RSS

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Martin Birke – The Thirteen Questions

It’s been awhile since I last wrote about Hardboiled Wonderland, the side project of Martin Birke and Percy Howard. A couple of months ago they released their debut album, “As Small as the World”, and I became curious and decided to ask them a few questions…

Tribe4mian: How did you two meet and how was the idea for Hardboiled Wonderland conceived? Does this mean that Genre Peak and Meridiem are bands from a past chapter in time?

M. Birke: Percy and i knew each other from our separate bands in the 90’s, I with Sandbox Trio , Percy with NUS. Percy contacted me in 2009 and initially started recording using preexisting material, it wasn’t sounding good, so we started over will all new tracks I wrote,performed and arranged. Genre Peak is continuing with “Redux” a compilation with 2 new tracks featuring Percy. It’ll be out thru Gonzo Multi Media UK in Spring 2012. I’m not sure of Percy’s plans with Meridiem.

Tribe4mian: What was your introduction into music and what kind of music were you playing back then?

M. Birke:  I was very influenced by bands like Japan, Peter Gabriel, Ultravox back in the 80’s

Tribe4mian: Since the list is long and I might forget someone, can you please name the artists you have worked with as individuals? How did these co-operations influence you in “As Small as the World”?

M. Birke: Percy had brought in Edo Castro on bass , essence on back u vocals for a couple tracks and Chris (our co-producer) brought violinist Benito Cortez . The late great Mick Karn also did a remix for our track “Candy for the Meatman“, which is a free download on our HW site.

Tribe4mian: “Hardboiled Wonderland” is a novel by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. What made you use this name. What does it means to you? Which are your favourite writers/books?

M. Birke: ‘Hardboiled Wonderland and The End of The World’ is Murakami’s book, Both of us love his books, I myself read Bukowski, JG Ballard, Capote,Sephen King, Michael Critchon, and many many others.

Tribe4mian: How do you see the world today? Do you believe people are isolated or this financial crisis bringing them closer?

M. Birke: I see the world in constant chaos, systems of government collapsing, religion hurting people (as always) and too many good artists not getting the recognition they deserve. Something needs to happen to unite people , its seems there is no sense of humility or responsibility . I’m glad people here are protesting our greedy banks and corporations, lets hope something good will happen.

Tribe4mian: Although I would expect the album to have a heavy experimental feel, there is a touch of “pop culture” sound-wise, and I spotted that Percy likes Anthony and The Johnsons. So, how wide are your musical horizons? What sort of music do you prefer to hear on a daily basis?

M. Birke: I love experimental music , I’ve been buying the works of Alva Noto, Steve Jansen, Einstuerzende Neubauten,Bjork…a long list

Tribe4mian: How would you describe your lyrics?

M. Birke: My lyrics are always about inner quest,loss and introspection, I know Percy likes EE. Cummings and many others.

Tribe4mian: I saw that you’ll be playing electronic percussion with ‘Know Hassell Project’ at Luna’s on November 21 and again at the Java Lounge on November 26th in Sacramento. Does Percy have any upcoming gigs, too? Have you scheduled any live performances as Hardboiled Wonderland?

M. Birke: No , our hometown is really an ideal place for us to play but we’ve considered doing small club shows this Spring…we’ll see.

Tribe4mian: Please define the words “Love” and “Music”. How small is the world?

M. Birke:  Love: a way to solve most problems and unite people. Music; very hard work that usually leaves me proud of the work itself but promotion is kinda daunting , I do what I can.

Tribe4mian: I was wondering whether you came together just to do this one album with the intention of going back to your separate ways, or, are you working together on something new?

M. Birke:  Hard to say, we have new PR co working the album, its VERY good music and we hope to get some more attention. I believe we will eventually try recording another album but its too soon at the moment.

Tribe4mian: Since your album was released through Gonzo MultiMedia UK, is Europe in your plans, whether together or with other projects? Have you visited Europe as musicians?

M. Birke:: Yes , me and Percy have toured Europe we have more connections there than here, If I had the money I would move over seas in a heartbeat !

Tribe4mian: Are you concerned about ecological problems?

M. Birke:  Not really, I have a lot of health issues that keep me busy, the Earth will always take care of itself.

Tribe4mian: If you could meet a historical personality, have a chat, and get on a photo with him/her, whose photo would be hanging on the wall next to your photos?

M. Birke:  I have to say….Van Gogh. Such a tragic figure who’s art was never appreciated in his own time and I understand, madness,betrayal, frustration and mental illness all too well. 

In closing I encourage all the readers of this to visit our website: www.hardboiledwonderland.net

Tribe4mian: Thank you very much for this interview Martin.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Interviews

 

NEW ZERO GOD + ΟΥΣΤ! LIVE @ LIMBO ROCK CLUB

Second gig this month for New Zero God.

The gig is going to take place at Limbo Rock Club (click here for directions) and this time the band will play tracks from all the Flowers Of Romance albums as well as from New Zero God’s recent, “Fun Is A Four Letter Word”.

The Greek punk rock band OYST will open.

So, here is a chance to have some great time, on Friday 25 November.

Doors open at 21:30.

Ticket price 4 euros.

A warm up party will be held at Aposperitis (Karaoli & Dimitriou 56, Piraeus) the night before the gig, where New Zero God’s singer, Mike Pougounas will be spinning Flowers Of Romance, New Zero God, punk rock and post punk records.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Concerts / Performances

 

Chris Tuke – The Thirteen Questions

Is it difficult to be a record label owner, the singer and keyboard player for Berlin Black, all while being the bass player for Luxury Stranger?  I didn’t have the chance to listen to the band Screaming Banshee Aircrew but, thanks to a common friend, today I had the opportunity to ask the man himself… Mr. Chris Tuke.

