Here you can find all the interviews we did:
All Aboard (DE) - October 2nd 2012
Trails (UK) - April 6th 2012
Wank For Peace (FR) - February 27th 2012
As We Sink (UK) - January 2nd 2012
Tim Vantol (NL) - October 24th 2011
Hit The Switch (US) - August 31st 2011
Beat The Red Light (UK) - June 15th 2011
Great Cynics (UK) - April 26th 2011
PJ Bond (US) - April 4th 2011
Caves (UK) - March 15th 2011
On October 16th we’ll have another punk show in Cafe Lokaal, Heemskerk. It’s been a while since we’ve had a punk night at that bar, so we thought we’d put on some amazing bands. Besides Elway (US) and Translated, All Aboard from Germany will fill our lives with some punk rock joy. We had a little chat with Marius on music, touring, partying, and all other important things in life.
Could you please introduce yourself?
We’re All Aboard!, a punkrock band from Monchengladbach, Germany. Artur plays guitar, Nils plays bass, David plays guitar and sings and I’m Marius and play drums.
Who or what has influenced your music? What are you listening to at the moment?
Just to name a few: Descendents, Black Flag, Hot Water Music, Alkaline Trio and so on. We listen to loads of the bands playing THE FEST. We’re good friends with Nothington, Red City Radio and many more in the American Punkrock scene. When we’re in the van we listen to the new THE HOLY MESS record lately. Also the latest ELWAY E.P. is pretty damn good.
What have you released so far? Anything on the shelf?
We started out with a Demo in 2010. On tape. All DIY. Than we had the Radio E.P. out in April 2010. After that we did a split 7” with a German punkrockband called Francesco. It got more professional with our first album called ‘Twelve Little Compliments’ which we released in September 2011. We’re very proud of our new baby ‘Opportunities’. It’s a 7” EP due out in October 2012. Get your hands on this sweety!
You’re touring with Elway this tour. How did that come together? What do you expect of touring with an American band?
How stuff like this comes together :) I loved the band since their 10-4 Eleanor days. A friend of mine, Ryan who plays/played in a band called SPANISH GAMBLE first showed them to me. I was really blown away. So then they came up with ELWAY and I liked it even better. Due to funny circumstances I found out that Tim, lead singer of ELWAY was playing drums on the NOTHINGTON tour last year. We played a couple of shows together and somehow he talked his boys into touring Europe. Before that it was basically Chris from Nothington, Benny from Klownhouse Tours and me talking Tim into doing that tour. I really think Elway is one of the best new ‘Fest-bands’ around. How could you not like them?
What is the best and worst thing of touring?
I guess the best thing is that you’re seeing different cities and get to know amazing people everyday. Plus the party-fact. We love partying. To us, a tour is a big party-holiday where we just do what we love. The worst thing about touring is the smell in the van after the second day. We can’t really complain about anything. Touring Europe is always amazing. You have short drives, get a warm meal and a place to sleep every night. I don’t know what else to ask for. I mean we didn’t tour longer than 3 weeks in a row yet but you get to miss your loved ones at some point already. We invented a very typical saying: Thirst is worse than home sickness.
You’re known as a hard partying band. What are your favorite drinks? Any fun party fact to share with us?
Somehow this rumor keeps coming up to us. I don’t know why. Favorite drinks are possibly beer and whiskey but at some point we’re fine with anything that’s free. There’s loads of cool stories of us partying. I just can’t remember them. I have this drunk-alter-ego called Warius. Maybe you best ask him. He doesn’t do interviews when he’s more than 1 meter away from a bar though.
Where would you still like to go with the band?
We’d all love to tour the US for once. I mean it’s like the worst thing you can possibly do with a European band but somehow we’re all curios. That’s definitely on our ‘to-do-list’.
Germany is a big country with a rather big scene (bigger than Holland). Do you think this is an advantage or a disadvantage?
That’s a hard one. I guess the German punkrock scene (at least for this kind of punkrock) is still growing. You have maybe ten good German punkrock bands. You have loads of mixed bills every night ‘cause there not many promoters for this kind of music yet. The scene is growing and we’re a part of it. That’s awesome. I feel that the Dutch scene is more connected to the UK so you get these trends or whatever you wanna call it earlier. The shows we played in Holland were awesome and there are loads of amazing bands compared to the size of the country. Another point is that Germany is big enough to do like a 10 day-tour in it. You’d not be able to do that in Holland. I just don’t know what’s better :)
You also organize shows. Why did you start doing this? What do you thin k of the whole ‘doing shows yourself’ thing?
I started with small shows like 8 years ago. Just putting on shows for my former band and friends. Somehow I ran into a couple of ‘booking agencies’ then. I made friends with them and the bands over the years and somehow they keep coming back to our hometown. The shows here are amazing most of the time. Monchengladbach is not like a big city (300k inhabitants) but then there’s like 70-150 people actually LOVING what they hear. It’s not like every show is that good, sometimes you have to pay the food you cook out of your personal pocket. But yeah, it’s a hobby. You get to know people and get your favorites bands to play in your hometown. Somehow it’s all worth it even if you don’t get any money out of it. If my shows make a profit, the money is split between the bands or I just donate to cool organizations.
Anything to add?
Thanks for the interview buddy. We’re looking forward to the show in Heemskerk as we heard a lot of stories about that place from in Leagues Apart. BRING IT ON :)
Well, that should be enough reasons for you to come and check this band out on Tuesday October 16th at Cafe Lokaal, Heemskerk, NL (20:00h, free in). Thanks to All Aboard for doing this interview.
