THE MOODS – The New Album By The Manichester Street Preachers… Track By Track

9 July 2021

THE MOODS is a 9-piece squad of producers, poets, vocalists and musicians from Manchester. A band that cares about human issues, a band that stands up and reacts
in their work against all sorts of injustices. A band that matters. A band that made an album that matters.

SOMEBODY’S HERO NOBODY’S SOLDIER is a multi-layered melting pot of drum & bass, acid house, hip-hop and R & B. A multi-voiced mishmash of raps, rants and chants. This united Manc team brings the multi-colored spirit of The Specials, the razor blade passion
of Public Enemy and the 24-hour party addiction of Happy Mondays to mind.

They celebrate all things good in life, they protest against all things bad in life. They sing, spit and sneer about love and hate, (in)tolerance and (in)justice, equality and solidarity,
life and death. Moodchester is the new Madchester.

(photo by CM Taylor Photography)

Tons of reasons to learn about the stories/anecdotes behind
each and every track. The team’s coach and bass player Dave
is our guide.



Welcome Dave,


“This song came about as surprise, we had originally wrote the verse nobody’s soldier nobody’s hero, for the last track, then we brought the song to be produced by David Hindley (JSD) and he heard two different tracks in the song we wrote, it was then we wrote the new track for this song to be the Ying and Yang of the opening track and the closing track of the album, and that gave us the idea, for the album artwork.”


“This is a big drum and bass track, with lyrics that look at the rise of fame and subsequent fall from grace that can happen on social media, one minute everyone loves you then it all goes wrong, Life should not be defined by likes on a picture or a post.”


“We had the hook for this wrote a few years ago, it was supposed to be a commentary
on the crazy gun laws over in the USofA. We had a tongue-in-cheek rewrite of some of
the American national anthem and poked a stick at some me of the amendments in the constitution.

We are sure the right to bear arms was written for people with muskets, not crazy people with semi-automatic weapons, then when Trump turned up and divided the country, even more, we had to put this one on the album.”


“This is just a fun track where we reminisced about our youth. Remembering when all we needed, was enough to party at the weekend and we needed no time to recover before we did it all again.

The track is an old skool garage-type song with great energy that will get you bouncing around, however long ago it was you were in school.”


“The working title for this song was Grime violin. Having such a talented violin player
in the band as our Alice, we wanted to bring that sound to the forefront of our music,
its a mash-up of a grime tempo verse and a dubstep tempo chorus on paper its sounds like it wouldn’t work but when we put them both together in the studio it was magic.”

The energy you get from the verses is immense live combining fast lyrics and a high energy backbeat the crowd can’t help but dance along then your hit with a melodic dubstep hook that just sticks in your head definitely best heard live.


“This is another track produced by JSD

It was probably the first track that we wrote specifically for this album, we had it in the locker for a little while, when it was chosen to be the British teams anthem for the 2019 taekwondo world championships

That was held in Manchester, it was the first time the event had ever been held in Europe, and we got to play it live at the closing ceremony in the Manchester Arena to thousands of people, a night we will never forget.”


“Lyrically this was our hardest challenge.

We keep seeing stories of angry mobs who feel they have no recourse to the law,
so the only answer they have is to burn down their own communities.

We wanted to make people see another way of revolution, everybody has a choice
when it comes to the products they buy and what companies they subscribe to.

We all hold a little power and if we think about it we can all make small changes to our lives for the betterment of society, governments are not there to rule us, they are there
to work for us.”


“Another fun track. Because even though we tackle some weighty issues on
this album, you just have to stop and take time out to count your blessings.

We was lucky enough to get Lissa Chen from Yoko Pwno to add her brilliant vocal talent
to this one, Yoko Pwno are one of the best live bands we have played with on any of our recent tours, so it was also great to get the lads to add something to the video, filmed in Edinburgh and Manchester during the lockdown.”


“The bravest thing that I’ve ever done, was to carry on when it all went wrong”

This is a look at the highs and lows we all experience in life, and how your
greatest highs can come from pulling yourself out of a hole.

It’s never over until they put you in the ground, so keep pushing for your
dreams to become reality.”


“This song came about when we heard the story of the Vietnamese immigrants
found frozen in the back of a truck in the UK.

There seems to be a program of stopping immigrants from entering first-world countries at the borders, rather than addressing the problems of why they leave their homes in the first place, Which are mostly caused by first-world countries invading lands and stealing all the economic riches from the third world.”


“When we released our 2017 album Missing Peace, a friend of ours Paul (siddy) Sidwell, informed us that Scorzayzee was a fan of our music, so we thought we would be cheeky and ask him to do a collaboration with us, he was straight on it and told us he had an idea for Instagram influenza.

We sent him over a few tracks we had and he picked this tune to put his flow over, and it was a brilliant piece of modern and futuristic writing, then our John and Kolega added their verses to come up with the track you hear today. One of our favourite writing experiences to have such a legend as Scorzayzee in our studio.”


