VISTA – Interview

Tuesday 12th June 2018

An electronically-tinged alternative rock band, NY-based outfit VISTA originally formed in late 2015. Comprised of lead vocalist Hope Vista and guitarist Greg Almeida, the band combines both modern alternative rock and electronic influences to create their unique anthemic sound. VISTA released their debut 4-track EP “VERSUS” shortly after their original inception, in which their debut single “On The Brink” debuted worldwide on idobi radio. Their name hasn’t been shy in the press, since; the band has garnered praise from outlets such as Alternative Press, Rock Sound, Substream, and AXS. Success has continued to rise, after VISTA recently dropped details of their upcoming 25-date Bloodlust Tour, following their surprise single “Witch Hunt,” which has already racked up over 20,000 streams within the first 18 days of release.

Photo Credit: Holly Turner

You released your new single “Witch Hunt” a couple of weeks ago. How are you finding the response to the track so far?

Hope: Really awesome. We’ve never really been able to figure out the Spotify puzzle, but “Witch Hunt” became our most-streamed song in just 10 days, I think. People on all social media grounds have been insanely kind to us about this release.

Greg: Yeah, I’m super stoked about that and how we’re finally starting to pick up traction with it. People have been so nice.

What was the decision behind deciding to surprise release the single, and what was the fan reaction to it? I notice you were putting out teasers on the lead up to it…

Hope: I don’t think we’re going to surprise release anything again, but we just wanted to try a different marketing approach. We hadn’t dropped something without warning before, so we just mapped out a plan and chose to announce our upcoming tour and “Witch Hunt” back to back. I think people were a bit confused at first, but once they realized it was music, it built up. Definitely an interesting thing to see, and a one time thing.

Greg: Yeah, I’m happy we did it though. Everything is a learning experience. Some stuff about the “vague” marketing techniques were cool. In the end I think it all worked out though.

What’s the story behind the single?

Hope: We were angry during our last tour about how things in modern media were unraveling in terms of both politics and figures in the entertainment industry. Not pinned on one person in event in particular, it’s a track about internally questioning who you can trust amongst universal chaos.

Greg: Yeah, honestly it’s just about that feeling of hysteria we got. It really feels weird having no one to trust or look up to sometimes.

Hope: And we have felt that a lot collectively as a unit, as VISTA. When you’re putting your trust, time, passion, and money into your business and career, feeling a lack of trust in your surroundings is one of the most frightening things there is.

Will there be an accompanying video to follow?

Hope: Yes, we just shot a music video for it a few weeks ago, but we haven’t announced the release date for it yet.

Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?

Hope: Nothing planned for another EP as of yet. We’re focusing on promoting this single, promoting The Bloodlust Tour, and releasing that video. Once all that’s complete, then we’ll start some conversations about what our next moves are. We moved very fast last year and did a lot back to back. So right now I think we’re just taking it one thing at a time, watching our pace.

Greg: Yaaa. We’re always scheming though.

You’re heading out on The Bloodlust Tour in less than a month now, and you’ll be performing 25 dates. How are you feeling about getting back out on the road?

Hope: Stressed, to say the least. It’s a long tour, our longest yet, so we’re still piecing together certain things and are crossing things off our to-do list. Once everything’s crossed off, I’ll feel a lot better. But either way, I’m excited to play a lot of shows, I also just love having content to post on social media, and meeting new people. I’m excited to go to new states I’ve never been to.

Greg: It is stressful but we are just trying to power through one thing on the checklist on the time. I love being on the road though.

Are there any venues in particular that you’re looking forward to playing at?

Hope: I’m excited to go to Texas, I’ve never been there. We’re doing Nashville again, which is one of my favorite cities ever. Potentially my favorite overall just to be in, breathe in. I’m also really stoked to play in Raleigh. My favorite show is set in North Carolina, One Tree Hill. So I’ve always just wanted to be in North Carolina.

Greg: I am very excited to play in all the new cities. That shit is my favorite. Other than that we’re going to hit our favorites like Nashville and Long Island. Back to Orlando too!

