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Band of the Month: Hair of the Dog

October’s band of the month hails from Edinburgh in the form of 70’s inspired three piece Hair of the Dog, who’s name which was picked as “a nod to Scottish classic rock band, Nazareth and a cheeky wink to the trio’s indulgent drinking habits.” The band, consisting of brothers Adam and Jon Holt on vocals/guitar and drums and Iain Thomson on bass originally started playing together in high school before going their separate ways, and into adulthood. A few years later, they all found themselves in the same city and decided to get the ball properly rolling with the band. We had a chat to singer and guitarist Adam to find out a bit more about them and their influences.

Hair of the Dog, how did it all begin?
Jon and I are brothers and were brought up on a healthy diet of good music and encouraged to take up an instrument from a very early age. I’d humph my amp and guitar through to Jon’s room where his drum kit was, and we’d just jam shit all the time – Hendrix, Zeppelin and Rage Against the Machine, whatever I was being taught by my guitar teacher. When I eventually started high school, I met Iain who caught my eye in a music class playing some phenomenal bass. We jammed a little in this music class every week and it was instantly clear we had a very strong musical connection, so I invited him to join me and Jon for a jam and the rest as they say was history – we’ve been playing together ever since.

You mention being encouraged to take up music from an early age,  do you come from a musical home?
Yeah we do, our Grandpa was a Jazz musician and was very encouraging of Jons drumming and my guitar playing, he’d always like to hear a few tunes when we visited. Our Dad obviously picked up from this and he plays guitar, is a great clarinet player and has a good voice on him too. His little brother, who Jon and I really looked up to as the “cool uncle” was an 80’s teenager and really got into making electronic music with synthesizers, and Jon and I loved this! We always wanted to go up to his room and play video games and listen to his music. So yeah, we were surrounded by good music, lots of instruments and we had a lot of support and encouragement behind us. It’s the same story with Iain, his mum is a professional percussionist and plays in orchestras, his parents also have a room filled with every instrument you can imagine, plus they have a badass record collection.

You’re clearly heavily influenced by the 70s, a decade it seems that none of us can let go off – what do you think it is about that 70s sound that bands, artists and listeners are still so drawn to today, decades later?
Well I guess it’s because that was “the time” really for great rock’n’roll, the great Gods of rock and the birth of Heavy Metal – what’s not to like?! When asked to picture a “rockstar” in your head, the mind doesn’t go to Dave Grohls, Josh Homme or Marilyn Manson, it sees Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix – the list goes on. These guys were and still are a species of their own. They were the originators. They broke the mould and since them, the world has stopped creating icons like them. It was a wonderful time for rock music, so it’s natural for fans of rock and heavy metal to always find their way back to their roots, place those rose tinted glasses on and try recapture some of that energy. What we do, we take all that love for the riff, the groove, the vibe and then we crank it up a bit, adding a slightly more modern heavier edge to our sound, which is influenced by our love for metal.

You’ve released a self titled EP and two full length albums, the latest one being ‘This World Turns’ which was released in July – how has the journey been so far?
The journey of this band has been amazing, and the only words we can use to describe that are “natural and organic”. I’ve been in bands where they were run like businesses. Yes, the music was the driving force, but there was an agenda and set goal – and when things don’t go to plan or you get so close to that goal but it doesn’t bloom, then that can be soul destroying. With Hair of the Dog it has always been about the music and the fun of playing and creating that music. When those two elements no longer exist and the band feels like a chore, then we will call it a day. We recorded that first EP for ourselves, we didn’t intend to release it, it was for us to show our friends and family and to look back on and at least have something to show for the years and years of friendship and time spent jamming. But when we showed people and they said “shit guys, you have to put this out” we were like, ok might as well…. Then it blew up and we started getting all these mad reviews and interview requests and labels started contacting us. It’s been like that ever since. Nothing has ever been pushed, or forced. We aim to write a new record every year, we do the gigs we want to do, we try our best to play to all our fans and we take time to speak and respond to all our fans all over the world – there is not much more to it.

We may never be the band that tours constantly and has a huge following and fame, but our fans are extremely loyal and there is a cool, somewhat romantic aspect to being a cult-band.