“This takes us back to the beginning. It’s a hard-hitting anti-knife crime track,
which is the Yang to the Ying of somebody’s Hero

If you listen carefully you can get the way the two choruses combine to make
the album a whole, we wish we did not have to write tracks like this, but if we
see a problem in our times we will always have the courage to address such
issues because we are the moods.”

Thank you very much for being our guide, Dave.
May the road rise with The Moods.

THE MOODS: WebsiteFacebookInterview with Turn Up The Volume

How Was 2020 For You? A Chat With The Captain Of United Manchester Band THE MOODS…

4 December 2020

THE MOODS are a nine-piece collective of producers, poets and musicians from the Northwest of England. They’re from Manchester, the famous rock city of Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, and Oasis but with different vibes and different beats. They serve an effervescent cocktail of drum & bass, reggae, hip-hop, and EDM and sing, rap, spit and sneer with raw passion about important issues like war, famine, love, tolerance, equality, life and death.

An outspoken, challenging, and united gang for head, heart and soul. The British Public Enemy. Before sitting down and having a chat with the band’s captain Dave O’Rourke
let’s swing and shake to their brilliant 2020 single about that narcissistic clown in the
White House, yes, about #DonaldDumped

Hello Dave

When and how came THE MOODS alive
and what’s the status now?

“The band as we are now was started in 2014. After many years of writing music,
five of us got together and created our own studio – Black Triangle – in Manchester.
We then invited 2 rappers, a violin player and trumpet player, so we could bring a
great live show to the stage. We plan to release our 3rd album, Somebody’s Hero
Nobody’s Soldier
in February/March of 2021.”

Which of your songs would you play to introduce
the band to people who never heard about you?

P.O.P. (Profit Over People). It has great energy, and is one of our mission statements.”

It’s already 3 years since album MISSING PEACE?
Is peace still missing today?

America, Britain and it’s NATO allies might not be dropping as many bombs as in 2017,
but we certainly seem to still be needing more peace in the world. The main themes
of the album are…
Live free or die by the rules.
Equality is a mission that you choose
Find Joy
Make life a good choice.”

What’s a THE MOODS gig like?

“It’s a tsunami of heads arms and legs.”

What did you feel the moment the fall of Trump was announced?

“Great to see him rejected by so many people, but a massive number of people endorsed him, which shows the divisions amongst the people, that will need a lot of mental healing to take place.”

‘THE RISE AND FALL OF AMERICA’ single was/is spot-on. Tell us more about it?

“It seems as though the leaders of the free world have lost the plot a little over
the last few decades, culminating in Trump. Britain sometimes feels like the 51st
state of the USA. So we just wanted to comment on how we see the mess we seem
to have created while chasing the American Dream.

How is life in Manchester after 4 years of Brexit?

Manchester is defo a melting pot of people, not just from Europe but all the world,
we obviously have to deal with the fallout of the central London government but Mancunians always have and always will be friendly to all comers.”

If you were asked to rewrite and put new music to the British Royal Anthem
‘God Save The Queen’, no restrictions whatsoever, what would be the outcome,
in sound and vision?

“It would probably be God take the queen and both get the fuck outta here. Take the lyrics
in Rise and Fall of America “dukes and presidents in bed with her majesty. You have probably heard about our dukes, especially the current Duke of York, bring forth the guillotine.”

A lot of musicians came up with a cover of another artist’s song during
these bizarre times. Which one would you pick to cover?

“We are not really a fan of cover songs, but we do have a mash-up set where we do
moods lyrics over some old dance tunes, for instance, the lyrics to Joy, over Robert Miles track Children, it’s a pretty sick after show set.”

What was the best album you heard in 2020?

RTJ4 by Run The Jewels. I’ve been a fan for a while,
great album, just listen.”


The video clip that impressed your eyes?

“The 3-year-old girl getting pulled from the rubble after 68 hours trapped in the recent
Turkish earthquake, with only a few scratches, it was a great bit of film for always having hope.”

Prick of the year (easy one I guess) and hero-ine of the year?

“Prick: Boris Johnson for his handling of the covid virus.
Hero: Marcus Rashford, Manchester United footballer who
shamed the government into feeding over a million underprivileged kids.”

Which song will be on your stereo on 31st December at midnight?

“‘Le Freak’ by Chic. The end of this year is a year we should all freak out.”

Turkey or fish and chips on Xmas day?

“Got to be turkey with all trimmings.”

Name three things you really want to see happen in 2021?

“A universal income for all people,
A return to live gigs,
a return to work for small businesses.”

Thank you Dave for this interview
May the road rise with The Moods.