Tribe4mian: Is it my imagination, or has the gothic scene in England become much more active during the past few years?  Since you also play in other countries, what is your impression of the goth scene elsewhere?  Is it a healthy revival or just a glimpse?

Chris: I think there is a definite resurgence in the UK with regards to “Darker” bands. I think the introduction of several main stream bands taking a gothic edge has probably helped a lot. Bands like O Children, The Horrors and ROMANCE for example.

In regard to abroad the Gothic scene seems to be very healthy. Well attended gigs and very passionate fans. I wish we could tour abroad more often as the vibe I’ve got from previous visits has been very positive.

Tribe4mian: In 2001 you formed the band Screaming Banshee Aircrew.  Can you please give me a short bio and tell us what happened to this band that released three well-received albums?

Chris:   Its actually ten years since SBA did our first ever gig in the back room of a local pub (16/11/11) it was also Christopher Sherrington’s first ever gig too (who is now the organsier of one of the UKs best alternative festival DV8 fest in York)

SBA enjoyed all the highs and lows of any hard working rock n roll band. When we started I think we were lucky that there seemed to be a gap in the market for our kind of band.  People either loved us or hated us. There seemed to be no middle ground.

We landed a 3 album record deal with Resurrection Records. We’ve had several line-up changes which saw us go from a 4 piece to a 6 piece fully live band (I’d recommend checking out MR Hyde Live at Whitby goth Weekend on Youtube) then down to a minimal 4 piece with a much darker starker sound.

Our three albums are Fishnet Messiah, When All is Said and Done and our final (and the best IMO) Sugar

Tribe4mian: How did you come up with the decision to make Trash Vogue Records?  What difficulties can arise for an independent record label nowadays?

Chris:  After SBA I wanted to do things my own way. Its always something I’d wanted to do so I thought I’d try it, with Berlin Black as my first signing. I wanted the label to be more of a collective of like minded bands and people. Myself and Ed (my brother, now front man of Partly Faithful, ex SBA singer) had half talked/joked about the later SBA sound being “Trash Vogue” So I thought it would be a good name for the company.

The difficulties at the moment is getting distrobution in shops. Companies are scared to take a risk with independent businesses due to the ressession and the current state of the music industry.

Luckily we can make up for this by having a strong presence on the internet.  It’s a slow process but we are securing a loyal customer base who love the bands we represent.

Tribe4mian: Were you playing with any other bands before the Screaming Banshee Aircrew?  Are the artists that influenced this band the same as the ones that influence Berlin Black? Is there any connection between Berlin Black and The March Violets?

Chris:  Before SBA I was just in covers bands with friends. SBA was really an education in both recording and performing live.

I think a lot of the bands that infuenced SBA definitely still have an inpact on Berlin Black’s music.

Bauhaus, Bowie, Iggy, The Cure, The Psychedelic Furs all play a part in how Berlin Black sound.

The connection with the Violets is rather interesting. The March Violets were a huge influence for myself and my brother in the SBA years. We supported them on their first reunion tour back in 2007 which was great.

Since SBA split Jo Violet (SBA singer / violinist / bassit + Berlin Black bassist) now plays Bass for the March Violets. I’ve also had the pleasure of supporting them playing with Luxury Stranger.

Tribe4mian:  Which format do you prefer to collect and which to issue releases through Trash Vogue Records: Vinyl, CDs or MP3s, and why?

Chris:  I think CDs are still the main medium people want to buy music on. The shift to MP3 and other online formats are great from a business point of view as the costs are lower to put them out there.

I’d love to put our stuff out on Vinyl but at the moment the cost is too expensive. Watch this space though any record junkies. There are plans to release some future products on 7”

Tribe4mian:  Which gig of yours is the one that you will never forget and why?

Chris:  There are too many. Some because they were amazing crowds. Others because of the people I have met. It would be rude to single out one over another.

Tribe4mian:  How did you meet Simon York and what is your part in Luxury Stranger?

Chris:  Luxury Stranger were a band SBA really liked while we were writing our last Album “Sugar”. We played with them several times towards the end of SBA’s life and we all got on really well. When Chris and Paul decided to leave LS Simon asked me if I was interested to join. The rest is history.

Tribe4mian:  I know a couple of months ago Berlin Black had a new release.  How many releases do you have and where can people order them?

Chris:  Berlin Black currently have 2 CD releases –

Burn It Down – Our original E.P

The Only Ones – the single we released in the summer of 2011

You can buy these along with T-shirts badges, patches etc from Trash Vogue Records 

We are looking to release a new E.P in the first quarter of next year and possibly a single but it hasn’t been finalized just yet.

Tribe4mian:  Which song would you choose to listen to in the morning to get you in a good mood?

Chris:  Anything by INXS usually hits the spot. Or something like “ U got the Look” by Prince and the Revolution

Also been listening to a lot of Oingo Boingo lately.

Tribe4mian:  What are your future plans for Berlin Black?  I won’t ask for Luxury Stranger; I will try to keep this question for Simon…

Chris:  Next year we are planning to step things up a level. More gigs and more media exposure. Expect some videos and new material.

Tribe4mian:  What are your next plans for Trash Vogue Records?

Chris: I’m looking  to expand our client base and I’m also looking into starting something reminisant to the “peel session” idea.