The next N.E. show on April 22nd 2012 will feature Trails, amongst others. Trails are a UK band who have managed to create a unique sound, blending punk, pop, indie, and everything a normal person should like. They combine this all with a fresh sort of mental illness. We had the honor to ask them a few things.
Could you please introduce yourselves?
Trails consists of 4 derranged mentalists on a mission to destroy minds and melt faces wherever we go.
What/who inspires you music-wise?
We have an endless list of influences but to name a few - RX Bandits, Mars Volta and Propagandhi.
How would you describe your music and what is your music about?
Lyrically we discuss everything from personal experience to political and environmental issues that we feel strongly about. Musically we try to combine originality and accessability to the best of our abilities.
We think you are a great mix between punk and indie. Do you think you’re more punk or more indie?
What have you done so far and what will you be doing in the near future?
We’ve played with the likes of Arcane Roots, Tellison, The Computers and Gay For Johnny Depp. We’ve just recorded two singles of which one, A Turn Of Phrase, is already released. We’re planning to get an album ready either late this year or some time next year. Other than that we’re just touring as much as possible.
How did you get the ideas for your crazy videos (links: 1 , 2 , 3 )?
The dangerous depths of our deranged minds. We’re masters of delicatable brain farts.
Old school question: Do you prefer CD or vinyl?
Vinyls win for artwork and collectability whereas more people have a CD player and this makes copying the content onto your compueter way easier.
New school question: Do you think the Internet has been a positive for the music industry?
Yes and no. Yes - the ability to digitally distribute your music to the entire world as well connecting with fans, labels and booking agents. No - the abudance of bands has caused a vast saturation of the music community making it harder to stand out from the crowd.
What do you expect from your upcoming mainland tour? Any special things you’d like to do / see?
We’re just really keen to visit some new places and play to some new people. Anything on top of that is a bonus. We’ve heard some great things about shows in mainland Europe so we’re really looking forward to them.
What can we expect of your show at De Groote Weiver, Wormerveer?
110% pure rock energy with crowd interaction, some good old rowdines; and whole lot of fun
Anything you’d like to add?
Check out the video for our new single “A Turn Of Phrase” at www.wearetrails.com. We’ll have this available to buy on CD at the gig along with our EP and vinyl copies of our first ever single “All The Other Humans”
We can’t wait to see Trails live set. Hope to see all of you reading this there too. April 22nd 2012 @ De Groote Weiver, Wormerveer, NL (15:00h, 5€). Be sure to check Trails out via the link above and be even more sure to check out their videos!
It’s time for another interview! This time it’s Wank For Peace from France. These guys do quite some touring so if you don’t know them yet, you should definitely check them out. Go on and read about their name choice, Horsebites, etc.
Could you please introduce yourselves?
So we are Wank For Peace, from Angers, France. We’ve been a band since 2008. Laurent plays guitare, David Bass, Flo sings, and Antoine plays Drum. Antoine is the new one! The show with you guys will actually be his second show. We all have shitty studies and shitty jobs.
Your bandname is rather ridiculous, what’s the story behind it?
If wanking wasn’t allowed for worldpeace, what other activity/ways would you choose to gain this goal? That’s nice to answer such a question! Nobody ever asks us that in France, because people don’t get how shitty this name is!
So there is no real story… We started playing together in April, in June a friend asked us to play a show, we had no name, one of us said “Wank For Peace”, we play the show under that name, and now we’re stuck with it. We know it’s ridiculous but we don’t really care. I mean that’s just a name! If people aren’t smart enough to go beyond the name… whatever… We don’t want to get famous, we don’t want to a “hardcore credibility” name. So we’ll keep this one until the end!
And world peace isn’t something we believe in. It takes a lot of faith in mankind to believe something like this.
How has music influenced your lives? And what artists have influenced you the most?
We’ve been into music since we’re teenagers, it has always been quite important, but those last 3 years, since the beggining of Wank For Peace, pretty much changed our lives. All those places we’ve been, all those people we’ve met influenced our lives in many ways. Politicaly, Ethicaly for example. They way we live our lives back home, the choices we make, all that has been completly changed by the band! And now our girlfriends hates us.
And if we should pick artists I guess we would chose Kid Dynamite (obviously), Blink-182, NoFX, Guerilla Poubelle.
‘What Will Remain’ (link) is your first LP, can you tell us something about it? Does it have a general theme?
It is! This is a very urgent LP, we wrote the songs pretty fast, recorded the LP right after. If feel like it’s really spontaneous. I don’t know if there is really one general theme, but there is definitely some general directions. Time is one of those, the way we use it mainly. Choices is another one. How much we hate any kind of pride. I guess that this Lp is mainly influenced by our discovering of that music scene, of touring, etc. We’re still newcomers so may be it’s also a bit naive…
The artwork for your LP has been done by ‘Horsebites’ (link), one of the most popular for punk bands at the moment. What made you choose to ask him?
That was kind of a child dream. We have been listening to so many band who had a cover by him that we said “who knows may be it will be our only LP, let’s ask him”. He said yes! He is actually a very nice dude! We met him when we played with No Friends on their European tour. He drew the cover right after their tour! Richard is really amazing, he worked with so many awesome huge bands, but he cares about what he does, the fact that we met him on tour probably helped but he did it quickly and he listened every single details we had to say about the cover! I would want to say “give him some work to do” but he really is busy enough with kiss and beyonce designs.
You’re from France, unfortunately we don’t know that many good French bands in Holland. What bands from France are really worth checking out?