Have a tasty Xmas and a music-charged 2021

We started with music and we’ll end with music.
Let us all be as strong as possible in these diffult times…

THE MOODS: FacebookWebsite

BLiNDNESS – Different Electro-fying Scores To Match Different Moods On New ‘THE MONSOON’ EP…

Fresh sonic impulses for body and soul…


‘The Monsoon EP’ by BLINDNESS

After releasing their excellent debut album Wrapped In Plastic back in 2015 all female, outspoken electro rock three-piece BLiNDNESS are back with a 6-track EP. It’s a fervid and dark record containing four songs the band already played live for a while (Born Liar, The Next Monsoon, No One Now & Give Out) and two new tracks Head In My Hands and Lessons Learned. The EP was mixed and mastered by Guy Fixsen who has worked with bands like Pixies, MBV, The Breeders, The Telescopes, Laika, Throwing Muses & Wire. The approach in sound varies in order to match the specific spirit of each song. From the steamy opener Born Liar to the monumental, doomy groove of No One Now, from the glowing and intensified ballads Head In My Hands and Lessons Learned to the crushing electricity of The Next Monsoon and Give Out. Different moods, different sonic scores. With echoes from the gloomy, melodic swagger of The Jesus and Mary Chain and the vocal dynamic of Garbage‘s Shirley Manson. Overall the EP is injected with a fervent passion and strong emotions which reminds me of what singer Beth Rettig once said in an interview we did for my fellow American music junkies at 50thirdand3rd about the burning intensity of playing live : “there is something about putting on my boots and eyeliner that gets me ready
for war.”
Passion, indeed! Here’s the EP in full…

The band filmed and edited also video clips for two of the songs. Roll the tape for…



BLiNDNESS: Website – Facebook – Twitter


1 August 2021

Artist: BLEACHERS (New York City)
Who: Songwriter and record producer
Jack Antonoff, also active in several bands
Active since 2000 / 3 studio albums as Bleachers

Released: 30 July 2021
Stream/order info: here

Bleachers:This album is about wanting to
hold joy, and not understanding why you can’t.”

Read full NME interview here.

NME says: “With a little help from Lana Del Rey and Bruce Springsteen,
Jack Antonoff has crafted an album full of desperation and longing to break
free … Bleachers’ third album is the strongest effort so far – the most cohesive,
with the most poignant lyricism and musical moments. Antonoff has often
described his songwriting as a way to figure things out, and that line feels like
a Eureka moment. We need that tension to make the highs remarkable and the
good stuff important. Plus: without it, we couldn’t get records as good as this
taking us on that journey.”
Full review here. Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Bona fide singer/songwriter with different vibes
for different moods. From sad to sprightly. From melodrama (with The Boss)
to heartfelt romanticism (with Lana Del Rey). From the liveliness of Vampire
to numbers 91 & 45. Great songsmiths make great records.

Singles/clips: Chinatown / Stop Making This Hurt / 45



– 45 –



Electro Duo DARKSIDE Return After Nearly 8 Years With 2nd Album ‘SPIRAL’

24 July 2021

Who: The duo of Chilean-American electro musician Nicolas
and Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington

Second album, nearly 8
years after debut Psychic

Released: 23 July 2021 via Matador

NME says: “A gorgeous, filmic record that rewards with each spin… The majority of
Darkside’s new record ‘Spiral’ was written and recorded during 2018 after a fruitful
week collaborating in a rented New Jersey home. Jaar has described this project as
the work of a “jam band… something we did on days off”: a relaxed mission statement
that’s afforded them the freedom to make deeply textured, synthetic-organic music led
by feeling… Most importantly, Jaar’s enhanced vocal role gives a new voice to troubling
themes previously suggested in the stirring moods of Darkside’s music. Eight years was
worth the wait.
“. Full review here. Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume says: Somewhere between the moody moments
of Aphex Twin and the experimental solo side of Thom Yorke.

Jaar in an interview with Stereogum: “For me, it’s very, very pleasurable to make music
with Dave because I feel like we get to play to our teenage selves together. That’s not really the place I’m in when I make my own music — it’s just not what happens when I’m by myself. But with Dave we have a very silly band name and it really brings us back to being 14-year-olds.”

Harrington:“There was no external pressure, there was no internal pressure. It was really just like, let’s show up. And let’s see if the music is there. And then if it is there, see where it takes us.”

Single: Liberty Bell…

Full album…

DARKSIDE: Facebook

(photo of duo: via Matador records)

A Band That Matters Made An Album That Matters – Welcome To MOODCHESTER


21 June 2021

Band: THE MOODS (Manchester, UK)
Who: A caring and outspoken 9-piece collective of producers,
poets and musicians from the Northwest of England. A band
that matters, a band that made an album that matters.

