How would you describe your song writing process on the basis that you have a constantly evolving sound across your three albums so far?
I think the process changes as I exhaust styles and ways of playing that I like. Once I saturate a style, I'm forced to try and search for new ways or else everything will sound the same.
Is there any theme to your new album or, do your songs have their own individuality. Any stories around any of the new songs that you would like to share?
These songs are basically about the creative struggle within to try and stay excited, surprised, and interesting to myself. They're also about honouring all of my musical heroes that have influenced me so much.
How is life in the recording studio? Are songs ready to go when you arrive or do they take shape on in the studio with the band more?
They are ready. I work on the demos at home and get them fully formed. In the studio, I just re-record all the parts so they are better quality. The producer then suggests what parts to let go of and gives structural suggestions.
Hi Mark and how are you today?
Keeping on the down-low.
To be honest, I’m not really that engaged in that process for the most part. Typically the label will listen and work with a radio plugger to determine what they think is best. ‘
Your fifth full-length album, ‘Thumbtacks + Glue’, is out on 25th February. What do you feel is the biggest difference between that and your last LP Die Stadt Muzikanten, for you personally and, for us the listeners?
Last time around I really wanted to push out as much pop music as I possibly could to make one last kind of pop statement. This time around I wanted the resonances of instruments to matter more than the actual notes sometimes, to find new ways to make beautiful sounds like rubbing wineglass rims and old bits of tapes and such. There’s a bit more noise and grit here for sure. Song-wise, there’s far less of a verse-chorus-verse mandate going on (although there are still examples of that, of course).
Content-wise, I’m really trying to focus on the idea of how 1,000 things hold you back vs. just one or two major elements in your life. For ages I kept living in the same city because I had a piano, and I thought things like, “I can’t move – I have a piano!” Putting all of those things together like jobs, obligations, hobbies, etc. can be a pretty terrifyingly concrete barrier to your ever moving on or breaking free. Think of Gulliver’s Travels – 1,000 little strings held by those Lillipudlians, holding down a giant who just can’t get anywhere because there are so many small things keeping him immobile.
Photo by Paolo Calamita
Hi Lisa, how are you today and is the sun shining?
Hi Pete, beautiful day here
Your ninth full-length album, ‘No Elephants’, is out in the
Well it's a different attitude...Magic Neighbor was about day time life ...just trying to see the day. This album is more specific about how we treat ourselves and how that goes into the world these days concerning the food we eat and the abuse of the earth and it's animals, insects, all beings. How we're f*cking it up by not being aware of it all. Plugged in to our stupid devices to communicate quicker and faster and not actually communicating at all.
Have you felt a natural progression across your all your albums or do you consider them stand alone and individual pieces of music?
I think all my records stand on their own about certain things I was struggling with and this one is no different...only the ideas about what I’m trying to communicate are different here.
Has your approach to song writing changed over the years and does your hometown or early years in the music industry influence your writing today?
My song writing is always the same...find things you need to communicate to yourself, strip them down to why I may think other people may feel the same way. It’s always about stripping words and emotions down to what I really feel and think is worth sharing.
Are there any particular stories that you would like to share behind the new songs on the record?
Oh just the unconsciousness of our life these days and how that affects the earth and it's beings in general. So many things I didn't even know about until a few years ago. Like foie gras...how it's actually made. The abuse on factory farms. Shark fining for soup? Clubbing baby seals for fur no one needs. So much abuse of animals to do ridiculous things for us to eat and how we are brainwashed to not think about it...but then, how I see how we treat ourselves first...then it goes out there. We are really f*cked up these days in our ignoring everything around us....
Would you say the new record differs from your previous releases in the recording approach, new instruments, samples, effects used?
Everything changes, in the past I had a band and the music was bigger. When you have a record deal with money like on 4AD I could see what other people add. I didn't sell records so, as time goes by, it feels right to do what’s going on now. Try to express yourself with what you have?
I keep stripping down because that's all I have. and my producer Jamie Candiloro knows this and helps me to do what I can, he made this record sound so good! With just me and him and then we added Sebastian Steinberg on acoustic bass on a couple of tracks which made it whole.
How you are today and where are you?
Doing great! Good to be a part of what you are doing at the Rock Club. We are from
How important is
It’s amazing to think of how much great talent has come out of
In terms of overall bands that have impacted us, definitely Alter Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sound garden and Led Zeppelin. That being said, we don’t strive to sound like anyone. There are a variety of influences, but the end result is Homeless Hill!
You have played with Southern rock legends Wet Willie, among others. What did you learn from playing gigs with bands like these?
Wet Willie are still going strong and put on a great show. They are legends around here, particularly since they were signed to Capricorn Records out of
With so many media platforms, we are now saturated with music, how can Homeless Hill aim to stand out above the rest?
