Tag: ep

New Music Friday: Naked Next Door

For Milton Keynes quartet Naked Next Door anthemic indie rock seemingly comes easy. With the release of second EP ‘Swerving Out Wide’ New Boots spoke to bassist Corin Schencks for…

For Milton Keynes quartet Naked Next Door anthemic indie rock seemingly comes easy. With the release of second EP ‘Swerving Out Wide’ New Boots spoke to bassist Corin Schencks for the gossip.

How did you guys get together?
We all met in late 2017. Euan [vocals, guitar] and Callum [drums] were originally friends and would jam together, but still needed a bassist and lead guitarist. Tommy and I who had been playing in bands since 12 were introduced to Euan [guitar] and Callum by Paul Rivers, our manager. We rehearsed for a few months and then played our first gig in January 2018.

Who are your main influences in music?
We’re inspired by so many bands it’s hard to pick a few. Definitely Catfish The Bottlemen; then other bands we love are Nothing But Thieves and Sea Girls, to name a few.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ‘Swerving Out Wide’.
We started the writing of new EP right after we released our first one [‘Stuck In My Mind‘, 2019]. It took us a few months of demos and writing to come to a final decision on what tracks we wanted. We recorded the EP with Larry Hibbitt [Sea Girls, Nothing But Thieves, Sundara Karma] who brought it EP to life. We stayed in London for a week and recorded the entire thing!

What are your live shows like? You must be missing them.
We love playing live the most out of everything. It’s hit us hard as the lockdown has shut venues down and all gigs have came to a stop. We had a lot booked in that we were looking forward to. However we aim to book these gigs again and get out there as soon as we can.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
I think recording the EP was a really fun experience; living in London with each other for a week and recording. What could be better? There was a pub right next to the studio too, which always helps.

How are you coping with lockdown? Helping or hindering your creativity?
We’ve been coping well, focusing on our social media and writing new songs. Euan and Corin having been demoing songs between them as they both have home studios!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The new 1975 album, Notes On A Conditional Form.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We hope that we can take our music all over the world and play our music to thousands. Playing festivals, recording, touring. That’s the dream for us.

‘Swerving Out Wide’ is out now on the usual digital platforms

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New Music Friday: Canyons

Canyons are Northampton’s long players. Edward Mander [bass, vocals], Matthew Felce [guitar, ukulele], Stevie Ward [vocals, guitar], Luke Sherwood [keys, guitar, accordion, cornet, harmonica, vocals] and Mark Thursby [drums] have…

Canyons are Northampton’s long players. Edward Mander [bass, vocals], Matthew Felce [guitar, ukulele], Stevie Ward [vocals, guitar], Luke Sherwood [keys, guitar, accordion, cornet, harmonica, vocals] and Mark Thursby [drums] have much beautiful local history in music, and in Canyons they make Americana. Debut EP now out, New Boots spoke to Ward about the project.

How did you guys get together?
Matthew, Ed, and I formed Awesome Wells in 1991 and have been playing together on and off since then. Canyons evolved from a midweek get-together. It usually involved a few beers, some wine and a second dinner of the evening. But occasionally we would get the guitars out and write some songs. For a while we were Real Live Owls and became Canyons when Mark and Luke joined in our little soirees. Things just seemed to gel and feel more natural. We began to really enjoy playing again.

How would you describe your sound and main influences?
I always find it really hard to answer, as essentially all the bands I / we’ve ever been involved in are just rock and roll in some shape or form. I have always been a bit of a musical chameleon. I get influenced by what I’m listening to at the time; I suppose we all do. I think we’ve all been into the Americana and alt-country thing for years. It’s such a broad spectrum of a genre though. It stretches from the single voice and an acoustic guitar through the deep south rock sound, and ends up with big production sounds like Bon Iver, etc. Personally I have an obsession with music from the early seventies right now, its a real golden age.
We’ve always described Canyons as Anglicana and Country & Eastern! Not sure either make a lot of sense. But were not really a country band, a folk band or a rock band.

