Hacktivist at Download: Reaping What They’ve Sewn

On Saturday afternoon in the media garden at Download, Fiona ran into Rich and Josh from Hacktivist. They gave her some solid life advice, as well as a little bit of insight into being a British rap metal band.

Let’s jump straight into it! Rap metal is obviously a very niche area, how did you find breaking into it?

Josh: From my own teenage years to being a young adult, all the kids at metal gigs seemed to go either really techy metal or really hip hop and start wearing tracksuits, the piercings come out and the stretchers heal up, so I feel like there’s still that demographic of like guys who are into rap, but actually used to listen to stuff like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park.

Rich: These days there’s so much crossover though, because nowadays it’s getting a lot less of ‘are you a greebo’ or ‘are you this or that’ and it’s like ‘what kind of music do you enjoy?’ Most people will say ‘oh you know, a little bit of everything!’

[Laughs] That’s literally the standard answer.

Rich: Erroneously, but most of them have a good heart.

So were there any specific barriers or challenges or anything that you guys faced?

Josh: Oh yeah, totally.

Rich: Purists. Sonisphere France was a particular… [IronMaiden headlined Sonisphere France, the whole first six rows was just Maiden fans.

Josh: Yeah, it can be pretty tough to place us, like a lot of promoters and people who put on shows don’t really know who to put us on with, if there’s any other band with guitars and rappers it’s usually that, even if they’re the complete other end.

Do you have any advice for upcoming bands who are similar to yourselves?

Josh: You can use crisps to spread butter because venues never provide cutlery.

Rich: Make sure you pack flip flops on tour.

Josh: Hmm, yeah, actually very handy.

Rich: Or basically just practise all the time and just get to be the best.

Josh: Get real real used to eating sandwiches. If you can get to peace with that, then you’re halfway there.

That’s pretty sound life advice to be fair [laughs].

Rich: If you can eat sandwiches for breakfast lunch and dinner then you’ve literally made it in the music scene.

Josh: Yeah.

How did you go about choosing a new singer to replace Ben, who left this year? 

Josh: Um… it was an interesting process, we had quite a few people apply from metal bands and different scenes. A lot of people were like ‘yeah, we could do something really interesting’ but we didn’t want to lose the niche-ness and become another heavy band with heavy vocals. So, Jot is someone we’ve all known from Milton Keynes for quite a long time, he featured on the first album, so we had a bit of working history as well. He messaged us, we didn’t know he’d be up for it, but he said ‘what do you reckon?’ and we were like ‘yeah, actually that would work real nice’.

Rich: He’s usually based in France, so that’s why some of us discounted him, but then the more and more you start thinking about these things it’s like, it’s only a flight from wherever to Luton, or if we’re out in, for example when we’re playing in Belgium that’s like an hour drive from where he actually lives.

Josh: It’s literally like five times more expensive to get to Manchester.

Rich: So yeah, the previous history just showed that it worked out back then.

Josh: It’s a testament to modern technology and the future, it’s possible to be a band across different land masses, thanks to stuff like Whatsapp and Dropbox and other web services that are available.

Rich: And migration, until it’s not!

Josh: Yeah that’s gonna be a real pain in the arse, but we’ll deal with that bag of shit when it comes around.

So is he bringing a fresh perspective to the group?

Josh: Yeah, he’s given us a proper kick up the arse, because he’s bringing new stuff in, and he’s listening to the stuff that we’ve got already and he’s getting us all excited about it again. Everything is going in the right direction, and I’m excited about the end of this year.

What’s your personal favourite band that you’ve ever supported?

Rich: Limp Bizkit for me.

Actually I saw them this year, they’re really good!

Rich: We played one show with Limp Bizkit and it was over in France, but they were one of my favourite bands from when I was a teenager, so being able to watch them side stage and have a bit of a chat with them afterwards was a big moment for me personally.

Josh: [EnterShikari still stand out as one of the finest live bands in the UK, and just some of the nicest guys to play a show with, they’ll always make you feel entirely at home.

Rich: I feel like I’m taking something away from [EnterShikari by saying Limp Bizkit.

Josh: It’s obviously a given. We’ve been lumped in with those guys and I’ve got zero problems with that, because they’re an awesome band. If there’s anyone to stick to, it would be [EnterShikari.

Rich: Maybe someday we can all get a joint house together. That’s a plan.

What’s your personal favourite group to have supported you guys?

Rich: Oooooooh.

Josh: I was a big fan of The One Hundred. Those guys are smashing it now. Maybe my opinion is skewed, because I just like bands that are nice guys, because it’s a lot of fun to play gigs with nice guys, even bands that you don’t really like, if it’s a nice group of lads you’ll go out and watch them.

Rich: Asteroid Boys for me I think, they’re a bunch great lads as well, and the music, especially when we’re talking about supporting and stuff, the cross over element with our two bands is really good, so obviously they’re really serious about their thing as well, they slay it and they’re good boys!

