Known affectionately as The Bastards of Blues, Perth band The Floors are no strangers to…well, strange. After several technical difficulties (mine) I was able to chat with lead vocal man Luke Dux about the band, the touring, and how to record an album in four days.
The Floors have been affectionately nicknamed ‘the Bastards of Blues’. Tell us a little bit more about yourselves.
I was born on a Farm in the South of Western Australia. Recently a skeleton was found under the house. Ryan spends his days fixing bass amps and his nights blowing them up. Ash collects broken China Dolls.
Your debut album ‘Dead Beat’ was released in October last year, but both you and your brother Ryan have been playing for quite some time now. What makes this band different to your previous projects?
We don’t have someone yelling at us to turn it down.
‘Dead Beat’ took just four days to record which is pretty much unheard of. How did that happen?
Rob at Poon’s Head in Fremantle plugged some microphones in and we made noise. It took three days to record and a day to clean up the mess.
Instead of releasing the album when it was finished, you decided to spend the next year touring. What made you decide to do things so differently?
We like to make a racket. Nothings better than making a whole lot of noise and leaving before they can chase you out of town.
So, you finished off recording ‘Dead Beat’, hit the road touring for the next two years before the album’s release in October, you and your brother Ryan managed to take home WAMI’s two years running, and now your album’s out. What’s next for you guys – aside from a lot of sleep that is?
We’ll be on the road with our other bands and meet up in the middle somewhere to record another album. More bass slide solos. Sleep is for the weak and the dead.
Will us Punk Blues loving folk in Sydney get to see you perform any time soon?
The talk in the camp is May. You Sydney folk always treat us well and give us a hangover.
Sydney Rock band Amalgam are back after a two year break, and are heading straight into the studio to record their debut EP “Better Days”. Ready for their next adventure, the band were more than willing to give me an update on where Amalgam’s headed, what fans should expect from their first recording, and their upcoming gig to raise money for the Australian Red Cross.
Q: Tell us a little bit about Amalgam? How did the band meet and form?
Adam: Tim and I met in 2001 and discovered we had the same music tastes; we were in and out of bands around Campbelltown when we started PMD with our then bass player – also named Tim – in 2006. He then introduced us to Justin in 2007 and we started writing songs together, changed our name to Amalgam in 2008 and started gigging. Had a bit of a bass-less faze before Nathan came along but once we found this guy it just felt right. Tim: We came up with two songs that first day with the other Tim that seemed pretty promising at the time but looking back now they are pretty funny. We searched for a singer for a year and Justin walked in being all cool, and not long after that we were four very nervous dudes up on a stage. It all came together fairly quick. Justin: (laughs) There were a few cool songs to begin with but nothing I’d sing today. After I joined in we played a few small gigs, then had to search for a bassist after our original bass player went MIA. Eventually we found Nathan and became a family.
Q: You’re in the midst of recording your debut EP “Better Days”. What can fans expect from your first recording venture?
Adam: Umm loud guitars, banging drums, punchy bass and searing vocals. Nathan: Music that people can dance to, well hopefully! And World domination! Victory is mine! Tim: Something that doesn’t sound like a home recording. Hoping to hear big drums and huge bass with very little guitar if I’m lucky haha. I’m hoping anyone that hears a song off “Better Days” will relate to a sound or a lyric, that’s the best we can hope for. Maybe because we have a CD now we might a get a fan or two (laughs). Justin: a $10 CD that we enjoyed recording
Q: You’ve listed quite a range of music from Grunge to Hardcore Metal as influencing Amalgam’s direction. How would you guys describe Amalgam’s sound?
Justin: Sex Rock (laughs) Nathan: Pop Rock, Punk Rock, Rock, Grunge, Metal Tim: Elegant mess (laughs). I think Amalgam has a bit of everything in it. In this band everyone is into a variety of different music which shows in the songs. Adam: raw alternative guitar driven Rock
Q: Justin, you’re setting up a pretty big charity gig on December 16th at Valve Bar & Venue called Rockin’ For Xmas. It looks like there’s a pretty big line up of bands. Could you tell us a bit more about the event?
Justin: Well man basically the event is a charity gig as you said, and it came about because we were discussing playing a few gigs after having a two year hiatus and I thought to myself, we should do a charity gig and raise some money to help those in need at Christmas time, so I asked a couple of friends bands: The Damned Humans, The Chase, and Stellar Addiction (who unfortunately can’t play anymore), to join in and have a fun day of music and beers for a good cause. Then a few more bands wanted to join in and what was originally going to be a small gig has turned into ten bands, all mixed genres, doing their thing for the Australian Red Cross.
