EMQ’s With Star Circus

Star Circus Logo

EMQ’s With Star Circus

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with UK 70s/80s inspired Rock band, Star Circus. Huge thanks to Vocalist/Guitarist, Dave Winkler, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi! I’m Dave Winkler. I sing and play guitar in Star Circus. I guess I’m the Ringleader.

Star Circus really started off as an album project rather than a band. I had accumulated a load of songs over the years, a couple were played in previous bands, but most were just demos that hadn’t worked out or been put forward any other projects. Towards the end of 2017 I sent producer Tony Wilson (TotalRock / Mia Klose / Scardust) a bunch of MP3’s and he really took a liking to them. A few awesome musicians got onboard, and 5 years later, after getting distracted with tribute bands US tours with signed artists, a pandemic, laptop malfunctions, we finally have “Separate Sides”!

Running parallel to that, over the last couple of years we have released 4 singles that feature on the album. The first one was ‘Love Is The Enemy’ back in February 2020. I put a band together and we did a single launch show, then we all know what happened shortly after! However, during lockdown it became clear that Star Circus needed to be a band. After a few line-up changes, we now have a great bunch of players completed by Sophie Aurélia Young (Bass / Backing Vocals), Jon Crampton (Guitar / Backing Vocals), Alex McArov (Drums) and William Robertson (Keyboards / Guitar / Backing Vocals).

How did you come up with your band name?

As I mentioned, it started as a solo project that evolved into a band. I had previously been in a lot of bands where everything we did was a group decision and I found that a lot of tours and international shows would fall through because life got in the way. I’ve been fortunate to work with some awesome musicians over the years, so the idea was that if we got offered some great opportunities, I would take them and whoever was available would do the shows, so it would be a cool bunch of songs with a revolving cast of people, a ‘Star Circus’. That concept has now changed, but it’s a cool name so we kept it.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are based in London, where I was fortunate enough to grow up. I’m sure you and many of your readers will be aware that there has been a thriving music scene in London for many decades. It takes some dips, old places close and old friends disappear, but it never really dies. There are always great gigs, club nights, bars and events to go to on the rock and metal scene particularly in the Camden and Holloway area where we’re based. There are some new places opening, but great venues like the Underworld, the Electric Ballroom and the Forum have survived.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our previous single, ‘Bridges’ came out on the 26th August. The debut album, “Separate Sides” will be released on 2nd December. It will be preceded by one more single and an accompanying video, a live-in-the-studio version of ’Times Get Tough’. So, look out for that!

Who have been your greatest influences?

Watching the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert on TV that got me into rock music when I was 11 was huge. So, Queen, Extreme, Metallica, Def Leppard and Guns ‘N’ Roses were early influences. Later I would pass a second-hand record shop on my way home from school and grab anything from Iron Maiden to Bowie, Black Sabbath to the Police and try and absorb it all.

What first got you into music?

As a kid in the 80’s I really liked a lot of radio pop music, back when people wrote real songs… I was obsessed with Top of the Pops as a toddler! This was before I’d heard a lot of heavier rock music, as my parents weren’t really into it. I like to think some of the hooks and anthemic ideas in my songs are rooted in that stuff. Everything from Duran Duran, Nik Kershaw, Level 42, Belinda Carlisle, stuff with great melodies. Not very Metal! That came later on. 

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

There are a lot of people I’d love to work with, but if I had to choose one it would be Brian May. He’s such a distinctive guitar player, a great songwriter and a lovely guy.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

I really love Sweden Rock Festival, I fly over there every year (pretty much for the last 20 years) to meet up with friends and see great bands. There are some bigger international festivals like Wacken and HellFest which we would obviously be thrilled to do, but Sweden Rock is my home-from-home.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Many years ago, I got a Playboy Bunny-shaped cushion handed to me at a show at the Underworld, think it was supposed to be an early Christmas Present.

More recently our former guitarist got a Valentines card sent to his place of work from a fan in Holland. He wasn’t too happy about it – we still don’t know how she got the address!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Have… a good time… all the time.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

I’m gonna go for David Bowie. A Bowie-less world really sucks, he had so many amazing ideas, I just thought he’d live forever. 

Though Eddie Van Halen would be a close second. Luckily, I got to see Van Halen support Bon Jovi at Wembley when I was 15, then never again. Would have been great if he’d made it over to the UK in the last 25 years, but it wasn’t to be.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I really love touring, playing shows night after night and becoming an unstoppable rock n’ roll machine, it’s one big adventure. I also equally love writing and recording, putting songs together piece by piece. What I don’t enjoy so much is the social media promo stuff – sometimes upwards of 20 takes talking to a phone screen, Facebook glitches, fiddly little Instagram stories, all that. Sophie’s (bassist) much better at that stuff than me. I’m old, I’d rather just hand out flyers or talk to people on the phone!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I feel, since the advent of emails being the primary form of communication, along with social media private messages, the lack of response frustrates me. I’d rather hear ’No, sorry. We’re not interested’ than… just nothing. In my experience it’s more often labels, agents, venue promoters and management that don’t respond. Bands tend to be a little better at it, but often can’t be of much help! Since we can’t rewind the clock to a time when people answered the phone, maybe it would be better if musicians took more control and responsibility of different aspects instead of such a big team of middlemen. We would have better and more direct communication and more power. And now half my friends in the industry are gonna hate me, ha ha!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Thanks for saying ‘one of’, it gives me a chance to give a different answer! I’m gonna go for Megadeth – “Countdown To Extinction”. Many of my friends would go for “Rust In Peace” which is also great, but for me ‘Countdown…’ was where Mustaine really hit his stride with the songwriting. There’s just a perfect mix of great playing and big anthems. So there you go, some metal, finally! Next interview it will probably be something by Rick Springfield, Bryan Adams or Belinda Carlisle!

