and it got me totally addicted to being on stage. Apart from some classical training in singing and piano, I guess I inherited some of my musicality from my dad who would like to play his guitar privately. If anything, I wonder if he followed my example in the end, as he’s now the one spending all his time at the theatre playing for the show bands!

How did you end up in The Enid?
When I was about 19 I decided to book a recording studio for the first time, sick of always recording naff demos in peoples garages. The Lodge Recording Studio was my choice, and just so happened to be home of The Enid. They invited my band to see them at a gig in Chesham, near my home. I absolutely loved it! It must’ve been the first time I’d heard any music that appealed to my taste for classical, theatre, rock and pop, all at the same time.

The band invited me to sing backing vocals for them. About a year later, both recently turned single, Max and I fell in love and started spending all our time together. I was just graduating with a degree in Business Management, so it made sense for me to start running The Enid’s independent record label. Then, having become part of the family so to speak, I was invited to sing lead.

How was your experience of being a part of their journey?
In all honesty, the whole road from joining to leaving was a frustrating one. I was forever under pressure to prove myself in some way. It’s not easy trying to re-brand something that already has so much history.

I was only 22 when I joined, and it felt like no one would take me seriously. To a lot of The Enid’s fans I threatened their idea of what the band was all about. To others I was just a singer, and despite writing a lot of the new music, no one ever gave me credit for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I proved a lot in the end. By the time I left I had made a name for myself, and raised the bar dramatically for the band’s shows. But it was tough to do, and not everyone was willing to move together on everything. Over time I started to feel less and less part of the band and more of a separate entity.

How was the support of the wider prog fraternity?
The prog community and I remain very close. Not only did I front The Enid, but I was also running the record label, booking the shows, arranging PR, etc. So by default I would always be the one to correspond with people. Fortunately for me I made a lot of friends that way.

The wider fan base definitely had my back, and it feels like they still do. Winning ‘Best Male Vocalist’ in the Prog Magazine Readers’ Poll two years running was totally unexpected. Considering who I’m up against, there are much bigger artist than me that have topped these polls. I’m lucky to have so much support. It wouldn’t be easy for me to start again without all these people behind me.

Why did you decide to go your separate ways?
I had a breakdown. Every band has internal politics, but this was a whole new level for me. As far as anyone knows publicly, I left so I could begin recovering my mental health. The point is, for me anyway, continuing working or living with The Enid wasn’t an option. If I’d stayed I’d probably be dead by now.

How was the decision to go solo?
Having a solo project was always something I’d wanted to do, but I wasn’t really allowed to do it. Anything outside the band was considered to be a wasteful use of time which could be spent on the band instead. So that was quite limiting. Once I left the band I knew I’d rather go solo than start a new one. It was my first and only chance to express myself exactly the way I wanted.

But daunting? Hell yeah! I spent the first 6 months of my illness doing nothing, literally incapable of working. The next six months I used to re-educate myself, reading all the music theory books I could and playing the piano every day. I had barely touched one in about 10 years. I only really began writing music again mid-2017. It took me so long to get started, not because I didn’t have the ideas, but because I was still fighting off all those old voices in my head that told me I needed to prove something.

Now that I’ve done it, worked out my writing process, had feedback from the press, those voices have finally been silenced. I’ve learned that those doubts had no place being there in the first place, and I’ve always had it in me to do it on my own.

Is ‘Moonlit Love’ – a widescreen choral ballad – a good signifier of what to expect in the future?
I guess you could say it is, yeah. My writing style is very classically influenced, and I grew up playing a lot of Beethoven and Mozart. It’s that kind of emotive harmony, melodic ideas and modulation that I get a kick out of. It does mean everything is a pain in the arse to play though! Haha

What’s the debut single ‘I Need A Change’ about?
‘I Need a Change’ is probably the darkest thing I’ve ever written. It’s about suicide, guilt, loneliness… At the time when I first started writing it I had nothing left to live for. I was about to lose my businesses, my home, my dog, my relationship. Everything was being taken away from me. So the song is very much about ending one life to start a new one, or dying to be reborn. I had to leave everything behind and start again with nothing.

What can we expect at the Picturedrome show? It’s all local musicians that are playing with you…
The set list is kind of like a greatest hits. I’ll be performing some of the songs I’m best known for doing with The Enid. I made a point of only choosing the ones I was a writer on, and those just so happened to be the most popular tracks at the time. I’ll also be airing some other collaborative work for the first time, plus new material.

I have a great band playing with me. Local boys Dan Battison (Ginger Snaps) is on bass, and Josh Judd (Burrowing Bees) is on drums. I also have Moray Macdonald on keys and Oliver Day on guitar. Both of these guys are renowned throughout the prog scene for their work with other bands such as Crimson Sky and Yes tribute, Fragile.

When can we expect an album?
This year I’m planning to drip out singles. I don’t want to rush the album, but I already know what songs are going on it. In fact I have a three album plan, and this is just the first. Once I feel that I’ve raised my profile enough as a solo artist, I’ll be ready to launch the album. I’m thinking early 2019 would be a good time.

What’s on your stereo this week?
I’ve been getting really excited about Brighton Pride this year, and as Britney Spears is performing I have been solidly listening to her entire back catalogue in consecutive order. I may be a prog artist, but there’s a pop princess in me somewhere!

Who is your favourite local artist?
Definitely Burrowing Bees! Why do you think I invited them to support me on the 2nd of March? I can’t get enough of them.

Tell us something about you the public don’t know.
When I was a kid I auditioned for S Club Juniors, and Nicki Chapman told me I had a “nice smile”. I didn’t get the job…

‘I Need A Change’ is out Friday March 2nd, and available to order on CD here. Tickets for the March 2nd Picturedrome show are available here

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New Music Friday: Harry Pane

Brackley-born Harry Pane releases his new – and perhaps best – single today. ‘Beautiful Life’ is a meditative folk-ballad that can’t fail to produce an emotional shiver or two. Over…

Brackley-born Harry Pane releases his new – and perhaps best – single today. ‘Beautiful Life’ is a meditative folk-ballad that can’t fail to produce an emotional shiver or two. Over the past three years Pane has wowed the wider world with his raw skills of voice and guitar.  New Boots spoke to Pane about life in 2018.

Tell us a little about your journey from a boy in Brackley to the person now in Walthamstow, north London.
I was playing ‘the circuit’ in that area for a while just earning some pennies & it came to a point where I realised I needed to spread my wings a little.

Who encouraged you to begin making music?
I was influenced growing up on a farm watching my Dad jamming with friends as well as going to watch live music from a young age and it was a heavy influence on me.

Was there a eureka moment, an influence that pulled you in this direction?
When I first performed live at school aged 15, in front of a small assembly, it gave me buzz and I carried on doing it.

Did the move to London come from you or were you encouraged to relocate?
I had some friends down there so it made it easy to make the move.

Who are your main influences in music? The Celtic bits presumably come from John Martyn and some Richard Thompson.
That’s dead right, I love those two artists and their style of songwriting.  It goes across the board; from Damien Rice and Glen Hansard and Christy Moore to the likes of Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman & Justin Vernon.

How do the words come to you; in fragments, a story to be told..?
Sometimes it can happen all at once and other times I have instrumental parts and no lyrics and vice versa.  I guess it’s just the artistic process.

An obvious question: what’s ‘Beautiful Life’ about?
I wrote it about the support I had around me through a difficult time, and that support helping you to make peace with it all.

We’re constantly told these days acts don’t even need a traditional label. In light of that could you tell us what Island are doing for you and your development?
Island gave me a development fund which I used for The Wild Winds EP, but now I’m an independent artist with AWAL, who I really love working with and I’m enjoying the adventure.

What is an “Official Showcasing Artist” at SXSW? Are you looking forward to the trip?
It’s the term that they use for the artists invited to play on the line up, there are hundreds of unofficial showcases going on around it which are also lots of fun, and I’m doing those too.  I played there in 2016, so it’ll be nice to be back having made more progress and learning a bit more. Austin is a great city.

What’s your favourite sort of show: intimate jazz house, pub with a fire, big festival crowd…?
I enjoy playing in all scenarios for different reasons, it’s nice to do a mix.

Do you always play solo, or do you ever have cohorts?
At the moment I have a double bassist in tow. I’m also looking out for other members as a side project.

What’s been the highlight of your music career so far?
I would say there’s been a bundle of positives that have made a difference to my career and given me the boost that I needed: successful crowdfunding, good relationships within the industry, great festival spots and more recently a publishing deal.

What is your burning desire for the future? What plans do you have?
To keep writing and co-writing and keep strengthening my material. The general goal is to grow a loyal and steady fan base whilst staying true to my love for the music.

Beautiful Life is out now to download/stream

 

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New Music Friday: Hana Brooks

Northampton singer-songwriter Hana Brooks is back with her impressive new single ‘Used To Be’. Having toured the Sofar Sounds circuit in London during the summer Brooks released  ‘Leave It’ last…

Northampton singer-songwriter Hana Brooks is back with her impressive new single ‘Used To Be’. Having toured the Sofar Sounds circuit in London during the summer Brooks released  ‘Leave It’ last November, gaining her much radio and streaming plays. It has lead to a tasty residency at West London’s The Troubadour venue [where ‘Used To be’ will have it’s launch party on February 28th]. Mixed by Nick Bennett [London Grammar, etc.] ‘Used To Be’ comes with a blend of subtle beats & bass anchored to that Californian blend of synths and guitars – and of course her distinctive vocal talents. This special song should propel her into the heart of the industry – if it knows what’s good for it.

New Boots spoke to Brooks about the song and the path that led her to here. You can watch the video below too

When and why did you decide to start performing?
I have always wanted to perform, it’s something I have always felt is right and feels like what I am meant to be doing! I love it. I feel more comfortable on a stage in front of 500 people than I would in a living room with two people.

Did you ever play covers? What were your favourites?
Yes, with friends in local bars. My favourites would be Moloko ‘Sing it Back’, The Specials ‘Monkey Man’. Always so much fun. Basically just jamming through any 90’s dance banger was always a laugh.

Who is on your playlist right now?
The Neighbourhood; also loving Pale Waves at the moment and a bit of Portugal .The Man

Has your musical taste changed much from when you were growing up?
It has always been diverse. As a kid my older cousin gave me Nirvana Nevermind and the Spice Girls album on the same cassette! I grew up listening to a lot of Motown, hip-hop and Frank Sinatra. I would say my music taste hasn’t changed a bit, as I’ve always just listened to just about EVERYTHING.

Do you remember the first gig you performed?
At 11 years old I formed a band with a couple of lad’s in my class, playing songs that I wrote! They were very Oasis/BritPop kind of tracks. I actually don’t remember feeling nervous, just super excited to be playing on a big stage. I seem to remember having the most horrendous haircut and was going through a very grungy stage at the time.

Can you talk about what inspired ‘Used To Be’? It’s a very emotional track.
I wrote the track whilst in California, its about a “friend” that I had. At the time we had been on and off. It’s basically about wanting things to be like how they were; that it could be more simple – and how distance from somebody makes you want them more.

What was the musical process like?
This track started like many of my songs do. I had a riff that I had been noodling around with on the guitar and then I built the rest of production around that in Logic with a really pumping drum beat – almost a bit like Drake. I got the demo down at home and then brought it into the studio where everyone instantly got it. From there we built up the synths and added new sections here and there. It was a really natural process with free flowing ideas. The way I like to work is: no limitations and splicing genres.

Did you have much say in how the song was produced?
100%!! As a multi-instrumentalist I like to get as much of the original idea of what is in my head down to a demo at home before I work with other producers to take it to the next level and bring in new ideas.

How was it working with Nick Bennett?
Fantastic! Nick is a very good friend of mine so working together is always sound.

Did you have fun filming the video and visiting the States?
I have a lot of love for California and the States. Getting to film a video in my favourite place on earth with my amazing team…we had a ridiculous amount of fun!

What are you working on next? What can we expect next?
I’ve started work with another amazing producer, alongside releasing more new material over the next couple of months and will be heading across the pond again. Watch this space!

Used To Be is out to download/stream on Monday February 12th

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New Music Friday: Sharkteeth Grinder

The hardcore game is strong across our county, and it doesn’t come any less intense than Corby quartet Sharkteeth Grinder. They – Bobbo Haldane on vocals, Jonny Lewis on guitar, Ross…

The hardcore game is strong across our county, and it doesn’t come any less intense than Corby quartet Sharkteeth Grinder. They – Bobbo Haldane on vocals, Jonny Lewis on guitar, Ross Davison on bass, and David Hoile on drums – begin the year by releasing the feral and furious Volume II EP. Mixed and mastered by Jay Russell at Parlour Studios, it contains four songs of righteous rage to split your speakers apart. New Boots spoke to Haldane for the lowdown on the daily Grind.

How/why did you guys get together to do Sharkteeth Grinder?
Sharkteeth Grinder started out of pure boredom and a passion for touring. Myself, David, and Ross decided we wanted to start a band, so we got a couple of riffs together, found Jonny and Sharkteeth was born. We aren’t in this to try and make it big or to fake our way through the industry, we like to do things real and our way. We enjoy playing shows and we enjoy touring, that’s why we do it really and we won’t stop.

How would you describe your sound for the hard of attention?
Aggressive and mental.

How has the ride been so far: smooth and mercurial, chaotic and hellish…?
It’s never been hellish. That’s one thing with us, we’re all pretty close mates. Don’t get me wrong there has been ups and downs, but only when we’re skint and starving, sat somewhere waiting for load in. It’s been smooth and chaotic.

Why this EP? Do they represent where you’re at right now in any way?
Yes they do represent where we are at right now and we believe we’re a hard working touring band who do literally live on the breadline. Money has been a struggle, meaning we weren’t able to release Volume II last year. The hunger for touring cost us quite a bit of money so it’s been tough, but we have achieved a lot in the past year and have played a lot of shows. We believe releasing Volume II sets us up perfectly for a busy year a head.

What influences what you sing about? Is ‘Scandal’ really about the BBC and the Tories?
Society is fucked up and we like to highlight that through our music. ‘Scandal’ is a prime example of how fucked up this world is. The song is pretty much based on the BBC’s cover ups with Jimmy Saville and other sex scandals that have came out of that hell. The only good thing about the BBC is music, everything else is just bullshit. All of our tracks are based on how shit the Tories have made our lives, because they really don’t care about the common people like you and me. Any establishment/government that puts rich people ahead of the poor and in need should be slung out.

The Great Dictator: black comedy genius from Chaplin with a big message. Why has it particularly struck a chord with you?
Charlie Chaplin was a genius and the message he gives in that speech is pretty much everything we stand for. Also we’re massive fans of a band called The Chariot they’re pretty much our idols and it’s a thank you to their art. They released a track called ‘Cheek’ from the album One Wing which features the whole speech so we just thought stuff it and asked our good friend Jay Russell to make the intro for us.

Give us a quick synopsis of this Corby scene that makes you tick.
For our style of music there isn’t really a scene for it and it has been a struggle getting locals who aren’t friends on our side. But Corby is a thriving scene for other genres and is leading the way compared to some city’s and town’s across the country. Everything Marc Collins has done for Corby’s music scene has been from the heart and he’s got it to where it is today.

What is the best thing about being in this band?
I speak for the whole band when I say this, but touring is the best thing about being in a band. Honestly it’s the best days of your life no matter what anyone says, waking up with your best mates everyday travelling from place to place getting stoned and steaming then playing a gig. My advice to all the local bands that haven’t gone and done it yet is, get off your arse and get out there! You will not regret it, trust me.

Can we have an album please?
Yes, over the next 3/4 months we will be writing our debut 10 track LP.

What’s coming up on the horizon?
We will be touring pretty much every month other than February and October by the looks of things. Also we will be crossing over to Europe for two tours this year in April and then November, so please keep an eye out on all our social media’s to see when we’re close to you and if we are, get to a show.

Volume II is out Monday through the band’s own label/distro Grinder Records on all streaming platforms, 7” vinyl and CD [Haldane: “also if anyone wants to start their own record label, we encourage that idea and will give you the masters of Volume I and Volume II to help get you on your feet”].

[Headline photo by JazzaJewelz, EP artwork by Jordan Cameron]

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New Music Friday: Oddity Island

Kettering’s woozy indie rockers Oddity Island formed in early 2017 and a year on have readied their debut single, ‘Finger Puppets’. New Boots spoke to Alex Gardner (vocals/ukulele) for the lowdown…

Kettering’s woozy indie rockers Oddity Island formed in early 2017 and a year on have readied their debut single, ‘Finger Puppets’. New Boots spoke to Alex Gardner (vocals/ukulele) for the lowdown on this song and more.

New Boots: How did you guys get together?
Alex Gardner: Well Will Bates [guitar] and I went to college and uni together and were apathetically pondering the idea of trying to make something at least resembling a band for years but never got anything really going. Then we started seeing Sam Draper [guitar] everywhere we went. He had a little bit more drive then me and will to get something started so we met up for a jam and that was that. Finding Paul Parry [drums] and Simon Game [bass] after that was just pretty organic. Paul being Sam’s brother and all and we just got our mate Simon and told him to learn bass… he did.

How would you describe your sound?
We are all in to psychy/shoegazey kinda stuff. I think that’s pretty evident in the music. But there is a massive folk influence on it too. Especially melodically. Then Paul pretends he is in a much heavier band and music comes out. I guess that question is hard to answer definitely; that’s probably a good thing.

What do you think are your main influences musically?
I kinda feel like I don’t know. Like I never really directly think of anyone in particular. It’s just a mess of stuff that’s been crammed in ours heads, right? I would say Neutral Milk Hotel or Beirut or something personally but the rest of the band would say something completely different

What are your main influences outside the world of music?
Nicolas Cage in Wicker Man.

This song seems very anti-religion. Is God deader than ever?
If we count it by his cultural relevance then probably yeah. Not exactly current is Our Kid God. I don’t think of the song as anti-religious though. But more anti Faith. Blind faith anyway. It’s more about being confused about why people need religion rather than hating religion. I mean religions in terms of history and culture is actually incredibly interesting. It’s just the whole ‘I believe in this because I do and that is all the proof I need’ kinda attitude that doesn’t sit well with me. But then again live and let live and I really do understand the comfort in it. I guess that would be nice.

What are your live shows like? Are you part of a music scene in Kettering, playing with like-minded bands?
Live we just try and put as much energy and possible in to it and try to have fun. We have a few slower songs that build up to burst of energy then back down….then back up. We don’t like to stay in the same place very long.

In terms of the scene we play with a lot of cool people round here. It’s a very talented town really, it just has a hard time showing it off nowadays. The scenes there but there’s little to rally around. Speaking of like-minded bands The Abrahams have helped us out a lot with gigs and stuff which we appreciate a lot. Check out there new album it wonderful.

What was the last album you bought?
Derevaun Seraun by Kiran Leonard

What has been your favourite band moment in the past year?
Going to Bournemouth to record. Me, Sam and Paul all slept in a car in the middle of November after going out. It was one of the coldest but one of the funniest nights I’ve ever had.

What plans do you have for 2018?
To gig as much and as far afield as we can. We are also gonna record a kinda live EP in the very near future.

You can find Oddity Island on Facebook and Twitter

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An interview with: Alex Novak

Alex Novak has been entertaining Northampton and beyond with his esoteric sounds for forty years now, and to celebrate this milestone Northampton gallery Sanctuary are hosting an exhibition of his…

Alex Novak has been entertaining Northampton and beyond with his esoteric sounds for forty years now, and to celebrate this milestone Northampton gallery Sanctuary are hosting an exhibition of his artwork, entitled “Meta Art/Music/Work 1977-2017”. New Boots speaks to the Spiral Archive proprietor at length about the musical journey from then to now.

What was your musical upbringing? What influenced you as you got to 16 and joined Isaws?
Pre-punk I listened to a wide selection of music from The Beatles, Roxy Music, Bowie, T.Rex, Black Sabbath, soul music. Then bang! – the punk explosion happened in 1976, so got to hear The Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks, The Stranglers. This also pulled in bands like New York Dolls, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Stooges. I guess what is referred to now as proto-punk. I followed the advice of the Sniffin’ Glue fanzine – “here’s one chord, here’s another, go form a band”. It was year zero: we had no previous musical experience, just picked it up as we went along. Isaws first gig was at Weston Favell Upper School talent contest as Hawker Harrier & the Jump Jets – for the next gig we changed it to The Isaws.

Northampton School of Art was the precursor to the University of Northampton today. Can you recall your time there for us.
Well art school was cool – made even cooler by The Jam song! It was a laboratory for lots of different ideas and a place where many bands were formed, including Bauhaus, Isaws, Aliens, Religious Overdose. It was a place where art and music came together.