Can you tell us more about your label Kozmik Artifactz and why you ended up signing with them?
We weren’t desperately looking for a label, because we had only just put out an EP on Bandcamp, and we were still pretty stoked on the fact that people were even buying it, but when a well-respected, infamous label like Kozmik Artifactz offer you a deal to be released on high quality vinyl, then it’s a no brainer. For me, the biggest turn on for signing with Kozmik, was because Kai and his team are fucking music gurus. He genuinely loves rock’n’roll and heavy music. You can tell its passion first and business second with Kozmik and that was extremely appealing.

How do you work as a band, do you jam, gig, practice and write regularly?
Well as I touched upon, we don’t push or force anything. We jam every week, perhaps working towards a gig or writing new songs, or escaping life to simply have a beer and hang out with instruments involved. As we’re a jam band, we write pretty much all there time, it only takes one good riff and 20 minutes of jamming and we can have a full song written.

Last but not least – ‘Hair of the Dog’ – what’s the best way to cure a hangover?
Oh man, my hangovers are brutal these days. I do love to drink and drink hard, but fuck me I need to take like a whole week off to recover, that or just get back on it – so I suppose that is the only tried and tested method for an instant cure, is just to keep rockin! Up in Scotland we’ve got Irn Bru and it’s well known to cure hangovers – maybe pop some whisky in there too? A couple of those will sort you out.

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Social Media links:

Facebook –Bandcamp – Spotify – iTunes – Label 

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Competition: Win Hanni El Khatib Album + Tickets

San Francisco based multi-instrumentalist Hanni El Khatib is touring the UK following the release of his latest album ‘Savage Times’ and will be playing a headline show at London’s Village Underground Monday 2nd of October. For a chance to win two tickets to the show and a copy of ‘Savage Times’, all you have to do is head over to The Great Frog Music Instagram and like this photo, and post a comment saying who you’d want to bring along. Competition ends Friday 29th of October.

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Band of the Month: Derelics

Band of the month for September is London based three piece Derelics, our local trippy hippie stoner psychedelic funk band.

Since the birth of Derelics at the age of time, the band’s sound has changed drastically from a heavy stoner and almost sped up doom kinda vibe to heavy psychedelic funk, which might have something to do with the fact that the band’s gone through as much as six bassists. While frontman Reno Lee Roth and drummer Rich Noakes has been constant since day one, they’ve changed bassists on a regular basis – maybe the funk got the best of them. The latest addition to the Derelics family is Josh ‘Jacket-attack’ Burgua, formerly of London doom band Sonic Mass. Before him, bassists such as Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters‘ Will Hart and RIDDLES‘ Thom Carter had a go in the band before venturing off onto new adventures.

Derelics, July 2017: From left to right; Frontman and guitarist Reno Lee Roth, bassist Josh ‘Jacket-Attack’ Burgua and drummer Rich Noakes.

The band’s been working on the release of their next EP ‘Guilty of Being Young’ for quite some time, and have finally announced that the launch will take place outside in the Hackney Wick woods on the 30th of September. Fueled by generators to keep them going, they will be joined by Fear of Fluffing and long time gigging buddies GNOB.

‘To Brunhilde’ off debut EP ‘Introducing Derelics’

‘The Wicked Witch is Dead’ off the upcoming ‘Guilty of Being Young’ EP.

You hear clear changes from the first EP to the second one, and with ‘Guilty of Being Young’ being recorded in 2015 with Thom Carter on bass, the band’s sound’s changed yet again over the last couple of months with Josh ‘Jacket-Attack’ joining the band, and it seems like Derelics may have finally found the one.

The exact location of the launch will be revealed on the day, but as it’s outside we’ll suggest packing your sunglasses, wellies, umbrella, shorts and beanie (cause you never know what the London weather will throw at you) and get ready for a night you’ll never remember.

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The Great Frog at Bloodstock

After a years hiatus and no Bloodstock for us in 2016, we returned full force for this years festival, taking our mobile workshop to cater for a bunch of happy campers. We had on site jewellers offering same day sizings and repairs, before later on venturing off into the night to enjoy the music, bumper cars and quite likely, one pint too many.