Josh: Amen!

[Laugh] What’s your songwriting process, particularly with the new guy Jot as well?

Josh: So it’s pretty studio based, which I think is pretty common across a lot of modern bands. It’s affordable to actually have your own studio, if you’ve got about £200 you can get yourself a set of speakers and an interface. We started off there investing in the band and investing in ourselves. We’ve got Tim and runs his own studio and he’s actually a really talented producer. We spend a lot of time hanging out with Tim. When you’re writing the techy choppy stuff, it doesn’t sound very rock and roll but it’s a lot of hours banging your head against a computer desk, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. It’s maybe more scientific than just rocking up, smoking some doobies and jamming out.

Rich: It’s less of a jam and it’s more formulaic.

Josh: And again because you’ve got the home studio, when you say that nothing’s ever finished and you’ve got to let it go, if you’ve got your own studio you can do version 56 and just adjust a tiny thing.

Rich: You’ve just got to submit it.

Josh: And then you realise you’ve sent the wrong thing at the wrong speed. Or sent it as a jpeg.

[Laugh] Do you have any musical recommendations for our readers?

Josh: If you’ve not checked out The One Hundred or Asteroid Boys, they’re wicked. I imagine if you listen to us you’ve probably heard of Issues, that’s a band we’ve toured with and that’s a great great band.

Rich: I feel like it doesn’t need to be said but Sikth? Do people not know about Sikth? If people don’t, shame on them, they’re always tight, so watch them live.

Josh: Ok here’s a nugget, Fell Silent. They’re a band from Milton Keynes that a lot of people haven’t heard of, but they’re like MeshuggahMeshuggah had a big name by the time Fell Silent came about but they were one of the first bands of that type, it was Fell Silent and PeripheryPeriphery went on and did great things, Fell Silent split up and became TesseracTMoment and Heart of a Coward, so if you haven’t heard of Fell Silent, their first album Hidden Words is the blueprint for most bands out at the minute.

Last question, any plans for after touring?

Rich: Writing.

Josh: Drinking… I mean writing.

[Laugh]

Rich: Lots of writing, because now we’ve got the line up all sorted, we’re gig ready and stuff now, so we stepped up to get that bit, so now it’s material.

Josh: Reaping what we’ve been sewing.

Rich: Or sewing, to further reap. Further reapage.

 

If you haven’t heard Hacktivist‘s debut album Outside The Box, it’s available now!

Interview: The Elephant Trees – 17/6/17

The Elephant Trees are a band from Leeds consisting of Martha Phillips, Sam Hugh-Jones and Tom Palmer. The band blends a great acoustic sound with a slight alt rock edge. So far the band have released their debut single 90 Degrees which you can check out via our premiere here (http://www.musicology.uk.com/the-elephant-trees-exclusive-debut-single/).

We had a chat with Martha and Sam from the band about their upcoming single Monster which is due to be released on the 1st July. With the release show being held at The Key Club in Leeds where they will be joined by the amazing Northern Shore and Faux Pas and Swimming Girls.   Read more

casey butserfest

Interview: Casey, Slam Dunk South 29/5/17

Following their hugely exciting Slam Dunk set (see the review here), we caught up with Tom Weaver, frontman of one of the most promising upcoming British bands out there right now – Casey.

How’s your weekend been so far?
Tom: It’s been really good actually. I managed to catch a couple of bands today which was cool, I was doing merch all day yesterday and at Midlands.

Have you got any good stories from the weekend so far?
Tom: Yesterday, I’d just finished watching The Bronx and I was walking down to Shikari and a guy grabbed me and told me “ska music is exclusively for paedophiles and magicians” and that was it. He just wandered off.

What would you put in a Casey cocktail? (It doesn’t have to be alcoholic)
Tom: Yeah I’ll take you up on that. No alcohol and no caffeine so… I have to be honest, it would probably just be tropical Sunny D.

What’s been your highlight of 2017 so far?
Tom: There have been a few really. Impericon festival in Leipzig is at the top – that was the biggest show we’ve ever played by a considerable margin. That was our first experience of a real festival too, plus meeting the guys in Thy Art Is Murder was cool too. I’ve been a fan of them for a long time so meeting them finally was greit, and on top of that them being so incredibly humble and really nice people was a huge thing. Other than that I think getting feedback on the record has been good, hearing different people’s interpretations on it and everything.