Sometimes it’s hard to get bands to really open up about their music. Luckily for me, EyemaZe were more than willing to talk about their upcoming debut album. Described by 2MCR Radio as “dirty, gutsy… a Carnival Carousel being powered by Hard Rock…with riffs and licks ranging from Mysterious and Sinister to Ballistic”, and with their album due for release this month, it looks like EyemaZe are set to draw some serious attention. I caught up with their bass player Marc, who filled me in on their LP, their intriguing blend of musical styles, and why they’re called EyemaZe.
Q: How did you come up with the name EyemaZe?
Coming up with the band name of Eyemaze was not a decision that came overnight. We considered many names before deciding on this one. We actually named ourselves Enigmatic for a period of 2 months before meeting our singer!! We knew the name Enigmatic was only temporary when we chose it. In our fourth month as Enigmatic, Eyemaze was born
After Alex Arias (the singer) joined the band it was time to re-think the topic of a band name, which meant many more brainstorming sessions. It was a few weeks before the name ‘Eyemaze’ popped up in the guitarist’s (Daniel Klerk) head. Ultimately it was a process of rolling all the proposed band names around in our heads that created the final name. Eyemaze is definitely a name which is indicative of our music and genre. As with most of the bands we grew up on, we make use of a lot of double-meaning words to create a sense of “multiple meanings” in our songs. The band name is intended to get the listener interested in the origin and makeup of the name. With iPads and iPhones being the flavour of the decade, it was a slight parody to spell our name differently, yet it rolled off the tongue so well. Our LED banner in caps looks awesome in the stage with us. We also spell it EyemaZe and the logo designs we’ve created really work well with this name.
Q: EyemaZe’s debut album is in the works (the self-titled album is due for release this month). Tell us about that?
It’s a mixture of Hard Rock, Rock Metal and Funk with a twist Latin Spanish rock. Songs such as “Hot Town” and “Misconstrued” represent solid but down tempo Hard Rock whilst the songs “Elefreak” and “Electrofreak” feature higher energy, Hard Rock/Metal, distortion tunes, in your face vocals and blast beats; music that has evolved from Latin Metal between 2000 and 2005. In the mix there are songs like “In Your Head” and “Ganga”, the band’s most requested and most regularly played songs. They incorporate a mixture of heaviness, Funk and explosion. Other songs like “Powdery Days”, “Driven To Break”, “Monster of Your Love” and “Anaconda” top off the line-up of Hard Rock this album has to offer. These songs have a mixture of the above. Plenty of heavy Rock distortion, plenty of double kicks, plenty of in your face vocals and funky polymetrics. The lyrics touch on the life experiences of each of the band members. “Powdery Days” was written when two of the band members were snowboarding together after some heavy snowfall. “Anaconda” touches on the more controversial topics and questions modern day religion and it’s place in history. The CD is our representation of Hard Rock that exists post Metal. The songs on the album are from two to five years old. The album is ten tracks plus two remixes (“Hot Town” and “Electrofreak”).
Q: Now you’re first LP’s out later this month, but EyemaZe have been around since 2010. What have EyemaZe been up to during that time?
EyemaZe is a hobby nearly turned dedication for four musos. Between our professional (study/fulltime jobs) careers and relationships, we try to dedicate two-three days a week to music. We’d love to be able to invest more time but we’ve had a great journey these past three years. We’ve been writing songs, (we are three-four songs off a new album). We’ve also worked with our friend Markazoids to get some remixes completed, two of which appear on our current album. We decided to do a Metal cover of “Breathe” by Prodigy. We’ve been doing plenty of live shows – two Halloween Gigs at the Valve Bar and Venue were the standouts, along with several shows across the rest of Sydney with some great bands. We have also participated in a few band comps and fundraiser events. We have done Emergenza and some Burgess Band comps (coming fourth in one of them) and we are looking at more gigs and comps. When we lost our custom studio space in March, we decided to work on completing our current album instead of rehearsing. We had it mastered at Sony in August 2012. We didn’t do a lot of shows during this time. Once we had this complete we decided to experiment with acoustic. Having performed one show we decided this might not be for us now but something to review when we have more time to invest to get the experience sounding right for our listeners.
