Indieterria: WorcesterWave youngest bands part 2

Hello again!

Welcome back to the second part of the Vanadian Avenue official guide to the new, exciting and emerging bands on the Worcestershire music scene.
If you have missed the first part of this blog, don’t panic. Please click on the link below and you will be able to read everything about the bands mentioned there:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/indieterria-worcesterwave-youngest-bands-part-1/

Are you ready for another dosage of the super talented and ready-to-take-on-the-world musician from the faithful city?  We hope so, as we have  some superb artists to show you!

Happy Bones (Iggy Cuthbert)

Happy Bones playing live photo by Alex Knight

Happy Bones (aha Iggy Cuthbert) by Josh Foster

Official bio:  Happy Bones is a Worcester based folk project written by Iggy Cuthbert. Joined by Daniel Merry who provides backing vocals and rhythm guitar. Melancholic, sleep deprived and intimate folk tunes. Sung in a trembling voice, the influences range from Elliott Smith to Conor Oberst.

 Worcester born and based singer/songwriter Igor “Iggy” Cuthbert is a busy body. He is a solo artist (performing under the name of Happy Bones), a poet, visual artist and a music promoter. As Happy Bones, Iggy played extensively in Worcestershire alongside with nth cave, Thousand Mountains, Solsara, Ben Dallow, Iosif Norrisache, Luke Steele, Sam Clines and others. He was also a lead singer and guitarist for the band Shia and lead guitarist for another alternative outfit, Gooche.

Happy Bones released a self-titled debut EP in 2017 to very positive reviews. Iggy described it as “a project I wrote and recorded in 15 days. The EP was full of mistakes, wrong notes and skipped beats. It’s intended to be honest and intimate. I wrote the song as sketches and ideas and I hope whoever listens to them keeps that in mind.”

As a music producer, Iggy is a member of The Boneyard Sessions along with Hector Brazier of nth cave. He works with music venues in Herefordshire and Worcestershire organizing open mic nights, spoken word sessions and concert for local and international artists such as the German indie-rock outfit, The Black Rattles.

Iggy curated a stage for Worcester Music Festival at the Old Pheasant headlined by popular Worcester quartet, RVRMN.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iggyhappybones
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/iggyc
Bandcamp: https://happybones.bandcamp.com

Benjamin Dallow

Benjamin Dallow

Benjamin Dalllow at Firefly concert, picture by Malicia Dabrowicz

Brought up in Worcester and Evesham, Ben Dallow spent several years living away from West Midlands residing in Liverpool and Bristol. His music has been described as a classic rock, with mix of psychedelia and a lot of brit pop. It shouldn’t come as a surprise as his influences include Paul Weller, The Jam, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Primal Scream and Ocean Colour Scene. Known among his friends as “Brit-pop Ben” due to his musical style and image, Ben has been performing in Worcester music clubs and venues, sharing stages with many established and local acts.

He played at 9th and 10th edition of Worcester Music Festival (2016 and 2017 respectively) and curated a music night on September 15th at the Firefly under “Ben Dallows Presents” banner. He introduced several new acts to Worcester scene including Plastic Scene, Ghosts in the Photographs, Elephant Peel, Pink Diamond Revue and The Actions.

Alongside poet Joe Norris, Ben is a part of Random Name Generator artistic project created to popularize poetry and acoustic music in Worcestershire. Random Name Generator closely works with other local promoters including The Hive, Worcester University, Boneyard Sessions, Slap magazine and Sudden Attack.  As a solo artist, Ben supported Birmingham based electronic/hybrid music trio Lycio in November 2017 at the Bottles and Jesse River Dylan Murray during the launch of his debut EP entitled “Classical Music” in July. He was also involved in Worcester Canal Festival in 2016 and 2017.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.dallow
Worcester Music Festival:
  http://www.worcestermusicfestival.co.uk/bands/Benjamin-Dallow/

Becky Rose Seabright

Becky Rose promo picture

Brcky Rose live

 At only 26 years old, Becky has a resume of an artist and performer twice her age. In the last 4 years, she has performed more than 250 times nationally, with her biggest concerts being held in Birmingham, London (Troubadour Club and Amnesty International Headquarters) and Manchester.

 In June 2012 while still a student at University of Worcester, she performed an original song for The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to commemorate the opening of The Hive, the biggest library in Worcestershire. Her performance was recorded and broadcast live on BBC Hereford and Worcester.

It also received mentions in the national press and radio. Two years later, after beating nearly 37000 candidates from the UK and Ireland, Becky was selected to attend the BBC Introducing Musician’s Masterclass at Abbey Road Studios in London where she met artists such as Calvin Harris and Mark Ronson and the bosses of companies including Columbia Records and XL Recordings. As an unsigned artist, her songs received national airplay on BBC6 Music and Radio1. Becky’s music has been championed by Andrew Marston and she was invited to record her sessions for BBC Introducing in Hereford and Worcester twice in 2013 and 2016.  Becky was also interviewed after her fiancé and fellow musician, Ruben Seabright decided to propose on stage in the middle of Dr Stanley’s Medicine Show! Mrs Seabright performed several times at Worcester Music Festival to full houses. She is the only Worcestershire artist with number one hit in the charts! One of her songs made it to the top spot on Amazing Radio Top 20 which led to her receiving professional music tutoring from Air Management of Air Studios in London (Radiohead, Travis, Doctor Who franchise).

She is inspired by Boradway musicals, Queen, Danny Elfman, Regina Spektor and Hans Zimmer. Becky works now for Worcester University as an Events manager and performs extensively.

www.facebook.com/BeckyRoseMusic
www.youtube.com/beckyrosemusic
www.reverbnation.com/beckyrose
www.myspace.com/thisisbeckyrose

RVRMN

RVRMN posing for promo picture in Worcester

RVRMN up on the roof

Founded in 2013, Worcestershire quartet RVRMN (pronounced “Riverman”) consists of Joe Powell (lead vocals, guitar), Ben Growcott (drums), Will Maeers (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Morgan Whitebeam (bass). 2017 has been a breakthrough year for the young band. They released their debut EP “Back to Bed” in February and embarked on a tour to promote it that took them to Birmingham (The Flapper), Bristol (Louisiana), Hereford, Worcester (The Marrs’ Bar), Walsall, and Wolverhampton. They have returned to Birmingham twice more over the summer to headline young bands nights at O2 Academy. They also played at several summer ferstivals (Noizstock, Offenham Festival) to great reviews in local press including a positive review from Slap Magazine.

RVRMN performed at Worcester Music Festival three times (2014, 2016 and 2017). The last time saw them performing twice in one day, first at St Swithuns Institute and then at The Swan with Two nicks. On 29th of November they have been invited to record their session for BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester along with the Americas, Ben Goodwin and Jakebob.

RVMn is influenced by The 1975, Hodera, Bon Iver and The Hunna

Website: http://rivermanofficial.wixsite.com/page
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RivermanPage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RivermanPage
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_riverman_/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rivermanpage
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3d2jDGHN6UP2CrGsWV7Q8v

Neil Ivison and Stone Mountain Sinners

Stone Mountain Sinners promo1

Stone Mountain Sinners promo2

Official bio: Sometimes, timing is everything. When Neil Ivison’s first band (the Janice Long championed Misers) imploded, he soon found his way back out on the road working as a touring guitar tech with the 1975 & Wolf Alice among others. Meanwhile, Sarah Warren’s eponymously named band were also about to call time on 10 years of hard gigging through the UK and & Europe. During a rare day off from an intensive US tour schedule, in a hotel room in the Californian desert, beside the 29 Palms Highway and less than 2 miles from the infamous Joshua Tree Motel (where 42 years previously, Gram Parsons had met his untimely end), Neil, finally admitting that his passion for writing songs and playing his own gigs had become eroded, took the decision to finish the current tour and return to the UK to work on new music, inspired by the regular jaunts to the southern States of the US. Neil: “That same afternoon, I was aimlessly browsing social media and noticed Sarah had written a post announcing the end of The Sarah Warren Band. Having been a fan of her incredible voice ever since I first heard it, I immediately dashed off a quick email to see if she’d be interested in working on something new together. I think I just put “Any Chance?!” in the subject line”. Luckily, Sarah’s mutual appreciation for Neil’s work with The Misers meant that she was more than eager to see what could come out of collaborating together but not before she had grabbed her musical cohort, die hard Americana fan and ex Warren Band bassist Nick Lyndon. The 3 got together over several months in the autumn of 2016 to kick around some ideas with Nick & Neil forming a prolific song writing partnership, giving birth to 12 new tracks in the first 2 weeks alone, as well as revisiting some old songs that were rejuvenated with new & dynamic male/female vocal arrangements. Once the songs started to take shape the trio dug out their address books, made a few calls and were soon bolstered by Roger Roberts on Hammond/Piano and Vocals and former RedBeards sticks man Duke Delight on Drums and began rehearsing in earnest.