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

That’s a hard one to answer. All of them have different place in my life. I guess I don’t download many albums anymore. Digitally I tend to stream stuff, so downloads probably come last. My car has a radio and CD player, so CD’s are still very integral to me. I grew up with cassette tapes, so there’s a lot of nostalgia attached to them, much like CD’s. Taking the shrink wrap off, unfolding the sleeve and checking out the photos and lyrics, putting it in the tape deck and hearing songs for the first time, long before YouTube and Spotify existed. It was all so exciting! Vinyl is amazing, but it’s a luxury purchase for people nowadays, in that sense it’s the best format. But it’s impractical, sadly I don’t get many opportunities to listen to proper records nowadays.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

That’s a really tough one. My old band opened for Skid Row at the Electric Ballroom many years ago, that felt like a great show, even though I broke my guitar strap 4 songs in!

I’m hoping the best shows are to come with Star Circus. Maybe it will be our album launch at the Camden Underworld on 26th November, come down and find out!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Not a lot probably! I discovered I make pretty awesome vegetable soup during lockdown. Maybe I could open a soup kitchen?

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

The original line up of KISS in full makeup and my 95-year-old grandma. Just to create all kinds of confusion and awkwardness.

What’s next for the band?

The album launch gig is at the Underworld on 26th November, we’re pretty excited about that one, and we’ve put together a killer bill. The album comes out 6 days later, we’re feeling pretty positive thanks to the reactions from the press so far! Next year we have a tour and a couple of festivals lined up for the Summer, can’t say too much yet so watch this space for announcements.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

We have a website and are on all social media platforms. Check out the links below:

https://www.starcircus.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DWStarCircus
https://www.instagram.com/dw_starcircus/
https://www.youtube.com/c/starcircus
https://twitter.com/starcircus_band

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I personally believe they are very small cakes. Micro-cakes.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Hope to see everyone reading this at the launch, or at some shows next year. We won’t disappoint you! Keep the rock rollin’!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Toyah – Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! (2021 Remaster)

Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! Album Cover Art

Toyah – Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! (2021 Remaster)
Cherry Red Records
Release Date: 13/05/2022
Running Time: 1:01:00
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

Now, your first question may well be: “How did Platinum Al manage to slip a Toyah review onto a Rock / Metal website?” Well, dear reader, let me tell you a story. The first time I ever saw Toyah live was at a local club, where the dynamic lady herself was backed by the mighty Girlschool. All of these fearsome females put on an explosive show, comprising of ultra-rocked-up originals from both artists and Classic Rock covers. So yes, Toyah is more Rock ’N’ Roll than you (or I) will ever be.

To be fair, despite her Pop pedigree, Toyah Willcox has always been more Bowie than Kylie. And on this reissue of the 1980 live album, Cherry Red have presented us with a vibrant – even, dare I say it, rocking – bunch of Post Punk songs that show Toyah and her band in full flight. The expanded deluxe CD set is packaged with a DVD featuring a contemporary documentary. For this review though, we’re focussing purely on the music.

Happily, the production is top notch. Remastered by Nick Watson from the original master tapes, the sound is formidable. The instruments come through crisp and clear and the vocals are excellent, as shown on ‘Victims of the Riddle’ where keyboards maintain a steady melody while lead guitar erupts with energy. Likewise, bass and drums shine on ‘Love Me’ – it’s particularly impressive considering we’re dealing with a 40-year-old live album.

Highlights on “Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!” include ‘Bird in Flight’, ‘Danced’ (which reminded me of the Skids) and the occult war chant of ‘Ieya’. Never truly dark enough to be Goth, the songs here are more “Scary Monsters” with a generous helping of Hawkwind Space Rock, especially on ‘Race Through Space’.

Through it all, Toyah’s one-of-a-kind voice soars. Toyah has never stopped writing and performing music, acting, presenting and so on; these days she’s famous for her lockdown YouTube videos performing kitchen-based Rock covers with husband, King Crimson legend, Robert Fripp. It’s great to hear “Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!” remastered and in pristine condition. Even speaking as a vinyl purist, it looks like my ancient vinyl copy has had its day. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Victims Of The Riddle 
02. Indecision 
03. Love Me 
04. Vision 
05. Bird In Flight 
06. Tribal Look 
07. Danced 
08. Insects 
09. Race Through Space 
10. Ieya Bonus Tracks 
11. Ghosts 
12. Neon Womb (Unedited) 
13. She 
14. Danced (Encore Version)

