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DozenQ – MonaLisa Twins

This entry is part 1 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

The MonaLisa Twins, with the 19-year-old twin girls named Mona and Lisa being the core of the band, are one of the very few modern groups who write original songs in the 60’s Beat music tradition, reviving the genre with a fresh twist without sounding pop-ish or trivial. On their debut album “When We’re Together” (2012) they present finest Rock ‘n’ Roll and Beat music, skillfully venturing out in Psychedelic, Folk and even Latin genres, inspired by the likes of The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. Their signature features are polyphonic harmonies and a wiry, bright guitar sound. The even mix of fun and depth in their music and lyrics brings back the spirit of this time and therefore speaks to a wide range of international audiences especially on the Anglo-American music markets. They’ve played lots of live-shows already and their high quality music videos have garnered a total of nearly 2 million views and 5,000 subscribers on YouTube so far.

01 How did you get started in music?

M: Well, there was simply no way to get around music in our household. Our dad used to run a professional recording studio at home so it was natural for us to be surrounded by musicians and their gear. As not too shy and sometimes quite energetic kids we couldn’t keep our hands from grabbing all the instruments around us to find out how they might sound like. After our first kind of “experimental” Free Jazz phase we decided to learn the guitar and drums properly in 4th grade.

L: We started playing around in the studio with our dad. Those were fun times. I admit that, like probably everything else, our taste in music also developed over time. We’ve got quite some bad but also many rather cute recordings buried in the archives and it was a natural progression from then on.

02 Where did your direction come from?

L: As we grew up in this environment, it certainly was our dad who brought us close to good music. It was as if we had decided that this musician with his recording studio would make a great father and that it would be a good place to be born. It seems we had a good nose for it as we now write our songs together, share the same overall taste in music and complement each other so well in our abilities as writers and musicians. We’re a perfect team now, together with our stepmom who supports us with her promotions and marketing skills.

M: Yes, it was our love for music and the full support of our family that made us feel save enough to end school after year 10 and focus solely on our musical career. It certainly isn’t an easy goal to try and make music your full time profession, especially when you’re very young. However, we are lucky to have a stable background and a safe environment to develop our ideas.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

M: About the age of thirteen we fell madly in love with the Beatles’ music. We think they simply invented everything worth mentioning regarding Pop-Music. It was like entering a whole new universe when we discovered them for the first time. They set our standard of how songwriting should be done and even if we should never get that far it’s the challenge and fun to try and get somewhat close.

L: If you listen to our tracks, you can hear a 60’s influence. People often describe our music as “beatle-esque” and compare our harmonies to Simon & Garfunkel or the Beach Boys. We’re absolutely flattered by people saying these things and though we aim to write music inspired by those kinds of artists in the first place, we wouldn’t even dare to compare ourselves with musical masters like that. Of course, we are happy if people make the connection and see the influences. Who or what do we despise, Mona?

M: Despise is quite a strong word and we think that in general every musician should do whatever s/he enjoys. However, we think that today’s “mainstream music” is worse than ever (with very few exceptions). Pop music in general has “evolved” into this fugacious, primitive, shallow genre. It tries to appear meaningful or sophisticated somehow, but most of the time it fails to do so, particularly in songwriting. There are truly amazing bands and artists out there but the majority of today’s celebrated “superstars”, or rather the people behind them, seem to put way more effort into marketing and “profile building” than in the actual music, and this we think is a sad situation.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

L: We feel that back in the 60’s a great way of songwriting was started and for some reason, hardly any of today’s bands try to follow that up. That’s both, a pity and a chance for us to bring back that spirit and sound to some degree. It can lift someone’s mood without being trivial since it has equal shares of fun and depth!

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

M: Music can be such a deep and joyful experience that we would rather concentrate on creating excitement with the music itself than with visual effects or the like… We always try to make our performance as musically fresh and rich in variety as possible. Normally we have a decent mix of energetic, danceable songs mixed with more laid-back, sometimes romantic tunes, depending on the event, audience and venue.

L: Yes, and there is always a certain kind of exciting energy on stage! When we have fun it normally transfers quite quickly to the audience and this reaction lets us have an even better time. There is nothing more boring than stereotyped, passionless, workman-like Rock music shows. For us Rock ’n’ Roll is fun and we want our audience to have fun too.

06 How do you start writing your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

M: It’s different with every song to be honest. Sometimes it’s the words, like a catch phrase, sometimes a riff or a certain chord progression. However, we discovered that by starting with the melody, without looking for the chords right away, we leave ourselves much more space for creativity. If you play some basic chords and sing the first melody that comes to your mind it can sometimes be hard to break out of the average “singer/songwriter” melodies. We feel that trying to picture the song and overall sound in your head first and then looking for the best way to replicate it in reality, usually turns out better than forming the song around the chords. This makes the compositions more diverse and original.



L: And for the subjects we deal with in our songs: we always try to choose topics that we and other people can relate to, but many a time not in the most obvious way. We always try to mix ease and fun with a certain deeper and more universal meaning that you might only realize once you have listened to the songs a couple of times.

07 How did your music evolve since you first began playing?

M: We started off by playing covers in all kinds of genres. In 2007, when we were 13 years old, we played our first 2-hour live concert as a family band. We did some sort of “time travel” playing lots of tunes from the 60’s up to 2007, covering our favorites in each era and genre or simply the pieces we had learned in school.

L: Later on, we stayed with covers from the 60’s era. In 2011 we started writing our own music and released our debut album in 2012. After playing live with our band for two years our sound was more confident, tight and relaxed. We’re very sure that once we go back to the studio in the next couple of months we’ll notice that many things have changed and improved. Most notably our voices matured a lot but also our guitar skills.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

L: Yes, it definitely wasn’t easy to achieve the kind of retro but still clear and modern quality sound we were aiming for on our album. We experimented with a lot of different guitars and amps and found out that we really had to use some of the old vintage gear since many of the modern instruments simply don’t have the characteristics that were typical for music back in the day.



M: And then of course there was the song writing and arrangements that sometimes had to be very different to what we felt had become common and “normal” in the last few decades. So we listened to the most successful 60’s songs over and over again. We really studied their characteristics until we understood what kind of style element or sound would create or underline which kind of feel. That helped us reproduce the sound rather than just having to copy it somehow. That is what makes the entire writing process so exciting and satisfying. Especially, when the song finally turns out the way you had hoped.

09 If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

M: Since we’ve been covering songs and putting them on YouTube since 2007 we have already played many of our favorite songs like George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” or the Beatles’ “Blackbird”. We still get many fan requests to do certain covers, like “Nowhere Man” from the Beatles, which we would definitely like to do at some point.

L: We talked about covering “Stairway To Heaven” but then we thought we’d better save that for later in time. It’s a really strong, meaningful, maybe even a bit sacred song. That is why it has been bothering us to do it. However, we also feel we need to be more mature, personally and vocally to really do it justice. We have lots of time ahead for projects like that. Now we prefer to write our own songs, which reflect our young age and the matters of our generation.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years’ time?

L: We constantly aim high, trying to improve and progress, so I’m sure a lot will have changed in five years’ time. We might be able to do a world tour by then and be living in the United States. It would be nice to live solely off the music by then, but even more importantly we want to look back at one or two songs that could possibly stand the test of time.

M: Or we might be living on another planet, after some aliens invade planet Earth and abduct us to their home planet to play them the “Real Stuff”!