At the end of the day, it’s really all about the music. Without that, you’re dead in the water. Our first and most important goal is to write record and perform not just good music, but GREAT music. There are far too many bands out there that are trying to get ahead by solely focusing on maximizing their exposure through social media platforms. But if the band is average, no amount of social media will make you stand out. Social media is a tool. It’s not magic.
You always have to keep the momentum moving and keep your fans involved and informed. We don’t utilize a ton of different social platforms. There is not enough time in the day to manage that effectively. As a Homeless Hill fan, you can connect with us the fastest through our Facebook page. We also maintain a Reverbnation profile and of course, our website at www.homelesshill.com.
Hi and how are you today?
I'm good, thank you, well rested. I allowed myself a rare duvet day today so I’ve not really seen any sunlight, but feel good for it.
How did you come to the decision to make music your career and, with what ambitions?
I started singing when I was a kid and writing when I was in my teens. I’ve always been mad about music so it was a natural thing that I would go that way. Unfortunately even now Music still isn't my full time career, and I have to do other things alongside it to make ends meet. I guess that’s my main ambition to be able to be a full time touring and recording artist and to be able to live off that alone.
I'm not bothered about having loads of fame or money, just enough to keep going on and a steady flow of people coming to the show, buying the records and appreciating what I do. Of course if fame and riches came knocking I wouldn't shut the door, but that’s not what I'm in it for
You graduated from the Brighton Institute of Modern Music in 2007. Do you feel that the course was important to your musical career and why?
It was important in the sense that that was the time that I really started taking making music more seriously and I learnt a lot while I was there. It was during those two years in Brighton that I wrote and recorded my first album and formed a band of players who I toured the first album with. It was a really creative time and I have a lot of really fond memories of those years and I met and worked with some awesome people. I was young and clueless and made plenty of mistakes both on and off the record but it was all a huge learning experience. You don't need to go to a music college to make it in the music industry (whatever "making it" means) but for me it definitely helped focus me. Brighton has a really great music scene as well,
Your new album, Balladeer, is out on 4th March. How would to describe your sound for people yet to hear your songs?
Theatrical Folk. I'd love to be a glam rock god but I can't play guitar and I don't have a band and have a tendency to write piano ballads, so piano folk with a bit of glam posturing is where I'm at right now. I promise its not as ridiculous as it sounds! In truth, this album is quite stripped back. A man, a piano, some strings and some stories, some happy, some less so.
First Single from the new album is released on 18th February; when is the album due for release and how did you choose ‘The Rapture’ to be the lead single?
The Album will be out in the summer. We don't have an exact date yet, but it has been two years in the making so an extra couple of months won’t do any harm. We can still be quietly confident for the time being.
The Rapture was an obvious choice because it is a powerful tune and we needed to come back with a BANG. Fundamentalist Christians have been banging on about our comeback single for hundreds of years as well, so we couldn't let them down.
Was there a different approach to recording the second album and were there any surprises during the recording this time around?
The tunes that appear more 'song based' have had a bit of fat chopped off before even getting to the studio, where as with the debut the fat was left on. I imagined this record to have more contrast. I hoped that if a song was going to be about hooks and choruses, then it is straight in and ending within four minutes. Like if a song seemed like a single then let it be one.
Then on the other side - if a tune is more sound based, about layers and it’s own journey. Then let that go on for however long it wants to. I visualised an album with tunes on for ten minutes and some on for three. But if I am honest it hasn't happened. It only has in theory, rather than length of each tune.
How do you go about creating your music, what is the writing process and are there any particular stories behind the songs on the new record, that you would like to share?
If I told you that the song 'open your sky' is about a man who was betrayed by a witch. So he goes out into the unknown, takes the oath of the abyss and then learns as much magick as he can, in order to defeat her at her own game with a musical Sigil. Wouldn’t that spoil it for you? I think it would.
I think sometimes I am not even sure what my lyrics are about because I have spoken to fans who have a completely different understanding of them. No matter how concrete an idea it is in my head while singing them and writing them. So on that basis I don’t think I will ever ruin it for the listener.
You performed ‘Tina, In The Green Dress’, at
A HISTORY, How did the band come together and with what ambitions?
Aquila: We met on a sofa in
Graham: I mainly wanted to be like Tom Waits guitarist Marc Ribot. The other thing we really clicked with was a love of big drums.
Your debut single ‘Fox’ was released on 04 February. The band’s music has been described as ”Glitter-doom”. How would to describe your sound for people yet to hear your songs?
Single released, is there an album on the way, or anything already recorded for your next release?
What is your song writing process and where do you tend to be located when the seed of new ideas are sown?
Graham: After that spark I'll take
Hi and how are you today?
Hello! I’m doing well, thanks.
What’s is the feeling now that your latest album is complete, is there time to enjoy the moment or, is it straight on to the next project or tour?
