SLASH | Living the Dream track by track | AUDIO INTERVIEW

SLASH | Living the Dream track by track | AUDIO INTERVIEW

Slash – Living the Dream track by track interview

Slash talks to us about the brand new record Living the Dream.

Overview of the album

Track by track breakdown

Special thank you to Oli at AC Promotions for permission to use this.

LED ZEPPELIN | The Song Remains The Same re-issue Special Feature | INTERVIEW

LED ZEPPELIN | The Song Remains The Same re-issue Special Feature | INTERVIEW

Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same Re-issue Special Feature

We have something very special for you today. A full feature length feature on the new reissue of the Led Zeppelin classic live album. The Song Remains The Same is out today 7th Sept 2018. Here’s an hour-long feature feating songs and interviews with the band

Special thank you to Oli at AC Promotions for permission to use this.

TREMONTI – Mark Tremonti talks to us about A Dying Machine

TREMONTI – Mark Tremonti talks to us about A Dying Machine

Mark Tremonti talks to us about A Dying Machine

Mark Tremonti interview A Dying Machine

The brand new album for 2018 is out now!

Listen to the full interview below. We have not one but two interviews to share. Mark talks about the album and the second one he talks us through each track and the meaning of the songs.

About the album

Track by Track!


Special thanks to Oli at AC Promotions 🙂

MASTERSYSTEM | Scott Hutchison | INTERVIEW

MASTERSYSTEM | Scott Hutchison | INTERVIEW

Scott Hutchison talks to us about all things Mastersystem

Feature and photography by Graeme J. Baty

I caught up with Scott Hutchison from Mastersystem and Frightened Rabbit before their Cluny gig in Newcastle. I’ve been fairly blown away by the surprise album and just had to find out a bit more about the record, lyrical themes and the band’s plans.

Mastersystem - April 2018 - Cluny Newcastle
Mastersystem – April 2018 – Cluny Newcastle

It’s really nice to get to speak to Scott, his songs have helped me recently with my own depression battle and Mastersystem album came out at a really dark period in my life, I instinctively and instantly connected to it without necessarily understanding why. Mastersystem are much more than the sum of their parts. They are a breath of fresh air. I’m quietly confident it’ll make my top ten albums of the year. Any less of my waffle and more questions!

I suppose the obvious question to ask is how did this project come about?

Well, it was brought to myself and Grant by Justin Lockey two summers ago while we were opening up for Editors in Berlin. It was one of those things where you have a lot of conversations like that with fellow musicians where you like we should do something together. The thing I realised is that if you have that conversation with Justin then he’s gonna make it happen! He’s a bit of a workaholic and he’s got about 5 different things on the go at any one time. So a few months later at the start of 2017, I got a bunch of tracks and I absolutely loved them. It was like here’s a bunch of instrumentals, go make them into songs in your own time, there’s no rush. I was still in the midst of a Frightened Rabbit tour so I gave it a couple more months then I began writing and it came together pretty quickly after that.

So aye it’s been a swift project, which is kinda the best way to do a sideproject really. That’s the kind of ethos of it really, let’s not overthink this, it’s big dumb guitar tracks and I took the same approach with the lyrics. Somethings with other songs I can spend months to perfect them lyrically. What I did essentially over a couple of months I took a total of about a week to put the lyrics together, I tried to do it quickly, kinda off the cuff gut instinct approach and it seemed to fit.

I’m quite blown away by the power and heaviness of the album. It feels like an escape from other projects, yet with a pleasing familiarity. Is this a deliberate approach to the sound? How would you compare Mastersystem to other projects?

Yeah, it gives it a good reason to exist because it’s really quite different from what we usually do. Also, I didn’t play any guitar on this record so I was listening to someone else’s song and I really enjoyed that detachment where I could just be the vocalist.

Can you tell us a bit about the recording and writing process? Did you get together to write and record or was it more of a studio project?

Well the ‘demos’ that I got where to my ears pretty fully formed, they had some rough drums on them which Grant re-did, but that was the last thing. It was like making an album in reverse as Grant was the last thing to go on it. We were all available at different times, I went down to Doncaster for two sessions, for a total of 6 days recording. Some of those tracks it was pretty much the first time I sang them, so it was that kind of spontaneity as opposed to overthinking things.

It’s interesting it’s definitely changed my thoughts towards writing and recording, maybe that kind of ‘off the cuffness’ is something that keeps the music exciting and alive rather than studiously picking through a track to try and perfect it. I know Justin has the same process in Editors. With Grant over the years, we’ve kind of tamed him a lot. We’ve brought in a lot of electronic sounds in the studio and the way that we used to play when we started out, where it was just thrashing about he’s not been able to do much of that in recent years as the sound has calmed down a lot. He loved getting back into that animal style drumming.

It was a proper release for us as well, a between album project so it’s really good pallet cleanser, which will probably affect how we approach the next Frightened Rabbit album, it’s exciting.

Mastersystem - April 2018 - Cluny Newcastle
Mastersystem – April 2018 – Cluny Newcastle

Where did the name come from? Is it Sega related?!