 

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Interview: King Buffalo

As King Buffalo announced their first ever UK tour alongside heavy psych band Elder, it didn’t take me long before getting in there to set up an interview. The Rochester trio’s eerie but melodic 2016 album ‘Orion’ is regularly played at The Great Frog, and is one of those debut albums that just knocks you out as you get excited about the musical journey you’re about to embark on with them for the next couple of years. At the day of the interview it was raining more than I can remember it ever doing in my time in England, and I pretty much stood face to face with the wrath of mother nature herself while leaving the house and heading to the Camden. The interview was conducted in the backstage area of the Underworld, surrounded by gratified walls that reeked of decades of beer and whiskey, I sat down in a sofa so low and close to the ground, I was sure I’d need medical attention when I’d ever try to get back up. Next to me on the sofa, I had various members of Elder making guest appearances – some having dinner, others making sweet music in GarageBand.

There’s not much to find about you online or anywhere else for that matter except for your music, which in many ways is a good thing, as that’s what it’s all about and it speaks for itself. Still, it’d be cool to get to know you guys a little bit more?
Scott: We started playing together in September 2013. At the time we were in two different bands in the same kind of genre and scene both based in Rochester New York. My band split up, and I spoke to Dan and Sean about possibly playing together. Dan and I knew each other from high school where we’d played friendly competition shows together. We started jamming, and already at the first practice we wrote ‘In dim light’, and at the second practice they’d decided to quit their other band to start a new one with me. We jammed for a few months before we got asked to go on tour with All Them Witches for their upcoming release of ‘Lightning at the Door’, and had to come up with a band name pretty much on the spot. I knew those guys really well as my old band had toured with them three times, so they invited us to come along with them and I was all like ‘Yeah man, you haven’t even hear my new band, but sweet, thanks!’ We were in an RV with them for like 17 days, it was great.

Prior to this interview, I spoke to All Them Witches Frontman Parks who had this to say about you all;
«I feel like gushing over a band for their music has been done enough, so instead I would like to say that one of my favorite band traits to see is when a band comprises of all alphas. King Buffalo is a band that isn’t afraid to ask for what they need, when they need it, and can argue you under a table if you don’t have it. They aren’t afraid to say when something isn’t right, and I find that to be a desirable quality in these times. A band full of alphas that can argue and resolve and still be completely personable and genuine will continue to progress and not get bogged down.»
Michael Parks, All Them Witches.

Scott: Wow, he is such a linguist. I mean, yeah. Alphas though, not so sure about that one – I say that now, then we’ll all be ripping our shirts off to prove a point next time we see him. We can definitely argue those guys under the table though, and there’s been many a time I’ve done so with Parks, I love those guys, and they’re obviously amazing musicians as well as good people. It’s kind of the same thing I get with the Elder dudes, another band I didn’t really know before they came to our home town and played. We were both on the Magnetic Eye Records ‘Electric Ladyland Redux’ record and I went and saw them cause I wanted to schmooze. At the show, I was all like ‘Holy shit, these guys rules!’, picked up the record an listened to only Elder for about three months after that. All of a sudden we’re at the same label and touring Europe together. Anyway, the resemblance between Elder and All Them Witches is that you’re there watching them on stage being all stoked because they’re Elder or All Them Witches and so incredibly talented, then they get off stage and they’re just your mates than you hang out with and it isn’t really a big deal.

This tour you’re on now is your first time ever in the UK and Europe, how is that compared to touring in the US?
Scott: Same, but different. Elder’s obviously got a much bigger following we do and they’ve been over here six times now, so for us, it was important to have that safety net, to have someone showing us the ropes. Touring the states, even if you do something dumb there’s always someone to call, or you’ll in a way be close to home even if you aren’t. Having Elder who’s seen and done it all before means less trouble for us. The crowds have been great and we’ve even had a few people saying they’ve come out to see us specifically which is really cool.