Who would you like to support or support you in the near future?
Tom: There are a load of bands we’ve said we’d love to play with like LydiaPianos Become The TeethTouche Amore…  In terms of smaller bands to support us, we love Movements so if we could sort something with them that would be great. Our friends in Holding Absence obviously, we’ve been trying to sort something out with them for a while so hopefully that will come soon. This year has really opened us up to touring with bands outside our genre and style so that’s always an option again. We all caught Citizen this weekend and thought they’d be awesome to play with so…

How do you feel Casey has changed since we saw you at Butserfest last year?
Tom: Nothing’s really changed, exactly. When we’re on the stage it’s very self-enclosed so the way we performed at Impericon for 8,000 people and the way we performed to a couple of hundred in the rain at Butserfest. Obviously we’ve seen an incremental increase in fan interaction since back then, and today was a perfect example of that. I think that was the first time I’ve ever been able to fully step away from the mic and hear the crowd back which was insane. Other than that, it’s just the gradual spread of fans week on week. We’ll have a look and see a few more in Australia and a few in America picking up on us so the organic increase of the fanbase is cool, but nothing has changed as a band exactly.

Which direction do you see your music going next?
Tom: We’ve never sat down and had a conversation about how we want to sound. Everything we’ve written up to now has been a product of improvisation really so we’ll go to a practice room and see. Sometimes someone has come up with something and say “I wrote this at home, I think it sounds cool”, sometimes someone plays something and we’ll say “keep playing that, I’ll just try this” and it builds. Whether it becomes an interlude in the live set or if it becomes a complete song we don’t know until we’ve built it. We’ve never decided we want to be a post-hardcore band or a post-rock band or a we want to write eleven really atmospheric songs, we just write how we feel. We’ve been messing with some pieces that might become a record but in three or four months’ time we might decide we’re not really fans of that anymore and do something else. What we’ve been doing is more of the same in a way, but more mature. A lot more thought is going into the layering and how we can fill a room with it because of the different shows we’re starting to play now. There are points in big shows like Impericon where about a minute of the set was lost in translation because of the acoustics of the bigger rooms.

 

Thanks to Tom for chatting to us! Casey are a band increasing in size and following rapidly so get on with immersing yourself in their recordings and live shows now to follow their monumental rise that’s just around the corner…

Reckless Intentions open up about upcoming EP ‘Lights’

Reckless Intentions are a pop punk band gearing up to release a new EP, Lights. We decided it was about time we caught up with these gentlemen to have a few words about the band themselves and what they’ve been aiming for with Lights.

Reckless Intentions gave us a valuable insight into their headspace, so see what they had to say!

1. For those unfamiliar, how would you describe Reckless Intentions?

We’re probably nostalgic pop-punk with a new twist. I’m always awful at putting a label on things, but that seems to be the verdict from the people who’ve listened to us!

2. You’re playing a lot of shows over the next few months, what can people expect from them?

Well we properly go for it – by the end of our shows, there’s normally some blood stained instrument or something. We’re really excited to try out some new material as well, and there’s always a lot of variety in our sets, so hopefully everyone will have a good time.

3. Do you have any particularly stand-out moments from previous live shows?

It’s probably going to sound pretty strange, but my earplugs tend to take a lot of the shine away from what we’re playing, so I can never really hear how we sound live, particularly audience reactions etc. We were playing a show at The Hope & Ruin in Brighton, where we couldn’t really see the crowd due to the lighting, and I was convinced that we were playing really badly, so I took my earplugs out midway through a song. Even though we were still playing the track, everyone was cheering and seemed to be having a great time, and that paired with actually being able to hear our band sounding great live, without any self-consciousness or uncertainty was a really sweet moment for me.

I wouldn’t recommend taking your earplugs out too often though, kids, tinnitus is a bitch.

4. You’ll be releasing your EP Lights in just over a month, would you say you’re more nervous or excited?

I think it’s a mix of the two. We’ve had some great responses from reviewers for the actual EP, and the songs get a lot of praise when we play them live, which gives me confidence that if we can find our target audience that we can definitely take some big steps forward; but at the same time, we know that some people won’t like us, and there’s bound to be criticism along the way, which we’ll just have to brush off and keep believing in what we’re doing.

5. What were your main inspirations for writing the EP, and did you have any specific goals going into writing it?

We’d done a lot of experimenting and playing around with our sound when we first started as a band, so we were really keen to have a clear identity as a band by the time we recorded our first EP, which I think we definitely managed to do. A lot of thought went into the details in each track, and we tried to do something that was undeniably ‘us’, and not just another rip-off of a much bigger band. Personally, the inspiration for the lyrics was growing up in a suburb filled with people who cared more about appearance than meaning. The main theme of the release is about feeling lost and trying to find your place.

6. As a band, do you have a collective dream?

Warped Tour has been brought up on quite a few occasions – it’s obviously quite an endurance test, but we love the idea of spending the whole summer travelling and playing shows in the States, especially considering their consistently strong line-ups.

7. Who would be your dream to tour with?

Probably someone like Green Day – a huge artist on both a global and personal level. It’d be amazing to do shows with the bands that made us who we are, and to play some of the venues they play at on tour would be a dream come true for us.

8. If you were to release a split EP with another UK band, who would it be?

We’re really into Penelope Tree’s last EP, who we’re going on tour with this month. They’ve got a really good way of combining ambient emotion with their own brand of powerful pop punk – we’re big fans!

