INTERVIEW – How Was 2022 For Norwegian Symphonic Pop Trio DIM GRAY?

1 December 2022


Photo by Emile Vestre

DIM GRAY are three Norwegian musicians coming from different places, both musically and geographically. All three have contrasting backgrounds in genres as diverse as black metal, progressive rock, blues, folk and film music, but in fusing these together they have developed their own distinctive sound.

On their excellent second album, named FIRMAMENT the trio floats in a universe
where the poignancy and starry-eyed melodrama of Sigur Rós and the spiritual
vocality of day-and-night dreamers Fleet Foxes become one.

Turn Up The Volume wanted to know, and you probably too, about these symphonic pop architects. But as usual, we start an interview with a piece of music. Here’s Mare, one
of the highlights of the longplayer.

Hello Tom
Hello Oskar
Hello Håkon

How/when started DIM GRAY start its musical career?

Tom: “We first met in 2012 when we all started to study for our bachelors
degree in music in Olso, and Dim Gray was formed soon after early 2013.”

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

Tom: “We had our first gig and needed a name. We had several suggestions,
and I think all of them had a colour in them. After several suggestions back
and forth between Håkon and me into the wee hours, we ended up with
“Dim Gray.

Now all these years later, I feel we have grown into the
name, and give it even more meaning with our music.”

Which song would you pick to introduce DIM GRAY
to people who never heard of you?

Håkon: “Maybe Mare, Avalon | The Tide and Black Sun is a good start
to get to know Dim Gray and we still enjoy playing them live also.”

Oskar: “I think Avalon | The Tide from Firmament would be a good
starting point. I feel like that song is “quintessentially Dim Gray,” with
important contributions from all three of us, and I also think it’s
one of our best ones yet.”

Tom: “Personally I would pick Mare or Ashes from Firmament.
They are pretty different, but still hold the essence of Dim Gray
in my ears.”

Last September you released your second album called FIRMAMENT.
Is there an overall theme or do the songs stand on their own?

Oskar: “It might be a stretch to call Firmament a concept album, but nevertheless
there are some common themes running through the album. We wanted the album
to feel like a journey, and the sequencing of the songs is very deliberate with
regard to the lyrics.

The idea was that each track should work on its own, whilst painting a greater picture when taken together with the rest of the album. And so while each song might mean something very specific to its respective lyricist, we use recurring imagery in order to
tie up the greater story.”

The album’s artwork is so stylish. Who developed it
and what did you want to express with that image?

Oskar: “Thank you! The artwork and design was done by my brilliant girlfriend Linnea Vestre. She has made the artwork for every release we’ve ever done. Where the cover for Flown was muted and subtle – and that was correct for that album – I felt that it should look more vivid and iconic this time around, to reflect the more direct, colourful, and diverse sound of the album.

I knew I ideally wanted a wave to fit with the album’s watery theme; The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai (note: Japanese painter and printmaker) (as well as the album cover for Keane‘s Under The Iron Sea were on the mood board. The moment I saw Linnea’s first draft I knew that it was right. I think the way that the wave wraps around the physical version is ingenious!”

Were all three of you involved in the making of the longplayer?

Tom: “We were all involved in one way or another. Music and lyrics have
primarily been written by Oskar and Håkon, but we have all had a hand in
arranging and creating the finished result.”

Håkon: “Yes, I think it is good to collaborate in the writing process
to get more ideas and find a fresh perspective. We start writing by
ourselves and then we meet up to figure out the shapes and sounds
afterward.”

CANNONS is one of my favs off the album. What is the song about and
what story did you want to tell with the funny accompanying video?

Håkon: “The song started with the main guitar riff and it took a while to
figure out how to use it, but luckily all the parts fell together in the end. It’s
about the frustration of when you get older, there are so many chores and
the same routines every day.

It made me a little crazy at the time and I waited for something big
that could wake me up. We did a music video and wanted it to be fun
and playful.

We know a magician friend named Mats Svalebjørg and decided
to do a more literal interpretation of the lyric with a cannon.

We are really happy with the results and it was an amazing experience!”

Which big-name artist(s)/band(s) would you love to tour with and why?

Oskar: “Joining Peter Gabriel on his newly announced tour wouldn’t be half bad.
He’s a very important hero of mine and I think it would be a good fit musically.”

Tom: “I think that to tour with Muse or Porcupine Tree would be very cool!”

Håkon: “I think Jack White, PJ Harvey, Wilco or Paul Simon
would have been incredible.”

What movie would you pick to soundtrack your music?

Tom: “Tough question. Either a Studio Ghibli film or
a nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough!”

Håkon: “I daydream that The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings
of Power
series wants to use one of our soundtracks one day!”

Oskar: “It could be anything from somber drama to vivid fantasy
or dark sci-fi. Maybe something like Arrival; although Jóhann Jóhannssons
score for that film is already perfect.”

The best track and album you heard this year?

Håkon: “I like Jack White’s new albums Fear Of The Dawn and Entering Heaven Alive.
Very cool that he released one electric and one acoustic this year. I enjoy the track
A Tip From You To Me.”

