Tag: ep

New Music Friday: Baby Lung ‘Shoetown Blues’ EP

Today Baby Lung release their first EP, entitled ‘Shoetown Blues’ – five tracks of indie-blues-pop that moves you and improves you. The Northampton band have been talked about in hushed…

Today Baby Lung release their first EP, entitled ‘Shoetown Blues’ – five tracks of indie-blues-pop that moves you and improves you. The Northampton band have been talked about in hushed tones all year, and to cap it off a great 2019 with this work is fitting, and should see their star ascend. New Boots editor Phil Moore sat down with Maxx Riley, Mat Day, Harry Dinnage and Matt Willett to talk about the band and EP.

The ShoeTown Blues EP is out now from all the usual digital outlets. Baby Lung play The Black Prince in Northampton tonight, and then again on February 1st as part of Independent Venue Week. Thanks to The Charles Bradlaugh for hosting the filming, and Ryan Johnson for putting it together. 

 

 

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New Music Friday: Primal Holocaust

Northants death metallers Primal Holocaust have put together a powerhouse debut EP to be mighty proud of. New Boots spoke to singer Sonny King about the nascent band. Where are…

Northants death metallers Primal Holocaust have put together a powerhouse debut EP to be mighty proud of. New Boots spoke to singer Sonny King about the nascent band.

Where are you all based? All over the county?
We are based mostly out of Northampton, but James [guitar] comes from Daventry and Olegs [bass] is from Kettering.

How did you guys get together?
Dave and Jack were friends already, and both had experience playing music and would jam together fairly regularly was the start of Primal. On a night out at The Lab in Northampton they met Olegs for the first time and became friends. It wasn’t long before Olegs then joined the band, and some of the really early material started to take shape. When it became clear a second guitarist was needed Jack got in touch with James as they had both studied music together at college. James was [and still is] in another band at the time [Woadraider] and after a few jam sessions was welcomed into Primal. Once things had started to really take shape the search began for a vocalist. I got in touch via an ad I saw on a local musicians page, and eventually joined the group. This was my first time being in a band, and after a few sessions was formally welcomed into the group. So we officially became a five piece band in July of 2018!

How would you describe your sound?
It’s like blackened death but with a thrash metal attitude. We play fast and fun music for people to enjoy and bang their heads to. It’s heavy, it’s aggressive, and it’s honest. Our main influences are bands like Immortal, Behemoth, Anaal Nathrakh, Gojira, Skyforger, Carcass, Foetal Juice, Hate Eternal, Iron Maiden, Marduk, and King Diamond.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ‘Triple Headed Goat Machine’.
The EP marks the end of a year’s hard work for us. It’s a collection of the earliest songs that we created together. When we’d been together about a month we recorded two demos that we handed out at shows and put up online, so it’s been cool to finally rerecord those tracks, plus a bunch more, and show how far we’ve come. Conceptually the EP is a mixed bag! Goats with three heads and twelve tits, 40ft frost priestesses, planet-swallowing ocean demons, and of course, love. No one song is the same and we cover a good breadth in terms of style.
The artwork is a full-on indicator to the track listing, and those who’ve been following us know the origins well. The cover features the birth of the Triple Headed Goat Machine. The scourge of the earth, plague to the universe, multi-galaxy engulfing beast! The person birthing it is the 40ft frost priestess we mentioned earlier.
We’d been debating the art for a good few weeks and then one day at practice James said ‘we should have the Frost Priestess giving birth to the Triple Headed Goat Machine’. We all stopped and looked at each other, knowing this was always destined to be true, and James had just made it so. Within a week we’d had the initial designs created by Elliot [EwT Creations] which we tweaked as we went on [ i.e. told Elliot to add more boobs].
Recording was interesting as we did it all ourselves with the help of our metal Sherpa, Arthur Sambars[ of Stereoskull]. He has been a continued supporter of Primal and has produced some excellent music of his own, so we were thrilled when he said he’d help us record and produce this release through his own organisation Salamander Productions. Guiding us through the processes with ease, he captured the raw energy we were trying to give the EP, and has done a great job mastering it. We’re really happy with it and feel lucky to have such supportive team mates.
This really added another dimension to the songs as a whole, there’s adjustments to all of them so they’re not quite as you’ve heard them before, which is really exciting for us.

What are your live shows like?
Sweaty! We love a good floor show where we can be right up in people’s faces screaming and banging heads and causing chaos. We’ve had many rowdy gigs now, and we can’t get enough. Guaranteed if you come to our show to mosh, we’ll be in the pit right there with you. Live music is one of the greatest things any place can offer, and we try and make the most of that by giving people the opportunity to let their hair down and have a good time with us.

Whats your take on the Northants scene?
Northampton has a great scene and we’re proud to be part of it. We’ve played with a number of excellent ‘local’ bands like Stereoskull, The Darkhorse, Caliburn, and loads more, all of whom have shown us nothing but kindness. As someone that’s never been in a band before, I’ve been blown away by the level of talent that our town has to offer, and it’s really encouraging for us to try and push Primal as hard and far as we can. Similarly the venues too, we love playing The Black Prince [and will be there again on December 28th], as well as The Lab, and Raff’s in Wellingborough.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
We’ve had some really memorable gigs this year [Metal 2 The Masses, London, Oakfest in Derby) but getting the EP complete is one of our favourite moments, as it feels like it’s taken us forever to get this together, but now it’s here! Getting to play The King Billy for the first time was awesome too. I’d always gone there as a youngster and it was great to finally be on the other side causing chaos. We were supporting German/Latvian metal band Mara with Stereoskull on a mini tour right before the Metal 2 The Masses final and it was a blast.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was Apotheosis by Necronautical, a fantastic black metal band from up North. Their last album The Endurance at Night is one of my favourites and I wasn’t let down by Apotheosis either. Proper atmospheric and melodic black metal that’s incredibly miserable – its great. The last album I streamed was actually the ‘Scalps’ EP by Casket-Feeder. Another great local talent.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We’re about to start planning for next year, but it’s our goal to do some festivals that we’ve had our eye on as well as creating new material. We’ve just completed about three new songs so we’re going to keep pushing with that to add more ammunition to the Primal live arsenal. We’re also considering what other elements we can add to our stage show. As much as we like enjoy just thrashing out with the crowd, we have some big ideas that would be really cool to bring to life on stage that would add a whole other element to our shows.

Triple Headed Goat Machine EP is out now via the usual online spaces. 

