How Was 2021 For THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA

29 December 2021

Imagine the late, legendary American poet/writer Sylvia Plath fronting a noise-exploring band, creating a striking combination of spoken-word poetry and metallic soundscapes. That’s what THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA accomplish with their sonic art. The way they embed their acute and outspoken views on political and social issues in sound and vision is pretty special.

No wonder the duo’s – Daphne Ang and Andrea Papi – LP called
FULL SPECTRUM, is Turn Up The Volume‘s the debut album of 2021.

Want to learn more about this DIY tandem? Check out this interview. As usual,
we start a Q & A with music. Here comes one of their two singles ‘Count The Dead‘…

Your stunning debut album FULL SPECTRUM came out last February.
What was the experience like, then and now, of having made a first longplayer
?

“Thank you! It seems so long ago that we wrote and recorded the songs in Full Spectrum.
It has truly been a journey to remember. It was tough of course, being independent artists, we only have each other to count on to get the job done.

Whatever you hear, read, see, or watch, has been made entirely by the both of us, everything from designing graphics and cover artwork, making our own videos, copywriting, of course, the music and lyrics.

Of course, there have been ups and downs in this journey, but at least we didn’t
have to do it alone. Also very happy to have made so many friends along the way.”

Already working on a follow-up?

“Yes, in fact we started working on the songs in our second album, Trust No Leaders, about a month after we released Full Spectrum. We wrote and recorded the album between April and August this year. It is now mixed and mastered and due for release sometime in 2022.

It’s definitely much heavier, and darker than our first album, both musically and lyrically. Our first album was about the metaphysical and the existential. But the new album looks inwards into the human condition, often going into dark places.

The current crisis and the events of our time have made it necessary for us to analyse, investigate, and expose the issues in urgent need of systemic change and look inwards into the human condition. But despite its dark tone, overall it pushes for making a future that prioritises people and the environment. It is about the awakening of the collective human spirit. It is about what it means to be human.

They are similar in the way that the lyrics are both influenced by theatre and literature,
the first album drew from Ancient Greek theatre to Shakespearean drama, and the new
album tends to be more precise and structured, as it draws elements from Carl Jung’s works, Classical Persian poetry, Gnostic texts, theology, and modern theatre.”

You released also two new singles after the LP. What’s COUNT THE DEAD about?

Count the Dead actually continues the themes addressed in Love in the Time of Pestilence, and is the second installment of songs which address the ongoing pandemic.

We composed this song as a protest against world leaders, whose negligence and recklessness have resulted in one of the largest avoidable losses of lives in generations.

We wanted to draw attention to the social and economic injustices that plague society, and the violent health inequalities that have been further exacerbated by the global pandemic, which has now claimed more than 5 million lives worldwide.

At a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever before,
discourse has never been more important, and urgent.”

The video for the other single THE PROPHET is very impressive.
What’s the process of the construction of the clip like?

Andrea: “We usually have a clear script before the music composition.
Samara is the best to make it real in visual form.”

Daphne: “Thank you! I think it’s our best video so far. Andrea and I will first discuss the storyline and the scenes we want to present in the video. I then go away and construct them scene by scene to go with the music and lyrics. This usually involves several layers per scene. With every new video we make, I learn new techniques and tricks. But all you really need is imagination, patience…and several Adobe photo and video editing software programs!”

Your spoken word performances are a fundamental part of the whole TCOMAS sound, Daphne. Any intention to sing on a track(s) in the future?

Daphne: “There’s going to be surprises in the new album but I can’t say it right now. But definitely no plans to abandon this. It’s our form of expression. I feel that it allows for the use of phrases, metaphors and imagery in a way that standard lyrical songwriting does not.

It is powerful, cathartic, and moving, and when combined within music, has the power to connect with the personal and collective unconscious on a really deeper level and singing would.”

What are the consequences of BREXIT for musicians?

“BREXIT and COVID killed and destroyed the economy
in the UK and guess who’s gonna pay for it?”

Any future plans to play live?

“Yes, of course, we are dying to. We would really love to, but unfortunately, this pandemic has made us seriously consider the implications of what it will be to go back ‘to normal’ when obviously the time is still not ripe and until we can ensure the safety of all our fans, and everyone in attendance, we will have to hold it off until better days come for all of us.”

