Already Heard
INTERVIEW: THE MENZINGERS
Next week Philadelphia indie punks The Menzingers release, 'Rented World,' one of the
highly anticipated records of 2014 so far. In parts, it picks up where 2012's 'On The
Impossible Past' left off but it also shows the bands growth as songwriters and musicians. We recently spoke to Greg Barnett to discuss the album, the pressure of following up 'On The Impossible Past', their forthcoming London show and the Grozerock Festival.
ALREADY HEARD RECOMMENDS: NEW CITY KINGS
Despite only forming last year, Essex rockers New City Kings have already gathered plenty of attention from their debut EP - 'Change.' Their radio-friendly rock sound that has seen them compared to a range of bands; Foo Fighters, Deaf Havana, and The Gaslight Anthem.
Already Heard spoke to Mark Kovic to find out more about New City Kings.
VERSUS: ALKALINE TRIO - 'FROM HERE TO INFIRMARY' VS. 'MAYBE I'LL
CATCH FIRE'

With their return to the UK imminent, the latest edition of "Versus" sees us putting the
focus on Alkaline Trio. Self-confessed Trio MEGA fan Jay Sullivan tells us why 'From
Here to Infirmary' is the band’s finest work. Whilst Alex Phelan explains how 'Maybe
I'll Catch Fire' is a superb example of musical catharsis.
POP-PUNK A&R: BOSTON MANOR
12 months from releasing their debut EP, we speak to Blackpool pop-punk/emo
quintet Boston Manor to discuss their influences, achievements so far and thoughts on their contemporaries.
ALREADY HEARD RECOMMENDS: EMPLOYED TO SERVE
With their latest EP 'Change Nothing, Regret Everything.', Woking five-piece Employed
To Serve have produced 12 minutes of frantic, unrelenting hardcore that finds the band somewhere between The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Chariot. We spoke to Justine from the band to find out how the band has transitioned from a duo to a quintet and she discussed
being part of the Holy Roar! roster, they chaotic yet contained live shows and more.
ALREADY HEARD TOUR TALES: HORNETS - MARCH 2014 UK TOUR
In the latest edition of our "Tour Tales" feature, Irish doom-punk band Hornets talk us
through their recent UK tour where they played 8 shows in 7 days.
EXCLUSIVE EP STREAM: WALLEATER - WALLEATER
Leeds-based four-piece Walleater are set to digitally release their debut self titled EP next Monday (14th April) through Close To Home Records. We've got the exclusive first play
right here on Already Heard.
FIVES: MUST HEAR APRIL 2014 RELEASES
As festival season fast approaches, a wealth of notable album releases are happening
in the coming months. We take a look at five must hear releases for April.
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND (03/04/2014)
This edition of SFTW includes a heavily hyped Canadian punk band, a Philadelphian
lo-fi emo band and a brand new punk rock trio from the States who have recently released their first song.
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: LEWIS JOHNS (PRODUCER)
In the first edition of our new "Industry Insight" feature, we talk to producer Lewis Johns
to find out his beginnings, his recent work with Funeral For A Friend, and Southampton's
Ranch Production House.


Festival Preview: Hit The Deck 2014 - 10 Must-See Bands

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As the festival season rolls on, this weekend the Hit The Deck Festival returns for its fourth outing. The duel-city, multi-venue event will once again be split between Bristol and Nottingham, and once again it promises to be another memorable Easter weekend with a overwhelming line-up.

As always with over 40 bands playing across 6 stages, the Already Heard team has picked out 10 must-see bands to see at this weekend’s festival.

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Brand New
You have to admit the organisers behind Hit The Deck Festival have outdone themselves in terms of main stage headliners this year by bagging Brand New. Although there’s still no sign of new material, it’s certain that the Long Island, New York band will produce a career-spanning set that will leave festival-goers overwhelmed and more than satisfied. (SR)

Where & When: 20:30 at O2 Academy 1 (Bristol)/ 21:30 at Rock City - Main Hall (Nottingham)

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FIVES: Must Buy Record Store Day 2014 Releases

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This Saturday the 2014 edition of Record Store Day takes place. Since its launch in 2008, Record Store Day has bought together music fans, bands and record stores to celebrate the culture of independent stores by releasing limited, one-day only releases.

