Having finally released début album ‘Blood And Chemistry,’ we met up with vocalist/guitarist Andrew Groves to discuss the new album, being compared to Biffy Clyro and more.
Currently on tour with The Summer Set and a new EP set to be released soon, we caught
up with New Forest's Natives to talk about the new EP and album, the UK rock scene, the transition from being Not Advised to becoming Natives and much more.
This week Lansdale, Pennsylvania’s The Wonder Years released their fourth album - ‘The Greatest Generation,’ a record that sees the pop punk quintet reach their creative peak in a number of ways. With a wealth of material in their discography, Already Heard's Sean Reid and Tom Knott took on the tricky task of picking out the five best songs from The Wonder Years. Find out what we picked and let us know if you agree or disagree?
Following the release of their superb 'Signals' album, Mallory Knox have certainly become ones to watch in recent months. We caught up with the band to discuss joining Search & Destroy Records, how vital the festival season and touring are, what it feels like to be a part
of the expanding British rock scene and much more.
Over The Ocean have crafted a compelling, brooding record with their latest effort ‘Be Given To The Soil.’ With intense specific precision and delicate accuracy that echoes the likes of Explosions In The Sky and Sigur Ros. Jesse Hill from the band to discusses how the
album came together, the importance of precision, being compared to post-rock pioneers and more.
After a top ten UK album and an outstanding UK tour with festival dates on both sides of the Atlantic to follow, Bring Me The Horizon are having a fantastic 2013 and are now featured in the latest edition of "Versus." It's ‘There is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret’ vs the bands latest release, 'Sempiternal.'
Hang The Bastard are starting the second chapter of their tale. Having collated their first chapter in a collection for Holy Roar, the band recently released absolute stomper ‘Sweet Mother’ which has chilling new vocals and focuses more on the riff, steering away from the more hardcore infused sound that they started off with. They’re breaking the conventions and basically, it sounds AWESOME.
So, in the fitting Satan’s Hollow is where we found ourselves, talking to the band about their new sound, how it’s impacted the band and of course, ice cream. Apologies for the darkness but it was actually that dark. I mean, it’s Satans’ Hollow, what did you expect?!
With their latest EP, ‘Stand For Something’ set to be released in the coming weeks we caught up with New Forest band Natives at the recent Hit The Deck Festival. It’s the start of a busy period for the quintet, in addition to the EP release, the band have just completed a tour with Mallory Knox and are currently out on the road with The Summer Set before playing numerous UK festivals ending with the release of their much anticipated album later this year.
The band discussed working with longtime collaborator Duncan Howsley, the importance of being surrounded by people who care about the band, the new EP and album, the UK rock scene, the transition from being Not Advised to becoming Natives and much more.
Already Heard: How have you found the festival so far?
Andy White: Really good so far.
Jack Fairbrother: We’ve never played in Nottingham or Bristol as Natives, so we expected to play to no one particularly yesterday when we were playing this boat which was awesome but it was on the other side of the city to the other venues. We were expecting to walk out and no one to be there but there was loads of people there, and they loved it. We were expecting the same again today but by the end of the site the Rescue Room was pretty full.
AH: I heard the venues in Bristol were 10-20 minutes apart.
Jim Thomas: The one we were at was a good 15 minute walk away from the main venue.
Jack: It made it better that people seemed to know who we were and made the effort to come and see us, especially when there were plenty of other established bands playing.
AH: What bands have you watched yourself?
Jack: We saw Canterbury who were amazing.
Andy: Don Broco and a little bit of We Are The In Crowd. They were all good man. We’re trying to see a lot more today as we played a lot earlier.
Jack: We’re going to try and watch We Are The Ocean and hopefully Pure Love later.
AH: Your new EP ‘Stand For Something’ is coming out soon. What can you tell us about that?
Jack: It’s four tracks that are completely exclusive to the EP and won’t be on the album that is coming out afterwards. The single, ‘Stand For Something’, was recorded and produced with Jim Lowe at Kelly Jones’ (Stereophonics vocalist) house which was nuts! I don’t know how that happened.