Inviting bands to play in a studio/venue and videoing and recording the perfomance. I think it’s a concept that could work really well.

Tribe4mian:  Can you describe the on-stage differences between being the singer and being the bass player?

Chris: Being a singer I want everyone to look at me. Being the bass player I want everyone to look at me………oh you want differences 😉

The main difference I guess is that as the singer you are aware that you are kinda like the band leader on stage. You’ve got to keep people interested and engaged.

As bassist in Ls Im one part of a three piece. As the dynamics of the band are a little different to BB. Because there are only three of us we need to do our equal part to engage the audience but make sure the music is still strong.

Berlin Black gives me the opportunity as singer to “perform” more. Because I know the other guys are concentrating on the music I can concentrate on the theatrics of the show.

Either role I’m told I do a lot of pouting

Tribe4mian:  Do you find music to be a way out?  Would you encourage young people to play music, or, does it get to be too much sometimes?

Chris: Definitely. I don’t know where I would be if I wasn’t interested in music. Even if you just listen to it.

Its helped me through lots of things.

It’s a great way of expressing yourself.

Thank you very much for this interview, Chris.  I wish you every success with your bands and with the record label!

Band members: Chris Tuke, Alexander King, Thomas McLean, Joanna Moy

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Goth, etc., Interviews

 

The Last Cry + Berlin Black – Leeds (pre-Flock gig!)

Flock is Leeds’ notorious monthly goth and industrial night, running on the first Saturday of the month at The Library on Woodhouse Lane. “Upstairs at the Library” is an excellent 200 capacity venue similar in size and layout to the Phono in days gone by.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Library, it’s less than a couple of minutes walk from the University Student’s Union, where the Wendyhouse is held.

229 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 3AP

Directions on the Flock website:

The Last Cry (as they are now) formed 4 years ago, taking their cues from bands like The Cure and Depeche Mode, fashioning a dark atmospheric and dramatic wall of sound which exhibits a coherency, intensity and emotional depth. The band recently released their incredible self-produced debut album ‘Walking to the Edge’ and last played Leedsto a packed Library in March.

Find them on myspace 

Berlin Black began in 2008 when Chris Banshee (vocals and keyboards) wrote a collection of songs that didn’t fit his then band, Screaming Banshee Aircrew. Since the latter’s demise, Chris has turned Berlin Black into a full band, including some of his former Banshee bandmates. Berlin Black blur the line between post-punk and glam rock, influenced by “the classic goth bands such as Bauhaus and Siouxsie, along with the greats from the Glam rock era such as Bowie and Iggy Pop“. But don’t let ‘glam rock’ tag put you off, Berlin Black embrace the flambouyancy of glam, but their music has a very dark undertone, and a sense of subtlety you wouldn’t associate with the genre. (ELG Magazine)

Find them on myspace 

Doors 7:30pm, first band onstage 8pm, club night from 10pm

£4 adv which includes entry to Flock!

Tickets available online here

 
 

Luxury Stranger

Luxury Stranger is a post punk band formed in 2007 in Nottigham by Simon York.

With bassist Chris Ruscoe and drummer Owen Walton, they had their first live show on September 2008 at Junktion Seven in Nottigham.  A few months later Luxury Stranger signed with the German label, Major Digital.  Their debut album, “Desolation” was released on the 13th of December, 2008.

Line-up changes followed in 2009 with Paul Sycamore replacing Owen Walton on the drums and the band started playing live again.  Luxury Stranger played the main stage at the Y not Festival and on December 2009 they supported German post-punk band Die Art at the Groovestation, Dresden.

In 2010 they opened for ex-Cure members Lol Tolhurst and Michael Dempsey’s new project Levinhurst in Holland and Germany.

In May 2010 the band performed at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Germany, and in June they released a set of 6 live “bootleg” CDs. (Titled “Live Bootlegs on CD“)

In September, on the night they opened for the band, O. Children, Luxury Stranger released a limited edition of 100 for the single “Precious For Everyone / Completion”,

October 2010 seemed to be the last gig for band members Chris Roscoe and Paul Sycamore who departed after the band opened for Red Lorry Yellow Lorry.

The second Luxury Stranger album, titled “Commitment and Discipline” was released on 31st December 2010 and on 15th January Luxury Stranger’s new line up went on stage for a charity show in Leicester, with Chris Tuke on the bass and Neal Spowage on the drums.  Both were ex members of The Screaming Banshee Aicrew.  In addition to working as a part of Luxury Stranger, both new members have their own solo projects. Chris writes and performs under the guise of Berlin Black while Neal is a sonic artist and lecturer.

The band supported The Damned at Whitby Gothic Weekend on Saturday, 26th March 2011 and returned to Europe for some headline shows in Switzerland and Germany.

One month after opening for the June show of The March Violets in Norwich, on the 3rd of July they announced the release of their new single, “Empty Men” through Trash Vogue Records, as well as the departure of Neal Spowage.  They played a full set with a temporary live drummer on Friday 22nd July as main support to Gary Numan at the Barbican.

The band is now recording new material.

You can find all the information you need on the Official Luxury Stranger website.

You can order their latest release, “Empty Men”, from Trash Vogue Records here.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Goth, etc.

 

Blackout Radio Show with Mike Pougounas and Silent Nick

It looks like Mike Pougounas has added one more notch to his belt …

The “Blackout Radio Show with Mike Pougounas and Silent Nick” is making it’s debut tonight on Wicked Spins Radio [UK]. 
 