What can we expect from the tour, and will you be performing any more new material?

Hope: We’ve actually been playing “Witch Hunt” live since March, but nobody knew what it was. So we’ll be playing that every night, most of the “Long Live” EP. We have one other new song that isn’t released yet that we’ve also been playing since March, you’ll hear that every show. As always, our lighting rig. Just a ton of energy, nice flow, my weird stage outfits. We also have our Long Live 1 year anniversary show in our hometown on 7/19, that’ll be our longest set yet, I think like 12 songs?

You must be so excited to be performing at the Vans Warped Tour this year. That’s got to be an experience for any band, and even more so knowing it’s going to be their final year. How did the opportunity come about?

Hope: We had this on our band bucket list since the start, so we’re just excited to get the experience. It was honestly just timing, we knew the right person and made the connection, and he gave us the opportunity. You can catch us walking around the entire day with picket signs (I’m actually stoked to do this).

Greg: Yes! It’s gonna be so cool dude. Reminds me of when I played Bamboozle back in the day. We’re gonna make that set count for sure.

What do you get up to outside of music to help make ends meet as a band? I notice you’ve been appealing for donations to help with your upcoming tour and travelling costs.

Hope: We actually haven’t appealed for any donations; that would mean we’ve begged or urgently requested. We have always been very transparent about our financial situation, being a two-piece band with no financial backing, so we have made posts saying that if anybody would like to buy some merch, all of the money from merch sales will go directly to tour costs. Since we only ship in the US, we’ve also included our PayPal in the posts and said that if anybody would like to help us out, here is our direct PayPal link. But we’ve never asked or begged people to donate to us for tour; we have just put our info out there if anyone wants to help, and we’ve always made that very clear. All costs are on us, as we’re choosing to do this. It’s very difficult though. I work three jobs, six days a week and Greg does overnight shifts in the city. I also pay all of my own bills and live on my own, as well as meeting my half of the band cost split. It’s difficult, we don’t hide that, and if anyone has ever been willing to help, we appreciate that more than anything. But we also understand that the costs are our responsibility, which may eventually lead to not being able to do certain things because we just simply can’t afford it. I think it’s important to be transparent and honest with our audience about this type of thing so they understand all facets of being an unsigned band. The biggest challenge is building this while also trying to live comfortably.

Greg: Hope explained this very well. I’ve been very blessed to have a job with a super flexible schedule that pays well, and I essentially just call them when I want to work. I also get to see some pretty cool stuff at work too every now then. Anyways, yeah you have to budget everything to a T in order to make this work. It’s tough.

Connect with VISTA via their Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Awake At Last – Interview

Monday 30th April 2018

Awake At Last are a band that I’m always stoked about interviewing.  Each time we catch-up there seems to be a constant leap forward, as they continue to tour hard and perform even harder.  Life on the road is a big part of what these guys are all about, connecting with fans, and bringing their music to as many venues and stages as possible. They released their EP “Life/Death/Rebirth” a few months go now, which you seriously need to get on your radar if you haven’t given it a listen yet. It landed at #48 on the Active Rock Charts, stacked up over 100k streams on Spotify, has been requested by fans and spun on a number of radio stations, including SMX Octane!

Hello! It’s been over 2 years since we last spoke and it seems as though so much has happened since then. How are you all and what’s new for the band? 

We have all been doing great!  We’ve been able to keep a slow and steady climb as we continue to tour all over the country and interact with what is proving to be one of the most amazing fan bases ever.  We have a lot of ideas as far as branding is concerned and hope to put out some new music soon.

Your latest EP “Life/Death/Rebirth” has been out for a number of months now. How have you found the response to your music so far? 

It seems like our fans have been loving it.  It’s also been pretty well received by newer audiences and people who may not necessarily be into our genre.  I think that people dig the individualistic nature of the sound because they can’t really peg it as a certain genre, which makes it super exciting to know that we’re developing a sound all our own.  I’ve been blown away at how much support we’ve seen since the release.

