Up & Coming Bands who perform in London – All images © Chris Dorney.

Posts tagged “blog

76 – ‘The Book Club’, ‘Alloy Ark’ & ‘Magic Brother’

The Book Club:

www.myspace.com/thebookclubofficial

“The Book Club aren’t what you want, and aren’t really what you need either. In fact, what you need, you never want, and what you want, you never need. But when winter begins to thaw and the electric curtain falls, what you want and what you need come closer than ever before. Their lips almost touch. That’s where The Book Club will meet you. Legs akimbo.”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)

Alloy Ark:

www.alloyark.bandcamp.com

facebook page here

Magic Brother:

www.myspace.com/magic-brother

“Since 2010 Magic Brother have been calling up the spirits of the ancient masters of music and brewing them into something just a little bit different. Think of a modern day Traffic or prime Jefferson Airplane with a twist. Magic Sam plays guitar with a passion while Rob Delta snakes his own crystalline string lines in there. Brother Joe on thundering bass and Nicky on drums cook up a mean rhythm section, and on top of all that the beautiful and sublime Princess Faye weaves an ethereal magic of her own, singing and playing the flute. A band that could have held their own in the sixties playing music very much for the future.”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)


74 – ‘Fire At Night’ and ‘Lolita’

Fire At Night:

www.fireatnightmusic.com

“Purveyors of ethereal charm, Fire at Night are an indie/alternative rock band from Hampshire. Their debut EP, ‘Paradigm 14’, is available now to download for free from www.fireatnight1.bandcamp.com

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)

Lolita:

 www.facebook.com/lolitauk

“Lolita is an indie band coming out of North London. The group was formed by brothers Miles Mitchell (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Jamie Mitchell (Bass), Carling ‘Buca’ Colfer (Lead Guitar) and Matt ‘The Crow’ Taussig (Drums). They have won a total of 0 awards, including 0 Brit Awards, 0 Emmy’s, and an amazing 0 NME awards. As of 2012 the four piece have sold an estimated 0 records worldwide.

The formation of the band can be attributed to lead singer Miles. After a brief hiatus from the North London boyband scene – of which Miles was a key player – the Gods of 4-part harmonies intervened and told Miles the world needed his frilly voice and regurgitated melodies. Thus, he rallied his brother – who was living in a squat and had taken to painting left-leaning political street art with his penis – and bought him a bass guitar. The nucleus had been formed.

After searching North-West London for a drummer, Jamie remembered an old school acquaintance known as ‘Crow’ who had been instrumental in the well-documented success of the St Albans Boys School Samba band in the late 90’s, and sought to track him down. They found him in Blackpool performing a one-man magic show with an aeronautical theme to an audience of balloons. After elaborate negotiations, where Crow demanded the balloons came with him and that Britney Spears be a key musical influence, he agreed to be in the band.Although nearly complete, the boys realised there was something missing. And what a big part had been missing indeed. At a lavish murder mystery party that the brothers hosted, it became clear that Captain Ratcliffe was the missing piece. ‘Buca’ added the musical nuance that the boys so desperately needed, and although Buca was busy with conning old women out of their pension and sucking off Ed Sheeran for riffs that didn’t make the album, he jumped onboard. The band was formed.The Mitchell brothers, infamous for their lavish disputes and wild lifestyles, hold a rivalry with other sibling rock sensation, the Gallagher brothers. After a typically raucous gig in Exeter, Miles was overheard calling Liam a ‘little pansy tabloid whore, who would bend over for Hitler if it meant front-page publicity.’ It is dubious whether the Gallagher’s harbor the same rivalry, as they have never heard of Lolita.”
(Info obtained from the bands facebook page)

73 – ‘The Incidents’, ‘Death In Texas’ and ’24 Knots’

The Incidents:

www.music.the-incidents.com

“When two brothers and two strangers met in the rough, tough, seedy back alleys of Kettering town, Northamptonshire, little did they know that on that dark hazy night their lives would be changed forever. For when a spicy-smelling meteorite crashed into the ground between them, they were exposed to a mysterious cosmic radiation not seen on Earth since at least the 50s, and recognising the tremendous burden they now carried, the four boys became…THE INCIDENTS!

With awesome super powers and great haircuts, The Incidents fight crime and songs in excess of 5 minutes (except the ones by The Smiths) in all their forms, composing symphonies of heroism in the key of justice! The Incidents are…

ALEX SMITH – Alex Smith has a voice that could as easily shatter glass as make a wolverine purr. But that’s not the radiation talking; that’s something you’re born with. No, the radiation accelerated Alex’s pheromones to the extent that he needs to wear a specially made waistcoat simply to suppress the otherwise uncontrollable sex appeal he now exudes. You have been warned.