Q: You recently bumped up from a three piece to a four piece band, adding some Funk/Reggae stylings to your repertoire. What influenced the change?
The singer joined the three piece in 2010. This reflects the start of EyemaZe and a four piece power force. It was not until this time that the funk element really took off. It was perhaps a timing thing. As a three piece, there was ambition to perform some form of Funk. We already had Heavy Rock and Metal sounds. The creation process in the early phases was more a reflection of our motivation and inexperience. Having a fourth ear to listen to the sounds really helped with the heavy and Funk fusion to form. The motivation became instant. However, we haven’t experimented enough with Reggae to make mention of a Reggae sound yet. Our drummer can do any type of beat, he is versatile. If we wanted to, we could experiment and come up with something that suits our style that would fall under a Reggae classification. We have always talked of this and we would like to make something happen. Our vision would be for something like 311’s earlier music but with a little less piccolo snare and a bit more distortion and a lower than standard tuning. Our drummer did use a piccolo snare for the first 1.5 years of our performances but we upgraded to a more Rock style snare. Some of the beats we do in between songs are Reggae-esque and also include Salsa styles.
Q: How would you best describe an Eyemaze live show for first time audience members?
We would describe ourselves as explosive, funky, Thrash Rock. Our performance is nothing short of loud and heavy. Our style is tight and intriguing. The beats and solos are quite unique. Our show is slightly obscene and grotesque, it’s over the top and in your face. It’s definitely a Hard Rock out there live show!
EyemaZe’s self-titled debut album is due out later this month. In the meantime, check out some of their music here: http://eyemazeband.wix.com/eyemaze.
2012 has been a massive year for San Diego’s Pierce The Veil. In past years they have found themselves on tours with some impressive names, like Bring Me The Horizon, A Day The Remember, Of Mice & Men and Thursday, but this year they landed on Main Stage Warped Tour. If that accomplishment isn’t enough, while on Warper, they are also promoting their brand new album that proves to be the most raw and soulful of their releases thus far.
July 17 marked the day “Collide With The Sky” was released and since then, the album has met an impressively warm welcome, leaving fans and critics singing nothing but praises. Even though the album was leaked online weeks before its release, vocalist Vic Fuentes never once doubted that their fans would remain supportive and do the right thing by the band. “Honestly in the long run leaks don’t really matter. People are going to get their hands on it one way or the other. We actually had a lot of fans who held out and promised us not to listen to the album until it was officially released, as well as a ton of fans who downloaded it and bought it the day it came out. We have the best fans in the fucking world, I love them so much.”
“Collide With The Sky” also marks the band’s first release through Fearless Records which has been more than accommodating during their writing and recording process. Fuentes goes on to elaborate that “Fearless has been very supportive and helpful in the creation of this new album since the beginning when we started writing it over a year ago. The owner Bob even let us use his cabin in Big Bear, California to write. Having a place like that to get away from distractions was really nice”. Eliminating distracting factors and deadline stressors can make all the difference in the end-result of a new album. Being completely comfortable during the creation process was one way that Fuentes felt this album had progressed the most as compared to prior releases. “I put a lot of focus on my vocals for this album. I did all of them with a hand held SM7 microphone, which allowed me to walk, run, jump, crawl on the ground, all around the room while I was singing. So what you are hearing is almost like a live performance. I did them all in a room by myself with no producer present. This left me totally free to do what I wanted and to not feel self-conscious or embarrassed by anything I sang”.
As raw and passionate as the album is, Fuentes still admits to exercising some censorship when it comes to writing because he personally pens every word his sings. “I write all of the lyrics. It needs to be personal to me in order to sing it with real emotion. I censor only when it involves the people that I care about. It’s very rare, but I have rewritten a few things that I thought might be too hurtful if the person ever realised it was about them”. This is an understandable consideration if you listen to any of the songs, both on their prior releases and the new album.
When asked about which song was the most meaningful, he opened up about one particular song that is still a very hurtful topic for him to relive. “”100 Sleepless Nights” is probably the most hard-hitting personally for me. It’s about this girl that I really cared about, we had dated on and off for years. She got pregnant by some other guy and moved away, just as we were getting back together. It wasn’t really anyone’s fault but it was, and still is a very difficult situation. The song describes the night that I found out”.