(photo by CM Taylor Photography)

Out: This Friday – 25 June 2021
Pre-order info: here

The Moods about the new longplayer: “Our new album ‘Somebody’s Hero, Nobody’s Soldier’ is now finished. Due to the current situation we have had to delay the release and postpone the accompanying tour. However, don’t despair! We have a whole load of new material for you to check out in the coming months including live videos, new single releases and special acoustic versions of the new tracks. The new album marks a massive step forward in terms of writing and production and we can not wait for you to all hear it. In the meantime, check out our Spotify and Youtube channels for all of our existing music and we look forward to seeing
you all when this is all over and things return to normal.”

Turn Up The Volume says: The new LP is a multi-layered melting pot of drum & bass, acid house, hip-hop and R & B. A multi-voiced mishmash of raps, rants and chants. This united Manc team brings the multi-colored spirit of The Specials, the razor blade passion of Public Enemy and the 24-hour party addiction of of Happy Mondays to mind. They celebrate all things good in life, they protest against all things bad in life. They sing, spit and sneer about love and hate, (in)tolerance and (in)justice, equality and solidarity, life and death. Moodchester is the new Madchester. Welcome to the real world. Doors open this Friday.

To get in the right mood, check the album’s striking singles…



THE MOODS: WebsiteFacebookInterview with Turn Up The Volume

Turn Up The Volume’s 20 KNOCKOUT TRACKS Of 2020 – Simply The Best!

22 December 2020

I love the smell of rock and roll.
Here come Turn Up The Volume’s
20 Knockout Tracks
of 2020.
Nothing but the best! Hands down!

1. ‘State Of The Union’ by PUBLIC ENEMY (Long Island, New York)
Time to get up and leave the White House, Donald Dumped. You split the USA right down the middle, you’re a disgrace for America, for humanity and the whole wide world. GO!

From brill album: What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?

Unprecedented, demented, many president’d / Nazi Gestapo dictator defended / State of the Union, shut the fuck up / Sorry ass motherfucker / Stay away from me / State of the Union,
shut the fuck up

2. ‘Ultra Plus Ultra’ by ELEFANT (Belgium)
The Belgian sound-exploring motherrockers unleashed their second stupefying album Behajung  early this year with Ultra Plus Ultra‘ as one of the dazzling highlights.
A schizophrenic sonic blast with balls. Abso-fucking-lutely cool! VREE WIJS! You betcha!

3. ‘Hot Slick’ by PINS (Manchester, UK)
A hot stuff disco stomper that should be played in all discotheques around the globe,
from one of the coolest gangs on the planet. Bad girls forever. Title track from their swirling party album. Saturday night pins fever all the way!

4. ‘Under The Spell Of Joy’ by DEATH VALLEY GIRLS (Los Angeles)
Sickly sticky like first-class glue. With an angelic choir, feet-tapping drum beats, sweaty
sax flames and a mental finale. Yes, it’s Death Valley Girls en-joy-ing themselves in a new sonic zone. Don’t resist the spell! From the rad, same titled full length.

5. ‘I Found Out’ by OFFWORLD (UK)
Hard-Fi‘s frontman Richard Archer and imposing vox Krysten Cummings realized a high-powered tour de force. An epic heart and soul explosion! TOP! Waiting for the album!

6. ‘Never Ever Ever’ by BOA Vs COBRA (Belgium)
Don’t mess with charismatic frontwoman Sandy Fee who rants unambiguously about a toxic relationship from the very start when ‘Bad bad bad boy‘ bursts out of your speakers. The decibels turn up when the ablaze chorus kicks in. Stunning uppercut!

7. ‘American Dream’ by TOKYO TABOO (London, UK)
A steamy stunner with an explosive in-your-orange-face-intro, kick-starting this
clamorous jackhammer instantly with a titanic wall-of-blazing-riff hurly-burly and deafening percussion slams. YEAHHHHHHHHHHH!

Hey Mr President
You’re just a joke
Kids dodging bullets
World’s up in smoke

8. ‘Sweet’ by PORRIDGE RADIO (UK)
A towering loudQUIETloud haymaker with Margolin‘s repeating magnetically ‘I’m charming, I’m sweet and she will love me when she meets me‘. Emotive belter from the band’s excellent album Every Bad. Porridge Radio is on its way to world domination! Capeesh??

9. ‘Mr. Motivator’ by IDLES (Bristol, UK)
A riff-roaring ripper made to start crowded moshpits at gigs (for now you need to pirouette yourself bananas at home). A red-hot-blooded corker that does your head in. Hells Bells! Album: Ultra Mono.

10. ‘A Hero’s Death’ by FONTAINES D.C. (Ireland)
‘Life isn’t always empty ‘ states frontman Grian Chatten in his characteristic parlando
flow while the band grooves non-stop. Album: A Hero’s Death.