SAM GILBERT – When Sam’s fingers mutated into guitar-twangin’ machines the likes of which the world had never encountered before, an unexpected side effect occured.The mysterious radiation caused vast quantities of his blood to transform into pure Brylcreem, resulting in a mighty coiffure that Elvis himself would approve of.

HENRY HUDSON – Henry’s the stylish one of the group. With suits that would make Sinatra himself look like a hobo, Henry was the least affected by the deadly radiation that the band encountered thanks to the fine Saville Row tailoring he had chosen to wear down the alleys that night. Though he has the bass playing skills of a mere mortal, it was discovered when he mooned an unwitting police officer that on dark nights the sun can be seen shining out of Henry’s ass.

HARRY GILBERT – The youngest member of The Incidents was the most affected by the radiation. While this elevated his drumming skills to those of a god, it had the unfortunate side effect of driving him completely, bat-shit insane, which can be seen in his whirlwind performances behind the kit night by night. It also created in him a crippling weakness: alcohol.The Incidents quickly discovered one tragic night that their powers were ultimately limited; they could run out at any given time, especially on stage and especially under the influence of the powers of their evil arch-nemesis: Booze Man. Seeking sustenance, our intrepid heroes ventured in search of the earthly substance that most closely matched the oozings from the martian meteorite within the walls of Londis, and discovered the awesome rejuvenative powers of the One True Beverage. With rock-and-roll and ginger beer in their hearts and bowels (sometimes respectively, usually not) the Incidents set out to save British guitar rock from people without super-powers, recruiting as many to their cause as super-humanly possible!”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)

Death In Texas:

www.deathintexas.bandcamp.com

“Death In Texas are a 3-piece progressive pop band, from London. Fusing epic classically inspired piano, a pounding rock rhythm section, soaring vocal melodies and progressive-leaning song structures, Death In Texas explores the darker side of pop and the grandiose side of rock. Described as the spawn of King Crimson and Latin pop, expect heavy, theatrical music, full of drama and soaked in talent.

The trio have had a successful run of London shows backing up their debut release, The ‘We Will Implode’ EP.”
(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)

24 Knots:

www.myspace.com/24knotsband

“A rock/blues/indie band hailing from glorious South London.”


72 – ‘Fable’ and ‘Pete Lynch’

Fable:

“Fable is formed of, Jordan Micallef, George Iezzi, Rona Mairi Williamson and Marley Owen-Le Bozec. In late December 2011, based in London, UK.

Drawing from a huge array of influences, Fable has a road of endless musical possibilities.”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)

Pete Lynch:

www.petelynchmusic.com

“PETE LYNCH (born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA) is a solo artist, singer and song writer but his debut album “Face me!” (all vocals, guitars, bass guitars and pianos are performed by PETE LYNCH) has the sound, attitude and feel of a hungry, young band. “Face me!” is a true “all killer no filler” that will take you from the highest high to the deepest depths of your soul and leave you craving for more. Fast, high-energy songs like the album’s opener “Hate me like I hate myself” are followed by songs such as the brutally honest “I’m mad at you” or the very personal, up close and vulnerable ballad “Swim,” which features LIANE de LOTBINIÈRE , one of Canada’s hottest singers.

All of LYNCH’s songs give you an intense look into his schizophrenic inner space. His lyrics are dazzlingly truthful portraits of who he is when the masks are down and what he’s been through in his young life. “Face me!” is a soundtrack of experiences many listeners will identify with. The album was produced by Conny Dix, who recorded Lenny Kravitz on his 2008 election song for US President Barack Obama. “Face me!” introduces 12 original LYNCH songs that are spirited, passionate and deep. LYNCH’s powerful and distinctive voice, combined with his unique blend of musical influences may remind you of Peter Gabriel at his best, flying high with the Killers as his band.

“Face Me!” was released internationally in March 2011, and for the 2011 “Face Me!” Tour PETE LYNCH teamed up with three incredibly talented, experienced and like-minded musicians, drummer Sascha Bem, guitarist Mike Seidl and bassist Joe Gridl. Their fine musicianship and love for performing on stage soon earned them a reputation for being an awesome, hard-working live act! PETE LYNCH shows are outstanding, energetic, extravagant performances that force you to confront his sharp lyrics and haunting music.