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New Music Friday: Blood-Visions

Blood-Visions are the Northampton hardcore quintet who once seen are never forgotten. One of NN’s truly great live acts, the band are more visible than ever, helped by the signing…

Blood-Visions are the Northampton hardcore quintet who once seen are never forgotten. One of NN’s truly great live acts, the band are more visible than ever, helped by the signing to True Friend Tapes label and today releasing their new, self-titled EP. New Boots can’t get enough of them, so here’s us talking to singer Joss Kieran about it all.

How/why did the band get together?
I’ll try to keep this brief, as the band has undergone several line-up changes over our time together and I’ll miss something important if I attempt to go into things in full. Harry, Lewis, Becca and I all attended a youth group ran by Mel and Magnus of the Northampton band Tarantism, where kids were given the task of forming bands and playing a show once a school term. It was a great initiative that really helped us, along with a few other Northampton musicians, find our footing in terms of performing. The band initially consisted of myself, Lewis, Harry and Kirsty McEwan, who left around 2013 to focus on photography/studying. Becca had already joined at that point and we were playing with two drummers, so it wasn’t the band-rupturing problem that sort of thing can be, though.

Rufus joined a few years later after having recorded a couple of EPs with us. After the first EP we did with him we kind of already knew he was the perfect guy for the job and the band has been massively improved by having him on board. Having Rufus, and super-sub Daniel Church, allows us to stay versatile as everyone with some form of guitar knows each other’s parts, so if at least four of us are available we’re good to play where-ever.

Who were the sort of acts the nascent band bonded over?
I’m not certain, to be honest. This was nine years ago, so our tastes have all changed quite significantly. Personally, I remember having conversations about Cap’n Jazz, Dananananaykroyd, Desaparecidos and Deftones. But at that point we were between 13 and 15 years of age – when you’re that age you’re just aggressively hoovering up all the music you can possibly hear. This would have only been exacerbated by the internet and unlimited access to music, so it’s hard to say if there were any specific jumping-off points.
We mostly bonded over a shared interest in playing loud and upbeat punk songs, it didn’t really matter what we were drawing from. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jay Reatard, though, who we took the BV name from.

Fast-forwarding to more recent times, what was the reaction like to the ‘Make Good Choices’ EP of 2017?
I think it reached the people it needed to reach in Northamptonshire. We’ve had a few shows outside of Northampton off the back of that record that were a lot of fun – Drug Church, Single Mothers, and a couple of others I’m forgetting – but those songs inevitably always go down best in this neck of the woods. That’s why I’m really grateful for True Friend Tapes [their label] getting behind us and pushing us to people further afield. We’re honestly always just happy to have the songs out, and to have the chance to move on to the next project. I don’t think any of us really took stock of what people were saying about those songs. There were some songs on that record I’ve noticed becoming sing-alongs in Northampton, though, so I think people must have responded pretty well to it.

How did you approach this new EP?
I think the plan with this was to make something a little more cohesive than what we’ve put out in the past. What tends to happen with us is that songs pile up, we record what we can and then get together a great, but often jumbled, set of songs. This time there was a real attempt to make something that felt like it was coming from a streamlined, precise place. There’s a specific tone and energy to the record that I think actually has a lot more in common with the first demo Rufus recorded with us that I really like. It’s not the latest stuff as we’re writing for the next project, and we’ve demoed one of the tunes before. We move fairly slowly, so this is a collection of the best songs we’ve written since the last record, not just the freshest.
I initially thought that lyrically this was quite scattershot, but listening back all the songs revolve around discomfort, where we choose to call home and the relationships you build when somewhere like Northampton is your hometown. I’ve been quite surprised I was able to reign in my brain enough to focus on a fairly limited pool of themes. Then again, it could just be evidence that I need to broaden my horizons a bit.

Where did you record it?
We recorded it in our friend Ant’s basement. We had a lovely time: we hung out, played a lot of Mario Kart, drank and messed around with amps for three days straight. Dan dropped by to record vocals on one of the tunes, which was nice. I think we averaged four falafel-based meals a day between us if I remember correctly. I’d thoroughly recommend recording with him.

What’s first EP single ‘01604ever’ about? Have you written your long-awaited love letter to ShoeTown?
It’s my ‘Northampton, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down’. It’s about minimum wage jobs, alcoholism and trying to forget your dumb relationship mistakes. Obviously, Northampton isn’t anywhere near as damaging to me as the song makes it out to be, but there’s definitely a mood of “I’m drinking through it” to the lyrics. There are definitely love letters to Northampton littered throughout the recordings we’ve made, but I think I’m done writing them. I’ve found that I’m a lot more influenced by narrative these days, so ‘01604ever’ and the songs on the new EP are probably the last time I’m going to write about the general feeling of Northamptonshire.
I’ll obviously still go to bat for Northampton forever; it’s a wonderful place that doesn’t deserve the shit it’s been handed by Conservative rule, but I don’t think I have any more “this is about Northampton” songs in me. The name itself was my twitter name for a little while – we just tend to name songs after shite that makes us laugh. There’s another song on the record called Norfo, which is named after this awful Cosmo article.

What are your live shows like? Give us your best adjectives and superlatives.
I know that in the past our live shows have been described as chaotic, although I think we’ve become a fairly well-oiled machine in the past two years or so. Our shows are direct, aggressive and, hopefully, joyful. You should come out and watch us, readers.

What has been your favourite band moment of 2019?
I think it has to be closing out the first ‘Lift Tower Presents’. That show was ridiculously well attended, and a bunch of our favourite Northampton bands played [Lift Tower, La Folivora, 72%, Tragic, Nailbreaker, Big Loss AND Ivory Yardsale]. Our best bud Chris did an excellent job on the sound that night, and there was a really energetic crowd at The Garibaldi that night, which always helps. Joel from 72% came up and did vocals on ‘NVR-BCK-DWN’ with us as well, and was ace at that.
Other than that, the Jeffery Lewis show we opened up at The Black Prince was great. Lewis and I have been fans of his music since we were in school, so it was fun to get to play with him. Those two weekends were back to back and were definitely the tightest shows we’ve played to date. The idea is to replicate that level of energy and execution going forward, and we’re working towards that goal.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m currently listening to Rain on Lens by Smog. Bill Callahan is a genius, and I’m very glad his songs exist.