We’ve worked hard on this record, but it’s also been a very enjoyable process. The band had a great time recording in
How would you describe your music to people that have not heard your songs yet?
Where do you write and how do you decide what to write about and, does
Our process varies, and usually starts at home. One of us (usually Heather, sometimes myself) will bring a melody or a riff or a basic framework into a writing session and the band will flesh that out into a song together. For
Are there any particular stories you would like to share behind the songs on the new album?
A couple of the songs we developed in those early writing sessions were particularly fun. We were recording demos in a remote cabin in a swamp. The location was isolated and moody, perfect for a few days of intense writing. The song I Built a Town came to life during those sessions, and it’s one of my favourites from the record. That one started off sounding very sparse, and we gradually built it into the more country/soul sounding version that’s on
Well hello, how the devil are you today?
Good, thanks. Hello.
You are described as “a secretive progressive psychedelic band”. How would you describe your â€¨sound and what is the “secretive” bit?
'Secretive', as our identities are hidden, as in occult hidden knowledge. But I must stress we are â€¨not a Satanic band; we are transmitting messages from the Ancient Ones through our music & â€¨words. 'Progressive/Psychedelic'? 'Progressive' as in odd metres and chord progressions based on â€¨magickal charts, 'psychedelic' to describe the repetition and hypnotic feel of the music. Some of it is â€¨complex, as is the universe. 'Order & chaos': I think that sums up the sound & feel of the band.
What was the spark that brought the band together in the first place and with what ambitions?
The band was formed by Obed Marsh and Jules De Grandin in a stone circle when all stars & â€¨planets were aligned. At that time they were performing mere primitive chants. The Elders spoke to â€¨them in their sleep & a further few members were recruited. To please the mighty Elder Beings.
Who created the artwork for the EP Seize Decay?
The drummer Jules De Grandin. We humour his primitive scribbling in honour to the Elder Beings.
Any plans for an album in the near future?
The songs are now all written, the cover is almost finished & in March we enter our studio to lay â€¨down the tracks. The working title is ‘Mystery Sells, But Who's Buying’.
GHXST reside in Brooklyn and are Shelley X, Chris Wild and Nathan La Guerra and they play “Doom Grunge”
Hi and how are you today?
SX: hey Rock Club!
Where did your band name come from?
SX: GHOST w/ an X
How did the three of you come to be in a band together and with what ambitions?
SX: We met in
How would to describe your sound for people yet to hear your music?
CW: doom grunge
Are you still based in
CW: NYC’s still home for us... and definitely the best shows to play are the intimate/one-off parties you throw for fun
Hi Jo, how are you today?
LMMC: I am very well thanks! Just had the delivery of my album CDs and they look amazing. Very pleased!
Where did ‘Laurence Made Me Cry’ as a name come from and why not just release music under your own name?
LMMC: The name was a headline in a tabloid newspaper quite a few years ago. I was working in a record store and was reading a paper someone had left behind during my lunch break. I spotted the headline ‘LAURENCE MADE ME CRY’ and it instantly occurred to me that it would be a great band name! The news story was about Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen ruining a poor woman’s house in ‘Changing Rooms’!
Performing under a band name allows me more freedom to do things a little more out of the ordinary I guess. I know I feel more comfortable, might have something to do with my shyness. LMMC is a bit of a project too which incorporates art and poetry so it just feels more appropriate.
What was the spark that made you decide music was going to be your career and did you consider any other careers seriously?
LMMC: The story goes that one of my first words was “drums”. I highly doubt this but it’s a good story! I’ve loved music from as far back as I can remember and it seemed natural for me to pursue it. I think one of the sparks was getting into rock music just before entering secondary school. I’d started learning drums by then and it didn’t take long before I was teaching myself guitar and starting to write my own songs.
Music has always been my career in one form or another although at the moment I’m currently a freelance illustrator which is also a creative field. It’s tougher than it sounds being self-employed! Before that I spent quite a few years working in record stores and then I taught drums. Even my illustrations are usually music themed!
How would to describe your sound for people yet to hear your music?
LMMC: Quirky lo-fi folk pop that is honest, sometimes melancholic and usually a little over to the left.
Hi there guys, how are you today and where are you?
Hey, we're doing very well thank you, I'm in
How does it feel still to be in the band after all these years, job done or always looking forward?
It's great, I took time off to be a stay at home dad for the last 10 years to raise my son, so getting back to it now feels like it's brand new again, and playing live is extremely rewarding because the fans are so appreciative. I hope to be doing this for a long time to come.
What was the driver to create a new album and get back on the road for a European tour?
Our songs are continuously being referenced in Pop culture, on The Simpsons, Glee, Beavis & Butthead, in commercials, movies, etc...and I hear a lot of 80s influences in the new music being put out today, a lot of synthesizers and big drum sounds. Plus I was just itching to get back out there, I love doing this.