2011 also saw new collaborations and new activities for PETE LYNCH. His latest work is contributing the lyrics to Richard Klein’s Eurovision Song Contest Song “Bigger, Better, Best” and “One Way Is Enough”, the lead track on the soundtrack of the 3D horror movie “One Way Trip” (reached number 6 in the Swiss and number 3 in the Austrian movie charts!).

Currently PETE is finishing work on his forthcoming 2nd Album (release date Sept./Oct. 2012) and is starving to get back on the road again!”

(Info obtained from the artist’s facebook page here)


70 – ‘False-Heads’, ‘Jim Johnstone’ and ‘I Am Dive’,

False-Heads:

www.false-heads.bandcamp.com

Jim Johnston:

www.facebook.com/jimjohnstonmusic

“Bristol-based songwriter and guitarist Jim Johnston’s debut solo album, “Voyage of Oblivion” is a thirteen song collection of darkly mysterious, all-encompassing guitar-driven tracks recorded live in a day (with additional overdubs over four days). The former Monk and Canatella singer-guitarist’s impressive premiere is an Indie rock epic, entwined with tales of love, darkness and resurrection. “Voyage of Oblivion” sounds immediately modern, yet encapsulates vintage, classic rock & Indie sounds of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

The album features all-powerful musicianship from Martin Dupras on bass guitar, Chris Thomas on drums, and Owain Coleman on keyboards, with guitars and vocals provided by Johnston. Several songs also feature guest vocals from Australian folk troubadour Emily Barker from Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo.
The album was produced by Johnston and French Canadian producer Dupras, The Jim Johnston band will play several exclusive UK dates Feb 2012 in support of the album.”

(Biography obtained from the band’s facebook page)

I Am Dive:

www.iamdive.com


69 – ‘Japanese Fighting Fish’, ‘Ozonna’ and ‘Monarchy of Roses’

Japanese Fighting Fish:

www.japanesefightingfish.co.uk

Ozonna:

www.soundcloud.com/ozonna

“The man getting his regular short back and sides smiles with intrigue at the figure in the doorway. This Camden hairdresser isn’t used to visits from unfamiliar faces. The bespectacled guest, dressed in a faded denim jacket and rolled shorts, begins to strum a Ukulele, giving his adopted crowd a rendition of his latest song, “I love me”. Even the stubborn buzz of the last few clippers has been silenced within moments. Two minutes later he leaves, followed by looks of affection and bemusement.

African-born electro popper Ozonna may have chosen an unusual way to market himself, but in today’s hyper competitive music industry it pays to be original. Even pop queen Lady Gaga used to have to stand scantily clad on tables in bars, screaming along to Black Sabbath records to get noticed. Visiting some of London’s coiffeurs to play impromptu gigs may not hold the same shock-value, but it’s the perfect place for Ozonna to deliver his message.

And that message is simple; he is trying to empower people through his music. “I want people to feel positive about how they look and feel,” he says. “Playing at the hairdressers, I wanted to tell people that they don’t need to spend lots of money to look beautiful, they are already. It is positive music for the soul.”

Ozonna himself even admits that the message can be seen as clichéd. But it’s the way that message is delivered on his new single, “I love me”, that the London-based artist eliminates any sense of been-here-before. An eclectic mix of influences has inspired the record, which delivers pop hooks underpinned with genuine musical ideology. Think Marina and the Diamonds, Madonna and a hint of Gaga, and you begin to get the idea. But Ozonna’s sound is still wholly individual.

On “I love me”, his unique vocal range is laid bare. It is fragile yet captivating. Combined with the Ukulele and boppy synth the track epitomises what the young musician is all about. It strikes at the core of the vanity of society, why people should ignore the critics and love themselves. It is refreshing to hear a passionate edge to an essentially pop-infused track. This theme is continued in “Perfect day to die”, another creation that reveals a strong sense of musicality in Ozonna’s work, with muted strings and a clean cut piano riff providing a perfect foundation for the heartfelt lyrics. “Stupid self” and “I don’t give a damn” are further rebellious outlets. The latter tinged with the sound of an early Annie Lennox track. ”

(Info obtained from Ozonna’s facebook page here)

Monarchy Of Roses:

“Monarchy Of Roses are a new group who were formed in North London with a range of influences including Soul, 60s beat, Blues.  Under guidance of singer/songwriter Craig Ingham and now joined by Bassist Alex Montague.  Looking for world domination and exposure!  Welcome to The Kingdom Of North London Soul!”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)


68 – ‘Turning Plates’ and ‘Howl Griff’

Turning Plates:

www.turningplates.co.uk

“Turning Plates are an award winning group of musicians based in Glasgow. Using theirdiverse classical, jazz and rock backgrounds they create a uniquely alternative style. Founded in 2009 their mixing of synthesizers and effect laden guitars with the more melancholy sounds of clarinet, cello and trombone, combined with the use of unusual time signatures, have led to the band quickly finding a distinct and individual sound. The band sites an eclectic mix of influences from the Smashing Pumpkins to Sigur Ros to Baroque music.