Since its inception, Record Store Day has seen a wealth of rare releases on a yearly basis. This years lengthy list includes Green Day, Mastodon, Nirvana, Slipknot, Sikth and many more.

For this edition of "Fives", we’ve took on the tricky task of highlighting five “must buy” Record Store Day 2014 releases. To help us out, we’re pleased to welcome Jon Tolley from Banquet Records as a guest writer.

Jon along with Already Heard's Heather Robertson and Mikey Brown, have picked out 5 essential Record Store Day releases.

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Set Your Goals - The Reset Demo: 10 Year Anniversary Edition
Marking ten years since it’s release, it’s the SYG ‘Reset’ demo. A band that means a lot to us, as we put out a split of theirs and helped out on their first tour, the songs on here remain a highlight of the band’s sets ten years later. It gets the RSD treatment through via etched coloured vinyl in a die cut sleeve. Definitely grabbing one of these myself. (JT)

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Already Heard Track Guide: Oh Captive - Advance Creature

Later this month rising Bristol quartet Oh Captive release their debut EP - 'Advance Creature'. With their mix of alt-rock and post-punk, Oh Captive have been compared to the likes of Coheed & Cambria, Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic.

'Advance Creature' offers four slices of refined and stirring alt-rock that puts them on the list of “ones to watch” in the coming months.

To give you a preview of what to expect from 'Advance Creature, vocalist Tim Kelly from the band has provided Already Heard with this detailed track-by-track guide to 'Advance Creature.

If your band would like to set up a ‘Track Guide’ feature for Already Heard, please email Sean Reid.

Beds of Many Ghosts
'Beds' is my personal favourite track from the EP. The speed at which the track came together made us realise that we were all on the same page musically, so the writing process was quite exciting for us. The song has a lot of energy which makes it great for us to play live too. The EP itself focuses a lot on my experiences and 'Beds' is about one person in particular. I won’t name them, I’ll just let everyone I know get paranoid instead.

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Already Heard Recommends: New City Kings

Despite only forming last year, Essex rockers New City Kings have already gathered plenty of attention with a sold out London headline show under their belt along with an appearance at last year’s Bestival event.

Now having released their debut EP 'Change', the four-piece made up of brothers Mark (lead vocals/guitar) and Ben Kovic (lead guitar/vocals), Charlie Roberts on bass and drummer Ben Nyari, are ready to continue their rise.

'Change' showcases the bands radio-friendly rock sound that has seen them compared to a range of bands and artists; Foo Fighters, Deaf Havana, The Gaslight Anthem and John Mayer. It also sees them working with acclaimed producer Romesh Dodangoda.

With new material already in the works along with summer shows, Already Heard spoke to Mark Kovic to find out more about New City Kings. The vocalist discussed the bands beginnings, the importance of playing live, and more.

Already Heard: First off can you introduce yourselves and your role in New City Kings?
Mark: I’m Mark Kovic and I’m the singer and guitarist in New City Kings.

AH: The band only formed last year. Can you bring us up to speed on events of the past few months?
Mark: We’ve basically locked ourselves in the studio working on new material, aside from that we’ve been allowed out of the darkness to play a few festivals and shows, we’ve also just rounded up our first UK support tour.

AH: How did New City Kings come together?
Mark: Me and my brother wrote and produced a song to enter into a radio station to win a slot at a festival. We won the thing but didn’t have a band, so 15 minutes on Gumtree and the first two guys who walked through the door were in the band - and we never looked back. They’re our brothers now.