You did a lot of funding for the EP through Indigogo. How was that experience and is it a platform you would consider using again to fund for future releases? 

I really like the idea of Indiegogo because it gives those fans who really love what we do a chance to be a part of those early phases and reap some rewards as a result.  I think that with the current meta of the internet, if bands and fans interacted more through 1 on 1 interactions, you can build the kind of fanbase who will always support and help build your career.  It becomes this amazing connection and it really helps with all the pressures of being an unsigned independent band.

You seem like a band that are constantly on the road touring your music. Do you enjoy life on the road, and how has playing so many shows helped your live performances? 

I love being on the road a lot.  It’s definitely not for everyone, but once you get into that mindset of waking up every morning with goals, and a plan to execute it becomes very liberating.  The more we play on the road the tighter the band gets and the tighter our bond as a band gets.  It’s my favorite aspect of what we do.  Even though the corporations have managed to almost turn our country into a giant shopping mall I find that the adventure is in the people you meet.  Interacting with all the people who love what we do, and even the new ones we just meet is extremely rewarding.

What about how you’ve evolved as a band? I’m constantly impressed by your drive, but what has been your main focus with “Life/Death/Rebirth?”  

We just want to continue to elevate and inspire people to pursue fulfilling lives, and do what they love and find a way to make a living doing so.  If we can be living examples that manifest destiny, and the law of attraction work then I hope that people will find the strength in themselves to also do what they love.  It’s too easy to get caught up in the societal machine of everything.  Depression and anxiety are at an all time high because people are taught to make the safe choices.  We want to light a spark in those who decide that making the adventure of your life about what you love doing the most is worth every trial and tribulation.

How are you feeling about performing at this years Vans Warped Tour? That’s got to be an experience for any band, and even more so knowing it’s going to be their final year. 

It’s an immense honor to be amongst the final bands to perform in the final warped tour.  It’s always been a huge staple in our scene and meant a lot to us individually as we grew up in the days when we thought it would never end.  I’m going to embrace and live that experience up to the fullest and continue to carry the torch for the bands of the genre, in hopes that even as warped tour fades, new festivals will rise to take its place and we can continue to evolve the music scene.  When one door closes, thousands open.

Spending time with your fans is something that you like to do after a show. How important is it for you to connect with your fans in this way? 

It’s one of the most important aspects of the band.  We wouldn’t exist if we didn’t have our amazing fans supporting us and helping us continue to live our dream.  We’ve been on shows with other bands where they will hang out at their vans all day before playing, but I think they’re missing out on one of the best parts of being a musician.  I’ve had amazing conversations with fans and it’s always made all of the hardships worth it.  It also creates a closeness with us and our fans and makes us feel like a unit.  It’s something we’ve always loved doing, and hopefully something we can continue forever.

I have to ask you about your single “Never Be A Memory” and the decision behind it being a stand-alone track? It’s a great song but hasn’t made it on to any of your EPs. 

Questions, and Never Be A Memory were both recorded and written during a transitional phase in the band.  In a lot of ways we were still trying to figure out what direction the band was going to go and after doing so it helped us figure it out.  It wasn’t necessarily meant to be a stand alone, it still resonates within the theme of doing what you love and pursuing your dreams, it was just built during a transition period, and when Life Death Rebirth ended up being a concept album there wasn’t really room for it on the EP.  But it’s still a fan favorite, and I’ve always dug the song.

Do you have much downtime outside of the band and are there any hobbies or other interests that you enjoy? 

The band keeps us pretty busy, but since we’re still independent and unsigned we all work jobs as well.  We all enjoy hanging out and we all have different vibes that we get into when we aren’t in the band. I know I dig role playing games, some of the others like the beach and such.  For the most part the band stays pretty focused on music because it’s the driving force behind who we are.

What are your plans for the year ahead, and what do you hope to achieve? 