On the back of early successes the band has recently recorded an EP comprising 6 songs at Glasgow’s prestigious Chem19 studios with producer Jamie Savage which is due for release in April 2012. During 2011 the band’s song Tin Man won an award in Playmusic Pickup magazine’s unsigned band competition and finished their first tour taking in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Stirling Falkirk and Ayr over Easter 2011. In addition the band have gigged frequently in Glasgow doing both electric and acoustic shows, supporting several touring bands including Silversun Pickups, Scanners, Slaraffenland and The Neat.”

(Info obtained from the band’s Official Website)

Howl Griff:

www.howlgriff.com

“After receiving much press and public acclaim for our debut, Welsh-language record Howl Griff, we unleashed our second album The Hum – this one in English. Along with single releases Bluebirds and Sunrise, the album has garnered heady acclaim.

“Bloody lush – a new band we love,” said Lauren Laverne on her daytime BBC 6music show. She’s not alone in liking what she hears. “Life-affirming,” wrote The Independent. “Gorgeous harmonies and warm ’60s melodies – the result is quite lovely,” added Stuff magazine. “A Welsh Brian Wilson,” claims Clash magazine.

So when the lovely Lauren Laverne asked if we were interested in giving away an MPfree on her show, who were we to argue? Thanks to her and the 6music crew, you can download the Sunrise single for zero pence on our free MP3s page.

We’ve been played widely across BBC 6music, Radio One, Radio Wales, Radio London and noted Californian station KCRW too, which is nice.”

(Info obtained from the band’s Official Website)


65 – ‘Dirt Diggers’ and ‘B.B. Manik’

Dirt Diggers:

www.facebook.com/dirtdiggers

B. B. Manik:

B. B. Manik’s facebook page here


64 – ‘Utopian Love Revival’, ‘Rossella Scarlet’ and ‘The Green Brothers’

Utopian Love Revival:

“Officially formed in 2012 through various muso listing sites. Utopian Love Revival is all about the songs, about people getting together… ULR is loose & laidback movement of free thinking thoughts, sounds, art & creation. ”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)

Rossella Scarlet:

www.myspace.com/rossellascarlet77

The Green Brothers:

www.myspace.com/greenbrothersuk

“Sons of legendary Pirates guitarist and veteran session man, Mick Green, form powerful combo blasting out full throttle 70’s style R&B/Garage Rock at a blistering pace. Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride!

In 2010, Brad and Lloyd (sons of the legendary Pirates’ guitarist and veteran session man, Mick Green), joined forces with ex-Pirates’ drummer Mike Roberts to form The Green Brothers. Their first performance was to a packed audience at the tribute concert for their late father at the famous 100 Club. They were joined on stage by Pirates’ vocalist Johnny Spence and support acts included The Animals and The Wilko Johnson Band.

Following the success of that night and due to much public demand, the boys set about recruiting a singer and found the perfect shipmate in a cheeky Essex chappy. Dean’s soulful, bluesy, gravelly voice, combined with the band’s own unique powerful rhythm and blues, makes The Green Brothers a real tour de force. Brad’s simultaneous rhythm and lead playing has been described as ‘reproducing Mick’s style with unnerving accuracy’. Laying down the solid foundation for Dean and Brad is the powerful ‘engine room’ of Lloyd Green on bass and Mike Roberts on drums.

The Green Brothers are truly a powerful combo who relentlessly blast out full throttle 70’s style R&B/Garage Rock at a blistering pace. Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride!”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)


62 – ‘Lorena B’ and ‘New Manhattan’

Lorena B:

www.lorena-b.com

“Lorena B, a post-dubstep group based in London, UK, already caught the attention of Jarvis Cocker, and respectful bloggers like Cruel Rhythm have favorably compared them to the young electronic producers freshening up the UK scene.

Following the release of their self-produced debut album, they went on a short tour in the UK, and since had their songs played on BBC radio, XFM radio, the BBC Music Video Festival and popular blogs.