Worcester/Hereford based band, Stone Mountain Sinners consist of Neil Ivison (vocals, guitar,) Sarah Warren (lead vocals), Nick Lyndon (bass), Roger Roberts (keyboard/hammond) and Duke Delight (drums). Both Sarah and Nick previously played together in an established Worcestershire outfit The Haunted Souls, while Duke was a member of the RedBeards.

Before joining SMS, Neil Ivison also had a successful career with his previous band, The Misers and as a solo artist. The Misers toured nationally and worldwide playing legendary venues such as Astoria the Royal Albert Hall and Clun100 in London, The Viper Room in Los Angeles or Fillmore in San Francisco usually at full capacity.  Neil performed live and on records with members of Squeeze, The Sex Pistols, The Cult, Guns n’ Roses, The Specials, Morrissey, Ocean Colour Scene, The Proclaimers, The Wildhearts, Groove Armada & Tenpole Tudor. Many of his performances were broadcast live on BBC Radio2 and SkyArts. He was also championed by Janice Long (BBC2 journalist awarded the prestigious BASCA Gold Badge for her unique contribution to music in 2016). Most recently Neil scored a Top 10 record in the UK Album charts as vocalist on The Professionals album “ What in the World” (released on October 27th 2017 through Automaton Records).

Stone Mountain Sinners have appeared locally on several occasions including a short set on April 30th at the Swan with Two Nicks (Malicia’s gig of the year). The popular pub in Worcester city center was packed to the last place and a huge crowd gathered outside trying to get in. Their gigs around Evesham (The Regal and The Royal Oak) became the talk to the town bringing Robert Plant to see them. On 7th of December, the band made their London debut at the Bordlerline, supporting Men They Couldn’t Hang. The sinners will release their debut EP in the late spring 2018.

Stone Mountain Sinners

Website: https://www.stonemountainsinners.co.uk
Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/stonemountainsinners/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StoneSinners  

Neil Ivison
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/neil.ivison
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NeilIvisonMusic/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neilivison
Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/neil.ivison

HEXEN

HEXEN promo picture1

HEXEN promo picture2

Ren Wolfe, better known under the pseudonym of HEXEN is Worcester native singer/songwriter, costume designer, model and visual artist. She currently resides and works in Cardiff. HEXEN describes herself as “pop noir” or “goth pop” and finds inspiration in pulp novels, occult and sexploitation movies from the 60’s and 70’s. She is also interested in horrors and witchcraft motives and their influence over pop culture. Her favourite band is The Cure.

Ren has worked closely with several notable Welsh and Worcester musicians.  She sang backing vocals on a well received single “Float away” by Nuns of the Tundra and supported them on stage during promotion of their EP in Worcester (Marr’s Bar) and in Bristol (Louisiana).

She released her debut EP “Holy Hell” on 14th of August 2017 to excellent reception from press and Spotify community where her songs received thousands of listens and likes. The three song release (“Baptism”, “Sacrifice” and “Salvation”) tell a story of an elaborate revenge and can be classified as a concept EP, something very rare on an indie circuit. It was produced by Scott Mahoney at Strange Trees Media and mastered by Joe Caithness. Over the summer, Reverbnation placed Ren in their top 5 pop chart for Wales in 2017, Our Culture Mag (blog) described her as “dark pop artist, her powerful and moving music is starting to put her on the radar” and she was interviewed for BBC Wales by DJ Bethan Elfyn in June 2017. Ian Critchley of Louder Than War Magazine described her EP as “atmospheric, emotive and brimming with soul, heaven for pensive ears. Baroque and Roll for all the lost souls”.

HEXEN was championed by DJ Adam Walton at BBC Wales. In May 2017, he included her on BBC Introducing Wales and in July, she became their Artist of the Week. She was also named one of the emerging new artists on BBC Wales three times: in May, August and September 2017. HEXEN’s songs are included in several official Spotify play lists dedicated for rising indie stars: “Wonky Sensitive”, “Fringe Music Fix”, “Find A Song” and “Pop Daily”.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/itshexen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/itshexen
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itshexen/
Bandcamp: https://itshexen.bandcamp.com

Vertigo

Harry Lee Jones – the mastermind behind Vertigo

Cover for the single “Breath”

Fronted by Worcester native, Harry Jones, the Bristol based project, Vertigo is one of the best kept secrets on the West Midlands and Bristol indie scenes. Formed in 2015, the band underwent several line up changes and at this moment consists of Charlotte Tunnicliffe on drums, Aaron House on bass and Harry Lee Jones on vocals and guitar. Vertigo are somewhat elusive and do not perform much, but each of their concerts is always well attended (such as the sold out gig at The Fleece in Bristol). Their debut single entitled “Breath” received a fantastic response from local media and the band was quickly spotted by BBC DJ Andrew Marston. They were included into BBC Introducing in Hereford and Worcester on 3rd of September 2016 along with Grafton Ash. Breath also received an extensive play on BBC Hereford and Worcester radio. The band is inspired by Jesus and the Mary Chain, The Stone Roses, The Beatles and The Velvet Underground.

Vertigo is now working on new material to be released in the second half of 2018. Judging by their new demos, we can expect great things from them. They are Rita’s discovery of 2017. Honestly, she has not been so excited about a band since the White Lies and they went on to have a spectacular career!

Website:  http://harryjoneslfc.wixsite.com/vertigo/vertigo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/harryjones27
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vertigo-1710755979198462
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/vertigodada
Soundcloud (new demo for “Gucci”) https://soundcloud.com/vertigodada/gucci-the-first-demo
Soundcloud (“Breath”): https://soundcloud.com/vertigodada/breathe
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj0K77SGJnPWsz417sYERKw

Wheew! What a ride! One can get a serious case of vertigo being surrounded by so much talent in such a small place. We keep saying it, but we are extremely proud of our musicians, the entire scene and the people who work so hard in the background to make the gigs and events happen. Hats off to you, ladies and gentlemen.

It is not possible to mention all the bands that are playing clubs, bars and venues in Worcester, but we are constantly on the lookout and if we see anybody worth a mention, we will be more than happy to add them to the next edition!

Stay tuned, stay sharp and stay vigilant,
Rita and Mal D.

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Indieterria: WorcesterWave youngest bands part 1

Hello!

It’s December already and soon 2017 will be a history. Despite what the popular songs says, it was a very good year for Worcester and Worcestershire groups. After numerous articles in the press, sold out gigs, sessions for BBC Introducing and national radio plays and won competitions, we can be proud of our musical scene and its accomplishments.

If you are searching for brand new bands to look out for in 2018, to quote again another popular song, please don’t look any further. Your faithful A&R’s at Vanadian Avenue spent the entire last week composing a list of emerging groups that will keep you headbanging, pogo’ing and singing along for the next 12 months. Some bands are well established, some are just starting and some have their resume filled with important names, legendary venues and songs on the charts.

This guide has two parts already and we will be adding more in the future:
You can read the next chapter here:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2017/12/09/indieterria-worcesterwave-youngest-bands-part-2/

Please keep your eyes open and you will be attending the best concerts yet without the need of travelling anywhere outside of Worcester! There is so much happening in our city, it’s really hard to keep track of every event out there.

To make it easier for you music lovers, please read our guide to the bands that will rock 2018. We salute them!

Navajo Ace

Navajo Ace

Navajo Ace acoustic

Official bio: Worcester band Navajo Ace formed in 2016 and are quickly garnering themselves a reputation as an interesting underground band that make music with power and soul. The band combine a broad spectrum of influences, breathing new life into a sound somewhere between the grittier end of 90s college alt rock, shoegaze and Emo before it became a dirty word.

Named after the DC Comics Native American superhero character, Johnny Cloud from 1960’s “All-American Men of War” (created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Irv Novick), Navajo Ace is an Americana/college rock four-piece based in Worcester. The band started playing together early in 2016 and their current line up consists of Adam Barnes (vocals and guitar), Thom Dewhurst (guitar and backing vocals), Christian Burton (bass) and Crag Sharpe (drums). On August 6th 2017, they released their 5 track EP “Five Turnings” (“Tiger in the Tank”, “Underneath Cars”, “Awkward Place”, “Five Turnings” and “Drop The Needle”). The EP has been recorded at a well known studio JT Soar in Nottingham, produced by Phil Booth & Navajo Ace and mastered by Jesse Cannon at Cannon Found Soundation (Limp Bizkit, Man Overboard, NOFX, The Misfits) in New York.  In September, their song “Awkward Place” debuted on BBC Hereford and Worcester and the band received positive reviews from Andrew Marston of BBC Introducing and Louder Than War magazine.