Tell us everything about this first release, the ‘Pablo’ EP.
‘Pablo’ developed from a kind of latino jam that we used to do when we hit the rehearsal wall. I remember Ed sent me a link to a news story from some obscure bible belt paper about a travelling clown who had survived not one but two direct lightening hits. I thought, “there’s a song in that”.
The four tunes feature our mate Simon Taylor on trumpet quite heavily. It occurred to us that we could make little batches of recordings with either a different feel or featuring additional players. Simon is a great player and certainly shaped a sound for this first EP. We added sections to the songs to fill with trumpet. The next batch of tunes we’re working on sound quite different.
We were lucky enough to blag a bit of free recording time at Northampton college and the Uni. We put the drums down there with all their sexy mics. Then overdubs were recorded at our own home studios, and we did some vocals at Shorty towers with Chris White. Mark did most of the engineering and mixing. We only actually spent any money on mastering.

What’s your method for writing the lyrics?
I am a very lazy lyricist; they often get left til the last minute. When we’re writing songs I will just push out sounds til I find a melody, then make words to fit. Sometimes we’ll have a tune ready to go and I only have half a verse that I’m happy with. It can slow proceedings down somewhat !  I’m always very humbled by people who can write great stories and fit them into songs. Its a real skill. Jono [him of the Uke Dealers] has it.

What are your live shows like? Will you be getting back on stage after lockdown?
Like every musician I know, we’re going through a very frustrating time. Not being able to gig, or even rehearse is horrible. I really hope there are places to play after all this. I feel for the venue owners right now, they’re at the end of a long waiting list to return to some kind of normality. I worry though that some of our venues may not get back on their feet. We’ve got to stay positive though and I cannot wait to get back out playing again.

Do you feel part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourite bands/venues to play with/at?
I really enjoy playing at the Garibaldi Hotel, the place just has an amazing band-friendly vibe. We did a show there in the Autumn and it just felt like home. And of course those summer evening Pomfret Arms garden gigs are always fun.
I’ve never really felt part of the crowd in Northampton. Its a very indie scene that has produced some cracking bands over the years. My bands have always seemed to be a bit out-of-step though. We’ve had some fun times with P-Hex, Jono & The Uke Dealers and Bisons recently though. I guess you make your own scene.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
A.A. Bondy Enderness. I’ve been a proper fan boy of his for years, and his new record is a glorious slice of kind of folk/electronica. It is so simple and perfect. If you don’t know him, do yourself a favour and seek him out.

What are your burning desires for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
There’s only really ever been one plan. That is just to make songs. We are now finally focusing on a bit more getting them out into the world. Hopefully some folks will like them.

The Pablo EP is available through all the usual digital channels.

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New Music Friday: From Eden To Exile

From Eden to Exile release their ‘Age of Fire EP’ on May 1st [Attic Records]. Peter Dennis reviews, and also speaks to the Northampton band. It’s been quite a journey…

From Eden to Exile release their ‘Age of Fire EP’ on May 1st [Attic Records]. Peter Dennis reviews, and also speaks to the Northampton band.

It’s been quite a journey for From Eden to Exile since their inception in 2012. A solid debut EP [‘Soundtrack to Your Demise’] hit the streets in 2015, preceding 2017’s full length Modern Disdain. In between came a triumphant appearance at the UK’s premier metal fest, Bloodstock Open Air, in addition to some line-up changes. However they’ve finally hit on the right chemistry for their latest EP, ‘Age of Fire’, an explosive effort containing five Molotov cocktails.

Wasting little time on niceties opening salvo ‘Age of Fire’ arrives like a Panzer division sweeping across the Steppes. A twin-guitar attack delivering riffs in tandem combine with drums that fire with machine-gun rapidity to create a brutal, punishing affair. With no sign of redemption From Eden to Exile set about scrawling their sound on every available surface yet, for all the sonic fury, there’s a real groove, a hardcore swing, that underpins proceedings. When the guitar solos erupt they’re short and succinct, which only adds to the intensity, as the band effortlessly pull together different strands of extreme metal with blackened blast beats nestling betwixt grindcore breakdowns.