11 Who would you most like to record with?

L: That’s an easy question! Put us in a time machine and let us sing a song with the Beatles! Or if they are too busy making girls faint all over the world, we’re also fine with performing a tune with Chuck Berry or one of the early beat groups like The Kinks, The Easy Beats or The Hollies!

M: It would be Sir Paul McCartney. He still has more energy and power on stage than some 40 year olds. There is clearly no reason why we couldn’t make a record together, right?

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

M: LOTS and LOTS of music videos from the last year’s album and as soon as we’re done with that, new songs and some proper touring preferably in either the UK or the States, we’ll see about that in the next couple of months.

L: But first we can’t wait to go back to the studio in the fall and put our main focus on writing new songs. We’ve got so many ideas in our heads and we’re looking forward to see them come to life.

MonaLisa Twins photo material (© MonaLisa Twins)

Web Links:

monalisa-twins.com
facebook.com/MonaLisaTwins
twitter.com/MonaLisa_Twins
youtube.com/MonaLisaTwins

Link to buy our music: monalisa-twins.com/cd-albums

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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August 29, 2015 By : Category : DozenQ Eyeplugs Front page Interviews Music Pop Tags:, , ,
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DozenQ – FOG project

This entry is part 2 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

FOG project was an idea hatched during a fog drenched, cold and wet evening walk to the pub in October 2011. The manifesto is to record dark electronic songs but mask them in a joyful way.

Originally our debut song Tired was recorded in a booze fuelled recording session. A few people who heard it went mental over it and convinced us put it out.

We did – and with a little help we infiltrated the UK’s capital attaining radio play at BBC Radio London, XFM London and at one point Radio 1, but we didn’t hear it ourselves.

Our studio is in a constantly shifting state and is often pulled apart and rebuilt in different locations. We’ve even tried recording in the car but the laptop battery went flat before we could really do anything.

01 How did you get started in music?

We met at an amateur dramatic group and realised we had an equal interest in writing and recording music. We shared demo tapes and decided to give recording together a try and it just worked and has continued to work.

02 Where did your direction come from?

A natural love and need to create art. It sounds corny but it’s something we both do like it’s heaven sent. Sure we both struggle creatively from time to time but it’s not meant to be easy is it!

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

We don’t like the idea of despising other musicians. They’re just doing what they do whatever their driving factor is. If they make an unappealing noise then we just don’t listen. Whatever you do or say the music is still there afterward so that hatred never really achieves anything.

Collectively we share a similar taste in music from the likes of Prince, the Beatles, U2, Gary Numan, Radiohead, MGMT, Thomas Dolby and many more. It all influences us somewhere but we try and remain true to ourselves and create music for ourselves.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

It could be anything really. A bad day or news report could influence a narrative whereas daily sounds like a pneumatic drill or hammering in a certain way or pattern could inspire a rhythm or groove. Ste once heard a song in the distance wrongly and drew a completely new song from it which amazingly didn’t sound like the one he had heard wrong.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

We’re not a live act, we’re songwriter / producers so don’t have any plans to get out on the road as most of our music would be just backed via a computer. We could technically just press play and then go to the pub but I don’t think that would go down well with a crowd. Festivals we would consider. We would stay out of the pub for them.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

It can vary. Sometimes the lyrics come first other times the music does. Our songs usually carry quite a dark message if you stop and listen to them and this can be reflected in the music sometimes but usually we create a contrast between then words and the overall sound of the tune. Subject matter is usually relating to life, loves and pain – however we have recorded a track about an abandoned Third Reich robot project called Heil Robot so anything goes really.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

Largely we’ve just got better equipment and software and our skills in producing have developed over time. Other than that if you listen to our early work compared to today we’ve remained consistent.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

Our biggest challenge continues even today which is trying to get our music out to the masses. Everyone says social media is the way forward but it just isn’t. We have our pages but interaction is so slack and it’s not been for the want of trying to engage our fans. We very quickly accepted that nothing has changed, you still need pluggers, you still need a PR machine and at the very least you need to be able to make friends with industry people and be able to ring round and get your music played wherever you can.

Understanding how radio stations work, how they’re play listed and which stations are owned by big groups helps because you know who to target with your music and who to not bother with. This isn’t something you overcome – you just have to keep on keeping on and keep the faith. One day your music will fall onto a really useful persons desk… one day that day will be yours!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We don’t do covers. We barely have time to write and record our own music never mind other peoples. Sometimes we’ll nick bits from other songs though, that’s always good for a laugh because people never notice.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

We’ll still be churning out the music; doing it independently and wherever the music takes us you can guarantee we’ll be happy.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Nobody springs to mind I’m afraid. We’re such fast workers that anyone who we joined with would probably walk out in frustration after the first few hours. We don’t like faffing around too much – the pubs are calling.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

We’ve got an album coming out before the end of 2013 called “Zoltar Speaks” and it will be available on iTunes and Amazon MP3. No Spotify for us anymore – streaming music is grim because it does away with a need to commit to a band or artist. Years ago your only option was to buy an album either on vinyl, cassette or CD and once you did you would feel an obligation to listen to the whole thing because you’d bought it so you might as well.

With MP3’s that’s all gone. You don’t have to buy an album; you only have to buy the tracks from it that you like which are usually the ones you’ve heard on the radio – so you’re letting other people make your mind up for you. The sense of exploration has gone.

Even with streaming you only get 30 seconds into a track and you find yourself skipping it to something you know. It’s all too immediate; it’s all destinations and no journey. It’s such a shame but we’d rather people buy a track and become our spiritual friend rather than stream and discard us.

The next single will also feature a special puzzle that you can do on our website: fogproject.co.uk, In order to get a copy of the MP3 you will need to solve a puzzle and in doing so you unlock various parts of the track. Unlock them all and you get the full track otherwise you end up with just bits – you might end up with just the drums or perhaps bass and vocals. It should be fun.

Web Links:

www.fogproject.co.uk
www.facebook.com/fogprojectofficial
www.twitter.com/FOG_project
www.reverbnation.com/fogmusic
www.soundcloud.com/fogmusic
www.youtube.com/fogproject

Link to buy the current single: itunes.apple.com/we-are-one-single

 

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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August 29, 2015 By : Category : Beats DozenQ Eyeplugs Front page Industrial Interviews Music Pop Post-punk Tags:, ,
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DozenQ – The Como Brothers Band

This entry is part 3 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Matt and Andrew Como are songwriters and musicians that value organic music, musicianship, and songs with original integrity. Music is not a hobby of the brothers but a way of life and a career. Early in life, their father and his brothers would play at family parties. Growing up in this environment inspired them to play music, and it fast became a central part of their lives. They extensively played live throughout high school and college and are now an experienced live act having played in countless bars, major festivals and local shows. In 2010 they officially began the rock band The Como Brothers Band and have been pushing forward for their dreams of a long term career in music. Matt Como took some time out to talk to eyeplug.net

01 How did you get started in music?

My brother Andrew and I were always interested in music. Andrew started playing guitar in 6th grade and I started later on. I remember the first thing I learned how to play on guitar was the riff to The Beatles song Day Tripper, after I realized I had the potential to learn I knew that playing music would be an ultimate obsession for me. It is just something we connected with. We got started from our parents getting us involved in music lessons as well.

