alt-rock

The Firelight Opera set to release new single “Communication Breakdown” on 13th April

Thursday 12th April 2018

Chatting to The Firelight Opera last year about their upcoming album and what we could expect from the release, they explained, We’re really excited for people to hear it! It’s got a bit of everything on it from huge rock anthems to stripped back acoustic tracks. All of the tracks have infectious melodies and catchy guitar riffs and there are plenty of vocal harmonies on there!”

When I first listened to their single “Alive” I was taken straight in by these guys, because it can be easy to listen to music and like it, but the strength of this track, along with the production value of the video for the single made it stand out even further.  What also initially piqued my interest was that the band contains not one, but four vocalists.  If you’re expecting some barbershop quartet though you need to stand down, because what you’re actually getting here is some serious talent and a ton of riffs and melodies packed right on in there.

Fast-forward almost a year later and The Firelight Opera are set to release their next single “Communication Breakdown” on Friday 13th April.  Getting an advanced preview of the track has allowed me to confirm that if you haven’t given these guys a listen yet, then they have certainly achieved the variety they set out to provide, whilst maintaining their rock anthem status. From the rock and roll intro, to the plucky verses leading us in to the chorus stating that “this is communication breakdown, I know ignorance is bliss but I can do without this”, continuing right on through to hooks that would reel-in any unsuspecting listener.

Connect with The Firelight Opera via their Website, Twitter and Facebook.

We’re No Gentlemen – Interview

Monday 18th December 2017

Hailing from LA, We’re No Gentlemen are a solid female fronted alt-rock band with one mission in mind – world domination! Having formed as a band of like-minded individuals, with the drive and passion to really make something out of their experiences, they released their infectious pop single “Mirror, Mirror.”  After becoming an instant fan favourite, We’re No Gentlemen followed up the release with their hard-hitting track “Night” which steers them in a different direction, and focuses on loss and the emotions felt during it.  Already showcasing their capabilities and versatility, it doesn’t stop there as the band set out to make a living doing what they love, whilst showing others it’s possible to achieve your dreams.

Where and how did the band meet, and what made you decide to form We’re No Gentlemen?

We met in various ways and the internet was a huge help when it came to us linking up. We decided on this group from not only their talent but like-minded attitude as well. Our drive has to do with the fact that most of us come from all over the globe, relocating to the music capital of the world to make our dreams happen. Often times it seems like when you form a group, some members have this attitude of “if we make it, we make it, if not it’s no big deal.” However, we are all committed to working hard to being a successful band.

You released your latest single “Night” a few days ago. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

The response to “Night” has been great so far. Our last music video was for our song “Mirror, Mirror” and the two tracks couldn’t be more different. Both of the tracks are fan favorites, but for different reasons. “Mirror, Mirror” was a fan favorite because it was light, poppy and everyone could sing along. Meanwhile, fans enjoy “Night” because it’s much more of a mature, dark sound for us. So I think fans have enjoyed seeing the contrast and the variety of what we’re capable of.

What’s the story behind the single?

“Night” is a story about loss and the negative emotions you feel as a result. You don’t want to believe the negativity is consuming you, but when a major trauma happens it’s sometimes inevitable. Most members have been affected by suicide so this song is very personal and dear to our hearts.

Who did you work with for the accompanying music video, and how did it feel seeing it finished?

We worked with producer Henry Arres and emmy award winning set designer Jason Howard on the video. We’re very proud of the video because we feel the storyline of loss is accurately portrayed. You see each member struggling with a loss of some sort. It follows our drummer Vince as he visits a grave site. Meanwhile, vocalist Amanda and lead guitarist Dan experience relationship troubles. Amanda was in an abusive relationship whereas Dan was going through a breakup. Guitarist Rikki loses his job as bassist Daniele struggles with alcoholism. Throughout the video you see our stories intertwine through a live performance.

What’s your writing process as a band and how do you come together to create the final track?

Our writing process usually starts with a guitar riff or scratch playthrough of the song on guitar. It then gets sent to the band where feedback and any changes are given. Vocals and melodies are then formed. The final step is jamming out full band until we are happy with it.

Who are your biggest influences and how do you draw upon your inspirations when writing and performing?

We are inspired by many different artists ranging from PVRIS to even Korn. Vocalist Amanda looks to Ville Valo of the band HIM as inspiration for dark and haunting lyrics and melodies. While looking to Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach for live performance energy.

Can we expect an EP or album release in the near future?

We finished recording our new EP back in November and you can expect the release in early 2018.

What about live dates, do you have any gigs lined up for 2018?

We’re performing in Huntington Beach, CA on December 30th at Gallaghers Pub. As for the new year, we’re playing the Viper Room on January 18th and The Redwood Bar on February 8th in Los Angeles.

Do you remember the first time you performed live together, and how do you feel you’ve evolved since then?

Ever since this lineup was solidified, everything just seemed to click and everyone knew their parts. Being a tight band wasn’t an issue for us. However, early on we wanted to use backing tracks to add some electronics to give our performance a modern feel. The first show we played together, which was in Hollywood, we found out that the venue wasn’t equipped to even run the tracks, haha. It took a few gigs to build a solid fanbase and to get attention from promoters to play at places where the equipment (or lack thereof) wouldn’t be an issue. Other than that, the chemistry has always been there and we’ve always played enthusiastically. There’s always a technical issue behind the scenes from time to time, but 99% of the audience won’t notice them. We don’t let anything take away our focus during our performance.

What’s the ultimate aim for the band and where do you hope your music will take you?

We want to be able to make a living doing what we love, which is music. We want our music to help others the way music has impacted and inspired us. We want to show others that no matter where you come from or what your life experience may be, if you work hard enough it’s possible to achieve your dreams. Ultimately, we want to take over the world.

Connect with We’re No Gentlemen via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Rosedale – Again

Thursday 14th September 2017

Track Listing:

1. What We Started
2. Snapped In Two
3. This Dissonance
4. Space Mountain
5. Do It All Again

Rosedale started out back in 2004, when Mike Liorti was determined to chase his dream of being in a band; so he convinced his friends to get instruments so they could play together.  The name of the band was born from Rosedale Avenue, the street the band would walk down to the music store to practice the songs they had written on equipment they couldn’t quite afford.  Over the years, Rosedale went through 7 line-up changes, with band members deciding to move on; but Mike Liorti has continued the project as a solo career.  Mike is quite simply a self-confessed workaholic, but an extremely admirable one who continues to chase his dream, because it’s something he still believes in so strongly.

As a band they released 2 EPs together, with Mike continuing to release Rosedale’s debut album in 2012 by himself.  He then set out on a huge tour, starting with the aspirational Vans Warped Tour, before carrying on playing many states across the US and Canada.  Music and travelling are what Mike enjoys most, with him providing the ultimate DIY message “Commit, sacrifice, create, and above all… sustain. You really can do anything if you truly love it and nobody can represent you better than yourself. That really speaks to me.”

So you might be wondering how one person can now do the work of a full pop-rock band.  Well, Mike explains in the promotional video below how he performs whilst playing guitar and keys at the same time, but projects a video of him recording himself playing all the other instruments.  If that wasn’t intricate enough, he also programmes all the lights to be in sync with the show.  If you’re already sold on seeing Rosedale live before I’ve even got in to the review, then check out the promo video below which also talks about Mike’s upcoming North American tour.  I do enjoy writing about artists from the other side of the pond, there really are some great finds out there, but it’s even harder when you can’t get to a show!

Having drive and ambition is a good start to a successful career, but how does the music compare?  Well,  listening to “Again” and being instantly reminded of the likes of New Found GloryJimmy Eat World, and Angels & Airwaves, this release already sits nicely within my collection.  There’s certainly a gap in the market for a new act to push through, especially since the likes of pop-rock veterans New Found Glory are heading out on their 20th anniversary tour, and also Yellowcard recently decided to call it a day.

“What We Started” is a passionate opening track and I can’t help thinking that it plays homage to the band, since Mike explained in the video that the title of the EP comes from needing to continue to do things in life to succeed, and repetition is key to sustain.  That’s exactly what Mike is doing here, carrying on with the vision he had all those years ago.  “Snapped In Two” has a vigorous opening and is a melodic track, which provides heavier hooks and relatable lyrics.  The production of the EP as a whole is great, but this tracks stands out even more; with an intro that pounces straight in with beating drums that continue throughout, and the progressiveness of the guitar leading us along.  “This Dissonance” is the closest you’ll get to a slowed down pop-punk ballad, and provides Mike the opportunity to showcase his vocal talents.  In fact, the start of this track reminds me of Owl City as it has a beautiful violin to start followed by a light touch of the guitar, reminiscent of the soft sounds heard in “Fireflies.”

Carrying on, I’m not entirely sure whether the next track “Space Mountain” has anything to do with the rollercoaster, but it has taken me a few listens to get my head around it.  It’s a whirlwind of a song and I found it hard to keep up with the complicated lyrics working alongside the hectic track.  However, finishing off the EP is the very enjoyable “Do It All Again” which is an acoustic track thats starts off and continues with just Mike and his ukulele.  A very pleasing way to finish off an EP which continues to showcase Rosedale and what one man and his vision can accomplish.

Connect with Rosedale via Website, Facebook and Twitter.

The Firelight Opera – Interview

Thursday 25th May 2017

May is turning out to be a great month for new releases so far this year, and my latest discovery are Northern alt-rockers The Firelight Opera and their latest single ‘Alive’, which is taken from their forthcoming album ‘Communication Breakdown’.  What initially piqued my interest was that the band contains not one, but four vocalists.  Sounds like a bunch of very talented guys don’t you think?  Me too, and I’m already excited for the album release to hear more.  I caught a moment with the band to find out about The Firelight Opera and how they’re feeling about the release of their album.  Oh, and make sure you give ‘Alive’ a listen (link below), I promise you won’t be disappointed…

Hello! Please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves and how The Firelight Opera formed?

We are Chris Pettitt, Dan Foster, Lee Hardy, Ben Craigs and Kyle Martin. We’re an alternative/rock band from Sunderland which formed in the summer of 2012. We hit it off with songwriting and vocal harmonies instantly!

How did you come up with the name for the band and were there any other contenders?

The Firelight Opera came from a night of jamming and singing round a campfire. Also, like an opera we tell stories through our music. The lyrics are always deep and meaningful.

When did you all start playing music and have you been in bands previously?

We’ve all been playing music since school. We all performed in bands before The Firelight Opera was born. Chris, Lee and Kyle were gigging together since school but under a different name. Dan performed in another band and also did solo stuff and Ben also performed in bands.

What is your writing process as a band? How do you come together to create the final track and where do you take your inspiration from?

Generally, Lee and Dan write most of the lyrics and melodies then the whole band gets together and everyone puts their input in to bring the song to life. It works well.

Your album ‘Communication Breakdown’ is released on the 29th May. How are you feeling about the release and what can we expect from it?

We’re really excited for people to hear it! It’s got a bit of everything on it from huge rock anthems to stripped back acoustic tracks. All of the tracks have infectious melodies and catchy guitar riffs and there are plenty of vocal harmonies on there!

Are there tracks in particular that you’re most excited about getting out there?

At the moment we can’t pick a favourite. We were really excited to get ‘Alive’ out but we’re going to struggle to choose the second single. It’s a good problem to be faced with though so we’re not complaining!

With there being four vocalists in the band, how do you decide on who sings each part of a song and do you all get to take the lead on different tracks?

Having four vocals to play with makes songwriting really interesting! Chris and Dan have the biggest voices so they take most of the main vocals but Lee and Ben chip in here and there.

Who did you work with on the video for your single ‘Alive’ and who came up with the idea behind the story?

We worked with a local company in South Shields called Unified Media. Lee wrote the story/concept for the video and worked closely with the guys at Unified Media to bring it to its fullest potential. They were dedicated and worked relentlessly to make it work. We’d like to thank them along with Harry and Martin for their incredible performances.

What’s next for the band and will you be taking the album on tour?

This is something we’re currently looking into and hope to do soon. We’re excited to take our music further afield.

Finally, if you were invited to perform on the BBC Live Lounge, which song would you cover and why?

It would have to be House of the Rising Sun by The Animals. Chris has a huge voice and sings it better than the original (in our opinion, of course!).

Connect with The Firelight Opera via their Website, Twitter and Facebook.