EMQ’s With Beth Jones
What is your name, what do you do, and can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing it?
Hi! I’m Beth, and I co-own Ever Metal with the formidable Richard Tilley! I also write reviews of both recorded and live music, and I take pictures of musicians doing their thing! Writing is something I’ve always done, but reviewing is fairly new. It all started with a chance meeting with the aforementioned Mr Tilley, and it kind of went from there. I got into photography when my eldest daughter (now an actual adult, I mean WTF?) was doing photography at GCSE. I thought it would be a good way of us doing stuff together. Turns out I was actually ok at it!
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I’m from Wrexham, North Wales – or the proper Wales as we like to call it! The metal scene here is, well, trying. It’s not as good as it used to be back in ‘the day’ (aging myself there). We used to get some really big names coming to our little town. Motorhead being one example that springs to mind. In recent years the scene here has been a little neglected, and the town itself has been overrun with chavvy pseudo-upper class wine bars which attract men with more testosterone than brain cells and women who forgot to put their skirts on before they came out. BUT that being said, there are a few of us die hard metal heads who are trying every which way to relaunch the scene in a bigger way.
What is your favourite latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Now I have to answer this myself, I feel the pain of our interviewees that say this is a difficult question. But I have to say that it’s been a hell of a long time since I was totally blown away by an album quite as much as I was with Wilderun’s latest release – “Veil Of Imagination”. Without question, unless something miraculous happens, it’s my album of the year.
Who have been your greatest influences, in music or in life?
Musically, Freddie Mercury and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, mainly. But I also love Jazz and blues. Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra. And Tom Waites. In life, my parents. My dad for my music, and my mum for her calm and logic. Aside from that, I have many influences, mainly comedy based, which have helped form my personal outlook of ‘zero shits given’. The Pythons mainly! And Matt Berry.
What first got you into music?
Well, I don’t ever remember a time when there wasn’t music. My parents were both musical. My dad taught woodwind instruments, both in schools and privately at our house, and was also an incredibly talented jazz and swing musician (mainly on sax and clarinet) and played in pit orchestras for musicals. So, I was kind of born into it. He had music students at our house Monday to Thursday between 6pm and 9pm throughout my childhood, and when he wasn’t teaching, he was either playing Jazz or listening to Wagner!
Which current bands or musicians would you like to see collaborate on a record?
Devin Townsend, Freddie Spera and Matt Jones. That would be an epic prog episode!
If you could go to any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Wacken! I mean that’s just metal mecca really isn’t it. I’m not interested in the commercialism of Download – not my bag. But Wacken looks frikkin’ amazing. Saying that though, I’m not great with crowds so unless I was in the press pit, it would probably do my head in. But Wacken in the press pit… That would be amazeballs!
What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?
I have a Charango – it’s an Andean instrument, which is kind of a cross between a Spanish guitar and a Mandolin, but it has ten strings. Traditionally they were made from Armadillo shells, but this one is a more modern one made of wood. I bought it a few years ago with the honest intensions of learning to play it. I haven’t quite got there yet, but it’s really pretty!
If you had one message for your Ever Metal readers, what would it be?
Without wanting to sound like a 90’s D:ream cover band, ‘Things can only get better!’ Life can deal some pretty shitty cards at times but battle on through it and look to the end game. Things do get better eventually. I’m living proof of that. (Bit deep – sorry!)
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Without question or a second thought, Freddie Mercury. The most brilliant and influential rock star we have seen and will see in our lifetime. Taken far too soon, with so much more to give.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
That so many awesome musicians get overlooked because they’re not ‘in the clique’. The fact that you have to kiss ass to get anywhere in music sucks, and so many brilliant talents go un-noticed because of it.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Mozart – Requiem Mass in D Minor, as recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s, or Downloads?
Personally, I’m a CD girl. I was in my formative years when the transition from cassette to CD was being made, so I own a lot of cassettes too! For personal nostalgia, I love to think back to cassettes on my Walkman, and when they brought out the new edition Walkman, with automatic side changing, so you didn’t have to flip the tape over when it got to the end of side A. That was like the most magic thing I had ever seen. The most depressing thing about cassettes was if you had to get a pencil out to save it. For any youngsters reading, it was like your life was over when that happened – google it! But yeah, CDs are both tangible and decent quality. I like physical copies so streaming is a last resort for me. And vinyl is great for real nostalgia, but I don’t own a big enough house to have alllll the vinyl.
What’s the best gig that you have been to, and why?
Bon Jovi at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester in 2013. Don’t judge me. It was fucking awesome. It was Bon Frikkin’ Jovi!
What do you get up to when you’re not writing/ taking photos?
Well, I’ve done many things. I’ve been a shop assistant, bar maid, tailoress, admin clerk, estate agent, and I was even a teacher for a bit. But now I actually write for a living. I create course content, voice over scripts, and animation direction for animated corporate training courses. It’s pretty fun to be honest, and I am now an expert in everything from safe use of abrasive wheels to critical thinking for leaders in business innovation!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Devin Townsend, Stephen Fry, Sandy Toksvig, Michael Palin, and Hugh Dennis. I like laughing.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
A bloody biscuit, unless they are trying to fiddle the tax man!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Yes. Never eat yellow snow.
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