With that, you’re going to have to wait for more info on Reckless Intentions and their exciting new EP Lights! We will, of course have all the latest – so don’t stray far!

Inigo With Confidence Slam Dunk

Interview: With Confidence @ Slam Dunk 29/5/17

During our time at Slam Dunk South, With Confidence guitarist Inigo Del Carmen took some time out to chat to give us an update on everything going on with them.

Could you give us a rundown of the past couple of months on tour?

February was just awesome, it totally blew our expectations out of the water. Headlining Europe, especially selling out a couple of shows was insane. We had the best lineup too – Broadside, Safe To Say and Milestones. All really lovely dudes. Safe To Say are like my favourite band, really really good. That whole tour was just amazing, and then we topped it off with the State Champs tour which was great. It was so sick to properly tour the US, not like on Warped but a proper tour. The parking lot feel of Warped is great and being busy all day every day is cool, but this tour was so chilled out with free time in the city and everything. We went to NASA on an off day, we went to Universal Studios for the first time. A lot of tourist stuff which was really good. The crowds were amazing and thanks to State Champs for taking us out on that as well. We met the Don Broco dudes too and they’re awesome [he says, as Rob and Tom walk past]. It’s so crazy to see them playing for crowds over here, it’s just a completely different show. Even though they were opening, it was obvious they were still a massive band. Made us really nervous playing after them too… Great sound, really energetic. A lot to live up to. I remember going outside one morning and Simon was out there doing pushups… They’re super fit as well as cool, not fair.

Have you got any good stories from this weekend?

Well every night we’ve been told it’s the party night so Luke let loose the first night… He just fell asleep in the green room because he was so drunk which was probably the funniest thing that’s happened so far. Actually no, he poured a beer on himself then skulled another one. He was beyond wasted, then last night Josh fell asleep in a bathtub which was a bit mad.

How did the Set It Off/With Confidence co-headliner come about?

We just said to each other “we’re both over here on the same dates, let’s just do it”. Such good dudes too, and super tight live. Homebound are really cool too and Too Close To Touch are sick. It’s been good.

Who would you like to bring to the UK next time?

There are a whole bunch of bands I love that don’t really suit our soud that I would love to take out anyway. I really love this band from Australia called Introvert, who are pretty unique. If I had to say what they’re like, I’d say they’re kinda Citizen/Basement/Brand New vibes, but they have their own thing going on and it’s sick. I’d love to have that February tour back with Broadside, Safe To Say and Milestones [laughs]. We’re doing an Australian tour with Seaway and Wstr which should be cool too.

Where do you see your new material going musically?

We’re aiming really high with this next one, for sure. I feel like the album was really well-received so we’ve got to top it, 100%. We’re feeling the pressure so we’re writing songs we never thought we’d write. Something unique, something different, something new. We’ll see about guests – I really want to! It would be sick to have some co-writes like what Trash Boat did with Soupy [of The Wonder Years]. We’ve made a lot of friends on past tours we’ve done so yeah, we’ll see.

Which release do you like playing from live most?

I’ll have to say Better Weather because it has a lot of songs I love playing like Dinner Bell, Gravity and Keys which are great. It’s good to play that album live too because I feel like we haven’t played them it all that much yet. We had to hold off the whole of Warped last year, which meant we only played about three songs off the album which was cool but hard too. It’s nice to play pretty much the whole album most nights now.

What would go into a With Confidence cocktail?

Well I mean, I’m pretty sure Luke drank beer, prosecco and orange juice last night… That was after he poured a beer on himself too. I’m guessing all the cheapest stuff you could think of put into a cup. Cheap wine, cheap beer and cheap vodka.

What can we expect to see from With Confidence next?

Well I’d love to be back here before the end of the year! [Announced since is that they’re supporting Mayday Parade later in the year through UK and Europe.] Basically touring, writing and that’s it.

 

Thanks to Ini for his time, what a lovely guy!

Artificial Language, 22/5/17

With the release of their debut record ‘The Observer‘ now being out for a few weeks, we got to have a quick and concise talk with Artificial Language about the release of the record as well as their upcoming plans. Have a read below!


For those who are not familiar, how would you describe Artificial Language?

A progressive Rock/Metal band that likes to include aspects of pop music

Your debut album ‘The Observer’ has been out for a few weeks now, how has the reception been as a whole?

We’re honestly very excited with the reaction. Everyone has been so supportive, we couldn’t ask for better fans

Who were your main inspirations for the record?

Steven Wilson, Between the Buried and Me, Dream Theater, and Danny Elfamn.

How was the whole recording/production process of the record as a whole?

It was very relaxed. We went at our own pace, and tried to enjoy the whole process because it can get stressful at times.

What are your favourite tracks on the new record?

Turn off the Pictures, Unself portrait, Fortune Teller.

What got you into wanting to be in a band?