11. ‘Dark Blue’ by THROWING MUSES (California)
A firm banger driven by a solid beat with a pounding guitar groove, Kristin Hersh‘s characteristic sensual voice, and a catchy polyphonic chorus. Throwing Muses rocks!
From the band’s highly acclaimed longplayer Sun Racket

12. ‘The Rise And Fall Of America’ by THE MOODS (Manchester, UK)
A crystal clear stream of cutting lines as sharp as a brand-new Swiss knife. It’s The Moods‘ towering take on the bombastic American National Anthem. They rock, roar and rage. The Moods kick ass! Go home Donald Duck Trumpet!

13. Psychopath’s Monologue by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA
A 2020 Apocalypse Now Odyssey. It all starts enigmatically with Samara reciting her Dante’s Inferno inspired poem in a haunting foreplay tone until Manimal shows up and all metallic hell breaks loose. Learn more about this year’s most intriguing act in their interview with Turn Up The Volume right here.

14. ‘Paycheck’ by LEG PUPPY
A dizzy disco-ball drone making you jump up and down like a kangaroo on E. It goes bang, bang, bang, and bang with crazy duet vocals all over it and that psych-o-delic surf guitar riff that messes up your mind the way you like it. Dance floor blast. PAY THEM!

15. ‘A Reason To Celebrate’ by bdrmm (Hull, UK)
Delightful shoegaze rainbow. Like a nightingale symphony waking you up in the morning. From – yes, ladies and gents – the best debut LP of the year with Bedroom.

16. ‘Out Of The Shadows’ by GREAT HARE (Sweden)
From the stimulating intro on you’ll tap your feet, without even noticing it. This is the wake-up-call I want to hear when I can’t get out of my bed in the morning. You simply can’t resist this shot of adrenaline. This is what elevating pop is all about.

17. ‘Man Of Chaos’ by FLIGHT ATTENDANT (Nashville, US)
A feverish cracker and jaw-dropping power slam. The sensual, magnetic, and spellbinding vocals create a sort of delirious trance. And when, unexpectedly, bouncy strings kick in as a harbinger for a vibrant finish you’ll reach a sonic orgasm.

18. ‘Rainbow Records’ by OCEANOGRAPHY (Oakland, CA)
Glorious guitar pop stonker getting your aural attention from the get-go with a repetitive riff sticking immediately. Inflammable passion, scintillating ardency, and vehement fervor. Big tune, big sentiments and a big voice reminding me of Greg Dulli‘s imposing vocals at times.

19. ‘Maggot Line’ by THE BATTERY FARM (Manchester, UK)
“We all gonna die and it’s our fault.” This is not just a punk slogan. It’s the fucking truth. Middle-finger to all those buffoons who ignore global warming, corona and The Battery Farm. NO MERCY!

20. ‘No Rock Save In Roll’ by CORNERSHOP (UK)
A rattling Stones-esque garage rocker with an unstoppable groove that makes you
want to jump in the street and have a sweet little dance (with mouth mask on).

All together on Spotify


10 Questions For French Euphonious New Post-Punk Wave Tandem… SÔMBRE

Discover up and coming bands in 10 questions

15 August 2019

SÔMBRE is a French duo featuring singer Cédric Manine and producer/instrumentalist Axel Wursthorn. They started their musical collaboration back in 2011, but it was only after signing with indie label Uproar For Veneration Records that the pair was able to launch their debut longplayer called ‘LINSAY’ earlier this year. An intriguing record where 80s post-punk influences and new wavish synth soundscapes go smoothly hand in hand with tuneful songwriting turning the final result into a multifaceted sonic realization. From dancey Sisters Of Mercy moods to doomy Depeche Mode moments. Enough reasons to
have a chat with the ambient tandem, but let’s start the acquaintance first with some music. Here’s ‘FALSE ILLUSIONS‘, one of the highlights of their first longplayer…

Hello Cédric, hello Axel,
bonjour and welcome…

1. What sparked you to start a band in the first place?
Axel: “We both have been in several bands prior to Sômbre, but I really think this project
is a way for us to reconnect with our past and with what we always wanted to do. Our musical DNA has been influenced by post-punk, cold and new-wave more than many other kinds of music, so I guess this is the most natural way to compose for us. We met in a studio about 20 years ago, I was already a sound engineer and in charge of the recordings of Cedric‘s hardcore band at the time, called ‘Waiting For Better Days‘. We shared many interests, but I was occupied with my metal band Carnival In Coal at the time. Ten years later, free from any engagement, we decided to launch Sômbre and release our first EP ‘Half Light‘ in 2012.”

2. What’s the story behind the group’s name?
Cédric: “There is nothing in particular, it’s complicated to find a band’s name that is catchy enough to make people want to listen. It was more or less a joke at the beginning, but we found it was not bad to have a name in French and that illustrates our music a little. The funny thing is that no one outside the French-speaking pronounces it correctly. We laugh while listening to the radio shows and podcasts that played us everywhere.”