As Mike, the singer of New Zero God said, “They asked me to do a radio show and I thought it would be a fun project.  Over the past few months I have been listening to the shows put on by “Snuff MonkeyShaun Histed-Todd and Jet Away.   I really liked the music, as well as the interaction with their audience.  When the idea was proposed, I tossed around a few things and we came up with the concept of me with the mysterious ‘Silent Nick’.  Airing right before our show will be ‘The Dork Side with Fester and BaconPockets’, which will feature lots of punk rock.  Then we’ll go on air with post punk, punk rock and gothic.  You never know where me and Silent Nick will end up or what adventures/antics will come into play.”
 
The show debuts tonight (Thursday, 10 November), at 20:00 [UK] | 22:00 [Greece], and will be repeated every Thursday for one month, with a new show airing each month.

http://www.wickedspinsradio.org/

More Rock than a Crack Dealer

Time Zones as follows:

UK – 20:00
Central Europe – 21:00
Greece – 22:00
East Coast USA – 3:00 PM
West Coast USA – 12:00 Noon

🙂

 
 

WILL CREWDSON – The Thirteen Questions

Will Crewdson is a London-based guitarist/writer/producer. Scant Regard is his brainchild, and he occasionally is the guitarist for Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant, and Johnette Napolitano, amongst others.

Will Crewdson (Photo by Rob Golding)

tribe4mian:  Will, with Scant Regard you strive to fuse raw electronic beats and moods with the smooth, soaring sounds of Morricone’s biting guitar –scapes. How did you come up with this idea?  Would you consider Morricone your main influence?

WILL CREWDSON:  The sound was developed pretty organically.  I always thought the sound of twangy, surfy guitars mixed with electronica worked well when I used the idea on other people’s tracks so I decided to maximise it and incorporate it into my own recordings.

I see Morricone as a good reference point more than a major influence. There are many moods on the album that echo the atmosphere of the classic Spaghetti Western soundtracks and since he was the ultimate composer in that genre it follows that he should get a reference. A large part of the sound is pure electronica though which obviously adds a different flavour.

tribe4mian:  At one point, Rachel Stamp became the only unsigned band to sell out the London Astoria. What happened to Rachel Stamp?  They had several record deals, the biggest of which was with WEA.  How many releases did you have with this band?

WILL CREWDSON:  Rachel Stamp suffered from bad management and useless record company input – the usual story. We had a great live following and were really proud of everything we achieved on an independent level. We were actually more successful once we’d been released from our deal with Warners, which says a lot.

We released two studio albums, ‘Hymns for Strange Children’ and ‘Oceans of Venus’. Our debut album was never released although we recorded it for Warners. We also had one live album, ‘Stampax’ and a load of singles.

tribe4mian:  You also played gigs with, among others, Iggy Pop, Korn, No Doubt, The Tubes, and Cheap Trick. How did you feel the first time you opened for a rock star?  Were you nervous, or were you thinking, “my big time is coming”?

WILL CREWDSON:  Well there’s loads of times early in your musical career where you think – this is it. Signing a deal, your first headline gig, etc., and we were really thrilled to have opened for all of those bands. It’s often the case that you are breaking through to a bigger audience as we were on several occasions, but without the managerial know-how and, sometimes, money behind it to capitalise on those moments.  It’s hard to keep momentum up and really take the whole thing to the next level.

tribe4mian:  Scant Regard’s first release, “The Excommunication EP” is already out featuring guest vocals by Grog from “Die So Fluid“.  How did this collaboration come about and what was the result?

WILL CREWDSON:  Grog and I have known each other for years. Her band, “Die So Fluid”, used to play the odd gig with Rachel Stamp and I’ve also done session work with her. Originally I wanted vocals on the Scant Regard tracks and, as we got on so well and seemed to understand each other musically, we agreed to try out a collaboration.  The three tracks came out really well.

We also both work with Director Tom DiCillo – the man behind “Johnny Suede, Living In Oblivion” and the recent Doors documentary “When You’re Strange”.  He has a studio project called The Black and Blue Orkestre which we’re both involved with. Those tracks should be coming out really soon.

Will Crewdson (Photo by Gemma 'Librasnake' Eggle) tribe4mian:  Were there any other bands in your life before Rachel Stamp?  How did your musical pathway begin?

WILL CREWDSON:  I had numerous bands before Rachel Stamp, all with unmentionably bad names!  I also did the odd session thing. The first one I got was with Malcolm McLaren at Air Studios in London. That was the title track for the extremely ill-fated “Carry On Columbus” film and was a pretty scary experience. I don’t think he looked me in the eye once. He just shouted “give it some bollocks my son!” whilst conducting an imaginary orchestra.  Surreal.

tribe4mian:  What are some of the notable differences for you between being on stage alone and playing with a band?  Do you sometimes miss the “group” feeling with Scant Regard?

WILL CREWDSON:  I guess you can’t beat the feeling of a full-on band slamming it out on stage and I do love that. When I do it alone it’s entirely different. I have to become a front man but I’m not singing so it’s a strange position to be in. I like strange positions though. I’m still working on my stage “patter” but I think it’s getting there. I get something out of every gig, though, whether it’s solo or band. It’s the main reason I do music really for that instant reaction from an audience.

tribe4mian:  I don’t know Adam Ant personally, so I’d like to ask:  Is he an easy person to work with?  Are you still touring with him?