02 Where did your direction come from?

Early on our musical direction came from our Dad. He was in a band with his brothers when he was younger and he would always be playing music from Billy Joel, The Beatles, Huey Lewis and the News, and many other rock artists like that so that’s what Andrew and I were started on.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

Every artist has had different inspirations in life so I don’t despise anyone for playing the music they feel connected with. Some types of music I wouldn’t play maybe because it’s not in the toolshed of possible things that I could be good at. There are types of music I may not like to listen to but that doesn’t make it wrong for someone else to like it. Our major influences and inspiration come from great songwriting and the blues. Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, and John Mayer were big in terms of guitar influence.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

Andrew and I try to create relatable ideas that we can write about and put an original spin on the music through lyrics and instrumentation. Having an original integrity is a driving force behind the inspiration of any song that we write.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

We can bring the songs energy and hopefully people in the audience can draw on that and have a fun time. Our main goal is to get people grooving and having a good time. A self-indulgent show is something we aren’t interested in? we always say if people are coming out to see any particular act they want to have fun and we want to setup the atmosphere of the gig to enable people to have that good time.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

None of our songs should leave any one saying, what the hell was that about? Our goal with our songs is to create music that is relatable. Even though we may be pulling from personal experience, the experiences we are expressing are ones that other people can say, I know how that feels. Songs that I’ve written deal with light vs. dark, hoping for a better future, rising up above hard times, dealing with struggles, but also happier topics involving relationships and better times.

07 How did your music evolve since you first began playing?

It has evolved a ton, even from a six months ago. If you listen to the EPs we released in 2010, 2012, early 2013 and now our new full length album Baby Steps that will be released on October 1 (2013) I think there can be clear improvements heard in the musicianship, songwriting, and vocals and I think that just shows how much we have been working at it to get better every day. Andrew and I have been practicing a lot for some time now and at a certain point we’ve always said we have to trust in our abilities and get out there, we feel that it’s time to get out and play.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

Over time the realization that music is a business that takes major time and investment outside of actually playing the music. This is a big struggle and challenge because as an independent act I am financially putting everything I have into the band including recording costs, marketing, websites and etc. And also the time it takes to maintain all the social sites, act as our own booking agent and many other things. I think our next step may be to look into management. We definitely would like to tour, especially at colleges, but making that a reality is where we are at right now.

09 Have you released any music videos?

We just released two singles from the Baby Steps album at the end of the summer: Straight Face and Late Nights. The music videos were shot in our hometown of Port Jefferson. That made them pretty special for us that our first videos were able to have a hometown feel. The videos were filmed/edited/directed by our producers Tom Flynn and Mike Watts of VuDu Studios. Those guys are amazing and we really love working with them on both the music and other things like music videos. We have two really cool lyric videos that we made with those guys as well that will be released this fall too!

10 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

On October 1st (2013) our debut first full length album, Baby Steps will be released. Check iTunes! We will also be releasing two lyric videos in the coming month for songs on the album. After that we will be promoting the album and hopefully supporting it with meaningful gigs so fans can come see us play and hopefully we’ll make new fans with this effort.

Web Links:

Comobrothersband.com
Facebook.com/ComoBrothersBand
Twitter.com/ComoBrosBand
Instagram@ComoBrosBand

Link to buy the current single:

itunes.apple.com/the-como-brothers-band
soundcloud.com/comobrothersband

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

More Posts - Website

August 29, 2015 By : Category : DozenQ Music Rock Tags:, , ,
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DozenQ – The Daydream Club

This entry is part 4 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Adam Pickering and Paula Walker met while studying at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA). They started performing together as The Daydream Club in 2010. Founding their own label ‘Poco Poco Records’ and releasing their debut album Overgrown in the same year. Overgrown deliberately aimed to strip away production layers to focus on songwriting and acoustic instrumentation. The album brought them critical acclaim with the duo being invited to perform live sessions for BBC Nottingham and BBC Tees.

01 How did you get started in music?

Adam: I’ve been involved with music for as long as I can remember. I knew quite early on that I wanted to do something with music or art. As it turns out, with The Daydream Club I get to do both.

Paula: I’ve always had music in my life. I was a bit of an instrument ‘starter’ growing up. I took guitar lessons, piano lessons, violin lessons and flute lessons but I never had the dedication or drive to follow a syllabus so I was also a bit of a quitter. After passing my music A levels I moved on to study dance so it wasn’t until a knee injury that I rediscovered my musical side.

02 Where did your direction come from?

When we first started writing together we were creating electro/pop songs. It wasn’t until we did an open mic night for fun, armed with just two voices and an acoustic guitar that our direction changed. We received such a lovely response to our no gimmicks, intimate performance that we decided to explore this further. Our debut album Overgrown was created on this idea of honest, intimate, stripped-back music. From that introduction we’ve built on the sound, adding more instruments and dynamics and with each release we like to try and incorporate our electro side with a remix or a alternate versions.

03 Who are your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Wings, Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Steve Reich, Moondog, Sufjan Stevens, Beck, Goldfrapp, Daft Punk, Ray Charles… we don’t like to limit our influences. Despise is a strong word, we’re not so fond of music that is more business than art but at the end of the day we are creators and not critics.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

We never follow any set formula, we just see where a song takes us. There are no restrictions on sound as you can probably gather from our back catalogue and remix alter egos. One element that did influence some of the sound of our new EP Found was the instruments we had to hand. We had just invested in a mandolin and an accordion so naturally they were getting a bit of love on the recordings.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows?

Between the two of us we juggle instruments but the foundation is pretty much boy/girl harmonies, acoustic guitar, percussion and some added extra sprinkles form the likes of piano, melodica and glockenspiel. We like gigs to be personable so no matter the stage size we always try and include our audiences in some way shape or form.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

This varies, some songs we’ve made up characters and fictional worlds and others are from personal experience. At this point its probably best to point out that The Affair from Overgrown is 100% fictional, Paula isn’t a knife wielding ‘cheating boyfriend’ killer!

07  How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

You could say its changed a lot. We were electro and now we’re acoustic (though we still like to dabble)! One day maybe the two sounds will join, who knows.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you able to overcome this? If so, how?

We’ve had a few challenges come our way; stage fright, setting up a record label, releasing our own music, running our own fan funding campaign, creating our own artwork, creating a larger sound with just two people for live gigs… I could probably go on but you probably get the gist that most of our musical journey we’ve been out of our comfort zone in some way or another! We’ve overcome all of these things by just doing them, get your head down and get stuck in. You won’t accomplish anything if you don’t dare to try.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We do indeed play covers. We’ve already covered a song that we really love and like to think we put ‘The Daydream Club’ stamp on it. It was a bit of an obvious one (Skinny Love – Bon Iver) but its such a brilliant song we couldn’t resist.

10 Where do you envisage being in five years time?

We like to think we’ll be creating original music still, ideally on a larger scale. It would be amazing to collaborate with an orchestra at some point so that seems like a pretty decent 5 year plan for now. Time will tell.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

This is an easy one, George Martin. He’s not just an amazing producer but an awesome composer and arranger in his own right too. He created absolute magic with The Beatles, it would be pretty inspirational to work with him.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

Our new EP Found is released on the 28th October 2013. We’ll be playing a string of dates supporting The South, as well as a support date with Bridie Jackson and The Arbour and our own launch gigs in both London and Leicester.