It’s here! After plenty of hard work and recognition after their ‘Left Fire’ EP, Arcane Roots have finally released debut album ‘Blood And Chemistry’. And what is the blood and chemistry behind the album? Well you’ll be treated to melodies, off putting time signatures and plenty of riffs.
It would be an easy comparison to bring up Biffy Clyro, and that’s something we spoke about when we met up with vocalist/guitarist Andrew Groves before their London show on their recent tour of the UK. Other topics include the journey from ‘Left Fire’ to ‘Blood And Chemistry’ and pagan ritual tools…
Already Heard: Here we are at the Electrowerkz in London – are you looking forward to the show tonight?
Andrew Groves: I am indeed; London shows are always “the big show” for any band, because that’s where the press are, but for us it’s our home show as well, and it’s become a really special thing – kind of like sleeping in your own bed. It’s really nice that we get to go to some amazing countries, and do some amazing things and play in places we’ve never been to before, and be in hotels, and that’s fun, but after a while I can’t wait to get into my old slippers. At the same time we know it’s going to be an amazing response, and every time we play here I almost well up, just to see all these people that bought a travel card for me. It’s a very surreal and humbling experience.
Fresh from their recent tour with The Story So Far, Already Heard caught up with guitarist Jeff Wright from The American Scene at the sold out Manchester show. After conversing at length about Primark, we actually decided to sit down and talk about some more relevant topics of conversation…
Jeff discussed how the bands first UK shows have been going, growing up Berkeley, California, working with producer Sam Pura (Basement, Balance & Composure, Transit, Man Overboard) and more.
Already Heard: What is your name and what is your part in the band?
Jeff: I’m Jeff and I play guitar and do backup vocals in The American Scene.
AH: So you’re on tour with The Story So Far and Gnarwolves at the moment, how has that been?
Jeff: It’s been great. It’s been really fun and we’ve been on tour with TSSF for awhile before this too so it’s really cool to be out with our friends and meeting Gnarwolves for the first time. Those guys fucking rule! You can definitely tell, even if you didn’t know they were in a band and they walked up to you you’d be like “those guys are in a skate punk band”. Yeah I love those guys, those guys are like the equivalent to what we are in the states to other bands. We’re usually like the grungey, weirder guys on all the tours we’ve been on in the states, it’s awesome to come over and find someone who’s grungier than us.
AH: Is this is the first time you’ve been over here?
Jeff: This is the first time our band’s been over here, I’ve been here visiting before a couple of times.
AH: What are you making of the shows so far? Have they been well received?
Jeff: I feel like they’ve been as good as they could’ve been. It’s our first time here so not a lot of people have heard of us yet but it’s cool just to play and have a bunch of kids there listening and it’s cool to be overseas as it’s our dream. To just hop along the water and play shows on another continent it’s like when you start playing music as a kid that’s the first thing you think about. It’s like “okay what can I do with this?” travel to a place very far from here.
Previously known as The James Cleaver Quintet, The JCQ play melodic and frantic post hardcore/punk rock noise with plenty of sing alongs, all performed by smartly dressed men. You may remember a Lucozade advert a few years back when a band was playing ‘Buck Rodgers’ by Feeder whilst riding down a hill… Yeah, that was them. And this is now.
With new album ‘Mechanical Young’ out in June, we grabbed a hold of Jack and Maud from The JCQ to discuss the new album, the name change and 5 words to describe their new album… And that’s Baby Godzilla soundchecking. Yeah, they play REALLY loud.
‘Mechanical Young’ by The JCQ is released on 17th June on Hassle Records.
Questions by Mikey Brown (@MikeyMiracle)
The last time we caught up with the Mallory Knox boys was at Hevy Fest, where the rock five-piece where just about set to release their debut full-length ‘Signals.’ Some wouldn’t quite believe just how much the band has achieved nine months on, so we had loads to catch up on when we grabbed 10 minutes with Sam Douglas (bassist/vocalist) and Joe Savins (guitarist/vocalist) at this year’s Hit The Deck Festival.