Your debut album ‘Orion’ is a truly great record, and as far as genres and categories goes, I think is quite hard to pin down – which is a great thing! You’re quite heavy while still melodic, and even melancholic at times.
Scott: We did a soft release last March where we did 160 CDs which surprisingly sold out in three days, then we ended up self releasing it in August as we were speaking to different labels but weren’t quite happy with what any of them had to offer. Then in December we were approached by Stickman who’s got bands such as Elder and Motorpsycho so we ended up signing with them. When making music, we meet up very regularly and work together – I’m not saying we always contribute 33.33% each, but it’s something we all do together and it works well for us. Everyone in the band listens to different shit, and personally I don’t even listen to that much music anymore, which sounds really fucking dumb. I’ve spent so much time studying music and drums, that I don’t get as much enjoyment out of it anymore as I studied it so hard. I’m pretty much self taught, so it’s been a lot of me rewinding over and over again, and just taking and breaking the music apart when I listen to it. The way I tend to find new music now is when I see someone live that I like, and then I’ll go through their catalogue. I obviously like all the classics band like Zeppelin and Sabbath – as for drummers I like Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham, Bill Ward – they’re all phenomenal and I want do to everything they do, but I can’t – but I really want to, and maybe one day, I’ll be able to. But yeah, that’s me. Dan (Bassist) randomly loves hiphop, while Sean’s got a very eclectic taste with everything from Frank Zappa to Devo. I guess our music is all of our tastes combined as we tend to put equally as much effort into what we do and the music we make.

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Artist of the Month: Jonny Halifax

Jonny Halifax at The Jonesing Jams ‘Worlds Collide’ by Emily Power.

Artist of the month for August is harmonica master and slide guitar extraordinaire, Mr. Jonny Halifax. Over the last couple of years, Jonny’s been producing music both as a one-man-band with his solo project Honkeyfinger, as well as in Jonny Halifax and the Howling Truth, where he brings a second guitarist and drummer with him on stage. Similar for the two, is that is straight down and dirty filthy blues, with screeching slide guitar and blazing harmonica, with Jonny howling and preaching on top.

As well as working on his own music in his own bands, Jonny’s been involved with various other bands and artists over the years such as London stoner legends Orange Goblin where he was asked to play slide guitar and harmonica on their 2007 track ‘Beginners guide to suicide’, as well as, and maybe even more surprising, Nottingham noise connoisseur HECK, where he’s appeared live on stage with the band on several occasions.

“I first came across Jonny’s music as a teenager rummaging through a record store in my hometown. I picked out Invocation of the Demon Other because I thought the packaging was really cool and just bought it on a whim that really paid off! When I stuck it on my player I was absolutely blown away, it was the best thing I’d ever fucking heard. The album stuck with me as one of my firm favourites (as it still is). A few years down the line I took a chance and reached out to Jonny to book him for a gig, to my amazement and awe he said “yes” and the next thing I know he was pulling up to my bar in this awesome tricked out campervan to play one hell of a show. Me and Jonny have stayed close friends ever since. He even played some harmonica on my band HECK’s debut album, for which he went above and beyond the call of duty. I remember he sent us over like 30 different takes to pick from, each one so incredible that it made it near impossible to pick a winner. I’ve had chance to collaborate and play live with Jonny a few times now and it is absolutely never anything less than an honour. He is a genius and a gentleman.”
Matt Reynolds, HECK & HCBP

Jonny Halifax at The Jonesing Jams ‘Worlds Collide’ by Simon Shoulders.

“I first met Jonny at a venue in Shoreditch in 2006 when I went to see his one man band ‘Honkeyfinger’ supporting Scott H Biram. As soon as he started I was blown away by his unique brand of dirty, southern blues and knew right away that I had to talk to him and ask him to play slide guitar and blues harmonica on the Orange Goblin song ‘Beginners Guide To Suicide’, that we were working on at the time. We struck up an instant friendship and have remained close to this day. I am still a big fan of what he does and I admire the way he always ploughs his own furrow. Such a talented, handsome bastard!”
Ben Ward, Orange Goblin.

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Interview: Prong’s Tommy Victor

As Prong tour the UK leading up to the release of their 12th studio album “Zero Days”, we meet up with frontman and founder Tommy Victor in the dark and dingy basement of Camden’s Underworld before their show later that evening.

You’ve been keeping Prong going for nearly three decades, and on the 28th of July you released your fifth studio album in five years – how do you find the time?
I have no idea, it’s a nightmare. For some reason, when somebody gives me a deadline and tells me to do something by a certain time, because I’m such a narcissistic ego maniac, I HAVE to do it by that time, I have to much pride not to. So, I bust my ass and put these jigsaw pieces together to try and make a record while gaining multitudes of gray hair while doing so. There was a long time where there weren’t any Prong records, when I was working with other people on theirs, like Glenn (Danzig), until I was all like «You know? Fuck this, I’m gonna start focusing on Prong again! I’ve got a record deal and I’m gonna take advantage of it, put out records consistently, and put Prong back on the map again!»