They have played the main support for Blonde Redhead and for the Junior Boys, collaborated with international producer BORGORE and other local artists and have been invited to play in showcases in the CMJ Music Marathon in New York and in the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg.

Their passion for UK’s alternative and electronic music, which they frequently play on DJ sets and their radio show, is also apparent in their upcoming EP, with strong influences from leading producers like James Blake, Hudson Mohawke and SBTRKT.”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)

New Manhattan:

www.newmanhattan.bandcamp.com


61 – ‘Von Bartha’, ‘The Red Bullets’ and ‘Atlantic & Lion’

Von Bartha:

www.vonbartha.bandcamp.com

“Von Bartha are what The Shadows would have sounded like if they’d been lobbed into a vat of LSD and had PJ Harvey’s pet banshee on vocals instead of Cliff Richard. A pleasing blend of up-tempo rocky jazzy weirdness, they keep you on your toes by never letting you guess what direction they’ll go next. Strangely, even people who profess not to like bands at all seem to love Von Bartha.”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)

The Red Bullets:

www.theredbullets.com

“The Red Bullets were formed in 2007 by Pete Edwards and brother Mark as an outlet for Pete’s songs, many of them co-written with lyricist and close friend, John Bailey. Their music made an instant impact with audiences not only UK wide, but also with those who immediately took the band’s songs to their hearts during tours of Dubai and the French Alps in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

The Edwards brothers were joined during the early years of the bands ascent by Mark Wheeler on bass and Kyle Hall on guitar, who both left the band in May 2010 which marked the start of a re-birth for the band with a change in approach and, of course, personnel. Lyricist and now bass player John Bailey joined, at first, on a temporary basis, and the band were introduced to former Twang guitarist, Stuart Hartland, by producer Gavin Monaghan. Stuart initially recorded some sessions for the band and has since become, along with John Bailey, an ever-more-present member of the group, stamping his unique characteristics on the bands recent work.

A more recent addition to the band has been Ben Weston, a singer songwriter from Northamptonshire. The Red Bullets’ performance at the British Grand Prix to a 7000+ crowd was the first time the band had performed with 5 members, with Ben on acoustic guitar and adding to Mark’s prominent backing vocals. Ben’s ‘high up the fret board’, almost Ukulele sounding flourishes shimmering on top of Stuart’s unforgettable guitar licks and Pete’s unmissable pounding piano style, won instant favour with the Bullets faithful.

The Red Bullets often go out as a three piece, Pete on lead vocals and piano, John on bass and Mark on drums and backing vocals, something which developed from an experiment during a tour of the West Country in 2010. This has become yet another dimension for the band, in addition to the 4 and 5 piece performances and Pete’s solo performances and intimate shows with a string quartet (these are few and far between and well worth looking out for).

The Red Bullets have a strong, loyal following who are the backbone of the band’s existence, and it is this that allows this energetic, fun and committed band of musicians to continue to grow and evolve.

Check out The Red Bullets’ forthcoming dates to find out what all the fuss is about, you won’t regret it… They’ll have you whistling all the way home!”

(Info obtained from the band’s Official website)

Atlantic & Lion:

atlanticandlion.bandcamp.com


60 – ‘Thank Pablo’, ‘Ferris’ and ‘Trash Green’

Thank Pablo:

www.thankpablo.co.uk

“Based in South London, Thank Pablo make sun-kissed quintessentially English pop songs that have been dragged through the backstreets of Africa, Spain, France and Jamaica.

It is music to make you smile.

Recently featured on XFM, BBC 6Music and Queens Radio Belfast.”

(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)

Ferris:

www.theferris.co.uk

Trash Green:

www.trashgreen.net


57 – INTERVIEW – ‘Cult With No Name’

By Chris Dorney

The last year has been a very successful one for the East London duo ‘Cult With No Name’, winning the coveted dsoaudio !Recommended! Award and also picking up a nomination for the prestigious Exposure Awards.  The ‘Post-punk electronic balladeers’, comprising of Erik Stein and Jonny Boux, are gearing up for a very busy and exciting 2012, seeing the release of their fifth studio album and a string of gigs to follow.

I first photographed ‘Cult With No Name’ last Summer when they performed at the International Pop Overthrow Festival in London and was then asked in November to shoot a series of promotional stills in preparation for their new album “Above As Below” (released January).