Well yeah, it is, but it’s one word! So far we’ve not had any angry emails from Sega saying cease and desist. The thing is there is a certain amount of regression to what we were all listening to in high school, so it takes us back to what we were listening to early Pumpkins, Weezer, Dinosaur Jr. and all the Seattle grunge stuff, that’s where the heart of the record lies but we wanted to bring it forward, certainly lyrically I wanted to have that kind of teenage angst but with adult problems in the lyrics.

Approaching the vocals for this I was almost able to get into a different sort of character there’s a lot of heart and soft feeling in Frighten Rabbit songs and I think this is more aggressive. You wouldn’t really know it listening to it but I was thinking of some of my favourite vocalists and performers like early Idlewild; Roddy Woomble, Iggy Pop and Nick Cave. Where there’s that aggression, swagger and confidence which I don’t really do a lot of in the other band, so there’s definitely a lot of lyrics that wouldn’t make it into a Frightened Rabbit song but I felt able to put it into those songs because the tone is so different.

Lyrically Dance Music seems quite dark, introspective and unafraid to use foul language to get a point across. I’m quite curious as this year I’ve been battling depression and find myself looking deeper into lyrics (particularly Frightened Rabbit, Twilight Sad albums) to find comfort. Is this a deliberate attempt to look at accepting one’s inner demons and behaviour?

Yeah, it’s something I’ve been battling for a while, I guess the thing is before I realised what was going on I was sort of relishing in it, it becomes such an integral part of my character and I was like well I right these sad songs and it helps me creatively and then it gets to the point where like ‘No!! Fuck that!’, this is no way to live and these songs definitely came from a point where I probably started writing in earnest at the end of the Frightened Rabbit tour cycle and when you’re cast back into normal life and you have to try to find a way to fit in again and it’s a really difficult place to be, so a lot of this album is about questioning where about I’m supposed to be? What’s the fucking point? How do I reshape myself as an adult after this fairly careful and catered for existence? That’s what a lot of this record refers to, that kind dumped back down to earth, yeah I’ve got to sort my shit out now.

What can we expect on setlists? All Mastersystem material or will other songs creep in?

Last night was the first show on the tour and everyone seemed pretty psyched about it. We just played the album from start to finish then fucked off (laughs). To me, I think if we’d stuck in a couple of Frightened Rabbit tunes in would sort of devalue the whole process. We also played with different setlist orders but it works better how we put it together for the album. I’ve also got to put in a bit more chat in-between songs so that people don’t feel like they’re only just getting into it and then it’s over. Last night we managed about 50 minutes which is pretty good going for a 35-minute album!

It’s exciting it’s completely a different experience for all of us, just thrash out this album, no encores when were done were done and then have a chat with people afterwards. I’d never played this venue before a couple of months ago but I’m back twice in two months is pretty great, I love it here!

Is this a one-off or will there be more to come from Mastersystem?

That’s all up in the air, I mean we put out this record because it was quick and all the release schedule was sort of a surprise, we wanted to keep it under wraps until it was almost out. So we’re kind of seeing if there’s any appetite for it elsewhere in the world, maybe there could be a US tour or something like that and yeah if people want to see us again later in the year then we could do that, but at the moment there are no plans. We’ve all got day jobs to be getting on with as well so we don’t want to impinge too much on that.

But hopefully not the last (of Mastersystem), knowing James and Justin they could have another bunch of tracks ready by the end of the year we could  just stick to the same set of rules it’s just fucking guitar music lets not add any bells ‘n’ whistles and we could put it together really quickly so yeah, I don’t think it’ll be the last you’ll hear of us and hopefully not the last album either!

Mastersystem – April 2018 – Cluny Newcastle
THE WILDHEARTS | Ginger Wildheart | INTERVIEW

THE WILDHEARTS | Ginger Wildheart | INTERVIEW

The Wildhearts – Ginger Wildheart talks to us about Britrock Must Be Destroyed tour and questions from fans!

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Back in 1994, I saved up my pocket money and I bought a tape after hearing a crazy song on (probably) the Radio 1 Rock show. That song was Suckerpunch and the Tape was Earth Vs The Wildhearts. I think I played that bugger to death! Many years later I still love that album and the band. Local legends they are!!

It’s always great to see The Wildhearts and side-projects in any form. However, this tour is something of a different beast! The classic lineup is back in action and ready to tour the UK in May. Britrock Must Be Destroyed Tour brings not only the Wildhearts but other 90s favourites Reef, Terrorvision and now Dodgy have now been added to the bill. Something for everyone!

BRITROCK-MUST-BE-DESTROYED

Graeme caught up with Ginger Wildheart for a chat about the tour and other things, with some help from the lovely folk at All About The Wildhearts Facebook group!

How did the whole Britrock Must Be Destroyed tour come about? 

Our manager, Andy Farrow, invented it. He’s a canny businessman so he thought up an idea that none of the bands would have. It’s a killer bill, and The Wildhearts needed no more prompting than to just be asked.

Will the tour feature full Wildhearts sets? What material will be performing? Just older 90s stuff or a mix from all periods?