We all just enjoyed playing music whether it was classical, metal, Jazz. We decided e wanted to try and make some songs together. Just a bunch of friends having fun, doing what they love.

What was your first ever live show you went to?

Watching Job for a cowboy and the red chord at a local venue called “the exit”

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself as a human growing in the band and personally?

Patience, things take time. Its all about getting into a good groove and sticking to it. Being persistent.

What advice would you give to upcoming bands?

Enjoy the music you’re creating and always have an open mind. Everyone can learn something new and that’s what’s fun about music.

Has there been any other bands on your radar you think people should check out?

Native Construct. They’re awesome dudes and very talented.

Is there any projects you would like to work on as well as Artificial Language musically?

We all like do write music on the side and we have each other in our projects. It’s really fun.

What would be a dream tour for your band?

Touring with Btbam anywhere would be amazing!

If you could do a split with any bands, who would you pick and why?

Hmm that’s a tough one. A split with the Dear Hunter would be fun.

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

Write some more music, and get tour ready. We’re very excited to keep on going

Any final words to your fans?

Thank you for the all of the support, and we hope you enjoy what’s to come in the future!

Thomas Josefsson, Evocation – (18/4/17)

Giving you aggressive death metal from Sweden, Evocation are far from your average band and are looking to make more of a statement with this new record. We got to talk to vocalist Thomas Josefsson about their inspirations, their early shows and favourite tracks.


For those who are not familiar, how would you describe Evocation?
A Death Metal collective out of West Coast Sweden, a mix of melodic, technical and brutal DM. We were active 1991-1993, then we split up and were reborn stronger than ever in 05/06. All important stuff at www.evocation.se<http://www.evocation.se>

You have recently released your new album The Shadow Archetype, how has the response been so far?
It has been amazing, we knew we made a great album but we could not believe all the positive feedback we still receive every day from zines, radio stations, fans and other media channels all over the world. People from the craziest parts are giving us thumbs up. We really need it and we are so thankful, every day we wake up there is more positive words to consume. I think that “The Shadow Archetype” is one of the most important albums we’ve done and ever will do. Where we take it from here will be very exciting.

Who were your main inspirations for the record?
I guess Janne and Vesa, when they left the band. I felt that it was a big challenge ahead, but for some reason I love challenges. It could have been the end of Evocation if we would have given up but I also felt it could be a new start and tons of opportunities. Marko was a bit hard to convince but me and Gustaf felt that there were more to do so we talked to Marko a bit and there we were with nothing to lose, since we already almost lost everything anyways. So when Simon came in I just felt that I was right in my thoughts. My dream came through when Per Moller Jensen said yes for doing the drums. I have been a huge fan of him since the early 90’s. Having him in the rhythm section was a true backbone and it inspired me a lot. I knew we could not fail if we took him onboard. So here we were, Simon with his new school technical style, Per with his Thrash Metal background, Gustaf with his fast ideas from Defleshed and Marko and me with our old school Evocation style. I cannot say who in particular inspired me, but perhaps everyone who was involved and the fact that we were on the edge to the abyss.

How was the whole recording/production process of the record as a whole?
It was very smooth actually. We made a pre-production with guitars, vocals and some programmed drums and handed it over to Per who is located in Copenhagen/Denmark. He had very free hands and he liked it a lot. When he felt he was ready we booked Crehate Studios in Gothenburg together with engineer Oscar Nilsson. Oscar is a very talented drummer so we wanted to hook him up with Per, they worked really well together. Guitars, Bass and Vocals were recorded in our own studio. Mixing and Mastering were on Daniel Bergstrand/Dugout Productions table and it turned out great as well. Daniel has done really good productions in his life for Behemoth, Meshuggah, Dark Funeral just to name a few. He has been interested in us for some years. We made our cover ep, “Excised and Anatomised” in our own studio and by then Dan Swanö mixed and mastered it, it turned out great as well so we thought maybe it’s better to keep most of the production in-house at home. “Illusions of Grandeur” is a great album but I think it became just a little bit too polished when we turned down our HM2’s and put way too much money in the production. I think we are back on track again and I’m really looking forward to our next album.

Out of all the tracks in your discography, which songs are your favourite and
why?
I can pick one of each album if you’d like.
Early days, demo’s: Veils Were Blown – that song is death metal at its peak, it has got a lot of aggressive vibes mixed with heavy melodies.
Tales from the Tomb: Blessed Upon the Altar – thrashy and very hooky German style.
Dead Calm Chaos: Tomorrow has no Sunrise – we made a video of it and it just kills.
Apocalyptic: Reunion in War – I love to sing it live. It has a very groovy sound and so is my vocals. The audience love it and it is a really heavy and personal song.
Illusions of Grandeur: Metus Odium – it’s the best song on the album and when we play it live people tend to dance to it for some reason.
The Shadow Archetype: Dark Day Sunrise – It has everything and my vocal range is more mixed.