There are a lot of amazing bands in France, but quite often they hide in their green countryside and don’t tour that much. You should check No Guts no Glory, Birds in Row, The Traders, Zombies Are Pissed, Justin(e), The Helltons, Nina’school, Nine eleven, Can’t Bear this Party, Maladroit, Daria, One Thousand Directions, The attendants, As We Draw, Charly Fiasco, Guerilla Poubelle, Mon Autre Groupe, Pink Flamingos…. Okay this list might no be objective because lots of them friends… but still.
You toured like 10 countries, what’s the best one to play? Which one has the best drinks/food? And which one has the nicest girls (or boys, whatever you fancy)? What place do you really recommend to other touring bands?
We all had a major crush on Slovenia. The landscape and the people are so nice! We also had the best afterparty food there! The guys from In-Sane took us a place that made Cheese Bureks, amazing unclear memories about that! We also loved Hungary! I guess the more east you go, the better this is, people in France for example don’t really give a shit about punk shows anymore. And we don’t do girls, or boys. On tour we only do each other.
You have been to Holland before. What do you hate about it?
When we went to holland with the band, we arrived at 11pm, we played at midnight and we left town at noon the day after , so all we did is party at steenjwijck. So we’ve got nothing to hate about Holland except Laurent who eems to have been thromatized by all thos bikes “horning” all around when he came to Amsterdam when was 17. But what we can hate is the way french people see holland. Drugs and hookers. Shame on them!
Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for asking, and thanks for reading, all this cool adventure really means the world to us!
Wank For Peace will be on tour in March. Come and check them out on Saturday March 17th at Cafe Asgard, Beverwijk, NL with A Thousand Directions (FR) and De Aanslag.
Our first show of 2012 is coming up. It will be an all UK band night. One of those bands is As We Sink! This three piece play fast, nice, sing a long punk rock. Joe took some time to answer some questions.
Could you please introduce yourself?
I’m Joe and I play the drums, Sam is our Guitarist and vocalist and Chris is the bassist. We play punk rock music in As We Sink.
Where are you from, what have you done so far, and what are your future plans?
We are from South West of England, and we have played lots of shows around the UK, and have done a few tours and weekenders. We have a split 7” with our friends Donnie Brasco. We are coming to mainland Europe this month and we are hoping to do as many tours and shows as possible this year. Over the last few months have recorded an EP which is going to be coming out very soon, which we are all really excited about.
What are your songs generally about?
Our latest EP is about our lives. Things like making big decisions to push yourself forward, working shit jobs and earning no money while trying to make the band work. Just stuff we can relate to really.
Last November all your gear got stolen, which must have been devastating. Could you explain your feelings on this? Have you found any of the gear back?
It’s every bands worst nightmare to have their gear stolen, but we found it hard to dwell on it as we had so much support from friends, bands and promoters. There were people lending us gear, buying our merch and collecting at shows to help us out. The amount of support was overwhelming, and just shows how the scene can pull together when things go really wrong. Some of the stolen equipment turned up in a pawn shop in the city where we live, and the investigation is still going on.
Have you been to the mainland before? What do you expect from touring over there?
We haven’t been to the mainland before, but everything we have been told from other bands has been amazing and we are very excited to be playing in new places and meeting lots of new people, in lots of new places.
What is the UK ‘scene’ like? In addition to the last question; do you think it’s different to the mainland?
The UK scene is definitely getting stronger, and as I explained earlier, everyone is really supportive of each other and help out whenever people need it. I think it’s a great scene to be involved with, and can’t wait to get touring again in 2012.
As 2011 is almost over, could you do a top 10 of your 2011 albums?
In no particular order:
Bangers – Small Pleasures
Great Cynics – Don’t Need Much
Crazy Arm – Union City Breath
Goodtime Boys – Are We Now, Or Have We Ever Been
Seahaven – Winter Forever
Horrible Crowes – Elsie
Polar Bear Club – Clash, Battle, Guilt, Pride
Defeater –Empty Days and Sleepless Nights
The Wonder Years – Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing
Basement – I Wish I Could Stay Here
Anything you’d like to add?
Thank you to everyone who has shown support to us, and especially when we were going through hard times last year. It’s a new year now, and we are going to play as much as possible to new people, in new places.
We’d like to thank Joe for his answers. Please be sure to check their new EP out, we’ll let you know when it’s out. Also come down to check them out live on Wednesday January 25th in Cafe Asgard, Beverwijk (20:00h, free entry) with Fights & Fires, The Shuffle, and Truro.
He just came back from a tour trough Russia, he’ll probably be on another tour when this gets posted online. Fortunately Tim had some time to answer some questions. Read and find out what Tim has to say on touring, Antillectual, Eminor7, and more.
First of all, could you please introduce yourself? Who are you, where are you from, where are you going?
Well, I’m just a simple guy from Hoofddorp (Amsterdam) The Netherlands, I’ll try to survive on the Road as a solo guy for about 2,5 years right now, and I’m thankfull for being still on that road. At this moment of writing I’m touring Russian where I will travel around for 2 weeks, and than ill head back to Germany, Holland and than down towards South of Europe till the beginning of December.
You tour a lot. How does that go with what most of us would call “normal life”? Any plans to go somewhere you’ve never been before?