On this tour we will only play the songs that make the audience sing and dance. We want to win the prize for best crowd of the tour, and I’m pretty confident it’s in the bag.

The Wildhearts - Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015

Which band (other than yourselves) are you really looking forward to seeing?

All of them, it’s going to be a great evening of music.

What is the last gig you went to as a punter?

I don’t get a chance to go to half the gigs I’d like to, or I have some days off and don’t hear that one of my favourite bands just played my town. The last gig I went to was Sparks, which I took my little boy to. I want him to see all my favourite bands, while they’re going, to have something to compare current music to, for purposes of quality insurance.

What album or band are you currently listening to and just can’t get enough of?

I play music every day, usually all day. In the car and at home, my world is never silent.

The last CD I really became obsessed with was the latest Fratellis album ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’, which is fucking astounding. I had to start listening to the last Scaramanga Six album ‘Chronicle’ again to ween myself off that one.

The last vinyl album that blew me away is the last Bokassa album ‘Divide & Conquer’, which is just a relentless riff fest of magnificent proportions.

I also play a lot of older music, and right now I am listening to ‘Mock Tudor’ by Richard Thompson. A spectacular collection of songs, as are most of his albums.

I often look to your Twitter posts and feel inspired. It’s great to see a real person with passions and battles of their own. For the last 6 months or so I’ve battled severe depression and have found being open and honest is a great help personally and for those around me. You often touch on your own mental health issues. I find music is a huge lifeline when times are bad, what keeps you going and what advice can you give to those of us who struggle?

I use music as my medication. I also try to eat healthily and exercise, but I also drink, so that can be a bit of a grudge match.

I try to stay busy too, as isolation will put me straight back into my own head.

And as long as I have a guitar around I can write my feelings into song. Writing songs has saved my life countless times, and continues to do so.

Do you find your illness affects how you write and perform music?

I think it makes me more prolific, as I have plenty of emotional information to work with most of the time. Writing as much as I do can be a drain on some, if you’re my manager or a casual fan, but you have to understand that I have to do this. I don’t write music just to sell it, I often write to help myself through a bad patch. That’s when I find myself at my most prolific.

Fan questions!

Lee Foster asks…
Can you turn up CJs guitar?!

If he had to stand next to Danny’s bass cab he’d fucking turn up too.

The Wildhearts - Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015
The Wildhearts – Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015

Andrew Holmes asks a few questions…
Are you surprised that you have a very loyal following after all these years?

I’m very, very honoured. I’m not surprised because I never stopped working, making music and playing live, and that was always a sign of a career musician as far as I was ever concerned. Full-timers don’t get proper jobs, we make this work. I treat my supporters with respect too, so while I feel very lucky and I don’t feel surprised.

After the new album is released next year, is the intention to tour the hell out of it and its a success will there be more albums in future?

For The Wildhearts? I hope to record a new album every year.

Any plans to record ‘Stop us if You’ve Heard This One Before” Volume 2?

Nah, I don’t think so. I mean who knows, right? Maybe someday we’ll discuss it and thinks it a great idea, but for now the plan is to get ourselves back on the map, and we need fresh, new music to do that.

How are songwriting duties tackled for the new album? All Ginger or are the others involved too?

Everyone is contributing. Obviously I’m contributing more than the others, but that’s just because I’m a workaholic and I shit songs out every day. I can’t expect anyone else to maintain that kind of pace.

Scott Turnbull asks…
What colour packet should cheese and onion crisps come in?

Green.

Steve Clark asks…
Is it harder to come up with cracking tunes after all these years of knocking them out, or do they still flow out?

They still come thick and fast.

I dunno how, but I don’t run out of inspiration, and if I’m inspired by something then it sounds like music in my head. It’s a very fortunate curse to have.

Steve Dodd asks…
Is it awkward at festivals when you’re on the same bill as bands/band members you have bad blood with?

I’m not sure I have bad blood with any band members anymore. I sometimes can’t be around extreme drinking and threatening behaviour, being a father, but my concern always comes from a place of love. I have people who don’t speak to me anymore because their partner doesn’t get along with me, and that’s just loyalty, I get it.

But there’s no musician I wouldn’t walk up to and say hello.

Lewis Sellers asks…
Will SG5 ever be resurrected?

I honestly don’t think so. It’s something I did at the time, and I enjoyed it, but it was an age thing. Wanting to wear funny gear and blow things up. I’m very much more basic these days.

Niall O’Conner asks…
The new album you’re starting work on will be the first full album recorded by what most fans consider to be the ‘classic lineup’. Any pressure? Or is it exciting?

No pressure at all, the songs are already written, for the most part. And we’ve rehearsed them, and they sound fucking great.

There is only excitement. I honestly can’t wait to see what our album sounds like with these four elements. It’s a supergroup of extreme people, perfect for times as confusing as these.

The Wildhearts - Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015
The Wildhearts – Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015

The tour arrives in Newcastle on the 20th May 2018 at the Newcastle O2 Academy!!

Britrock Must Be Destroyed