Which movie would you pick to visualize the TCOMAS sound?

Andrea: “It’s difficult to pinpoint as each song sounds like a movie on its own. But let’s try, shall we? For Full Spectrum, I would say From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino as well Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) directed by Terry Gilliamould.

For the new album, Trust No Leaders, probably somewhere along the lines of Apocalypto (2006) meets American History X (1998) with a touch of Once Upon a Time in America (1984), with Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock as the director.”

Daphne: “Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), and Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain (2006). Film and the moving image play a big role in our music, not just in influencing the videos we make but also in the writing process as well. Being visual artists as well, image and sound always go hand in hand for us.”

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?

“The Sex Pistols have already done it! We’d stick with their version, because it is epic and irreplaceable. Especially this event where they played God Save The Queen (‘we mean it man’) on The River Thames in London in 1977 on the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth IIbeneath
the bridges of London
‘…before they were stopped by the police.”

The best track you heard all year?

‘Us Against December Skies‘ by Harakiri for the Sky

THE Event – good or bad – of 2021?

The Good:

Andrea:”The good one is that we are still here rocking more than ever before!”

Daphne: “We are really proud that we released our debut album and also
managed to write and record our second album in one year…and also start
a side project business:TCOMAS Studio.”

The Bad:

Andrea: “The worst thing happened in 2021: The Holy See now cannot be sued for cases
of sexual abuse committed by priests of various countries — as decided by the European Court of Human Rights.”

Daphne: “Delta and Omicron.”

Are you fans of traditional Xmas carols? If so, which one is your favorite?

“No, not at all, sorry! But we love to share our culinary traditions with each other, so we will whip up a Christmas feast and probably play some non-Xmas Jazz. Okay, okay, if we were to choose, it would have to be sung by Frank Sinatra, and only Frank Sinatra.”

Suppose you were asked to a DJ set on 31st December.
Name 3 songs you would certainly play?

“The new year is always a time to reflect upon history through great music.

For that, can we get 4 each, please? Our playlist will be the following songs, in this order.

House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals (1964)

Blowin’ In The Wind by Bob Dylan

Volare by Domenico Modugno (1958)

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron (1971)

You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen (2016)

Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt (2002) by Trent Reznor (1995)

Lazarus by David Bowie (2015/2016)

Disturbed’s 2015 cover of Sound Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel (1964)

Three things you really love to happen
in 2022 for Samara and Manimal
.

“We’d really like to go on a holiday!

A successful album launch

A Covid-free world (might be wishful thinking).”

Thank you for this interview, Daphne and Andrea.
May the road rise with The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara in 2022!

Back to the music.
Stream FULL SPECTRUM here…

.
TCOMAS: Facebook

How Was 2021 For The Architect Of Canadian Indie Label OFF WHITE HOUSE RECORDS And Her Fast Growing Team

20 December 2021


(photo by Turn Up The Volume)

Another troubled pandemic year, causing a wide varied range of big and small problems for humankind around the world is nearing its end. Hard to say what the future will bring as the viral enemy comes and goes, but never disappears, so far.

Despite the daily-life-altering confusion, Canada-born musician/singer-songwriter and indie addict Laura Lee Schultz re-activated her beloved Off White House Records label and signed several must-hear acts. A heart that’s dedicated to someone/something is a determined one that beats even harder when times are difficult.

Let’s hear Laura Lee‘s
heart beating…

You revitalized your label OFF WHITE HOUSE RECORDS
with loads of sonic fuel. What made you do it?

“I had a different life plan when 2020 began. Down The Lees was going to continue
playing shows around Europe, ERIIS with Naomi Sijmons (Renna Riot) and Mirabelle
Van De Put
(HAZE) would be unleashed on the world, and summer looked inviting!

However, we all know what happened there. After the first lockdown, my partner
and I decided it would be wise to move closer to my family in Canada. It was
a difficult decision for me because I adore Belgium!