‘Face of Desolation’ eases up on the throttle slightly for a more measured affair that seems to spiral backwards as Tom Franklin’s guttural growl screams like a daemon sucked into the depths of hell. Joey Jaycock and Tom Kelland give their guitar lines a neo-classical feel, not dissimilar to that employed by Iron Maiden, and the riff heavy outro attacks the cranium like a series of hammer blows. The crushing ‘The Great Disconnect’ is a maze of technical riffs surrounded by a musical maelstrom. Imagine death metal legends Suffocation jamming with LA hardcore crew Rotting Out and you’d have something approaching the monolithic enormity of ‘The Great Disconnect’ which attaches itself to the listener like an anchor to a drowning man.

Sometimes metalcore can sound a bit muddy but producer Neil Hudson has done a great job in giving all the instruments room to breathe. However on ’Inhuman’ he has created a claustrophobic feel by encasing the vocals within walls of sound. A song that’s constantly evolving from it’s chuggy beginnings to an all-out thrasher and the short, sharp sonic shifts are rather dizzying and disorientating. Closer ‘Conspire’ is a contradictory tension of opposites as the guitars blind with a metallic sheen and are overlaid with a throat shredding roar and, as the track stomps like a 900lb gorilla, the acoustic mid-section, with its clean vocals, only acts as a foil to make the crescendo even more thunderous – which in turn makes the silence that follows all the more deafening.

The stark monochrome cover that houses Age of Fire is pretty indicative of the music contained within: leaving little room for indiscretion it’s a collection that demands your full attention. The lyricism, which speaks of a not-to-distant dystopian future, unites the record with an almost conceptual feel, and ensures the record hangs together as a cohesive whole. Stirling stuff.

It’s an exciting time for heavy music in ShoeTown, with Ashborn and Krysthla having released a career-defining albums and From Eden to Exile about to unleash their second EP ‘Age of Fire’. The three long years since their debut album have been a busy time for the band, and here vocalist Tom Franklin and bassist Joey Jaycock speak to New Boots to bring us up to date on all their shenanigans.

Can you give us a history of the band?
We started back in 2012 in Daventry, as a group of friends with a mutual love of heavy music. There have been a few people come and go throughout the years, but primarily we’re just mates who love playing metal music and it’s always been that way. We’ve got a broad range of influences, bands like Sylosis, Architects, Protest The Hero, After The Burial, and a ton more. The name was coined by a former vocalist, but there isn’t really a story behind it.

It’s been three years since your debut album and the new EP. Why so long?
Shortly after the album was released, our old vocalist [Matt Dyne] decided to leave the band. And then after we got Tom Franklin in as our new vocalist, our drummer Liam Turland then left to join our friends in Krysthla, to be immediately replaced by Jake Patrick. Add to that Mike Bell and Joey swapping guitar and bass positions, and there was a lot of groundwork to be done before we got our heads down and wrote some new music.

You’ve had some big career highlights; Bloodstock Festival springs to mind. Looking back can you think of one specific moment where everything fell into place?
Obviously Bloodstock was a huge one for us back in 2015. Entering the Metal 2 The Masses competition, we didn’t even think for a second we would pass through every round to become winners and get the chance to play Bloodstock. After this amazing experience, we feel it gave us an immense realisation of what we could actually achieve, so it gave us all a massive push to get our heads down and get even more creative. UK Tech Fest 2018 is one that we always look back on fondly, even though a few of us nearly got taken out by some major sunstroke!

Metal is an often maligned genre, but Northamptonshire has some pretty cool metal bands at the moment. What is it about the county at present that’s birthing these groups?
We’re not sure why, but we’re happy it’s thriving! There’s always a few Northants bands headed to Bloodstock via the Metal 2 The Masses competition, and it’s a great thing to see. I think it’s down to the camaraderie between the bands, and recording studios like Initiate Audio and Media becoming the central hub of new unsigned music from Northamptonshire.

From the cover to the music within it seems that you’ve taken a darker turn with ‘Age of Fire’. Is that fair comment? If so, why and what aesthetics were you drawing from?
It marks the beginning of a new chapter for the band and in many ways it is a fresh start. We have new faces on board and as a result, the music has evolved too. It’s definitely a fair comment to say that we’re trying to make things darker, and this trend will long continue.

Lyrically too ‘Age of Fire’ seems quite dark by drawing on dystopian themes. Why? The lyrics tend to link all the songs conceptually. Was that your intention?
The lyrics were originally written as one continuous story, then broken off into sections which became songs. Interestingly these stories and themes have become more and more relevant in the past year since we recorded. Although dark in nature, as is the genre typically, we hope people can use our music to see through any rough times as a positive distraction.