LINE-UP:
Toyah Willcox – Vocals & Noises
Joel Bogen – Guitar
Peter Bush – Keyboards
Charlie Francis – Bass
Steve Bray – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with DEATH INGLORIA

Death Ingloria Logo

EMQ’s with DEATH INGLORIA

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with London, England based Multimedia Rock band, Death Ingloria. Huge thanks to Galina Rin for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

I’m Galina Rin. Supreme being of the band Death Ingloria creating rock music, comic art and animation about the end of Humanity. Each album is a complete Sci Fi story accompanied by a comic and I’m not saying I’m psychic but my first comic was about a designer virus that was purposefully let loose on the population. Don’t worry I kill us off a lot faster in our upcoming album “Death Ingloria II: Death by Admin”.😊

I was trying to start a band for more years than I care to admit. I went through 5 bass players and 12 drummers only to decide to go it alone. So, for the first 3 years of this project, I was a one human show. Now I have a band. Co-Conspirators. Space Travellers that accompany me on this journey. It’s nice to have company as this life, it ain’t right for everybody. Everyone would do it now if it was easy.

How did you come up with your band name?

I tell stories about Humanity’s Inglorious Death. So, Death Ingloria seemed the right choice.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from London, UK and it’s hard to say what the scene will be like when it opens up. Before Lockdown I would say that there is room for everyone in our scene but you need to be very specific about your audience. Some genres do better than others and middle of the road dies a death here.

We find our tribe within comic cons and other geek based conventions but we also play rock festivals and venues.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our latest release is ‘Battle Stations’, the 2nd single of our upcoming album “Death Ingloria II: Death by Admin”. Of all of our videos this one means the most to us. It depicts true, lived through events and ones that could very easily be repeated. By normalising public violence, we cause it to seep and stain our collective identity until it becomes so ingrained in who we are that we give it its own annual celebration.

‘Battle Stations’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Coheed and Cambria are pretty much responsible for the creation of Death Ingloria. I’ve seen them 19 times, managed to watch from the side of stage both at Glastonbury and Reading Festival and even owned the handbag at one point. We are similar and yet different enough to make a great support band for C&C. You know…just in case The Universe is one of your readers.

What first got you into music?

My parents are folk and rock musicians. My Dad played drums for a band that supported Jimi Hendrix, back in the day. It’s cliche to say but it’s always been that way.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

Maybe I’m soft in the head, but I don’t dream of collabs. I wouldn’t turn them down but I don’t have anyone in mind. It’s just not something I think about.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Now this is something I dream about! Download, Fuji Rock, San Diego Comic Con! I have to give you three because they are all very different.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I did an acoustic show in London and after the show a fan handed me a pen drawn picture, he had drawn of me while performing at that show. It was really cool and looked just like me 😊

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Everything moves towards its end.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

My first thought is for Kurt Cobain but would he want to come back? Maybe not so let’s bring back someone who died by accident or illness. Randy Rhoads seems the obvious choice, Chuck Schuldiner also.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

First off, I don’t hate anything about being a musician. I’ve done all the crap jobs to get here and I can tell from experience there is nothing to complain about.

Being in charge of your own art and how you spend your time is the thing I enjoy the most.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

If I’ve learned anything on this journey it is this. If you move/change something, something else must move into its space. An equivalent exchange if you like. I’d have a good old look before wishing things away.

Things are generally the way they are for a reason and only through gradual change can they evolve.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Machina – “Progenitor”. Just amazing Symphonic Sci Fi Metal greatness. I have no idea how they make half their sounds.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Download, Comic and ID Card. The three formats our new album comes in.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Opening The Cyberdrone at BoomTown Fair in 2019 was pretty epic. A 15 metre 360 project Dome with a stage in the middle. Anime Epic Overload!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Nothing. I’d be dust in the wind, dude. I did all the crap jobs to land here and now I’m not going anywhere.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’m a reformed alcoholic l so I don’t like dinner parties as it will make me want to drink. However, I love to go dancing at metal clubs. So, for that, actively I wouldn’t take anyone famous. We’re there to dance not schmooze.

What’s next for the band?

Gig, gig, gig, tour, tour, tour and then write some more! Seriously though, We’re playing a lot of online festivals for the foreseeable, but we will be on the road for a load of dates at Comic Cons through the rest of the year, check out the events on deathingloria.com. We also have our Live Listening Party (IRL & Livestream) on Friday 30th July 19:00 – 21:00 at The Electrowerkz in London. We’ll be playing the new album and animation in full at this show and attendees, either in the room or on stream will be able to get the album 2 weeks before it’s general release. Exciting.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.deathingloria.com/
www.deathingloria.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/deathingloria/
www.twitter.com/death_ingloria
www.instagram.com/death_ingloria/
www.soundcloud.com/deathingloria
www.twitch.tv/death_ingloria
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6mD6khAn5xTH4hUYkAXJZW
www.youtube.com/channel/UCKtaPIpqYbIFjN4DI7sxsrg

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are a cake in bite size form

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you kindly for having me and we’ll see you all soon.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.v

Matt Long And The Revenant Ones – The Other Side

The Other Side Album Cover Art

Matt Long And The Revenant Ones – The Other Side
Self-Released
Release Date: 16/07/2021
Running Time: 50:30
Review by Simon Black
9/10

This is a new project from Catfish frontman Matt Long. It has been held back from release since last summer, because let’s face it you don’t ideally want to launch a new side project when you can’t get out on the road to support it. For a three piece, they pack a lot of punch too, with Long (on vocals and guitar) being joined by fellow Catfish bassist Adam Pyke and Kev Hickman (Raven Eye) on the drum stool. Long’s vocals are gutsy, soulful and powerfully loud in the mix, with his sole guitar providing a wall of growl against which the rhythm section pounds with slab-like efficiency.