Aside from deeply personal lyrics, Pierce The Veil are known for creating technical yet enchanting and lively music with a bit of Spanish flair as an honour to their heritage. If you’ve ever listened to Pierce The Veil, then you know exactly how unique their music really is. Unfortunately, uniqueness is not something we see too often. “I don’t really know how to make music any other way. I think as long as you take risks and do everything with soul then you are going to get results that no one else in the world can recreate”. If only more artists held the confidence to follow these wise words. In true Pierce The Veil style, they don’t just stop their genius at composing music. They also spread their creativity into their merchandise, giving fans options to collect items most people would never think to offer. “Well one thing that we did is we tried to get as clever as possible with our pre-order bundles. You could buy custom Pierce The Veil rosaries, vinyl, a lyric book, hell…we even made hot sauce!”
While some songs many have very personal meaning, that doesn’t mean there is any lack of passion for the rest. “I love performing our new single “King For A Day” with Kellin Quinn from Sleeping With Sirens. We have been doing that song every day on Warped Tour and it gets a crazy response from the crowd and it’s so much fun to share the stage with a friend”. Indeed, Pierce The Veil are part of the main stage on this year’s Warped Tour in the USA. As if releasing a brilliant album wasn’t enough excitement for the four-piece, touring with some of their friends and idols certainly would be. “I think the most exciting part is being on tour with so many close friends and so many bands that we have looked up to since we were kids. Hanging out with one of my favorite bands, The Used is still very surreal to me. There are some days where we play in between Taking Back Sunday and New Found Glory, and those are the moments where you ask yourself, how did we get here?” Even in the mass of big names bands on main stage, Fuentes has made time to check out all of the bands on this year’s tour, quickly pinpointing Funeral Party to be his favorite, most underrated band that we should all keep our eyes on.
Even at the level of notoriety that Pierce The Veil have worked hard to gain since their start in 2006, they are not exempt from the typical tour stories and embarrassing moments. “We do a lot of dumb stuff in interviews. I guess the worst was when our friend asked us if we could help him with a photo workshop that he was doing. We were all hung over from playing a big hometown show the night before and the students ended up posting a bunch of horribly edited photos of us online, which are forever haunting our Tumblr page”.
As far as keeping himself healthy in less than ideal conditions, Fuentes offers some advice to other vocalists out on the road. “As a singer, there are a few things that I do. Sleep is very important for a singer, so I try to get as much sleep as possible, though it’s hard sometimes on tour. I have a strict warm up schedule that involves a vocal lesson, stretching, and even a little working out. This helps keep the body healthy by sticking to it every day.” When asked about their next visit to Australian shores, Fuentes tells us that they are trying hard to book into Soundwave. Everyone should go spam AJ now so we can all witness them first hand going mental on a festival stage!
With the momentum gained from “Collide With The Sky” and its incredible release, gracing the main stage of Warped, do not expect Pierce The Veil to slow down any time in the near future. These guys have battled their way to the top and that’s where they plan to stay. With constant progression and genuine devotion to their fan base, they will be ruling their world in no time at all.
Killing California began in 2004 and are based in the southern Orange County beach town of San Clemente, Ca. This 4-piece band originally set out to shake up the poppy Beach blvd. They’re a hard rock n’ roll band, think of a cross between Motorhead, Zeke, TSOL, & Black Flag. Recently I got to have a chat with Danny Craig the bands Vocalist…. check it.
Hey guys, how are things going for Killing California?
Right now things are going good, we’ve got a new record out on Basement Records called “No Pentagrams No Crosses” and are looking forward to a few a shows we’ve got and an upcoming tour.
How long have you guys been playing, how did you meet?
We have been a band since 2004, so 8 years…we’ve known each other a long time before the band…San Clemente’s a fairly small town so you kind of know who’s into what, so when the band started to form everyone just sort of came together.
Why Killing California, what does it mean to you?
At the time, when I came up with the name it was me taking a stab at myself being a transplant from the East Coast. As you may have heard its friggin’ crowded here and here I am making it worse…also with Hollywood and everything trend setting sorta being centered here for America culturally I thought it was kinda funny a band from California calling itself that.
Any Albums/EP’s released or coming out in the near future?
We have a new record that just came out on Basement Records “No Pentagrams No Crosses”, so we are pushing that right now. In addition to that we have 2 other full lengths out “Goin’ South” (Basement), “Ropeless Romantics”(self released) and an EP “Bones and Sand” (Basement), although that was a real limited release kind of thing for the diehard fans.