I’d like to see the vision start to really come into itself.  We’ve been working on some new songs for a while and with any luck I’d like to see a release in our near future.  There’s a lot of branding and thought that has gone into this full length record.  I have a vision for what I hope it will accomplish and look forward to finding ways to bring the pieces together to make it happen.  With that I’d like to get a bit more visual and really help to tell the story of what we do, and why we do it hopefully inspiring others to pursue their passions and dreams as well.

Connect with Awake At Last via their WebsiteFacebook and Twitter

The Lids – Interview

Monday 23rd April 2018

Combine songs about teenage love affairs and riff heavy choruses and you’ll get the majority of young bands these days. Add the energy and connection of two brothers, anthemic tunes and support from the likes of This Feeling, Hot Vox and Soundhub Studios and you’ll get Rhys Butler, brother Liam Butler and brother from another mother Sam Deas – aka Leicestershire’s three-piece indie rock band The Lids.  The Lids have been making all the right noises recently, being dubbed as ones to watch in Leicestershire, playing Tramlines and Y Not Festival and recently announcing new single “Delectable”, which dropped on the 20th April.

Your new single “Delectable” is due to be released on the 20th April. How are you feeling about getting new music out there?

It’s very exciting for us because the song is completely different to anything we’ve done before and there are so many more elements to it for people to enjoy, so yeah it’s very exciting and we’ve also got two more all recorded so we can’t wait to bring them out too.

What’s the story behind the single?

It started with Liam just playing around with bass riffs at first and then he brought what he had to practise, and over time we added the guitar and drums and eventually the synth until we thought it sounded good enough to record.

Who did you work with for the accompanying music video, and where was it shot?

We worked with a videographer called Marcus Langford. He’s local to us but he’s done an absolutely mad job on the video we’re really happy with it. It was all shot locally to us as well because we knew a fair few places that would work with the theme of the video, but Marcus knew exactly what to do as soon as we decided where to go so it all worked really well.

Can you tell me about your writing process, and how you work together to create the final track?

We have an unwritten rule in practise whereby if anyone says “let’s write a song”, we go back and play our normal set list because it never seems to work as well as if its more natural. Liam or Rhys will play a riff they’ve thought up and if it sounds good we’ll try and build on it. We don’t know why but that’s just how it works!

Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?

Erm, hopefully yeah! We’ve got songs recorded and we’re always trying to write more and find new sounds that work so yeah an EP or album is definitely in the pipeline.

Which bands have inspired your stage presence, and are there any bands you model yourselves on? You’re penned as giving some of the most high-energy performances.

There aren’t really any bands in particular, we just feel that if we look like we’re enjoying it then hopefully that has an effect on the crowd, and they can enjoy it with us!

You’ve been discovered by Christian Fuchs and collaborated with him on his clothing range #NoFuchsGiven. How did the opportunity come about, and what have you been working on?

We met Christian at a meet and greet in Leicester and we got onto the topic of the band and played him a couple of tracks and he really like our stuff, and was keen to work with us! It was unbelievable for a guy of his calibre and a company as big as NoFuchsGiven to want to work with us, but it’s a good thing we’ve got going, it’s just about promoting each other as much as possible and helping each other out.

It’s great to hear another Leicestershire band doing so well. What are your thoughts on the local music scene, and are there any venues in particular you enjoy performing at?

Leicester’s music scene is jammed with seriously talented acts that can go a very long way, so it’s great for us to be a part of something that’s created so many great musicians. The O2 venues are always amazing to play because you’re playing to a lot more people than usual, and the sound quality is amazing, but then so is The Cookie on Leicester High Street because it’s so well known not just locally but further a field too, and you always get a great reception when playing there which is why it still attracts huge names.

Do you have any recommendations of other local bands or artists to watch out for?

There’s so many yes, there’s Easy Life, who have completely blown up and are completely different to anything you’ve heard before but have quite rightly taken the local music scene by storm! There’s Magique too who again are creating a new and fresh sound for people to enjoy and again absolutely killing it! There’s so many it’s great to be a part of it, with our good pals from Arcades too it’s pretty exciting for everyone!