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Pop-Punk A&R: Boston Manor

This edition of "Pop-Punk Approved & Recommended" focuses on Blackpool pop-punk/emo quintet Boston Manor. The band released debut EP 'Here/Now' a year ago (almost to the day) and in doing so showcased an introspective and considered blend of thoughtful alternative rock, spiralling melodies and pop-punk riffs. Since then the band has also put out a split with hardcore/punk quartet Throwing Stuff. Already Heard had a chat with Henry Cox about the band’s influences, achievements so far and thoughts on their contemporaries.

AH: Did the environment you grew up in help or hinder/encourage or discourage you pursuing a career in music?
Henry: In a sense, both. There’s no scene whatsoever in Blackpool so we rarely got to go to, or play any local shows. But there have been some really great bands that we knew that came from our area, Me Vs Hero and Outl4w to name a few; I suppose that showed me that it was possible. At the same time, there really is very little going on where we’re from, so forming a band was just something to do that got us out of the area. How terribly clique.

AH: What is your proudest achievement as a musician?
Henry: I don’t think there’s been one definitive moment. We’ve had the opportunity to play with some of our favourite bands, that’s been really cool. I’m a big fan of Citizen, so when I found out we were supporting them that was definitely a proud moment. I think when we finished our first proper UK tour as a band, and were still intact. That was the moment when we realised we were a proper band, not just a bunch of mates dicking around playing random shows. That was quite a proud moment.

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Versus: Alkaline Trio - ‘From Here to Infirmary’ vs. ‘Maybe I’ll Catch Fire’

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With their return to the UK imminent, the latest edition of "Versus" sees us putting the focus on Alkaline Trio.

Since forming in 1996, the Chicago band have released 9 albums under their belt. Add to that several EP’s, and forming a handful of side-projects, and you’re left with a dense discography with plenty to pick from.

With the band’s roots firmly in the punk/hardcore Chicago scene, the partnership of guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba and bassist/vocalist Dan Andriano has been the core ingredient to the band’s punk rock sound.

Alkaline Trio are one of the most influential punk rock bands in recent years, and for this installment of "Versus", two members of the Already Heard team have picked out a classic Trio album each with the belief that there chosen album is the band’s best. To begin with self-confessed Trio MEGA fan Jay Sullivan tells us why 'From Here to Infirmary' is the band’s finest work. Whilst Alex Phelan explains how 'Maybe I'll Catch Fire' is a superb example of musical catharsis.

What do you consider to be Alkaline Trio’s best album and why? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

From Here to Infirmary (by Jay Sullivan)
Alkaline Trio
are my favourite band, I’m a full-on logo tattooed, card carrying Blood Pact member so I could have argued for any Alkaline Trio album as their best (except maybe the unspeakable 'This Addiction'). However, for me ‘From Here to Infirmary’ stands out as their finest, displaying the right balance between the band’s more punk-orientated older tracks and their poppier latter material.

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Already Heard Tour Tales: Hornets - March 2014 UK Tour

In the latest edition of our "Tour Tales" feature, Irish doom-punk band Hornets talk us through their recent UK tour.

The quartet were over in the UK in support of their recent 'No Faith' EP. It’s a riff-filled release that is drenched in darkness and despair.

Whilst they were in the UK, Hornets played 8 gigs in 7 days covering a total of 1350 miles. Here’s what the band got up to…

If you would like Already Heard to promote and sponsor your tour/show or set up a “Tour Tales” feature, send an e-mail to info@alreadyheard.com for more information.

Sunday 23rd March – Sheffield
First date of the tour, we played in a really cool DIY punk venue called the Lug Hole. The venue is run by a collective of people who are big into the punk scene within Sheffield. Its great to see people getting together like this and taking the initiative to promote and run their own shows. It was a pleasure to be part of their DIY ethos and share a stage with like-minded individuals.

Max, the promoter, and his girlfriend Judy were kind enough to offer us a bed for the evening. When we got back to theirs after the show they had cooked us up some seriously tasty potato soup and dumplings!

Monday 24th March – Milton Keynes
Day 2 of tour and we found ourselves in Wolverton, Milton Keynes. The venue was called the Craufurd Arms, a rock/metal bar owned and run by another dude called Max. We had plenty of time to kill after arriving as the drive from Sheffield was pretty short, we found a skate park and did our best to lay down some hammers before the park was invaded by the army of local scooter fucks.