Navajo Ace are constantly touring nationally (Nottingham, Lincoln, Bristol, Plymouth) and locally (sold out gigs at Heroes Bar with nth cave, Worcester Music Festival and acoustic set at Bottles in Worcester). They supported Moose Blood, Bivouac and legendary bassist Mike Watt (Minutemen, Big Walnuts Yonder Porno for Pyros, The Stooges).  The band is inspired by the music of Some Skeletons, Transmissions, 36 Strategies, Thousands of Reflections and Rosebud.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/navajoace
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/navajoaceband
Soundcloud:  https://soundcloud.com/navajoace
Louder Than War review: http://louderthanwar.com/something-that-shines-introducing-navajo-ace/

Novaview

Joanna Edwards on vocals

Novaview live on stage

Formed in Worcester early in 2017, Novaview is the youngest group to join the WorcesterWave scene and one with a massive potential. The group consists of four band members: Luke Rhodes on guitar, Joanna Edwards on vocals, bass player Jack Godwin bass and drummer Tate Ellison. Inspired by My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins, this very young shoegaze/dreampop quarter is now working hard on their demo songs that will be released in 2018. We hope their new material will include a remastered version of “In Limbo”, a beautifully crafted and very catchy song they currently have on their Soundcloud account.

Novaview debuted in October at the Boneyard Sessions concert at The Firefly in Worcester and made a big impression on the audience and music promoters. It is worth mentioning that Joanna Edwards has an unique, almost ethereal voice that can only be compared to that of Hope Sandoval’s of American dreampop giants, Mazzy Star. Vanadian Avenue will be closely watching their progress as their prospects are big and bright like the starry skies in the middle of winter (the most luminous time of year if you wondered).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/novaviewuk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Novaviewuk
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/novaview

Junior Webb

Junior Weeb playing live

Junior Weeb on the green grass

Official bio:  Junior Weeb are an indie funk/alternative rock four-piece hailing from Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire. With hard-hitting bass grooves, soulful vocals and sticky guitar licks, Junior Weeb take their influences from a catalogue of different genres hoping to create a finished product that pleases your ears.

Hailing from the Worcestershire town of Droitwich Spa, former Victorian health resort and a well known beauty spot, Junior Weeb is an indie/alternative rock quartet with massive dose of energy. They easily pass it to their audience during their live performances causing serious cases of pogo, headbanging and singing along. The group consist of Chris Phee (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Max Killing (bass guitar and backing vocals), Joe Webby (lead guitar and an obvious inspiration behind the name) and Quentin Hill (drums).

The band known affectionately as the Juniors (or alternatively as The Weebs) has been together for over a year and spent the majority of that time recording their demos and touring. They supported Muncie Girls, The Riscas, Ivory Wave, The Americas (at the O2 Academy in Birmingham) and Soeur at the sold out show at the Marr’s Bar in Worcester.  They will return to Birmingham this Christmas to play alongside Mama Roux and The Icon.

On April 21th 2017, their debut single “No right” was chosen as the track of the week by this Feeling circuit and a month later, popular website GIgSlutz gave the boys a glowing review describing their music as a “dreamy, psychedelic affair with just a hint of Oasis”. With recommendations such as this and a strong following, Junior Weeb is on the best way to make it to the charts in the next couple of years.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juniorweebband
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/juniorweeb
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juniorweeb

Jodie Hughes/The Lightweights

The Lightweights

The Lightweights at The Marr’s Bar by Indri Richardson

Before joining forces with The Lightweights, Jodie Hughes was a well established singer/songwriter in her own right. At the age of 16, Worcester School of Rock and Performance alumna, Jodie became the youngest person ever to perform at Worcester Music Festival and at the Independent Music Week in her hometown to support Anteros and The Assist. The Lightweights are three-piece indie/punk rock band from Worcester consisting of Jodie Hughes on lead vocal and guitar, Alex Russell on bass and Euan Richardson on drums. Second guitarist, Fiona Berry occasionally joins their performances but doesn’t seem to be a permanent member of the band anymore.

The Lightweights had a very busy summer performing at the Live Experience Festival, Battle of the Bands at the Rugby Club, MappFest in Malvern, Bowfest in Bromsgrove and Worcester Carnival. Recently the band supported Jacklines at Birmingham O2 Institute, the RPM’s and Thousand Mountain at the Marrs Bar in Worcester and participated in the 10th edition of Worcester Music Festival. The band is currently in the studio working on their debut EP.

Jodie Hughes:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jodie.katrinahughes99
Facebook: https://facebook.com/jodiehughesmusic
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/jodiehughesmusicandstuff
Reverb Nation: https://www.reverbnation.com/jodiehughes

The Lightweights
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelightweightsband
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelightweightsband/

Jesse River Dylan Murray

Jesse River Dylan Murray picture by Andy O’Hare

Jesse live on stage

23 year old Jesse River Dylan Murray is the singer/songwriter based in Worcester. His strong voice, impressive range effortlessly changing from falsetto to bass and striking scenic image has been compared to David Bowie, Mark Bolan and Johnny Cash. Named after River Phoenix and the bard himself (Bob Dylan), Jesse is designed for fame. His debut EP “Classical Music” has been released in July 2017 to positive reviews. JRDM has been very busy this year touring and gigging in every corner of West Midlands and beyond (The Brecon Fringe Festival, Wales) , performing with numerous local acts such as Reuben Seabright, Ben Dallow, nth cave, Nuns of the Tundra (at the Marrs Bar), Boneyard Sessions and Doozer McDooze (for Worcester Music Festival). He is hosting and performing at the Open Mic nights at the Chesnut Pub in Worcester. 2018 seems to be another busy year for him as Jesse is already booked for several summer festivals including the Breathfest and Nozstock the Hidden Valley in Bromyard.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jesse.River.Dylan.Murray.Warner
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JRDMcreations/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jesse-river-dylan-murray
Bandcamp: https://jrdm.bandcamp.com/album/classical-music

The Ben Vickers Collective

The Collective

Ben and his Collective playing at Firefly in Worcester, picture by Malicia Dabrowicz

Reggae, ska and funk musician Ben Vickers is somewhat of a Worcester music scene legend. Performing since he was 11 years old (right after he received his first guitar), Droitwich resident Ben played, jammed and shared the stage with almost every local musician. He has worked at well established music shops in the city center (RGS Worcester and Cranes Music) and tutored countless amateur musicians helping them develop better guitar-playing skills. He was also a guitarist in popular Worcester band, Hometown Tourists.

However, Ben is best known for playing acoustic solo sets that draws big crowds. He has played at The Marrs Bar, The Firefly, Heroes, The Chestnut, Bottles and many other local venues. He is also involved in running popular open mic nights and jam sessions. Ben performed at Youthcomm’s Minifest, Sunshine Music Festival in Upton, Worcester Music Festival, Worcester Show and was featured on BBC Introducing by Andrew Marston. In 2015, he released 4 song EP entitled “Keep it Real Funky” which received a lot of radio play at BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Ben’s newest musical endeavour is called The Collective. It is a five-piece outfit consisting of very experienced musicians. Except Ben Vickers (lead guitar and vocals), The Collective include Poppy Waterman-Smith (piano and vocals), Matthew Todd (bass guitar), Ryan Lerigo-Jones (drums) and Pat McArdle (percussion, melodica and samples). The Collective plays a mixture of ska, roots rock reggae rhythms with touches of jazz and soul. It is worth mentioning that Poppy’s powerful voice and scene presence gained the attention of Seal, who invited her to perform as an opening act for his concert in Manchester in July 2016.

Ben Vickers:
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/vickersbeard
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/vickersbeard
Twitter: https://twitter.com/6stringwiszard

The Collective:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecollectivereggae/
Bandcamp: https://www.facebook.com/thecollectivereggae/
https://thecollectivereggae.bandcamp.com

Ruben Seabright

Ruben Seabright

Ruben playing live

Malvern native, the 29 year old singer/songwriter, Ruben Seabright is the owner of one of the most recognizable and the most powerful voices in Worcester. Ruben comes from artistic and musical family and he has been performing along with his parents and siblings locally since a very young age. He has released his debut album entitled “Depths” in 2013 and has been performing extensively ever since. Ruben shared the stage with Soeur, Nuns of the Tundra, This Wicked Tongue, Ben Vickers, Vault of Eagles, Thousand Mountain and many more. Recently he has supported Nigel Clark (of Dodgy), Heck (formerly Baby Godzilla) and Kill the Romantic. He has been featured on BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester in 2016. Ruben is currently working on his new material to be released as an EP next year.

Ruben is hosting a number of open mic nights in Worcester and Malvern where he performs solo or in the company of his father, Paul “Toad” Seabright, member of successful Worcestershire groups Health Warning and Sons of Spock (winners of Three Counties Band of the Year award).

Please keep your eyes on the entire Seabright clan as the talent runs in the family! Ruben is married to fellow musician, Becky Rose Seabright and he is a brother-in-law to writer Katie Lowe, whose debut book “The Furies” has been purchased by Harper Collins for an international publication in 2018 (and they paid a 6 figure sum for it as well)!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RubenSeabright/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rubenseabright
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ruben-seabright
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rubenseabright/

Please come back soon as we are not finished yet!
The second part of our  guide will be released next week (or even sooner as we are really dying to show you the rest of the bands).