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

We’ve always said Glastonbury would be pretty cool! Aside from festival hopes and big gig hopes we’d like to release a full album at some point that would be amazing, but it’s not something we’re going to rush because when we do release our first album we want it to be as good as we can make it.

Connect with The Lids via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Edenthorn – Interview

Monday 16th April 2018

Hailing from Durham, alternative rock quartet, Edenthorn are due to release their second album on Friday 20th April, and following on from the huge response they’ve had to the singles they’ve already put out, all the signs are pointing in the right direction for this to be another storming release. “Exist” displays the bands ability to write and produce incredible music with a solid rhythm and tight harmonies. “Our main aim is to make sure that our listeners never get bored.” States Edenthorn bassist and backing vocalist Faiba Gardner. “There is nothing worse than listening to an album where every single song sounds like the song before. We don’t like to stick to musical trends, we just like to write good honest music from the heart. We strive to keep the listener entertained, and to take them on a journey with us through our music.”

Could you tell me about your latest single “Mind Like A Minefield” and the meaning behind it?

This is influenced by the experiences that we’ve all had with anxiety and panic attacks and generally stressing and overthinking things. The idea of battling with yourself and your mind, a war within yourself/your mind. But the positive message is ‘I will defeat it, I can beat it, In the end I will win’ the war within.

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

We worked with Ross Hannon of Aytball Film for “Mind Like A Minefield” and our previous release; “Heart’s Still Beating” as well as our forthcoming single “The Unknown”. It is always an interesting and enjoyable experience working with Ross. He is very artistic and creative in terms of putting visuals together, so when we’re actually on set you always get the feeling that the end result will be impressive.

You’ll be releasing your album “Exist” on the 20th April.  How are you feeling about getting new music out there, and are there any tracks in particular that you’re excited about being heard?

Judging by the reaction to the first two singles we have released, which have both been extremely well received, we can’t wait to see what reaction we get from the rest of the album. We all have our own favorites, so that is a difficult question but we’re looking forward to our next single release “The Unknown.”

How easy was it to pick the final 11 tracks, and were there any that didn’t make the cut?

There were 14 tracks in total, so 3 didn’t make the final cut. That’s not to say they were weaker tracks, we just felt they stood strong enough on their own either to release later as stand-alone singles or material for the next album.

Could you give me an insight in to the album, and whether there is a theme or a story behind the final tracks?

We never really discussed a theme or story for the album but without us knowing its seemed to have developed into a story of existence, hence the title “EXIST.” Tracks 9,10 and 11 were deliberately placed together as a trio as they are all based on the different stages of loss and grief. As a whole a lot of the songs are based on self awareness, life and existence!

What was the decision behind self-releasing the album, and do you feel this has given you more freedom?

Up to now we’ve enjoyed the freedom of writing, recording and releasing music in our own way and in our own time, it wasn’t really a decision, we just aren’t currently in contract with anyone so it’s by choice as much as it is by that fact. That’s not to say we’re against releasing music under a label in the future, should there be a suitable offer that we feel will benefit us. These days however, a lot can be achieved on your own, so at the moment we’re utilising and exploring all of the avenues in which we can do that to the best of our own abilities.

How would you say this compares to your previous material, and how do you feel you’ve developed as a band over the years?

We would say it fits well nicely with our previous album. This is now our second full length release, both albums have been 11 tracks long. We played a launch show in celebration of the upcoming release and we played 6 tracks from debut album ‘The Maze’ and 6 from the new album ‘Exist’. So that kind of shows we still believe in our previous material as much as the new songs. We have progressed in terms of sound and production for sure. Each time we record we have new skills and knowledge learnt from the last time. We self-produce as well as self-release, Dylan (Lead Guitarist) records, mixes and masters all of our work. He is continuously improving and developing his own skills as a producer and we are all blown away by the result on this new album. We’re all excited and eager to get back in the studio already!!

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

It all starts with Dylan mainly. He may have a riff or a few sections, sometimes he comes with fully written pieces of music demos and we then jam that out in a rehearsal room and Kyle then adds melodies and vocals. We all have input in the overall creativity of the songs, both in the studio and rehearsal room.