3. Your debut album is titled ‘LINSAY’. Who is she/he or it and
why dedicate an LP to her/him/it?

Cedric: “Linsay is a fictitious name but it is also the title of a duet with Regina Sosinski. She was the singer of a band that I loved in the early 2000s. We had exchanged some emails at the time and when we wrote the album I wanted a duet with a female voice. I contacted her and she immediately agreed. So let’s say that this album is more or less dedicated to her, cause I love her voice and her band meant a lot to me.”

Meet the real Linsay vocally, above

4. The influences by post-punk/new wave bands from Joy Division back then to Interpol today, are still very present and prominent. Why is it that their doomy sound is so attractive for many other artists including you?
Axel: “I wouldn’t call it doomy, but maybe a sincerer, harsh, deeper sound. And this sound gets old with grace. Bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, And Also The Trees, New Model Army, Killing Joke and much more are still here, and their sound is still relevant and influenced many bands through the years.”
Cédric: “It’s very exciting to see that the scene is growing. So many bands, so many radio shows, cool labels. During the last months, I met a lot of very nice people dedicated to the scene.”

The 80s are back… from never being away

5. The artwork of LINSAY is pretty mysterious. Tell us more about it.
Cédric: “That’s my fault! Hehehe. I did not really know what I wanted to do at the very beginning, I just did tests with various materials and then reworked it all on computer.
At the end we see things that were not planned, like this effect of mountain and clouds. That is nothing in particular but it illustrates quite the dark side of our music I think.”

Artwork ‘Linsay’ album

6. The last song on the record is a cover: KIM WILDE’s Kids In America’.
Why exactly did you pick this one to cover?
Axel: “It’s simply one of the best pop songs of the eighties. Catchy, well sung and produced, somewhere between Blondie and Billy Idol… pop music at its best. We’ve been lucky enough to live our teenage years in the eighties, to be fed with artists like Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, Propaganda, The Smiths, and many more. Contrary to what many people think, the 80s was an exciting musical era, along with the evolution of gear (synths, beatboxes, samplers, sequencers…) and many new styles and bands came out of this new evolution.”

7. Which track would you pick to introduce
somebody for the first time to SÔMBRE music?

Axel: “It’s hard to make a choice because each track has its own specificity, but many people seem to point ‘Black Skin Twins‘ as their favorite tune, so why not this one… and
then you’ll want to listen to the others!”
Cédric: “Yes, ‘Black Skin Twins‘ seems to be a favourite but it’s complicated to answer
this question because the album is very varied. There are electro-pop songs, others with shoegaze sounds, and an EBM influenced one. We want to make music without barriers, we write on instinct without any calculation, except that it sounds good.”

8. What movie would you pick to visualize your music on a big screen while playing?
Axel: “Hard to tell… could be a TV show like Black Mirror, or Russian Doll, or Sex Education…maybe a David Lynch movie, or something much older, by Murnau or Fritz Lang…”
Cedric: “Nice question. I think old horror movies would be great. It’s funny because I
often write texts with images in mind. As if I was working on a song’s video clip.”

9. For which band would you sell your soul to the devil do a world tour with?
Axel: “As an old fan, and because the band still exist, I would say And Also The Trees. They created a unique sound and very personal atmosphere, and they’ve always been close to their fans. They still tour, so it might happen, who knows?”
Cédric: “I would never sell my soul!! But touring with Depeche Mode or being guest at a The Cure show would be awesome. But to be more realistic, we would love to share the stage with newer bands as Actors, Drab Majesty, Creux Lies, The Foreign Resort, Crying Vessel, Silent Runners. We just have to be ready for playing live, that’s what we’re working on right now.”

10. SÔMBRE’s ultimate ambition?
Cédric: “Once again, we are realistic, we have no other ambitions than to release our next album on a good label dedicated to our music, play concerts, meet people… we’ll see what will happen for us.”

Merci Cédric and Axel for the interview.
May the road rise with SÔMBRE!

Stream/purchase LINSAY in full right here…

SÔMBRE: Facebook

(band pic on top via band SOMBRE)

10 Questions For London’s Moony Ambient Project… WHERE WE SLEEP

Discover up and coming bands in 10 questions

18 July 2019

Impassioned singer/songwriter and performer BETH RETTIG, the arresting frontwoman
of former British synth force Blindness started her solo project WHERE WE SLEEP last summer with the release of three stirring ambient tracks. And last May her impressive
5-track debut EP, titled ‘EXPERIMENTS IN THE DARK‘ featuring members of The Fall, Echobelly and Curve saw the day of light. Five gloomy electro grooves, five bedazzling sentiments, five magnetic moony moments, five vocal highlights.