Web Links:

thedaydreamclub.com
facebook.com/thedaydreamclub
twitter.com/thedaydreamclub
youtube.com/thedaydreamclub

Live Dates 2013:

12th Oct: Supporting The South @ Apex, Bury St Edmunds
19th Oct: Supporting The South @ Warehouse24, Newcastle
25th Oct: EP Launch Party @ Paper Dress Vintage, London
1st Nov: Supporting Bridie Jackson & The Arbour @ The Vic, Saltburn
3rd Nov: Supporting The South @ Waterfront, Norwich
7th Nov: EP Launch Party @ The Donkey, Leicester

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

More Posts - Website

October 9, 2013 By : Category : DozenQ Features Folk Front page Instruments Interviews Music Pop Tags:, , ,
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DozenQ – Joe Symes and The Loving Kind

This entry is part 5 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Joe Symes and the Loving Kind are an original five piece acoustic rock outfit from Liverpool, UK. The group has spent the last 12 months launching their explosive assault on UK clubs and festivals. Joe, Colin and Chris take some time out to talk to eyeplug.net

01 How did you get started in music?

Joe: I started taking an interest in music when i was about 8 years of age, I started playing drums at first which then progressed to guitar and other instruments and eventually writing songs.

Colin: I wanted to play drums from the age of 11, but didn’t get an actual kit until I was 14 after my parents realised my interest wasn’t just a passing phase. I haven’t looked back since.

Chris: I don’t think there was any particular point which made me want to get into music, I think it’s something I always wanted to do, pestering the folks for a guitar when I was 8 or 9, the natural progression then was to want to be in a band.

02 Where did your direction come from?

Joe: It came from having lots of music around the house with my parents and older brother’s and sister’s listening to a lot of different styles of music.

Chris: I am self taught, so just through listening to different bands. Having supportive family and friends has always helped though.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

Joe: The main influence for me is The Beatles but there are so much more influences that there are to many to mention, I like a lot of different styles of music and great songwriters, Also a lot of what’s going on in the world, media also influences me, I have no time for shows like the X factor and all them shows, It means nothing to me and it’s not even about music.

Colin: My personal major influences are drummers like John Densmore (he and the rest of The Doors are the reason I play music), Ringo Starr, all the Motown drummers, Charlie Watts, Art Blakey, Gene Krupa, I could go on. Ha! There’s a lot people I despise, but I probably shouldn’t mention any names, as I may get sued. Ha! Ha!

Chris: Major influence has to be my mum, she got me into the music that has influenced my playing, plus she’s always had some pretty good taste in music as well. There are people in the industry that I don’t agree with how they do things, but I don’t think it’s my place to say, yet!

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

Joe: Writing from personal experiences and also working with band member’s that are in tune with the way I’m thinking when i come to the band with a new song, I’ll have idea’s and they’ll contribute and it works all the time.

Colin: I’d say our confidence in ours individually and collectively inspires us to make our music, and the fact that we feel there are no limitations in what we do now and in the future.

Chris: The feel of the song helps it to develop what it becomes, there are no set rules or boundaries as to what the end product will be.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Joe: A really great LIVE show & performance, An honest performance and not a staged show.

Colin: The thing I’d say is just a great show with great songs, which in my opinion have a long lasting quality.

Chris: An honest, live energetic performance, with catchy songs that just want to make you get involved.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Joe: The songs begin in all kinds of different ways,  I don’t have one set way to write songs they just happen and grow and take on a life of their own. All the songs are biographical.

Chris: The songs can be about anything from everyday life, again it depends on the feel of the song! Joe will come to rehearsal with the core of the song and we help to create the sound he has in his head, all being on same wave length helps.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

Joe: It has evolved a lot since i started out, working with different musicians, growing up listening to different music, You are only as good as your last song, album that you have released.

Chris: Of course, I can play better now than when I was 9, ha! I think as you go through life you listen to different music and your perspectives change so this alters how you play.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

Joe: My biggest challenge was getting the right band members to join the band, and also being able to play, some people say that they can play and when you audition them, most of them don’t even know what they are doing or talking about, I have no time for time wasters, I think I have now overcome the biggest challenge by meeting the right people to form the band.

Chris: Tricky one, getting the songs out to as many people as possible. Internet and the media help with this
.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

Joe: No we don’t play covers, We have no need to, As for covering a song… I can’t answer that one as their are so many to choose from.

Colin: No, we don’t play covers. I guess there are some favourites we’d like to play if it was for a good enough reason, but at the moment we’re just so immersed in playing original material.

Chris: No covers is not something we are keen on doing! If I had to pick one I’m a big Pink Floyd fan, so maybe something like Interstella Overdrive.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

Joe: I’d like to have great albums recorded as we are in the process of starting our 2nd album in the new year and then a third one, I’d also just like to be able to live comfortably and continue playing LIVE and writing and touring.

Colin: At a point where we’re a highly respected band with a fine back catalogue.

Chris: Still making music, be it wherever or win whatsoever form it is.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Joe: I’d like to record with Paul McCartney, have a jam with him, also i’d like to work with Paul Weller, Anyone else who i’d like to with with has either passed on or there are only so many band members left, Who knows?

Colin: There’s a lot of people I’d like to record with. Unfortunately, most of them are dead.

Chris: Syd Barrett back in 1966.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

Joe: A lot more new songs, album’s and new video’s, Gigs, You can find more about us on the following websites and download our debut album from our official website also in CD format at…

Colin: You can expect a double A side single out in late February, and a brand new album out late next year. We like to plan ahead.

Chris: Just more shows up and the country, as well as the release of our AA side single due out early next year.

Web Links:

joesymes.co.uk
facebook.com/pages/JOE-Symes
reverbnation.com/1joesymes
twitter.com/joeysymes

Link to buy our music:
joesymes.co.uk
itunes.apple.com/joe-symes-and-the-loving-kind

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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October 27, 2013 By : Category : DozenQ Eyeplugs Front page Indie Interviews Rock Tags:, , ,
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DozenQ – Neils Children

This entry is part 6 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Neils Children first formed in 1999 in the suburban home county of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. With early ties to the mod and 1960s scene in London, the group then went on to develop their sound and included post-punk, indie pop and noise rock influences. After a top 60 single, many European and Japanese tours, the group went on hiatus from 2010-2012. In 2012 the original lineup of John Linger, Brandon Jacobs and James Hair played a handful of intimate shows celebrating their early music. Shortly after the shows, and with James leaving to concentrate on other things, founding members Linger and Jacobs reconvened and started writing what would turn out to be 2013’s album ‘Dimly Lit’. Met with across the board critical acclaim, the album saw the band’s sound drastically reshaped; influence such as Broadcast and Sterolab made their mark on the band’s strong absorption of electronics and keyboards, whereas continental pop such as Serge Gainsbourg and various, faceless Italian soundtrack composers fed into making their new sound one of innovation and influence.

Recently returning to the studio, the new band lineup have recorded the new single ‘The Highs and Lows’, complete with a new, lysergic video featuring footage from the group’s recent French jaunt.

01 How did you first get started in music?

I first started playing guitar at 12, inspired to do so by a big love for The Jam and Nirvana. It wasn’t long after leaving school at 16 that I went to college to study music, which is where I met Brandon, our drummer and my best friend. We formed the band a few months into the course, and still have the same enthusiasm and energy for our music as we did then.