So I’ve had a listen to your new record «Zero Days» which is an absolute great album, how would you describe it yourself?
Well, I think it’s the best Prong record ever, it’s really strong, it’s got 13 bangers, anthems… Every song is well constructed. We went in with full focus, and I’ve never been in a Prong recording session like this, the sense of urgency was at the utmost, so it was no fooling around. When recording back in the day we’d be like ‘Yeah man, let’s go in the studio and get a bunch of beers, we’ll bring some chicks down, bla bla bla’ – that doesn’t happen anymore. I mean, we don’t even take food breaks anymore, it’s full on in order to get it done in time, that’s what modern records are, you don’t fool around, you go in and get this shit done.

You mentioned working with Glenn Danzig as well, how do you balance the two?
Glenn’s been working around my schedule, he’s also slowed down a little bit, or we’ve been doing less shows than we used to, so it’s been easy. There’s been periods where I’m all like «Holy shit, maybe he’s gonna fire me cause I wont be able to do this or that…» you know, and to be fair, he’s fired me before so nothing new there.

Before starting Prong, you worked as a sound engineer at CBGB’s, how would you say working with all those punk bands and being a part of that scene influenced you as a musician?
Prong was never really a part of any scene, we were a bit all over the place, we had friends that were art rockers, like the dudes from Rob Zombie – we never had our own sub culture around us. As far as the music goes, I saw some really good bands there. I had been going to the club since I was a little kid, and the first time I ever went, I saw the Ramones. I also saw The Damned, Dead Boys, The Cramps, Suicide, Sheer Terror… I was there a lot, so I guess that played a part in what Prong became, I was raised in and on CBGB.

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Band of the Month: Interview – The Devil and the Almighty Blues

The Devil and the Almighty Blues is quite mysterious in the way that there’s very little, pretty much none information to be find about them online, so we had a chat to them to find out a bit more about the bands influences and how they got together in the first place.

There’s not a lot of information about you guys online, can you tell us a bit about how it all started?
DATAB: We’ve been hanging out together both in front of and behind bars, stages, festivals and studios in Oslo since the early 2000s. Individually, we were involved in everything from punk, americana, garage rock, metal and psych. Kim was in The Good, The Bad, and the Zugly, Kenneth had Shit City and The Dogs, Petter and Arnt in The Goo Men and Torgeir Waldemar doing his own thing.

When the five of you got together, did you have a mutual understanding of the music you wanted to make, or is that a result of all of the above clashing together?
DATAB: We met up in the studio with the aim to play heavy, repetitive, gooey blues. What we all had in common is our mutual love for the electric revolution that happened in the early 70s, when Peter Green left Fleetwood Mac with the song Green Manalishi, ZZ Top fully loaded with Marshall stacks and the king himself, Muddy Waters, released the album Electric Mud. All floating around in this blues soup is also heroes like Jimi, Free, Canned Heat, Clutch and Endless Boogie – to name a few. The playlist we put together will give you an idea of what inspired us when forming The Devil and the Almighty Blues.

As far as albums go, I think you’ve killed it with both of them, and find it pretty impossible to pick a favourite amongst the two. How do you feel yourself that you’ve developed from recording the first record?
DATAB: We’re slightly more patient now, and allow ourselves, even more so than on our debut album, for the song to take as much time as it needs to be completed.

How do you work together as a band, do you meet up on a regular basis to work on new material and maintain the old one?
DATAB: We meet up in the studio when we’ve got work to do, whether that is working on new songs or improve the ones we’ve got before an upcoming tour. Besides that we bump into each other on a regular basis on the road with various bands.

As an Oslo based band, how would you describe the Oslo music scene? Is there any other Norwegian bands we should look into?
DATAB: The music scene in Oslo’s kick-ass! When it comes to other Norwegian bands, check out Kosmik Boogie Tribe, Lonely Kamel, Spectral Haze, Electric Eye, and our label friends Heave Blood & Die, Monumentum and Reptile Master from Blues For The Red Sun.

