How Was 2021 For ULTRASOUND… Voice And Face ANDREW TINY WOOD Draws Us A Picture

7 December 2021

British post-prog-punk romantics ULTRASOUND fronted by charismatic maverick
Andrew Tiny Wood showed up in 1997, thrilled and impressed many and made a tour
de force album with EVERY PICTURE (now reissued with a deluxe edition, see below)
in 1999. But just as I discovered and fell in love with the ultra-passionate London
combo they were already gone as they split shortly after the LP release.

In 2010, after the break-up wounds were healed, Ultrasound returned triumphantly
and produced two more notable longplayers (so far), Play For Today (2012) and
Real Brittania (2016). In this end-of-the-year interview, Andrew Tiny Wood
reveals that they are here to stay and have busy 2022 plans.

As usual, to get us all in the right mood, we start a Q & A with music. If you never heard of the band this live version of my favorite Ultrasound track Stay Young will open your ears and eyes. Epic, just epic…

You started your musical journey with a band called POSSESSION that produced
one album. How did this first adventure started and ended, Andrew ?

“I didn’t actually start my musical journey there. In terms of being in bands, we started
a short lived band at school which was mostly rock and Zepp inspired before I joined
forces with a post-punk band called Step TLV, which gradually became more inspired
by industrial music like Throbbing Gristle and we morphed into Possession.

I guess it ended when one of the members moved to London
and joined Coil, and I went to college.”

You used the pseudonym of ANNA VIRGINIA WAR.
A fictional name, I suppose?
Why that choice?

“I always identified quite strongly as
a woman and wanted to make a statement.”

Just before the birth of Ultrasound came POP-A-CAT-A-PETAL.
One of the weirdest band names I ever heard. Is there a story
behind it?

“It is derived from a volcano in Mexico called Popocatepetl,
which was regarded in legend as a famous warrior.”

What track would you play to introduce ULTRASOUND
to music fans who never heard of the band?

“Depends who they were and what kind of music they like. We like to think
that all styles are served here, and there is something for everyone.

For party animals I’d point in the direction of “Same Band“, goths to “Best Wishes“,
punks to “Fame Thing“, “Over There” or “Football Meat“, prog heads to “Blue Remembered
“, New Romantics to “I’ll Show You Mine”, and indies to “Floodlit World”.

After several singles, debut album EVERYTHING PICTURE came out in 1999.
Did you write all the songs or was it a team effort?

“Most of the music was written by Richard with lyric contributions coming from me. Obviously, the songs then came together via the band’s contributions so a certain
amount of team effort came into play there.”

Who developed the album’s artwork and what is it supposed to reflect?

“The cover is an ‘everything picture’ painted by the band, the idea being to create a piece of artwork using everything at your disposal. There is collage and paint, some destructive art and even some 3D elements (Richard stuck some valves into the canvas somewhere).”

What did you want to express with the LPs title EVERYTHING PICTURE?

“The title comes from a song on the album written by Richard, which advises
that even when the odds are all against you and you have failed at every turn,
pick yourself up and paint your everything picture – ‘the only strategy is action’.”

You said that the album was made with future generations in mind?
In what way and for what kind of people, Andrew?

“I was so used to discovering things from the past, and still do, and was very conscious
that people don’t always get into something until much later, an example being Nick Drake
or John Kennedy Toole, so potentially we were speaking not to the present audience, but to someone who was discovering this music at some point in the future.”

Did the band select all bonus tracks on the Deluxe Reissue edition?
And where do they all come from?

“Everything was chosen by me from our own archives.”

The group already split up in 1999? What happened?

“I don’t know. What does Wikipedia say?! I’d put it down to a breakdown of communication, and total childish idiocy. If only RuPaul could have been there
to tell us not to fuck it up!”

The reunion in 2010 started with a benefit concert.
What motivated you to restart?

Tim Smith out of them Cardiacs, who got himself into a bit of trouble, needed
help to which we responded, which started that whole ball rolling again.

Suppose 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?

“Well it would no doubt be anthemic and epic and be far too long and too slow(!)
and it would also no doubt contain hopeful messages for a revolution in which
the entire royal family are dragged through the streets in a wicker handcart
and pelted with rotten tomatoes in a gleeful attempt to return Britain to the
good old days.”

How’s life for a professional musician in Brexit England?

“Well I keep hearing nightmare stories from other musicians saying don’t even bother trying to tour in Europe, and many people are having to stop accepting Bandcamp orders because the postage is ridiculous, and we are covering a lot of those kinds of expenses, which most of us can barely afford.

It’s not just Brexit England either, it’s Tory England, where venues are being shut down
by tory councils due to noise complaints from landlords, and there is no funding so it’s becoming more and more difficult for people in this country to do what it does best. However, despite the hardships, we will always find a way. We have faced these things before and we will continue to fight.”

A lot of artists started covering other artists when the COVID-19 whirlwind
turned our lives upside down. Which song would you pick to cover?

“I did do a couple of numbers at the start of lockdown on my piano at home (“It’s Alright
by Black Sabbath and the Flaming Lips “Waiting For A Superman“, which I felt was rather appropriate for the times) and we did perform a couple at Richard‘s wedding too (Procul Harum’s “Whiter Shade Of Pale” and The Hollies’ “Air That I Breathe”).

I’d also love to do “Bump ‘n’ Grind” by Jackson Heights and
Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song“…I think we’d do that one justice.”

The best track and album you heard in 2021?

“Album is probably “The Mother Stone” by Caleb Landry Jones. I bought it on the strength of the cover alone which I found intriguing, and it didn’t disappoint. A sprawling, strange, psychedelic double album, which is both playful and dense. A disturbing and difficult to fathom a world that warrants many visits to discover its complexities. His follow up “Gadzooks Vol. 1” is also great.

Track is probably “It Is The Face Wish How” by Scaramanga Six from their forthcoming album “Worthless Music“, which in my opinion is their best album. This song is both huge in scope and bewilderingly strange. Scott Walker meets This Heat.”

Are you a fan of traditional Xmas carols, Andrew?
If so, which one is your favorite?

“I always liked “In The Bleak Midwinter“, which is downbeat and almost depressing.
The old classics have the best tunes but it’s a shame about all the god stuff in the lyrics,
which ruin them a bit. “O Come All Ye Faithfull” has some cracking harmonies.”

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

“I guess if I was at home on my own I would want to get stoned and get involved with something long and strange, which leads me towards “A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers” by Van Der Graaf Generator, but if I was feeling a bit more mellow it would probably be “Sea Song” by Robert Wyatt because it’s the closest thing to perfection, and inspires me to try to be as good as that.”

Three things you really love to happen in 2022 for the band and/or personally?

1. Re-issue “Play For Today” on vinyl to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

2. Tour in support of the 10th anniversary of said album.

3. Write and record a new album.

Thank you very much, Andrew for this interview.
May the road rise with Ultrasound in 2022.

You can purchase the Every Picture Deluxe Reissue
below via Bandcamp…


More info here

A Chat With London’s GHOST PATTERNS Who Impressed With Their Stunning Debut Album ‘INFINITE’

19 November 2021

GHOST PATTERNS is a 4-piece London-based indie band that started its journey only
two years ago. Last September they released their stunning debut LP called INFINITE that struck me instantly as much as the debut full-length Bedroom by bdrmm struck me last year, a British band who also operates in the multidimensional world of shoegaze.

Infinite is an astounding accomplishment mixing the amplified haziness of Slowdive, the mystifying nightmares of Spacemen 3, and the multi-layer-constructing skills of My Bloody Valentine. Ghost Patterns design hallucinating soundscapes, sonic shadowplays where synths and guitars duel with each other while tireless drums dauntlessly beat, and wailing voices wander in an enigmatic fog of reverberation. Without a shadow of a doubt one of the most fascinating records I heard all year.

So I really got curious to learn more about the authors of Infinite. Thank you very
much Terry Hale (vocals/guitars/keys), Somrata Sarkar (vocals) and James Walker (drums
and percussion) for taking the time to do this chat. But, as usual, we’re starting an interview with music to get us all in the right mood. Here comes one of my fav tracks
on the longplayer…

Hello Terry, hello Somrata, hello James

Who or what triggered you to start a band?

Terry: “Essentially, James and I had a gig offer to play a Club AC30 record label night in London back in May 2019 without a band! It was off the back of a submitted demo, which later became our debut single ‘Disappears’, so we had about 6 weeks to pull a full band together! We played that night under my own name ‘Thale’ and have had the same line-up since then, but about two months later we settled on Ghost Patterns for the permanent band name.”

What’s the story behind the band’s name?

Terry: “After our debut gig, we started collecting band name ideas well into the hundreds, but basically the drop-dead rule was to make sure it was a unique name not taken on any social media, Bandcamp etc. We had to chop and change a lot of word combinations to make it unique, but in a way, I also think it seemed quite representative of the sounds we were producing too, so that could be why we all stuck with it.”

Which song would you pick to introduce yourselves
to people who never heard of GHOST PATTERNS?

Terry: “It may well be ‘Disappears’, our debut single, or ‘House Of Lies’ off the new album. But for forthcoming releases, we could look at other ways of writing and collaborating as
I don’t think were totally confined to any one particular sound at this point. For example, expect some more fuzzed up psychedelic type sounds on the new tunes we are currently working on.”

Recently your stunning debut album INFINITE came out.
A true triumph. Is the final result what you had envisioned?

Terry: “In some ways, it’s an accurate reflection of our circumstances, but in other ways, it’s not at all as it was originally envisaged. We had some outline demo ideas from around late 2019 and was about to book some studio time in London with engineer/producer James Aparicio, who has worked on some great records for Fuzz Club and other labels.

This was back in February 2020, but soon after the entire plan collapsed due to COVID!
So, I continued making more home demos, which gradually became more and more integrated into the finished songs and mixes. Sometime around the end of summer 2020, we ditched planning any studio time and simply because it just wasn’t possible! We also abandoned an E.P. idea to focus on creating a full album totally from home recordings, then mixed and mastered it ourselves.

Quite late on, we added and re-mixed two previous singles from our earlier
release, ‘Oracle’, and the song ‘Infinite’ eventually become the album title.”

The opening track INTRO (DEATH WISH) doesn’t sound like a song
about the birds and the bees. What about the death wish?

Terry: “This came from an instrumental piece based on another demo from a few years earlier. I think it became apparent during the writing of the album that this would be a good ‘intro’ type opener, so we left it without lyrics and kept the overdubbed vocals in
the final mix.

As for the song title, this goes back to a somewhat curious forced position back in summer 2020 of having to return to some kind of ‘normal’ life again at the first unlocking attempt, even though no one had access to vaccines, or even proper test and trace systems. Hence, it felt like a bit of a ‘death wish’ to put ourselves in that position at the time.”

Single HOUSE OF LIES is a flaming rocker. What’s the song about?

Somrata: “‘House Of Lies‘ is about the death of a friendship, realising someone isn’t
who they say they are. I was going through a difficult time processing betrayal from
a close friend. The song came out of anger, of realising this person who I trusted
really had no substance.

House of Lies describes a person who has carefully crafted their persona but is
ultimately empty on the inside. I spent a long time recovering from the emotional
damage I’d suffered from this person’s manipulation and narcissistic behaviour. When I wrote the song, I was fed up with feeling horrible. I just wanted to clean out any memory of them from my life. But I also felt stronger and in a space where I finally felt free of them.”

What or who decides who sings what song?

Terry: “I almost always do the music first in demo form together with the overall structure, so then it’s a case of working out who feels more comfortable to sing and develop lyrics and melodies over the music for each song.

I think ‘Safe’ was probably the only song that I had fully written and decided to keep my own vocals in. For the others, we did the vocals quite late on, as Somrata and I were only able to meet up once in person at our rehearsal space in April to go through the vocal demo ideas!

Prior to this, Somrata did her vocals for ‘Feel it Out’ at home based on instrumental
tracks that we had done and then mixed it into the finished song.”

How’s life in London post-BREXIT?

Terry: “It’s maybe a curious atmosphere of denial and a wish to move on, but also probably there’s still an element of fear too at the same time! Lockdown has ended
and Brexit has started, but there is an underlying current of uncertainty on both fronts.

I also co-run Other Side Promotions in London, booking bands from all over Europe
and beyond and having to deal with all the red tape and extra costs that goes with it.

Luckily, bands are still eager to play in the UK, so I’m happy to play a part in it and give exposure to bands on the psych, shoegaze, and post-punk scenes to help them along their musical journey. I think it also helps Ghost Patterns too to meet and share some great gig nights with other bands.”

What’s a GHOST PATTERNS gig like?

Terry: “It’s quite hard to judge that one to be honest, being in the band! Especially as we have had few opportunities to play live because of the pandemic. As we are still a new band, I’m sure we will find our own way to bring the recorded sounds and atmospheres into the live shows. It’s still a work in progress I’d say and will evolve further, but I think
the live experience could be slightly different as a distilled version of the recordings.”

Which movie would you choose to play on a big screen
behind the band while playing INFINITE in full?

James: “I think Last Year In Marienbad would look great as a backdrop to the album.

It’s a French arthouse film made back in the 60s. It’s like a brilliantly shot never-ending sequence of corridors, stages, and expressionless people. You’re not sure what’s supposed to be real and what’s supposed to be a performance. It’s open to interpretation (which helps!) but essentially, the people in it and the environment that they’re in, are trapped
in an infinite loop, where time and reality are questionable.

So, I think this fits well with the concept of the album. Within that are themes of deception, so I think it also really suits the single ‘House Of Lies‘. You’ll know what I mean when you watch it!”

Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine

Terry: “It’s an interesting one this..I’ll say MBV, but the ‘shoegazing’ genre wasn’t something I was really hugely into at the time. Keyboards are my original obsession
when it comes to instruments, so I was probably more into The Charlatans around that
1991 period.

I didn’t get a cd of ‘Loveless’ until about ten years after it was released! But once I heard it, that was it, the penny dropped. It covered everything, from the underlying songs to the ingenuity of the sounds and satisfied my psychedelic leanings being into that late 60’s period as well.

For Slowdive, they were a more recent re-discovery, apart from ‘Alison’ and ‘Souvlaki
Space Station
’ I’d say. ‘Slowdive’ from 2017 is an amazing sounding record and a stunning comeback as such.”

Ride or Swervedriver?

Terry: “I remember Ride’s early singles/ E.P. from seeing them on a great alternative
music show out in the late 80’s/ early 90’s called ‘Snub TV’, but they seemed to go off
my radar even by the time the first album ‘Nowhere’ came out.

So, for me, it was a case of re-discovery again about ten years ago listening back to
albums like ’Going Blank Again’. As for Swervedriver, I was never really familiar with them
to be honest, maybe I’ve missed a trick there!”

Best song and or album of 2021

Terry: “Margaritas Podridas self-titled album – amazing shoegaze/ psychedelic grunge from Mexico. A must see when they come to London! Or, from the UK, I’d say the White Flowers, ‘Day By Day’ album, which really is a beautifully produced record.

Next step for GHOST PATTERNS?

Terry: We are doing demos for our next bunch of songs at the moment, so hopefully this will be out in early 2022. It’s fair to say I think these songs will have a more tripped-out groove-based psychedelic sound than the intensity that’s on display for ‘Infinite’. We also have some great shows lined up with Qlowski and The Third Sound in January next year and hopefully, we will play live a lot more next year.

Thanks a bunch guys for this interview.
May the road rise with Ghost Patterns!

Don’t miss the band’s fantastic debut.
Stream/buy the album here…



4,000,000 TELEPHONES – 80s Post-Punk Misfits Reload Their Guns – INTERVIEW

8 October 2021

British post-punk misfits 4,000,000 TELEPHONES are back in town after nearly
40 years. They cleaned and reloaded their guns and will prove that their sonic exploits have no expiration date. Next year an album of never before heard tracks comes our way. What to expect? A mix of punked-up Talking Heads jangle, pumped-up Gang of Four funk, and shacked-up Certain Ratio grooves, all served with a Devo attitude. Sound bonkers, right? You betcha.

Ahead of the upcoming release, we had a little chat with drummer/poet and
screenwriter Carl Antony Plover. But as usual, we start a Q & A with music.

Here’s Goats, one of the previously unheard tracks…

Hello Carl,

4, 000, 000 TELEPHONES’ wasn’t really a world-conquering
band name. What’s the story behind it?

“The longest car in the world back in the eighties used to have
4 telephones and a safe in. We were going to call ourselves that,
until 4 million Telephones sprang into our minds, random.
No big meaning.”

How/when and why did all those telephones
got together and formed a band?

“Way, way back, 1983/4. some of us were in a show type
band and wanted to do something original, experimental.”

Back in time

What ambition was on the table: having fun or world domination?

“Create good art first. Push ourselves in new directions. If it was too obvious,
we wouldn’t do it, but as some national publicity came our way, along so did
ambition, which in turn destroyed the music. Wanting to reach a large audience,
put pressure on the band.”

Which song would you pick to introduce yourselves
to the people who never heard of the band?

“There’s a song recorded on the first album called Big House. That is
a great example of the sound we created. Anchored down by the bass
and rhythm.”

What thoughts pop up immediately when you look back at those years?

“How the music still stands up. And what a shame it is that more people didn’t hear it.
To be fearless when creating your art, and not bow to anyone.”

Nearly 40 years on and the band is, busy examining the archives. How
did that happen and what’s the group’s feel now being back in 2021?

“Our sax player Rick Woolgar sadly died earlier this year. That brought the rest of the original line-up back in contact again. We then unearthed an unreleased album’s worth
of music, which we plan to release.”

The recent previously unheard track you shared is ‘HARD MAN’. A terrifically catchy tune, with a loud and clear political message, right? What’s the song about?

“Well, there was another track called Goats we released earlier in the year. Hard Man, macho politics of the eighties. Macho men, shoulder pads, muscles, and fake tans.”

I’m sure you also have a lot to say about BREXIT?

“Well, I’ve lived in Ireland for nearly twenty years now
so I consider myself European.”

Do you still have contact with kindred bands/spirits from the early days?

“Not really to be honest. We have only just made contact with each other.
It’s been decades since we all met.”

On the black/white promo photo you all look more or less like Charles Dickens’ charlatan FAGIN. Was that the idea or what did you had in mind?

“We always saw the photos as another creative process and loved the sessions we did.
At the time we were still in the post-punk bubble, so to counter that we all wore suits
and greased back our hair.”

Which movie would fit 4,0000,0000 TELEPHONES
to express who/what they are?

“I think Tarantino has used obscure tracks to great effect in his movies.
That would be nice wouldn’t it?” (TUTV: Absolutely, I’m a Tarantino freak)

Legendary British music weekly MELODY MAKER wrote back then
they burn with rare intensity and come close to carving out a perverse
identity of their own”
? What the hell were they talking about?

“I guess we were doing something against the grain of what you would normally
hear on the radio. Live it was a very intense and powerful experience.”

What was a 4,000,000 TELEPHONES gig like?

“We never quite captured the live show on record, we got close. We played a lot of shows over just a few years, so it was a tight, intense experience. You never knew what to expect. We used a very early drum machine, plus live drums. Plus tapes and treatments, before sampling existed. Six vocalists. A driving bass line. Shouted vocals.”

“Not many bands toured with two tape decks and a xylophone”

What/how much music from the archives’
search can we expect and when?

“We are planning an album’s worth of unreleased
material, either the end of this year or early next.”

Thank you very much for this chat, Carl.
May the road rise with 4,0000,000 Telephones.

While waiting for the upcoming – previously unreleased
material – album, I dare you to dance, without falling over
your feet to the band’s 1985 debut LP, re-released in 2011…

4,000,000 TELEPHONES: WebsiteFacebook

Close Encounters With The Third Kind And Intriguing Portland Duo LORE CITY

29 September 2021

LORE CITY is one of Turn Up The Volume‘s most intriguing finds of 2021.
An art rock duo – Laura Mariposa Williams and Eric Angelo Bessel – formed
in 2011 and currently based in Portland, Oregon. So far they made 4 albums,
including their most recent one, the puzzling PARTICIPATION MYSTIQUE LP.

In my mind, it’s a spiritual soundtrack for a science-fiction movie like Spielberg’s
1977 classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The past, the present and the future,
all in one. This is mesmerizing music that triggers your imagination in different directions. Laura Mariposa Williams‘ bewitching voice is the heroine of this record. Her psychedelic, gothic, far-out and at times wailing timbre magnetizes and hypnotizes while wandering in an orchestral space. About time to keep silent now and let Laura Mariposa Williams do the talking.

But as usual, before starting a Q & A, a piece of music as an introduction to the artist(s)…

Hello Laura,
Thank you for your time,

Is LORE CITY a real or fictional city?
Why this choice as your artist name?

Lore City is a real place in Ohio, but this is a coincidence. We’re not related.
Mostly we hope the townspeople aren’t mad at us. Our music feels like someplace
that we travel to, so our name resembles the idea of somewhere… a place of lore.”

Which song would you pick to introduce yourselves
to those who never heard of your music?

“I would pick “I Am the One” because it’s a song that was a long
time coming. Exhumed from the ethers – that’s a good place to start.”

Is your creative process a joint venture or a fusion of individual ideas?

“It’s a mixture of both. We tend to go solo in the development stage,
and then work side by side on finishing a song.”

The new album’s title is PARTICIPATION MYSTIQUE (written the French
way, isn’t it?). What does it mean related to the record?

“I discovered the phrase ‘participation mystique‘ while studying astrology.
It encapsulates the human experience so well: the mysteries of life, projection, attachment, delusion… concepts woven into the album. And yes, this is a French
phrase; the English phrase is ‘mystical participation.”

I’ve read in the press info that the 2020 event of ‘Saturn directly aligned
with Pluto within the constellation of Capricorn’ influenced the album’s
writing process. Honestly, I have no idea what that all means…

“These planetary movements reflected what was set into motion during 2020,
including the life-altering Coronavirus pandemic and the transformative Black Lives
movement. I’ve pointed out the symbolism between the stars and the earth because I believe in astrology, and I hope to get others into it, too.”

What did you want to visualize with the album’s artwork?

“The Participation Mystique album artwork is an evolution of the imagery from the previous album, Alchemical Task. A little wordless story about the roulette of being.”

‘I KNOW YOU KNOW’ is one of my favorite tracks. What’s the song about?

“The song acknowledges that others can see through things to the heart of
the matter like I do. It’s a rallying cry for kindred spirits.”

What movie would you pick to show on a big screen while the album’s playing?

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Except you’d have to play three of our albums to cover
the whole thing. So chronologically it would go: Kill Your Dreams, Alchemical Task,
and Participation Mystique. I think it would work, actually.”

What impact did that awful pandemic had on your musical activities?

“Since we were always at home together, we focused on writing, recording,
and launching the Lore City Music label. Making art was our tonic.”

Many artists covered other artists during the lockdown period.
Did you do that too? If not, which song would you pick to cover?

“We tend to stay away from covers, but if I ever did sneak one in,
it would be “Where I End and You Begin” by Radiohead.”

Do you play live? If so, what can we expect from a LORE CITY show?

“Yes, we play live. You can expect to look at the stage and think – this duo
has more gear than a four-piece band. Then enjoy Eric’s ambient drones
between songs as a special, live treat. Also, I don’t sing with my eyes closed.”

What‘s the best and worst track you heard so far in 2021?

“Well, overall the best thing I’ve heard in 2021 is Thom Yorke’s new project, The Smile.
The worst thing I could hear in any song is a wordless “whoa-oh-oh” chorus. Except that one Arcade Fire song.”

Any chance yet now that Joe Biden is the POTUS?

“What kind of a chance?”

What’s the next step for LORE CITY?

“Writing and recording and releasing and
repeating. Building a record library.”

Thank you Laura for this Q & A.
May the road rise with Lore City.

‘Participation Mystique’ here…

LORE CITY: Bandcamp


25 September 2021

MONSIEUR POMPIER’S TRAVELLING FREAKSHOW. Sounds kooky, right? Not only the band’s name is kooky, but also the orchestra conductor Monsieur Pompier, his new album, his video clips, and his freaking freaks are kooky. Expect bizzaro entertainment, synth-pop tunes, the French cancan, Kraftwerk bleeps, and sparkling sparks. Curious?
I thought so. Let’s start the Q & A show…

Who’s Monsieur Pompier? Is he for real or someone’s alter ego?

Monsieur Pompier is the leader and instigator of the Travelling Freakshow. He’s a
collector of oddballs and oddities and likes to present his madcap menagerie to the
world. Monsieur Pompier was at one time my alter ego, but over time the Pompier
side grew stronger and stronger by the day to the point where the “other” me faded
into obscurity. I’m pure Pompier now.”

And what about his Travelling Freakshow?

The Travelling Freakshow is my band of merry misfits, there’s ten of them so far but
soon there will be more. The Ear Fairy, for example, cleans your ears at night, takes the wax home with him and makes up small waxen sculptures depicting the people he visited. Guts The Cat is my fabulous feline who wears an onion for a hat, can turn herself inside out and occasionally, plays the fiddle. Micky Mould, by contrast, just wants to keep things clean and prevent anyone from enjoying their lives. He was created when I accidentally left a loaf of bread in my shed for several months.”

With song would you pick to introduce yourself to those who never heard of you?

“The Crabbit” is my current personal favourite and a good introduction to the demented universe of Monsieur Pompier’s Travelling Freakshow. “The Crabbit” is a half-crab, half-rabbit hybrid who entices young people into various vices. Once you’ve seen The Crabbit, you know you’ve got the habit.”

What impact did that awful pandemic had on your artistic activity?

“It had no impact whatsoever. I have a feeling Doctor Moogle might be behind it all.”

Many artists started to cover other artists during the lockdown times.
Did you do that too? If not which song would you pick to cover?

“I have a real aversion to covering songs but I will say that at our first ever show we
performed a ramshackle rendition of “What’s New Pussycat?” by Tom Jones so maybe
we’ll bring that back one day.”

Your new album is called TEATIME TERRORS. Why and
what or who inspired the title?

“I wanted to bring to mind TV shows like Tales of the Unexpected and The Twilight Zone,
bad Stephen King stories and folk horror. I feel the alliterative title sums up the mood of the album well. Unsettling, bizarre, yet eerily mundane in both the topics and settings.”

I suppose it’s you on the LP’s striking artwork. What’s the story behind it?

“The cover is taken from a 1950s piece of packaging which was originally used to
hold a pair of plastic eyeballs which one could drop into an unsuspecting friend’s drink. I always knew this would somehow end up as the album artwork as the face bore a striking resemblance to my own. The scanned design was then edited and embellished with new eyeballs and typography by the supremely talented Kate Stuart resulting in the final artwork.”

What can we expect from a live Monsieur Pompier performance?

“What is unique about our live shows is that not only do you get to witness the performance of the songs themselves, you actually get to meet and interact with
the characters in the songs, whether you like it or not. The Ear Fairy will inspect your
ear, Doctor Moogle will give you his diagnosis, and Banana Boy will shoot live beetles
at you with his slingshot.”

Which movie would you show on a big screen
behind the band to visualize your music?

“The Abominable Dr. Phibes.”

What‘s the best and worst track you heard so far in 2021?

“I recently discovered the band Stump and I think that their song “Buffalo” might be both the best and worst song that I’ve heard this year. Other music highlights from recent times that I suggest your readers check out right away include The Gathering Doubt, Tirikilatops, Scunner and Rita Braga.”

Are any Monsieur Pompier mouth masks available?

“We aren’t currently making masks available to the public but there are plans for
all manner of Monsieur Pompier merchandise including t-shirts and toys in the not
too distant future.”

Sparks or Devo?

“I love both bands but whilst I’m particularly fond of the Freedom of Choice album by Devo
I think that overall there’s a lot more meat on the Sparks bone. Lyrically, stylistically and simply in terms of sheer quantity, Sparks are the superior band for me even if they can end up being like as sickeningly sugary sweet that you can only eat so much of in one sitting without throwing up. My favourite Sparks albums are the self-titled debut album (originally titled Halfnelson), Kimono My House, and Whomp That Sucker.

Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart?

“100% Captain Beefheart. For me, Frank Zappa was a great technical musician but Beefheart was a true creative weirdo. My favourite Beefheart tracks are “Brickbats”, “Tropical Hot Dog Night” and “Harry Irene“.”

Next step for Monsieur Pompier?

“I’ve already got most of the tunes for the second album written. I just need to record them now. We’re performing live again and with Halloween approaching, we’re sure to be busy badgers in the coming weeks. Keep your eyeballs peeled for more music videos also!”

Merci bien, Monsieur, pour votre cooperation
May the road rise with you

Buy/stream the new album here…


All You Need To Know About The Queen Of Swords And More – Here’s ROSIE REBEL From Brooklyn Pop Punk Gang TYPHOID ROSIE

7 September 2021

(photo by Mark Doyle)

One of Turn Up The Volume‘s coolest flaming discoveries of 2021 (so far) is pithy pop-punk gang TYPHOID ROSIE out of Brooklyn, New York. The gunslingers released their 4th album (never too late to discover cool flaming bands) called QUEEN OF SWORDS last month. A scream-and-shout along avalanche of fist-pumping firework anthems to start and end all moshpits with.

Rousing Riot grrrl ROSIE REBEL leads the troops. A loud and clear don’t mess with me
(and her sisters) feminist who knows how to get your lazy ass out of your lazy couch and fight for your right to go bonkers. She will tell us all about the band, the Queen of Swords, herself and lots of other stuff. But first, as usual, before starting an interview, a piece of music, let’s make it a gloriously informative one this time…

Hello Rosie, thank you for
taking time for this Q & A…

TYPHOID ROSIE, not really an obvious band name. Why that choice?

“I performed under the stage name Rosie Rebel as a comedian for a long time. The reason
I chose Typhoid Rosie is because I wanted to keep my comedy separate from my music. On stage with the band, I’m always telling jokes in between songs, and I’m still that funny person. The difference is that our music is really good and I want people to take it seriously. I went
with Typhoid Rosie because I was a History major and I got a kick out of Typhoid Mary.

For those of you who don’t know she was, she was a healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever who worked in kitchens getting everyone sick. She felt pretty good but everyone around her was dying. And this was in the days before indoor plumbing and hand washing. Also, I would like
our music to spread like an epidemic, and my name is Rosie, so voila, I went with Typhoid Rosie!”

Which song would you pick to introduce the band?

“I’m gonna go with the Queen Of Swords on this one. It’s not even my favorite song on the record, but if I only had one song to play for others its that one. I’ve overcome a lot of tragedy and pain in my life and I believe that I was given these experiences to help others. I realize now that this is where the diamonds are made. Diamonds are cooked inside the Earth under the most extreme circumstances.

My gift is the ability to take that pain and transform that energy into something positive. It’s my expression of this pain that’s made me such a great artist. I want my songs to be the rocket fuel you need to blast you out of rock bottom. For this song I took the greatest fighting words of survival that I could think of: “Get Up!” Life is hard, but “Get up!”

The new album’s title is QUEEN OF SWORDS. Who is she?

“The Queen Of Swords is a Tarot goddess who has mastered her emotions of mind over heart. She is a symbol of strength, wisdom and perseverance. If you’re an Aquarius, Libra, or Gemini, you might have some of these cerebral / air qualities about you. But at times, we embody all of these elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. The reason I chose her is because the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is letting go of toxic people that I love. It’s not in my nature to bury the living. I’m a Sagittarius. We are very truthful and cutting with our words at times but I’d rather have that than Judas Iscariot sitting at my table. People who plot and scheme, pray for your downfall, are jealous of you, who lie, and go behind your back. I’m one of the most giving and loving people you will ever meet, but some people quite frankly don’t deserve a seat at your table.

People drop red flags all the time. There’s only so long you can play victim, and deceive yourself. In this phase of my life, I’ve learned to love myself more, where others have failed me. And I believe that sometimes backstabbers become the greatest teachers you will ever have, because they put you in a situation where you are able to be given the choice to love yourself. Maybe that’s the greatest lesson you were sent here on this Earth to learn. It’s great that you can love other people, but you don’t need to sacrifice yourself in order to do so. Everyone thinks that happily ever after is some other person that’s come to complete you, but the greatest soul
mate you will ever have is yourself. Remember that!”

The record’s artwork is pretty awesome. What did you
wanted to visualize and who is the creator?

“Early on, I knew I wanted to call the record “Queen Of Swords”. Six out of ten songs on the record give homage to my obsessive tarot phase I went through. It took time to get my producer Phil on board, but eventually, he warmed up to the idea and ran with it. Phil had the idea of putting the Queen Of Swords in a mid-century living room as the album cover. He wanted the Ten Of Swords character lying dead in the foreground with an oblivious husband / father figure reading the paper in the background. Out the window is the Tower, and the 1950s car outside represents the Chariot. Originally we wanted a jukebox, but it became an organ instead. Phil spent months looking for the right artist and he found Paul Kepple who did the COOLEST tarot deck I’ve ever seen called the Zombie Tarot. If you’re a tarot junkie, you really need to get that deck.

Here’s the spooky part where fate comes in to play. Paul substituted an organ in the background in place of the jukebox idea, which is funny because it looks EXACTLY like my great grandmother’s organ that’s sitting in my living room. So I said, “It looks like my grandmother’s organ, lets keep it.” A clock on the organ reads, 1:11 which pays homage to all of the angel numbers that I see everywhere I go, and my favorite song on the record: 1:11. Lastly, I want to talk about my favorite thing, but I have to jump back to the hardest weekend of my life, when my Mother and Grandmother died 3 days apart. I was not expecting to lose my mom and it was Earth shattering for me. I looked for her everywhere I went. I looked for her in my dreams. Three days after my Mom died, I saw my Mom in a dream and she said, “Your eyes are bleeding!” It scared the shit out of me. A few years later, our drummer had a dream that my eyes were bleeding. Now fast forward to when Paul sent his final cover to us and I saw her bleeding eyes.

The bleeding eyes were an extra bonus Paul’s added that we didn’t tell him to put in. We never told him about the bleeding eyes in my dream, and it’s crazy to me how fated this all seems. I’m such a fan of his work, and I am so proud to wear his artwork on the cover of this album. The whole record layout is a work of art. Thank you Paul Keeple of Headcase Design!”

One of my favorite tracks is DEFEND YOUR TEMPLE. What’s the song about, Rosie?

“I’m glad you like it! We live in a very disposable World, where insecurities are worth billions of dollars. 3,000 times a day girls are told they’re ugly, old, and fat by advertisements just to keep them feeling ugly enough to buy their products. I studied these messages and also looked at the stories I grew up with. Classics like Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid. When I looked closer at these with a critical eye, I found the messages disturbing: The Little Mermaid sells her soul and talents, and changes herself for a guy she doesn’t even know. Cinderella is not much better, who sits around crying waiting for mice, fairy godmothers, and princes to save her. Instead of giving little girls ideas that they’re not good enough until a man comes along,

I thought let’s throw those broken high heel dreams in the trash and I wrote this song. In my song, Cinderella is a badass who wears practical shoes to outrun all of the losers chasing her. My Cinderella is out there kicking ass, and just in case, she knows Krav Maga and has mace. I want little girls to be strong in themselves and to know that their body is a temple, and to guard their light, and cultivate their minds, souls, and talents before they think that they were put here to seek validation from a prince who may or may not show up. Save yourself Cinderella!”

What impact did that awful pandemic had on the band’s activity?

“To me the scariest part is how much fear people consume. Honestly, I felt like one of the most stable people during the pandemic, which is weird for me because normally I’m the weirdo. Early on, I made my own mask on my sewing machine and walked my dog every day. I found secret abandoned spots to roller-skate. Meanwhile, my drummer, worked every day in his underpants writing this record. He’d be up with a guitar before I woke up. He found a way to make this record in isolation from the rest of the band. The man’s really a genius, he recorded drums, bass, guitar, rhythm and lead guitar in garage band.

Then he sent those tracks to our band, who played along with them until they were ready to record through amps in their own homes. Towards the end of the pandemic, he cut live drums in the studio. And our bass player also decided that he wanted to record in the studio. This is the first record in which I never set foot in the studio. I recorded on an SM-58 in my bedroom at the height of the epidemic. I felt like I had Covid at the time, because for the first time singing it felt like I had asthma. I guess you can say, while everyone lost their minds running from the Reaper, we finished this record.”

Many artists started to cover other artists during the lockdown times.
Did you do that too? If not which song would you pick to take on?

“We don’t do any covers, It is a smart way for people to find your music though. I have my own voice, and contributions. We have four albums so we could play three to four hours original material if we wanted to. But if you’re asking me what my favorite band to sing a long to, I love Cock Sparrer. It’s so fun to sing in a British accent.”

What’s a TYPHOID ROSIE gig like?

“I think I’m the most fun live performer. Except for Coolie Ranx from the Pilfers I don’t know of a better live performer than Rosie. Half these bands you gotta check their pulse to see if they’re still alive. Because I don’t play an instrument while I’m singing, it gives me the freedom to run around and dance. I’ve also learned the difference between singing at people, and bringing people in and connecting with them. I’m also funny, Is’ll hear that after shows, and its no surprise because I’m a comedian.

But here’s the difference between me and a lot of performers: So many people try so hard to be like someone else or to force a moment that they forget how to find themselves and be in the moment. Because life in each moment is really the greatest writer, we can try, but you’re better off riding the wave of life. When I look out in the crowd, I’m not interested in myself, I’m interested with connecting with you guys. Ultimately, these songs are for you. I already know these songs and heard em’ a thousand times.

The reason we put gang vocals, is because deep down, I’ve always heard you guys singing along with me. It sounds crazy, it’s just what I feel when I sing these songs. It’s not me, it’s us, and that’s how I feel about performing. I’m just as excited about you, as you are about me!”

Which movie would you show on a big screen behind the band when playing live?

“Pee Wee’s Big Adventure!”

It’s terribly sad to hear – almost every day – about sexual abuse of women in and out of the sexist entertainment world? What do you think, Rosie, is the deep-rooted reason(s) for this never-never-never-ending awful male behaviour?

“According to the UN one in three women worldwide have been assaulted, mostly by their lovers which is horrible. Some of this is just nature. The sperm chases the egg. I think the anger that some men feel derives from their own inadequency, and sometimes this comes out as violence towards women. It’s gross to think that a woman owes you anything. But some of it is just animal behavior. People forget that they’re animals. I take my dog to the dog park. Once in a while, you get a dog that just comes up and jumps on your dog and tries to slide his red rocket in. So much of sex is asserting power and dominance over another.

There’s plenty of good guys out there. There’s plenty of girls who treat themselves like garbage, who reject men who will love them. It’s even sadder when girls go against each other and stab their own girlfriends in the back. The best is when girls love themselves and each other. We’re the only animals who have knowledge and we have to strive to be better. Each of us should strive to love ourselves, all the wonders, and animals of this planet, and each other. Luckily
I do feel that the reason God / Karma is invisible is to see who people truly are when no one is looking. For the Jeffrey Epsteins, there is a special place in Hell just for them. I don’t think most people are bad. We carry both Heaven and Hell inside of us. I hope for the best always.”

What‘s the best and worst track you heard so far in 2021?

“‘Wow, You Can really Dance’, by Handsome Dancer, and
‘Wow You Can Really Dance’ by Handsome Dancer.”

Joan Jett or Courtney Love?

“Ha, I don’t like either. I had a chance to be in Spin Magazine if I would write about my favorite Courtney Love song, and I just couldn’t do it. Her eyes look so empty to me, and I don’t feel that we need to celebrate artists who are already famous. So I’ll pick 2 less famous singers who could use the recognition more: Nicole Atkins and Aimee from the Interrupters.”

Eat your heart out, Joan and Courtney

Brooklyn Nets or New York Knicks?

“The only sports team I like is the New York Rangers. Is that bad? But I guess I’ll go with
the Brooklyn team, The Nets cause I know a few people who tumble at Nets games.”

Anti-COVID 19 vaccination or not?

“There is so much fear going around. I have to remind people constantly that the Reaper knows where everyone lives. I’m of the old school, where I believe if it’s your time, not even the doctors can save you. They can slow your death down for a few hundred thousand dollars and keep you hooked up to machines. I’m vaccinated, my whole band is. I got vaccinated mostly so everyone would shut up. Not cause I believe in a company like Phizer.

To be honest, it got creepy when everyone started talking like a Phizer commercial. We shouldn’t trust so blindly in these pharmaceutical companies. Especially because our government is more in pocket of Big Pharma than they are invested in serving their own people. Pharmaceutical companies are the ones who created the Heroin epidemic, by pushing drugs that they knew were incredibly addictive, which by the way has killed more people than Covid. That’s crazy
how those drugs slipped past the FDA. Look at the all the carcinogens in our food sprinkled in
by Proctor and Gamble.

Cancer is worth billions, so these companies are very invested in sickness. Secondly, you have to look at the death rates. Fewer people are dying now. I think we’ve all been exposed to Covid, so whoever survived it, their bodies probably already know how to fight the virus. But, can vaccines work? Yes they sure can!

Next step for TYPHOID ROSIE?

“Punk record of the year! And Shows! Shows! Shows! Capice? I love when you say that by the way! Thank you for having us!! Thank you everything you’ve done to get our record out there. I’ll remember you!”

Thanks very much for doing this Q & A, Rosie.

I’ll remember you too, and your
band and the Queen of Swords!

Now, let’s play cards. folks.
Stream/buy the Queen here…


Rosie Rebel: Lead Vocals, Gang Vocals
Jeff Crews: Lead Guitar, Gang Vocals
Matt Van Ernest: Bass Guitar
Phil Wartell: Drums, Rhythm Guitar,
Bass (Track 10), Gang Vocals

Big Heart Big Soul Big Album – An Interview With Survivor ANGELINE CHAVEZ From Indie Rockers ONISM E

9 April 2021

Last February New-York based indie rookers ONISM E
released their debut album, titled SURVIVORS.

After a couple of spins Turn Up the Volume knew that this is
one of the best records you’ll hear all year and wrote…

“Gusto, high-spiritedness and anxiety are the keywords here. This warm-blooded LP
is a heart-rending reflection of the group’s state of 2021 mind. A galvanizing collection
of cohesive poignant emo songs influenced by the disturbing way our troubled world
is handling human issues, once-in-a-lifetime dramas, and the personal turmoil
of frontwoman Chavez.”

Big heart, big soul, big voice, big album.

Enough reasons for an interview. So, thanks to Eline for chatting with us.
But first, as usual, a piece of music with the album’s outstanding opener STAY

Hello Eline,

What’s the story behind the band’s name and
when did the musical journey start, Eline?

Onism is the knowledge that you are stuck in one body and will only
get to see so much of the world. The frustration in that thought is me
in a nutshell. I have been fortunate enough to travel a good bit.
I know I will never see all of it, and that makes me a little sad.

The band started it in 2017 with another guitarist. He left after we released
our first EP, and I kept the name and kept working on my own. This Onism E
lineup started in late 2019 in preparation for a music festival in Austin, TX.
We never got to play because then the pandemic hit.

Instead of just waiting it out, I decided to reach out to CeeRod
to play a bass line. The rest is history, as they say.”

Which track would you play to introduce yourself
to people who never heard of you?

“Oh, good question. It depends on the day. Ha. Today I
would probably play them, Survivors.”

One of my favorite tracks is MY AMERICA and the video is both gripping and painful to watch. How do you see the future now that American idiot Trump is dumped?

I am hopeful but we have done so much damage to each other. Only time
will tell how we bounce back. I hope we are better for it in the end. I hope we
all learned some tough lessons that will make us better humans.

In the clip you wear a t-shirt with LOVE IS A VERB on.
What does the expression mean to you?

For me, it is about actively participating in my family life and my community.
I am not afraid to get my hands dirty. I hear people say all the time that they
want to help but don’t know how. I always tell them, whatever their gift is, to
find a way to use it. Love is active and requires action.

Your rad debut album calls SURVIVORS. Who are they? The band? The world?

“Both. Ha. If you are reading this, then you are a survivor. We have a way to go
but, you are here so, keep on keeping on.”

I love the album’s cover image. I’m sure big-time artists wouldn’t put themselves with a mouth mask on, on their records. Did you want to make a statement with your choice?

“I had not thought about it that way, but no, we did not intend for it to be a statement.
At the time we took those pictures, the goal was to stay healthy.”

The thing that crossed my mind immediately, when I heard the opening track
STAY for the first time was: that’s Aretha Franklin. Any thoughts on that, Eline?

“Thank you. That’s very kind. That is the influence of living in the south for so long. It does have a very pulpit-driven, preachy sound to the way I phrased it. You are one of the few to pick up on it, yay!”

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

“We’ve been talking about that for a bit. I think something from Radiohead, The Pretenders, Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark, Twenty One Pilots, or Ben Harper but, who knows. Ha.”


Suppose you were asked to rewrite the American National Anthem,
what would be the outcome in sound and vision?

“I would not even attempt to or even know where to begin honestly…”

Which movie would you pick to screen behind you on stage while playing the album?

“Hmm. That’s tricky. I am going to go with a not-so-obvious choice and say Wonder Woman. It’s about hope, love, and fighting for a better tomorrow all in one. Plus, who doesn’t love Gal Gadot?”

New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets?

Next step for ONISM E, Eline?

“Live shows and more music! We remain hopeful that things will
continue to improve with the pandemic. I remain hopeful that by
summertime we will have shows in our pipeline scheduled for the fall.”

Thank you very much for this chat, Eline!
May the road rise with Onism E!

Buy/stream SURVIVORS here…

ONISM E: Facebook

It’s OK To Bleed With Manchester Cult HEAVY SALAD… An Interview

27 February 2021

If you’re going to Manchester be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. If you’re going
to Manchester you’re gonna meet some gentle people there. All across the UK nation such
a strange psych vibration, people in motion. They are a whole cult generation with a new
casual explanation.

They are called HEAVY SALAD.

A trio formed in 2018 in one of the most fertile rock cities in the world, that works in the space between perceived reality and the abyss of your mind. Bonding over a joint interest in psych-horror films, they loved the idea of being in a band like a psychedelic cult, albeit a cult with no rules. Sounds pretty cool, right? Absolutely, as the now 7-piece gang knocked heavily on the door last year with CULT CASUAL. Without a shadow of a doubt one of the best debut LPs of 2020. So, you really need to learn more about this Lucy in the Sky with diamonds collective.

But, as usual, before we start chatting, a piece of music…

Hello Manchester,
Hello Heavy Salad

Is there a story behind the band’s name and how
many members are actually part of the team?

“Heavy Salad was just a phrase that Lee liked and thought he’d just made up,
then we found out it’s a – lesser known – Scouse saying that means ‘something
stressful or demanding
’ which seemed to be a nice juxtaposition to the sound
of the band.

Heavy Salad was started by Rob Glennie, Allan Hutchison and Lee Mann and slowly
grew into a seven-piece (when we’re all free) with The Priestesses: Ally Boo, Esther
and Lucy Hope and Oscar on rhythm guitar /backing vocals. The whole
group contributed to the album too.”

Why is it that tons of great bands – then and now – come out of Manchester?

“Maybe because it’s cheap to rehearse! Anywhere it’s cheap to rehearse has good bands.”

Which track would you play to introduce yourself to people who never heard of you?

“Probably the first song on the album, it’s called ‘Death’ and it touches on lots of what we’re musically all about. All the songs are something of a red herring though because we like to explore different styles of writing, we love albums like The Beatles’ White Album that take the listener on a sonic tour.”


Debut album CULT CASUAL is a triumph to my ears!
What’s the title about?

“The title of the LP was an off cuff remark by Allan on WhatsApp that stuck. I guess it means we like to think of ourselves as a cult but we don’t expect you to drink the poisoned Kool Aid to transcend, you are free to transcend at your own free will! It was originally going to be called ‘Sun Warm’.”

Great artwork too. Who designed it and what does it all mean?

“A long-time friend of the band Ed Syder is responsible for the artwork. The images
touch on themes of the album and illustrate our esoteric/occult interests.”

Single ‘IT’S OK TO BLEED’ sounds like a 60s psych hippie song to my ears. Agree?

“Yeah we would agree with that sentiment, we are all big hippies at heart and that song is about just letting go and living in the moment, accepting that it’s ok to just be yourself. Just let the feeling flow…..”

What about the message on your FB-page: ‘Stay tuned… back soon’?

“We just wanted everyone to know we’ve not given up because of the pandemic! Quite the opposite actually as the band have been working on something of an opus for the second LP and we’re going to be working with a longtime hero but we’re staying super tight-lipped for now…”

A lot of musicians came up with covers of other artists’ songs during these
bizarre times. Which one would you pick to give it a HEAVY SALAD touch?

“Da zeuhl wortz mekanik by Magma.”

Suppose you were asked to rewrite the British National Anthem,
what would be the outcome in sound and vision?

“It would just be a one-note, hypnotic mantra that forces the listener to think and to mediate. It would make the listener take a minute to weigh up a situation and come
to a caring and respectful decision that benefits everyone and not just themselves.
That’s what we need from a new National Anthem.”

City or United?

“Defo not City, have you seen the state of Pep’s trousers?! Allan and Rob are United.
Lee is Liverpool FC! Just don’t mention Football innit!”

Oasis or The Stone Roses or Happy Mondays?

“Happy Mondays all day long.”

How’s life in real Brexit time now?

“Who knows!? We haven’t had the opportunity to experience what it’s going to be like, on paper it looks disastrous! We remain optimistic because you just have to don’t you? None of the band support Brexit.”

What movie would you pick to screen behind
you on stage while playing the album?

“The Panos Cosmatos classic MANDY.”

THE THING the world should know about HEAVY SALAD?

“We rehearse in a Flying Saucer. ”
(note TUTV: damn, I knew it)

Thanks very much for the interview.
May the road rise with HEAVY SALAD!

Buy/stream CULT CASUAL here…


The gang in full, with the wonderful flower power Priestesses

Rage Against The Body Count – Read And Learn About Crashing Crossover Family SAVING JACKIE

24 February 2021

Combine the flaming intensity of Rage Against The Machine and the razor-sharp rants of Body Count and what you get is San Antonio‘s hot-tempered cross-over rockers SAVING JACKIE. Wait, there are two notable differences. No slams about politics, but a pure lust
for life credo, and instead of a testeron-driven frontman we have the wonderful Jenny
4C Ramirez
leading the troops with vivid gusto and vigorous bravado. She raps and hollers like the best with a high-powered voice you can break walls with.

The debut EP of this mettlesome turbo is a head-banging triumph.
A storming eruption of illegal decibels and deafening riffs. Yes!!

So, listen up, Zack de la Rocha and Ice-T. From now on no more male-dominated
metal-rap-dynamite. Make way for Jenny and read carefully what she told Turn Up
The Volume
. But, as usual, we start interviews with music. Let’s roll…

Hello Jenny,
Very pleased to meet you…

Who is JACKIE and why has she/he to be saved?

“Three of our Band members: Myself, Anthony, & John are from a previous band called, Jackie On Acid. We got Jackie On Acid from the Rage Against The Machine song: ‘Tire Me‘.
Our guitarist at the time thought he heard ‘I wanna be Jackie On Acid‘ on the bridge. When really the words are “I wanna be Jackie Onassis“. We were younger, wild and we didn’t have families then.

In July 2003 we played our last gig and we took a long break. As time went by I wanted
to get a band back together again with my Brother one last time for fun. We put an ad
out and John answered it. Myself, Anthony and John had a dinner/meeting and we left excited to jam again. Saving Jackie was formed January 2019. We’ve grown, we’ve changed and we wanted to keep Jackie in the name. As we thought of ideas, Saving Jackie was most fitting to us.”

Which track would you play to introduce yourself to people who never heard of you?

“I think we all would say, My Faith Is Larger. It’s a hard-hitting, gritty and in your face song. It’s a great introduction to our band and gives a taste to what we sound like.”

The band wants to spread a message of redemption for a new life.
How should we imagine that new life?

“As Saving Jackie, our lives have changed throughout the years. Most of us have Families, Spouses and Children. I feel like I have a new life personally. As a lyricist, I write about my pain and triumphs in our songs but my thoughts are like I’m writing in my Diary. My faith is larger than the negative voices that play in my mind. Our songs reveal a positive message for everyone. I’ve struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts, deep dark places in my mind mixed with being an alcoholic and addicted to nicotine.

As I’ve grown I became sober and I’m in a way better place. I’ve made life changes and I never gave up. We’ve been told many times we’ve been encouragers to others. New life comes with change. People relate to my lyrics, life is hard and some like myself have had bad health diagnoses. I write for myself as an outlet and not knowing others are getting a positive message from me being transparent about my journey. I’m grateful I’m still alive after all these years and I hope others feel the same about themselves. I’m all for positive change and living the best life I can live.”

Recently the band shared its first video clip. One for the titanic track
MY FAITH IS LARGER. How did that came about?

“We wanted to make a Music Video and we concluded on taping for My Faith Is Larger. That song has been played the most out of our EP. My Brother did the research & he booked everything. He’s the Talker and Mastermind of Saving Jackie. He had the foundational ideas. We visited the video location before we concluded on it.

It was filmed during the Pandemic so we didn’t have an audience there. We kept it under wraps because of that. Overall, It was an awesome experience all around. We can’t wait to make another one. We’ve had a great response from it. As we’re growing as Saving Jackie we hope to get more Subscribers to our Youtube Channel.”

Do siblings in a band fight all the time or get along and rock out?

“We get along and we rock out. We love each other and respect each other because we’re family and musicians. He’s also our band leader & every once in awhile I may not like some ideas, but he does things that turn out positive & takes me out of comfort zone. I trust him. We have our sibling connection. We laugh without talking, we just look at each other and we crack up.

We talk almost every day or we text each other outside the band whether it’s personal family stuff or just band work. He’s the talker and I’m the 1 behind the scenes working
on most of our social media outlets. I work on pictures, videos, posts, merchandise and shipping. He networks, books and sets dates for practices and virtual/performances. We RARELY argue.”

A lot of musicians came up with a cover of other artists’ songs during
these bizarre times. Which one would you pick to trash and smash?

“Great question. We were asked to take part of a Mortification Tribute back in September 2020. We picked Arm The Anointed to cover. We had a great time doing it. We also did our rendition of Winter Wonderland for Christmas 2020. We rocked it and I sang. We worked hard on it and we laughed so much making it. That’s what it’s all about. We enjoy making music and we enjoy each others company. We’re all like Family.”

Suppose you were asked to rewrite the National American Anthem,
what would be the outcome in sound and vision?

“We would leave the lyrics the same, but rock it out
with our Saving Jackie signature sound.”

What is a SAVING JACKIE gig like?

“We have a great fanbase for Saving Jackie. It’s pretty fun. We prepare for it and pray that whatever is done that night we meet new friends and inspire someone. We’re upbeat, powerful and we take over the stage when we’re there. You’ll feel our presence and you’ll also feel like your part of our family.”

What do you hope for in a post-Trump America?

“We love and care for everyone. Our band is not involved in any political climate. We are a band that’s focused on love and encouraging everyone. We hope to continue doing so in our music now and in the future. Whatever time holds and whoever is elected President; we move forward with that always in mind and hope to make timeless music.”

Your favorite rap/rock/crossover bands and songs?

“Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine,
Papa Roach, Beastie Boys, and Korn
. To many songs to list by name.
We feel the name of the bands would give you a good idea.”

Which band would you pick to tour the world with?

“We’d all say, Rage Against The Machine. Personally, because we’ve been compared to them. It would be an honor to open for them and it would be a great lineup. Who knows maybe one day it’ll happen after Covid. That would be awesome! Someone make that happen”

Any new 2021 music for SAVING JACKIE?

“Yes. We recorded 4 new songs in the Studio late September 2020. Covid pushed our release date back, but we’re in the final mixing stage. As soon as our songs are ready,
we’ll send those songs along with our previous 3 song EP to get Mastered. We’re “hoping” on releasing our first Album by April 2021. We’re really excited about this huge project.”

Thank you very much Jenny for this chat.
May the road rise with Saving Jackie!

Debut EP in full…


Two Lights At The End Of The Darkwave Tunnel – Meet… ULTRA SUNN

18 February 2021

If you sound cool, if you look cool, if you dress cool and you have a cool EP out you must be ULTRA SUNN. Who? A Brussels-based duo – Gaelle and Sam – that loves to wander around in your head while producing dark waves causing an instant flush of excitement.

They seduce you with battering and booming beats, nightmarish sound textures, murky dynamics and ominous vocals. Combine D.A.F.‘s industrial vibes, Sisters Of Mercy‘s gloom and doom hallucinations and Depeche Mode‘s pop-noir thrills and you know this pair was born to start and end chill-out house parties. Before I put on my black leather jacket and talk to the wonderful Gaelle let us have some light at the end of the tunnel…

Hello Gaelle.
Merci for having this chat…

What’s the story behind your artist moniker ULTRA SUNN?
“It’s about light, for us ULTRA SUNN means the perfect light. The light that reveals what
is hidden and also the fights against darkness. We are proud that our songs and our band convey positive messages such as the acceptance of yourself and of the others, gender equality, victories against street harassment and victories against anxieties. We strive to
be a light in the dark, a powerful ULTRA SUNN.”

What or who influenced you to do what you’re
doing: writing/playing ‘darkwave’ music?

“The band refers to the sounds of the past but keeps in mind its desire for modernity. We’re influenced by Front 242, DAF, Schwefelgelb, Boy Harsher or Kontravoid. We like
to mix EBM and Coldwave.”

Ultra Sunn favorites: EBM pioneers Front 242

Which track would you play to introduce yourself to people who never heard of you?
“Night Is Mine is clearly the most significant track for us. The sound is really typical of what we do and the lyrics reflect our commitments.”

The new EP is a instant winner. How does it feel to have it out and what’s the feedback you got so far from fans and press?
“We’re super happy, it’s very exciting to have released this EP. We’re delighted to see that people are so receptive of the songs and that they travel all over the world in playlists, DJ sets, radio stations etc. We are so grateful for this excitement and can’t wait to play our set live!”

I love the EP’s artwork image. Does the picture tells a story?
“We came across a 17th century painting of a man with a flower in front of his mouth.
We were touched by this image. We love the contrast between flowers that are related to light but here emerge from deep darkness with us like in a Caravagio painting. Hiding the mouth with a flower is also a certain idea of silence which contrasts with music just like the coloured flowers and the dark atmosphere all around. Our dear friend Kris Parenti, who is also our photographer, was sensitive to this idea and succeeded in creating this image for us.”

So far my favorite ULTRA SUNN track is DISTRESS. What’s the song actually about?
“Thank you, glad you like it! Distress talks about anxieties and the fight against it, but
in a positive way. The way to fight is to refuse to let yourself be invaded. The video is a nocturnal wandering in the city with all that it entails: speed, noise, party, loneliness, light, contemplation, and the confrontation with yourself.”

You’re signed to a Spanish label called ORACULO RECORDS. How did that happen?
“They just heard our music and they wanted to collaborate with us for the release of this first EP and it was the right time for us to do it.”

I spotted (some days ago) a live performance video of
a track called WAVES. A great piece. Why isn’t it on the EP?

“It’s a song that we love a lot and that we love to play live. It’s a rather special moment in our set that invites introspection. For the EP, we wanted to offer pure condensed energy:
3 songs about confidence and strength. Maybe Waves will be released later on another disc, why not.”

What’s an ULTRA SUNN gig like?
Gaelle and Sam on stage with their machines and a beautiful light show. We make sure that all of our gigs are a safe place for everyone and where everybody is included and accepted for what or who they are, that is very important to us. Recently we shot a video of a live set which can give you an idea. This video will be released in the next few days.”

Lots of musicians came/come up with a cover of other artists’ songs during these bizarre times. Which one would you pick to give it your touch?
“Probably something like Duran Duran, Placebo or Depeche Mode. It actually happened
to us to cover Q Lazarus in our live set. It was sweet to say goodbye to the horses.”

Which movie would you choose to have your music in there as the soundtrack?
“Probably in a Xavier Dolan movie or in the vampire rave at the beginning of the movie Blade haha 😀 or more likely, something in between.”

Which artist/band would you really love to work with?
“We probably would have liked to work with David Bowie.
But maybe we would’ve just talked about clothes and music
and smoking cigarettes, which would’ve been perfect too.”

More new ULTRA SUNN music to come in 2021?
“Definitely yes! We are already preparing for the rest.
And we can’t wait to be able to play in concert again
and meet the public.”

Thank you very much for this interview, Gaelle.
May the road rise with ULTRA SUNN!

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