So Turn Up The Volume is delighted to have a chat with Beth. But before starting
the Q & A let’s get in the right mood with her new clip for one of the EP’s intriguing
cuts. Here’s ‘CONTROL‘…

Hello Beth,

1. Is WHERE WE SLEEP a BETH RETTIG solo trip or rather a collaborative project with befriended musicians helping you out to translate your musical ideas and the stories you want to tell?
“It’s a bit of both really. Three of the tracks on the EP feature guitarists, the other two are just me. I’m definitely hoping to keep the collaborative element going as much as possible. There are advantages to both formats. It’s nice to have the freedom and control in working by myself – and I am a bit of a control freak. But, I’m not a good enough musician to do it completely by myself. And, more importantly, you get so much from working with other people – new ideas that you wouldn’t have come up with on your own, new challenges, different moods and directions. And that’s really really exciting.”

2. What’s the story behind the name WHERE WE SLEEP?
“I actually set up a Soundcloud page before I started this as a proper project to repost stuff that I’d been doing – not just Blindness but a couple of collaborations as well – and have them on one page. So when I decided to release new songs under this project, I kept the name. There isn’t really a story behind the name – if there is, it’s probably a really boring one.”

3. Last year WHERE WE SLEEP shared its first tracks (‘Crawl’, ‘Veins,’ and ‘The First One’). Why did they not end up on the debut EP and making an album out of it?
“I did consider that, bringing it up to an album. I suppose I ended up just feeling like, as they had already been released, they could stand on their own and I should move forward. There were a couple of other factors as well, the first two songs were mixed by Guy Fixsen, whereas the others have all been mixed by John Cranmer. I wasn’t sure if they’d sound right together. Also, the five songs on the EP, for some reason, just seemed right together in my head.
It’s really hard for independent musicians to release music. I’m not sure everyone realises how much goes into getting one song sounding right. It’s so expensive to get songs recorded, mixed, mastered, promoted etc. and I don’t expect to make any of that cost back from whatever I’m releasing. So at one point, it did occur to me to just release singles to make it a little easier and spread out the costs a bit. But I still like having a body of work of some kind. And, at some point, I’d like to get the EP out as a physical release and that’s obviously, easier than releasing several singles.”

4. Do we need to take the EP’s title ‘EXPERIMENTS IN THE DARK’ literally?
“I’m not one for talking about song meanings but I guess a little of all the above.
The title of the EP is obviously taken from the name of the last song. I just really liked
the title for the EP as well. It seemed to sum up the mood of it. And Experiments In The
was the first new track that I wrote for Where We Sleep, before Where We Sleep was actually going to be a thing. It was the first new song I’d written in a while.”

5. I really dig the artwork of the EP, especially that very intriguing ring.
What represents or signifies that beautiful ornament?

“I don’t know that it signifies anything really. I have a bit of a thing for images of lizards.
I don’t know why. I really liked the ring and once I’d messed around with it, I just liked the image and though it worked well as a cover. “

6. ‘The Desert’ is my favorite track. Great swagger, great guitars, great vocals. Sounds also very personal. Will you share with us what it was that you wanted to express in that song?
“Again, I’m not that great at explaining songs. But I really like the imagery of driving through the desert night. I grew up in Africa and one of the things that really makes me yearn to be back there, is huge open spaces and skies. I’ve often felt quite overwhelmed when I’ve seen images of those endless skies and vast unpopulated plains. Even more so when I go back there. It wasn’t something I was conscious of when I wrote The Desert, but once it was written it was obvious that that nostalgia and need in me has found its way into some of my music.”

7. The title track deals with anxiety and a sort of claustrophobic fear when
being left alone? To me, it resonates like a universal feeling in these troubled, egoistic times we live in again the past few years. Do you agree?

“I don’t think that’s wrong – I think a lot of people are struggling to navigate the complexities of our current times. Experiments In The Dark certainly has a thread
of helplessness running through it.”

8. Does this new project mean that your former band BLINDNESS is over?
“So, Blindness ended in 2016 when I left London for a while, although we released the Monsoon EP, which we had already been working on, the following year. That’s how it is at the moment. I wouldn’t say that’s definitely it, because you never know, but we haven’t got any plans to do anything.”

9. What movie would you pick to visualize the EP’s
music on a big screen while playing
“I actually don’t watch a lot of films anymore. But I guess it would be something dark, dramatic and visually beautiful. Something involving dystopia and rebellion.”

10. Next step for WHERE WE SLEEP?
“I’m hoping to do an album next. I have some songs written, one or two that I can start thinking about getting mixed. I have a few ideas about people I’m hoping to work with
on some of the other tracks as well, which I’m quite excited about so I’m starting to think about first steps for that now.”

Thank you for this interview, Beth.
May the road rise with WHERE WE SLEEP!