Their past releases have, very rightly, gained positive reviews from critics and “Above As Below” does not disappoint either.  The album demonstrates the duo’s diversity of creation; showcasing them at their lightest, darkest, most melodic, nonchalant, bon vivant, serious and humorous.  As well as their own talent, the duo called in the likes of Kelli Ali (Sneaker Pimps), Luc van Lieshout and Bruce Geduldig (Tuxedomoon), John Ellis (The Stranglers, Peter Gabriel) and Meg Maryatt (17 Pygmies) to contribute on the album.

I recently caught up with them again to chat about their music, plans for 2012, and of course, the new album.

CD: Before we talk about the new album, how did the two of you meet? And ultimately, how did ‘Cult With No Name’ form? 

ES: We both met whilst working at a branch of HMV, the famous computer games and DVD chain. However, in those days it sold something called ‘CDs’.

Most of the people who worked there were frustrated creatives. After all, selling Shania Twain albums isn’t really a career aspiration (although for some people it was). Out of this same group of people also grew the (sadly now defunct) indie band Seafood.

Jon and I didn’t start working together until several years later. He was in other bands which ended and I was getting nowhere fast doing stuff on my own. We had a few overlapping musical interests so it made sense for us to play around with the Venn diagram and see what we came up with. We’re still playing with the same diagram, although we have at least now coloured it in.

JB: We were lucky enough to work on the same floor side by side. In those days Erik worked as the “jazz man” and I worked in the aisle next to him as the classical expert. I wouldn’t call myself an expert really, though.

We first got together as a bit of experiment actually. We collaborated on a track for a compilation album, a set of covers for a band we both love called The Nits (which Erik introduced me to at the time – I’ve never looked back). From those small shoots grew some more experiments which eventually became CWNN.

CD: What is the songwriting process of the band?  Do you (Erik) write the lyrics and form the basis of the composition and then Jonny adds his interpretation?

ES: Essentially, I write the songs…usually on guitar. Sometimes the song title comes first, as I keep a list of possible song titles and themes. However, I’m not the most proficient musician and I don’t have any kind of distinctive playing style, because, well, I can’t really play. Squeezing the songs through Jon’s creative filter turns them into something else and unique. He has a very distinctive style and sound which are every bit as central to what is cwnn as the melodies and lyrics that I generate. During the forming process, Jon also often comes up with riffs and melodies, but rarely realises he’s done so until I point it out, by which time he’s forgotten what he’s just played. He never ever plays anything the exact same way twice, which I used to hate but now love, as I realise it keeps everything fresh. Most of the ‘beats’, if we do use any, are mine.

The exception to all these fairly hard and fast rules are the instrumentals, which Jon writes and records by himself and I then endlessly twiddle knobs on.

JB: I think in terms of the songwriting process we compliment each other a great deal, which goes some way to explaining why we work so well together. Erik loves to do the things I either don’t have the patience for or the skill. I leave the lyric writing process completely to Erik and wouldn’t begin to understand how he goes about this – I love the results and that’s what matters. The moments I love are when the song gets past its initial journey and becomes CWNN. This can sometimes happen very quickly, by happy accident or take some longer grafting, but either way the process fundamentally works for us and produces an end result that on our own we wouldn’t be capable of producing.

CD: Congratulations on the release of your new album.  How long did it take to complete?

ES: Thank you. It’s hard to say exactly. We never sit down and say ‘right, let’s record an album’. I always have a wealth of material (but an absence of quality control), so we just keep on laying down tracks. Somewhere around the sixth track we realise it’s starting to look like an album so we start to think about how it might (or might not, as the case may be) fit together. Our label, ‘Trakwerx’, put no real pressure on us at all, which curiously probably makes us even more productive.

‘Above as Below’ took a little longer than our other albums as we were waiting on the various guest contributors. By God were they worth the wait, though.

JB: ‘Above as Below’ was all in all about a year in the making, but the process of formulating the songs was much faster.

I’d like to think are quite prolific having written 5 albums now in as many years. We’re fortunate in that writers’ block doesn’t happen very often. Erik is very prolific with the initial songs and we generally can work quickly to capture and produce the final product. Of course, like any band we have our moments when things might not work immediately, but generally we’re very lucky in this respect – long may it last.

Like Erik, I think this is partly down to the wonderful support our label Trakwerx provides. They do give us complete autonomy and that freedom really does take the pressure off. The strictest deadlines are the ones we set ourselves.

Cult With No Name performing at last year’s International Pop Overthrow Festival in London.

CD: I’ve spoken to musicians before who have said that the recording process can be quite an intimidating and frustrating experience.  Do you agree with this? I’m guessing that as this is your fifth studio album, you have now both become well versed in the whole recording and mixing process?