Tom: For me, it’s Astroraur‘s album Portals and the track Black Hole Earth.

Oskar: “I recently stumbled across Grizzly Bear singer/guitarist Daniel Rossen’s
new solo album You Belong There, and it probably takes the top spot for me
this year.

It’s an uncompromising album that doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve heard.
For top track I’m going to go with For You The Night Is Still by Becca Stevens and
Attaca Quartet, from another of my favourite albums from this year.”

THE event – good and bad – of 2022?

Tom: “Regarding Dim Gray, I think it must have been the way we were
received in Stockholm when we supported Marillion on their Weekend there.
A night I will never forget.”

If DIM GRAY would cover a Xmas song, which one would it be?

Oskar:“I would be very surprised if we ever did, but never say never.
I’ve been playing with Big Big Train this year, and one of the songs we did
is a beautiful, melancholic Christmas song titled Snowfalls. It’s one of my
favourite Big Big Train songs and probably my favourite Christmas
song too, so I wouldn’t mind doing that one.”

Håkon: “Very hard to choose! It would have been fun to
do Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues (Feat. Kirsty MacCool).”

Tom: “I’m not sure if it would fit Dim Gray, but one of my all-time
favourite Christmas songs is ‘Merry Christmas Darling’ by Carpenters.

Which song will you play at New Year’s Eve and why?

Håkon: “Auld Lang Syne is a classic and I need to hear this at least once before midnight!”

Oskar: “I might live out my inner synth-pop fantasies with Til/slutt from Amalie Holt Kleive’s excellent debut album, released this year. It’s in Norwegian, but it’s a banger!”

What do you really want to happen in 2023 for DIM GRAY?

Tom: “Would love to go on tour again. We had a blast traveling with
Big Big Train
in September, so hopefully we’ll get to tour again during 2023.”

Oskar: “I want us to achieve the lofty goals we have set in terms of writing,
recording, gigging, and putting ourselves out there in 2023!”


Photo by Emile Vestre

Thank you Tom, Håkon and Oskar for this interview.
May the road rise with Dim Gray next year.

Stream/buy
FIRMAMENT
here…


.
DIM GRAY: Facebook – Instagram

A Chat With Arresting And Prolific Songstress JEEN

4 November 2022

All-round Canadian singer/songwriter JEEN not only canned/released 6 albums in 7 years in her own right but she writes – then and now – for other artists too, such as ‘Great Big Sea’, ‘Serena Ryder’, ‘Res’, ‘Hawksley Workman’, ‘Brendan Canning’, ‘FUWA FUWA’, Martin ‘Doc’ McKinney and more. That’s what I call a centipede songsmith.

She operates in a broad spectrum of pop, rock, folk, and all related music genres she likes. Lyrically a lot of her songs reflect personal experiences and issues. Don’t expect a lot of musings about the birds and the bees.

Last September Jeen’s new full-length, baptized Tracer came out. An arresting, sparkling, and at times turbulent and flamboyant work. Listen to it below and fall in love, as I did.

As usual Turn Up The Volume starts an interview with a piece of music. I picked one of my
favorite highlights, the LP’s opener Chemical Emotion, a magical mixed emotions gem.

Hello Jeen,
welcome and thanks
for doing this Q & A
.

How and when did your music career start, Jeen?

“I was 13 when I got my first guitar/wrote my first song and that was the beginning
of the end I guess. I quit high school and moved out of my parents in gr. 10 to pursue music full-time. It was hard a lot of the time at the start, being only 16/17 yrs. And
on my own in this industry. In retrospect, I guess I kind of fed myself to the wolves.

I had to busk to pay my rent and that’s how I met my first manager when I was
singing n the street. He was a well-connected guy at the time so I was swept up
by the wealth/success, he had but ultimately it ended badly because I signed away
my publishing rights to them, all before the age of like 22 (I did manage to sue
them and get my publishing rights back over a decade later).

Anyway, not an easy start in some ways but I learned a lot too.”

You also write for other artists. If you do so, do you have the artist’s
music in your mind or is it a JEEN song for somebody else to perform?

“Maybe depends on the circumstances a bit but if I’m writing for someone else’s album I just want them to be happy with it because in the end it will be theirs, not mine, so I follow their lead. If it’s another artist’s work it’s my job to help create something they resonate with, something that gets them excited, and if/when that happens it makes me happy too.

Different scenario but I’ve also co-written for someone’s side project where there were multiple writers and I was asked to share some of the lead singing… so that process had more of a personal touch where I would contribute with my own nuances in mind.

Approaches vary though, like I had an old song I had written in my teens but never put out or released or anything and a vocal trio decided to record a version and include it in their live show. In that situation, it was a song I had fully written alone but just not a song I could connect with or use myself as an artist.”

Which track would you pick to introduce your music
to people who do not know your work?

“Hard to pick just one but the first that comes into my head is maybe the song Jungle
or Shallow or Buena Vista? Because they sort of walk the middle line of the spectrum.

However, those recordings have my older more lo-fi self-production, which I don’t necessarily prefer but still, they have the right roots. in terms of the more recent LPs
I would say Chemical Emotion and Anything You Want would be good intros to my stuff too.”

You made/recorded/released 6 longplayers in 7 years. So I suppose you never
had a songwriter’s block and how can you even find time to work for others?

“Well, I haven’t been doing a lot of co-writing for others lately so my time has been my own at least. I’ve gotten myself into a loop now where I’m basically low grade uncomfortable when I’m not writing like a vague sense of distress starts setting in if too much time passes.

I don’t particularly struggle with writer’s block but there are plenty of times I have to stop writing for the day (or days) because I am sucking. I also write a lot of songs that never see the light of day because they aren’t good enough and loads of ideas that I start and never finished for the same reason. So, no long-term writing blocks necessarily but I have my issues.”

The new album TRACER came out two weeks ago. Is there
a big picture to it or do the songs stand on their own?

“I think they stand on their own but are def chapters from the same book. putting out albums back to back has made the writing process for each LP pretty condensed. the songs for Tracer were all written in a pretty small phase of time so although I see them as pictures or snapshots of a larger scene they are each very much their own little island as well.”

The album’s cover is a bit blurry and you look at us
with one scary eye. Is there a story behind the image?

“Haha, because shit is serious, Jean-Luc. I’m not fucking around lol joking. I was just
falling in love with those old seventies photos where they would overlay 2 images/double exposure stuff. I would like to explore that style more in the future, where it gets super dreamy and hazed out but this was my first attempt.

The word Tracer was meant to reference the trails you see behind movement when
you take drugs like acid/LSD or even just when you’re a kid writing words in the air with a sparkler/fire cracker. Something that is there but not there, so I was hoping to get a bit of that feel too. The flowers on this album cover are also the same flowers in the Little Idea video.”

One of the singles is the glorious LP’s opener CHEMICAL EMOTION.
What’s the song about? Any connection with the fox in the video?

“I was going through some stuff when I wrote this album and this song was
me trying to convince myself to just let it go a bit or at least make some peace
with the chaos or something.

It’s a song about the people/places/things that keep you going and get you excited about being alive because shit can be really hard sometimes and without those charms and good triggers what are we left with. Also had that Hunter S. Thompson quote in my head at the time: “Buy the ticket, take the ride”. I love that line.”

LITTLE IDEA, another single, is a magnific and moody ballad.
Was that the idea when you wrote it?

“I was unsure of this one at times in the album process because I thought it was too soft and different from my usual stuff. The melody came easy, like I’d always known it almost but as convenient as that sounds it also cornered me because every time I’d try and make an adjustment or even change the lyrics it would threaten to fall apart. It was a little more fragile than the others I guess you could say.

I was initially worried about including it on the Tracer LP at all in fear it might be too far off the rest of the album but Ian and Steph (co-producer/guitarist + drummer) convinced me otherwise, thankfully.

Did you listen to records of other artists to inspire
you in the writing process for the album?

“Weirdly I don’t really listen to music right now or for the last 10, 15 years even.
I know that’s lame of me but yeah, I’d have to say there were no direct influences
in that way for Tracer.”

Suppose TRACER was the soundtrack of a movie.
Which one or what genre would it be, Jeen?

“Any cartoon/animated movie would be cool.”

We’re nearing the end of 2022. What’s the best
track and album you heard so far, Jeen?

“See question #9, I’m so clueless on this stuff. Although I will say my band
mate/co-producer Ian put out a sweet record with his band, Ian Blurton’s
Future Now
this year, called Second Skin and it’s excellent.

Three things you really want to happen
in 2023, musically and/or privately?

I hope I get to make/release another album.

Would love to start a side project, co-writing/share vocals.

And it would be great to see working musicians get more of what
is deserved in terms of a fair/functioning/sustainable ecosystem in
this industry or music is doomed.

Thank you for this interview, Jeen.
May the road rise with you.

Buy/stream
TRACER here…


.
JEEN: Linktree

A Chat With Affecting Northern Irish Songsmith And Wholehearted Americana Voice LEE ROGERS

20 October 2022

LEE ROGERS is an affecting singer-songwriter from the small town of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland blessed with a warm, melancholic, and wholehearted American voice. His musical inspiration was drawn from classic voices outside of the tensions in his homeland. Bill Withers, Marc Cohen, Tom Waits, and other great ones.

Last May he released his new – 2nd – longplayer named GAMEBLOOD. An arresting
work featuring riveting grooves and soul-stirring balladry, compelling stories, masterly arrangments, instantly sticking melodiousness, and magnific vocals. Before talking about
it and much more Turn Up The Volume starts an interview, as usual, with a piece of music to get us in the right mood.

Hello Lee, welcome

At what age and how did you discover
that you had this remarkable voice?

“I was playing guitar and learning other people’s songs, trying to sing along when I was around 16/17 years old. I think that my voice now reflects the life that I have lived, and feels unique to me.”

At one point you started singing in bars and pubs 7 days a week. For the money?
For the joy of it? You were dreaming of doing this for a living? Or all these things together?

“I started singing in bars and pubs around 1999. At the time I wanted to see if I could
make a living playing music, which I did, but for me, it became soul-destroying playing in those places every night. I wanted something more, so I started recording my originals.”

You’re a DIY artist. What does that really mean in practice?

“I’m not sure what a DIY artist even means. If it means ‘Do it yourself’,
I get too much support from other people to ever say that.”

.
You recorded your debut album DRAWING CLOCKS in 2006.
What does it feel like to have a record out and hear yourself
on the radio?

“It’s always nice to hear my own songs on the radio.
It’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.”

Which of your songs would you pick to introduce yourself
as an artist to people who never heard of you?

“Everytime, uneasy love.”

What does making music mean for your heart, soul and mind?

“It had been a while since I have released new music, and I have forgotten all the emotions and feelings that come with playing new songs. It’s a difficult question to answer because today there are so many moving components around going out to play your own music, and lots of that take up your time. But on stage, it is always a spiritual experience.”

There’s a 16-year gap between your debut and your 2nd album.
What happened in between?

“My record label had to take a break from what they were doing, just on the cusp of good things happening, and the break turned out to be a lot longer than expected. I reverted back to my trade, and tattooed folk for a living, which fulfilled my need for art and creation for a time.”

Is there a big picture/theme behind the writing/recording
of your new album GAMEBLOOD?

“Honesty. This had to be an honest album. This had to be me facing my own
demons, looking back, looking forward, and what was happening right now.”

The LP’s title and the artwork look a bit scary.
What’s the story/inspiration behind both?

“I left Mark Reihill with a copy of the music and asked him to create what he envisioned when he was listening to it. With the music with the ‘Gameblood’ title, he came up with
this animalistic and primal version of me.”

Did you listen to records of other artists to inspire
you during in the writing process of the songs?

“No, not at all. I had so many life experiences, lessons learned, life experiences,
as well as my failures and battles, won that it was all the inspiration I needed.
I wasn’t listening to music during these times.”

Suppose GAMEBLOOD was a movie, which one would it be?

“I’m not sure, but if it was a movie, it would be directed
by Tarantino and scripted by Nicholas Sparks. Haha.”

LIFE AND LIES is my absolute favorite of the album.
It feels so real. What’s the inspiration behind the song?

“Barflys, finding love and light in the darkest of places. I’ve had some experiences of those moments myself. Just when you think you have hit rock bottom, there is always a glimmer of hope.”

Slowly but surely 2022 is nearing its end. What’s the best
track and album you heard so far?

“I’m listening to stuff that is immediately around me these days. So for me,
lots of that has been, Gareth Dunlop ‘Animal’ and Foy Vance ‘Signs of life’.”

.
Next step for Lee Rogers?

“I never have plans, I never look too far ahead. Life has taught me that planning
day to day is more than enough. At least whatever happens next will always be a surprise.”

Thank you, Lee, for taking
time to do this interview.
May the road rise with you.

Stream GAMEBLOOD here via Spotify

.
Available via iTunes

LEE ROGERS: Website – Facebook – Instagram

From Lost Soul To ‘Fuck It, You Only Live Once’ Mindset – Meet Passionate Berlin Artist KAT KOAN

19 October 2022

KAT KOAN is a Berlin-based artist with a passion for expressing intense emotions through music and visuals. With her Belgian musical partner Raymond Rose she canned her second album COCOON and released it on 7 October.

A sonically versatile and compelling record with Koan speaking and singing her mind
and her heart out. Think Garbage‘s charismatic Amazon Shirly Manson. She’s backed by
lost souls when she hits the stage and her new-found motto is fuck it, you only live once. Following the awful pandemic and lockdowns, it’s definitely a reality-related state of mindset to face life in the future.

As usual, Turn Up The Volume starts an interview with
a piece of music to get us all in the right mood.

Hello Kat,
Welcome

On your website, I read that making music is a great excuse to
escape real life. When/how did you start your musical journey, Kat?

“I studied Media Arts and TV production and work as a video producer by day.
It’s a pretty stressful job but I love it. During my time as a commercials producer
in London, I realized that I’m obsessed with the way music can elevate visuals.

So I started to make soundscapes from everyday sounds that I recorded on my phone, spending hours on end trying to put the sounds together in rhythmic ways. After a massive burn out I decided to just leave everything behind and make a drastic change, I moved to Berlin to start over- and to try new things.

The city is great. nobody here asks you that ‘what do you do?’ question so I suddenly felt
a lot less pressure to pretend to be ‘someone’ and less pressure to work like a maniac in order to make ends meet.

It’s less of a rat race, so I found more headspace to spend time on things I really love.
I found out that music is what makes me happy. It’s pretty much the only thing that makes me forget about the mad world we live in and allows me to dive into a place where I can be exactly who I want to be. It’s also the place where I don’t care about what people expect from me or whether I do something right or wrong or quickly or slowly or loud or quietly,
I just do whatever I feel in that moment.

That is liberating coz most other things in life like my family and jobs are subject to routines and rules and objectives. Making music takes me out of the structured results driven world and I am so happy that I have this outlet/ escape. I would probably be in a lunatic asylum if I didn’t have it.”

You’re a DIY artist. What does that really mean in practice?

“Well it means exactly what it says. Do It Yourself. I don’t have a label or publisher or Marketing team etc. I love being an independent artist. I’m free to do whatever I like whenever I feel like it. I don’t make the music by myself tho, I have really cool people in
my life that I partner up with.

I wouldn’t want to and I don’t have the skill to make music on my own. I’m a people’s person, I love to bounce ideas and collaborate with people who are on a similar planet.”

Which track would you pick to introduce your
music to people who do not know your work, Kat?

“This is hard coz they are all my babies and it’s tricky to pick a favorite coz all babies have different personalities. I don’t know how to pick one. I think the one that is closest to how
I am as a person is Silly Me from my first album Lustprinzip. Coz I love tackling dark topics.. some crappy experiences that affected me a lot, but turning that into a humorous story.
I find that super cathartic. To take the Mickey out of your own misfortunes.”

A couple of weeks you released your 2nd album called COCOON. Is there
a big picture/theme for the record or are all songs standing on their own?

“This record sounds like I’m schizophrenic in a way coz there are so many mad emotions in the songs. They are all very real, which took some guts to vocalize but I’m proud that we managed to bring it all across in a raw and real way. It’s not as sexually charged as my first album.

This new album COCOON was written during the lockdown, so many emotions that were pent up inside had time and space to surface and they sure came out with a vengeance. Anger, procrastination, questions about the way we C/O-exist in this society, and some new relationship issues like jealousy, infidelity, breakups. So it’s a more grown up album with more grown up topics.”

Who developed the blurry artwork of the LP?
And is there a story behind the image?

“The photo was taken by my husband Patrick Tichy and the artwork was designed
by Stefan Lucut, a good friend of mine. It’s blurred coz that’s how I felt during the time of the lockdowns. Confused and kinda loud in my head, with a huge urge to express it all. Not being able to go out and perform or even just to meet people made me feel like a caged up animal. So the motion blur felt like a good way to visualize that.”

Newest single STAY (featuring Freddie Dickson) has a melancholic
feel, so does the video’s performance. What’s the song about, Kat
?

“I love Freddie. He’s the nicest dude and so very talented. He is making a new album
at the moment and I am VERY excited about it, it will sound amazing. I feel very lucky
that we met and collaborated on 3 songs on this album, Stay being one of them.

The question about the meaning is a very good one coz quite frankly I don’t know. I normally spend hours and days writing and re-writing lyrics. With this song something mad happened. My music partner Raymond Rose sent me a basic idea for a sound and I got goosebumps, sat down on my bed with a rubbish microphone and just recorded a take of whatever came into my head.

We ended up keeping that take coz the emotion in it was so right that we didn’t wanna mess with it. So it was literally a somewhat otherworldly outburst of an unintentional story. In the widest sense, I guess the song is about regretting not saying things when
I should have said something.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell a person how you feel
for fear of rejection or vulnerability or shame.”

Did you listen to records of other artists to inspire
yourself in the writing process of the album?

No, I don’t listen to anything else when I’m writing coz I don’t want to be influenced.
I wanna get into a zone and block out other people’s ideas. For me, it’s about expressing intense emotions. My partner Raymond Rose in Belgium is amazing at tuning into these emotions and expressing them musically.

I don’t think I’ve ever had that kind of ‘thing’ before, not to this extent.. where someone gets under your skin and revs you up in just the right ways. Sometimes I wonder how the hell it’s possible to be on the same creative wavelength with a person. It’s pretty rare and very precious.”

You covered KYLIE MINOGUE’s 2003 sensual hit SLOW.
Why did you pick this song to cover?

“We wanted to take a classic pop song and turn it into a darker, more badass version. Making this cover helped us to develop the overall sound of the album.

I love Kylie. She likes sparkly outfits, so do I. There isn’t a deeper meaning behind the song choice. I’m happy with the way it turned out. It’s a really cool sound. Really enjoyed making the video for it too, it’s an ode to Berlin- the messy colorful creative haven I live in.

Is your band THE LOST SOULS involved in the songwriting and the recording?

“No, it’s all Raymond and me. But I love my band here in Berlin, great bunch of people.
We have started to play live and the energy is insane.

You should come and check it out sometime. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve recently adopted a
‘fuck it you only live once’ attitude which changed the way we perform. We just wanna
have a good time and connect with people. There’s no other agenda.

Suppose COCOON was the soundtrack of a movie.
Which one or what genre would it be?

It would be a dark comedy. Some anger, some sex, some sadness, some silliness.

Our songs have a soundtrack feel. I’m mostly inspired by visuals so our songs have
a kind of vibe that you could imagine on tv/ movie scenes as they are all built around
a mood, a place, a scent, or a taste that we had in mind when we wrote them.”

We’re nearing the end of 2022. What’s the best track and album you heard so far?

“My favorite new artist/ band I discovered this year is Lulu Van Trapp, a French artist/ band. She’s a firecracker. I believe every word she says and I love how liberated she is as a woman and how much energy she has and how much fun she is having.

I also saw the Viagra Boys live. Omg, so much power. Their sound is great and the lyrics resonate very much with me. I’ve mostly been enjoying going to live concerts. I’m a bit overloaded with all the music that’s coming out on streaming platforms every day.