You’re hitting the road with Blues Pills later this year, how’s the expectations towards that? And is there any chance of the five of you maybe swinging by London at some point?
DATAB: Playing live is one of our favourite things to do, and to be able to travel around with Blues Pills while doing so is just an added bonus. Good venues and good people, what more could you want? Ah, London though, that would be awesome. We’re trying to get some more dates together for winter, and hope London and the UK will be a part of that.

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Pre Bloodstock – Interview: Everest Queen

While getting ready for this years Bloodstock, we had a chat to bassist Jimmy from progressive sludge metal band Everest Queen who’ll be playing the Jaegermeister stage on the Sunday. Now, it’s pretty likely that many, and maybe even most of us will be nursing some pretty heavy hangovers by this point, but if like us you’re a sucker for big riffs, then we suggest dragging your hungover ass there to check them out

So, first of all, can we get the lowdown on Everest Queen and how you guys all met?
Adam (vocals and guitar) and I met outside our local venue in 2013 and have been playing together ever since. I approached him because he had a Venom shirt on, and just got chatting about metal. Our mutual friend pointed out that we both wanted to start a sludge or doom band, so I took his number, played it cool, and waited for three days before calling. A week later he turned up at mine with his guitar. We jammed a little and it worked way too well to not pursue it. Adam suggested the name Everest Queen and I thought it was sick because it seemed mystical and not trying to be macho. I had already written our song ‘Catacombs’, and then by the second time he came over he’d written and recorded on a CD what we later ended up calling ‘Curse of the Everest Queen’. I listened to that song for weeks, even taking my bass to work with me and practicing along to it in my car at lunchtimes! Adam knew Brad (Drums, vocals) from one of his old bands at secondary school when he was like 14, and remembered them both saying on a drunken night they should start a stoner band, so he asked Brad and we’ve been blessed / cursed with him ever since. Our first gig was in 2016 just after releasing the EP, supporting Countless Skies.


You released your self titled EP early last year, how did you experience the the process of doing so?
We recorded drums at The Practice Roomz in Stevenage, and guitar, bass and vocals at Adam’s home studio. Recording the bass was quite cool as my pregnant wife would come by and see it all happen. It was incredible watching Brad do the drums as I really got to take in everything he does more than when I play with him, his approach is like a culmination of tribal and jazz drumming, and we love getting the quirky yet subtle rhythms in there with each other. Adam’s a whirlwind man, that dude seems to know everything when it comes to guitar, pedals and recording. He made recording fun and he really gees you up to knock it out of the park. Listening back to that EP now still sounds fresh to me and we’re all still in love with the artwork which was done by the very talented Bvrzerk Iam whose work is just mint.

As the EP now’s a while away, have you got any new releases coming up, or maybe even an album?
An album is in the works, but there will be something special happening for Bloodstock, should everything go according to plan, which so far, touch wood, it is. The songs are there and structurally complete, we just need the time to record as we are all incredibly busy even though we still practice at least once a week on average. We will get recording once we have had the honour of setting foot on the Jager Stage at Bloodstock 2017. We had planned to begin recording several months ago but gig offers just kept coming in, in addition to a mini tour with Zhora and Morag Tong, as well as advancing through Metal 2 the Masses. The mini tour, Metal 2 the Masses and other gigs further afield helped us improve as a band as we’ve had the opportunity to play with some high grade bands that we are fans of, we feel this’ll help us achieve our goals when recording the debut album. We’ve got some great ideas on how to follow up the debut album as well, we’ve always got something up our collective sleeve, and whilst we appreciate the wait for the album has felt long, it’s gonna be worth it.

So – Bloodstock! What’s your expectations for this years festival? Are you staying for the whole weekend?
It would be a foul smelling lie to try and be all calm about playing Bloodstock, it’s always consistent in the lineups and it won’t bow to mainstream trends like other festivals have in the past. Fuck those guys man, they know who they are. Expectation wise – we are going to embrace playing the biggest and best metal festival in the UK whilst bringing the riffs. Big, surly, epic riffs that people are going to walk away remembering and craving more of. We always like making new friends, checking out new bands and showing why we are worthy to play this hallowed ground. Sadly, I think we’re gonna miss the Thursday due to Brad and I starting new jobs that week, but I’ll be checking them out regardless via youtube, bandcamp, whatever – why wouldn’t you at least check out new music when it is right at your fingertips these days?

Who are you guys most excited about seeing at this years festival?
Ohhms, Zhora, Mist, Bossk, Inquistion, Corpsing, Iron Rat, Hundred Year Old Man, Ba’al, Atragon, Hatebreed mainly because the song ‘Destroy Everything’ makes me think of my 2 year old son being let loose in our nearest Lidl. Biggus Riffus and Hanowar look like they will feed the need for some epic riffs and classic metal.

What’s your relationship to the festival, have you been or played before?
I went in 2008, and then again in 2012 for my stag weekend where I was lucky enough to be allowed on stage whilst Grand Magus performed. Cool guys who managed to cross Bathory and Dio, both bands that I love.

What’s your festival essentials?
 This year it will be our instruments and music gear but normally ear plugs, wet wipes, toilet roll, water and sun cream. Oh and steamed hams. We’re all about the steamed hams.

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We’re Back at Bloodstock!

We’re back at Bloodstock Festival this year and we couldn’t be more excited about it! We’ll be in the Serpents Lair for all VIP’ers to get their hands on our jewellery, as well as out and about enjoying the music. To get ready and in the mood, we’ve put together a playlist featuring the bands and artists playing the festival. You’ve got six and a half hours with pre-Bloodstock entertainment, so turn in up to 11 while packing your bags, and we’ll see you in the pit!

 

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Band of the Month: The Devil and the Almighty Blues

July’s ‘Band of the Month’ is hailing all the way from the land of ice and snow; They’re The Devil and the Almighty Blues, and they’re from Norway – no way, you might say, surely Norway’s only black metal and 80’s pop icons A-ha? Nope, Norway’s got a booming and blooming music scene that’s somewhat overshadowed by it’s brother in the east, Sweden, so let dive into the deepest forests, climb their highest mountains, fall into dive bars and caves (Bergen’s actually got a music venue in a cave in the mountains called ‘Hulen’) and indulge on everything our Viking friends in the North has to offer.

Since the birth of The Devil and the Almighty blues they’ve released two records; Their self titled 2015 debut album which received critical acclaim due to it’s heavy, slow raw and bluesy sound, followed by the equally excellent second album fittingly named ‘II’, both released on Norwegian fuzzy blues, dirty stoner and muddy doom label ‘Blues For The Red Sun‘.

Photo by Øyvind Toft / Toft Concert Photography

On the bands Bandcamp page you’ll find nothing but stellar reviews for both of their albums;

“I just sold my soul to the Almighty Blues. Again. It’s dense, it’s alive, true and authentinc.
I feel like I am in a god forsaken pub for the bikers in the middle of Norway. It’s 4 a.m. I am so hangovered I wish to die, but I keep conteplating on life over yet another beer.”

“Authentic to the last letter and the final note, The Devil and the Almighty Blues does exactly what it says on the timeworn, nicotine ‘n’ whiskey stained tin. For ‘II’ does indeed contain the mightiest blues to be found across any of the Devil’s domains.”

“It’s no secret that to master the blues one would have to sell their soul to the Devil. Well, these Norse sure know their way around it!”

Photo by Øyvind Toft / Toft Concert Photography

There’s different ways to describe this band, their influences, and their personal take on slow, Norwegian, raw 70’s influenced blues, and the best description I’ve seen and heard so far, you’ll find on the band’s own Facebook page;

“When the 60’s turned into the 70’s there was a musical crossroads. The American blues had had it’s run with teens on both sides of the Atlantic long enough so that the blues-offspring named rock’n’roll had to expand or die. It did not die, it expanded in all kinds of directions! And right there in the crossroads between blues-based rock and all the world’s other sub-genres of rock, something happened to the blues. The format got experimented with, expanded and almost made unrecognizable. But at the same time the roots to the original ’real’ blues was never lost. Where Peter Green left Fleetwood Mac in 1970 with the track «Green Manalishi», where Johnny Winter stretched his musical legs, where ZZ Top bought Marshall full stacks and shot from the hip, and last but not least where the legend himself, Muddy Waters, stretched the limits of that was ’legal’ with the album «Electric Mud». And not to forget Hendrix, Free, Canned Heat and the rest of the gang from the Woodstock-era. The result was a highly electric musical revolution, where e.g. the newly born genre hard rock walked hand in hand with traditional delta blues.

It is out from this musical mud The Devil and the Almighty Blues have found their inspiration. Their music is slow, heavy, melodic and raw, all without losing the almighty blues out of sight.”

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Interview: Daisy Coburn

23 year old Daisy is somewhat experienced within the music industry, as she entered the scene as teen pop icon ‘Daisy Dares You’ nearly a decade ago. Years later, she’s ventured down the dark path of rock ’n’ roll, and is currently co-fronting her own band ‘Clever Thing’ with former ‘Bad for Lazarus’ frontman Rich Fownes. We had a chat with the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist about her current musical projects, and what the future holds next for her.

Daisy Coburn by Sarah Piantadosi

You first entered the UK music scene at quite a young age as ‘Daisy Dares You’ playing pop music, which is pretty far from the music you’re currently making – at what point did you decide to change direction and genres?
I think the transition musically and personally birthed just as Daisy Dares You came in to fruition. It began in a genuine place, just writing silly pop songs that, in the brain of an early teen, i never imagined or even understood what it meant to be defined by those things. So when it came out in to the public domain, all my instincts rejected the opportunity. Emotionally and creatively. Not only was the pressure unquantifiable, i really evolved to dislike the music i was releasing. And i predict the culture surrounding it contributed to that feeling, the disposable, fast food nature of the music industry is not for the faint hearted. So I quickly retreated and went back to basics. Taught myself to play the drums, explored my instruments and bought a little tascam 8 track, which gave me a new lease of life, totally liberated of the rollercoaster i’d just jumped off.

So you clearly started writing at a young age, do you come from a musical family?
I grew up with the unwritten law that music is essential to all life, my parents totally expressed their emotions with music, both listening to it and writing it, so it was easy to tap into that language. They loved different things but in my memory they all amalgamated quite harmoniously. I’d say my childhood soundtrack courtesy of my folks ranged from Siouxie and The Banshees to Madness to Neil Young to Nirvana, and the list goes on.. Commercially eclectic and generally really fun.

‘Bad for Lazarus’ at Glastonbury 2015 by Keira Anee

I first came across you a few years back fronting Pink Lizards and playing guitar, before you later that night took the stage on keys with Bad For Lazarus, do yo prefer to share your time between different instruments or are you more drawn to a specific one?
My default is guitar because it’s where I write the bulk of my ideas, then piano occasionally to get a different perspective on ideas when I’m feeling in a rut. But all my adrenaline goes nuts for drums! It’s usually circumstance that dictates how much time I spend on each instrument. If I had a drum kit in my room it would probably be a different story.

From the ashes of Bad for Lazarus and Pink Lizards we got Clever Thing, how would you describe the band, your sound, and how it all came about?
At The Drive In meets Phil Spector, Black Flag meets Billie Holliday, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion meets The Andrews Sisters.. We are trying to mess with the parameters. More then anything its supposed to be really cheeky and fun. And these contrast references are supposed to represent Rich and Me i guess. I listen to a hell of a lot of 20s,30s swing and jazz and Rich grew up on punk and people fucking shit up for the sake of it. Without denying our blatant individual personalities, both of us are completely attracted to the opposites we bring to the table. They work well together because however it’s been executed, all our heroes have been coming from the same place. Completely surrendering to the art. Genuine is the tie that binds.

You released your EP ‘Fixer Upper’ earlier this year, have you got an album planned?
We are aiming to record something substantial by the end of this year with Rich’s teen crush Alex Newport (At the Drive In, The Icarus Line, Tigercub) Which we are all totally ecstatic to be doing. In the meantime we’ll be releasing something special we’ve already recorded with our musical Godfather Ally Jowett…

I know you’ve got some solo projects as well as Clever Thing, how’s the rest of the year looking for you?
Doing as much as humanly possible! As well as Clever Thing i’d like to release some of my own stuff, but we will see… Time flies when you’re having fun!

Header photo by Keira Anee