WILL CREWDSON:  Adam is a great guy. He was and will always be one of my favourite all-round performers. Adam and the Ants were the first band I ever saw live and I grew up with his back catalogue etched into my brain so it was very natural for me to play all those great songs. His mental problems are well documented but at the end of the day they make him what he is as an artist and the end result was always a killer show. This year I’ve been working more in the States with Livan doing several tours but I’m still up for working with Adam if I’m around and he needs a guitarist. I did a one-off charity gig with him recently for Sea Shepherd, the anti-whaling guys, which went extremely well. We did a load of covers on the HMS Belfast.

tribe4mian:  Would you like to name your gear and which guitar and sound effect do you like using most?

WILL CREWDSON:  My main guitar is an 80’s Rickenbacker 250 El Dorado, which is definitely the most versatile and reliable of any guitar I’ve had. I’ve also got a 60’s Teisco Spectrum Del Rey, which I use for most of the Scant Regard stuff as it’s got that Duane Eddy twang right down and it looks like it’s made of LEGO, which is a plus in my book. I have a custom pink Gordon Smith GT-60 and a DeArmond Starfire semi-acoustic as well as a 72 Reissue Telecaster Deluxe. The Teisco is my favourite because it just looks like it’s out of The Jetsons and it sounds amazing.

The pedals I’m using at the moment are a Fulltone OCD Overdrive, Providence Anadime Chorus, a George Dennis Wah/Vol, MXR phaser, Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter Tremolo and an Electro Harmonix Memory Boy. I think I like the Fulltone the best because it makes any amp sound great, which is invaluable when you turn up somewhere and don’t know what you’re gonna be playing through.

My main amp is a Carvin Bel Air combo.

Will Crewdson (Photo by Gemma 'Librasnake' Eggle) tribe4mian:  Scant Regard’s first full-length release, “Burnt Pop Cycles” will be released today (Monday, 7 November, 2011).  Are there any surprises? What can we expect?

WILL CREWDSON:  It’s definitely a lot more experimental and electronic than some people might expect from me.

When I play live, the guitar becomes more dominant but there are tracks on the album where the guitar parts could only work with the arrangement that’s going on behind them.

I’d like people to hear it and create their own film in their mind using it as the soundtrack.

I think the film would cross genres from western to horror to comedy in equal measures.
tribe4mian:  You teamed up with Johnette Napolitano (LA’s Concrete Blonde).  How did this happen?  Could you tell us which releases you have together and will you do something new in the near future?

WILL CREWDSON:  I met Johnette completely by chance in a record shop in Fulham about 14 years ago. I was a massive fan of her and the band’s and was pretty star-struck to meet her in a tiny, empty shop. Anyway, we kept in touch and I think she asked to hear some new instrumental tracks I’d done and instantly offered to do some lyrics and melodies over them. We ended up doing a whole album called, “Scarred” and it came out about four years ago in the US. Got some great reviews but it didn’t really get the exposure it deserved. I think it’s actually out of print already but I’m very proud of that album and it was a thrill to work with someone who has an almost supernaturally powerful voice and presence.

Not sure if we’ll be working together again as she’s tied up with Concrete Blonde again now and that’s a really good thing. Something special happens when her voice is combined with Jim Mankey’s amazingly original guitar playing.

tribe4mian:  What role does music play in your life?  Do you feel it is an adequate means of expression and could you / would you live without music?

WILL CREWDSON:  No, I totally thrive on it. I can’t imagine doing anything else and I don’t want to. I’m such a massive fan of music too. I still get excited at gigs and really disappointed if things get cancelled or I have to miss them for some reason.
tribe4mian:  Once again, you are about to go on tour with Livan, opening for Alice Cooper

I remember last year you played with Livan in Athens, supporting Aerosmith. How was it? 

Can you give us the dates and places for Cooper’s tour?

WILL CREWDSON:  That was fantastic. I’m such a big fan of Aerosmith and the set they played was like a dream.

I couldn’t believe Steven Tyler’s enthusiasm. I swear he was everywhere.

Even before they went on while we were sound checking he was checking every inch of the stage and all the equipment to make sure everything was to his liking.

I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him sweeping up the stadium afterwards. That’s the way to do it.

Here’s the dates for the next leg of the Alice Cooper tour:

November 27 Huntington, WV Albee Theater
November 29 Verona, NY Turning Stone Casino
December 2 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
December 3 Bridgeport, CT Klein Memorial Auditorium
December 9 Merrillville, IN Star Plaza Theater
December 10 Erie, PA Warner Theater
December 12 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theater
December 13 Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center
December 14 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live

tribe4mian:  If you had the chance to be born again as a historic personality, which one would you choose?

WILL CREWDSON:  I think I’d be a cross between Jack the Ripper and Robin Hood. I wouldn’t murder those ladies, I’d try and liberate them and get them jobs in Sherwood Forest helping me to rob the rich.

Either that or Zorro – he was real, right?

tribe4mian:  Thank you very much for this interview, Will.  We wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors and journeys.

WILL CREWDSON:  Thanks a lot.

Will Crewdson (Photo by David@Cover-Online.com)

If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to catch Will’s upcoming gigs:

Friday, 11 November, 2011

Scant Regard presents … End of Days

Plus live sets from Plasma 9 + Pet Iguana with DJ sets from Ben Hell + DJ Nihil

Ryan’s Bar, 181 Stoke Newington Church Street, Hackney, London (MAP)

҉

Saturday, 12 November, 2011

Scant Regard Live at the Adam and the Ants Convention 2011

The Fiddler’s Elbow, 1 Malden Road, Kentish Town, London (MAP)

●◦●◦●◦●

Craving more?  Here you go!!!

Official Website of Scant Regard

Scant Regard - "Burnt Pop Cycles"

Download Scant Regard, “Burnt Pop Cycles” … HERE

Scant Regard at iTunes … HERE

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Interviews, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Searching for Sicknote

It’s only been a short while since a friend of mine told me about this band from Cardiff…

He said “you have to see them live cause they are fantastic. I’ll pay you good money if you get me information about them.”

I decided to play detective and tracked them down right away.  To be honest, they are not hard to find since they leave traces everywhere they’ve been.  So, I started snooping around on YouTube, their Facebook profile, and on their official site for all the information I needed.  Dames were giving me a hard time so I took the phone off the hook, got me a bottle of whiskey and a pack of cigs.

Shortly thereafter, I started to feel their spell.

These guys know how to make an audience have a dangerously good time.  Their weapons are lethal: strong doses of humor and a lot of beat.  It’s humanly impossible to resist.

Their gang goes under the name “Sicknote” and is fronted by vocalist Doghouse, who met computer guru Flapsandwitch in Cardiff, initially under the name Vitreous Humour which soon to changed to Sicknote.

TheFilth handles the sticks behind the drum set… dancer Dr Conker is doing his thing… while Johnny NoCash is on visuals.  An even bigger number of dancers follow the band on stage.

As I continued to snoop, this video came up again and again on my laptop screen.

Slogans such as “Death Before Employment”, “Celebrate Your Wrong Bits” and “Benefit Cheat” helped the band achieve a cult status and packed venues so much that if you wanted to get anywhere near the front of their gigs you’d have to battle your way through the crowd.

I found their earliest traces on BBC News when they “treated Westminsterto a blast of their single, “Taxi For Mr Blair” in 2007, when the English government was changing hands.

Sicknote doesn’t rehearse. That’s the rule.

Songs are never played twice in the same way and are made up on the spot.  Their lyrics carry a sarcastic humor, and when the song is backed by a nicely funny video, you can’t watch it only once.

One thing they often do is to give away their songs by uploading them to places like SoundCloud for free downloading.  So far they have released “Death Before Employment” on 12″ vinyl,  their “Holy Trinity EP”, and their single “Benefit Cheat”.

I checked my watch.

I had to stop writing if I wanted to catch them at their next gig.

I dialed a number.

I have the information you needed. I am going to see them tomorrow. You have to come with me. I believe we don’t know everything yet. I am sending this, go for their official site, http://sicknote.tv/. You’ll find more…

 
5 Comments

Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Music

 

ANKST – The 13 Questions

ANKST is a Gothic band that was formed in the second half of 2006 in South Africa.

Their first release was an EP titled, “When We Become Gods”, in 2007.

They attracted international interest and found themselves on the German Compilation, “Smoke and Spotlight Vol 2”, with their song “Better Than Me”.

I asked the band’s singer, Raymond John Ross, a number of questions so that we could get a better picture of the band, as well as to get an insight into much more than is obvious to the casual passerby.

tribe4mian: Going back to 2006 and your first release, what are your feelings ?

ANKST: The “When We Become Gods” EP was knocked out in quite a rush and was more of a demo than anything else. It was recorded by us with very limited experience of production, mixing and mastering and even more limited equipment. I think the point of the exercise was to have a tangible product out there as soon as possible and I have to admit I really do cringe when I listen back to it now, but that’s not to say I’m ashamed of the EP at all.

I see EP’s, singles and albums throughout a bands career as photographs, almost like snapshots in time which embody the band at that point and marks the band’s progress going forward. I don’t quite understand bands that re-record and re-release albums years later in order to “improve” them. So that’s it really, “When We Become Gods” embodied ANKST as a Goth band starting out on a journey, unsure of where it was heading but determined to do something and not even being sure of what that “something” was.

tribe4mian: Can you tell us a few things about the Gothic scene inSouth Africa?

ANKST:  To be honest I’d rather not. I’m joking of course… Or I might not be. To understand the “scene” in South Africa, you need to understand a few things first in terms of demographics. Firstly I don’t like the word “scene” as it has way too many negative connotations and conjures up subjects like scene politics and such, which is rife within our subculture worldwide. To be honest, I prefer to refer to it as the Gothic Community as this sums up what the world wide Gothic movement is or idealistically should be.

There are two major influences on the South African Gothic community the first being the size of the country itself. There are three major cities in South Africa, Johannesburg/Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban and these are separated by extremely large distances. Just as an example, to travel to Johannesburg/Pretoria from Durban by car would take between 7-8 hrs and Cape Town would take about 18 hrs, so as you can imagine, the different organisations from the three cities rarely, if ever, work together or co-operate. Cape Town, in particular, seems to be extremely insular and keeps to themselves, and to be honest, I can’t remember them ever being involved in projects which involve collaborations between provinces.

I’ve been a part of the Gothic subculture here in South Africa for over 23 years now and all of that time I’ve lived here in Durban. Many of those years I’ve spent directly involved in contributing in some form or another to the Gothic community, whether it be running online forums, underground magazines, and various other endeavors. I spent a major part of the first decade of the new millennium as a DJ, an events organizer, in Durban, as well, but eventually due to “scene” politics and in-fighting.

The Durban“scene” eventually collapsed after I abandoned it, as I no longer wished to head up such a diseased and pointless endeavor and simply walked away from it and let it die a well-deserved death. In fact there is a track dedicated to the province of which Durban is the largest city.