When you decide to go on tour fulltime, you can say goodbye to your normal life, your friends, the normal live pattern, actually you won’t be able to see your family that often. You have to leave most of that behind, it’s a choice you make, it’s not an easy one (well it starts easy, but soon you will see it can be fucked up so now and than). You will actually loose most of it, but at the end your real friends will support you no matter what. And luckily my parents and family are supporting me a lot, that means a lot to me. As I said I’m in Russia right now, which is not new to me as I was there earlier this year with Antillectual, but now I will visit a lot more places all over this crazy country where I haven’t been before so I’m excited. I would love to tour Australia, New Zealand and the West-coast of the States but the tickets are a bit expensive, but maybe someday.
Any great experience whilst touring you would like to share with us? Where should we go and visit, or where not?
I don’t know, there are too many stories. At every tour there will happen some great things and also the fucked up things. Although the bad things are mostly the cooler stories to tell. If you want to checkout my experiences you can visit my website (timvantol.com) and checkout my journal. Where should you go and where not? It’s hard to say, I’m a big fan of playing in Germany, those people know how to handle with the whole music scene. I love Sweden cause it’s so beautiful. I love to see new things, and actually those countries where you hardly find any luxury (east of Europe and Russia for example) it’s good to face the facts, just to know that we should stop complaining and should be happy with what we’ve got, at least those people seems to, and they live without any luxury.
As said, you’re touring endlessly, but you also run your own label Eminor7, how does that go together? Any future plans for the label? Well as soon as I’m off or as soon I’ve got some new ideas and time I will put some time in the Label, It’s not a fulltime label kinda thing, I mostly release my own stuff, I wish I could release other acts, but it’s financially impossible right now, and I’m not able to put shit loads of time into promotion for other bands. Although I would love to. I’m trying my best, and will keep on doing that. For now on the Label is split up in 3 parts, the Label music part (where I’m release the records), the Screenprinting part (where I print shirts for bands and friends, and also where I print EminorSeven shirts) and the Backseatsessions part (where Mark is doing a lot of work for, it’s a video session thing, where we put bands on the backseat of a driving vehicle and let them play an acoustic song). Beginning next year I will take some time of from touring and I’ll stay at home for a while, so I’m planning to get some bigger machines for the screenprinting stuff, and will probably try to do more with the whole label, maybe a new solo release or something. I’m really looking forward to it.
You’re Dutch, but you live in Germany, what is the biggest difference in the punk rock community between the two? What could we learn from each other?
Well the German scene is alive, and will stay alive for a while (well at least I’ve got that feeling). The People/venues know how to welcome bands and how to handle things. The kids will show up at shows on time. No bullshitting they are all there for having a good time. I seriously don’t have a clue what’s going on in Holland the last bunch of years in the punkrock community, I mean we’ve got a couple of regions where a bunch of bands try to help out and set up shows (which is really awesome), but even if they want to help out keeping the punkrock alive, most of the audience/visitors hardly seem to give a fuck, unless you are a bigger band. Back in the days there were a shitload of youth centers in Holland which were always fun to play, but where did they all go? But I think I’m not the right person to ask now, I haven’t been that much in Holland for playing shows the last years.
You played bass in Antillectual for a while. What is the most important or useful thing you learned from that time?
Well that might be the fact that there is no change that you can combine 2 fulltime projects at the same time, even if you really want to. There will be always one project which won’t get as much attention as it should get.
You’ve released your debut album “Road Sweet Road” in March 2010 and a 7” in May 2011, when can we expect something new?
Well I’m working on a split 7” with my good friend Matt Tansey, hope that will be released (by EminorSeven) at the beginning of our tour in November. That November tour will be my last tour of the year, and after that I’m planning to take off for 5 months, to write a new album, to work on the label, to do some other things, I mean I’ve been touring my ass off the last 2,5 years, and I think I should take some time off, and hopefully I will get some good inspiration to write a new album. Being on the road will also isolate you (well me I guess), it’s good to be back and just look around and see what’s happening instead of getting in the van, loading out the van, play a show, drink some beers get some sleep and repeat. And as I really can’t write on the road, it’s good to sit at home and write.
Will you ever pick up an electric guitar again? In other words, start a full band?
Oh hell yeah, I will pick up the electric guitar again (it’s laying somewhere under my bed right now, being dusty), if I’m gonna start a new band? I don’t know. It’s hard to start from the bottom, and i don’t know if I really want to do that. But maybe…. Or maybe I will call some old friends and setup a project thing. I love to be on the road with friends as a band and feel the energy as a full band, I just need some good punkrock tunes so now and than (just like the most of us).
Do you prefer touring solo or with other (backing) musicians?
I did this fullband (playing my solo songs with a band) tour last may, and that was just awesome, it turned out so well, that we decided to do it next year May again but than instead of 2 weeks, a whole month. I love it. But the reason why I went solo is because I got sick and tired of being the only dude in the band who worked his ass off, and also to arrange things for a whole band see if everybody is able to go on tour (jobs, girlfriends, family meetings etc. etc.). I love the freedom of going on tour when and where I want, and just actually do what I want to do.
Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks a lot for giving me the change to answer some questions, thanks a lot for having this blog and for setting up shows and try to keep our punkrockhearts still beating. Hope to see some faces in November while I’m playing 2 shows in Holland (1st of November – Café Lokaal in Heemskerk and 2nd of November – ACU in Utrecht).
North Empire will host a show for Tim on Tuesday November 1st at Cafe Lokaal. Come down and find out for yourself why this guy is so good live and why people love him so much. If you won’t be able to make it, check out Tim’s new 7” ‘What It Takes’ on Shield Recordings. We also want to thank Tim for his time to answer these questions, really appreciate it.