After the show that night we had time to unwind and chill in the bar after hours with owner Max and the bar staff. After a few beers and games of pool, one thing led to another and before we knew it we were all straw-pedoing bottles of Smirnoff ice haha. Rock and Roll baby.

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Already Heard Track Guide: Kate’s Party - Hollow

Recently Dublin band Kate’s Party released their debut album - 'Hollow'. Combined by their love for 90’s pop-punk, 'Hollow' takes that influence and mixes it with an indie pop flavour.

Sarah Corcoran from the Irish four-piece took some time out recently to give us a track-by-track walkthrough on 'Hollow' especially for Already Heard.

If your band would like to set up a ‘Track Guide’ feature for Already Heard, please email Sean Reid.

When we originally decided to record this set of songs, we intended it to be an EP, but as the studio date drew closer we realised we had enough songs for an album and so decided to record 'Hollow'. It was recorded over 7 days in a shed in Co. Wicklow in Ireland and we pushed our creative boundaries experimenting with different styles of recording than we were used to, and even playing different instruments which were out of our comfort zones. We are really happy with how the album turned out and I think our growth and maturity is evident as the album progresses. The last three songs written were 'Cougar', 'Welcome To Seahaven' and 'Hallenbad' which are our favourite tunes on the album.

Welcome to Seahaven
Even though this is the first track of the album, it was the last track to be written. Sarah brought the idea forward around a year ago, but it just wasn’t coming together properly. We took it apart, switched it around, messed with the tempo, but in the end we had decided to leave it. But at the start of January, we decided to blast through it again, and it all seemed to click and fall into place.

The name of this song is derived from ‘The Truman Show’, and the lyrics are inspired from it’s idea of being watched, and nothing being as it seems. This track is one of our favourites, it’s unusual because there is only 1 verse at the start of the song. With sharp stabbing guitar, followed by its slow drawn out notes for the chorus, it’s a song that is constantly changing throughout and keeps you on your toes.

Pockets
This song has an upbeat and positive vibe, driven by bass throughout the verses, it’s almost Alkaline Trio-esque in that it sounds upbeat but it’s not about the ‘good time vibes’. It’s a fun catchy song, using delay, guitar riffs and a feel good bass line that all slowly fade out in a Jimmy Eat World style instrumental ending.

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Something For The Weekend (03/04/2014)

Our resident "Something For The Weekend" writer Rosie Kerr is back once again with three more slices of musical goodness for your weekend listening pleasure.

This edition includes a heavily hyped Canadian punk band, a Philadelphian lo-fi emo band and a brand new punk rock trio from the States who have recently released their first song.

If your label, band or company would like to become a guest writer for Something For The Weekend - contact Sean Reid to find out more information.

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PUP
FFO; Loud guitar punk with passion

PUP are 4 Tornoto punks who play loud music, very well. They’ve been recently getting amazing press from everyone who listens and rightly so. Their debut self-titled has been out in the homeland for a little while now, but for the rest of the world the planned release is April 8th via Side One Dummy. You can listen and download one track from their record titled ‘Reservoir' for free, so, you know, do it already. Jump on the hype train because for once, the band is worth it.

PUP links: Bandcamp|Facebook|Twitter

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FIVES: Must Hear April 2014 Releases

British Summer Time is here and with it comes the month of April. As festival season fast approaching, a wealth of notable album releases are happening in the coming months.

As always the first Wednesday of every month sees the Already Heard team picking 5 must hear releases for the coming month.

What album and EP releases are you looking forward to hearing this month? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

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The Menzingers - Rented World
It is no surprise the follow up our 2012 Album of the Year ('On the Impossible Past') makes it on to this edition of "Fives". Nevertheless 'Rented World' is set to meet expectations as Philadelphia’s The Menzingers have once again produced a stellar collection of punk songs filled with wisdom.