Read on to find out more about their signing to Search & Destroy Records, how vital the festival season and touring are, what it feels like to be a part of the expanding British rock scene and much more.
Already Heard: So the last time we caught up with you was Hevy Fest last summer, how have you guys been since then?
Sam (Douglas, bassist/vocalist): We’ve been pretty busy! Since then we’ve released our debut album ‘Signals,’ which had been a long time coming; somehow and in some way it managed to get into the Top 40 Official Chart which was like the most surreal thing for us, ‘cause you know, what did we beat that week? One Direction, Jessie J…
Joe (Savins, guitarist/vocalist): We nearly took over Emeli Sandé!
Sam: Yes we nearly took over Emeli Sandé! We had a number 1 rock record that week as well; so yeah when you actually look back and you think of what that was it was insane! We also managed to go on tour with one of our favourite bands ever, Finch, we played Brixton Academy; so yeah it’s been quite the surreal 10-12 months which has been amazing.
AH: How has Hit The Deck Festival treated you so far?
Joe: Yeah Hit The Deck has been brilliant, we did it last year and when we played The Basement we never anticipated that we’d make the jump to the main stage; but to do it today and to look out to see the room so full with everybody singing it was very surreal. It was a very proud moment for us. Sam: Especially with a venue like Rock City as well, arguably one of the most prestigious venues in the UK, so yeah it kind of took us back a little bit. It wasn’t too bad and then you realise what you’ve been doing and it’s kind of like “fucking hell, we were playing The Basement and now we’re playing to a full [main] room.” It was really strange but really cool at the same time.
It’s more than safe to say that Vinnie Caruana lives and breathes music: establishing himself as a solo artist, he was the frontman of the mighty The Movielife and is now the vocalist of I Am The Avalanche and Peace’d Out; where does he find the time to commit to all of this? We were lucky enough to catch up with the man himself at Hit The Deck Festival to chat about his musical projects, how he finds the time to commit to them all and what he has planned for the rest of 2013.
Already Heard: Hey Vinnie! So how has Hit The Deck Festival treated you so far?
Vinnie Caruana: Honestly, these two shows in Bristol and Nottingham are some of my favourite UK solo shows. There seems to be a basic interest in all of the songs that I’m playing, there seems to be a really good reaction to the solo record that I’ve just released, obviously The Movielife and I Am The Avalanche songs go down really well; it’s just one big sing-a-long it’s great! I’m on cloud nine.
AH: Yes the venue here today in Nottingham was super intimate and what we loved about your set was that you asked for requests from your fans too. Do you tend to do this at all of your shows?
Vinnie: I don’t even make a setlist!
AH: Last year saw I Am The Avalanche at Hit The Deck, how does it feel to be invited back as a solo artist?
Vinnie: We actually had to cancel last year so I guess I should say that I’m glad to finally play it. We felt awful last time but it was completely out of our hands; we had some business to handle at home. So to finally do it and get this response is a dream, it’s great.
In recent years Crewe-founded quartet Blitz Kids have built a dedicated following with tours alongside the likes of Mayday Parade, D.R.U.G.S. and most recently Lower Than Atlantis. Add to that a handful of EP’s, a full-length, and their recent ‘Never Die’ mini-album, then you’ll understand why Blitz Kids have been on the cusp of breaking through the UK’s rock elite for quite some time now.
Now part of Red Bull Records, the group is made up of vocalist Joe James, guitarist Jono Yates, bassist Nic Montgomery with Matt Freer on drums. Their new single (‘On My Own’) and forthcoming second album shows a band more focused and accessible with a vibrant and driven sound that matches the bands ambition and potential.
We recently caught up with Jono to find out about the new material, joining Red Bull Records, their festival plans for the summer and more.
AH: You’re on tour with Lower Than Atlantis this month, are you using this gateway to new fans by concentrating on the new album or going with more ‘fan favourite’ old material?
Jono: We’re only playing songs from our mini-album and our new album. The material is better suited to bigger venues, and we’ve been playing the same set for about 2 years. It’s refreshing to be able to mix it up now!