02 Where did your direction come from?

Initially we were very influenced by the more obscure end of the 1960s stuff; so lots of freakbeat and psych, garnered from various legendary compilations. When we started going to some of the more underground 1960s clubs, we started absorbing more and more of it, which applied with other influences throughout the years has developed into our sound.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

Well, the influences change from year to year, but you could say that early Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett are, and always have been, a huge element to the sound. Throughout the early 2000’s Gang of Four, PiL and a lot of underground post-punk were hugely influential. Those sounds are so much a part of what we do now, but we have been influenced by various other artists; Broadcast being a particularly strong influence alongside Gainsbourg and Silver Apples.

I think despise would be a strong word for me to use, now at least! But I don’t really understand or enjoy current pop music in general, there’s also a lot of dance music I don’t enjoy. The Travis/Coldplay end of the spectrum has always irked me too, as it’s middle of the road, and not in a good way.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

The most inspiring thing about it is how new the whole thing is… the new album was written and recorded within the space of a few months, we have a new lineup in the band, and we’re using new instruments and instrumentation… so the thing as a whole is inspiration enough.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows?

I think our shows are a lot more intense than our records, and I think it’s always been that way. We are a very good band at incorporating improvisation into our songs, which I think stems from the early Floyd influence. There’s always a lot of energy, as everyone is always putting in 100%.

06 How do you begin your song creation? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Again, this is something that has changed over time. The songs were more personal at one point, but now are a little stream of consciousness which sounds a little pretentious but they are reigned in from being too nonsensical and abstract. Often themes will become apparent after the lyrics are written, which is always a nice surprise. Musically, again it has changed over the years. Often songs were written on a guitar in a pretty conventional way, but now more often than not they’re written on keyboards, which open up whole new possibilities. We’re more interested in textures and atmospheres than we were before, so we don’t try and cram too much in if the song is doing what we want in a sparse state.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

It’s evolved beyond all belief, especially for a band of our size without an income from music. I don’t think any of us sorta exist at any point without thinking about music. It’s that dedication that helps develops not only your sound, but your playing and writing. I love the fact that Punk influenced people to get up and play without really knowing how to, but if you’re going to have that mentality forever, then what’s the point?

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

The challenge that’s hardest is having day jobs and responsibilities and still trying to find the time and energy to do the band and the music justice. It’s easier if a label is funding it; giving you time to concentrate on music alone, but we don’t have that luxury at the moment. These things can be overcome, and they are, by hard work and dedication.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We have done in the past, and more recently we recorded a Broadcast cover, to pay respect to the late Trish Keenan’s birthday, but I’m not sure covers are really something we’re considering at the moment. We have far too many originals to keep working on!

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

Making another Album hopefully! At the moment we have the space and equipment to record for little cost so, material permitting, I can’t see why we’d stop. I like the idea that Stereolab had; have a stream of constant high quality releases, instrumental E.P’s, tour E.P’s or whatever.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

I’d love to record with James Cargill from Broadcast, not only on a musical level, but his technical skills in the studio are apparent on loads of their stuff. Also, Tore Johannson, who produced the first three Cardigans albums. His engineering skills are unique and would work well with our sound.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

We’re currently recording our follow up to ‘Dimly Lit’… I’m hoping that by mid 2014 we should have that out. There’s a lot of good material floating around, lot’s of great concepts and ideas. It’s n exciting time!

 Weblinks

www.facebook.com/neilschildren
www.neilschildren.bandcamp.com
www.twitter.com/neilschildren
www.soundcloud.com/neilschildren

New single is available here:

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

More Posts - Website

November 18, 2013 By : Category : DozenQ Exotica Front page Indie Interviews Post-punk Tags:, , ,
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DozenQ – John Cee Stannard

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This entry is part 7 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

John Cee Stannard has been a singer-songwriter for more than fifty years and during that time has been privileged to work with lots of talented musicians. Before releasing his first solo blues based album he was a founder member of the folk group Tudor Lodge which was originally formed in 1968. We started playing at the White Horse in Reading, England and later we made appearances at other clubs on the folk circuit. In 1970 Lyndon Green and John were joined by American singer and flautist, Ann Steuart.

Tudor Lodge then toured the English folk circuit for over two years, teaming up with manager Karl Blore towards the end of 1970, and releasing our first album in 1971: “Tudor Lodge” (Vertigo 6360043). Later that year, we appeared at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival and also at Weeley Festival in Essex.

In January 2011, I wrote half a dozen songs. One of them was a bluesy number; five of those songs fell by the way side, but the blues number had struck a chord. Over the next few months, a couple of dozen blues based songs had joined the growing list of songs which took me in a completely new direction. It was as if I had found his voice. By the summer I knew that these songs had to be the basis of a solo project. It took until August of 2012 for recording to start, and by December it was done. Mixing took a further three months. In May 2013, the John Cee Stannard Blues Orchestra CD, the “Doob Doo” album, was launched.

01. How did you get started in music?

My introduction to pop music was the late 50’s, the days of Radio Luxemburg, Perry Como still at the top of the charts, then along came rock ‘n’roll. Elvis, Cliff, Tommy Steel, Marty Wilde, and the list goes on. I got my first guitar around 1958 for seven guineas. I started strumming chords to “When The Saints Go Marching In”. Got a lot of help from Bert Weedon’s “Play In A Day”, and concentrated on learning all those Shadows tunes. Hank Marvin was a hero then. Maybe still is. The first group I was in was called (don’t laugh) Jonny Ringo And The Rustlers. OK, you can laugh. This was around 1959 and I played lead guitar a la Hank Marvin, and of course we played Apache, as well as many non shadows instrumentals of the time such as “Walk Don’t Run” and “Perfidia” by the Ventures. Great days. Then the 60’s came and the Beatles influenced the future of pop in a big way.

02 .Where did your direction come from?

Much of my direction over the years has come from what I can and can’t do. I found picking out simple melodies very easy. So the early pop, Hank Marvin direction was clear. I could never play big, fast and furious solos, or be a fast and furious rock person, so that direction was blocked. The mid 60’s saw many brilliant Hammond based RnB outfits burst onto the scene. Zoot Money is still at it, as is Georgie Fame. So I fancied a go at keyboard no, unfortunately I couldn’t really play, but I didn’t see why that should stop me. So I bought a farfisa compact organ and learned to play Green Onions. That tune got me into a local pop group, The Mackandas. The next change of direction came when I gave my sister a lift to the Albert Hall to see Bob Dylan’s first concert there. I knew nothing of this music, but when the Mackandas split, the lead singer (John) his girlfriend and I formed a trio, called The Trio, and we started with some Dylan material. That partnership was short lived, but it led me to the local folk club, the White Horse in Reading (Run by a chap named Sid who refused to advertise in case the government paid him a visit). That of course led to Tudor Lodge and the next 47 years of music. The new change of direction came purely by chance after writing a few blues songs. I did not decide to do that they just came that way. So the change of direction to blues was drivel solely by the songs. This was then reinforced by an absolute love for what I was doing.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

I honestly believe that everyone I see influences me, even if only in a minute way. Mike Cooper was a major influence. I’m talking about his work in the late 60’s, up to maybe 71′. But strangely, it is only now that it is influencing some of my musical style. Paul Mills has also been an influence on this new musical path. He contributed some great piano work to “The Doob Doo Album”. Whilst Hugh Laurie has not influenced the musical style and delivery, his albums, particularly his first album, were quite an influence on the approach to album production.

04. What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

The one fact that inspires to to continue on the path I seem to be treading, is quite simply, that I am having so much fun. It is satisfying and rewarding in so many ways. I’m having the time of my life so of course I want that to continue. What greater motivation or inspiration could there be to continue this current song writing and performance style?