I wonder how new vocalist Tom Franklin altered the shape of the new EP.
Tom joined the band under a lot of pressure and with high expectations. He has absolutely delivered the goods with the recording of the new EP, and playing UK Tech Fest 2018 as his second show with us on very short notice. He gave it his all in the studio, crafted some excellent lyrics, and has taken an active role in the writing process every step of the way.

Like a game of musical chairs Joey and Mike swapped instruments. How did this change the chemistry in the group?
It’s as good as ever, really. Mike was looking for a new challenge and was getting into playing bass, Joey was coming up with more and more riffs and it just made sense to swap places and switch things up and it worked out well!

How do you feel now the EP is in the bag and ready to be released?
It’s an exciting time to be on the verge of getting ‘Age Of Fire’ out there finally. There’s always that element of listening back and being critical of our performances, but all we can do is put that energy into the writing process for whatever comes next and keep improving as a unit.

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New Music Friday: Napps

Napps is a Northampton rapper who has recently put out his debut EP, entitled ’22’. Its a smorgasbord of sounds and collaborations, and New Boots thinks it is probably time…

Napps is a Northampton rapper who has recently put out his debut EP, entitled ’22’. Its a smorgasbord of sounds and collaborations, and New Boots thinks it is probably time you tuned into his frequency. We wanted some more lowdown, so here’s a few minutes with the man himself.

How did you start on this musical journey?
I feel like I’ve always been on this musical journey, I just never knew how the opportunity would present itself. From a young age music has been a huge part of my life. Dancing came like second nature as a kid, taking me to perform in front of hundreds of people. I used to have the odd playground rap battle, but music-wise I used to be more of a singer. It wasn’t until after college I realised that I had some talent rapping. It started off as poem that I wrote for my grandfather after he died, then about three years ago I came across the Drake ‘Pound Cake’ instrumental. That was it; my mind instantly took off. I ended up making a sort of tribute rap for him, I recorded it on my phone and uploaded it to my Facebook. The reaction I got from friends and family was great, from that day I just wanted to keep writing and getting better.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music?
If I had to describe my music that’s out there already, I’d call it hip-hop/trap/rap with a dash of grime but I’m still very much in the experimental process with my music. What people have seen from me so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Some of the ideas may work and some may not, but at the end of the day music is my passion and I’d rather make my own lane than follow the curve; less traffic.
As far as musical influences go, I come from a family with a lot of different backgrounds. My dad was American, a staff sergeant in the US air force when he met my mum. I cherish the long car journeys we used to have because he opened my eyes to everything from jazz like Boney James, Motown like James Brown, old school hip-hop like Kurtis Blow and Slick Rick, all the way up to the likes of Lil’ Wayne and Jay Z – and everything in between. One of my grandfathers was a Guyanese Rasta: family parties at his house introduced me to reggae like Bob Marley and Beres Hammond to Nyabinghi drumming. Whereas my other grandfather used to be in a swing band; he showed me music like Tom Jones and Frank Sinatra. I’ve always been around a diversity of music and it made me appreciate all sounds. I may not play them everyday but the love is there.