Seeing bands play live is different tho, coz you experience it properly and have a bit more of a connection. I’m looking for realness, I like people who have something to say and hit the zeitgeist with their lyrics and their music.”

Next step for KAT KOAN & THE LOST SOULS?

“I wanna play live with the band as much as possible, it is so cool to finally bring
the songs to life and come up with creative ideas to put on a good show.

Raymond and I are also currently finishing up demos for a new album
and figuring out some new sound ideas. Can’t stop won’t stop.”

Thank you for this interview, Kat.
May the road rise with you.

Stream/buy COCOON here.


.
KAT KOAN: Website – Instagram – Linktree

The Big NME Interview With BJÖRK Who Has Her New Album ‘FOSSORA’ Out

1 October 2022

Iceland’s heroine BJÖRK released her new,
10th album, named FOSSORA yesterday.

British legendary music magazine NME (New Musical Express) had a weekly
issue until about 6 years ago, and still continues to be a very informative source
for music (and more stuff, like movies, games, books) talked to Björk about her
new record and lots of other things.

5 Quotes

“It’s very much a ‘sit by the fireplace and have a drink
with friends in your living room’ sort of album.”

“I had a really complicated relationship with the US:
the mass murders, the racial violence, Trump.”

“Gen Z-ers are really radical, and I’m relieved
that the environment is a priority for them.”

“I was always quite offended by the way Kate Bush was
written about like she was a crazy witch – or me being
a crazy elf.”

“I’ve written all my scores for 20 years, you know. I’m not bragging,
I’m just saying that because people still want me to be a naive elf.
If we were guys, we would be taken more seriously.”

Full interview HERE


Artwork new LP

Stream FOSSORA here.

.
BJÖRK: Facebook – Instagram

British Iconic Music Mag NME Interviewed Comeback Rockers KASABIAN’s Mastermind

23 Augustus 2022


(photo credit NME)

Two years ago Leicester’s rock heroes KASABIAN fired their flamboyant frontman Tom Meighan after he got convicted for assaulting his girlfriend (afterward, they got married).

The band’s songwriter Serge Pizzorno, who occasionally
sang Kasabian songs in the past, is the new vocalist, on the
brand new LP, baptized THE ALCHEMIST’S EUPHORIA.


(Serge Pizzorno – photo by Turn Up The Volume)

NME and Serge Pizzorno sat down for an
extensive interview about the past and the future of the band.

“The aftermath of Tom’s departure was like trying to pick up the pieces of your life”

“Our earlier years were beautiful and always will be, but that was then and this is now”

“The band wanted to carry on. What else were we gonna do?”

“Liam Gallagher’s always been beautiful to us. There’s nothing but support and love.”

“There’s some beautiful things on the way. The album feels great and we’re really happy”

FULL INTERVIEW HERE

Stream the new album on Spotify

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KASABIAN: Facebook – Instagram

Reborn Songsmith WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH Talks About His Early Years And Elvis Wally

18 August 2022


(photo by Julian Hills)

WOLF VAN WYMEERSH, maestro of Belgian post-punk-sludge crusaders Elefant and guitarist of former power-pop idols The Van Jets wrote-recorded-released his solo debut album, baptized THE EARLY YEARS last May. A romantic record looking back at days gone by. A newborn singer-songwriter pearl.

Let’s talk with the author about it. But first as usal here on Turn Up The Volume an
interview starts with a slice of music. Time for a ride on your horse, ladies and gents…

Hello Wolf,
thanks for making time
for this chat

What and/or who inspired you to look back and translate
what you saw into the songs for your solo debut longplayer?

I’ve been tinkering about this album for a long time. The title ‘The Early Years’
was a joke title for the first Waldorf record, but seemed perfect for a first full
album. The title directed the choice of the songs: I was writing new songs about
my past life and cherrypicked older songs.

Are all the songs related like families are?

I’ve never thought about it that way, but yeah, some songs = sisters/ brothers.
Some songs are literally looking back (The Hog, On A Sunday Afternoon, I Gathered
Everyone
), other songs deal with relationships (Drama I, Part Of Me, Who Can Tell)
whereas some are more philosophical (Friendly is Better, Come As You Will,
Fall From Grace
) and everything in between.

We are family the Wolf way

You said that some of the tunes were written in your youth.
Why did you put them away for so long? Time flies, doesn’t it?

Some songs I forgot about, others were deemed too dramatic
or personal at the time, others didn’t fit the bands I was in.

What/who triggered you to start
writing songs in the first place?

Somewhere in time, I was playing as if I was performing on stage in
my bedroom. There I was playing/improvising my first songs. I never
played a lot of covers, writing my own seemed more natural or easy.

What’s your best and your worst
memory of your early years?

Hard to answer that specifically.

Best stuff: my grandmother’s smile

Worst stuff: All of the darkness that surrounded my family.
The (silent) conflicts and tension between my parents.

Whose big beautiful eyes are looking at us, on the LP’s cover?
And why this choice of photographic artwork?

It’s my wonderful daughter Marie-Lou. My girlfriend took this super picture,
I was passing it every day as it was hanging in the kitchen and I loved it.