This album has a coiled, tensed up energy, just waiting to explode – like one assumes, the band themselves under the circumstances. It’s a debut, but one delivered by highly experienced musos, which means you get nine well-crafted fat and meaty songs, with a darn fine song-writing sensibility behind them, delivered on a platter of piquant musicianship with a rich fat production sauce. It’s also one of those albums that’s a definite grower.

Opening with huge, hard and heavy wave of discordance, this album kicks the door firmly between the planks with the positively Stoner weight of ‘So’. The album stays that down and dirty throughout, with more of a Black Stone Cherry style of riffage appearing and balancing with the Stoner groove fairly from early on, but peppered with a healthy portion of Blues vibe and a whole lot of soulfulness in Long’s charismatic vocal delivery. This is definitely a heavier, more down-tuned and riffier sound than the more Bluesy sound Catfish fans might be expecting, but the variety of styles here makes for a far more interesting sound. It’s also Metal enough for the more traditional rivet heads like me to get off on it too, with a few dollops of an almost Power Metal tempo for good measure in places.

To be fair that’s the consistent tone and feel throughout, although the pace and sound vary enormously, making for a highly rich listening experience. ‘Have My Say’ is a much pacier piece and a great up-tempo Blues infused rocker that would not sound amiss on a Joe Bonamassa album. When the pace does slow down, as with ‘Dark And Lonely Room’ we see an acoustic and soulful side to Long, who leads the song alone with a clean semi-acoustic guitar for the first half before he rips everyone a new one with a full on power ballad close out. It’s positively Neolithic in its heaviness, and one of the unexpected highlights of the record, but not the only track to take this approach. The album is not afraid to take it’s time either, with both ‘With My Own Eyes’ and the absolute highlight, album closer ‘Across The Borderline’ – again semi-acoustic at the outset but each taking over seven minutes to take the listener on a well-crafted journey of heaviness. And check out Long’s superb Bluesy solo at the end of ‘Borderline’, which is worth waiting for as the album crashes out as heavily as it opened. Spot on chaps.

‘Feel Like A Saint’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. So
02. Have My Say
03. Stone Bones
04. Dark And Lonely Room
05. Take It All
06. Wild Animal
07. With My Own Eyes
08. Feel Like A Saint
09. Across The Borderline

LINE-UP:
Matt Long – Guitars & Vocals
Adam Pyke – Bass
Kev Hickman – Drums

LINKS:

Matt Long And The Revenant Ones Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Video Interview with EMPYRE

Empyre Logo

Video Interview with EMPYRE
By Sheri Bicheno

Hi all! Miss Bicheno here! I am back with another interview…and this time I had a really insightful and lengthy video chat with Did Coles (Lead Guitar) and Henrik Steenholdt (Vocals) of Northampton, UK based Rock band Empyre.

After playing in a successful cover band and wanting to expand on creating their own music, Empyre formed in 2016, catapulting into creating a range of ballads with atmospheric and hard rock layers. Due to play Planet Rock’s Rockstock this year and with more gigs being announced all the time (including a support slot on Mason Hill’s upcoming 2021 UK Tour in September) and all subject to Covid restrictions being lifted, Empyre have a string of stages they have frequented around the UK over the years and if you listen to their stunning offerings with added Acoustic versions, you will see why!

After my Skype cut out our introductions (doh!), have a watch of the interview below with these brilliant guys!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

EMPYRE Video Interview by Sheri Bicheno

Empyre are:
Did Coles – Lead Guitar
Henrik Steenholdt – Vocals
Elliot Bale – Drums
Grant Hockley – Bass

LINKS:

‘Only Way Out’ (Official Video)


Empyre Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Mike West – The Next Life

Mike West – The Next Life
Self-Released
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 33:27
Review by Beth Jones
7/10

We first came across Mike West at our favourite haunt, Mcleans Pentre, and he instantly became a hit with me. His southern style acoustic jams conjure images of chilling round a campfire as the sun sets. And now we can all enjoy the sultry tones of his gravelly pipes from the comfort of our own homes, with “The Next Life” – his debut full length album! You can’t beat a bit of country folk/blues, can you? The tormented, Jack Daniels fuelled ramblings of the jaded, set to music, has long been a favourite of many a music fan, and I’m no exception! When listening to Mike, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he was a pure deep south cowboy, come across the pond to serenade us with ramblings penned on his back porch. But he’s not, he’s actually from Rock Ferry up on the Wirral!