Time for a new interview. This time we’ve had the luck to have a little interview with Hit The Switch. They are currently touring Europe with Fast Motion from France. Hit The Switch is the ideal combination of political 90’s punk rock with some great hardcore influences. If you’ve never heard them before we insist you listen to the band asap.
Could you please introduce yourself and the band?
Well my name is Matthew Hawks and I play guitar while trying to sing:) original bassist Ray Rameriz now plays guitar too, new kid on the block Aj condosta rippin on the drums, and my best friend Azary Sturk plays bass!
You write songs with a meaning to it, what is the overall message you’re trying to convey?
We just want people to be aware of the world around them and how it came to be this way, the world is filled with inequality and tragedies caused by humanes, we believe this is not something that should be accepted in this world.
For us it seems America gets split up even more, kind of like Holland. Left wing politicians seem to move more to the left. Even clearer, the right wing politicians seem to move more to the right because the Tea Party has quite a strong influence now in some fields. What is your view on the political situation in America today? What do you hope will change soon?
I view America as a neglagant force in world politics and economy, I hope one day we take more pride in humanity than we do in country.
You’ve toured Europe last year, how are shows different to the ones you play in the US? What made you come back over within about a year?
Shows in Europe seem to have better appreciation for punk rock, there are too many bands fllooding the American market, very competitive. We hope to play Europe more than America:)
Your first release was on Nitro Records (The Offspring), how did you get to that and how was being on that label? On the other hand, what made you decide to release the next record yourselves?
We got lucky getting signed to Nitro because nobody knew who we were and we just sent them and they called us a month later. Unfortunately not long after we signed to that label they started doing less and less for their bands. So we learned as much as we could from them and released our second record ourselves.
Matt; you’re in Pour Habit now as well. How come you joined them? How do you divide time between the bands? Any other HTS related bands we have to check out?
Yes Pour Habit is awesome, we have been good friends for a while, we play shows together alot. they asked me to join in January and I was very excited to jam with them, it’s been an awesome time touring with them! It’s no problem being in both bands, it keeps me busy and I love doing it. Also our drummer AJ is in Jugheads revenge, old school punk rock, please check them out!
Can we expect a new HTS release any time soon?
Yes we release Ep in febuary 2012!
Any places you haven’t played yet but would love to play?
We would love to play Japan!
Anything you’d like to add?
thank you to Sweet Empire for bringing us to Netherlands! See you all next yea
And we say thanks to Hit The Switch. We’ll keep you posted on their new release, as well as touring plans for next year.
The first time you’ll hear Beat The Red Light you don’t know what the *&(^ is going on. Is this ska? Is this metal? Yes, it is, all of that! This band has found a way to blend one of the most aggressive styles of music with one of the most happy styles, and they do it well, very well. If you have seen ‘m before you know exactly what I’m talking about. We had a little e-mail chat with Pook. Enjoy the read!
Could you tell me a bit about the history of the band? How did you all come together?
The band came together in 2007. It was formed from the ashes of my old band “The Armistice” Bill (trumpet) Ed (Sax) and I (Vocals and Trombone) decided we wanted to do start something fresh and after more changes than Guns N Roses recording Chinese democracy we settled with a killer 8 piece line up, Tim (drums) G (bass) Jona (guitar) Alex (guitar) Rob (Trumpet).
We recorded our self titled e.p with Ian Wetherall who’s done Capdown, Goober Patrol and Lightyear to name a few. We then did a toured it but sadly shortly after wards our guitarist Alex left but got replaced by the killer Mike Beef. This led to another tour, which got us signed to TNS records as we did 2 gigs in front of Andy and Bev. We re-released our self titled e.p on TNS after selling the original copy of it out and went on tour again. Shortly after we then wrote and recorded our new album “Salt The Lands” which has just been released!
What would you like to achieve with BTRL?
To be honest I’m already happy with what we have achieved so anything else is a bonus! To have people saying how much they enjoy listening to the C. Ds gives me such a buzz! To watch people pitting,dancing and shouting along to the lyrics is an absolute buzz. I still cant get over how much of an awesome response we are getting! Were getting 5 out of 5 c.d review from some of our favorite magazines, the whole things nuts!
Playing metal and ska isn’t the most heard combination, how did you get to this combination?
I wanted to combine my favorite (and most energetic) styles of music which are Metal and Ska, Metals great to really throw yourself around too, its adrenaline fueled and packs some of the most dramatic and aggressive moods in music. Ska is on a complete different spectrum. Its fun, rhythmic and easy to dance to, happy (if you wish to play it that way?) and when executed goes down a storm!
I wanted to play in a band where there are no rules! you can play any genre you like! I love grind, I love beat downs but I also love ska, so why the hell not!!
A new album is coming up “Salt The Lands”, what can we expect?
Death Metal, Grind, Thrash, Ska, Reggae and pig squeals all mashed up in a can! Think Cannibal Corpse meets Voodoo Glow Skulls!
What are the songs about? Is it hard to choose what feeling you want to convey? (As you are mixing a few completely different genres)
Well there’s a bit of everything in there! There is a anti homophobic song called “Gomorrah” and Anti Cocaine song called “Bleeding Nose” then there’s the title track “Salt the Lands” is a tongue in cheek song about church burning, sacrificing virgins and going on a killing spree and a Zombie survival guide called “Solanum” so it does range quite a bit!
This is going to be your first time touring the mainland right? What do you look forward to? Playing to new faces, and seeing what they’re reactions are, sight seeing, I’ve heard its a pretty amazing place to do shows so I cant wait to see how we go down! The thing im most looking forward to though is see my bro who I haven’t seen in a long time! (Jort!)