You’ll find it on the ANKST “Epitaph” EP, it’s entitled “Natal” and really reflects my true feelings toward the place. It’s actually at this point where I started ANKST as a way to still contribute to the Gothic community without having to deal with the actual people. I know it sounds crazy, but it really was the way I felt at the time, but that’s the Durban Goth “scene” in a nut shell… Fucked! I know there’s been a few people who tried reviving it thereafter, but seriously, flogging a dead horse until it was rotting and splattered all over the pavement and then flogging it a bit more while the flies ate its eyeballs just to make sure, does not a Goth “scene” make.

On a more positive note, the Johannesburg, and especially the Pretoria, Gothic subculture has definitely come into its own in the past few years and is stronger than ever and still growing. I still do guest DJ slots at one of the major events in Pretoria called “Attrition” from time to time and am always surprised by the sheer number of people in attendance every time.

The other influencing demographic in South Africa is culture, and what one needs to understand is that Goth is a very European thing over here. You very rarely see other cultures or races involved in the Gothic subculture, it seems to only appeal to the white folk which make up a mere 9% of the South African population as of the last census. This number is constantly on the decline as we lose a number of our Gothic brothers and sisters to the UK, Germany, USA, Australia and New Zealand. I always have a good chuckle about the number of UK Goths who have South African partners.

tribe4mian: Were you guys playing in other bands before ANKST ?

ANKST: Yeah! Dave and I have worked on various music projects together before ANKST, one of them being a Synthpop project called Faux. Our bassist Malcolm was in cult SA Punk band Clone and ex ANKST guitarist Aiden is still with his own Metal band Theatre Runs Red as far as I know. This understandably was the reason he left ANKST in the first place. It’s very difficult these days to juggle two extremely demanding bands; it does neither band any justice in the long run.

Actually, Malcolm is playing bass for another band at the moment called The Jack Labels and I tend to do a lot of collaborations with other bands, both local and international, whenever I have the time, but we both know that ANKST always come first. I’m always open to collaborations whether it’s remixing, guest vocals, or mastering, I just really enjoy working with other hardworking and dedicated musicians within the genres I love.

After a few lineup changes, the band opened for VNV Nation, Psyche and Sheep on Drugs, and by mid 2008 the 10 track CD “Monument” was released. ANKST where also included on the compilations “A Tribute to Garden of Delight” and “Gothic Sounds of Nightbreed Vol 5”. The band also received a mention in Mick Mercer’s book “Music To Die For”.

tribe4mian: Which artists influence ANKST ?

ANKST: That’s really hard to say. I have my favorites, but as a musician I listen to so much music and obviously the influences will always show through in whatever ANKST is doing at the time.

There are certain types of music which I don’t enjoy, namely hard industrial/EBM and Metal, as there are certain criteria which need to be met before I can honestly enjoy music. Firstly, I need to be able to hear the lyrics. I don’t see any point in agonizing over lyrics if they’re never going to be heard, as with a lot of the Metal bands these days. Some of the harsher industrial bands take things to a completely different level, especially in a club environment, the typical distortion vocal effect they use I find very uncomfortable. For me it’s like having an icepick punched into my brain via my earhole.

Secondly, a song needs to have some form of structure i.e. Intro, verse, chorus, bridge etc. or I’m not particularly interested. I find some forms of EBM to be without structure, just repetitive loops, especially the stuff DJ’s spin in clubs which is essentially the remix of a remix of a track which sounded like a remix to start off with. I’m not knocking all electronic music by any means, in fact I absolutely love Synthpop/ Futurepop, but then again there’s a genre which absolutely meets my criteria.

I’m really enjoying the bands emerging from the Gothic rock genre right now, as well as some of the “Neue Deutsche Härte” stuff. So basically the influences which are most apparent in our music would probably be the likes of Fields of the Nephilim, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Garden of Delight, and Sisters of Mercy with subtle electronica undertones of the likes of Colony 5, And One, and Solar Fake.

tribe4mian: Any special moment that you would like to share with us from your gigs with any of VNV Nation, Psyche, or Sheep on Drugs?

ANKST: (laughs)… Some I’d rather not repeat, but some really funny stuff like on the Cape Town leg of the VNV tour, being “volunteered” as Ronan and Marks personal chauffeur between the venue, hotel and airport in a car which unbeknown to them had virtually no breaks. The Sheep on Drugs support gig was like something out of an episode of Scooby Doo with a total attendance of approximately 30 people (that’s Durban for you again) and Lee and Johnny staying over at my place ending with Johnny having to be rushed off to hospital in the early hours of the morning with severe sinusitis brought on by our abundant collection of pets. It’s all rock ’n roll ‘til someone loses an eye.

tribe4mian: What is the band’s current line-up?

ANKST: That’s a tough one as there’s a long and a short answer to that question. The short answer right now is that the only current member of ANKST right now is me. Whether or how things change in the future are beyond my control at this point. I’m kind of a workaholic as well as a terrible slave driver when it comes to working with others and a few months ago was made aware of a shocking trait I possess which I’ve always been completely unaware of. It’s true though! I have a bad habit of getting really excited about a new concept or project and try and drag people in as if I know what’s best for them. I never really saw it that way before and always thought people were as excited, or at least wanted them to share in the excitement of the project I was working on at the time. Shocking but true.

This has complicated things with ANKST to a certain degree, as now I have a new way of dealing with band members as well as others. What I tend to do now when I come up with an idea, concept, project or anything creative which I’d like to share with others and have others get involved in, is basically “pitch” it to them and if they get involved it’s because they’re truly personally excited or interested in the idea, but I no longer push. If they bite, they bite. If they don’t, they don’t.  Even if they say, for instance, “Yeah, great! Let’s do it!”, I leave it up to them to come back and say, “Hey, when are we doing that thing we were talking about”. If nothing happens I just get someone else or do it myself. To a certain degree that’s how the “Epitaph” EP came about, by the time the EP was done; I’d done the whole thing myself.