“The Next Life” is packed full of all the bluesy goodness that I would expect from Mike, and has a few tracks that were my favourites live, too! It starts with the title track, which is a lilting, folk inspired tune. The addition of slide and violin here really enhances the sound, and the track travels through tempo changes which keep it interesting. And, of course, on top of it all sits Mike’s unmistakable vocals. They’re reminiscent of Tom Waits, and this pleases me greatly!

The album continues in a similar lamenting style, with Mike’s lyrical poetry featuring strongly throughout. This is one of his strongest points – his word smithery creates a wonderful storytelling element, which is both heartfelt and thought provoking. This is displayed perfectly in track 3, ‘What If?’.

With most tracks recorded in a minor key, the melancholy air of this album is tangible, but not in a bad way. It takes me back to my days playing in a folk band, where the best songs were always in a minor key! That said, I think my favourite track on the album is ‘For Them’, which is actually in a major key! However, it doesn’t lose any of it’s storytelling ability, and is full of reflection upon life, which is Mike’s forte.

The production of this album is also very well done. Recorded at Kingwood Studios in Liverpool, it has the effect of a live performance, which somehow adds to the impact of the music. And more importantly, while the addition of other instruments does fill out the sound, nothing overpowers Mike’s guitar and vocals, which are the stars of the show.

Because of Mike’s unique vocal style, “The Next Life” might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s a very well created debut full-length, of which he should be extremely proud. There’s nowhere to hide when playing acoustically and creating a set of songs that are musically sound, deep and thoughtful, but also able to captivate an audience, is a difficult thing to master. With this album, Mike West has done them all for me, and I look forward to seeing where he takes things to next, as I think he has really found himself, and now has a lot more to give.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Next Life
02. Work On
03. What If?
04. Company I Keep
05. Away I Go
06. Father to Son
07. Rock Ferry
08. For Them
09. No Grave

LINE-UP:
Mike West – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica and Bass
Paul Miceli-Fagrell – Harmonica, Recording and Mixing
Amy Chalmers – Violin
Travis Egnor – Pedal Steel, Slide Guitar

LINKS:
www.mike333west.com/
www.mikewest333.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/mikewest333/
www.instagram.com/mike333west/
www.twitter.com/Mike333West
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4Pd2PAm9bznnxQLxQdQQ5W
www.youtube.com/channel/UCgNLsH3duyQg_VH_qlK9kpQ

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Adam ‘Bowzer’ Bouskill from Massive Wagons

Interview with Adam ‘Bowzer’ Bouskill from Massive Wagons
By Tsarina Wilson

Tsarina recently got the chance to have a really quick chat with, the very busy, Bowzer from Lancaster based Rock band Massive Wagons. Huge thanks to him and Tsarina.

What is your name?

Bowzer!

What do you do?

I am the bassist in Massive Wagons!

Can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing it?

Nothing exciting in how I ended up here. The lads required a bass player, I had played guitar in a band with Baz (vocalist) previously and offered to play… how hard could it be eh? Only 4 strings!!

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I’m from Lancaster, a small city in the North West of England, The rock scene has always had a decent presence here. There are a few pubs that put live music on non-stop. The Yorkie, The Pub, The Bobbin, they all put on new and young bands.

Who have been your greatest influences in music or in life?

Empyre’s most recent release is absolutely amazing. Everything they do is gold.

What first got you into music?

Musically talking specifically bass it has to be Roger Glover!

My whole family is into music. Only a couple have been in bands, but everyone loves a huge variety of music. In my house it was always The Stranglers, Madness, Ian Dury, Bob Dylan, Tom Jones on the stereo. My uncles were in a punk band called Interference and they supported The Clash at Lancaster Uni.

Which current bands would you like to see collaborate on a record?

That’s a hard question, I would like to see Danny Bowes of Thunder replace Adam Lambert fronting Queen, Danny hands down has the greatest rock and roll voice.

If you could go to any festival in the world, which would you chose and why?

Graspop, The line-up is always incredible, and I fancy going to Belgium!

What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?

Erm I don’t think I own any weird musical items!

If you had one message for your Ever Metal reader, what would it be?

Look after yourself! Smile! And defend people around you that can’t defend themselves.

If you could bring back one rock star from the dead, who would it be?

Keith Moon!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I’d swop the popularity of god-awful pop/chart music that is written by 25 people working with algorithms with the dwindling popularity of the rock, metal and alternative scene.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Blackout” by the Scorpions.

What’s best Vinyl, cassette, CD or downloads?

I have no preference; vinyl looks cool though.

What’s the best gig you have been to and why?

Metallica at the Etihad last year it was awesome.

What do you get up to when you’re not writing/ taking photos?

Work, gotta pay the bills.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Keith Moon, Ozzy, Da Vinci, Phil Mogg, Dio!

Thank you so much!

Massive Wagons brand new album “House Of Noise” will be released on 17th July via Earache Records. Order your copy here:
www.webstore.earache.com/A-Z/m/massive-wagons

House of Noise (Official Video)

Band Links:
www.massivewagons.com/
www.facebook.com/MassiveWagons/
www.twitter.com/MassiveWagons
www.instagram.com/massivewagons/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/7xytG2E40s4GeukvZCGqGP
www.youtube.com/user/MassiveWagons

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with BLITZ

EMQ’s with BLITZ

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Nottinghamshire, UK based Rock band, BlitZ. Huge thanks to guitarist, Kevin Simpson, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Kevin Simpson I play guitar in the band. The band was formed in 2015. A chance meeting with Stuart Corden (Singer and Bass player) at a rehearsal studio where he noticed my Kiss tattoo and we got talking about music etc. He worked with Mathew Davis (Drums and Backing Vocals) and before you knew it, we started to write and play music together the rest is… Blitztory!