If you are asking what inspires the individual songs, the answer is, almost exclusively nothing. Other than the huge musical heritage of the blues. Outside of that, it is fiction, and I don’t decide to sit down and write a song about this or that. They are never about me (with one very small exception.)

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your shows?

I find this one hard. Luckily at a show last week, a superb local singer named Richard Cox-Smith came up with quite a good genre title Easy Blues. Although amplified of course, it is essentially acoustic blues tho I prefer to say blues based. It is not hard, full on blues. There is some country blues. Some with a slight rag-time feel, some with a slightly jazzy feel. Rock’n’Reel said the album was “…a very English nod to the blues.” I can’t argue with that. American singer songwriter rock and amazing guitar player Janet Robin said the album is like Doctor John, I don’t really see that, maybe a bit on the album.

06. How do you begin writing your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I guess we’ve already covered this to some extent. To answer the first part I doodle. I pick up the guitar and just play around. If a riff or phrase sounds good I repeat it over and over and see if it takes me anywhere. At the same time I will doodle with words anything random. If I’ve been listening to an album by someone else, then a continuation of their theme may come into it. Once I have a verse of words, I look at it to see if it contains a theme I can carry forward and develop. Often I have no idea what a song is about as I write verse 1. A case in point is “Hid Behind The Door”. This is about domestic violence. When I was doodling the first verse, I was drawing on a song I wrote in 1972 which never went anywhere but I remembered the first few lines. It started random, but the last line of the first verse when it came seemed to be about an abusive situation – so I simply followed the theme for the rest of the song. It was an afterthought for the album – but some people say it’s their favourite track. So I don’t pick a subject or theme equally, I won’t shy away from a theme if it presents itself. For example, I was doodling a tune which wasn’t bluesy at all but I followed it through to see where it would go. As it developed, so the words for the first verse came along when I looked back at it, it seemed rather dark, maybe about someone who had had enough of life and wanted to move on. I thought of people who are terminally ill and desperate to be allowed to pass but medical science, coupled with (possibly misplaced) ethics, force us to keep them here for as long as possible so I had a song about euthanasia and suicide. It was far too dark for the album, and the wrong style of music, so I put it out there as a single called “Let Me Go”. A lovely video by Badger Music Media, see it HERE!.

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

Firstly, with respect to the playing, very little in the way of gradual evolution just the occasional huge mutation. 10 years of flat-picking melodies and strumming fairly rigidly. Then along came the finger picking style (largely claw hammer) for Tudor Lodge, which remained almost unchanged for 47 years, and remains so. But then alongside that three years ago in 2011, the blues/rag whatever it is came along and is now an established line running along side the Tudor Lodge line. During this last three years though, the more bluesy style of playing has continued to evolve and develop. Starting with fairly straight forward songs and becoming a bit more interesting and varied. Learning how what you don’t play can be as important as what you do play. And last year, after over 50 years of guitar playing, I decided I could not put it off any longer, and I started having lessons. Thankfully my teacher is not trying to make me unlearn all I’m doing wrong, but is helping me to stretch my ideas and my playing good move. Secondly the music almost exactly the same pattern of development. 10 years of pop. 47 years of folk starting with the songs I wrote 1968 – 1971, and continuing with the songs Lynne has been writing for Tudor Lodge. Then three years of writing my own blues based material and mixing that with standard covers of people like Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, and one or two surprises in a blues style such as “Raining In My Heart”

08. What has been your biggest challenge? How were you able to overcome this?

Ok objectively standing back from it all trying to be honest, lack of confidence. I never really thought of my music was good enough to stand on it’s own. With Tudor Lodge, I have always admired Lynne’s writing and playing, so I could hide behind that. With my own music, yes I was having fun, then making the album was really for me, I found it hard to take it that seriously. But then everyone who contributed, all these fine musicians who did sessions for me, they all found it credible, the feedback was quite astonishing, that in itself was a learning curve for me. How did I overcome it? Well thankfully it was the process that helped me overcome it. I am now feeling really quite confident with it.

09. If you could pick any song, what would you like to cover most and why?

I always though I should never do a song like ‘Georgia’ because the definitive versions have been done. I recently learned it as an exercise. I was persuaded to try it live. It wend down surprisingly well. My teacher recently gave me “God Bless The Child” as an exercise. I just might try that sometime soon. If I thought a could do them justice, then to cover a classic like one of those would be one hell of a thing. Why would I want to attempt that?  because it would be one hell of a thing.

10. Where do you envisage being in five years time?

Hopefully still making music. Hopefully still running Tudor Lodge alongside John Cee Stannard and Blue Horizon. We have been so lucky to get the number of gigs that we have since putting the Blue Horizon trio together last autumn. But to get ourselves on the Blues Festival circuit would be a dream. To get a small tour of the UK, or even the continent would be wonderful. To get, even just a handful of gigs in the states would be slightly WOW. Yes of course big gigs and tours would be great, but to make a living at it would be wonderful.

11. Who would you most like to record with?

I’ve had a few dreams here. For some reason, Sandi Thom was one of them. Karla Bonnof is one, though that wouldn’t work well with the blues. Someone I would love to have guesting on an album of mine would be Beverley Skeete. Yes I do day dream of other collaborations, but these are largely completely unattainable. But then what’s wrong with the occasional fantasy.

12. What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

I have just started work on the next album. This will not be the full Blues Orchestra as on “The Doob Doo Album”. It will be just me and Blue Horizon, (Mike Baker on Guitar and Howard Birchmore on harmonica) with added bass and drum. I hope to get that completed and launched by the end of summer 2014. Then I would like to do an album with a jazz band. The material is more or less sorted, and I have had initial chats with potential collaborators. It would be nice to get that done before the end of 2014. I will definitely want to do another Blue Horizon one after that as well as a couple of other album projects I am still developing. Plus, I spent 5 years writing a novel, and if there is no traditional publishing deal in the next few months, I plan to e-publish it myself. My objective is to achieve that before 2014 is done. I’ve recently started writing the occasional blog, which is fun, so will develop that. I also present an on line radio show most weeks and plan to continue with that. It goes out on Blast1386 Thursdays 1:00 to 3:00pm UK time.

Web Links:

johnceestannard.co.uk
facebook.com/johncee.stannard
twitter.com/JohnStannard46

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

More Posts - Website

March 12, 2014 By : Category : Blues DozenQ Folk Interviews Music Tags:, , , ,
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DozenQ – Froskull

This entry is part 8 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Froskull – Blazing A Trail For Progressive Rock In Music City! “It’s a very inclusive genre… You can use your imagination on a much broader scale and draw from all sorts of influences that you might have as a musician.” – Brett Hammond, Froskull

Previously named Stephen Rockford Hammond Band, Froskull is the new moniker for Hammond’s current lineup featuring Jason Schond, Brett Hammond, and Adam Dennis.

Born and raised in Nashville, Stephen grew up at the very intersection of American musical culture. The spell of Music City ascended nascent childhood interest to wizardry as a performer, composer, and producer. In 2008, Stephen released his first full-length album, Flux Punch, named for the dissolved band in which he wrote the material.

Shortly after the album release, Stephen recruited bass guitarist Jason Schond and founded the Stephen Rockford Hammond Band. While the group began performing songs from the critically acclaimed Flux Punch, Stephen brought a new and even higher level of sophistication to his songwriting. His newer amazing material subsequently transformed the band’s set lists into complex mosaics of electrifying fantasia.