AH: You have recently signed to Red Bull Records, firstly congratulations, and secondly, how do you think this will help you move forward in camp Blitz Kids?
Jono: Thanks! It’s given us a huge platform to show people what we’re about. We’ve always had a lot of ambition and now we have the resources to do exactly what we want. The freedom they give us is amazing. They understand the vision we have for the band, and back it 100% which is amazing.
AH: What was the reasoning behind joining Red Bull Records?
Jono: We’d heard nightmare stories from friends in bands about major labels taking over and dictating every little thing they did. We had interest from a few, but we really didn’t want that to happen to us. Red Bull were always top of our list. We’ve worked closely with the company for years, and for them to put the faith in us and put pen to paper is great.
Since being crowned Red Bull Bedroom Jam winners last September, Exeter rockers I Divide have been working non-stop. From recording new material to touring with Funeral For A Friend, the quintet just completed a run of headline shows alongside fellow rising UK bands The First, Anavae and Underline The Sky before returning to record their debut album while they’re also set to play the Download Festival for the second year running next month.
With so much going on and so much to look forward to, we briefly spoke to drummer Dave Mooney to catch up with the band to discuss their first headline tour, how the making of their debut album is going, and playing Download.
AH: Since we last spoke to you, you’ve toured with Funeral For A Friend and released a CD sampler. How would you sum up the past few months?
Dave: These past few months have been the best so far for I Divide! The FFAF tour was unreal, every night we played to a minimum of 500 people and the reaction we got was incredible. The album sampler was also really good for us as it gave us a chance to show people what the new songs will be like and really got our album PR off the ground!
AH: After winning the Red Bull Bedroom Jam, you joined Funeral For A Friend for an extensive tour. How were those shows?
Dave: We had a great time on that tour, we met so many new people across the country who came down to show their support and we also converted a whole heap of new fans towards I Divide!
With their latest effort ‘Floral Green,’ Kingston, Pennsylvania’s Title Fight showed the capability to add depth to their hardcore punk sound hinting at a more cathartic approach, showing the quartet are more than willing to develop and evolve their sound.
Having briefly returned to the UK for the Hit The Deck Festival before starting a European tour alongside Dead End Path and Whirr, we caught up with vocalist/bassist Ned Russin before closing the Rock City Basement stage to discuss the bands progression in sound, differences between UK and US festivals, their recent split with Touché Amoré, having friends on tour and more.
Already Heard: So you’re playing Hit The Deck headlining the Rock City Basement stage later on. How do you feel about that?
Ned Russin: It’s really weird you know. We’ve been coming to Europe for a couple of years now and we kind of realised what the festival season means over here. It’s completely different then anything in the States. It’s really an honour to come to a festival and headline a stage. We’ve never done anything like it before. It’s really cool to come to a festival and be able to do this. It’s our first time at the festival and we’re having a great time so far.
AH: Compared to American festivals, do you feel there is more variation here?
Ned: The whole atmosphere is completely different. A fest like this can happen in the States and it can be smaller with I guess “underground” bands.
AH: Would you say this has more of a community feel to it?
Ned: Yes. Just people come and they’re so used to it. There’s big festivals like Reading and Leeds, they camp out the whole weekend and kids travel from all over the country. In America there’re big festivals like Coachella and people go crazy but then there’re no smaller bands. It’s either huge or nothing, so to have something where you have every kind of genre involved over here is something really cool, and is completely different to the States.
AH: You’re playing the Rock City Basement stage, which is quite an intimate stage. How important is intimacy to a Title Fight show?
Ned: It’s one of the most important things to us. That’s where we grew up playing in places and situations like that and that’s what we’re comfortable doing. We like to be able to interact with people. As far as I’m concerned the best thing about music is that everybody is on the same level. With a big barrier I’m all for safety and for everybody being protected, I’m also just as interested in people to participate and be able to do what they feel like doing.