How did you come up with your band name?

Stuart just came in one day after weeks of thinking about band names and he came up with BlitZ, taken from Sweets…’Ballroom BlitZ’. As simple as that really!

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re all from the Nottinghamshire area, home of Nottingham Rock City! The scene in Nottingham has always been a great rock community.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We are set to release our 2nd Album “Fight To Survive” on August 21st 2020. We are also finishing the video for the 1st single ‘Breaking Out’ to be released early July.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Me personally musically …. Queen, Kiss , Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Van Halen, Guns and Roses, Slade, David Bowie…etc. But we all have different influences to be honest.

What first got you into music?

Queen and Kiss!

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

That’s a difficult one… I’d say Brian May from Queen, or James Hetfield from Metallica, or Lady Ga Ga!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Easy, would have to be Download. I have been going to download (Monsters of Rock) since 1986. It’s a great festival well organised and the crowds are fantastic.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

A Fan had a tattoo of the cover of the 1st album…

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Well what with the COVID-19 all our gigs got cancelled as did everyone else. Just hang in there the music scene will be back, and we have a brand-new CD coming out! So just stay safe and we love you all.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

For me, it would be Freddie Mercury, my hero. Stuart says Prince, and Mat says Dave Williams from Drowning Pool.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love writing and performing simple as that. What I hate – having a late gig and then having to go to work in the morning.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Stop Downloading music. I still love buying CD’s and Records.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Queen 2”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

CD’s

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Bloodstock!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

We all have day jobs, but we would love the band to be our only job!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Dead or Alive? Lemmy, Freddie Mercury, Elvis, Jimmy Hedrix and Eddie Murphy.

What’s next for the band?

Well we’ve been working really hard on the 2nd album, so our main focus is to get it out there and hopefully be back on the road again.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
www.blitzuk.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/blitzrockbanduk
www.reverbnation.com/blitzrockband

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Biscake!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you so much for asking us.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Toby and the Whole Truth – Ignorance is Bliss (25th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition)

Toby and the Whole Truth – Ignorance is Bliss (25th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition)
Jepsongs Recordings
Release Date: 17/07/20
Running Time: 52:17
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

The 90’s was a Marmite decade, musically. The rise of the manufactured band and the new waves of Britpop, indie, and mainstream rave was making it an eclectic picture, which you either loved or hated. The punk, glam, and classic metal scene was being driven underground by the polar opposites of kids with baggy jeans and curtains, smoking joints and playing bar chords, or kids dripping in Burberry, dropping Es and ‘climbing the rope’ or ‘stacking the shelves’ until dawn. The industry was fickle, and driven by profit more than ever before, to the detriment of many artists and bands. But if you looked hard enough, you could still find glimmers of hope amongst the detritus.

In 1995, I was 15, and in somewhat of a period of discovery as far as music was concerned. My tastes had begun to grow up from the likes of Take That and Let Loose. It started after hearing Queen, “Greatest Hits”, for the first time, and having an epiphany moment! And thank god it did, hey?! It was also the year Toby Jepson, formerly of Little Angels, released his first solo album, “Ignorance is Bliss”. A couple of years previously, Little Angels had been seen as the most successful group of a generation, but thanks to the greedy and destructive place that was the 90’s music industry, that had all ended in somewhat bitter circumstances. Now, after a quarter of a century, the dust has settled a little and, Toby, now the vocalist with Wayward Sons, has decided to re-release it as a special 25th anniversary edition. It has been remastered for this release, and there’s also a Limited ‘Songbook’ edition with CD featuring all 11 original tracks and two unreleased songs. The book features 36 pages of production notes, hand drawn illustrations, lyrics, song explanations and a forward introduction by writer David Gailbraith (Kerrang!)

Musically, this album leaves behind the safety of Little Angels’ classic Hard Rock style, moving into the darker realms of Alternative Rock with a hint of 90’s Grunge. Not surprising really, given the events that led to the demise of Little Angels, and, I suspect the need to ‘fit’ with the scene back then. But this album has a more mature edge than a lot of the music that was in vogue at the time, and that makes it ageless. It doesn’t feel dated in any way, and its themes are still as relevant today as they were quarter of a century ago; betrayal, sadness and existential angst, juxtaposed with hopefulness and new musical discovery, which really do make it a timeless classic.

It’s littered with catchy riffs, and a hefty dose of distorted fuzz, and is underpinned with intricate bass and robust rhythms. On top of all this sit Toby’s vocals, crystal clear and with just the right amount of edginess and grit to meld in the classic Rock ‘n’ Roll overtones, without taking the sound too far back into the comfort zone of times gone by.