Have a great evening,
Malicia and Rita Dabrowicz

Indieterria – Year in review

Hello!

It is nearly December and we cannot believe how quickly this year has gone! The past 11 months were super busy but many things were accomplished. Worcester music scene is growing stronger and stronger by the day and we thought it would be fun to prepare a short review.

We have taken 9 of the most popular musical acts from our faithful city, we looked through their official websites and posts on social media pages to find out what they have been up to and what they have achieved. The results? We can describe them only with one word  – breathtaking. If somebody would told us that 2017 will be so productive and so kind to our local musicians, we would have never believed them.

Please read our report below and we hope you will feel as proud as we feel right now.

There is also another reason why we decided to do this  review.

You have probably heard by now that BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcester was asked to put forward one artist from our county to go to famous music business trade and conference SXSW in Austin, Texas next year.

There is a whole discussion on BBC H&W page, so we decided to make it easier for you and point out what leading artists from Worcestershire accomplished in recent times. Now its up to you dear readers to decide who may go to America in 2018. Read on and let your voice be heard.

You can see the entire discussion here:

 

HVMM

1. HVMM (hard rock/alternative)

– Signed to Independent Label Alliance (US based label)
– Released EP “Talk To Me Like I`m Dead”
– Release of debut EP followed by a sold out gig at Marrs Bar and a release party at Rise (Independent Record Store)
– Have been featured on BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester
– Their single “Lacerate” has been played nationally on BBC 6 Music (Steve Lamacq), Kerrang Radio (Alex Baker), Radio X (John Kennedy), Amazing Radio and multiple smaller radio stations in the UK and US.
– Band continues to record in Spain and London with legendary producer Martin “Youth” Glover
– Named as one of leading bands from Worcestershire (“WorcesterWave”) by Worcester News
– Headlined a sold out show in London (Seabright Arms) as part of Hackney Wonderland
– Portal TeamRock.com named HVMM their “Band of the Week”, large features in Classic Rock, Gig Sluts and other large music portals online.
– Band tours nationally
– Released videos to “Lacerate”, “Going Postal” and “Beggars and Thieves”

You can listen to the band here: https://soundcloud.com/wearehvmm
You can visit band`s page here: https://www.wearehvmm.com/

If you think HVMM deserve to go to SXSW, please let BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcestershire know here:
https://www.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/posts/1603789059685051

Nuns of the Tundra

2. Nuns of the Tundra (indie /psychedelic rock)

– Unsigned act
– Released self titled EP
– Successful EP launch at Marr’s Bar in Worcester supporting Soeur (sold out)
– Recorded a session for BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcester
– Their singles “Robot Love” and “Float away” were championed by Andrew Marston of BBC Hereford and Worcester. “Mind`s Eye” has been streamed over  000 on Spotify
– Band continues to record locally at Funky Bunker in Malvern with producer Scott Mahoney
– Named as one of leading acts from Worcestershire (“WorcesterWave”) by Worcester News
– Strong touring presence locally (Bristol, Birmingham, Evesham) .Their performance at at BBC Introducing stage at Lakeview Festival at Eastnor Castle received very positive reviews (“they blew the tent poles off”)
– The band were featured in several articles in Malvern Gazette, Worcester News and Worcester Observer. Overblown Magazine called Nuns of the Tundra “the saviours of mainstream rock”
– The band is currently is in the finals of the third edition of the “Battle of the Bands” organized by Firestone. You can vote for them here: http://battleofthebands.firestone.eu/
– Released 4 singles : “Robot Love”, Mind’s eye”, “Float away” and “Dead in the desert”. Animated video to “Float away” made in co-operation with London based art company YESMAN was accepted into several international short film festivals including the prestigious  NYC Indie Film Festival

You can listen to the band here: https://soundcloud.com/nunsofthetundra
You can visit band`s page here:  http://nunsofthetundra.com/

If you think Nuns of the Tundra deserve to go to SXSW, please let BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcestershire know here:
https://www.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/posts/1603789059685051

Population:7

 

3. Population:7 (rap/funk/neo-soul)

– Unsigned collective and one of the largest in the country (currently 9 members)
– Released three independent albums “Dead city” (featuring Tina Maynard and Anya Pulver of Soeur on vocals), “WHYP7” and “Fiero”
– Their concert at Worcester Music Festival was named best live performance by the audience. They also supported ska legends The Toasters.
– Recorded a session for BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcester
– Debuted on BBC 6 Music (Tom Robinson`s MixTape). Andrew Marston of BBC Hereford and Worcester described them as Incredible live performers. Fun, energetic and have the crowd enjoying themselves as much as the band!”
– The Collective is working on a project entitled “Lowlight” with possible theatrical release.
– Named as one of leading bands from Worcestershire (“WorcesterWave”) by Worcester News
– The band is constantly touring locally (Bristol, Birmingham, string of local festivals such as Under The Hill FestDubs In the Middle and Mello Festival).
– Described as one of the best bangers from the Midlands by Birmingham rapper Lady Sanity in Dummy Magazine
– They supported Benji and Hibbz at sold out concert in Birmingham
– Released several videos to singles such as “I say”, “Blindspot” and “Swag” with thousands views on YouTube

You can listen to the band here: https://soundcloud.com/population-7
You can visit band`s page here:  https://population7.bandcamp.com/

If you think Population:7 deserve to go to SXSW, please let BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcestershire know her
https://www.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/posts/16037890596850

The Americas

4. The Americas (rock`n`roll)

– Unsigned act
– Released demo (“Tenth Day of May”), 2 digital singles (“Something`s Gonna Happen”, “Hot Minute”)
– Played to the full house at Worcester Music Festival, sell out every home coming gig
– They recently recorded session for BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcester, they have featured on BBC Introducing West Midlands
– Their music received airplay from national radio stations such as Radio X (Gordon Smart), BBC Hereford and Worcester, Free Radio and many independent online radio stations
– The Americas just finished recording their debut EP
– Named as one of leading bands from Worcestershire (“WorcesterWave”) by Worcester News
– They are the only band from Worcestershire on the famous This Feeling circuit. Headlined sold out show at The Finsbury in London. The Americas supported The Twang (sold out show at O2 Academy Birmingham), Broken Witt Rebels, Bluetones, Blaenavon and Trampolene
– They played some of the most important festivals in the country: Beyond The Tracks, Reading, Y Not, Tramlines, Isle of Wright
– Online magazine Gigslutz awarded them the title of the Best Newcomers and described them as “Infectious, frenetic, cool. One to watch”. Their concert was named “the week’s best gig” by the New Musical Express. The Line of Best Fit championed them by saying they “revitalize rock`n`roll”. The Americas received positive reviews from Mikey Johnns of This Feeling, Hall or Nothing music promoter Caffy St. Luce
– Band tours nationally. They performed at the BBC Amplify conference in London
– The Americas released video to single “Hot Minute” 

You can listen to the artist here: https://soundcloud.com/theamericasyeah
You can visit band`s page here:  https://www.facebook.com/theamericasyeah/

If you think The Americas deserve to go to SXSW, please let BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcestershire know here:
https://www.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/posts/1603789059685051

nth cave

5. nth cave (shoegaze/dreampop)

– Unsigned but tipped as the most promising band from Worcester
– Double A single demo released (Bass/Pop Party Princess)
– The band played to a full house for Worcester Music Festival, Worcester Pride and  took part in Musicians Against Homelessness charity fundraiser
– Recorded session for BBC Introducing BBC Hereford & Worcester
– Debuted  by Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music with a rave review (“band to watch out for”)
– The band prepares to enter the studio in January
– Named as one of leading bands from Worcestershire (“WorcesterWave”) by Worcester News
– nth cave begin to gain ground outside the county with concerts in Birmingham (02 Academy 2) and Liverpool (Club Babe).
– SLAP Magazine described them as “young, fearless and immensely talented”.  They have been heavily championed by BBC Hereford and Worcester
– Members of the band are known for broad interests in music and broadcasting. Fergus (guitar) has been awarded BBC apprenticeship, while Hector (drums) and Alfie (bass) participate in Boneyard Promotions, organizing concerts and open mic nights in Worcester and Hereford.
– nth cave released video for their single “Bass” 

You can listen to the band here: https://soundcloud.com/nthcave
You can visit band`s page here:  https://www.facebook.com/nthcave/

If you think nth cave deserve to go to SXSW, please let BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcestershire know here:
https://www.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/posts/1603789059685051