What was the reaction like to those early releases like ‘Whipping In The Kitchen’ and your first performances?
People loved ‘Whipping In The Kitchen’. It was crazy because it made the dream of becoming a rapper real, you know? That feeling of your first official release. I had a few songs on soundcloud, one of them called ‘Get Up Out My Way’ was my first music video on Mike’s channel but they didn’t get as much attention. I remember walking through the Sixfields tenpin car park and hearing it playing from one of the cars, I immediately ran over like “YO THAT’S ME!”, all mad like I’d just won the lottery or something. Was nice to see that It wasn’t just my people listening.
Someone told me at the last Lay It Down event that it was the first time they had seen me perform since the first show we did, and the improvement was amazing. So proud to be part of Lay It Down because it’s given me so many opportunities to hone my performances skills.Nowadays you have to drag me off stage – I love performing and interacting with the crowd, there just nothing like it.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ’22’.
If I told you I had some elaborate plan whilst creating this I’d be lying. It started off as a selfie – there was a little 22 stamp on the corner, I thought it looked like an EP cover which gave me the ideas to start building up tracks. I tried to bring a bit of something for everyone. It takes you on a journey through different vibes so whether it’s a late night cruise, working up a sweat in the gym [or at home in these circumstances], or just doing the cleaning I’m sure there’s something for you. Six tracks, six producers, most notably Nathaniel London. He produced the beat for ‘Natsu Freestyle’ [my personal favourite] and is behind some of the biggest bangers from people like Lil’ Baby, AJ Tracey and D Block Europe. I’m yet to find a producer to work with properly, but for now YouTube is doing me just fine. Eventually I would like to produce my own stuff. Some of the verses you hear you may recognise from my Instagram, a lot of the songs I make start as freestyles, like ‘Give It Some Love’. I never intended to make it a track when I uploaded the first verse, but when Elle [Delaney] messaged me about the hook she came up with, it fit so perfectly it had to make it happen. The track ‘How I Do This’ was a crowd favourite at the Lay It Down events, originally written to the ‘Boom’ instrumental by Royce Da 5’9. I wanted to make sure I kept that old-school feel with the new beat and my guy Scott Whitman did an incredible job. He also mixed and mastered four of the tracks  and the other two being mixed by Eli [who is also featured on ‘Flexing’].

You’ve got some quality guests on the EP. Is that a reflection of a supportive Northampton musical community?
Definitely. Northampton is full of amazing talent, we are all here to support and lift each other up, we are all in the same boat, trying to make a name for ourselves and fly the flag for Northampton.

Describe your live shows in five words or less.
Great vibes, even better music.

What has been your favourite Napps moment of the past year?
There was so many it’s hard to choose. I performed at some great events, but I think has to be my birthday/EP listening party. What started off as a very cold evening turned into a hot night! I was amazed at how many people came out to support and the love and feedback I got was brilliant; big shout out to all my guys that came and performed as well, everyone smashed it.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m pretty sure the last album I bought physically was Chip’s I Am Chipmunk back in the day! Last album I streamed was J Hus Big Conspiracy.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have for after this craziness all blows over?
I just want to succeed and be able to look after my family. As for 2020, in these times of uncertainty all I can hope is that I stay happy, healthy and focused, I pray the same for everyone else as well, stay safe out there.

The ’22’ EP is out now via the usual digital platforms

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New Music Friday: Fraser Ingham

Kettering man Fraser Ingham has been writing songs for twenty-five years, and singing in bands [Tonic, Audiostar, The Kidnaps] in his late teens and twenties. Having stockpiled more than 140…

Kettering man Fraser Ingham has been writing songs for twenty-five years, and singing in bands [Tonic, Audiostar, The Kidnaps] in his late teens and twenties. Having stockpiled more than 140 songs, a chance meeting with Kenneth J Nash led to the music being recorded and released. New Boots gets more on this intriguing story.

How/why did you start this project?
There were two events that were the catalyst for starting this project. Firstly, I suffered a head injury in July 2018 that meant I couldn’t drive or work for three months. Whilst I was stuck at home I started to revisit all of the song ideas I’d accumulated over a period of about 10 years – pretty much since my last band, The Kidnaps, fizzled out. Then a couple of months later I bumped into Kenny at a festival he was curating. He’d asked me before to come and record some demos at Old Hotel Records, but I’d always put him off. However now I had a few songs in a more complete state; it felt like the right time. I went to Old Hotel in autumn 2018 and recorded 28 demos in two nights. I had low expectations I suppose, but Ken was very encouraging, he saw something in the songs that was worth pursuing. Since last summer we’ve been recording on a fairly regular basis.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
At the risk of sounding like every other singer-songwriter from the last 60 years, I’m writing songs on an acoustic guitar about my life and the stuff that’s happening around me. As a result the themes include mortality, family, community, mental health, love and drinking in my local pub! I’m not much of a guitarist or singer, but words and melody are important to me. I’d say my biggest influences in terms of sound and inspiration are artists like Conor Oberst, David Ford, The Smiths, Neutral Milk Hotel and Billy Bragg.