It also has a certain acoustic intimacy about it – all the tracks could legitimately be played acoustically and not lose any of their meaning or feeling. I like this a lot. A few of the tracks have purely acoustic lead-ins, giving them a certain reflective melancholy, which nods to the overarching mood in which these songs were penned. One example of this is track 5, ‘The Wind Blows Hard’. It mixes a 90’s Bon Jovi style, with a more grunge inspired guitar and vocal sound, and classic rock rhythms. It ebbs and flows between acoustic sections and full on crunchy choruses. And just to top it off, there’s also a couple of intricate cross rhythm sections that bring you out of any false sense of security you may have been lulled into. Although it’s hard to single out any favourite tracks on this album, this one is right up there for me.

You should all know by now that I’m pretty fussy on production values when it comes to recorded music. Having not heard this album originally, I can’t really comment on the scale of the improvement that remastering has made, but the production on this release is pure quality. It’s very thoughtful in its placement of sounds, making it full and expansive, and dynamically everything is placed perfectly to create a very balanced and rounded sound. And every time I listen to it, I hear something new!

I’m going to shut up now. You can probably tell I quite like this album! All I’ll say is, if you liked elements of the 90’s, but need something a bit more grown up, thoughtful, and edgy, and appreciate talent and superb production, then this is definitely an album you should check out.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Some People Are More Equal Than Others
02. Better Off Without Me
03. Slipping Through Your Fingers
04. Haven’t Got Your Strength
05. The Wind Blows Hard
06. All Heal In Time
07. I Won’t Be With You
08. Save Me From Myself
09. Out Of Sight Out Of Mind
10. Harder All The Time
11. Open Your Mind
12. Get Your Feet On (Previously Unreleased)
13. Spiritually Bankrupt (Previously Unreleased)

LINKS:
www.tobyjepsonofficial.com/
www.facebook.com/tobyjepsonofficial/
www.twitter.com/TobyJepson
www.instagram.com/therealtobyjepson/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCKYqWet2jpPHLa5bS5eEA6g

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with CREATURE CREATURE

EMQ’s with CREATURE CREATURE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Brighton, UK Rock band, Creature Creature. Huge thanks to vocalist, Daniel Scully, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name’s Scully, I play the vocal cords, and am also the lyricist in Creature Creature.

I was doing covers with my guitarist, Zeus, back in 2015. You know, singing Mr Brightside in a pub full of coked up locals with flailing arms and undone shirts. As a songwriter, there’s only so long you can sing other people’s songs before you get itchy feet and we both pretty much said, ‘Fuck this….’ at the same time. Zeus and I had done original songwriting in the past but had never written together before.

I’d recently returned from a trip aboard the Flogging Molly cruise in Miami – basically a few days being wasted in the Caribbean and watching punk rock bands. Folk-punk was really influencing and improving my writing style, so I wanted to root our direction in that. When we formed the band, the early material was very much of the folk-punk sound.

Our violinist had to quit in 2018, and after that we naturally progressed in a much more rock direction. Everything started falling into place in the summer of 2018 when we met Tommy Gleeson who mixed a couple of our songs. He did such a great job that we asked if he would be up for producing our debut album, and he was!

How did you come up with your band name?

We were called 40 Shillings on the Drum between 2015 and 2019, but the loss of much of the folk-punk sound, and because of the huge rock direction our debut album had moved in, at the end of 2019, we decided to rebrand.

Zeus (guitarist), had recently told me a story about how he had watched the 80’s cult-classic ‘Critters’ when he was little and how the creatures had given him nightmares. They used to roll into his room in the dead of night and shoot little spikes at his toes. He swears to this day that he had to pick the spikes out before school most days.

I put the word Creature in with other ideas and when we couldn’t find something to go with it that didn’t sound wank – literally wank as ‘Beat the Creature’ was an option – Seb (keyboard player) suggested just using Creature twice as it’s that cool. Creature Creature was born!

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re all from Brighton and its surrounding areas. Brighton has always had an incredible music scene although it has been sad to see the closure of some of the smaller venues in recent years. There is a good underground rock/metal scene in the city and it’s great to see the genre continuing to shine even in a constantly changing musical landscape.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

‘The Early Days’ single is up next. We’re keeping a steady flow of songs coming in the build up to the album release – this is the third single. I think it’s going to show another side to us so am excited to see what people think. It dropped on Friday 19th June.

Who have been your greatest influences?

We have many amongst the band, and I personally have a very wide taste in music so it will always be difficult to pick a couple. I’d say the descriptive style of bands like The Pogues really taught me to look closer at what I write and do my best to make it as interesting as possible. When I first started writing, I’d just scribble down what was in my head and that was it. Now I look closer at each line and think about how I can make it more interesting, adding words to paint a more detailed picture of what the song is about.

I love word play, and have always been a big fan of Eminem, especially his earlier material. I saw an interview with him once where he said that words were like a puzzle to him. How it was always about looking again and again at what he had written, and seeing if there was any more pieces he could fit into it. I think that always resonated with me and I’m finding myself taking that outlook more and more as my songwriting progresses.

What first got you into music?