Do you remember the first gig you ever performed live, and how do you feel you live shows have evolved since then?

Our first gig as Edenthorn was back in 2013, and it was an acoustic showcase gig. We had to come up with stripped back/MTV Unplugged type set list, which was fun! Our live shows have definitely evolved from when we started which all comes down to experience. We never used to think that much about playing live, we just used to play songs… now though, we’re a lot more experienced on how to put a show together to ensure that everybody is having a good time from start to finish!

Where have been your favourite venues to perform?

Trillians in Newcastle is an awesome rock venue that we will continue to go back too! Most recently The Cluny 2 – where we played our album launch party – really surprised us and has been our favourite so far. It has a cool underground vibe to it and has awesome staff, gear and a great sound technician.

Connect with Edenthorn via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

TrueHeights – Interview

Wednesday 21st March 2018

Acclaimed young alt-rockers TrueHeights are back with a bang, announcing their new EP “Days We Found”, and their signing to We Are Triumphant. Hailing from the Midlands, the band have quickly picked up a huge amount of momentum from their debut EP “TH15”, and secured themselves a well-established fan base from their time on the road, supporting the likes of Freeze The AtlanticDEAD!Lonely The Brave, and Fatherson. Armed with the addition of guitarist Alex, and a brand new EP which is due for release on the 6th April, TrueHeights are hoping to put some serious heart and meaning back in to the UK’s rock scene.  I catch a moment with lead vocalist Zakk Poland ahead of the release to find out what we can expect from their new material.

Please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves? Have you been in bands previously, and what has driven you to form TrueHeights?

We are a 6 piece rock band from the Midlands. We have all come from very different backgrounds which I think makes our song-writing process very interesting. Myself and my brother Luke have come from a post-hardcore/punk background then we have the Maugham brothers and Kris who have come from a dance/electronic metal background and then Alex who has been a solo singer songwriter for many years – so our ideas are very diverse in the rehearsal studio to say the least! We formed TH because we wanted to unify a few of our favourite things from the genres we all love and create a sound that was accessible to more than the very niche sub-genre’s we were all a part of before.

Your debut mini album release “TH15” received quite a lot of momentum. How have you found the response to your music so far?

Thank you! “TH15” was received better than we could have ever imagined. Its mesmerising being able to travel the country and have crowds singing your songs back to you – it’s very moving.

You’ll be releasing your new EP “Days We Found” on the 6th April. How are you feeling about getting new music out there, and are there any tracks in particular that you’re excited about being heard?

We are SO excited to release “Days We Found”. Some of these songs have been sat behind the curtains for nearly 2 years and now we can finally unveil them to you guys! The response to the singles so far have been mind-blowing and we are so lucky to have such a loyal fanbase that are happy to stick with us for 3 years without releasing any music. We are so excited for the two songs which aren’t due to be released as singles, because the first time anyone will hear them is when they buy the full record. Keep your ears open for “No Tomorrow” and “Maybe”.

How would you say this compares to your previous material, and how do you feel you’ve developed as a band over the past 3 years?

It pushes the boundaries a lot more than “TH15”, in the way that we have collectively tried to diversify our writing style – making 5 very different sounding songs, with the idea that different people will have different favourites. As a band we have played a hell of a lot of shows over the last 3 years and learned a hell of a lot about each other and about our writing style and what works best for us – especially with the addition of Alex. We have become more of a team and everyone brings their own ideas and interpretations on each others work – I feel the sound has matured a great deal.

What’s your writing process and how do you work together to create the final track? Being a 6-piece band, how do you make sure you all have a creative input?

So, normally one of us will bring an idea to the studio and then we will all build on it. Depending on which instrumental idea is presented as a melody core, that is USUALLY what defines the overall sound and feel of the track, i.e “Stay” was written around a synth hook, giving it a more dancy feel. Whereas “Exit Route” was written around a riff idea I had written in my bedroom on an acoustic guitar! When I write on an acoustic guitar I always imagine I’m playing to a huge festival crowd with a huge wall of amplifiers behind me… 9 times out of 10 I’m sat in my room and I can hear my mum hoovering the stairs…SO rock and roll. We usually write a song in a few phases to make sure everyone is 100% happy with their parts, before our producer rips them to shit and makes us re-write them anyway!

Who did you work with for the video to your latest single “Still Moving Colour”, and how does it feel when you get to see the finished videos for your singles?

We worked with a good friend of ours Jay Hillyer (Cabin Boy Jump Ship). His work is awesome! He’s pretty much done most of our videos. He lets us have a lot of creative input on them which is great. We write and direct all of our videos ourselves.

You released an acoustic version of “City Lies” to raise money for Bedfordshire & Northamptonshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre. Could you tell me why this charity is so close to your hearts, and how the donations helped the centre?

This charity is especially close to our drummer Kris, who’s uncle is an MS sufferer. The whole charity release was conducted by Kris himself. It was such an honour to have such amazing, iconic people on board with us such as Connor Ball (The Vamps), Nothing But Theives, Madina Lake, BBC Introducing etc.

You’re on the last few dates of your current tour, but thinking about all the live dates you’ve ever played, which has been the most memorable and why?

We always tell the story of how I broke Ash’s leg on stage, but that was honestly one of the best moments of my life. I think on a serious note, one of the most memorable ones was MOM Fest in Eindhoven, ND. We got to play our first show overseas to thousands of people and it was mind-blowing. Not only that, but that was Alex’s first ever TH show.

How do you find the music scene in the Midlands? Being a music blogger/gig-goer from the area too I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the local scene and venues.

Yeah we love our local scene. I’m in the firm belief that we wouldn’t be anywhere right now had it not been for that. There’s not an AWFUL lot in the Midlands but that’s what makes events so special. We have so much love for Zephyr Lounge (Leamington), The Phoenix (Coventry), The Kasbah, and pretty much all of the venues in Birmingham. It’s a close-knit scene and we love it!

What are your plans for 2018, and what do you hope to have achieved by the end of the year?

We would love to have another big tour in place and hopefully some more new music! Keep your eyes peeled…

Connect with TrueHeights via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

The Baskervilles – Interview

Wednesday 17th January 2018

Blending raw energy, hip-hop influenced grooves and the syncopated grind of 9 bit guitar, The Baskervilles aim to reflect the voice of anger for anyone in society feeling like they are “currently being dealt a bleak future through the decisions made by the elite few”. Speaking with band members James and Aaron, they explain the political message behind their latest single “Kalashnikov” and what has encouraged them to pour out their anger in this hard-hitting track. Having spent the past year working with producer Tom Donovan, the band have been working hard to push the boundaries of rock music, so I was keen to find out how The Baskervilles formed, how they’re finding their feet in the music world, and most importantly from such a driven band, what we can expect next.

Hello! Please could you tell me some more about the history of the band; where and how did you meet, have you been in bands previously, and what made you decide to form The Baskervilles?

James – So me and Aaron were in a band together, Callum and Blair were in a different band together and we all sort of got tired of our respective outfits and wanted to try something new. The Baskervilles has been our chance to really make the music we want, we don’t set boundaries on what it should be and just follow the ethos of if it feels good, do it.

Your third single ‘Kalashnikov’ was released in December. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

James – The response has been incredible so far, we get all kinds of people commenting on it, tagging their mates on Facebook, that sort of thing.

Aaron – Being on an Indie label means we get to be hands on with everything involved with releasing a single, we learnt a lot with our first two releases and that has really paid of with ‘Kalashnikov’ in terms of reach. Having complete strangers message us to say how much they have enjoyed the track has really been amazing.

You explain that the single is the “voice of anger for anyone who has the sense that we are currently being dealt a bleak future through the decisions made by the elite few.” What is it about this message in particular that has encouraged you to write so passionately about it?