We were getting ready to go when Mirabelle said she wanted to release her lockdown album and launch HAZE. I offered to help and added her to the Off White House roster and provided her with support for the release. I wasn’t playing shows and I wasn’t writing. But I wanted to keep active in music. So I built a website, reached out to a few of my friends to see what they are doing and voila, roster.

I really wanted a place where new bands can collaborate and support each other. I don’t know if you have noticed, but everyone on the label gives kudos to each other on their socials. There is quite a bit of mutual respect going on.

I may be the founder of OWH, but we really want to operate as a collective.”

Do you have to be crazy to run an indie
record label in this day and pandemic age?

“Yes…and no. The model is changing. We always need music. That was very apparent
when the world shut down. We consumed so much music last year. It was insane!
We just didn’t have a chance to see our favorite bands live.

But we kept writing and putting music out. There will always be a need for music,
but the delivery of it evolves. And artists need to be compensated better for it.
Don’t get me started on the streaming debate.”

The “White House” in the logo doesn’t really look like
the one in Washington. Is it your own dream house, perhaps?

“It is definitely not the house in Washington! It was a run-down house in East Vancouver that was supposed to be white but was so discoloured from age. It stank like mold, was very cheap and I had a jam space in the basement. That is where the first Down The Lees album was written.”

How did the impressive roster come together so quickly?

“Well, I put my ear to the ground and just listened. Once I decided to open up the roster, I started talking to friends and looked around on the internet. HAZE was first. Bronson Arm came along because of Noise Rock Now, a FB group that is excellent. I found Foxeagle on Instagram and instantly fell in love.

I also have a few longtime friends in BC with new bands (Fantasy Boys, Bonnuit), and it just grew from there. Now I get emails with bands pitching their songs wanting to be on the label. That is how ’00_’ joined. And it’s growing! It didn’t take very long. Once the word spread, it was just a matter of deciding who to add.”

A couple of months after the label’s rebirth, your first excellent compilation came about. I always wondered how different artists end up on the same album. Who’s the architect and how does it actually work for compilations, Laura?

“The shocking, and unfortunately not surprising, discovery of the remains of 215 children at a Kamloops residential school prompted all this. It wasn’t hard to convince bands on the label to be part of a compilation that is a benefit for the Indian Residential School Survivors.

I live, work and play on the traditional, unceded territory of the Okanagan/Syilx people.
We wanted to do something to help our indigenous communities and this was one way we knew how. It was an excellent exercise for the bands because we all chipped in to make it happen. From artwork, to mastering, to content curation.”

The compilation is labeled VOLUME 1. So when can we expect VOLUME 2?

“We will have another one next year! Not sure what the theme will be, but it
will be excellent as the bands are writing and recording in the coming months.”

If you had the opportunity, which famous bands, from
the past and/or present, would you really love to sign?

“Oh wow, that is a can of worms! Would I want to sign bands that would make me rich so
I can have 5 houses? Or would I want bands that are not famous but feed my soul. I think the latter. Famous to me may not be to others. If Shannon Wright or Pile knocked on my door, I wouldn’t turn them away. Ultimate respect.”

What is your own musical status as an artist right now, Laura Lee? Plans?

“I have a few songs written that I recorded myself (with the help of a friend).
I plan to release them next year. If the world can get itself together by spring,
I’ll be back to Europe with some shows.”

Can indie labels survive the by now almost 2 years of pandemic drama?

“Some will and some won’t. Just like the fate of anyone or any business during
this crazy time. The mental aspect of this is heartbreaking. You may have the best
intentions and community behind something, but life can get in the way.

Most bands don’t survive, lots of labels don’t survive. I’m going to try my
best to honour the talent on this label as long as my heart will let me.”

The best track and album of 2021.

“I love all the bands on the label so I am not going to play favorites.
If I had to choose outside of the label:

Track: Racist, Sexist Boy – The Linda Lindas
Album: Hey What – Low.”

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

“Traditional, not so much. Although, I’m a very nostalgic person and enjoy revisiting Brenda Lee or Darlene Love with a cup of hot apple cider. But if you are talking about The WaitressesChristmas Wrapping or Type O NegativeChristmas Mourning, I’m all in.”