How does the new music fair in comparison to your older material?
Well the new music is more back to our roots but since we now have Simon Exner in the band we get a lot of more technical new school stuff and it’s a great blend to mix. When Janne and Vesa were in the band and wrote music it was a lot more melodic and pretty much built on the same bridges. Now it’s a darker vibe to everything, it’s more unpredictable. I try to do as much difference as possible with my vocals just to keep the music flowing, this time I really had to think but it turned out great.

What got you into wanting to be in a band?
Motley Crue, Live Wire Video, 1981. When I saw that video, heard that crunchy guitar, the double kicks and all that blood and fire… I was reborn. I could not believe what I just experienced. Accept – Restless and Wild has to be the most important album of my life. I listened to that album 24/7 for a whole year, I still love it!

What was your first shows like as the group in comparison to now?
Those old shows were insane, it was total mayhem on stage. We used pig’s blood, crucified girls and were way cooler than most bands back then. We rehearsed a lot back then so we were very tight, not many bands back then could deliver their stuff live. I have to say I love the shows nowadays as well. We are much more technical, focused and have a really good bond with the crowd. Back then it was like you put 5 flies on stage that flew around uncontrolled through the room.

Is there ever an early show that sticks out to you?
Gamlestaden/Gothenburg 1992 with Dismember, Dark Tranquility, Ceremonial Oath, Exempt and Caedes. Hey man we did it all, the whole stage was covered in real pig’s blood, and we crucified and whipped a girl on a big black cross. It was chaos and the audience loved it and we made a really great show over all. It was by the way Marko’s first and ever vocal appearance, he nailed it huge. But I think it was sold out, it was a huge stage and I think we were the best and most appreciated band that night.

What¹s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself as a human growing in the
band and personally?
It is a whole lot of emotions, devotion and hate/love. When I joined Evocation in 1991 I was still a band leader, song writer, lead guitarist and vocalist in my first band Forsaken Grief. In Evocation I first took the bassist spot which I actually loved, it was great to play bass and I did it for many years later on and I still love it. But back then it was really hard to make a point in Evocation, the frontline was deaf for ideas so I kept my mouth shut until I handled the lead vocals only. I didn’t write much lyrics back then but my throat made great success. When we rejoined back in 05-06 I had a lot more ideas and my head was full of words. For some reason the pen glowed. I also felt that Evocation was something to count on this time so I made my point early and stood up for my lyrics, it is a wonderful feeling when I get cred for it. I was a bit shy when I was younger and let people around me have free space to speak, nowadays I perhaps speak a little bit too much but I really love this band and its members. If I would have the energy I would love to write more lyrics or perhaps a book, I did not think like this a couple of years ago. But for every album we grow, I grow.

What advice would you give to upcoming bands?
Don’t expect anything from anyone. There is more money and fun in the porn business.

Has there been any other bands on your radar you think people should check
out?
Dead Soul. Well this is not a Death Metal band, it’s a band I found out about some years ago when I was looking up a record company called Razzia Notes. I read somewhere that Anders Friden/In Flames is the main man behind it so I thought what the heck maybe he has great taste at least. The band is from Linköping here in Sweden and I just love them all over. The voice, the lyrics and the music just touches me on that very deep spot. I have many bands to give to you but this band has a really close relationship with me.

Is there any projects you would like to work on as well as Evocation
musically?
I would love to play bass again, it has been 11 years since I did it, but I just love that instrument. It has been a huge part of my musical life since I left Evocation in -93 and until around -97 when I worked with Cemetary. After that I took a break from the whole scene for some years. I picked it up again in 2001 somewhere and when Evocation was reborn in 2005-06 I put my beloved 4 string away again. But for the moment vocals in Evocation is my no1 satisfaction in life. But projects beside that and if the time was on my/our side, it would be great to do something with the Misery Index camp. They have great style, their message is right on my ideology and their music just makes me go nuts. The timing and flow for vocals is perfect. I have a dream to do something with Mille in Kreator, he is a huge inspiration and he writes great songs.

What would be a dream tour for your band?
Swaziland, Jamaica, Peru, Colombia and Holland together with Kreator and Bolt Thrower.

If you could do a split with any bands, who would you pick and why?
Age of Woe from Gothenburg. Great band, great friends and they are on the move. Really interesting band with really crazy ideas, they will come a long way if they develop more. I think a split with them would be pretty cool.

What items would you associate with your genre?
Blood, fire and death.

If all the band members were involved in a wrestling match, who would be the
victor and who would end up eating the pinfall/submission?
I would be the victor and Marko would be eating the pinfall/submission haha… If he reads this I know he will be very upset. The other guys would be a quite easy to fight but me and Marko has always been like two brothers with a love/hate relationship, we know exactly where our hidden buttons lies. He has been losing a lot of weight lately with strict diet and Karate lessons but in a Clash of the Titans fight I would roll him into a pizza bread and eat him for breakfast any day hahaha, good question btw! He will hate me for it 🙂

Would you take 1,000,000KR but every time you heard a dog bark, you pooped
yourself?
Haha any day my friend, I’m a sucker for money if it would help me to stay out of regular day jobs, ANY FUCKING day!!!