In Holland ska punk used to be big in the late 90’s/early 00’s, how is that in the UK? Have you seen it changing? How is ‘the scene’ at the moment?
Ha ha ha ha yeah sounds like the UK! Ska was big late 90’s but I guess people just found it too cheesy! Its great though as Metals pretty big over hear so we get to jump on those bills! I love looking at peoples faces when they see the brass section only for them to receive and audio smack in the face!
What do you like to do when you’re not busy with music in any way?
I like to see my girlfriend, watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, pick my nose and party hard!!!
How’s the weather in Wycombe?
Rain/Sunshine/Rain/Sunshine/Hot/Cold/Rain/Hot!!! It cant make its bloody mind up!
Anything you’d like to add?
Check out our tunes! http://www.reverbnation.com/beattheredlight
Thank you so much for putting us in your zine!!! Big love to all from the BTRL camp!
Beat The Red Light will be touring Europe in July alongside Stand Out Riot (UK). Be sure to catch them somewhere. We are putting them on at Cafe Lokaal, Heemskerk, NL on Tuesday July 5th. For all of you Facebook users out there check out all their dates over here.
Cynics is a great acoustic driven band from the UK. Always in for a party and the songs will be stuck in your head for days, which in this case is a good thing! North Empire had a few questions for Giles. Also in the band are Bob (drums) and Anna (bass).
Could you please introduce yourself first?
Giles Bidder. I play guitar and sing in Cynics, which was originally a solo acoustic thing.
Always the most cheesiest question to ask, but why are you called Cynics?
Anyone who starts a band or zine/comic/anything creative, there are always people who doubt you and tell you it’s never going to go the way you want it to. Calling it Cynics was my way of saying that no-one has the right to tell you what you can or can’t do.
What have you done before and what has made you decide to go acoustic?
It’s no longer acoustic, Cynics is now a three piece band. I decided to start it as an acoustic thing cos I had just moved to a new town after where I didn’t know very many people to start a band with. I had an acoustic guitar, I learnt some chords and starting writing songs that sounded pleasing to me. It was never an official decision or whatever, it was just conveniant, fun and stress free. Before all that I played trumpet in a ska band.
So you’ve been in bands before, went acoustic, what made you want having a band again?
Late last year I had an album’s worth of songs written and I figured if I didn’t record an album soon then I never would. I practised with a drummer and it made the songs sound a whole lot more fun, so we kept it that way. We’ve never had an official plan, we’ve just done what feels natural.
What are your songs about generally?
Just things that create a spark in my head. I sing about what I know or what matters to me. I’m not big into metaphors or anything like that.
Do you have any plans for a full length?
We recorded our first album in January which is coming out in June. We recorded it with Peter Miles, who’s produced some of my favourite bands like The Steal, Captain Everything! and The King Blues.
What do you expect from touring the mainland?
Apparently promoters there are very hospitable, so I think I’ll be saying “thank you” a lot. I would also really like to find some lakes along the drives to go swimming in.
What is your aim in music?
To show that anyone can do what we’re doing and to share our music with as many people as possible while seeing as much of the world we can.
Is there anything you would like to achieve?
My general aim in life is to never have a real job.
Any fun stories about fun people/situations you’d like to share with us?
Most stories I have will probably make me appear like a huge weirdo and/or criminal. But the other night a female friend pissed all over me down a back alley in Camden.
Anything to add?
We’ve had a lot of luck recently, so thanks to everyone who has had their part in that. Our album is out in June, so get hold of it and email us to play in your town and get us on tour. You can download Dave & Angela, a 3 song sampler from the album, for free/donation at; www.kindlikerecords.com- tell your friends and keep on keeping on.
Cynics will be on tour as a full band throughout mainland Europe soon, accompanied by Bad Ideas (UK). North Empire will be putting them on (with Translated) May 17th at Cafe Lokaal, Heemskerk, NL. Check out the other dates / free downloads / other info over at: http://ihatecynics.tumblr.com/
PJ Bond probably is the kindest person you’ll ever meet. Besides that he writes some real great songs. Touring the world relentlessly we caught up with him in Holland to ask him some questions. This is what he had to say:
Please tell us a bit about yourself first. Who are you, where are you
from, and what do you do?
My name is pj bond and i write songs and travel around singing them. I’m originally from new jersey in the US, but I gave up my home in April 2009 and have been roaming around the planet making friends and singing songs ever since.
What made you love music?
That’s a tough question. I’m not sure anyone can fully articulate why they love things, just maybe what they love about those things. I just know that music always made me feel something I’ve never been able to find anywhere else. Perhaps music taps into something deeper inside me than most things are able to. It helps me make sense of my emotions, forces me to confront things about myself and others, to explore, to open up. But I suppose on the basest of levels, music taps into our pleasure centers, and I am a man who appreciates being stimulated.
As far as specific bands, well, as a young boy I loved guns n roses, but when I finally understood nirvana, all bets were off. If before I was very interested in music, at this point I become obsessed.
You’ve left all the stuff you own to tour the world. What made you
decide to do this?
It was a bit of a gradual thought process that culminated in one final swipe of a decision. First, I had been touring loads as a hired musician and feeling incredibly disconnected and disheartened. I was playing to more people than I ever had, was making more money than I ever had and was miserable.
During this time my mother got hurt and she lived close to where I would occasionally work when not on tour, but all of this was an hour from where I lived. Since i was touring so much she and my dad would always ask me to visit when I was home. Around this time they also planned to sell their house and travel for a bit before buying a new one. I had to deal with my hired musician job, move my stuff from childhood out of their house and since my mom got hurt she needed a lot of help. So I got rid of my apartment, moved into my parents house for a few weeks to help my mom and get rid of all of my stuff, all while planing the next few months of touring. Then on April 15, 2009 I set off for tour and by the time I’d come back through new jersey my family was gone. It was a pretty surreal feeling but it was something I felt I needed to do to really pursue my heart and live life the way I felt it deserved.
What job(s) do you have when you’re home?
In the last two years I’ve only really had a few jobs. In the first few months I did a three week tour selling merch for a band, then in the summer of 2010 I worked about 70 hours a week for two and a half months. I worked full time in a screen printing shop which was incredibly hot and then id leave there and go work in a kitchen which was also incredibly hot. But, other than that I’ve scraped by on a mixture of selling things, playing music and some credit cards.
You love vinyl you said, but because of touring you don’t have a place
to keep it. How is that for you?
It’s definitely a bummer that I can’t collect all of the records id like to by bands I’ve met and love but that’s one of the many things I’ve had to give up and it’s not so bad. Usually im ok with it because i know all of the great things i get to do because im less tied down. However, It affects me the most when I see other peoples awesome collections and we sit around listening to records together. That’s when I most miss it and wish i had ability to do that.
The last year you’ve toured all over Europe are there any specific
place(s) you recommend? Maybe a nice/weird/curieus anecdote you’d like
to share with us?
Well I fear that by talking about some places I’ll be implying that i didn’t like others or I’d neglect to mention some people I really love. In the interest of answering the question I’ll say that I really love Swansea, wales. They have an amazing scene with incredible people and awesome bands. I’ve played there 5 or 6 times and it’s always different and always rad. The guys who run the venue mozarts are awesome, Trev and the swfu kids really work their butts off to book great shows, make cool flyers/posters, promote well and take care of everyone, bands and show-goers alike. It’s a rare place that has really become like a second home to many people, me included. Oh, and my buddy Al built a tiki bar in his backyard, so you really can’t beat that.
I also really love austria and named my most recent record for it.
As far as anecdotes/stories go, well there’s loads. A short list would include:
- ive been told that I’m not allowed to be sober in hillentrup, Germany.
- I have a swfu tattoo for wales and a Hillentroopers tattoo for hillentrup.
- once while playing in oberwart, Austria I broke two strings in one strum halfway through my last song. So I took off my guitar and just sang in everyones faces. They then picked me up and forcibly crowd surfed me. That was pretty amazing.
- i did my first euro tour mostly on trains and once while in Germany I got on a sleeper train that split halfway through the night and I was on the wrong half. Luckily I’d been worried something would mess up and eventually was able to get off and reroute. I was sick and heading from the south of Germany to groezrock in Belgium. After an almost 15 hour travel I showed up to find out my name wasn’t on the list. I basically just bullshitted them until they gave me a pass and let me in to find my label and friends. After playing two impromptu sets and with no voice I scammed a tent and sleeping bag and kind of slept in the near freezing night before getting up and hitching a ride to the UK. Oh, the beauties of touring without transport.
On your “Alphabetical” record you recorded with a band. Do you, or do
you ever see yourself, tour with a band?
I did one tour for two weeks with a band. We were called “pj bond and some motherfuckers.” it was amazing and we sounded really good but it was a holiday for two of the guys and the other is in a band with my brother. The way I look at it is that I love making records with other people on them but for now its easier to tour alone. Some day I’d love to tour regularly with a band, especially in Europe. I really think that would be a very different and very enjoyable experience.
Most of your songs deal with personal or social subjects. Do you think
you’ll ever switch to writing songs with a different topic, i.e. more
I think that people who write the best songs are the ones who write about the things they feel most interested in. I am interested in politics, but not as much as I should be to write well about it. There are so many people writing really interesting, exciting stuff that deals with politics, and they do it in ways I feel are much stronger than i could. That being said if I felt specifically strong about something where I thought I could articulate it well I’d be happy to do it. Also, as you say, I write a lot about social things, which at times is very much social/personal politics. I haven’t released them all, but I’ve written on subjects like homophobia/coming out, sexual/physical abuse, self hatred/mutilation and I think these are incredibly important things to talk about.
Above all, I try to write good songs about things that matter to me, because I feel by being the most honest I can be I will achieve the best I can and set a good example. Hopefully others will see this and write/talk about the subjects they feel most passionate about and if so we will end up with a variety of important issues and less people faking feeling things because they think it’s cool or that they’re supposed to. The more honest we can be, the better, I think.
Is there anything you’d still want to do musicwise?
I want to do everything with music. This year I plan to start a heavy/rock band, release some quiet music, write more and better songs and do as much as I can. It’s a bit hard while traveling all the time but we will see what happens.
Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for asking me to do this. It’s a pleasure and an honor to get to think about and talk about what I do with people i care about.
Also, I think the world is filled with good people who want to do good things, but I also think we sometimes get side tracked by what we think we “should”’ do or what we think others say we should do. Be honest, be quiet, listen. Feel good about what you do. Be passionate, don’t settle, love lots and dont be afraid. Get in touch if I can help. One love, pj.
PJ just recently toured Europe and released his latest album “22 April: Vienna, Austria” on Shield Recordings. Be sure to pick this up and to see PJ live when he’s playing a town near you, which will be soon probably. Here’s his website.