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

“During my youth, I used to stay home alone on New Year’s Eve to write and record
a song. It was an annual ritual. I wanted to avoid the pressure of having a drunken night that I wouldn’t remember in the morning. That was the first song I would hear at midnight. I haven’t done that in a long time. Maybe I should do it again. Definitely a good way to set intentions for the year, I think.”

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

“In no particular order:

Releasing a lot of new material for bands on the label and partnering with new acts that collaborate on such an inspiring level.

Return to Belgium/Europe for a month in the Spring to play some shows and visit friends that I miss dearly.

Improve mental health. This is something that is not talked about very much at all. This pandemic has been very damaging for artists on so many levels. The most heartbreaking of all is the depression, sadness and isolation that we feel. It is a loss of a dream. A loss of who we used to be. My friend Riel Hahn put it this way, “There actually is nothing else. Just this, that is only mine. It’s not my family, it’s not grief, it’s not romance, or deeply working on decolonizing. It’s just the thing I am, I do, I love, I excel at, where my edges are.” That has been taken away from us, and it is hard to reconcile with. My hope is that we can all help each other get through this, and honestly admit how dull our edges are. I, for one, have had a very terrible time with all of this. But I will continue to try and not give up. That is what I wish for everyone in 2022. To not give up.”

Thank you, Laura Lee, for this interview.
may the road rise with you, the label, and
all its artists in 2022.

Buy yourself your Xmas gift
and have a noisy night with Santa


.
Full OWH roster (click on name for more info)

00_ (Australia)
Bonnuit (Canada)
Bronsom Arm (US)
Dating Myself (Canada)
Down The Lees (Canada)
EP Island (Canada)
ERIIS (Belgium)
Fantasy Boys (Canada)
Foxeagle (France)
Haze (Belgium)
New Years Resolution (Canada)
Seperation Agreement (CA/BE)

OFF WHITE HOUSE RECORDS: Bandcamp – Website

How Was 2021 For Tucson, Arizona Rainbow CHATEAU CHATEAU… BLEU Tells Us All About It

9 December 2021

Band: CHATEAU CHATEAU (Tucson, Arizona)
Who: An evolving community of musicians led by power couple
Alex and Bleu. With beginnings in an abandoned aerospace warehouse
in 2018, Chateau Chateau has grown into Tucson’s favorite self-deprecating
glam-rock band, dusty and sparkly. They take pride in supporting
the LGBTQ+ community.

This up and coming sensation is gearing up for its second album, hitting the streets in 2022. It’s the follow-up to their notable 2020 debut LP Princess. An effervescent cocktail guitar/synth pop thrills with real-life stories of falling down and getting up again. Glam and glitter riot tattoo grrl Bleu is the charismatic Amazon in the middle and she’ll tell us all we need to know (so far) about Chateau Chateau and her personal struggles in her young life.

But as usual, we start a Turn Up The Volume interview with music
to get us in the right mood. And why not with some fucking shit…

Hello Bleu,

In your bio I read that CHATEAU CHATEAU is an evolving
community of musicians. What does that mean in reality?

“Ultimately, the band is led by Alex and I, Bleu, who write all of the songs, guide the vision and keep everything running on and off stage, but we welcome almost anyone who wants to make magic with us. We’re open to making music with anyone who loves what Chateau stands for as much as we do.

We often have horn players, dancers, synth players, etc. perform with us and become part of our little community.

It isn’t uncommon for you to see a rotating cast of performers from show to show. But some members like Jay, Bleu’s brother, have been with us for years. Jay switches between guitar, bass, synths, and more depending on the show and who else we have on stage.”

What’s the story/meaning behind the band name CHATEAU CHATEAU?

“At one point we had a whole story around it, but honestly we each picked a few names
we liked, and Chateau Chateau fit us best. You could say we’re a large, sparkly, grand, hard to miss group just like a French castle, though.”

Greatest musical influences?

“Definitely Talking Heads, of Montreal, Blondie, Joy Division,
Fanny, The Strokes, The Kinks, and Bowie
.”

What track would you play to introduce CHATEAU CHATEAU
to music fans who never heard of you?

“Probably I Don’t Love You Anymore right now, but honestly our new album about to be released is a really good evolution of our music and showcases a good mix of everything we’ve done before, but at our best.”