You came of age musically and found your style with Religious Overdose. As the recent Glass Redux compilation makes obvious it was a special band. How did you guys capture that magic elixir?
Punk set us free in thought/style; to think for yourself. The whole DIY movement was a breeding ground for many ideas – punk was not a uniform. Gordon King from Sheffield joined Isaws (later he would be in World of Twist/Earl Brutus) and exposed us to early Human League, Clock DVA, Vice Versa (pre-ABC). We experimented, but it wasn’t working so we all went our different ways. I ended up joining Religious Overdose. RO was a different animal, we used repetition and improvisation to make songs. Live tracks would develop as we went along. Richard Formby (later of In Embrace/The Jazz Butcher/Sonic Boom) brought in influences from The Fall, Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Can – a more experimental approach to music.

Was Northampton a major influence on Bauhaus? Did the pre-existing local scene naturally lead to their formation?
Alan Moore called Northampton “the murder mecca of the midlands” so that set the tone for Bauhaus’s mix of Banshees meets strobelight-Bowie. It was very monochrome, to suit the edgy local scene. They certainly went through many incarnations – from the punk of Cardiac Arrest, new wave of Craze and the power-pop of Jack Plug & the Sockets – before settling on Bauhaus 1919. You get swept along with whats happening, things moved fast.

Was the 1980s a golden age for music in Northampton?
I think every ten years or so there’s a change, a musical upheaval, but it was certainly an interesting time centred around venues like The Black Lion [now the Wig & Pen], where you got to see local bands alongside the likes of The Housemartins, Spacemen 3, The Jazz Butcher…all being aided by the Northampton Musicians Collective and as conduit to the wider world via release on Glass Records [based in London].

Tell us about The Tempest album. You didn’t stick around for long…
After the demise of Religious Overdose Richard Formby went on to university in Leeds, where he still runs a recording studio. So I decided to get together with other local musicians including John Luccibello (Russians) and Mark Refoy (later of Spacemen 3/Spiritualized/Slipstream/Pet Shop Boys fame) to form The Tempest.
Mark and John were also in The Syndromes at the same time, but The Tempest fell apart after the recording of our only album 5 Against The House.

You had a brief sojourn to London and worked with Attrition during the mid 80s. How did that affect you, being exposed to a different scene in a new city?
I had been aware of Attrition for a while. Martin Bowes had also written a Coventry fanzine called Alternative Sounds and Religious Overdose had played a few gigs with them. After the demise of The Tempest I joined Attrition, who were based in London, sharing a studio with The Legendary Pink Dots. I got to see a lot of bands listening to more experimental/electronic music being produced by labels such as Third Mind, In Phase, Projekt, Sweatbox, United Dairies, Wax Trax etc.
There was a lot of activity, not just with the band, but socially: taking in gigs, clubs, exhibitions, meetings with shops/labels. In hindsight a productive period, and an exposure to the European scene which then paved the way for Venus Fly Trap.

You formed Venus Fly Trap on your return in 1986, alongside your brother John. What was the plan at this time? The line-up may have changed, but has the vision changed much over the years?
I tried out with a band in Norwich, which didn’t work out as we had different ideas, so I decided to do my own band. So John (Isaws/Wheres Lisse) and Tony Booker were both available, so we got it going pretty quickly. We just got out and played gigs: not just in Northampton but Oxford, London (a lot), Rugby, Norwich, Leicester…we got picked up via a contact I had made via Attrition. A new label based in Paris called Tuesday Records released our material initially [they had already put out material by McCarthy]. So we got to play in France and put out our first single ‘Morphine’ within six months of gigging. The European connection has been important ever since. Changes in line-up has been part and parcel of VFT – new members bring a different view point and fresh ideas. We’re always open to new ideas – not into following trends/fashion. We produce music we like…anything’s possible!

20 years of a band is a great run. What’s next for VFT?
We have been working on a new album Icon, which will be released via Glass Redux. It’s full circle in one respect as this was my first label for Religious Overdose. The planned release is Spring 2018, alongside doing dates in the UK and in Europe.

What’s your take on the Northampton music scene in 2017?
There’s plenty of interesting bands in Northampton if you look for them. I always like to catch a band if I’m not working. I’m always discovering new music, whether its local or touring. Long may it continue.

Meta Art/Music/Work 1977-2017 runs from Monday November 27th to Sunday December 10th at Sanctuary [2 Clare St, Northampton]. Open from 11-4 by appointment [sanctmark@hotmail.com]. There is a meet and greet launch night on Saturday December 2nd from 6pm to 9pm, with an after party across the road at The Lab from 9pm.

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