Tracks like 'My Friend Kyle' and 'The Talk' are nostalgic whilst lead off single, 'In Remission' perfectly captures a central theme of 'Rented World'; questioning the future and becoming more thoughtful. On top of that 'When You Died' offers a fitting and sombre conclusion.

With a one-off UK show taking place at the end of the month to coincide with its release, the return of The Menzingers is one that is welcomed with open arms.

'Rented World' by The Menzingers is released on 21st April on Epitaph Records.

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Already Heard Recommends: Call It Off

For many the Netherlands is best known for clogs, coffee, and cheese and it’s not everyday you hear many pop-punk bands from the country, but that’s all about to change with Call It Off.

The Eindhoven four-piece’s latest EP, 'Liars' offers five slices of pure three-chord pop-punk that pays homage to US acts such as Green Day and Alkaline Trio. Tracks like 'Famous Last Words' and 'Stuck with You' are tight, fun and catchy to the point you can’t help but feel good.

With a clear influence for “old school” pop-punk, Call It Off are set to support current genre heroes The Wonder Years in the coming weeks before touring Europe and China.

We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Maurice Bolier to find out what makes three chord pop-punk so good, the music scene in the Netherlands, and more.

Already Heard: Let’s begin by finding out Call It Off are. Can you introduce yourself and tell us your role in the band?
Maurice: My name is Maurice and I sing and play guitar in Call It Off.

AH: How would you sum up the bands sound?
Maurice: We write Pop Punk/Punk Rock songs influenced by the likes of: Alkaline Trio, Starting Line and more.

AH: From hearing 'Liars', I get the impression “old school” pop-punk is a big influence?
Maurice: Yes most definitely, we grew up with the whole 90’s/00’s pop punk wave. And the love for that type of music is what brought us together a a band. Our aim was to make music the way the bands did in that era.

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Pop-Punk A&R: Save Face

This week’s edition of Pop-Punk A&R sees Already Heard talking to New Jersey pop-punkers Save Face. Delivering an urgent and unapologetically raw sound, Save Face have just released their new EP, 'I Won’t Let This Take My Life'. The new record sees the band deliver a substantially heavier product; combining the energetic pop-punk riffs of 2013’s 'Lost At Heart' with a distinctly more hardcore vocal delivery. Whilst by no means abandoning all melody, it is a clear change and welcome variance in direction for the New Jersey quintet. We sat down with lead singer Tyler Povanda to discuss the band’s origins.

AH: Did the environment you grew up in help or hinder/encourage or discourage you pursuing a career in music?
Save Face: I would say it helped.  We were exposed to a wide variety of music that inspired us to pick up instruments.  By surrounding ourselves with friends into music as much as we were it certainly set up our futures of playing in bands.

  

AH: What is your proudest achievement as a musician?
Save Face: One minute into our first song during our first show ever, a kid broke his nose from moshing. The fact that kids were getting that into our music at such an early phase was something we always thought was very awesome. (The kid made a quick recovery).

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Already Heard Track Guide: Red Seas Fire - Confrontation

On April 7th, Bristol trio Red Seas Fire release 'Confrontation', the second part of their 'Mise En Scène’ EP trilogy. The follow up to 'Exposition' sees Red Seas Fire four-tracks of dominating riffs, melodic layers, and sonic ambience. Whilst as the band explain in the following track-by-track piece, 'Confrontation' lyrically picks up where 'Exposition' left off with a compelling ebb and flow theme.

Read on to find out more about how 'Confrontation' came together and its overall narration.

If your band would like to set up a ‘Track Guide’ feature for Already Heard, please email Sean Reid.

The recording process:
In adherence with our usually DIY recording ethic, ‘Confrontation’ was to be no exception. Drums we’re recorded live over one grueling 12-hour session, in a dance studio belonging to The Vatican Studios in London, located under a railway track. There were moments when we feared the rumbling of the train passing overhead would spill in to our microphones but there were more pressing concerns. Monitoring from the hallway outside we tracked, fueled by energy drinks, coffee and a recent ‘Five Guys’ takeout.