You’ve been going almost a decade now – what advise would you give to any new band starting out?
Just try to make friends with the bands you play with and like. Keeping going is so much easier if there’s a whole community around you. No one is going to like you more for coming across as aloof, so just try to be friendly to the people you’re playing with. You should also watch Inside Llewyn Davis because 80% of music is something that most people just don’t see a lot of money in, and that’s okay.
I’m kidding, of course, all young musicians should be demanding significant sums of money. Equipment isn’t acquired through bartering, and the haircut that Later… With Jools Holland necessitates, well, it doesn’t come cheap. Secure the bag, kids…

The Blood-Visions EP is out now via True Friend Tapes from all the usual places. Tonight [Fri Nov 29th] the band launch the EP at The Black Prince, with support from Tragic and Lift Tower.

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New Music Friday: Joel Harries

Northampton music man Joel Harries is hard to sum up in a pithy sentence or two. Central to so many bands over the past decade or so, he’s also a…

Northampton music man Joel Harries is hard to sum up in a pithy sentence or two. Central to so many bands over the past decade or so, he’s also a prolific solo artist, and has just released his latest EP, the intriguingly-titled I Am Not What I Seem. Let’s talk!

How did you first start writing your own music?
I borrowed a few Dinosaur Jr records from my Dad’s collection in my early teens and that was the beginning really. From then on I was always searching for new music and formed a number of bands. My Luna Vacation was the first serious one, where I actually wrote some songs. We played an odd mash-up from hardcore/metal/emo with the odd trumpet part, funky sections and a lot of screaming. I have very fond memories of that band, as daft as it was. From then on I joined and formed LOTS of other bands. I started writing solo material when I was maybe 18-19. Being surrounded by music as a child was definitely a huge part of how I ended up where I am!

There’s some busy musical people in ShoeTown, but I think you might be top of the pile – you have solo work, plus No Music, Big Loss, Sad Drone, and 72%, and your sister Nina’s extraordinary album. What drives you? Do you find time to sleep?!?
I just love recording music. Everything about it. Playing live is great but I think my main passion is being in the studio. I have a reasonably diverse taste in music, and have always felt I needed multiple avenues to express myself through. I couldn’t really go from singing sweetly to screaming blue murder in the space of one solo song, so having each of the these projects with the wonderful people in them allows me to indulge myself! My work revolves around recording music, so I am very lucky to be able to have such a creative life. Sleep on the other hand is a luxury I often miss out on!

Let’s talk about the latest solo release, ‘I Am Not What I Seem’. How would you describe this iteration of what you do?
I Am Not What I Seem is a collection of songs I wrote for a band I started called Low Acre. Initially I was recording with a wonderful producer in London called Emre Ramazanoglu. I then started working with a manager and he suggested that the project became a band. We worked on it for a year or two, and then life became quite complicated, or me, and the pressure of the band kind of overwhelmed me a little. I had to step away from it at that point. After a while I did a few solo gigs playing the later material I had written, and decided I wanted to record some proper versions. So I spent a week recording them in Ireland with Quincey Brown singing backing vocals, and then got Dave Crawford, who had played in Low Acre, to add some of his synth parts. Iʼm really pleased with how they turned out. It is great that the songs didn’t vanish into the void, as some of my old solo stuff has done. I hope to release the music from the sessions with Emre in the future, as there was some really special music in there. We shall see!

You’ve been putting out solo bits and bobs for a decade, is that right? How’s things changed for you over that time?
When I first started there was a kind of folky edge to what I was doing, this disappeared immediately once I made my second album. Each subsequent release has kind of had its own style/identity, just with the only constant being my voice. This material is always the most candid and honest version of my music, I think.

You posted something about Cineworld. Your music featured in something…
That was from a Cast & Crew screening of a locally made feature film called Nene made by Screen Northants. I composed and recorded the score. Hopefully it will see a public release of some kind in 2020. It was a wonderful experience and something I really want to do more of.

Any live shows coming up?
Big Loss will be playing at the Lamplighter on the 20th December, and then No Music will be playing a Christmas Eve show at the Garibaldi. In the new year 72% will be doing a few short tours before thinking about making another record. I will be playing guitar in my sisters band for a few festivals also. Iʼm sure there will be a few solo gigs here and there too!

What has been your favourite personal musical moment of the past year?
Recording the new 72% album How Is This Going To Make It Any Better? with Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse studios is probably the one. We spent four days in June holed up in there, and I am so proud of what we accomplished.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I have been listening to the most recent Coilguns album Watchwinders a lot. Great band!

What are your burning desires for 2020? What plans do you have?
In 2019 I put out 9 releases from my various projects. In 2020 I want to try and beat that number. Hopefully including a new 72% full length, a steady stream of solo EPs, new Big Loss EP, more Sad Drones and a No Music full-length would be nice too!

I Am Not What I Seem is out now via BandCamp and the usual digital platforms

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New Music Friday: Kian Russell

Northampton’s teenage blues sensation Kian Russell has just put out an EP, Off The Ground, that belies his years. Unable to ignore the prodigious talent, New Boots asked him to…

Northampton’s teenage blues sensation Kian Russell has just put out an EP, Off The Ground, that belies his years. Unable to ignore the prodigious talent, New Boots asked him to stop the study and give us some of his time. He obliged.

Who is in your band, and what do they play?
At the moment, the only permanent member of my band is Andy Doran, who lives in Hemel Hempstead. I am currently looking for a bass player and rhythm guitarist. Fortunately Oli Rumens, from The Comms, has been standing in on the bass. Oli and I have been jamming for a while now and I am grateful that he has been able to join me on stage. Also my guitar teacher and friend, Charlie Shaughnessy, from the USA stands in on the guitar. He is over here on an extended vacation to the UK. Charlie was part of my band in the States and co-produced my EP.

How did you start on your path to music/guitar playing?
My parents have always wanted me to do three things;
1) play a sport
2) speak a second language
3) learn to play a musical instrument.
I started playing rugby for the Old Northamptonians’ RFC when I was 7 and continued playing up until I was 13. I have been learning Spanish, academically, for the past six years. In the States I was learning Mexican Spanish, but now I am back in the UK I’ve been learning European Spanish for my GCSE.
Like Rugby, I started playing the guitar early at 7 years old. However my first love was rugby. At the age of 8, I was diagnosed with a very rare bone disorder in my foot which stopped me playing all sports, even walking wasn’t allowed, for a year! It was during this time that my passion for the guitar truly started to grow. I began to go through “Rockschool” gradings with my tutor, Anthony George at Cutting Edge Guitar here in Northampton.
Whilst I have always loved playing guitar, I really started taking it seriously once I moved to the USA. Seattle has an amazing music scene in general, and is really supportive of youth music and original music. I began to practice and focus my time and creativity in both guitar playing and songwriting. I continued my guitar lessons in the States with my school teacher. He passed me on to Charlie Shaughnessy, and that’s when I started to understand the technical side of guitar playing.
Since my musical journey began, I have been fortunate to be mentored by Seattle’s Ayron Jones and RCA recording artist, Steve Lynch from the band Autograph. These guys have guided me and helped me understand the industry and not just playing the guitar. They have made such a huge difference to the way I look at my music. My big achievement though is getting a full artist endorsement from one of the world leaders in guitar amps, Northampton based, Blackstar Amplification. These guys have been great and encourage me to aim high.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences do you feel?
I like to define my sound as a mix of blues and rock. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa, Albert King and John Mayer have all been my major influences. However, I could spend all day talking about the great artists that have inspired them, and have inspired me. In the rock genre its Highly Suspect, Theo Katzman and Foo Fighters.

You spent some years in the States. Tell us about that experience in regards your musical development.
The States allowed me to define myself further as a musician, learning about different styles to which I wasn’t familiar with. As mentioned I am very lucky to have been mentored by some amazing musicians in the United States. They’ve helped guide me through both music as a performer and music as a business to try and become the best version of myself. In the US I had the chance to play with great musicians such as Travis Larson, Ayron Jones, and Dudley Taft, plus many other touring artists.
Outside of performing, I also began a journey on music production. One of the local venues which I frequented, Louie G’s, allowed me to run the lighting and sound for them every Friday and Saturday. Through this, I met many more like-minded musicians but also became exposed to many different styles.

Tell us about this EP, ‘Off The Ground’.
The EP was a way to wrap everything that I was leaving in the States in musical form. Recorded alongside my bassist and drummer, we had total creative control over how we wanted the songs to sound like in the finished product. ‘Off The Ground’, the title track of the EP, was the first song ever written for the project. With an indie/pop vibe, it is a juxtaposition of the rest of the EP.
It was recorded over five months and finished about one week before I left the USA permanently. Through Cakewalk [a DAW software] we weren’t restricted to the trio setup (which we used live) and could experiment with other instruments and sounds. The last track on the EP, ’I Don’t Need You’, is the most experimental.
With over 80 different audio tracks, it was the most taxing song to write. However, as a musician, it is one of my favourite songs to listen to. The chorus is packed with harmonies, both vocally and compositionally. Charlie Shaughnessy [bassist and producer] and I would work from 12pm to 2am on various parts of the songs; focusing on minute details to make sure they were tight and effective. We made sure that along the way, we used each others ideas to ensure that everybody could be heard.

What are your live shows like, in five words or less?
Energetic, shred-tastic, dynamic, fun, soulful.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire?
Obviously being from Northampton, I want to play local venues. Up until recently, with exception to the Northampton Music Festival, the majority of my gigs have been in and around London plus some other cool places around the UK. I am a newbie on the Northampton music scene and still making friends and getting to know some awesome bands like Baby Lung [who I think are awesome], the guys from Tragic, The Big Dirty and Naked Next Door…. so much cool stuff coming out of Northampton at the moment. I think we have some cool venues here and I’m gradually ticking them off.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Definitely opening for Jared James Nichols at The Craufurd Arms! He has been a major influence for me, and to be able to meet and perform alongside him was a dream come true. We were all so pumped for the show and to perform as one meant all the preparation was worth it. We obviously impressed Jared and his management as they have invited us to support them again on his 2020 UK Tour. But I have also enjoyed playing on the same bill as Brian McFadden, supported Steve Rodgers and soon I will be supporting The Quireboys. So these are all favourite moments for many different reasons.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was the Purple Rain vinyl. For me, it is one of the best albums. However the last album I’ve streamed has to be (What’s the Story) Morning Glory by Oasis. It’s one of those albums that you just have to listen to.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I am currently writing for the next album. I want to try and get more songs written and composed before the end of the year to hopefully head into the studio next year. With some exciting shows coming up, as mentioned, like The Quireboys, Jared James Nichols and a few other bands, we are very excited to get a fresh set list going and to perform more locally. I am blown away by how well things have gone so far and I am excited for what is to come for the band and with incredible musicians behind me, there is no end to what we can achieve!

The Off The Ground EP is out now. The Kian Russell Band play Northampton twice this month: The Lab on November 22nd, and The Garibaldi Hotel on the 30th.

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New Music Friday: FOSSILHEADS

Long-term collaborators Rachel Duncan & Rosie Swayne – aka FOSSILHEADS – have spent the past year or so honing their eco-conscious folk show to a fine art. Now you can…

Long-term collaborators Rachel Duncan & Rosie Swayne – aka FOSSILHEADS – have spent the past year or so honing their eco-conscious folk show to a fine art. Now you can hear how it sounds on record! New Boots is impressed enough with the Northants duo to get more answers. And here they are!

How did you get FOSSILHEADS together?
Rosie: We’ve only been performing together as FOSSILHEADS for less than a year. Although Rachel and I are also part of olden Northamptonian quartet Invocal, and have been singing together for 24 years [which takes us back to four years before we were born, if our press ages are to be believed].
Rachel: I thought I’d managed to escape her, to be honest…

How would you describe your sound?
Rosie: We are a folky, theatrical duo and use political satire/comedy in songs to open up issues surrounding the HILARIOUS climate crisis.

We admire your interests: “Smashing global corporate power, saving humanity, jazz hands”. The holy trinity, you might say. So do you find music is the best medium to get the message across – serious subjects given the light touch?
Rosie: Until recently I found much of the discourse surrounding climate change so broad and clichéd that it doesn’t really engage people or genuinely address the main problems – my hope is that that honing in on specific areas in an informed but [hopefully] entertaining style can help communicate ideas/info/perspectives in a way that doesn’t make people want to immediately leave. Though to be fair, people do still sometimes immediately leave. But hey we’re used to that, we’ve always been kinda niche.
Rachel: I was recently told by someone who had just heard us for the first time that whilst he felt he was “eco-naïve” and never really thought about the environment, that our music really made him think. That is a massive compliment, and if we can do even just a little bit to raise awareness and tackle the current crisis then it makes it all worthwhile.

Tell us everything about ‘The Future Is Petrifying’ EP.
Rosie: What I love about the EP is that it represents exactly what we do on stage, as it was recorded live – at Fitdog Studios – with just two vocals and one guitar. It’s a precursor to a fuller production studio album that we’ll start doing once someone throws an eccentric amount of money at us to do so. You can buy the four song EP via www.fossilheads.co.uk. It’s download only, to save on production / packaging and costs just £3 [although there IS the option to throw an eccentric amount of money at us if you are inclined to do so].
Rachel: It was really great to get back into the studio with Chris at Fitdog Studios – our last recording session with him as Invocal was probably about 10 years ago (clearly making us only 10 years old at the time, if our press ages are to be believed). I was nervous at first because our live show uses visual humour as well as the comedy from the lyrics [we do acting, darling] so I was unsure if we could really do it justice on an EP – but I am really pleased with it! I think that recording the songs live has kept our “characterisations” intact. The songs themselves cover themes from plastics to corporate greenwashing, and are really well researched by Rosie, who is our resident “eco-expert.” Personally I’m still plucking up the courage to buy a [second hand, previously owned, locally sourced] Naomi Klein book…

With Extinction Rebellion now very much centre stage in the nation’s consciousness it must be exciting to see so many people sharing many of your goals. Have you found more acceptance in what you do over your time together?
Rosie: Yes it is very heartening and inspiring to see more people taking serious action, and I do believe more people are prepared to sit through a set of songs about climate change than they would have been a few years ago!
Rachel: We have many friends in XR and support our local groups when we can. I recently headed to London for the climate protest – but couldn’t stay long, so I admire their commitment to the cause. Their messages really resonate with me. As celebrities have pointed out recently, we are all hypocrites to some degree. It has to be about doing what we can individually but pressuring governments to make substantial, systematic changes.

What are your live shows like? We suspect/hope those witty words hit home…
Rosie: We’ve had some very emotional and meaningful feedback after shows, it’s been quite an experience getting the songs working successfully to audiences – and it’s amazing to realise the songs are having a genuine impact on people. The show does have the potential to tank though. If an audience aren’t in the mood to sit and listen to lyrics, we don’t really work as ‘background music’ – if there’s a room full of people chatting we just end up looking like your bizarre middle-aged aunties determinedly acting/squawking out a musical you’ve never heard of to nobody in particular.

Are you part of a music scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourite acts/venues?
Rosie: I love the music scene in Northampton; gonna namecheck Kings Gambit, musical home of our beloved Invocal pal Helen – been so great to hear their sound evolve over the years.
Rachel: We’ve played at The Lab many times over the years – and it really is a great and supportive venue – long may it continue. I’ve also more recently been made aware of the number of really great open mic nights in and around the county. Northamptonshire really has so much talent and passion for music, I feel lucky to live here.

What has been your favourite Fossilheads moment of the past year?
Rosie: So much work went on at home before getting our live act up-and-running, so I guess the weekend we played four gigs at two of our favourite festivals was pretty gratifying – in feeling like we were properly out there and gigging again.
Rachel: We’ve had some truly humbling moments over the summer doing festivals – people approaching us after gigs with so many compliments and heartfelt responses. For me however it was when a guy from a well-known band [not to be named] came up to us after our set and said he thought we were the best band on the festival circuit this summer. I’m not sure I agree, as we have been privileged to hear some amazing music this summer, but what a fabulous accolade!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Rosie: The Sacrament of Sin by Powerwolf. I didn’t even realise I was ready to Come Out publicly as a fantasy metal fan, but there it is.
Rachel: Loving Linnea Olsson at the moment. Her album Breaking and Shaking is great and ‘What’ is currently a favourite song of hers for me. Probably best not to take musical recommendations from me though: recent music streaming has included Pitch Perfect 2, And Bros.

What is your burning desire to do in the near future? What plans do you have?
Rosie: Play more gigs, save planet, get chips on the way home.
Rachel: Same.

The Future Is Petrifying is out now via BandCamp.

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New Music Friday: ghostofblu

Northampton-born ghostofblu is making everyone sit up and take notice with his digital hardcore. With the SPECTRE EP now out New Boots had to go find out more behind the…

Northampton-born ghostofblu is making everyone sit up and take notice with his digital hardcore. With the SPECTRE EP now out New Boots had to go find out more behind the enigma.

Can you tell us how/when/why this project started?
I’d played guitar in local bands for about 4/5 years prior to all this and always enjoyed performing live shows. I’m sure it was some time in late 2016 where my best friend Ronan showed me this sick music video he found scrolling through his Facebook one night, which was actually Paris by $uicideboy$. After that we slowly started becoming obsessed with them and were soon to discover the likes of Ghostemane, Pouya, Keith Ape and so so many more artists which was kind of weird for me as I’d never really been that interested in a whole lot of rap music prior to all this.
Admittedly I probably thought it looked cooler than I thought it sounded at the time but that was soon to quickly change. I then started delving into the lyrical content of a lot of these rappers and realised it was more my kind of thing; It wasn’t all about the drugs, money, gangs and whatever else you would stereotype rap to be, which was the point where I felt most inspired. So I started trying to make crappy trap beats on a cracked copy of FL, just experimented with sounds and getting used to hearing my own voice a lot more attempting to rap about anything that was on my mind. Very shortly after I decided to make it into the what became the first phase of this project called “blu boy”.

Was there a “eureka” moment that opened up a door inside of you to be able to do this?
Not exactly. Shortly after doing the rap thing and releasing a few (dead) songs I had the idea of maybe trying to add some screaming on a track or something which happened to be around the time I started talking to a new friend from Las Vegas called “goth” who I believe I met through Soundcloud. We ended up releasing a pretty angry song together called ‘Not That Easy’, which is still on the original blu boy Soundcloud page now. That song got me a little bit of traction thanks to goth, and I think that’s where I ended up getting my first 20 or so followers on Soundcloud. Shortly after that when I renamed to ghostofblu, goth and I went even harder on another collaborative track, I went full throttle with higher pitched screaming and people seemed to love it! I think that was the moment where I thought “I like where this is going and I’m enjoying it. Let’s see what happens.”

You’ve been prolific since 2017. Are the ideas just tumbling out of you?
Thanks to the producers and other artists I’ve made friends with and have been fortunate enough to work with over the past couple of years, I feel inspired more often than not nowadays which was something I struggled with in bands and projects in the past. I don’t release new music as often as I’d like to but there are often plenty of ideas floating around. I’ve recently started learning to plan ahead a lot more which is helping me remain consistent, and maintain a clearer vision of where I want to go next with things.

What’s the general reaction like to your releases? You have a lot of people listening in, I can imagine your social media is lit up all the time, especially as the music feels so personal.
I’m both very lucky and thankful to be such a tiny artist but have such an awesome, dedicated fanbase. As of late I only seem to be releasing one new track each month whereas a lot of friends and other artists are putting out a good few songs a month, sometimes even a week. But the people that listen to me are always patient and appreciate new music when it does happen. I like to spend a lot of my social media time on Instagram because I feel it’s a lot more personal than other platforms, and it’s easier to stay in contact with friends and fans I feel.

Tell us everything about this new EP, SPECTRE. Where do you hook up with all these different producers – do you fileshare back and forth?
So I’d been toying with the idea of an album for about a year at this point, but every time I finished up a song I had a habit of releasing it a soon as possible which to be fair hasn’t gone against me in any way. But I was working on my debut album [which to some of my fans is common knowledge] called Phantom Season, but because I kept releasing tracks I ended up with a few remaining songs that I just couldn’t work out how to perfect. So rather than trickling them out as singles all the time I thought I should at least release a few at the same time as an EP or something, so here we are. SPECTRE is comprised of 5 tracks all with strong meanings to them. From kids with no manners to my Father having Alzheimer’s Disease and how it frustrates me at times. Like I have already mentioned I’m very fortunate to have the people around me that I do. People that want to work with me and reach out to me, often first, which is incredible. I’ve got to know a lot of great people and will continue to work with these producers. How it generally works for me is I’ll end up chatting with somebody on Twitter or Instagram or something and they’ll send me over a .wav file beat to see what I think to a beat, or collection of beats. I’ll then stick that in the production software that I use an record some vocals on top and mix them in and it’s as simple as that really. I will never take full credit for the tracks I’ve released, and I will always preach that producers do in most cases more work than the performer. So I like to share whatever success comes from anything that is released by ghostofblu.

You’ve started on some live shows. What are they like?
Live shows are interesting really, I’ve had great local support and people turn up to my sets who know my songs, know the words, jump about and have a good time which is all I could really ask for. But I’ve noticed and appreciate it’s still a bit alien to some, as I always find myself on rock/metal shows which suits me fine. But as the scene grows I can see more people like myself on these kind of shows. Whatever the weather I just enjoy playing and moving like I think I can dance, and having the freedom to do as I please. I’ve already got some many songs to choose from when it comes to live shows. I’m in the process of branching out, playing a bit further away from Northampton and will be pushing to play overseas come 2020.

Are you part of a scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourite acts your wanna give a shout out to?
Sadly not as much as I’d like to be. I’m Northampton born and bred, however I live up in Yorkshire now. I’ll take any opportunity that arises to come down, see my friends and play some music but I suppose I’m not as affiliated as I could be in the N-Town music scene in general. I will always support my friends and bands coming out of our town, but I can’t always show the physical support as much as I’d like to.
I would like to shout out a couple of people actually. I owe a lot to Sharkteeth Grinder, who have put me on most of the shows I’ve played up until now and they are CONSTANTLY on the grind, making some mad music. Tragic are good friends of mine, who again are constantly pushing themselves. Though relatively new, they’ve made a name for themselves around town already. Nailbreaker is pretty much a one band band as well like myself, I’m inspired by his confidence and “no fucks given” attitude – especially when he’s up on stage on his own. Finally my old band/best friends band CROW, who are making moves towards releasing their debut EP and set to play some sick shows this year.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’ve been obsessed with Loathe’s latest release(s) “Gored / New Faces in the Dark” – truly incredible metal songs. Loathe are constantly pushing the boat out with their new music and their imagery/vibe is unmatched by any other band I know. So check those guys out if you haven’t already.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
The dream is fairly simple for me. I want to keep pushing everything I’m doing now to a point where I can just make enough to not have to work a full-time job. I know that’s what everybody might want, but I’m confident I can make it work. Like I said I’ll be playing more shows overseas next year, and want to be able to reach more and more people, make more great music and have a fucking blast on the way. For now, I’ll continue to release new songs, work on my album and see what happens. The whole money thing doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t end up working out like that because I understand what a difficult industry music is nowadays. Especially given the fact it’s absolutely monolithic and it’s so easy to fall off at any given moment. The sole purpose of all this is my enjoyment, if I stop enjoying it then that’s where it stops.

SPECTRE is out now via the usual digital platforms

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New Music Friday: Caliburn

Hardcore/metalcore Caliburn – Niall, Ewan, Joe, Bailey and Jake – are a relatively new NN band, who recently celebrated the release of their first EP ‘Outskirts’. It’s so good New…

Hardcore/metalcore Caliburn – Niall, Ewan, Joe, Bailey and Jake – are a relatively new NN band, who recently celebrated the release of their first EP ‘Outskirts’. It’s so good New Boots had to go and have a word or five.

Where are you all based in Northamptonshire?
We’re from all over in a way. Joe and Bailey live over in Corby, Jake in Kettering, Niall in Northampton and Ewan’s from Irthlingborough. We’re a bit all over the place, but we all get together every other week in Rushden to chill and jam our tracks together, vibe idea’s and just have a good time.

How did you guys get together?
The band initially formed around two years ago with Ewan and Niall, after they’d been toying with the idea for many years and eventually jam sessions started to become a regular occurrence. They have been close friends from a young age and have been in previous bands together after leaving school, so the likelihood of another project was inevitable at some point. The next key component for us was a bassist. As far as we’re concerned Bailey is one of the founders of the band and has been with us from the beginning.
Caliburn has spent the first years of its life exploring different styles and sounds, which meant that we parted ways with previous members as the sound and the band has developed. We were in need of a new drummer in 2018, and we found Jake. Jake’s drumming skills were already known to us, Ewan has been mates with him outside of the band and he’s renowned locally for being a super technical drummer, and he didn’t disappoint.
Now with the four of us we could really get down to laying the foundations of the material we were jamming with. But it soon became apparent there was one last piece missing- the lead guitar. Unbeknown to us it wouldn’t be until Joe joined that everything would take form and fall into place in full force. Joe’s talent for writing music pulled all the elements together.
We spent the last year playing shows, and producing our first EP, ‘Outskirts’, which we are all very proud of.

How would you describe your sound?
To put it bluntly, “Painfully generic Metalcore”…but with a twist! The synths and strings on top of the guitars creates the perfect melodies, and catchy choruses ensures that we make an imprint on the music society. Our sound is changing from when the band had first started and the album will be different to the EP. We all look forward to what the future for Caliburn has to offer.

Who are your main influences in music?
We all listen to a bit of everything, so our songs could go in any direction in terms of style and sound. For example our song ‘Outskirts’ has really catchy and melodic sections almost like a pop song, as well as hard hitting heavy riffs similar to bands like Killswitch Engage and Bullet For My Valentine. I think those last two are definitely big influences on us as a sort of baseline for our sound, and we like to take that element and build on it with other influences that we feel lends to the song. While She Sleeps is another band we take inspiration from too. Killer guitar riffs, massive sounding vocals, raw screaming, there is just so much passion in their music and its fantastic! Hopefully the passion we have for our own music comes across that way as well.

Tell us everything about this debut EP, ‘Outskirts’?
So the EP has a little bit of all of us. Joe has the lead role of writing the demos to our tracks, and then we all add a bit of ourselves from there. Its a heartfelt EP, all the cliche you could ever need!
Track 1 ‘Vena Cava’ when translated to Latin is “hollow veins”, and is basically about feeling empty within yourself like nothing could ever matter, we really are “sad bois” for life.
Track 2 ‘Outskirts’ follows on from that and is about searching for better things. Then when you eventually find it, whether it be love, success or finally belonging. It’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.
Track 3 ‘Letting Go’ is basically about struggling with heartbreak and finding it hard to move forward.
Track 4 ‘Seasonal’. Now, this is a sad one. Where to start. Its a really personal song to Niall. A few years ago he was having a really bad time with mental health, but like to think of himself as mentally strong and persevered. However in the space of about eight months, two friends of his didn’t and this track goes out to them. Niall really struggled understanding why they hadn’t reached out to anyone. This song is as close to what he can get in his own mind as to how they were feeling. I like to think it’s written by them through Niall.
Track 5 ‘Pray For Me’ has done pretty well. It’s been played on BBC Introducing twice, and forwarded to BBC 1 Rock Show, so here’s to hoping! The tracks about the end. How you never know when it’s coming, and any day could be your last. It’s one of our favourites on the EP and the ending finishes the EP nicely.
Its like a simplified story all together and it gives a little bit of closure within us. It’s a heartfelt EP.

Recorded down in Southampton with Nick from Our Hollow, Our Home. A great guy to work with and we feel he captured exactly what we wanted out of our first release. We’d highly recommend hitting up Six Point Media if you’re looking to release.

What are your live shows like?
We really enjoy playing live. Its our favourite thing to do together [as well as going to the pub of course]. We give it our all when we’re out there, no matter what the occasion is. We’re passionate about our music and we want to put on the best show possible for returning fans, as well as hopefully gaining some new ones. Its all well and good listening to a band online or on Spotify, but you really need to go to the live show to really see what a band is about.

Congrats on your freshly inked ‘Weathers Management’ deal. what can you tell us about that?
So the management deal was something Niall and Dan (the owner of Weathers management) had spoken about before. Niall met Dan at All Points East through bumping into Stone from Behind Blue Eyes. So they spent most of the day chilling together and through him is where Niall met Dan for the first time. It wasn’t until about a week later Niall noticed he was friends with Dan on Facebook for a while and it sparked the conversation about management. We’re trying to push our sound further afield so joining Weathers management sounded like a good deal to us. It catered to us all being busy but also wanting to get more shows. There’s a few things in the pipeline at the moment in terms of new venues for us, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Are you part of a musical community, playing with like-minded bands?
We like to play anywhere we can really. Helps spread our wings and meet new people in the process. We’ve done a few shows over at The Shed in Leicester, and we’ll be back there at some point soon without a doubt! And of course we’ve met some great bands in the process as well. Like the guys from A Hundred Crowns who always put on a great show. We’ve played with them a couple of times and now and they’re really nice guys as well. Same goes for a band called The Lunar Process [formerly Edge Of Apollo]. Had the pleasure of playing with those guys in the north and they made us feel welcome to somewhere totally new to us! We also have to give props to the local boys in Primal Holocaust as well. We’ve shared the stage with them a number of times since they started up and their shows are just full of energy and aggression. It really is a good show to watch.

Of course we love playing in Northampton, The Black Prince is one of our favourites to play. We spent a good amount of this year playing there, and the shows we’ve been involved in has been have been killer! Raffs over in Wellingborough is also a fun one for us to pay as well. It was the first venue we played in this new era of the band with Joe and Jake, and its just generally a good laugh when we play there as well.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
There has been a lot of good moments with the band. A lot has happened the past year with the EP dropping and we couldn’t be happier! But going back to good moments there is one that stands out the most is one gig we had played at Raffs bar, Wellingborough, for a heat of “Metal 2 The Masses’. We had started playing and people seemed to be enjoying what we had wrote. It was in that moment knew we had something special. To see the sight of people enjoying what we offer and being part of something more than just a band, means it will always be one of our favourite memories.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Well there’s been some pretty big albums drop recently! Of course the brand new Slipknot album We Are Not Your Kind came out a few weeks ago and that album has some absolutely killer tracks on it! You always know that when Slipknot go away for a little while that they’re gonna come back with a bang. Its the same deal with Atonement by Killswitch Engage, even featuring their old singer on one of the best tracks on the album ‘The Signal Fire’ as well! Metalcore fans can live happy now they’ve seen both Jesse Leech and Howard Jones on a Killswitch album, we never thought we’d see the day.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We have a lot of ambition going forward with our music. Obviously we’re gonna keep on playing shows up and down the country and continue getting our name out there. We’ve played some really great shows in the north and over in Leicester so its about time we conquered London and the south of England now! But a big ambition we have for the future is taking ourselves overseas into Europe, and play some shows over there. We see videos and pictures of friends of ours who have done that with their bands and the crowds and atmosphere looks insane! So hopefully we’ll get the same reception that they do when we make our way over into the continent.

As well as playing shows, we may even have some new music to bring to your ears in the new year. Maybe even experiment with some new sounds, increase the heaviness, make the guitar shred even shreddier and very possibly give an old song from 2017 a new lease on life. If you know you know! We’re really looking forward to what the end of year has in store for us, but we’re eagerly anticipating what the new year hold for us as well!

Outskirts is out now

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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: Kenneth J. Nash

East Northamptonshire musician Kenneth J Nash has been a crucial cog on the scene this past decade, consistently putting out top notch albums, running festivals and recording bands. His New…

East Northamptonshire musician Kenneth J Nash has been a crucial cog on the scene this past decade, consistently putting out top notch albums, running festivals and recording bands. His New Boots interview time has been long overdue, so the release of his new EP ‘The Explorer’ gave us the excuse to get more solid nuggets on his journey so far.

You’ve been making music for a while now; solo since 2010 but before that too. For anyone uninitiated in the way of the Nash, is there a potted history you can give?
My first band was in 1984-6 where I played rhythm guitar. We were still at school and our first proper gig was at the end of term in front of the whole school. We had around a ten minute set of originals penned by our frontman Dominic and the rest were Bob Dylan covers. We didn’t really have a band name as I recall. From there I joined numerous bands, all with little success, but found success as a DJ. I’d grown up with the emergence of early hip-hop and loved cutting and scratching on my hand-me-down 1970s double disco decks (no speed control – just slipmats). My DJ sets were mainly hip-hop, with a bit of soul and reggae thrown in. Spending most weekends DJing and working daytimes meant that I had no spare time for bands. However I kept playing guitar and began to become interested in singer-songwriters. Over the next two decades during periods where I was taking a break from DJing I joined various rock, punk and metal bands as a guitarist or bassist, but it wasn’t till 2010 that I started writing songs for myself to sing. I wrote a song called ‘Tattoos Over Scars’ and added a YouTube video of a picture I’d drawn accompanied by a badly recorded version of the song. It got quite a few views and some great comments so it drove me to become a singer-songwriter.

I’d always used poetry as a means of expressing my feelings but had kept the poems to myself. I realised that poetry and songs are kind of the same thing, and began writing a series of songs that proved cathartic and helped me deal with the issues that spending a life ‘on the road’ had given me. Around this time I was asked to join a band as the lead singer and second guitarist; this was called The Ghost Chorus and featured Rob Reeves, Scott Warner and Cliff Lambert. We fashioned our sound on Nick Cave meets The National, and our first gig was supporting Blacklight Pioneer to a large audience. Unfortunately as these things go we only got to record a couple of tracks before we disbanded. I then made the decision to pursue a solo career.

Who are your main influences in 2019? Musically/non-musically…
I listen to a lot of music. My current favourites include Gregory Alan Isokov and Glen Hansard. Outside of music I would say that I’m influenced by nature and love.

What was the reaction like to your last full-release album Luna? Were you satisfied with the finished work?
It got a good reaction, with some lovely reviews, and the stream numbers now mark it out as my most listened to work. It was a long time in the making though: including being signed to a label, recording it twice for them and then them folding. Meaning the version I released was self recorded and produced. I listen back now and I feel happy with it, as it was a snapshot of the band and I at that time. It was recorded live, so has the feel I wanted. It is the soundtrack to an as yet unmade movie. I had plans to shoot a movie, but they’re still plans at this time. I am satisfied with it as an album, there is some excellent musicianship by my band which includes J M Jones on guitar, Max Mclean (of Miyagi Car Wash) on drums, Jamie Gilbert on bass, Alan Tang on keys and of course Fran Taylor providing beautiful backing vocals.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ‘The Explorer’.
Over the last few years I’ve been working with Musicians Against Homelessness [MAH], having being through some pretty bleak periods of my life. I have been homeless and suffered mental health issues. I wrote the song ‘The Explorer’ about this period, and hope that it can convey the message for those that suffer in silence. I approached MAH who are helping me to promote the release of the EP. There’s been two remixes of the title track so far: Max Mclean has put his Miyagi Car Wash touches on one, and Rob G Nichols has produced an electronica version. I’ve also included an acoustic version, and ‘Around Again’ with just myself and Veronika Rauchfussova, who is a Czech Republic classical violinist. She’s staying with a friend of mine and he introduced us. She is an incredible musician, and unusually for a classically trained musician she enjoys the free flow of playing without sheet music. Which is a bonus as I’m not very good at theory! I’ve also included a live recording of a song of mine, which is called ‘She’s The One That Saved Me’. This was recorded in a log cabin in Wales and is a song about my wife, who saved me from being homeless.

What can we expect from the next album?
I’ve got a couple of album projects on the go. I’m putting together an album of my most listened to tracks from the last ten years, but redone with my band as we are now. This will have the feel of the Miyagi Car Wash remix of ‘The Explorer’, as it’ll be produced by Max Mclean. Then the second album is all new[ish] songs, which will include the songs on ‘The Explorer’ EP, plus some other new ones – and two or three songs from the limited issue album ‘Room 7’ that I released to my core fans last year. This album will be very sparse, whilst hopefully being intimate and totally acoustic and live. I love Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska and this has been an influence, as well as Damien Rice’s back catalogue.

You run the “Old Hotel” record label and studio. Tell us how you operate and why you do it.
When I started releasing my own material I had some label interest, but after reading the small print I was shocked about what I was going to have to give away in order to be signed. I declined this, and further record label interest, as I felt I could do a reasonable job myself. I saw some of my contemporaries caught out by these labels and decided that there was a gap for an honest decent label. Old Hotel Records was born to take care of the artists and bands I knew. I would offer a low cost recording service specialising in live recordings, and coaching on performance and songwriting, then use my network in order to gain the artist recognition. It still operates in the same way to this day. I don’t pretend that I can give artists the rock star lifestyle, but I will help them release their songs and keep all the rights and royalties for themselves. I offer my artists festival slots, radio airplay and contacts to take them further than I can. We have a pretty eclectic roster, but all of them are excellent.

You are very much part of a music scene here in Northamptonshire. Any favourite acts, venues, or festivals you want to give a shout out to?
As a supporter of original music I would like to give a shout out to all original music creators, promoters, bloggers, journalists, radio DJs, venues and festivals. The live scene has been taken over in the towns by covers bands and tribute acts. It’s tough to keep going if you feel your work isn’t valued. But keep on keepin’ on. Art is art whether the public pay to see it or not.

What has been your favourite KJN musical moment of the past 12 months?
My favourite musical moment has been hearing the audiences singing along with my songs. It always gives me a buzz, and I’ve been noticing it happening more and more, especially during the last year.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Gregory Alan Isokov – This Empty Northern Hemisphere. I’m a fairly recent fan, but love this 2009 album.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have in the next few months?
My burning desire is to get both planned albums recorded and released within the next twelve months… I’m not sure if this is achievable! In the next few months I’m on the road playing festivals all over the country. I’d like to also get some demo’s recorded of some new songs that I’ve recently written. Plus I’m exploring some collaborations with other artists and producers.

The Explorer is out now

 

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