The Humdrum Express

6. The Humdrum Express /Ian Passey (singer/songwriter)

– Unsigned and self releasing artist
– Ian has a long career which spans over thirteen releases (album and EPs), the newest being a stand-alone single “E-Petition” released in November 2017
– The Humdrum Express has recently taken part in Musicians Against Homelessness charity fundraiser in Worcester, curated folk stage at Worcester Music Festival and played a sold out show at the Ross Theatre in Kiddeminster.
– During his career Ian has been featured numerous times on BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcester and BBC West Midlands
– His six last singles have been in regular rotation on BBC 6 Music and other national stations. In total over 30 different shows across a variety of stations.
– Ian is currently preparing to record his new album
– “E-Petition” single went viral in October 2017, with articles about the zombie themed video appearing across local media – Stourbridge News, Dudley News, Kidderminster Shuttle and local radio stations (Severnvalley Radio)
– The Humdrum Express shared stages with many great artists such as performance poet John Cooper Clarke, Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü), Ian McCulloch (Echo & the Bunnymen), The Wombats, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Wedding Present, Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff), Mark Morriss (The Bluetones), The Membranes
– The Kidderminster Shuttle describe Ian Passey as an artist “known for his fast-paced lyrical style who mixes social commentary with familiar cultural references, surreal characters and subtle puns”
– The Humdrum Express has a series of videos under his belt. The latest – is “E-Petition”

You can listen to the artist here: https://soundcloud.com/thehumdrumexpress
You can visit artist`s page here:  https://www.thehumdrumexpress.com/

If you think The Humdrum Express deserve to go to SXSW, please let BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcestershire know here:
https://www.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/posts/1603789059685051

Soeur

7. Soeur (alternative/noise)

– Unsigned band (but for how long?)
– Released debut EP “What separates us” and singles “No Fire”, “Left Living” and the title track “What separates us”
– Soeur shows usually sells out quickly as it happened in Worcester, Birmingham, Bristol, Bath, Leeds and Sheffield
– They have been featured on BBC Introducing twice: BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester and BBC Introducing In the West. Their single “No fire” was championed by Andrew Marston and Huw Stephens
– Received impressive amount of airplay on local and national radio stations: BBC Hereford and Worcester, BBC Radio Bristol, Free Radio Birmingham, Radio X, BBC Radio 1 (Rock Show with Daniel P Carter), BBC6 Music and many more
– They recorded their debut session at the legendary BBC Maida Vale studios in London in September. It was broadcasted live on Radio 1 along with the band’s interview
– Named as one of leading bands from Worcestershire (“WorcesterWave”) by Worcester News
– Soeur played at Reading Festival, Leeds Festival and headlined two sold out shows in London – Named as “one of the best unsigned acts” by Radio 1, “unforgettable” by BBC Introducing and “kick-ass attitude, catchy tunes and filthy riffs” by popular online magazine Tab the Feed
– Their single “No fire” was added to official Spotify playlist called “Rocked – the best new rock songs from the UK”
– Released videos to “Pass out”, “No fire” and “Left Living”

You can listen to the band here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVcb7WVDBjUwEcj0hVR4Fig
You can visit band`s page here:  https://www.soeursoeursoeur.com

If you think Soeur deserve to go to SXSW, please let BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcestershire know here:
https://www.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/posts/1603789059685051

Thousand Mountain

8.Thousand Mountain (match rock/instrumental)

– Unsigned band
–  Released self titled demo and currently are working on their first EP
– Thousand Mountain performed at Worcester Music Festival, The Sunflower Lounge and The Flapper in Birmingham and headlined Musicians Against Homelessness concert at Marr’s Bar in Worcester in support of Crisis
– They supported American spoken word legends The Listener, Press to Meco, Rubio and Sleepmakeswaves among others
– Have been featured on BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester
– Their single “Falling” was played on Birmingham Radio, BBC Hereford and Worcester and received national airplay on BBC 6 Music Recommends with Steve Lamacq
– “Falling” was also available to listen online nationally on BBC iPlayer for the period of 2 months
– Named as one of leading bands from Worcestershire (“WorcesterWave”) by Worcester News
– The band was featured in several others articles form Worcester News, Worcester Observer and Slap Magazine
– They were interviewed by national Free Radio during prime time broadcast slot (driving home news)
– Thousand Mountain are working with the biggest concert promoters in Worcestershire and Birmingham and constantly touring
– Live videos to “Kraken”, “Open Doors” and “Falling” are available on their  Youtube channel

You can listen to the band here: https://soundcloud.com/thousand-mountain
You can visit band`s page here:  https://www.facebook.com/ThousandMountain/

If you think Thousand Mountain deserve to go to SXSW, please let BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcestershire know here:
https://www.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/posts/1603789059685051

Lost Tiger

9. Lost Tiger to the Wild (indie/alternative rock)

– Unsigned duo but  under the care of prestigious Coalition Talent agency
– Released debut single in November 2017
– Duo played a string of successful home town gigs at Marrs Bar, to full house
– Recorded a session for BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcester
– Band has been championed by Andrew Marston of BBC Hereford & Worcester
– Lost Tiger are currently recording
– They  supported Tinie Tempah at the Coventry University Summer Ball and X Factor finalists, Jack    and Joel. Only weeks after at the Teesside University Ball, Lost Tiger opened for Wheatus, Karen Harding, Fuse ODG and Pendulum
– Headlined the Birmingham Christmas Market for Free Radio
– The band enjoys a phenomenal social media presence – having over  11.000 followers on Instagram
– Released videos to their debut single “Come Out With Me”

You can listen to the band here: https://www.youtube.com/losttiger
You can visit band`s page here:  https://www.facebook.com/LostTigerBand/

If you think Lost Tiger deserve to go to SXSW, please let BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcestershire know here:
https://www.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/posts/1603789059685051

Keep your fingers crossed for your favourite artists and let The BBC Introducing Herefor and Worcester know who would you like to see on the other side of The Pond!

See you soon,
Rita and Malicia D.

Indieterria Reviews: Mudlark

Hello!

It is a common knowledge that Wales has a strong connection to music. From Ivor Novello, Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones to Budgie, Funeral for a Friend, Manic Street Preachers and Catatonia, Welsh music has always been a step ahead of everybody else, setting new trends and refining musical tastes for decades.

The money might be in London, but the talent is definitively hidden among the valleys and it’s our pleasure to introduce our readers to the best of new acts that Vanadian Avenue has the privilege to discover.

Come Clean /Swansong cover by Robert Paterson

Our today’s guests, Mudlark hail from the beautiful town of Caerphilly. At the beginning, it is worth mentioning that their name is quite original and what’s even more important, it fits them like a glove. In the 18th and 19th century England (especially in the capitol) people scavenging through the river mud in search of valuable items to sell were called either mud searchers or mud lurkers. Usually they belonged to the city’s poorest residents, yet they enjoyed a great deal of  independence, respect among other dwellers and could keep all their earnings to themselves. Nowadays, the term is attributed to treasure hunters, amateur archaeologists and even metal-detectors looking for World Word II souvenirs. When we say the name fits the band well, we mean the listener has to literary “dig” through many layers and intricately constructed melodies to discover and appreciate the true value of their music. Multidimensional and complex creations are Mudlark’s trademarks.

The quintet was formed over two years ago and on the 5th of November 2017, they released their new double track single entitled “Come clean/Swansong”. You may remember them from their September release of an instrumental track “Ruth” that received very warm reviews from independent music websites and online zines. A well made, silent-cinema inspired video (known as “Frankenstein’s Ruth”) also helped to raise the band’s profile. We can promise you that the new release is as good as the previous one and shows that Mudlark are in incredibly great musical shape.

Mudlark picture by Rhys Morgan

Now let’s sink our teeth into the two new compositions. The first one track “Come Clean” is the shorter of the two, standing at only 2 minutes and three seconds. It starts with a longish atmospheric interlude but blossoms into a dynamic and structured sonic landscape at the end of the first minute. The band lists New York hard-core legends Minor Threat as one of their influences and the heavy, gritty guitars and distorted amplifiers are there but “Come Clean” masterfully covers them with haunting harmonies that reminds us of the classic Tool or maybe even more accurately, The Perfect Circle. Luke Powell’s powerful set of lungs shatter the poetic lyrics into shreds but somehow it goes perfectly well with the music. Our only complaint is that the track is a bit too short, yet it is a matter of individual taste. In our opinion, additional 20-30 seconds would allow the song to develop a bit better and keep its natural flow. It is not a big flaw, rather leave  the reviewer wanting more, which is a great thing.

Another great shot by Rhys Morgan

Second song entitled “Swansong” is much longer at 5 minutes and 13 seconds. Again slow beginning, with nearly spoken word vocals, mid tempo that gradually evolves into dramatic and vibrant finish. It is very hard to put it into a single genre – there is a bit of hard-core, a bit of progressive rock, mixture of clean and  growl vocals. If we could say, Swancong is something of a Faith No More, meets Fear Factory (Burton C Bell type vocals) with The Streets and a fellow Welsh metallers, Taint thrown into the concoction. Both songs were solidly mixed and produced. In short this is a professionally prepared demo from a band that`s on a good way to great things.

The double single comes with beautiful photographs taken by Alexandru Olteanu and cover art made by Robert Paterson.

Final mark: Highly recommended!