In 2011 Stephen recruited his brother, guitarist Brett Hammond. Adam Dennis took over drums in 2012, and Stephen renamed the band Froskull.

As the band’s new image spread to the Internet community, music lovers worldwide engaged with Froskull’s first recordings. Froskull’s holistic musical style placed them in the spotlight of Jazz, Fusion, and Rock talk shows. They shared the stage with a spectrum of artists: from Nashville country stars Chris Young and Lee Brice to Rock and Roll legend Derek St. Holmes. A 2013 episode of 6minor Films’ Songwriter was dedicated to a glimpse inside the band’s process for writing, rehearsing, and performing.

A long-anticipated tour de force, Froskull’s 2014 full-length album is a shining dose of captivating euphony. A self-titled release, Froskull hallmarks the band’s technical eloquence, dynamic caprice, and aggressively cosmopolitan style.

Though nothing short of a fastidious progressive rock band, Froskull defies easy classification. Froskull’s wild expressiveness and “pan-genre” feel emote with average listeners while provoking more particular music lovers to lend an ear.

01. How did your band get together?

We were all living in Nashville looking for each other. We live in a town dominated by country music and really wanted to meet other musicians that were interested in creative, smart, progressive music. Stephen met Jason in 2008 shortly after Jason moved to Nashville. Stephen and Brett are brothers, but had never played in a band together before Brett joined Froskull in 2010. Stephen, Jason, and Brett met Adam through a craigslist ad.

02. Where did your name come from?

The band was first called Stephen Rockford Hammond Band years ago. The name was really long and uninteresting, no real potential for “branding.” Stephen has thick, curly hair and used to wear a big afro on his head. Friends still call him “Fro.” He named his recording studio “Castle Froskull.” That’s where the band name comes from. It’s named after Stephen’s studio which in turn is named after Stephen’s old hairstyle.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

We have different backgrounds, but our common threads include music from many genres. We talk about Stone Temple Pilots a lot though it may not be obvious in the music we play. We were all really into the old prog rock that existed on the fringes of commercial music like Rush and Yes. We also like the sound and production quality of more modern bands like STP and Soundgarden. Nowadays it’s difficult to pinpoint an outside influence because we are really finding better ways to express ourselves and explore our own sound.

04. What drove you to make music together?

Honestly, in a way we are REQUIRED to make music together. The kind of music we play can be technically demanding at times. Frankly, it’s tough to find the kind of musician in Nashville who is capable and willing to rehearse this kind of music. We get along well and have chemistry, but we have to stick together because there aren’t many in Nashville who want to do it the way we want do it.

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your shows?

For starters, we don’t like to run our mouths between songs. It’s one song after the next. Boom boom boom. We do very dynamic and capricious sets, and unlike most prog rock bands, we don’t write songs over four minutes long. It’s always a very up and down, stop and go set. It’s interesting to say the least. We keep attention and hate staying at one tempo or volume for very long.

06. Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Stephen writes everything. The lyrics are usually weird prog rock stuff like exploring outer space, the significance of human lives and human relationships, existentialism, abstract points of view, religion and philosophy. Much of the music is heavily instrumental. Sometimes he writes about women, though.

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?

We first began playing music from Stephen’s 2008 release called Flux Punch. That material was a little progressive but closer to the kind of Rock music you hear on the radio. When he returned to writing, things became way more sophisticated and technically challenging. The newer music is also more fun to play. The Froskull album is really out of this world compared to Flux Punch.

08. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? How were you able to overcome this?

Nashville is full of resources for musicians, but many of the resources are out of reach for small-time indie bands like Froskull. It can be difficult to find capable people who are willing to help you (even in music city). We continue to develop our brand pretty much by ourselves. We aren’t just musicians anymore. We have had to develop our skills as communicators, video producers, graphic artists, web designers, etc. We learned to wear all the hats needed to get things done the way we want them done. It’s funny because we often meet other musicians who have seen our online content and believe we are “connected” to someone in the “industry.” Truth is we aren’t connected to anyone at all. We make the sacrifices and do it all ourselves.

09. Does the band play covers? If so, do you argue over the choice of songs? Who usually gets his own way?

Sometimes we play a cover. Stephen used to like playing Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times.” Believe it or not, we often play our version of an old Bobby Brown song called “On Our Own.” We don’t argue over choice of songs. Stephen is the primary writer and the only one willing to do an arrangement of a cover for Froskull. Stephen always gets his way.

10. What do you love and hate outside of music?

We all really love women and beer. Some of us like Star Trek. We might all hate driving in Nashville.

11. Who would you most like to record with?

We especially like producer Brendan O’Brien. It’s a fairy tale idea, but we like the records he makes. We think a Froskull album produced by O’Brien would be a most fascinating marvel.

12. What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

6minor Films has just released their first season of “Songwriter.” One episode was dedicated to a glimpse inside the band’s process for writing, rehearsing, and performing. Songwriter is now available on Amazon. We are doing a workshop for the Nashville Songwriters’ Association International next month to help promote the 6minor Films release. The Froskull album release is April 10. Stephen wants to get back to writing as soon as possible, but first we expect to play shows in our neck of the woods and promote this album as best we can. Prog rock isn’t in high demand in a country town, but we have the attention of the Internet community. So although we will enjoy getting back into the clubs and doing what we love, our promotion efforts will be focused on the web.

Web Links: 
froskull.com
facebook.com/froskull
twitter.com/froskull
soundcloud.com/froskull
reverbnation.com/froskull

Tour dates 2014:
April 10 @ The East Room in Nashville (CD release)
May 22 @ The Rutledge in Nashville
(Nashville Songwriters Association International Workshop)

Link to buy current single:
itunes.apple.com/froskull

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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March 25, 2014 By : Category : DozenQ Front page Indie Interviews Music Rock Tags:, ,
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DozenQ – The Intermission Project

This entry is part 9 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Jim Rubaduka and Alex Stevens, two former Primary School friends were reunited at Sixth Form College through their love of great music. Two very talented singer/songwriters they formed The Intermission Project in 2011.

With an acoustic, folk, soul sound their wonderfully crafted songs and velvety soulful voices reveal a maturity way beyond their years. These two 19 year olds from Ashford in Kent have created a sound so very beautiful, thought provoking and immediately captivating that it leaves you singing their tunes over and over.

2013 has seen them joined by drummer Charlie Campbell and playing to packed audiences at festivals including The Great Escape, Kendal Calling, Green Man, Lounge on The Farm and Shambala, impressing audiences with their heartfelt songs, fresh, uplifting sound and charming performances interspersed with humorous tales and anecdotes.

They released their debut EP ‘Sorry’ on 23rd September 2013, the title track has already been picked up by BBC Introducing and played on Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 show. If this is just the beginning of their musical career you can only wonder at their future.

01. How did your band get together?

Jim and I met in primary school and after 6 or so years apart, we met again in sixth form. We were in the same music tech class and found ourselves in rehearsal rooms making music. We got in contact with Charlie as we wanted a drummer and another body on stage. He came down to Ashford for a jam and the rest in history.

02. Where did your name come from?

Jim came up with the name. At the time we started making music, we were approaching the tricky transitional moment in life where you’re forced to make important decisions that can inform the life you lead and it was our ‘Intermission’ phase so that’s where the idea came from.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

We all have our individual heroes and like a variety of different music. The thing that inspires me personally is anything that really resonates with my soul, and that can be anything from Otis Redding singing to my friend saying a sentence that changes the way I see things.