Any video clips online we can check out?
Yes we have a new video out for the song “No Pentagrams No Crosses” and it’s also on our website, Facebook and YouTube…it should be easy to find….and we release a series of random short clips entitled “Trolsen County”, YouTube it! Just funny out take stuff and random crap that we think is funny.
Who is you’re favorite band you’ve shared the stage with, so far?
Zeke, Clutch, and TSOL, all great bands and all really cool people. We hope to maybe tour with one or more of them at some point, who knows maybe a trek to Australia with one of them.
What bands have inspired you when you were younger and did that change over time?
All the early punk bands that I was first turned on to Black Flag, DRI, Suicidal Tendencies to name a few; had a huge impact on me as a kid…and ya it changed almost daily…once you get into it there’s so many bands to grab hold of and you grab a little inspiration from….Over time the bands change put the process remains the same.
What bands have caught your eye recently?
Recently on a hardcore and punk rock level when I’m not listening to country or baseball I’ve been digging on Coliseum, Fucked Up, Hour of the Wolf and Kvelertak to keep the list short….
Got just one good story you care to share from shows, rehearsals or just some random drinking sessions?
Oh jeez, drinking sessions, there are lots of those….but a good one from a show is; we were on tour in Albequerque, New Mexico and our drummer took one for the team, hooked up with this very broad shouldered lady. She took us back to her house to crash and do our drummer, the place was a dump and earlier her roommate got a DUI after the show …so while he’s in doing the deed we raided the kitchen settled in and went to crash in the room mates room cause shes now in jail…like I said the place was gnarly so we go in the room to sleep and there’s dead mice on the floor of the room…we were tripping out at the filth these two chicks were living in thinking we gotta get outta here, so right about than our drummer comes out of the other room and you could tell he was traumatized by his experience with the broad shouldered lady …so we bailed, called the promoter and crashed at his place…funny thing was our drummer left his phone there so we had to go back to this place in the morning.
What about an embarrassing story, every band has at least one?
Ya every band knows what it’s like to have an off night and suck …that’s no fun and is usually embarrassing, … Hard to pin point a specific, gonna have to do a follow up interview and let me figure that one out. haha
So who writes the lyrics, what do you guys mainly sing about and what do you stand for?
I write the lyrics and I don’t have an agenda with my lyrics. I write about things I’m feeling and experiences I’ve had with people.
Is anyone in any other bands, are those bands similar in style?
Not really, this is everyone’s primary focus, a couple of the other guys jam with other people once in awhile but I wouldn’t call it a band nor is that jamming similar to what were playing.
Got any shout outs you want to give?
Shout outs to anyone who supports this band, Kill Your Scene for taking interest and helping spread the word about us and Chuck D from Basement Records…….stay lean mean and unclean….and support your local shaper! Hope to get down under soon!
Brothers Grim and the Blue Murders have only been around for a few years, and in that time have earned the reputation of being a juggernaut mix of rowdy, reckless, determined, and ready to make the crowds they inevitable pull go crazy on the dance floor. According to lead singer and one half of the “Grim” side of the band, this is just the beginning. Here’s what James Grim has to say about touring and album writing, life in excess, what crowds can expect at this year’s Dead of Winter festival, and reality:
Have you been looking for something slightly different? Something raw? Something that will make your ginie tingle? Then check out this Regge/Rock band from Islip, NY. These guys have a type of Chili Peppers feel to their music and no wonder, the band was founded in ’07 because of their love for the Peppers. They recently got the chance to play at Bamboozle Festival in Jersey and recently I got to speak to Chris who is the drummer and backup vocalist. Check these guys and throw them some love.
The band is Chris Wurglics (drummer/backup vocals), Mike McGarry (guitarist/singer) and Tom DeCillis (bass player/ backup vocals) and they hail from Islip, Long Island, New York.
Next week, The Annandale will celebrate their 12th birthday. The Annandale is known to many as an institution, a place where bands are made, and – as is the case with long time rockers Baby Animals – where well known bands come back to show respect. Recently I got to chat to Baby Animals lead singer Suze DeMarchi about the band’s upcoming gig at The Annandale, what it’s like to be an Australian icon, and the recording of their new album in August. Here’s what she had to say about it all: