Tag: interview

New Music Friday: Ashborn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Music Friday: Dizmack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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New Music Friday: Greasy Diablos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Music Friday: Krysthla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Krysthla live this summer:

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

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New Music Friday: Ellision

Rushden chillwave man Henry Dymott aka Ellision has been building a name of himself over the past year, including roping in fellow NN stars Nailbreaker and Mio Flux to remix…

Rushden chillwave man Henry Dymott aka Ellision has been building a name of himself over the past year, including roping in fellow NN stars Nailbreaker and Mio Flux to remix recent single ‘No Smoking’. New Boots loves a fresh sound, so had to dig a little deeper. Cue this interview…

How did you start this project?
I would say that Ellision has had two different beginnings. Near the end of 2016 I had just started to get into more production, when I started collaborating with experimental guitarist and producer Curtis Jeffs on a track. Couple tracks later we released The Etherial EP under the name Ellision. When I moved away to uni in Guildford and started getting DJ slots at clubs and venues I started using Ellision as a stage name, and it just kind of stuck. Ellision became a solo project just after that first initial release, and since then I think I’ve found my sound and image. I’m a finger-drumming singer and producer. When I press buttons and it’s all live triggered in the moment – no playback – I like the reaction it gets. A lot could go wrong but that’s part of the fun of it.
I’ve released three singles so far: ‘No Smoking’, ‘The Hard Way’ and ‘Wreck Me’, with a lot of stuff crammed in-between. A beat tape, a few collaborations, live shows and a visual project. I’m planning on focusing solely on releasing music this year, and hopefully bringing out a project by the end of the year.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences do you feel?
Genre flippant? A mix of chillwave, hip-hop, pop and lo-fi elements. My sound changes depending on who or what I’m working with , but it always has a particular vibe to it. My main influences at the moment are probably FKJ, Justin Vernon, Flume and Jeremy Zucker.

Tel us about new single ‘No Smoking’?
The name of the track comes from the “Coffee” sample at the start of the track. I sampled it from the 1980 movie Airplane! There’s a scene in the film where Ted Striker asks for a ticket, “Smoking or Non-Smoking”, “Smoking”. The track is about two people just starting to connect on an intimate level. It’s a “not quite in love yet” song, but who knows we might end up there.
I met AyiTe at a show where he was performing as part of Soul Purpose with O J. Hodding, and I ended up DJing for their set. I thought he was sick, so we met up for a session and worked on a track called ‘The Hard Way’ [my previous release], and I played him this track that I had recorded with Molly Nicholson and he said something along the lines of “Let me write something on this”. That’s how ‘No Smoking’ was made.

You’ve got four people remixing it, how did you choose them?
I had to get my partner in crime LUPUS on it. We’ve been doing music bits together for a while, playing festivals and shows together all around the place. We even made it out to Barcelona playing music. His ‘Autopilot Disengaged Remix’ is H U G E. Nailbreaker and Mio Flux, another two Northamptonshire-related artists, came up with two completely different remixes for the release. Nailbreaker’s remix is a heavy, glitchy track which fits the “plane crash” concept I decided on for this release. Mio’s track is a darker sounding remix; we’ve been looking for an excuse to collaborate for a while now. Dan J. Wilcox decided to just flip the script and make a spacey future bass track, having fun with AyiTe’s flow and Molly’s vocal. It was sick to have these guys work on this release, and I’m looking forward to seeing people’s reactions!

Have you played live with the current sound? Any plans to?
Yeah, I’ve had quite a lot of shows, especially last year. My Live setup is always changing but always centres around my MIDI Fighter 64 or 3D and Ableton Live. I like to have a lot of guests come up during my live sets, feature rappers, singers and even producers sometimes. I try to have a continuous stream of music throughout a set, I think that’s the DJ in me, I don’t like talking while I play I just want to play music and have a blend from track to track.
I recently played at an underground show in London at an event called Tasteneon where they live stream the whole thing in VHS somehow? Was definitely my favourite show I’ve played in a while cause the vibe was so high and the place was packed out!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Any acts you wanna give a shout out to?
I’m fresh back to the Northampton scene after being away for a bit, but I’m ready to get some live sets booked and work with more artists around here. Shout outs to Krankhead [Mio Flux and Patchy The Rockstar] and Nailbreaker.

What has been your favourite Ellision moment of the past year?
Probably shooting the series of videos leading up to ‘The Hard Way’ release, particularly the shoot I had to sort at a butchers. Was a good time and the result looked sick and finished the story off as intended. Also the fact ‘No Smoking’ got a spin on BBC Radio 1xtra was a highlight for me!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Last album I streamed was Hi This Is Flume by Flume. But the last album I actually bought was a copy of Uh-Oh! by Tennyson, from their show in Hoxton.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’m planning my next single release for this year. Hoping to get some more shows in and try get a video made for ‘No Smoking’. If anyone has a plane, hit me up!

No Smoking [The Remixes] is out now on the usual digital and streaming platforms. Watch the original version on YouTube below


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New Music Friday: Mutiny UK

Mutiny UK are a five-piece groove metal band from Northamptonshire, featuring former members of Torch, The Witness and Full Contact. New Boots spoke to guitarist Kieran Murphy about their brutal…

Mutiny UK are a five-piece groove metal band from Northamptonshire, featuring former members of Torch, The Witness and Full Contact. New Boots spoke to guitarist Kieran Murphy about their brutal new single ‘Warfare’ and much more besides.

Who is in the band, where are you based?
We’ve got Niall Billingsley on vocals, he’s based in Daventry, Jamie Hitchcock on bass, Joe Linnell on drums [both from Moulton], then myself Kieran Murphy and Ben Swingler on guitars, and we’re based in Kettering! 

How did you guys get together?
Ben, Jamie and Joe used to be in a band together a couple of years ago, they started jamming around this time last year for this project, which turned into Mutiny. Soon after they got in touch with Niall to do vocals, and I joined on guitar last August. 
How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
We try to combine as many influences as possible within our music, both to keep ourselves invigorated and listeners likewise. Predominantly we provide a groove metal sound, with elements of old school death metal and new wave metalcore. Influences range from bands such as Meshuggah, Architects, After The Burial, Sylosis, Carcass, At The Gates…I could sit here all day giving you bands, haha! 
Tell us everything about this single, ‘Warfare’.
‘Warfare’ was the first full song that I wrote for the band; it started with the intro riff at a practice. We played it live for a few shows and eventually changed certain sections, until we were finally happy with the finished product. At this point we headed up to Dundee, Scotland in February to record with Kieran Smith [drummer of To Kill Achilles]. He did a smashing job producing us, and we’re chuffed with the final outcome.
What are your live shows like?
Without sounding like your generic metal band, we just try to keep it as energetic as possible and keep the crowd entertained and involved, whilst having a laugh at the same time. That’s what it’s all about really. We aren’t some super elitist band that’s angry at the world and everyone in it; we’re all pretty chilled out/laid back. 
Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We recently played at The Roadmender in Northampton. In terms of local venues that’s a place we’ve all been going to since we were kids, so it was cool to finally play a show there. In terms of local metal bands Krysthla are smashing it, likewise with From Eden To Exile. Would definitely recommend checking them both out! 
What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Collectively, it was probably recording ‘Warfare’ up in Dundee. It was great listening back to the final product after we’d spent months working away at it. 
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Kieran: I’ve recently pre-ordered Ride’s This Is Not A Safe Place on vinyl.
Ben: The Maccabees Colour It In
Niall: JID The Never Story
Jamie and Joe: Architects Holy Hell
What are your burning desires for the band to do? What plans do you have?
We’re about two or three songs away from finishing writing for our debut album. The plan up until then is to continue playing shows. We’re hoping for a release early-mid 2020, but we’ll have more information to come on that soon.
Warfare is out now via the usual digital platforms


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New Music Friday: Stereo Skull

Stereo Skull, the four-piece prog metal band from Wellingborough [via Latvia], have concocted something special with new single ‘Play God’, not to mention the accompanying video. Inspired by the likes…

Stereo Skull, the four-piece prog metal band from Wellingborough [via Latvia], have concocted something special with new single ‘Play God’, not to mention the accompanying video. Inspired by the likes of Fear Factory, Lamb Of God, Coal Chamber, Mudvayne, and American Head Charge, the band consists of Arthur Sambars [vocals, guitars, programming], Aivars Sambars [guitars, programming], Carlos Fandango [vocals] and Mat Williams [bass]. New Boots had to find out more, so spoke to Arthur. 

How  did you guys get together?
The founding members, myself and Aivars my brother, have been into music since childhood. We arrived in the UK in early 2009 and four years later met Ethan [ex Decadent, Still Remains UK, Motorpace, Black Rose Society]. Another two years later we met Carlos who took some time off vocal duties after departure from Black Ink Sun, then another year passed and we met Mat who just left disbanded Black Ink Sun. The drummer left last summer and after an active search, we’re still auditioning people. Our love for heavy music, being in front of the audience, getting better and bigger are the main reasons for what we do. 

How would you describe your sound? 
The musical background for each band member is different. Everyone adds something to it. The end result is the mixture of industrial, death, and progressive metal.

What was the reaction like from the public to the ‘Madness’ EP from last year? 
Our friends and followers were excited and supportive. We streamed a live Facebook video from the studio the day we released it, and it had whoppi ng thousand views during the stream. Everyone could watch us at home from their mobile devices anywhere around the globe. The EP is entirely self released, it’s available on all streaming platforms, but we’re putting together the physical copy as well, it’s going to be a nice surprise for our fans. Can’t reveal too much at the moment. 

Tell us everything about this new release, ‘Play God’.
There was this track sitting on the shelf for around ten years, and we decided to polish it up. Carlos added the lyrics and with help of our former drummer we improved the track dramatically. It’s a nice blend of black, thrash, Nu, prog and cyber, with orchestral elements – and with a triple layered death metal vocals! We wrote and recorded at our home studio [currently branded ‘Salamander Media Works’].  

The video is incredible. Tell us about it 
The story goes on. Just when we got to the end of composing of the song, there’s this lady, Scarlet Phoenix, from Leicester asking for help from the bands with her uni Art and Performance project. We respond straight away and she gives us the raw video material she and her model friends Gabriela Sindel and Edgars Karklins filmed in Nottingham, if I remember correctly. Our job was just to add the band footage, but eventually we took over the whole production thing. Mat our bassist is a talented guy in making professional-looking videos. He worked mainly on lyric videos in the past, but with my, pre-production and editing skills we managed to produce a decent music video ourselves. The band shoot has been done at my place; you’ll see how it came about in our upcoming Making Of video. 

You work hard travelling and playing shows. Is that Stereo Skull’s best strength, the live show? 
It definitely is. Carlos is amazing frontman. We don’t stand out too much image-wise: we don’t have our own uniform, the only thing we wear is our passion for music on stage. There are some elements we use that help us to stand out among other bands though, and it’s the sampled synths and live video projections if the venue is big enough. We used to have a live VJ in the past, but now with the help of technology it’s all synced up with our performance. The next step is… nah, I’m not gonna reveal it for now. It’s a work in progress, don’t wanna jinx it. Also we happened to have our own meme in the band which was our drummer, his baseball bat incident particularly. Definitely gathered more people around the Skulls, and kinda changed us a little. We continue revealing our funny side, and life on the local scene in our gig report videos. Everybody loves stupid shit. And it’s fine. 

You are part of the music scene in Northamptonshire. Any favourites you want give a shout out to? 
Big shout out to Andy Green from Blackbush Promotions, we had a great time sharing the stage with the Still Remains UK some years back. Our first out of town experiences were a lot of fun thanks to him. He manages the live gigs in the King Billy: needless to say it became our second home. HOPevents, Lost Island Bookings, Attic Promotions and Castle Mountain Promotions gave us great platform locally. Roadmender, Athletic Club, Zombie Hut, Black Prince, Prince Of Wales, Castle Theatre, Picturedrome, Horseshoe, Raff’s etc, we love them all. 
Favorite local bands are Krysthla, From Eden To Exile, Haema, Siderian, ReaperX, Mutiny UK, Ashborn, Fleisch, Fueled Hate, Primal Holocaust, Darkhorse to mention a few. 

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year? 
The video shoot, and getting back on stage after a long break without a drummer and still cracking it. One proud moment we had just this week; we managed to put our very first tour together by ourselves. It’s been a very busy and exciting year so far.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have? 
For now to finish off the special edition of the EP, and cracking on to the debut album. The concept, album artwork and tracks are pretty much ready, we just have to record it – and probably even sign with some label. We’re going on a UK tour with German/Latvian band Māra as a main support at the end of June; that should be a lot of fun. We will try to get to some bigger stages next year. Will definitely try our luck in Metal 2 The Masses again.

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New Music Friday: Amii Dawes

Indie-folk singer-songwriter Amii Dawes has been enchanting Northampton and the wider world for the last few years. New “comeback” single ‘Filthy’ progresses her sound on to new heights, so New…

Indie-folk singer-songwriter Amii Dawes has been enchanting Northampton and the wider world for the last few years. New “comeback” single ‘Filthy’ progresses her sound on to new heights, so New Boots had to take five with her. Kettle on then…

How did you start on this path? You’ve been writing songs since 12, is that right?
Yes, I started at age 12. I found it really difficult when my Grandad passed away and writing poetry and short stories was the only way that I could deal with stuff. My Grandad was obsessed with those home shopping channels and he once bought a Yamaha keyboard, and he would sit me down and try to teach me Beatles songs on it. He left the keyboard to me when he passed away, and I wrote my first ever song called ‘Here With Me’. I still use that keyboard to this day.

You’ve been in bands too, could you tell us a bit about that part of your history?
I joined my first band called Light Factory when I was about 16/17, I wrote most of the songs and we had a much more fun/pop vibe than the stuff I make now. Then I was in OhBoy! and we made mostly noisy pop stuff. We got to do some really cool things in that band; we played Maida Vale and got to perform at some amazing festivals like 2,000 Trees.

How would you describe your sound?
I really don’t know how to describe my current sound if I’m honest. I think I’ve always wanted to write in different genres, but got nervous so in the past I tended to stick to the more comfortable acoustic folksy kind of vibe. Now I feel like I’ve found my style a little bit more, so I’m experimenting with different styles and taking inspiration from the music I listen to, which is literally a bit of everything. My main influence has always been Joni Mitchell, I happen to think she’s the greatest songwriter of all time and has done everything from acoustic folk to jazz to soft rock and beyond, I think she’s incredible. I’m also a massive Beatles fan. And Annie Lennox. And Simon & Garfunkel. And pretty much anyone that has ever written a song that I’ve listened to.

You put an album out in 2015. How was that experience? How it been easy to follow it up with writing and recording new material?
Recording and releasing Little Blue Book was such a great experience. Before that I had recorded one EP which I mainly used to just sell hard copies of at gigs and things. To have a collection of songs that I’d put my heart and soul into out there in the open for everyone to listen to if they wanted was a lovely feeling. I took a little hiatus from recording but was still very active musically with bands, writing and gigs. I did a tour of Europe in 2017 and when I returned from that I knew that the next thing I recorded had to top anything I’ve done before, so I definitely didn’t want to rush into anything just for the sake of it.

Tell us everything about this new song, ‘Filthy’.
The new single ‘Filthy’ is, I think, one of the best songs I’ve written to date. As a kid I was always a little bit strange and little bit of a geek. I used to think that that was a bad thing, but in the last couple of years have really come to terms with the fact that it’s what makes me who I am, and I’m now really proud of it. The song is basically about celebrating everything that makes us different, and that if we were all the same the world would be a pretty boring place.
The song was recorded at The Animal Farm, which is an independent record label based in London that I’ve been working with for about a year now. I sent them a demo of the song and they really liked it, so they took me under their wing and helped me to turn it into what it is now. I sing all the vocals on the song and play guitar, and the Leppanen brothers from The Animal Farm play bass, drums and electric guitar.

There’s a nice video to accompany it.
I’m so proud of the music video. The idea of the song is celebrating people for their differences and the video shows that too. I wanted a really simple idea for the video, just a bunch of people stood in front of a camera showing their natural reactions to every day things. It really shows off the people at their best, with no fancy lighting or camera trickery, just them being themselves. I also got to direct the video which was great fun and it was shot and edited by my very talented friend James Ryan.

Any Northamptonshire acts or people you wanna give a shout out to?
I play in Northampton all the time, I think our music scene is one of the best in the country but also one of the most underrated. There are so many people that I love here, but one of my favourites has to be Velvet Engine. We go back a few years now and I think she’s just fab! I also love working with anyone that is associated with the Umbrella Fair Organisation, I think they do great things not only for the music scene but for the community as a whole.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I pre-ordered Lewis Capaldi’s debut album just this morning, he’s got one of the best voices I’ve heard in a long time. Also Dermot Kennedy; I went to see him live the other day and he blew my mind.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I have a few more singles and videos coming out throughout this year which I really can’t wait for people to hear. I really do think that it’s my best work yet. I think things are heading in the right direction for me at the moment, so I just want to keep making the best music I can make, working with people that I admire and hopefully just keep on doing what I love to do.


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New Music Friday: Kev Minney

Northampton-born artist Kev Minney went to Brighton to find himself; and the process worked if his music is anything to go by. As he prepares for his sophomore album with…

Northampton-born artist Kev Minney went to Brighton to find himself; and the process worked if his music is anything to go by. As he prepares for his sophomore album with the release of new single ‘God Is An Algorithm’ New Boots took the opportunity to get some more of the details of his personal and musical journey.

How did you become a singer-songwriter?
I became a singer-songwriter after turning 30. Before this time I spent almost two decades around the Northampton jam scene. I think I always was searching to do something deeply creative, but never had the confidence, or never knew exactly what it was that I wanted to do. I moved to Brighton around seven years ago. I think I needed the change of scenery, and that change helped me discover that I wanted to play folk music, rather than rock/blues/jazz stuff. I was always in and out of various different bands, but in the back of my mind I was seeking what I wanted to do. It kind of was perfect timing to have this change; a lot of other things changed for me around that time. If I would have stayed in Northampton I would have made this change eventually, even though being in Brighton did help, it was the more the case that I needed to find a new love for music. I was always listening to artist like Nick Drake and co, but was never playing that stuff.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in getting to here?
I like the fact that I sing with my Northampton voice. A lot of folks down here in Brighton think I’m from a small farm or something, because of my accent isn’t as clean as it is down here. I play around with a lot of odd guitar tunings, and like to find various inverted chords. The piece I’m writing needs to interest me first and foremost. I get easily bored, so it has to have something unusual about it. I obviously hope that my sound is interesting to the listener, or at least I hope they can either be inspired or feel something from the song. A lot of influence probably comes from the guitar, though I find it more interesting when it comes from the song. With my songs I try my best to not hide anything and be open with them. The album I have listened to the most is Blue by Joni Mitchell, and for that very reason of being total open, raw and emotive.

Your album Stories Of The Sky from 2017 seemed to go down well. What was the reaction like?
Ah, it is so hard to say. From an artist point of view, you either look too much into it, or kick it under the carpet and try not to look. I was very pleased with it, I learned a million lessons, and I improved. I think this is what artists should always aim for; to always improve, and provide honest, decent songs. To be completely transparent the artist also needs a good level of drive too, as well as good songs. I worked incredibly hard to get it out there and heard, and just hoped that people enjoy it. I felt that Stories of the Sky was a time of establishing myself in the singer-songwriting world. I am happy with it and very happy with the reaction I received. I got played on BBC Radio, in Acoustic magazine, and knocked out a few European and UK tours. Though I am more happy with my forthcoming second album, but I think everyone says that!

Tell us about this new single, ‘God Is An Algorithm’.
First of all, the whole album [to be called Modern Stories] is all about stories of our modern time: technology, mental health or having good friends, it’s very broad. This single is about that algorithms making more and more decisions for us, therefore losing our free will. Book writer Yuval Noah Harari had just released his second book Homo Deus: A brief history of tomorrow. He was talking on a podcast and he mentioned the words ‘God is an algorithm’ – I thought, that’s a great song title, and listened further to the podcast. A week or so later, and after reading some of his book, I managed to write the song. I am really inspired by technology, astronomy, and general philosophy. I sometimes switch between these subjects and raw human emotions in my songs, or try to link the two.

What are your live shows like? Why should people come see you?
Sometimes it is just me, sometimes with Andy who plays keys, violins, mandocellos and other instruments. Sometimes it’s with Steph who plays keys and provides backing vocals. And for my next gig I have hired a string quartet! I much prefer playing with others when possible. I try my best to engage with the audience, and try my best to just be myself.

Best thing about moving to Brighton? Worst thing about leaving Northampton?
Leaving Northampton was really hard. I have a lot of good friends there, but it was a decision I had to make, as I was desperate for a change. I recently recorded a video with AudioStage in Northampton [for series 3], and was chatting to Marcus and co. They mentioned how the Northampton scene music is growing, which is amazing. We have always had so many great musicians and bands, and it is great to hear it is growing. When I moved to Brighton in 2011 it wasn’t purely for music reasons, it was more-so for needing a change, I was 29 when I left and it was the first time I left my hometown. Brighton has a great music scene: it’s lively, every night there is something happening, and I have managed to become friends with a lot of folks in the music scene here. I still keep in touch with people in Northampton, and they also support me a lot with my music. I am really appreciative of this.

What has been your favourite moment of the past 12 months, career-wise?
Quite a few! Recording the ten songs and making the music videos were all enjoyable. I have really enjoyed playing shows with Andy and Steph. We have been having a great time playing live, and this last year I have felt that I have much more confidence on stage. That’s a big thing, as it took me a while to get over nerves, which I still have, but I feel more at home. Those who know me know that I stutter a bit, and sometimes stuttering whilst talking live is a bit of a pain in the arse. But I’m used to it; sometimes I just can’t always get my message across clearly.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
As I writing this I am listening to an artist called The Miserable Rich – I’m loving their music [chamber pop]. Also the classics, I have been playing a lot of Beatles stuff recently. I kinda purposefully pick songs to sing along with, so I can improve my voice. Recently I have been trying to learn the cheesiest song ever written, ‘Unchained Melody’. It’s beautiful, but so hard to sing!

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Mostly to carry on what I am doing. I feel I have found a really nice balance of being creative and getting stuff done. I am already writing the third record, so that’s on the cards for sure. Steph and I are currently setting up a European tour, and then will do another UK tour. So, yes, write, record, tour, love it!

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New Music Friday: EGO

Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO is the new brainchild of Sean Grant, the man behind growly rockers S.G. Wolfgang. Joined by Phill Andreas on guitar and Darren Stephens on drums, the…

Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO is the new brainchild of Sean Grant, the man behind growly rockers S.G. Wolfgang. Joined by Phill Andreas on guitar and Darren Stephens on drums, the band are on a mission to get down and dirty with your rock’n’roll desires. Their new eponymously-titled EP, featuring lead single ‘Gurl Is Gunna Kill U’, is a real treat, and New Boots went and got all the background titbits from Mr Grant.

How did you guys get together?
EGO was born from a love of heavier music and boredom. It was an inbetweeny moment of having some free time and throwing together some music which I really enjoyed. Originally it was me and Mark, but it had no future unfortunately, so I recruited some mates that just so happened to play the required instruments. Three mates playing in a band having a laugh, just like when we all aspire to start our first band with starry eyes.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Angry sexy shouty punky rock. Definitely if Jamie Lenman had a gangbang with Idles and Frank Carter.

What was the reaction like to your ‘Social Media SUX’ single last year? It seems the social media backlash is in full effect these days…
Yeah it was good; I think people were digging it as it was a bit different. BBC Introducing gave it some love, which we’re always appreciative of. Ah social media, we all love and hate you. It’s still a great platform to reach a fan base, although now you mainly have to pay for advertising to reach that fan base. Although I can’t see it going anywhere.

Tell us everything about this new EP
It is mind blergh from my brain. Whatever’s in there comes out in my writing. It’s heavy, but it’s melodic and screamy – but hopefully in the right places. It’s angry and it’s cheeky, but it has its sombre moments. It’s the whole flipping spectrum in five tracks. It’s fundamentally EGO. It’s not taking itself too seriously, it’s having fun. It’s remembering why you want to make music, and loving it again. I fundamentally write all the tracks with embellishment from the lads, and in the same way I record and produce all of it too. It’s something that I’ve played at before, and with this project wanting to to have complete control it just made sense to to do it myself. That’s why we’ve birthed Alt:Disco Records too; it’s all our vehicle and we’re looking forward to being at the steering wheel. ‘Gurl Is Gunna Kill U’ was from Friday nights DJing the club night Alt:Disco [at The Craufurd Arms]. Seeing the endless pursuit by men of the women on the dancefloor, and thinking “man that girl is going to kill you”…or “that girl is literally going to kill you”. I love a play on words, a double-edged sword… And a song was born.

What are your live shows been like so far?
Amazing noisily horribly fun. It definitely has a more interesting stage dynamic with myself just screaming / singing, a guitarist guitaring and a drummer drumming. We have our own little bubble, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the freedom of just being a frontman.

What has been your favourite EGO moment of the past year?
Mark and I did a northern tour which was pretty cool and 100% laughs, and I’m just looking forward to this new release and unleashing the new live setup for the world to see!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northants/Bucks, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues you wanna give a shout out to?
Definitely; I’m always open to collaboration and helping each other out. Definitely The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton, and the most recent band who’ve jumped on the bill at our EP show Loose Tooth – SICK BAND.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m a big fan of local music, so it was actually the new release from Big Loss! Bloody lovely stuff by three lovely people. Apart from that then the new Crows album Silver Tongues is colossus.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
All we aspire to is to be bigger than Ginger Snaps.

The EGO EP is out now on Alt:Disco Records via the usual download and streaming platforms

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