Back in the UK for their first headline tour, New Jersey’s The Front Bottoms are set to unleash their sophomore ‘Talon of the Hawk’ in early June. With their brand of acoustic indie/folk punk, album number two sees the duo, comprising of vocalist and guitarist Brian Sella and drummer Matt Uychich, becoming a quartet with Tom Warren and Ciaran O’Donnell joining on bass/keys & trumpets respectively. As we find out, ‘Talon of the Hawk’ is a group effort and sees the band building on 2011’s self-titled début, showcasing a fuller, more rounded sound.
Following their set at the Hit The Deck Festival in Nottingham, we sat down with the band to find out more about the new album, how the new members have changed the bands songwriting, how life on the road has influenced the record, their thoughts on the Hit The Deck Festival and more.
Already Heard: First of all how does it feel to be back in the UK?
Brian: So far, so good. Everything has been pretty amazing.
AH: These are your first headline shows here right?
Brian: Yeah, this the first time we’re playing shows, headlining them and people coming down, which is incredible.
AH: Last time you were here with The Menzingers. How was that?
Brian: That was an amazing tour too. That was awesome because that was only our second ever time over here in the UK and those shows were selling out.
AH: Your new album, ‘Talon of the Hawk’ is due out in June. What can you tell us about that?
Matt: We’re pretty stoked on it. We’re proud of it and can’t wait to play the songs.
Brian: Yeah, it’s like we’ve been playing these older songs for so long.
AH: I hear the new album is an extension of the first?
Brian: For sure. It’s the same vibe more or less. I think it’s a little developed, like naturally developed. We didn’t force anything. We’re all pretty proud of it.
AH: From hearing your set earlier, the new songs sound fuller?
Matt: Well we had Tom and Ciaran writing a lot of the parts when we were making the song, and we went down and recorded all together.
Having toured up and down the UK for the best part of ten years and with a handful of EP’s and singles under their belt, South England Indie pop-rockers Stagecoach are finally set to release their long-awaited debut full-length, ‘Say Hi To The Band’ next month. From the synth-led hooky ‘Work Work Work’ to the laid back ‘A New Hand’ to the riff-filled ‘A Kings Resolve,’ the quintet display an engaging and varied sound that emphasises the bands use of huge hooks and harmonies throughout.
Drummer Matt Emery took some time out to discuss ‘Say Hi To The Band,’ their ongoing relationship with Alcopop Records, their Record Store Day cassette release, the importance of being a touring band and more.
Already Heard: Can you tell us who you are and what you do in Stagecoach?
Matt: Yes, my name is Matt and I am drummer and occasional singer.
AH: After a handful of EP’s and singles, you’re finally releasing your debut album in the form of ‘Say Hi To The Band.’ How does it feel to finally get an album out there?
Matt: We’ve been pregnant with the album for over a year now, and I literally can’t wait to pop this thing out. I’m 98% excited and 2% nervous.
AH: With the album being called ‘Say Hi To The Band’ I guess you’re aiming the band to new fans. What can those new listeners expect from the album?
Matt: Totally, well it’s our debut and seemed quite fitting. I would say it’s quite a journey, and ventures through many moods and paces. There are tracks to party to and tracks to snuggle up to.
Napoleon hail from the Exeter region and are fast gaining a strong fan base and recognition on the hardcore scene, following the release of their ‘What We See’ EP over a year ago. Despite line-up issues, there is no rest for Napoleon and this year looks set to be a very busy one for the band with plenty of touring on the horizon and an album to produce.
In what was only their second ever interview, we stood in the back of another bands van and questioned guitarist Sam Osborn and bassist Ryan McEntee, whilst drummer James Mendoza went in search of a supermarket.
AH: The tour has been a long journey and is drawing to a close, what have you learnt from it?
Sam: That Europe is a lot better than the UK.
Both: A lot better.
Ryan: We’ve played shows in Europe to 350-400 people and it was like stage dive city, everyone was going mental.
Sam: Selling loads of merch every night and then we come here and sell on t-shirt and there’s like 20 people there.
Ryan: Playing to 20 people, yeah.
AH: Riders are better there too aren’t they?
Ryan: Yeah! We were getting pasta and pizza, full blown meals and then we come over here and get stale bread, plastic cheese and processed ham. Thank god we came back to some better food.
AH: Any particular place that stood out for you?
Sam: Leipzig in Germany, there was like 450 people there. (Looks at Ryan for verification)
Ryan: Er, yeah. Leipzig was AMAAAAAZING, one of the best sets we’ve played to be honest. There were 350 people there and literally, they were just stage diving every single second of the set and were like little old soft arses, we play soft shit sometimes and they were going mental and I was just like “That’s all right then isn’t it.”
Sam: We went to loads of new places on this tour like Sweden so it was rad.
Since 1986, Canadian punk band Propagandhi have gone from strength to strength, building on their brand of thrash influenced melodic skate punk. Forward thinking and politically active, the band are about to return to the UK for a string of dates with Comeback Kid, Shai Hulud and War on Women in support of their latest album ‘Failed States’.
We caught up with vocalist and guitarist Chris Hannah discussing their upcoming UK tour, the importance of supporting younger bands, the band’s musical consistency and growth, and the band’s admirable stance on not sacrificing their integrity.
Already Heard: Hello, who am I speaking to and can you please tell us your role(s) in the band?
Chris : You are speaking to the person inside of Reagan. my name is Chris. I am the resident idiot clown and guitarist/vocalist.
AH: You are about to head on tour for the majority of the April month in Europe and the UK. Having toured this side of the Atlantic a number of times do you know what to expect in regards to the atmosphere at shows here or does an essence of the unexpected occur on each visit?
Chris: It’s different from night to night, but not really from hemisphere to hemisphere. We always expect unbridled wildness but will accept polite, detached applause in a pinch.
AH: As well as playing with Shai Hulud and fellow Canadians Comeback Kid on the UK dates, you are taking Baltimore punks War on Women. It certainly is admirable when an older and established band such as yourselves take on younger bands especially in the punk and hardcore genres. How vital would you say it is to pass on the torch to the next generation?
Chris: I think it’s good to show people that art/ music can more than a distraction or a passtime. War on Women, specifically, are a band that not only rocks hard, but directly challenges the tired, old male-dominated schtick of a typical heavy rock show. I think they are an exciting band and am eager to see what the Old World makes of them.
For Welwyn Gardens’ post-hardcore quartet Heights their second album, ‘Old Lies For Young Lives’ marks a new start for the band. Not only is it the bands first with Alex Monty on vocals after the departure of Thom Debaere last year, but also sees the band heading in a new direction.
‘Old Lies…’ sees them shaking of the shackles of their Hardcore roots with a more varied sound that has the potential to reach a wider audience, whilst lyrically the band have matured and takes you on a journey of adolescence and discovery.
Vocalist Alex Monty spoke to Already Heard to discuss how the line-up change affect the writing of the album, how ‘Old Lies…’ is a departure for the band, working with Architects’ Sam Carter and much more.
AH: ‘Old Lies For Young Lives’ is your first release with yourself vocals. How did the change in line-up affect the making of the album?
Alex: Probably not as much as you’d think. Thom used to write all our lyrics, and now that’s done between me and Dean (Richardson - guitarist.) Other than that, the writing team is exactly the same as it was on our last release of ‘These Streets / Gold Coast’ singles.
AH: Was there any changes in the way you wrote songs?
Alex: Not massively. I mean, the end product is very different from ‘Dead Ends’ and even ‘These Streets,’ but it’s always been our goal to write music that we love and that’d we’d want to hear from an album.
AH: With your first album ‘Dead Ends’ receiving tons of praise from critics and fans, did you feel any pressure when it came to recording ‘Old Lies For Young Lives’?
Alex: In a strange way no. This is my first album with Heights so I didn’t even really think about ‘Dead Ends’ while this was being written. I think, for the other guys, this feels like a brand new band now. For a while we would say stuff like, “can we do this? Is this Heights?” But then after a while we just said, “fuck it, Heights can be whatever we want it to be, let’s do whatever the hell we like.”