Caves is a great, full fun, melodic, female fronted, punk rock band from Bristol, UK. About to embark on their second lengthy European tour, we thought it was a nice idea to ask them a couple of questions. Dave and Lou were happy to answer them for us, besides the two, Minty is also in the band to add a little bass to it all. Enjoy the interview and be sure to catch them live!
Could you please introduce yourself?
Lou: Guitar and vocals
Let’s do the most cheesy question right away; why are you called Caves?
Dave: Lou knows the answer to this, I’m afraid I can’t remember.
Lou: I was looking on an Ordinance Survey map and it showed some caves on the coastline of South Wales and I thought that the simplicity of a cave matched the simplicity of the songs and the way we play them. Simple tunes, uncomplicated arrangements – simple drums, simple guitar lines.
What made you decide to start a band and what were your goals when starting out? (when did you start)
Dave: I met Lou at a show I was running in Bristol, she’d recently moved down from Liverpool leaving her old band Flamingo 50 behind. She was looking to start something new and I the same. We enlisted Mike on bass and went from there. Personally the only goal I had at the time was to do something fun, release a record and play as many new places as possible, nothing mega like touring Europe or going to America. Just playing and having fun.
Lou: I had a bunch of songs that weren’t suitable for other bands I was in (I was trying to be in bands that were different to Flamingo 50). Turns out I missed being in a 3 piece tuneful punk band so I needed a band to play my new tunes in. That became Caves. My goals were to stay part of the UK DIY network. I didn’t want to lose being part of that community after finishing Flamingo 50.
Have you reached some goals and which are there still to be achieved?
Dave: Putting out a record on vinyl was definitely a huge goal for me, I love vinyl and to be able to release something of a band I’m in on vinyl was awesome. Playing shows out in Europe and making it to the States have been real highlights, getting asked back has just made everything even better. Goals left to achieve, record an album, release more vinyl and tour further a field. I’d love to get to Japan/Australia sometime.
Lou: I’m so glad we were able to play fest. Flamingo 50 had the opportunity of getting on it in 2007 (I think it was that year…) but I had to turn it down. Touring Europe and playing with bands like Good Luck, Bridge and Tunnel, Young Livers and Rvivr has really been some of the best things I’ve done. A major goal for me would be to release an album on vinyl – this is (hopefully) going to happen!
This is the second time you will do a full European tour. How is touring the mainland of Europe for you? What was the most pleasant surprise and what was the least?
Dave: I think one of the best things was arriving in Heemskirk for our show with Ninja Gun and meeting up with those guys again and meeting you guys as well. Was a great way to begin a first show in the Netherlands. I don’t think we had any bad surprises, I’ll admit that I struggle with languages and that really bugged me because I felt I wasn’t being polite in a couple of places.
Lou: Touring Europe is SO great – you get looked after so well. However a lot of UK DIY promoters do look after you the same as in Europe now though because a lot of them have also toured Europe and know that food and a place to sleep are really important for DIY bands. Most pleasant surprise was getting a hotel room in Montpellier. The least pleasant surprise was dealing with crazy drunk people in Montpellier.
You haven’t been around for very long but you’ve already been to the US. In the US you have played the Fest (<— link) last year, how was that? You have been announced on the line-up for the coming edition, what made you decide to go back again?
Dave: Getting asked to play last year was incredible. To be asked back is amazing. One of main reasons we’re going is because it is one of the best times you’ll have all year. Everyone will tell you how much fun Fest is and they are 100% right.
Lou: From what I can gather – playing fest is probably equivalent to if not better than doing a tour of the states. For a band like Caves we’d probably play to more people at the Fest show than we would in an entire week of gigs in the US.
Coming up on Specialist Subject Records (<— link) is a compilation of the songs you recorded so far, with two new songs added. What is the idea behind this compilation?
Dave: We wanted to be able to sell a record on our up coming European tour – we’ve recently sold out of the other merch we had (7” is sold out and 10” comp is nearly sold out). Also we’ve been asked so many times if we have CD’s we thought it made sense to put together all the songs we’ve released so far on vinyl, along with two other songs and make one CD. We’re all really proud of those songs so its good to be able to get them to people on a CD.
Lou: It was good to have everything released on one thing as a bit of a mini album and after this tour we will move on to recording and releasing a full length album. In fact I almost think of the CD as the first album and then the LP that we do next will be album no. 2
When can we expect a completely new release?
Dave: When we get home from this tour we’re booked in to record our first album which will be twelve songs that haven’t been released or recorded before. It should be coming out later this year in time for our tour with Sundials which will be in July.
Lou: The LP will be out in July!
Any (new) bands you highly recommend listening to?
Dave: The Lock & Keys from Leeds are ace, Sundials from Richmond have 6 awesome songs up on www.ifyoumakeit.com that you can get for free, there is a new band from Brighton called Little Ease who are made up of guys from Break The Habit and Cutting Class, I’ve not seen them yet but if their old bands are anything to go by they’ll be rad.
Lou: they keep cancelling when we are booked with them but I really rate Wellwisher from Manchester and also MEN from Sheffield (not the ex-Le Tigre group from the states)
Anything to add?
Dave: Check out Sweet Empire and bully them to put out an album!
Thanks guys, for answering the questions. We hope you have a great tour and we’ll see you soon! Ow, and to reply on Dave’s last comment; Sweet Empire is recording an album in April so please don’t bully ‘m!
Check out Caves’ myspace (including music and tourdates): here. We’ll be putting ‘m on at the Bakkerij, Castricum (April 2nd)! Check out the shows section on this site for more info.