Promotional photography by Alexandru Olteanu

Mudlark
Luke Powell (vocals)
Wesley McCarthy (lead guitar)
Benjamin Morgan (rhythm guitar)
Nick Giles (bass)
Jack Williams (drums)

Hometown: Caerphilly

Bio: Lifelong friends from the Welsh valleys who write melancholic, poetic and dark oddities.

“Swansong/Come clean” two track single
Release date: 05/07/2017

Written and performed by Mudlark

Engineered by Rhys Morgan – https://twitter.com/rhysdrums
Produced by James Minas – https://twitter.com/minassound
Artwork by Robert Paterson  – https://www.facebook.com/robertpatersonart/
Photography by Alexandru Olteanu  – https://www.facebook.com/not.nanu
Video by Stone Letter Media  – https://www.facebook.com/stonelettermedia/

Second picture by Alexandru Olteanu

You can find more about Mudlark online:

Booking and interview requests:  mudlarkmail@gmail.com
Bandcamp:
https://mudlarkuk.bandcamp.com/releases
Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/mudlarkuk
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/mudlarkuk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/mudlarkuk
Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKwB_UXUDEVppX7dUrbNE2w

Swansong video:

Frankenstein’s Ruth video:

If you’d like to have your music featured on Indieterria, please send links to your Soundcooud or Bandcamp pages 3 or 4 pictures and a bio to rdabrowicz at yahoo dot com. Please note that Vanadian Avenue do not accept mp3 or zipped files. Also, please give us a week or two to listen to your music and write the review!

Thank you and see you shortly.
Rita and Malicia

 

Indieterria meets Population:7

Hey, hey!

Time does fly quickly when you are having a good time and recently we have been having the time of our lives (yes, Baby is not sitting in the corner anymore!). We have been to countless gigs, several parties, open mic nights and even to a Halloween extravaganza, but this is a tale for another day 🙂

Today, we would like to introduce you to one of the best neo soul musical collectives from The Midlands. They are called Population:7 and they are very popular among  faithful city residents. You should see their gig at Marrs’ Bar during Worcester Music Festival, it was so packed that Rita got a panic attack (she is claustrophobic), yet people still wanted to get in and were queuing outside! Something like that has not happened since the early 90’s according to the owners and we truly believe them.

Ladies and Gents, let us introduce you to a group that can make old Worcester City dance like the stars on BBC1 on Saturday night 🙂

—————————————————————

Population: 7 

Haydn Rogers: Vocals
Rachael Medhurst: Vocals
Sam Ruane: Vocals
Rob King: Guitar/Synth/Vocals
Pete Mann: Guitar/Vocals
Rob Taylor: Bass/Synth
Jon Kasch: Sax
Hannah Webb: Sax/Flute/Clarinet
Carl Browne: Drums

Population:7 official logo

Being in a band these days is certainly not a walk in the park, yet the technology available can make musicians’ lives so much easier.  The least experienced group will sound pretty good in the studio even if minimal production is applied. Reconstructing that decent sound on stage is another keg of beer whatsoever. In the spotlight, lack of skills or sloppy presence can send the unlucky ones straight into rock and roll oblivion. Don’t be alarmed, Population: 7 are fantastic on the record and in concert. To be honest, they are one of the few bands that can make you dance and jump right from the start. Talking to them is a pleasure as well. We met with Haydn Rogers to discuss their three records, linguistics and the dynamics of working in a musical collective.

There is no doubt that Population:7 is a fantastic name for a band. It’s short, easy to remember and carries a certain element of mystery. Can it be linked to the current population of Earth (7 billions people) or does it mean something completely different?

Haydn Rogers : Finally! Someone gets our name right! Yes, it is a reference to there being 7 Billion people on our planet (currently its 7,571,613,961, but it changes every second). I think we were having a conversation about Desmond Morris (a prolific scientist and writer) and exponential population growth and it all went from there. You would not believe how many people come up to us at shows and say something like: “What’s with the name? There’s like 9 of you and your name has a 7 in it!” Maybe it’s because of groups like SClub7 that people just assume its’s how many members you have!

Group picture

You are so far the biggest group we had a pleasure to host on our blog.  Would you be so kind to introduce all 9 members of your collective? Don’t worry, we like long answers!

Haydn Rogers: Currently, there are roughly 9 of us. I say roughly because we have members that come and play with us for a season or jam with us from time to time. On vocals we have Sam Ruane (alias Ruane), Rachael Medhurst and me (alias Phantom). On the guitars, we have Pete Mann (alias Swagadon), Rob King (he also plays synthesizer) and Rob Taylor who plays bass guitar. Carl Browne is our drummer but this summer he was replaced by Ben Pemberton as Carl was away. Also, there is Hannah Webb who plays alto saxophone, clarinet and flute. We’ve played with loads of other great players that we hope to play with again in the future.

Other bands are struggling to recruit members, yet you managed to gather quite a crowd. How did you all meet? Have you started out as a regular 3 or 4 piece band and kept adding new instruments or vocalists or have you just got together one day and decided to make music?

Haydn Rogers (laughing): We all met in a submarine, just off the coast of Puerto Rica. The Cubans had taken a top secret super weapon that would endanger all of the Eastern Sea on board. So, naturally we were in a nuclear stand off until we started playing this groove in the mess hall (witch for some reason was full of instruments). It was so righteous that we played it over the sub space radio and the Cubans heard it and immediately de-armed themselves and opened the peace negotiations. After that, we decided to form a fusion band instead of a top secret black ops division of MI6.

Or….

I met Sam Ruane few years back when I was playing with Rob King in a band called This Wicked Tongue. We were just chilling in the living room when Sam told us he was a rapper which really impressed us. After little collaboration with Sam’s band TWT, we decided to “do some hip-hop”. At that point we all gathered around a totally out dated lamp-shade iMac (absolute classic computer) and we would make beats with whatever we could get our hands on. At the same time, Pete Mann AKA Swagadon (a mysterious blues/rock/math demon) started writing with us and playing guitar, adding a whole new dimension of insane riffs and enigmatic dance routines. Slowey, we started working with other artists as well. Members of TWT and another group named Mansize were always involved with playing parts and jamming. Two girls, Tina Maynard and Anya Pulver did some fantastic vocals on our first album “Dead City”. When both bands broke up, half of their members moved to Bristol, the other half stayed in Worcester and we formed Population: 7. We wanted it to be a live act and not just a living room/studio project. The first incarnation included Sam, myself, Rob Taylor, Rob King, Pete Mann and Rachael Medhurst, who joined shortly after our first album was released. We needed a drummer, so we sent a couple of our songs to Carl Browne, our mutual friend. It was just few days before our first gig and he nailed everything without rehearsal. We asked him to join us and he said “Indeed shall!” The last person to join was Hannah Webb. She brought a new element to our music with the saxophone, clarinet and flute, giving us a funkier/jazzier sound. We also played with two other amazing sax players along the way – John Kasch (the blues wizard of sax, incredible player) and Katie Ind (amazing jazz multi instrumentalist).

The band in action at Mello Festival

You easily blend jazz, hip-hop, soul, R’n’B and funk into a powerful cocktail of rhythm and irresistible melodies. In your opinion, does Population: 7 sound fits any particular genre or are you happy to keep your fingers in many pies?

Haydn Rogers:  Thank you! I think we initially intended Population: 7 to be a live hip-hop group but through all of our different influences and ideas of what that should be, we ended up with something very different. Our music is an expression of our love for playing, jamming and creating, we get into a room and it just happens. The creative process is organic that way, more intuitive than conscious. The influences from other genres are intrinsically a part of us so when we play they manifest through us and form our fusion of sounds. We can be put into genres or a single genre but that is more for the listener to decide, we are too close to what we are doing to truly know. Also we’re happy to keep exploring music; it is always an adventure and a voyage of discovery

You have impressed Andrew Marston of BBC Hereford and Worcester so much that he described you as one of the best neo-soul acts in the country. After seeing you live he wrote:“What an incredible live performance. Fun, energetic and have the crowd enjoying themselves as much as the band!” It’s hard to disagree with his words as you nearly brought the entire Marrs Bar down during Worcester Music Festival on Saturday 16th of September. It was packed tight.

Giging at Marrs Bar in Worcester

Haydn Rogers:  We are very thankful to Andrew and the BBC Hereford and Worcester for playing our music and having us on at Lake Fest last year! We put a lot of effort into making sure our live shows are full of energy and it’s great to know that people appreciate that when we play. The Marrs Bar concert organized by The Task in Hand was a really enjoyable night for us and the crowd was amazing! This makes it easier for us to perform and have a great time doing it. It was a packed night and the atmosphere was intense. To capture that energy, we decided to film part of the show to make a video for our song “Swag” which will be out soon! We loved the other bands playing that night with us as well: Hoggs Bison, Theo, To The Wall, Esteban and Rosebud – check all of these out if you haven’t already!