James – I think it’s the zeitgeist right now. ‘Anything is possible’ used to be a ubiquitous message of hope, now it’s like a warning. The president of the US just tweeted a nuclear capable dictator to call him short & fat, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE KIDS. In this country it’s a tad more subtle but the sentiments the same. Grenfell tower is a black smouldering monument to that disparity, the wealthiest borough in the country ignored the pleas of it’s residence to improve fire safety and action was only taken once people literally burned to death. We have a situation where Windsor police have been instructed to crack down on homelessness in the run up to the royal wedding. There is a justifiable anger that the homeless in Windsor are far more likely to see the inside of a cell than anyone directly responsible for people burning to death in Grenfell tower.

How did you find the experience of writing, recording and editing the music video for the single, and who came up with the concept?

Aaron – Creating videos is something I love doing almost as much as making music. One of the biggest benefits to making our own videos is that we can treat them like a visual extension to the song, though this doesn’t necessarily mean a video must be a perfect translation of the lyrics into visual form. With ‘Kalashnikov’, I wanted to create something that visualised the conflicted theme of the song in a way that wouldn’t make the video feel obviously political. Yes, the lyrics do have a political edge to them but at the heart of it the song is conflict. I’m always quite drawn to ideas that contain self-reflection or an internal struggle, and so the idea of having James face off against himself felt like the natural story to tell. The whole band worked really hard on this video, we built the set together, shot the video over two long nights and all contributed ideas that made it into the final edit. I’m very proud of the Kalashnikov video and am currently working on ideas for the next single.

You spent the last year working with producer Tom Donovan. How was the experience for you, and did he help you achieve your aim of trying to push the boundaries of rock music?

James – Tom Donovan is all you hope for in a producer, the guy has an energy that is completely contagious and I don’t think we could of done what we’ve done without him.

Aaron – I think most musicians want to push musical boundaries to some extent, whether that’s their own personal boundaries or the boundaries of an entire genre. Working with Tom has definitely pushed us to try new things in our music, as a band we get really excited about finding cool sounds or creative production techniques. We’re now using Ableton Live during our live shows, which means we can bring all the cool and weird sounds that excite us in the studio to our live performances, pushing our live sound in directions we couldn’t before.  I think as long as we’re making music, we’ll always be trying to push some sort of boundary.

Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?

James – There could be one on the horizon, we definitely have the songs for it but we’ve got no money behind us except our own so we prefer to do it single by single in order to compete with our more well-heeled contemporaries. We have often mused aloud about releasing Blair back into his natural habitat but worry his peers will no longer accept him.

Let’s talk instruments; what do you all play and when did you learn?

James – I play the guitar & sing I learnt around 16. Callum plays the guitar but it’s left handed so make of that what you will. Aaron plays the bass and is hoping to learn mid to late 2018. Blair plays the drums and has been known to play dead when startled.

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

James – Normally I’d come up with a riff and maybe a chorus and show it to the guys. They all sit in these chairs and spin round if they like but stay facing the other way if they don’t. It’s pretty brutal on me but it’s a tradition we try to maintain. Then we have a little home studio where we all get together and turn it into a song, lately we’ve been writing at Toms which has been really working for us.

Being in the early stages of your music career, how are you finding the process and have you been given any lasting advice?

James – The process is pretty bizarre to be honest, you can sit & plan stuff for days but nothing ever goes the way you think it will, it’s best to just go with it, write the best stuff you can and enjoy every second your on stage. We once supported Matt Cardle and I remember asking him in his dressing room how he achieved such success, and he said “who are you and how the fuck did you get in here?”. That advice has really stuck with me, it’s pointless questioning everything and looking to others because who we are and how we got here is really beyond our control. Thanks for everything Matt.

How is the year looking for you with live dates, and are you hoping to get to any festivals?

Aaron – We have a number of shows coming up this month in London, Colchester and Liverpool, all our live dates can be found on our website ( Our big goal for this summer is festivals, but it’s too early to announce anything on that front.

Connect with The Baskervilles via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

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.