.
What’s I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE about?

“This song is actually my favorite story wise on the new album, the chorus quotes things my dad said to me growing up. When I wrote it I had found an old diary which had letters that my dad wrote to me when I was a teenager. My dad has an illness that changed his mind. I started getting punished for things I never did, and to this day still get treated like an awful piece of shit child. Even though I was a straight-A student, worked full time, was an athlete, etc.

Everyday I was told horrible things about myself and was constantly threatened with things like taking away health insurance, taking me off his will, etc. if I didn’t do exactly as he wanted. He unwarrantedly told me I was worthless, resentful, stupid, throwing my life away, and other things that as a young woman you shouldn’t have to hear. He would also send me articles on how being gay is a choice and constantly tell me I’m going to hell.

When I stood up for myself it only got worse. I learned patience, how not to treat people, and how to be on my own from a young age.

I had to build myself from the ground mentally and physically. I took the experience and learned and grew from it. Writing this song felt really good, I’ve always been so afraid of speaking about him and our relationship, and I fought too hard for too long to try to keep it. This song is the most honest I’ve ever been.”

On debut album PRINCESS the main vocals were
mostly by Alex. What or who decides who’ll sing?

“We’ve had a different vocalist on each album/era so far. This decision was part of a bigger conversation that Alex and I are constantly having: who is Chateau, what do we want to represent, and what is our identity. We decided that I can better represent who Chateau Chateau is, they think I’m a better vocalist so I dedicated a lot of time to improving my singing and frontman skills to do the job justice.

I also enjoy it a lot more, Alex never really liked the pressure. It’s a tough role but I love representing and getting to pour my emotions in vocally now, not just through music and lyric writing. If Chateau history was a little different, I would’ve been the front person from the very beginning according to Alex.”

I love the artwork of the LP. Who designed it
and what did you want to visualize with it?

“I design all of our artwork from album covers to Instagram posts to concert posters! For each era, I’ve wanted the look to evolve with us. The LP told a story of going from a really dark place of substance abuse, self harm, low self esteem and rock bottom, to taking back what’s yours and finding a voice and confidence in yourself and by yourself. So taking the original photos in my favorite crazy, kind of dingey dive bar in my hometown felt right.

The mannequin represents modern pressures and standards everyone is expected
to fit, and how without individuality and expression, we’d all be the same, and
going through the same motions. And having it in black and white with rainbow
lettering felt right for the message as well.”

This year’s 3 singles are all glam and glitter dance crackers, as glam
and glitter as all band pics and singles’ artwork are
. Is that look essential
to the band?
?

“That look has always been a part of Chateau’s image and is essential to who we are.
It started with the conception of the band – Alex didn’t want Chateau to look like every other band. I also like to think he wanted an excuse to wear glitter makeup. We wanted to basically throw a party at each show, to have fun and make sure our audience had more fun than anyone else.

So, it made sense to dress like a glittery glammed out 80’s pop band. We want everyone to feel confident and comfortable to express themselves for whoever they are. Our shows are a safe space to do that. Having a range from dark lyrics to loud fashion really tries to include room for everyone.”

Although I haven’t tattoos myself I admire the art of it.
What does body-tattooing mean to you, Bleu?

“As a tattoo artist myself, everyone has their own meanings behind their tattoos and
why they get tattooed. For me, I love getting to create that kind of personal art. Some of my tattoos have personal meaning, but most of the time I think of it as art collecting.

I do a lot of my own tattoos and it’s such a fun way to express myself and beauty. They make me feel my most confident and beautiful.

I initially started tattooing myself on the parts of my body I didn’t like, and it taught me how to love and not to be so hard on myself. I also have some tattoos that tell a story and bring back memories, some tattoos only I can see and they’re a daily reminder not to slip back into bad habits. Instead of hiding my mistakes I turn them into something I can smile at and remember.”

What movie would you pick to soundtrack it with CHATEAU CHATEAU music?

“Something like Big (1988) or Freaky Friday (1977). Obviously, the fun cheesy 80’s vibes were something I had to go with. But the message of duality, growing up to make some life-changing mistakes, and thinking you know better when you’re young.