How was the experience of revisiting old songs and polishing them up?
In most respects it was very rewarding. I had around 140 ideas, ranging from complete songs to one line of a verse or chorus. The songs had documented a decade of my life, so it was interesting to go back and see how I was feeling about different things at the time. As you can probably imagine most of the songs won’t ever see the light of day.

Will the four EPs be themed? How did you choose what to put where?
I’ve just released my EP ‘Winter’, which contains some of my most melancholic songs. I think ‘Spring’ and ‘Summer’ will be more uplifting and ‘Autumn’ will be more reflective. Most importantly, I hope that the four EPs will represent all of the different aspects of my writing.

Do you play live shows at all?
Not many to be honest. When I’d been in bands before the process always seemed to be write songs; rehearse them; book gigs; write more songs; record them; get more gigs [hopefully bigger and better than before]… and so on. This time I thought I’d record the songs first, see if people like them, then book some gigs later. I’ve had quite a few offers, but I’m going to see how things go with the first EP.

What has been your favourite acts of the past year or so? What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The bands I’ve enjoyed most in the last couple of years are IDLES and Fontaines D.C. I think IDLES in particular are trying to do a lot of positive things through their music. Last listened: Bill Fay Countless Branches

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have for 2020?
Releasing four EPs in 2020 is my main focus at the moment, the songs are written but there is still a lot of recording to do. At the end of the year I’d like to release some of the songs on an album, ideally on vinyl. If the songs are well received, hopefully I’ll play a few gigs along the way too!

The Winter EP is out now on Old Hotel Records via Bandcamp

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New Music Friday: Hamzysho

19 year-old Northampton rapper Hamzysho presents his debut EP ‘State Of Mind’. New Boots said: look, you’re darn good, we need to talk. Who are you, and what’s your NN…

19 year-old Northampton rapper Hamzysho presents his debut EP ‘State Of Mind’. New Boots said: look, you’re darn good, we need to talk.

Who are you, and what’s your NN story?
I am hamzysho, aka Young Genius. “Born and raised in the NN” I said in my first single ‘I Ain’t Slept’, and on my upcoming EP if you want to know me I’d advise you to listen to that song, and the intro.

How did you start out on this journey?
I was good at poetry in primary school; I had one published but I don’t even know in what book, haha. I’ll find it one day. But I just carried it on, did a little bit of battle rap in secondary, and then ended up freestyling, I started producing beats in 2018, and I’ve been working with many others and it’s helped me improve with time.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences/inspirations?
I’d say I’m versatile and innovative, sometimes unorthodox but overall I’d say interesting. Influences: Meek Mill in the US, and J Hus in the UK.

Tell us everything about this EP, ‘State of Mind’.
It’s what it says on the tin, my different states of mind. It’s a journey into the inside of my mind, and I highlight how I think, reminisce of the past, talking about my lessons, and what I hope to see in the future.
The people involved in the project are amazingly talented and are the reason why the EP is such a beautiful piece of art. Five tracks mixed and mastered by mars. ‘Fake Love’ was done by myself and my guy Tommy. My guy Joey Rebz is one of the best artists in the country; everyone that sees this check him out, he’s on the hook to my song ‘Tetley’. We’re always exchanging ideas with each other on how we can improve our work. On the beats I had sakezmusic and JB Productions, who are prominent names in the industry working with chart regulars such as Fredo and Cadet [RIP]. I produced two songs myself. And my favourite producer in the country Itsyng produced two songs for me.

Will you be doing live appearances in the future?
Possibly

Do you feel there’s a proper rap scene in Northamptonshire?
I think the Northampton scene can be slow, because we depend on friends to share our work and common people often underestimate homegrown talent. That’s only because many of us are still in our experimental and developing stages, but this year many artists are taking steps and pushing themselves. I do see something happening.

Why do you rate Tetley so high when Yorkshire Tea is clearly the king of the brew?
Honestly I prefer Yorkshire tea too, hahaha.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Jadakiss Kiss Tha Game Goodbye. I like the grittiness in his voice and the lessons he shares.

What is your burning desire to do in 2020? What plans do you have after the EP?
I’d like be able to help as many people as I can, and to be heard. Thank you very much for the opportunity, I appreciate it and I hope you enjoy the EP

State Of Mind is out now via the usual digital platforms

 

 

 

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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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