04. What drove you to make music together?

Initially it was just a happy accident but what drives us to continue making music together is the fun we have, the people we meet and the chance to make a career out of something we love doing.

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your shows?

A good night out; three boys sweating; people heckling (mainly our family members) and the same three boys playing songs that they love.

06. Who writes your songs?

What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?Jim writes the songs, not sure if there is one particular theme or subject he aims for but a lot of songs are very people driven and experience driven. But it’s always evolving so who knows what he’ll be writing about a few years down the line.

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?

We started off with only using acoustic instruments and no form of percussion because that’s all we had at the time and now we have a drummer and a couple of electric guitars and some other fun stuff.

08. What has been your biggest challenge as a band?

How were you able to overcome this?So far we haven’t had any really big challenges that stand out in our mind maybe the biggest challenge we’ve had so far is trying to find some venues with no sat nav. We have overcome this problem by investing in a sat nav.

09. Does the band play covers? If so, do you argue over the choice of songs? Who usually gets his own way?

We don’t play any covers but that’s not to say we won’t but the reason Jim started writing songs in the first place is because every time he learnt how to play a song he loved he never felt like he could do it justice so he started writing. But who knows maybe we’ll figure out something in the future.

10. What do you love and hate outside of music?

Alex: Love – Travelling & Hate – The cold, Jim: Love – Football & Hate- Walking into spider webs, Charlie: Love – Good films & Hate – Bad films

11. Who would you most like to record with?

Does it matter if they are dead or alive? I think it would be awesome to record something with Lisa Fischer, her voice is just so unreal but that’s a hard question there are just too many people that we’d love to record something with.

12. What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

More live shows, more songs, more smiles and more good things.

Web Links:

facebook.com/IntermissionProject
twitter.com/IntermissionPro

Tour dates 2014:

27th March – The Boatshed Presents, Auriol Rowing Club, Hammersmith

6th April – Paradise Club, Kensal Rise, London

31st May – Sunrise Festival – All Good Things, Nr Bristol

26th June – Revelation St Marys Church, Ashford

19th July – Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury

27th July – Ashford Create Festival, Ashford

9th August – Woodbridge Festival Suffolk

16th August – Green Man Festival, Wales

Link to buy current single:

theintermissionproject.bandcamp.com
itunes.apple.com/sorry-single

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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March 26, 2014 By : Category : DozenQ Folk Front page Interviews Music Soul Tags:, ,
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DozenQ – Free From Gravity

This entry is part 10 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Inspired by classic rock acts like The Eagles, Pink Floyd & U2, the UK based formation Free From Gravity defies the latest fashion and short-lived music trends to create their timeless and everlasting sound. Free From Gravity is led by Vince Barnes (Lead Vocals) and his personal agenda shines through with the intimate and often heart-warming songs and lyrics.

For the recording of his album, he was joined by top notch musicians like Andy Mitchell of the 60’s supergroup The Yardbirds, who count Eric Clapton, Jimmy Paige and Jeff Beck as their former members.

The Band’s original material has a range from classic rock anthems to moving ballads, always with a love for detail and sound. Their songs will catch you and leave you with a liberating sense of freedom from gravity.

01. How did your band get together?

It was a project that Vince started four years ago when he returned to England from Spain. After a number of false starts the current line up has come through personal contacts. Neil (drummer) and Vince played in a covers band, TJ responded to a call on Facebook, Jason guitarist is someone Vince used to go to a guitar club with and Pete is the husband of the bands promoter.

02. Where did your name come from?

In 2011 after having recorded the video for I Have A Dream, Vince was driving back to the producers studio in Ealing and I saw a billboard with an advert for WonderBra (I believe) which said Free Yourself From Gravity. He thought that was a cool name for a band and it has stuck since.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Magnum, U2, Whitesnake, quite an eclectic mix.

04. What drove you to make music together?

As a band Vince brought all the guys together. However having used session musicians on a number of occasions I really wanted musicians who were just passionate about playing and not interested in making money, we have them. They are all keen to play, have the right attitude and are driven by playing music. Rehearsals and gigs are a joy to play because there is so much fun and laughter going on, it’s a real pleasure.

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your shows?

Kick Assed Chilled Out Rock, we are there to entertain,  that’s it. We have a philosophy Come Along and Take away a Bit Of Magic. Not only will they get to hear some great music, well arranged tunes but they will get to see some spectacular moments. Guitar dual on one song, crazy dancing on another, and just lots of fun being had on stage and off. We try and get the audience to take part as much as they want to.

06. Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Vince does. Mainly they are personal experiences. The Long Road deals with the journey and battle with critical illness (in this case it was written about Vince’s mums battle with cancer but applies equally to anyone with illness going down their own journey). Please Sir deals with the issue of Homelessness and was inspired by a homeless guy met by Vince who had turned his life around but still always remembered his friends on the street, then of course there is Behind those lies dealing with someone having a “Shirley Valentine affair”, Don’t Say Goodbye  a song written about the pain of loving and losing someone, “Its Over Now” pretty much what it says on the tin.

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?

Although we have only been together for around a month as the current line up, the music is rapidly evolving into something that is starting to have its own life. Each song has developed its own character and has its own life on stage. Take for example, Don’t Say Goodbye. It was always a nice song, but since the band have stripped it down and rebuilt it, it is a mix of U2 guitar sounds with some very passionate vocals and guitar licks. Behind those lies hasn’t changed much musically, but it has gone from an acoustic feel song to a real summer sitting on the beach type of song and one that is guaranteed to get the feet tapping. The sound has become more Free From Gravity where everyone is now adding their own character to it and the sound is not only distinctive, it is more signature you know that feeling when you hear a Brian May guitar part you know instantly it is a Queen number.

08. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? How were you able to overcome this?

The biggest challenge has been getting the band together in the first place. There have been lots of false starts and people who weren’t what they said they were, not as committed as they thought (Vince can be a real slave driver). That’s why it has taken so long to come together. However, now that we have the right mix of people, the band has moved forward very quickly. How we have dealt with this is by focusing on people with the right attitude first and foremost most brilliant guitarists also have egos. The guys we have are very good musicians but they are also great people and that makes all the difference.

09. Does the band play covers? If so, do you argue over the choice of songs? Who usually gets his own way?

The band does not play covers.

10. What do you love and hate outside of music?

Loves: are various depending on the band member but we all like socialising, watching other bands play, and obviously family and friends are important. Beer and Kebabs and TJ loves McDonalds (sad person that he is).

Hates: not really sure we have any, obnoxious disrespectful people.

11. Who would you most like to record with?

The Eagles. The song I Have A Dream was inspired by Vinces visit to see them in 1994 at Wembley and to play with them would be absolutely fantastic. Also Pink Floyd would be pretty cool too

12. What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

We have just released our first single, The Long Road, and we will be releasing a new single around every 3 months. We are embarking on a tour currently in the UK with a couple of dates in Spain and when time permits we will extend our reach somewhat. We have the possibility of playing in LA /US West Coast but for the time being we will focus on the UK and Europe.

Web Links:

freefromgravitymusic.com
facebook.com/freefromgravitymusic
twitter.com/freefrmgravity
www.presskit.to/freefromgravity

Link to buy current single: itunes.apple.com/the-long-road-single

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

More Posts - Website

April 7, 2014 By : Category : DozenQ Front page Interviews Music Tags:
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