Love them or hate them, it was Oasis. I wasn’t really into music growing up but then one day my older sister gave me a lift somewhere in her old banger and she had ‘Definitely Maybe’ on her stereo. I was just in awe. I didn’t even know anything about them but something in the songs just spoke to me. A short period of wanting and failing to be Liam Gallagher followed but I’ve got curly hair so that was just never gonna work.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Right now, I’m really liking what Dave is doing. I watched the Brit Awards with low expectancy and pretty much to just rip the piss out of, and then he came on with this amazing piano led version of ‘Black’. It shut me up and got my full attention. It just shows you don’t need a thousand fucking backing dancers and a Disney-sized light show to make an impact. It was simple, visually stunning and emotionally charged. The performance prompted me to look more at his work. I think a fresh rap and rock combo could be great if done right.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

There are so many great ones, but it’d be Glastonbury for me. I’ve only been once but really enjoyed the vibe and diverse range of artists. It’s a legendary festival and to get up on that stage to show the world what we do is the dream.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Mine have all been pretty normal – c’mon people, try harder! – but I know our keyboard player, Seb, received something a bit racey. He got the classic underwear through the post. It was a g-string with piano keys on the front and a post-it note saying ‘Play Me’ on the front. Legend has it, he actually tapped on the keys to see if they made a sound!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

If there’s anything you want from life, and you think it’d be impossible to get, be that in music, or whatever your passion is, never give up. It may be cliché but the majority of people who don’t get what they want from life are those that have quit trying. It took me a long, long time to get to this point in my musical career, and whilst I think we’ve still got a long journey ahead, to be on the verge of releasing my band’s debut album is the best feeling. We have only got to this point through hard work and never giving up.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain. His ability to speak to a generation through his music was incredible and I’m certain he would have had so much more to give.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Love gigs and touring. You can’t beat the live experience and not being able to perform during the pandemic has hit myself, the band, and I’m sure, many others, hard. We wrote these songs in a little studio, and whilst it’s great to hear of people enjoying the recordings, it’s when you’re face to face with that enjoyment, standing on a stage and seeing people having the time of their lives, that’s when it’s all worthwhile.

As for hate, being an independent artist, all the background work that no one gets to see. Filling in forms and registering our music, keeping it all up to date etc. I’m boring myself talking about it already! It’s an essential part for any serious artist but I’m hoping one day we can pass the painstaking boredom of it onto some other poor sod.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

The way some artists treat people. I’m all for confidence, even thinking you’re the best thing in music – I’ve no problem with that. It’s when artists treat people badly, especially fans. Fans are the reason anyone is where they are, and we should always appreciate and make time for them as much as we can.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

I have different favourites in many genres depending on my mood, however, one of my most played would probably be “England Keep My Bones” by Frank Turner. It’s probably the album that had me delve more into folk-punk as a genre and definitely helped set me on the path to the songwriter I am today. Although, we ended up losing the majority of the folk-punk sound when recording the album, I think it still shines through in certain aspects of my lyrics and my songwriting is all the better for the inspiration that album gave me.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

They all have their place. It’s cool to have the world’s music at your fingertips with digital streaming and purchases. For me, streaming music is an amazing way to discover music by more unsigned and under the radar artists from around the world. With the best of the best though, I’ll always want a physical copy, and because I’m a sucker for great artwork, I think vinyl wins, and you just can’t beat that sound!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Beautiful Days festival down in Devon. We were only on a small stage, but it was the first major festival we played. We stayed for the whole weekend, got wasted, saw some fucking awesome bands and just had an amazing time. We didn’t have AAA wristbands but still managed to sneak back of main stage to find free beer. We found that beer and whilst enjoying it, bumped into Tommy Gleeson who went on to become the producer of our debut album. Some things are meant to be and occasionally, you’ve got to break some rules to get to them.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I love film so to be an actor would be pretty cool. Having said that, I’m pretty sure my acting would be shite, so I’d probably just end up as an extra being pushed down the stairs by Phil Mitchell in Eastenders or something!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Right now, my band – Zeus, Seb, Dave and Matt. I haven’t seen them face to face for two months due to lockdown and I’m used to hanging out with them all the time. They’re my best mates and there’s no one I’d rather be having a dinner party with right now apart from them. As for the spare seat, maybe Gordon fucking Ramsey so he can totally destroy my soul by dissing all the food I’ve prepared for the band.

Having said that, we would probably skip dinner and go straight to party anyway. Eating is cheating.

What’s next for the band?

Debut album release! It’s been a long journey since we recorded it last June, and we’ve been really thankful that we’ve had the release to look forward to through lockdown. This is a huge deal for us as we have all been in different bands before, but none of them ever got to a point where we were in a position to record and release an album.

Two Finger Tantrum’ drops Friday 10th July. Be ready!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Most of the major ones, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. We haven’t ventured into Tik Tok yet but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Zeus is busting some moves to some shit pop song whilst wearing a bikini. I’m pretty sure he already has an Only Fans account.

You can also visit www.creaturecreature.co.uk for all the latest news and to grab some merch.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Fucking hell, I’m only a mere singer, why don’t you throw one of the ultimate conundrums at me for a final note! Fuck you biscuiteers, it’s a cake. Clue’s in the name!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you! Just that if you’ve got the time, check out Creature Creature on your favourite streaming service right now rather than later!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.