That being said, I don’t particularly enjoy working on my own, I prefer to have someone to bounce ideas off and other people’s input is generally invaluable, especially if they’re particularly experienced at playing their choice of instrument and able to bring their individual flavor to which ever project we’re busy with at that time. I may be a “jack” of many instruments, but I’m by no means a master of any of them… Not even close!

2011 became a busy year for the band, releasing the album “Dystopia” and the EP “Epitaph” while participating for the charity song “Everyone Says Hi”.

tribe4mian: I sense that lately you’re flirting with a more electronic-oriented sound? Is this true?

ANKST: Well, ANKST has always had an electronic undertone what with the use of a drum machine and rhythmic synths. It’s just recently that Dave and I discussed increasing the synth to guitar ratio in the tracks, but was not too sure how our long-term fans would react to such a drastic change. One of the ideas was to channel this compulsion into a side project called “[sine]”, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of incorporating the concepts we have already come up with into a new ANKST EP. In order to branch out into a full-on Synthpop/Futurepop side project would require a vocal style which I seem to be incapable of achieving. To put it bluntly, my normal singing voice is just shit.

tribe4mian: You seem to have a nice cooperation with Trevor Bamford since he appears as a guest on one of Dystopia’s songs and you also host a show on his radio station, “Nightbreed Radio”. How come? What is your show’s name?

ANKST: That’s true, I consider Trev a very good friend of mine and we’ve worked on various projects together in the past including Nightbreed Radio. I was very impressed with what he did with the “Apocalypse Song” as I was not too sure how his vocal style would translate in this particular track. I gave Trev full control over his contribution including writing the lyrics for his part and the end result really works well. The thing about Trev is that he’s hardworking, reliable and dedicated when it comes to anything with regards to the Gothic community and I’d work with him at the drop of a hat.

The show we do for Nightbreed Radio is called The Sideshow (click here to listen to the show) and is currently in its second season, so to speak, with the first season running a full thirteen episodes. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, to be honest, being Gothic “talk radio” at its most dangerous. It’s a no-holds-barred Howard Stern meets South Park thing and we touch on a ton of taboo subjects. It’s very funny if you have that kind of humor, but I don’t recommend it for all audiences. We also promote new bands in the genre, but I think that’s just a byproduct of the show, to be honest.

tribe4mian: There is an ANKST release which looks like there is some mystery involved. “Obscure Rarities” opens with an Alphaville cover, continues with a Type O Negative cover, moves on to a Midnight Configuration cover…what is it all about?

ANKST: That’s an interesting question and an even more interesting album. It basically originated as an idea for our most dedicated fans and as a stand-alone album would not particularly interest the average listener. The original concept was realized quite a while back and distributed to select fans as a gift to thank them for their long-term support. The album is comprised of various rare, unreleased tracks, covers, live tracks, remixes I’ve done for other bands as well as odd studio outtakes and recordings of the band joking around at practices as with the Type O cover. I’m looking at adding more content and making an official ANKST release, but as I said before, it’s really a “fan thing” and won’t appeal to everyone.

tribe4mian: Are you interested in sci-fi and comics?

ANKST: Absolutely! I’m almost obsessed with Sci-Fi and Horror and used to be a huge collector of 2000AD comics. I’d go as far as to say that the ANKST post-apocalyptic viewpoint is possibly a little more Sci-Fi inspired than philosophical… Possibly.

tribe4mian: Lately you’ve been working on an “experimental” video show for Nightbreed.  Can you tell us a little about it?

ANKST: That’s correct. We toyed with the idea of pushing The Sideshow into video format with Sideshow TV on Youtube. We shot the test pilot featuring New Zero God and then the first episode with Midnight Configuration, but I think we realized that Gothic talk radio did not translate very well to video so we’ve basically scrapped it. It may seem a waste of time to have done this, but I do it all the time. I think that all concepts or ideas should be at least tried. The world is full of people who “intend” to attempt something at some point and I have a lot more respect for those who attempt and fail than those who forever have plans to do something and never do. It’s actually funny how it’s the latter that always have the most to say.

tribe4mian: If you could go back to the first days of ANKST and start it all over again, would you change anything?

ANKST: Hmmm… I wouldn’t change very much, perhaps a better choice of people for the original line-up, but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. The time I’ve spent with ANKST and its various members has been such a wild ride so far, especially when I consider the fact that the band was never intended to get where it is today, the  only thing I regret is that I never started the band fifteen years earlier. 

tribe4mian: What can we expect from the members of ANKST for the future?

ANKST: For one, I’d keep an eye on Malcolm and The Jack Labels if you’re into the Alternative rock/Punk thing. I’m not sure about Dave, but rumor has it that he may be settling down and planning a family, but don’t quote me on that, I may be wrong (laughs). As for me, I’ll be around to ensure that ANKST continues into the future in whatever form it chooses to take, whether in the form of a new lineup or as a solo project. There is some talk of gigging in the UK toward the end of 2012, but we’ll see when the time comes.

tribe4mian: Thank you very much for the interview, Ray.

ANKST: It’s been an absolute pleasure. I appreciate the opportunity. 

 tribe4mian: We wish every success to you and the band.

ANKST: Thanks!

If you’d like to order any ANKST releases, please click here.

ANKST official website: Here

 
5 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Goth, etc.