WHERE WE SLEEP: Facebook / photo on top by Nando Carniel Machado

(promo photo on top: via Beth)

10 Questions For Belgium’s Haunting Noise Groovers… FALLING MAN

Discover thrilling artists/bands in 10 questions

29 May 2018

FALLING MAN is a boisterous 4-headed groove machine turning the inflammable combination of intoxicating riffs, kick-ass licks, battering drums and a riveting vox into absorbing songs with a lasting impact. Slow/fast, loud/quiet, haunting/ecstatic. Different paces, different moods. But always sound-exploring and highly fascinating. Last year’s second album GHOST showed/shows a tight band at the peak of its rousing game. A captivating work of mixed emotions, gripping sentiments and electrical reflections about life’s daily struggle. A record for bluesy hearts & troubled souls. Enough reasons to learn more about this blustery quartet. But let’s start the sonic acquaintance with one of the highlights of the new LP. Here’s ‘Beach Blues’

Hello Falling Man,
Welcome at Turn Up The Volume!

1/ What’s the story behind the band’s name and the group’s sonic identity?
“Is there a story? Our guitarist Paul came up with the name after reading Don DeLillo’s novel ‘Falling Man’, written shortly after the 9/11-attacks. People often ask us whether the name of the band refers to the man falling down, like a contorted modern dancer, from one of the WTC-buildings. But it doesn’t. It’s a reference to a character in DeLillo’s book: a street performer in Manhattan who lets himself fall from the sky, over and over again. As to the sonic identity: we play sharp, angular and edgy guitar music, echoing sixty years of rock noise and pop music. It is often loud, harsh and ugly, it can be delicate and melodic,
it always has a groove going on.”

2/ Lou Reed said in his final interview back in 2013 that the bass is
a crucial instrument in pop, rock and classic music. I suppose you don’t
agree as FALLING MAN has no bass player. Why is that?

Falling Man has no bass player because there’s no need. Not more than five people
in 10 years time have told us they were missing a bass player during the live-shows.
A couple of bass players have asked us whether we needed one, because they were
keen on joining the band. But we never felt the need. Influenced by bands such as Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and also Dÿse – they use an octaver-pedal, which lowers the
guitar tone with an octave – we tried the set-up with 2 guitars and it worked right away. Both our guitarists Paulie and Lode both wanted to get rid of their bassplayer-history
and focus on the guitar. In fact, we both have a style of playing guitar that mixes
bass loops and guitar chords or noisy stuff. We also get deep bass-sounds out of
a foot-triggered sample unit.”

Six strings band

3/ Which song do you consider as the band’s signature track so far?
“The band has been through some changes recently; I think that the signature track
before the release of our second album – Ghost’ – was ‘Stripper’, a song that we don’t play any longer. Ever since vocalist Sander joined Falling Man, our sound has slightly changed, has become a little more ‘poppy’; someone once called it ‘industrial blues’ of ‘Ruhr Area Rock’. A song that fits that description perfectly, would be ‘Robot Kaput’, as it combines both the poppy aspect and Falling Man’s love for noise and tearing guitars.”

4/ Your new album is called ‘GHOST’. Who is he/she?
“No one in particular. It was Paul’s 10-year old daughter who came up with the name, and it kinda stuck. Throughout the recording process we noticed that many songs dealt with the theme of loss, people disappearing, leaving loved-ones behind. The ones who leave become ghosts or the ones who are left behind become a half the person they were. Hence, the name.”

5/ The LP’s artwork looks mystifying in accordance with its title.
Who or what inspired the image?

“It was Paul’s idea, coming from his great love for geometrical design and figures. The photographer is Kaat, guitarist Lode’s sister. Thing is that this picture almost never existed: we took it in October, and the sun almost did not cast any shadow. We took this picture in a parking garage; it’s Paul’s shadow, combined with a ventilation grid.”

6/ Any rituals before going on stage for a show?
“Not really. The drummers tend to get on everyone’s nerves while practicing rudiments
on any object he can find. There’s a lot of bantering too, taking pictures, laughter and
the occasional beer. Well, we try to keep stay focused on stage. When we first started
we played a drunk show once. It got the girls dancing, which was nice.”

Trying to make the girls dance

7/ Which movie would you pick to visualize FALLING MAN’s
music on a big screen while playing a concert?

“Well, actually: none.”

8/ If the band were an animal, which one would it be?
“A wolf, maybe? Or a hyena? Once we get the attention of the audience, we don’t let go. Or even cats? Cats do what they want, they’re unpredictable. And when they’re horny, they make noise. We are horny cats?”

Horny noisemakers

9/ If you could go back in time on which artist’s front
door would you knock and ask to have a selfie together?

Oscar Wilde, while writing ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.
That could be fun.”


10/ Next step for FALLING MAN?

“The idea is to keep on playing, cause that’s what it’s all about. We don’t plan, we play. There’s no outline, no direction, no strategy. Playing brings us to places we could never plan on going. It makes things happen.”

New frontman Sander

Thank you for the chat, guys.
May the road rise with FALLING MAN!

Stream/purchase GHOST right here…

FALLING MAN: Website – Facebook – Bandcamp

(Concert photos by Turn Up The Volume! / Other two promo pics via FB – Falling Man)