Recently Population:7 has recorded two albums: “WHYP7” in 2016 and “Fiero” earlier this year. Despite just a year of difference between both releases, there is a massive change in your sound. “Fiero” is much more complex and adventurous. You use various singing and rapping techniques, you are not afraid to experiment with ambient and dubstep, everything seems to flow more naturally, almost with ease. We can freely use the word “mature” to describe it. You have evolved considerably as a band in a really short period of time.

Haydn Rogers: Again, thank you! A lot changed for us in that time including members and musical tastes so the music naturally moved with us. We also had time to play a lot of shows and practice hard, further discovering our sound and what P7 is and means to us. The sound will no doubt continue to change and evolve as we do as people. Music is all about people really, it’s a social thing. It is as much about our relationships and culture as it is about notes and musical structure. That is its true power – it connects people or sometimes the opposite – in our case we all agree on how it makes us feel which drives us to achieve more. We are currently bringing together the material we have been working on for the last year with a view to turn it into an album to record sometime next year.

We are intrigued by the name of the album. Tell us, what exactly is “Fiero”?

Cover of Fiero album

Haydn Rogers:  “Fiero” is an Italian word that has several meanings. I first came across it when I read “Emotions revealed: Understanding faces and feelings” by psychologist Paul Ekman. It is amazing, read it! Jane McGonigal, American game designer and author gives a good definition of fiero in her book “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World”.  She says: “Fiero is what we feel after we triumph over adversity. You know it when you feel it – and when you see it. That’s because we almost all express fiero in exactly the same way: we throw our arms over our head and yell”. We decided to use “Fiero” as the album title after having lots of problems with the titular song. There was a very tricky section in this song, that when we eventually got it right this is exactly what we felt. It also means fierce or proud and is also the name of a 1988 mid-engined Pontiac.

Two tracks included on and “Fiero” are standing out: the hypnotic “I Say” and the crowd pleasing “Blindspot” which opens the record. We’d love to hear more about those songs.

P7 at Lake Fest rocking the BBC Introducing stage

Haydn Rogers: “I Say” is a song about not feeling in control of your life but accepting that fact. It’s also a lot of fun to play and there’s a flute bit in it that Hannah came up with that completely defines that track. “Blind Spot” is one of our older songs and has changed a fair bit over the years until we recorded it for “Fiero”.  We also did a music video for it earlier this year in our friend Diff’s basement. Thanks Diff, you are a legend!

The collective is constantly on the move. You play a lot of shows at home and away. Recently you have supported Benji and Hibbz in Birmingham at a sold out concert and enchanted the audience during very successful performances at Lakeview Festival and at The Wharf in Stourport-on-Severn.  Where will your fans have to see you live next?

Haydn Rogers: We really enjoyed playing with Benji and Hibbz at the Hare and Hounds in Birmingham. They are a really talented bunch of musicians and great people too! We ended up having a freestyle jam with them and the other act, Glimmer & Wiz.  It is really refreshing playing with a band that is genuinely up for live jamming. We have a couple of shows coming up. Please come and see us on 2nd of November at the Marrs Bar supporting the Toasters and 2nd December at the George and Dragon in Belper. We’re also planning to do a Christmas Show show at the Marrs’ Bar but we are still confirming the dates.

Another group picture from the vast band’s archives

You can follow Population:7 at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/population7
Twitter: https://twitter.com/p7_population7
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/population-7
Reverb Nation: https://www.reverbnation.com/population7
Bandcamp: https://population7.bandcamp.com

 

You want to hire them for your gig? Please send all request to Population7uk@gmail.com! They will get your party started like nobody else. Trust us, we haven’t danced for years but our feet start moving on their own! It’s a dangerous thing to go to their performances. You never know, you might be off  showing your best moves on the dance floor in no time!

Have a fantastic Novermber kids and keep your eyes open. Population:7 are going to be even bigger, very, very soon.

xoxo
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

 

Indieterria meets Mutant-Thoughts

Hello, hello!

It’s the middle of the month and Indieterria is now back with another cool band you just have to know. Usually people like us here at Vanadian Avenue (professionally known as Artist and Repertoire or A&R’s for short) are sailing the vast waters of the world wide web in search of another talent to bring it to the surface for your enjoyment. It is a hard, ungrateful task at times but once a truly talented band or a musician is found, a long and successful career can begin.

Mutant-Thoughts logo

Sometimes we don’t have to search at all, the bands approach us themselves and all we can do is to sit, listen and admire as they are excellent at their craft. Our latest guest, Mutant-Thoughts found us on social media and we had to invite them to Indieterria as they are truly unique band!

Official Bio: Mutant-Thoughts is an experimental synth-rock band formed by Han Luis Cera (vocals and synths), Joshua Lennox-Hilton (bass and backing vocals) and Tom Pearmain (drums). Their unique sound combines traditional rock music with electronic sounds, eerie vibes and beautiful melodies. Mutant-Thoughts’ live shows are a spectacle that cannot be missed – it is equally energetic and emotional, filled with odd time signatures, crazy electric signals, heavy bass lines, eclectic vocal harmonies and to the listener’s surprise, no guitars. Using synths, drum machines and other special effects, Mutant-Thoughts is able to transform their surroundings into a completely new, detailed musical reality. The band released their first album in 2016. Their latest EP entitled “Is This Me?” was released in September 2017.

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Mutant-Thoughts

Han Luis Cera (vocals and synths),
Joshua Lennox-Hilton (bass and backing vocals)
Tom Pearmain (drums)

We are sure all music journalists can wholeheartedly agree that looking for a new, interesting band to write about can be tricky. Among millions of self released singles, YouTube videos and EP’s filled with repetitions or (in worst case scenarios) bad cover versions, discovering a true gem sometimes feels like mission impossible. Yet the hours spent listening to home-made demos are rewarded when you come across a band that captivates you with their music within seconds. We all know that feeling: the music starts, you close your eyes and a beautiful sound landscape unravels its mysteries to you through lyrics, tempo changes and fuzzed guitars. Good things do come to those who wait and we are really lucky to discover Bristol based trio that calls themselves Mutant-Thoughts. Vanadian Avenue sat down with their lead singer, Han Luis Cera to discuss their beginnings, unusual name and growing up in Latin America.

Mutant-Thoughts promotional shoot #1 by  Igor Tylek Photography

We have interviewed many bands with unique names, but yours is one-of-a-kind. It could be the title of the next Marvel superhero blockbuster. Where did it come from?

Han Luis Cera: (laughing) I admit, it does sound a bit like the next Marvel/DC psycho-thriller! That’s a film I’d like to watch. The actual name came from a very dramatic break up of my previous band. The whole thing left me in a situation in which I started having thoughts I didn’t recognize as my own, hence the name, Mutant-Thoughts. I thought it would no logger be possible for me to play with a band again. I started writing songs as some sort of personal therapy. However, when I moved to Bristol, I felt a lot better, and was happy to play with others again. I found Joshua Lennox-Hilton (our bassist), and Tom Pearmain (drumer), and I’m very happy and lucky to play with these two guys.

We are interested in learning more about Mutant-Thoughts. When and how did you meet?

Han Luis Cera: I moved to Bristol in 2014 but even before then, I was already looking for musicians to collaborate with. After a while, I met Josh, as he responded to a post I wrote online looking for a bass player. Around the same time, I befriended Pablo, an Argentinian drummer that played with us for the first year; sadly he had to leave us as he moved abroad. He basically transformed all the electronic songs I have written on my own into proper rock music as no band could ever play them in their original version (laughing)! After Pablo left, we played with another drummer named Tobias for about half a year, and he left for personal reasons. Then we auditioned a few drummers. Tom was the first one we heard that day and we were so impressed, that the decision was easy. He just understood immediately what we were doing and it was very easy to get along and work with him.

Mutant-Thoughts promotional shoot #2 by Igor Tylek Photography

Han, you are Colombian native. Can you tell us about your life in Latin America.  What type of music you grew up listening to?

Han Luis Cera: I grew up in Barranquilla, a port city in Northern part of Colombia. I was exposed to lots of types of music, but mostly Latin. Barranquilla has one of the biggest carnivals in the world, so we are used to listening to a lot of music, all day and every day. It is quite interesting to live in a society where music plays such an important role in our culture. Also, Barranquilla is located on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia; our music is hugely influenced by African music, with heavy emphasis on rhythm. That is the reason why the rhythmic section is so important for Mutant-Thoughts and why we put more fluid stuff on top of it. I enjoyed growing up in Colombia. I think that Latin America has a very interesting way of dealing with problems. People seem to be happy regardless of the situation. And I think it takes a lot of courage to see life like that.

Moving to the other side of the world can be a great adventure or a traumatic experience. How do you find the life in the UK? Was it easy for you to get accustomed to a new reality or did you experience any cultural shocks?

Han Luis Cera: I lived in Amsterdam before moving to Bristol, so I had my fair share of culture shocks when I moved there! Coming to the UK was definitely a lot easier. There are a few things that I find interesting in British culture, (like wearing shorts in the middle of the winter), but I really love living here. I’ve met very interesting and talented people, and I’m doing what I love!