ES: That’s interesting. I wonder if they’ve been recording in recording studios? Jon and I are lucky enough to have own small home studios, which are more than adequate for cwnn’s needs. Actually, it could well be argued that cwnn’s minimal sound is as a direct result of restrictions placed on ourselves with respect to our little set ups.

I don’t really like recording studios. The ones I’ve been in are dingy, and smell of sweat and egos that are even bigger than mine. I like the option of recording vocal parts at home in slippers and a bathrobe, with the neighbours giving me curious looks as they walk past. Also, Jon and I work separately more than we do in the same room. This immediately alleviates any tension or the danger of being overexposed to one individual, which is the cause of 90% of band break-ups, or so I keep reading.

JB: I can see that having others present could make the recording process more difficult and ultimately frustrating. I definitely think that this would compromise how we work and change the end result – the recording process for us is very much part of the writing process as well.

What we have become well versed in I think is anticipating each other more. Over time, much of what Erik writes instantly lends itself to my style and I also think I have adapted my approach with Erik’s lyrics and writing in mind over time.

CD: Over the 14 tracks on the new album, a few different musical styles can be found from synth-pop to more classical piano-led melodies.  Is this range of styles symbolic of the different influences that each of you have?

ES: I guess so, although none of it is deliberate, as such. We treat each song very individually. For example, I never process my vocals the same way twice, which helps. Jon’s playing style and sound is the glue that binds it together and stops it sounding like 14 different inferior bands, which is what it probably would sound like if he wasn’t there. I do always use other songs as very specific reference points in my mind. Just to give you an example, with the backing vocals on ‘One Kiss, Then Home’ I was trying to evoke the sound and feel of side two of Bowie’s ‘Low’ i.e. tracks like ‘Warszawa’ and ‘Subterraneans’. Aim unassailably high, I say.

JB: I think it probably is. Although, it is often some of our common ground, artists like OMD, The Nits and Laurie Anderson jump out as influences in the music. We do have some very distinctive differences in our preferences though, which ultimately is very healthy. I’m classically trained and am greatly influenced by my experiences of classical music whilst growing up, particularly sacred music. Classical music is so broad, diverse and endlessly fascinating – it has a great deal to lend and offer pop music in my view.

CD: The diversity of the lyrical perspectives on this album is also very interesting.  For example, the song “Idi’s Admin”, which is about the frustration of life as a P.A to an African Dictator, is an unusual topic.  How did you get the idea for that song?

JB: I’ll leave this to Erik as the lyrics man. I am endlessly in awe of the variety of subjects he covers though!

ES: Well, the title is a pun on Idi Amin, surely everyone’s favourite narcissistic, bonkers Ugandan dictator. Shortly after his death (and long before the film ‘The Last King of Scotland’ existed), I watched documentary on his life and wrote the lyrics based on some of his quirks (and from the perspective of his P.A.). Amongst other things, he was reputed to keep the body parts of his murdered political opponents in the fridge, and most famously adorned himself with various fictitious medals and honours. When he died in exile, it was covered up and denied for several days, which is referred to towards the end of the song…along with throwing away all his medals.

Perhaps the quirkiest thing about ‘Idi’s Admin’, is that the lyrics originally accompanied the music behind ‘Shake Hands with the Devil’, which is also on the album. It’s what Idi would have wanted. And he would have especially dug John Ellis’ brilliant guitar solo at the end.

CD: The new album includes many contributions from other artists, more-so than your previous albums.   What was the thinking behind this? Also, was it an easy process to get other artists involved?

ES: I’m very conscious of not repeating myself musically. With cwnn, I think this fear is heightened because we’ve been using broadly the same minimal set up and approach since day one. It was time to let others in, people who could sprinkle a bit of magic here and there.

We were extremely fortunate to have people contribute in the way that they did. John Ellis we’ve known for some years and has always been very supportive and kind to us. Bruce and Luc are from Tuxedomoon, one of my very favourite bands and still criminally overlooked in this country. I got to know them when I helped put on a chaotic gig for them in London some years back.

I got to know Kelli Ali through a friend of mine. We both ended up on a compilation together and she loved what she heard of cwnn. She has been incredibly flattering about what we do. When I tentatively hinted that we would love for her to do some vocals on the album she was delighted. We hope she might contribute to maybe 3 or 4 songs max, but she came back with vocals on 8! I couldn’t believe it. What she does on the album is brilliant. She also co-wrote ‘Shake Hands with the Devil’, which is probably why it’s one of the best tracks we’ve ever done.

JB: Like much of what CWNN does, I don’t think there was a deliberate decision or plan. Like Erik says, we are both very keen to never stand still and always evolve what we do. The introduction of others artists was more a case of right place, right time and an ideal way to progress the CWNN sound from our previous album ‘Adrenalin’. We are very lucky to know some fabulous artists in their own right and privileged that they agreed to contribute to the record. I think that all their contributions really benefit the songs and go some way to make the album what it is – we’re really chuffed about their involvement, and the final result.

CD: What do ‘Cult With No Name’ have in store for us in the next 12 months?

ES and JB: More collaborations, More writing. More recording. Repeat. Repeat. And a Californian tour.

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Cult With No Name’s fifth studio Album ‘Above As Below’ can be purchased from various online outlets including itunes (here) and amazon (here).



43 – ‘Paul Bevoir’ and ‘The J-PEGS’

Paul Bevoir:

www.myspace.com/paulbevoirmusic

The J-PEGS:

www.thejpegs.com

“Think of all your favorite music from the 60s – be it the intricate harmonies of soft pop Left Banke style, Merseybeat, or the bubblegummy mod sounds of The Monkees, these Londoners have got it all!”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)


34 – ‘Jax Walker’, ‘Chaser’, ‘Some Skeletons’ and ‘Wyndham North’

Jax Walker:

www.myspace.com/jaxwalker

“A culture clash, Jax Walker is a musician / producer & illustrator interweaving a deadly combo of classic Hiphop with sprawling, electronic indie. A brain blast of Pulsating Basslines, Bulletproof Beats, Trashy Keyboards and Human Voice, the most fun you can have with your own ears!

Backed by his head turning live band, Jax regularly packs out some of the most notorious haunts across the country, recent gigs include the Waterats, The Deaf Institute, Nottinghill Arts Club, Antwerp Mansion, Proud Camden, the Night & Day et al. With future ear bursting releases on the agenda, expect big things over the coming months.”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ myspace page)

Chaser:

www.chasermusic.weebly.com

(No biography info available on the artists’ website)

Some Skeletons:

www.someskeletons.com

(No biography info available on the artists’ website)

Wyndham North:

(No biography info available)


33 – ‘Cult With No Name’, ‘Evaney’, ‘SpyGenius’ and ‘Statuesque’

Cult With No Name:

www.myspace.com/cwnn

“‘Post-punk electronic balladeers’ Cult With No Name, comprise the East London duo of Erik Stein and Jon Boux.  Having been the first international signing to LA label Trakwerx in 2007 (founded by Jackson Del Rey of Californian punk legends ‘Savage Republic’), ‘Cult With No Name’s two studio albums to date – ‘Paper Wraps Rock’ and ‘Careful What You Wish For’ – have been met with considerable critical acclaim.
Leading UK music journalist Mick Mercer proclaimed the band his discovery of 2007 (with both albums sitting in his subsequent annual top ten lists), Blaine L. Reininger of genre-transcending legends ‘Tuxedomoon’ collaborated on their second album, Don Letts spun tracks on BBC6, and more recently Brett Anderson (Suede) asked ‘Cult With No Name’ to open for him for the launch of his new album.

Having provided the music for two blacker than black comedies at the Edinburgh festival (‘Moz and the Meal’ and ‘Bored Stiff’), it’s fitting that ‘Cult With No Name’ turned their attention to cinema for their first DVD release, ‘Lightwerx: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’.  Cult With No Name’s compulsive and compelling soundtrack extends their ability to instantly create evocative moods over 51 breathtaking minutes, on a journey that takes in mystical ambience, nerve-shredding distortion, popular and unpopular song, electronica, and vast, futurist soundscapes. ”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

Evaney:

www.myspace.com/evaneymusic

 

SpyGenius:

www.spygenius.co.uk

“An electric 4 piece band who use a 60s vocabulary to craft 21st century music with a postmodern twist.

If you appreciate the jangle-meistering of the Byrds and Beatles, the harmonies of Crosby, Stills and Nash and the lyrical wit of Robyn Hitchcock, you’ll love Spygenius.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s Official Website)

Statuesque:

www.myspace.com/statuesquemusic

 

 


03 – ‘Hurricane Season’, and ‘The Twisted Hearts’

Hurricane Season:

http://www.myspace.com/hurricaneseason1992

The Twisted Hearts:

http://www.myspace.com/thetwistedheartsuk