Guitars and Bass were tracked at Robin’s home studio in the North Yorkshire countryside a couple of days later. Robin then recorded vocals and all was sent off to our buddy in CA Jeff Dunne (Atilla, Cephalic Carnage, and Born of Osiris) for the mixing and mastering.

1. Tyrants
This was the last track written for the EP, despite being the first track on the release. In the demo stages it’s spot on the EP was taken for a long time by another partially written song, but after losing inspiration for how the piece would progress, it was replaced with 'Tyrants'.

Our guitarist Pete has been composing the songs for our EP’s with a directional narrative, the way he describes it is sort of like writing a score to a film, something that reflects the emotional flow of a storyline. The part of the storyline where 'Tyrants' comes in would be the section in the movie where we are introduced to the Antagonist, as such 'Tyrants' is an unrelentingly heavy song that arrives and gives us a concise and clear example of what is in store.

This song for us turned out better than we expected portraying the raw, more aggressive vibe we were going for. We’ve been performing it as our set opener; with the heavy rhythms and aggressive nature it’s a great energetic start to the show.

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Versus: Hot Water Music - ‘Caution’ vs ‘Exister’ vs ‘No Division’

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Since forming in 1993, Gainesville, Florida’s Hot Water Music have been an influential beating heart in the genres of punk, hardcore, post hardcore, indie rock and emo. Named after a book by Charles Bukowski, the band consists of guitarist/vocalist Chuck Ragan, vocalist/guitarist Chris Wollard, bassist Jason Black and drummer George Rebelo. Despite having broken up and reformed various times in their career, the line up has been consistent.

The most recent split was in 2006, where Ragan left the band to pursue a solo career causing the other members to restructure themselves as The Draft. Eventually, by 2008, the gruff laden quartet returned, and have been ploughing through ever since. 

There discography is filled with seven studio albums, over a dozen EPs and two live albums. They’ve been signed to the likes of No Idea, Doghouse, Epitaph, and more recently Rise Records. Yet as previously mentioned, they have an undying vast imprint on the alternative scene as we know it.

In honour of the release of Chuck Ragan’s fourth album 'Till Midnight', we at Already Heard have thought it only right to argue which of his band’s albums is best. In one corner, Jay Sullivan stands by their more recent effort 'Exister'; over the other side, Alex Phelan raises fifth LP 'Caution' on to the pedestal. Additionally, Aaron Lohan has decided to represent and argue why their earlier efforts shouldn’t be forget, which he does via a piece on third effort 'No Division'.

What do you consider to be Hot Water Music's best album and why? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Caution (by Alex Phelan)
Hot Water Music
’s decision to make Epitaph Records their new home in 2001 was a divisive one to say the least. Their first album on the new label, ‘A Flight and a Crash’, was a far more accessible release than anything they did at No Idea. The songs were simpler in structure and more tuneful than their earlier material.

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Industry Insight: Lewis Johns (Producer)

As part of our ever-growing portfolio of features on Already Heard, we’re pleased to begin a new series titled ‘Industry Insight’. The feature is set to highlight the individuals who work behind the scenes in the music industry; from public relations representatives to label owners to producers. We’ll be finding out how their interest began; what they are currently involved with; and to find out what advice they have for others interested in taking up their chosen profession.

The first edition of "Industry Insight" sees us speaking to producer Lewis Johns. In recent years, Lewis has been gradually making a name for himself as one of the names spearheading modern British hardcore. Having toured throughout the UK and Europe with The Long Haul and Goodtime Boys, Lewis has sat behind the desk of releases from band’s such as Gnarwolves, Sharks, Vales, Bastions, and more recently he has been working with Funeral For A Friend.

Johns’ interest in the producing began at an early age with his father being a key influence; "My dad was always really into recording and used to have a studio setup in our loft." Johns told us. "One of my first experiences of using the studio was apparently breaking his tape machine by switching it off and on as a toddler! When I was old enough, I started using his studio setup to record friends band’s and my interest grew from there."

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