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
I really don’t know yet, it’s too early to say but I hope we’ll have some nice shows in a near future. I miss all our friends/fans out there a whole lot. It has been some years without them and now I know how important they really are to me.

Any final words to your fans?
Stay out of the CCTV’s and start a revolution…

WITTERQUICK – Interview

This week Fiona grabbed a spare few minutes to chat with WITTERQUICK. Ollie, the bassist and lyricist, was kind enough to give her the answers to the questions she, and the rest of Musicology, were curious about.

 

What inspired your band name, and why is it all in caps?

The name comes from an 80s cartoon that a few of us watched called Visionaries. Witterquick is a character in that. The caps was to make it more than a name, it’s not a name, it’s us.

 

How did you find trying to get started as a serious band in Exeter compared to “music hub” cities like London?

We aren’t finding it that hard at all actually, if you work hard enough and you’re making music people like, you can start anywhere. London is a regular for shows and other things behind the scenes, but you work around it. MUSE are from near us, they did ok.

 

What’s your song-writing process?

The majority of the songs start as demos from Will, either whole songs or melody ideas. He and I develop those into full songs and work on the lyrics together, some are more me, some are more him. We’ve got a good Buckingham Nicks writing thing going on. Once we’re done we bash them out as a full band and everyone picks it apart to give their feel.

 

What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever been inspired to write a song by? And the most serious?

The most serious will be one from our upcoming EP, either Hiding Place or I Need a Friend Tonight. They were both written at particularly dark times for us. The lyrics and vibe tell the story in those songs. We wrote a song in our very early days called Leeroy Jenkins, it wasn’t directly about the famous WoW hero, but the demo needed a name.

 

You’ve just come off tour, do you have any interesting/funny stories from it?

All too many. We stayed in a place in Norwich that can only be described as a crack den. The rooms had no power or lights, the bathrooms had no taps and the floor seeped water. The place smelled so bad and the dodgiest characters were hanging around. We took the beds out of a few rooms and barricaded ourselves in a room together and left about 6am. That and staying in an abandoned school are up there on the list from this tour.

 

When did Witterquick really begin for you guys?

We toured with Nothing But Thieves right at the end of 2015, a sold out UK run, sharing a tour bus. We’d played about 4 shows before that so that was a serious jump in the deep end for us. It was mayhem from that point on, but with the internal and external changes we made through 2016 I’d say we’ve really found our feet now and are ready to really begin.

 

What’s next for WITTERQUICK over the next six months?

We’ve just announced a UK Summer tour through July, that will take us into festival season too. We’ve got a few releases coming up as well but my lips are sealed about that.

Chris ‘Fronz’ Fronzak, Attila – 5/4/17

Just as Carcer City finished warming up the Bristol venue, we got the chance to go talk to the well known Chris Fronzak, who is probably more known as Fronz or Fronzilla. We got to talk about their life as a touring band, the new record ‘Chaos‘ and what he would do for $1,000,000.


For those who are not familiar, how would you describe Attila?

I would say Attila is a fun, super heavy band, like party rap metal.

You are currently on the beginning of your headline tour, how is the experience going so far?

It’s been amazing. Every time we come out here, it gets better. We really enjoy being in the UK, all the shows are huge with some being sold out so I can’t complain.

Is there a show on this tour that you are looking forward to play?

I’m looking forward to London. Big city, big show.

Your latest album ‘Chaos’ has been out for a few months now, how has the reception been as a whole?

It’s been amazing. I definitely think the reception for our album worldwide has been great but I think that if anything, the UK likes it a little bit more.

How was the whole recording/production process of the record as a whole, having moved to a different label and different producer?

It was mostly the same really. We showed up to the studio with tons of material, like way more material than we need and then we just comb through it and figure out what we like the best and kind of change it around and make it flow, that’s pretty much what we do in the studio. Our label Sharptone has been amazing, we love our label

With this being your seventh full length, how do you push your bands boundaries when it comes to writing so it feels like its own beast?

I think that we, at this point, know what our sound is and every album we kind of have a new goal, so our goal with ‘Chaos‘ was to incorporate our sound in the most diverse way possible and have an album that’s all over the place with different styles of songs that are all within the Attila style.

Out of all the tracks in your discography, which songs is your favourite and why?

I love all Attila songs honestly, I think everything we write is fucking brilliant. If I had to pick a few.. I have a new favourite Attila song every week, so right now I really like ‘Horsepig‘, ‘Unbelievable‘.. I mean ‘Unforgivable‘. I think we have a song called ‘Unbelievable‘, we have so many songs its hard to remember. I really like ‘Moshpit‘ off the new record.

Is there ever an early show in your bands career that sticks out to you or has there ever a show that you have played where you feel like your band had made it/you felt like this band had legs to do really well?

Early in our career we played all kinds of crazy places. We played in mexican restaurants and ice cream parlours and garages, so that was pretty humbling to look back at. I think a turning point, or when I realised this band was going to become huge, was when we were a local band in Georgia but we were pulling 600 people to a show. I think that was the moment where we were like ‘This is pretty big’ you know?

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself as a human growing in the band and personally?

I think, as Fronz from Attila, the biggest thing I see growing in myself is wanting to explore new realms with my voice. On ‘Chaos‘, it was the first time I ever sang in my life and the general reception from the public was that it was really good and that it was fitting with my style because I didn’t go outside of my limits, I kept it within what my voice does and I think people liked that, so I think for me in Attila, the biggest thing I learned as I get older is to stay true to myself but also grow as a human.

As an individual, I think the biggest thing I learned.. Every day I learn something new, but just as a businessman and an entrepreneur I learned so much about business every year because I have so many failures and so many successes at the same time that its just interesting.

Within the band, your solo rap material, your label and your journalism site, how do you find time to yourself?

I definitely stay extremely busy, but I have a team of very very good people that help me with everything I do. My partner with the label is always very active and helps a lot, my partners with the journalism website are very active, with the band we all work together as a whole, with my clothing line it’s mainly me doing everything. I think that everything just keeps me busy so I don’t have much downtime for myself.

Can you remember the first time you/your band got hit with backlash/controversy and how did you overcome it?

Shit, we’ve been dealing with backlash since we’ve started! I think at this point in our career, we’ve been a band for 13 years and I think that in your first year of being in a band and getting backlash from everyone around you, I think you learn to not give a fuck by now. If it really affected me in any way possible, I would have broken down about 10 years ago you know? It wouldn’t just now be hitting me. We’ve been getting shit our whole lives, so I just learn to turn it into positive stuff, when I see negative stuff, I smile. It makes me happy.

With your monthly subscription service, how do you deal with the claims that what you do is extorting your younger fanbase for money?

I think that is their opinion because most of the people who are on my website are genuinely aspiring entrepreneurs that are benefiting from the service. I don’t think in any way it’s a way to extort fans. I think that people that say that are obvious haters. I think that anyone who is actually a part of the site knows that it is a very legit service aimed to help young entrepreneurs learn from all the experiences i’ve had in my life. I think its very beneficial and I can’t honestly see any negativity behind it whatsoever.

As your band has now been around for over 10 years, is there anything you would like to be able to achieve in the next 10 that you haven’t already?

Yeah, I would definitely like to do an arena tour. I want to have an Attila plane, like how Iron Maiden has a plane I would like that for Attila. I don’t know, theres not really much we haven’t accomplished, were doing pretty well. I would say that we would make shit ten times crazier.

What bands are on your radar that you feel people should check out?

I think people should check out Vesta Collide, they’re really badass. I think people should check out Spite, they’re really badass. I think people should check out AfterLife, they’re like nu metal, they’re badass. There’s a shitload of really good bands out there who are young and really hungry. If you’re into rap metal/rap rock, Backwordz are really sick too. Theres a load of bands out there who are crushing it!

Your band has a mantra of ‘giving no fucks’, but has there, or will there, ever be a moment in your life where you felt like you should give an amount of fucks about?

If I do give a fuck about anything, it’s about my friends and my family, but I think anything outside of that there is no fucks to be given. Friends, family, fans and then outside out that circle, why the fuck do I care? If you’re not within my circle, you’re not within my world. Chances are you’re just trying to bring me down.

If you could create your own cocktail, what ingredients would be involved and what would be the name of it?

I think a Fronz cocktail would just be a big ass cup filled with liquor and nothing else, like a giant cup of Jack Daniels and nothing else, just to get the job done quick and fuck off.

Would you take $1,000,000 in cash, but every time you spent that money you had to lick both sides of the notes?

Shit, like all one dollar bills?

Let’s say $10 bills, so 100,000 notes, but that counts into change as well, so if you get change band from that $1,000,000 and you spend that you have to slosh that around in your mouth as well.

That’s fucking hilarious. Honestly, I have a really strong immune system so if anything it will just make me stronger so I would probably do it. Fuck it, I’ll lick a shitload of money, might as well, who cares?

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

So after this UK/Europe tour, we go home and play a lot of the massive rock festivals in the US such as Welcome to Rockville and Northern Invasion and places like that. After that, we will be doing Warped Tour again which will be our fourth year and Warped Tour is always massive and we’re really excited to be on that again. After that, our book is kinda open. We definitely want to stay active and create more music.

Any final words to your fans?

Thank you so much to anyone that has picked up our new album ‘Chaos‘. I think that front to back its a very solid album that you will be happy with. If you haven’t listened to it already, just download it off the internet or get it up on Spotify or whatever the fuck you do and just listen to it.