You know that feeling when you’re a kid and you just want to be a grown up because you’re tired of being told what to do, but then you blink and your life has passed you by, and now you’re trying to find the time to hang out with a friend, take a nap, have some fun, and you want to be a kid again. I think our music would be perfect for one of those movies.”

How’s Post-Trump life in America?

Trump changed a lot. The last few years brought out the worst in a lot of people,
and divided more. But a lot of us have come together to try to create some real change.

Change is needed. In general, we fight for acceptance, progress, justice. It’s sad that
there are people fighting for things to go backwards. All of a sudden they’re talking about making gay marriage illegal again, making laws against abortion, essentially trying their best to oppress anything different than them.

It’s scary sometimes, last month I had to take the pride sticker off my motorcycle helmet because I got threatened by a man with giant American and trump flags on his truck and thought that was it for me. We do have a platform though, and we will continue to do whatever we can to fight for what’s right and donate to organizations in need.”

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

“We actually got to cover Essential Logic’s Wonderful Offer! Or label, Kill Rock Stars, celebrated their 30th anniversary so all of the bands got to cover a KRS catalog song.
It was so fun to turn a post-punk song into our synth-pop version. We also have a cover coming up on our new album, Voices Carry by Til Tuesday, which has always been one
of our favorites!”


.
The best track and album you heard in 2021?

“I found a lot of old music that’s new to me, one of my favorites being Fanny who
has influenced a lot of the new music. Although it’s really hard to pick just one,

I discovered so many sick bands like New York Dolls, Vampire Beach Babes,
Mdou Moctar, The Old Haunts
, I could go on.

I can never pick just one! I’m always jamming out to all different playlists and genres
to find new music. The weirder the better, and if you know any cool bands always send
them my way!”

Are you fans of traditional Xmas carols? If so, which one is your favorite?

“Not as much Christmas carols, but more the Pop songs! Last year we covered Santa Baby by Ertha Kitt which was so fun. We love jazz. But I think my all-time favorite is Last Christmas by Wham!. Even as a kid I was jamming out to that song all December long.

It’s just so catchy and cheesy, but has those classic 80’s synth sounds and drum machine that you can’t miss.”

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

“This is also such a hard one for me. Something like Liza Anne’s Bad Vacation, The Beatles’ Ticket to Ride, or Caroline Polacheck’s So Hot you’re Hurting my Feelings. All of them are upbeat indie pop songs that make you want to dance. They’re fun and pretty optimistic, and all bring me a lot of joy.

I just want something playing that’s going to give me good vibes, I’m stoked for the new year. So far they’ve only gotten better and I’m always looking forward to what’s next!”

Name three things you really love to happen
in 2022 for CHATEAU CHATEAU, Bleu

“We have an album coming out, so I’m beyond excited for the release of that! We’ll be announcing more details soon, but for now, we’re excited to be releasing singles from it. I’m so excited to see how everyone reacts to it, it’s my first time being this open and honest, and while being this personal is a little scary, it’s been so awesome and a crazy experience.

Secondly, we get to play a festival that we’ll also announce soon, it’s going to be such a great opportunity for us, it’s such an iconic festival we cannot wait! I’m hoping to meet some other cool artists there and expand more.

Lastly, we’re planning on touring, so I’m really just hoping that we get to continue to grow our audience and meet more amazing people, see more of the world, and just continue to grow and have a blast doing it!”

Thank you very much for the interview, Bleu.
May the road rise with Chateau Chateau in 2022.

Check this out. More glam and glitter
with debut LP Princess…

.
CHATEAU CHATEAU: Facebook

(All artists photos of CC by Jeaninne Kaufer)

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…


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GHOST PATTERNS: Facebook  

 

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,
welcome…

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…


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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
Matter
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.

Stream/buy
‘Participation Mystique’ here…


.
LORE CITY: Bandcamp

From Dublin Ireland… MONSIEUR POMPIER’S TRAVELLING FREAKSHOW

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…


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MONSIEUR POMPIER: 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
Maylor
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…


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HEAVY SALAD: Facebook


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…

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SAVING JACKIE: Facebook

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!

Stream/buy the
NIGHT IS MINE EP here…


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ULTRA SUNN: Website