I knew instantly this had to be the cover of my album.

In the studio you were assisted by musicians Stijn Vanmarsenille and
Roeland Vandemoortele. How were they involved in the ‘making of’?

At first I wanted it to be a strict solo effort. But since we had started playing
live and since they are amazing players they ended up playing and singing
some cool stuff on the album.

Like cool banjo stuff Roeland played on Part Of Me or the otherworldy
arpeggio’s Stijn came up with in I Gathered Everyone.

How different is it to play/work with a band and be your own boss?

It is not such a big difference as I rely on my 2 compadres for advice.


With a little help from his friends, left and right (photo by TUTV)

What went through your mind, what did you feel, when you opened
the box with the first manufactured copies of ‘the early years’ CDs/LPs?

I felt happy and fulfilled 🙂

Thank you lord Satan, Jesus, Buddha and Elvis Wally!

Do you feel old today, Wolf?

Yes and no.

Yes: I enjoy the ‘wisdom’ that comes with aging, less doubt and mist.
A minus is that my bones are cracking and that I’m aching in the places
where I used to play.

No: My mind is still very eager and fun-loving.

What are the top priority things – musically/personally – that are
on your bucket list. The things you really want to accomplish in
your life
?

There are plenty:

Music for theatre/music,
a French album,
a Dutch album,
a metal album
an electronic album in the vein of Perrey/Carlos,
an abstract noise album,
an acapella record,
etceterararum.

Is ‘The Early Years’ the start of looking to
the future years as a solo artist, Wolf?

I hope to make some more music in the distant future.
I’m brooding on some new dark songs 🙂

Thank you for this interview.
May the road rise with Wolf
and his family.

Buy/stream THE EARLY YEARS
here below via Bandcamp.


.
WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH: Facebook – Sporify

It’s An Interview It’s A Rule – Meet IT’S KARMA IT’S COOL

Let’s talk

11 June 2022

Turn Up The Volume champions this British quartet for some time now. Why?
Because their karma is cool and most of all because their music exploits so far
(1 EP and 2 albums) are pretty cool too.

My ears tell me that their sound is inspired by the vocal and harmonious psychedelia
of the 60s/70s (The Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Eagles) and present (Band Of Horses, Teenage Fanclub, and Dinosour Jr‘s melancholic resonance). They rock both with electric panache and entertain gloriously with jingly jangly tunes and sticky pop earworms.

Enough reasons for an interview. Driving force Jim Styring will introduce us to his band
and their past and future works. But first, as usual, a piece of music to set the tone…

Hello Jim, pleased to have you for this Q & A

Where and when did IT’S KARMA IT’S COOL came
alive and what or who inspired the band’s name?

“I’d known our bass player, Mikey Barraclough, from a previous band. We got together in our home city of Lincoln, UK, early 2019, to write a bunch of new songs, with no real plans, just that we might get them recorded in the studio at some point. Martyn Bewick (guitars) and Danny Krash (drums) came on board for the studio sessions, but things worked out so well between us, we became a full-time band soon after.

You’re very lucky if you can find a group of musicians that all get
on and are on the same page musically. We’ve been very lucky.

The name IT’S KARMA IT’S COOL? Well, it is, isn’t it? Good or bad, it’s coming
back to bite you on the ass. Better watch what you do, ‘cos it’s watching you.”

Which track would you pick to introduce the band
to music fans who never heard of you?

“I guess we’d all probably choose a different song, but I would have to go with, ‘Back In ’78’ from our album, ‘Woke Up In Hollywood‘ It’s a great example of what we do, and is always a favourite live. It’s just a bit special that one for me. On the other end of the spectrum, you could choose, ‘Coffee Cup Circles‘ from the ‘Homesick For Our Future Destinations’ album. An up-tempo, in-your-face, punky blast of caffeine-fuelled adrenalin!”

I love the retro look/image of the 2019 EP ‘HIPSTERS AND AEROPLANES’.
Who came up with the visual idea and who designed it?

“A guy called Mick Dillingham did the design and artwork for that record.
We gave him some rough idea of what we wanted and he did the rest.”

You can stream ‘Hipsters and Aeroplaneshere

The cover of debut album ‘WOKE UP IN HOLLYWOOD’ (2020)
has a similar look. What’s the story here, Jim
?

“Again, it was Mick Dillingham. We asked for something that tied-in with the album title and Mick‘s imagination did the rest. He always surprises and never disappoints with his brilliant creativity and vision.”

You can stream ‘Woke Up In Hollywood’ here

For the second longplayer ‘HOMESICK FOR OUR FUTURE DESTINATIONS,’ the artwork’s style changed entirely. Was the band’s image a way to introduce the humans behind the music?

“Yes, that’s exactly it. We just thought it was time to show our faces; we’d hidden behind the music for long enough. A guy over in America, Steve Stanley, did all the artwork and design for that album. We were very happy with how it turned out, and the first time
we’d included a lyric booklet, which people had been asking us for.”

You can stream the album here

2022 will be another KARMA COOL year with no less
than the release of 6 digital singles? Tell us about it?

“Yes, we’re going to be releasing six DIGITAL SINGLES individually, over the coming months. We’ve been locked away in the studio writing and recording and it’s very nearly time to let folks hear what we’ve been up to. We’ve been like mad scientists hidden
away in the laboratory, but with amplifiers and drums and other loud things.”

You worked with a special guest for 3 of the 6 upcoming singles.
Introduce us to him, Jim?

“Yes! We’re incredibly excited to announce, we have the one and only, Peter Holsapple joining us as ‘honorary 5th member‘ of It’s Karma It’s Cool, for three of the new songs!

Peter was a member of legendary, The DB’s, and played with REM on their huge
Green world tour, as well as playing on their multi-platinum Out Of Time album.

He’s also played and recorded with Hootie & the Blowfish for over 25 years, and is
currently a member of Continental Drifters, whose ranks have included Vicki Peterson,
from The Bangles, and Mark Walton, from the Dream Syndicate.”

There’s some big guitar things, some jangly pop things, even some mandolin
in there. To say we’re excited for folks to hear these songs is an understatement!

Name three songs (old or new) of other artists which can
subscribe more or less how the new pieces will resonate
.

“That’s a good question! We never try to sound like anyone else, we just do what we do. We all bring our own influences to the band and throw them into the pot. We let the listeners tell us what they hear in our music, we don’t give them any pointers or clues.

Who would you say you can hear in our sound, Jean-Luc? I will say this; people who have followed us this far won’t be disappointed!! And people who are just hearing us for the first time, where have you been?”

I suppose the recordings happened during the pandemic. What was the
making of like? Together in the same room, or individually from home?

“We just had to work the best we could around the pandemic and all the restrictions.
We did a lot of writing at home; once we had the initial ideas between us, we took them away and worked them up into something resembling a song. Martyn or Mikey would send me a guitar idea, I’d add melody and lyrics, then, when we were safely able to meet at the rehearsal room, we’d all work on arrangements and knock the ideas into shape.

We’re still in the studio finishing a couple of the songs as we speak, fine-tuning. They’re some of the strongest we’ve written, without a doubt. As Peter‘s over in America, all his overdubs are done online, he just sends them across. It’s worked out so well, Peter instinctively knows what a song needs and brings it to life.”

How about the visual artwork for the singles project, Jim?

“We have Mick Dillingham back onboard. I’ve already
seen some of the artwork, you’re going to love it!”

Will the band play live to promote the releases?
If so, what is an IT’S KARMA IT’S COOL gig like?

“Yes, we’re very much hoping to get out playing. We write songs to be played live, that’s when they really mean something, the connection with people. An It’s Karma It’s Cool show is exactly that, a connection with the audience; a feeling that we’re all in this together.

I would hope our songs resonate, and folks leave the gig still singing, with a feeling we were all part of something special. I always work hard to make the crowd as important
as the band, we can’t do this without them.”

Would you give free downloads of the 6 tracks
to BORIS JOHNSON if he would ask for it?

“If he were to feed the hungry, and house the homeless,
possibly. No t-shirt, though.”

Thank you for the Q & A, Jim
May the road rise with the Cool Karma.

IT’S KOOL IT’s KARMA: Facebook – Spotify

Big NME Interview With ‘THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD

23 April 2022

British music web-magazine-site NME caught up with young Irish stars
FONTAINES D.C. who released their 3rd LP SKINTY FIA, a bold piece of
work, lyracilly and musically (it grows on you with every spin) for a big
interview.

It’s clear for NME. The Dubliners are the best band in the world.

Some quotes from the Q & A

“It’s difficult to stay in touch with Irish culture while you’re not there.
You grapple with guilt”

“People are looking to me for answers. What the fuck do I know?”

“Slowthai has an incendiary quality. His charisma reminds me of Mick Jagger”

“There are some bands who are trying to go head-to-head with world-renowned philosophers. They’re stepping up to a plate that isn’t for them. Just because you’ve written a couple of good albums, doesn’t mean you can skip a whole PhD. That, to me, is completely delusional, and I have no interest in doing that.”

Full interview right here.

The new album on Spotify

.
FONTAINES D.C.: Facebook

Turn Up The Volume and the frontman of the best band in
the world before they became the best band in the world (2019)

NME Interview With RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

10 February 2022

Los Angeles’ funk-punk champions RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
have a new album out, their 12th, on April 1. Unlimited Love
is their first full-length since 2016 LP The Getaway. Along with
the news came the first single Black Summer (listen below).

They started their promo campaign with an exclusive interview
with music website/former famed magazine (since 1952) NME.

A few quotes from frontman Anthony Kiedis.

About gutarist John Frusciante

“The biggest event was John Frusciante returning to the band.
That was the most monumental change in our lives”

About turning 60

“60 don’t mean shit to me. I don’t put a lot of value or weight
in birthdays, milestones, round numbers, odd numbers or
even numbers.”

About the upcoming tour

We have to get really good at playing these songs live and then
it depends on the emotional health of the band. Tour is one of
the great survival tests and we’ll see what happens. I’m always
optimistic, and I see no reason to ever stop doing what we’re
doing.”

FULL interview right HERE

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS: All Albums – Facebook