We can imagine that music scene in Colombia and in the UK are completely different. What do you think about the music scene in Bristol? Should we even compare those two?

Han Luis Cera: I think British people generally have great interest in live music. That helps the music scene a lot and it gives the musicians a chance to grow. There are multiple small venues and places where musicians can play and reach new listeners. We only have a handful of venues in Barranquilla where you can see a live band play. Most Colombians tend to listen to music from records or on the radio, rather than live but that means the music is everywhere, even on public transport. During the Carnival season, there are gigs everywhere though.

Your music has been likened to Pink Floyd, Faith No More and Caspian. We hear UNKLE, a bit of Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. Also, we are not the first ones to point out that when you sing, you sound like Tom Yorke or Davie Bowie from his Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars era.

Han Luis Cera: Some of the artists you mentioned have indeed influenced us. We all have different tastes in music and we bring them into the band. We give each other the space to experiment and grow. All of the bands that we are likened to are incredible and we can only see that as a huge compliment. I personally think we sound different to them, but if I could ever play together with any of those bands, I’d probably go into some form of a shock not being able to believe my luck!

Mutant-Thoughts promotional shoot #3 by Igor Tylek Photography

 Mutant-Thoughts use a lot of odd time signatures, tempo changes and you are not afraid to experiment with sound. It is not so common these days but reminds us the golden days of the progressive rock: early Genesis, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator. You have learnt from the best!

Han Luis Cera: To be absolutely honest, I don’t really listen to progressive Rock, apart maybe from Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd, (if you can call them progressive rock). I don’t really listen to music with odd time signatures that much either. I just have a fascination for rhythm, contrast and I enjoy doing the opposite of what other people are doing. I’m not trying to be interesting or cool or anything like that.

I just think that if something has been done before, there is no need for me to do it again. I’m not sure if we’re succeeding at that, but that’s the idea. I could say that my fondness for rhythm comes from Latin music. There was a lot of jazz influence in 70’s salsa. On the other hand, my fascination with sound experiment streams from feeling limited with the possibilities of keyboard based instruments. As much as I love the sound of a piano, or an organ, the synthesizer is the instrument I seem to be able to express myself most intimately with, but I do still check my parts on a piano though.

Last month, you have released your latest EP entitled “Is This Me?”. It is a beautiful piece of music, very well written and perfectly executed. We are especially fond of two songs: the title track and the atmospheric “Alone”. Can you tell us more about them?

Han Luis Cera: Thanks! I’m really happy to hear that. Well, the whole EP is about going through a rough period in life and being able to find a solution to your problems. It has some very dark moments and it has moments which are more up-lifting. The title song “Is This Me?” is about self-analysis. A question to one-self about what we are doing. Is this really what we want to do? Are we acting according to who we are or are we acting on an instinct? Are our action based on what we believe to be true at that moment or do we have the full picture of the situation? It is hard to find the answer to those questions.

I’m unable to explain just two songs without discussing the context of the other songs at the same time. They are all linked together. The second song on the EP is entitled “Chaos and Entropy” which is about going through the actual problem. It is about losing oneself and just tasting every single moment of that path.

The third composition is actually a poem. I have named it “Trying to Make Sense” which I think the title is self explanatory. Then we have “Alone”, which deals with the sense of realization that after the chaos and suffering, we are actually alone. At this stage, we have taken some distance from the world to give ourselves the chance to deal with our problems. And then we close the EP with “Adaptation” which is about changing, “mutating” into a different person that is now able to deal with the problems left in the past.

Mutant-Thoughts performing live at the Bristol’s Louisiana club – photo by Igor Tylek Photography

Mutant-Thoughts appearance on the Bristol music scene was very well received. You have played alongside new prog/math rock talents such as Last Hyena or YOUTH. When can we see you on stage next?

Han Luis Cera: At this moment, we are working hard on promoting our EP and some of the new projects. We are lucky that Bristol has a great music scene with many, very talented bands we have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with.

We will be playing in Bristol again on the 2nd of November at Mr. Wolf’s for the EP launch of “Siblings of Us” who were kind to invite us to support them. Also,  we will travel to London to play at Off The Cuff, the date is going to be confirmed soon. We are looking to add more dates before the end of the year, so please check our Facebook and the official website regularly.

You can follow Mutant-Thoughts at:

Official website: www.mutant-thoughts.com
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mutantthoughts
Bandcamp: https://mutant-thoughts.bandcamp.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mutantthoughts/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mutant_thoughts
Youtube: https://youtu.be/WTfwrTkjqaU

If you’d like to write about them, book a gig or interview the band, Mutant-Thoughts press pack will come in handy!

Interested in seeing them live? Mutant-Thoughts are real musical magicians!

Enjoy the brand new Bristol sound!
xxx
Rita and Mal.

Indieterria meets Nuns of the Tundra

Dear Readers,

We arrived into October not so quietly. Our ears are still ringing from both Worcester Music Festival and Musicians Against Homelessness gigs, but there is no sign of slowing down. Actually, next week we will rock out again – back at the Marr`s Bar for the EP launch of Nuns of the Tundra. The Nuns are from Malvern and they have built themselves quite a reputation in the last few years. It will be a sonic pleasure to see them live and to listen to their new material. We hope you enjoy first installment of Autumn selection of Indieterria.

Nuns of the Tundra logo

Music from the Shire

 

Nuns of the Tundra

Troy Tittley: Guitar
Arran Davies: Guitar
Jim Smith: Bass
Melos Moody: Drums


West Midland quartet, Nuns of the Tundra, is a rare beast. They easily melt American rock tradition with typical British favoritism for distorted sounds and gritty tunes, creating a fresh sound that has a chance of revolutionizing the rusted structures of the indie genre. Vanadian Avenue sat down with Nundra’s (their pet name!) lead singer and guitarist, Troy Tittley, to discuss their newest single “Float Away”, the Hobbits, road movies and composing on top of the Malvern Hills.

Banner with original logo

According to your biography, Nuns of the Tundra was formed nearly two years ago. Can you please introduce yourselves?  Tell us how the band was formed and where did you meet.

Troy Tittley: The band is the brain child of me and my childhood friend, Arran Davies. We’d always be showing each other cool new music we’d found since we were about 10 years old, and in fact were in a band together called RoadKill when we were 13. We’re better hopefully by now. We had all these riffs and song ideas that were floating around not doing anything, and we had a ton of free time. We didn’t take it overly seriously at first; we made songs about swamp monsters, vampires, goblins… The song about killer sex robots from the future actually became our first single. I also have been in a band before Nuns with a producer Curig Huws, and Curig basically taught me some song writing rules that made me feel confident enough to give it a crack myself. So after that band broke up,  Nuns were formed.

You have to admit that Nuns of the Tundra is a very interesting choice of a name for a rock group. We tried to look for possible explanation and this is our theory: You come from Malvern that derives its name from the old Welsh word “moel-bryn” meaning “Bald Hill”. The tundra biome is usually described as barren, treeless or bare. Also, Malvern as a town has been established by Benedictine order in late 10th century. Maybe as a joke, instead of the monks you called yourselves The Nuns. Nuns of the Tundra. Sounds pretty good to us!

The Nuns photographed by Colton Halls
https://www.facebook.com/coltonhalls

Troy Tittley: I absolutely love your theory and I wish we were that clever. I have to disappoint, but Arran loves nuns, my favorite word is tundra. Deep, right? Tundra Nuns sounded too indie, Nun Tundra doesn’t really work, I don’t know why. When I came up with Nuns of the Tundra, it was a joke, but when I said it out loud, it just stuck with me. We were going to be called nilbog (goblin backwards), but I think Nuns of the Tundra is equally as ridiculous and that’s why we love it. We also have some twitter followers using Nundra to save precious characters, and we really dig that name too.

Let’s talk about Malvern for a while longer. You describe your music asdirty desert stoner rock from the unlikely Midlands town of Malvern”. However, Malvern always had a strong links to (popular) music. For many years it has been the home of Edward Elgar and Julius Harrison, classical composer and professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music. Through the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, Malvern Winter Gardens was a popular venue bringing top rock acts such as Joy Division, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbaths and many others to West Midlands. It seems that you are continuing the local tradition of crafting good music.

Troy Tittley: Yes, you’re totally right. Malvern just feels like a tucked away music hub. The hills are pretty inspiring; I did a lot of writing up there because you can get away from everything, so Elgar was definitely on to something. It’s basically the Shire and we’re the Hobbits. It’s rather unlikely because I’d kind of expect a rock band to come from Mordor or Isengard. Maybe Sigur Ros lives in Rivendell! (laughs)

Your music has been categorized as a wild mixture of psychedelic, progressive rock, American collage rock, grunge and mainstream harmonies. Fugazi, Stone Temple Pilots, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse and Grant Lee Buffalo have been mentioned as possible influences. Which other artist you would add to the mix and why?

Troy Tittley: As you can see we have a lot of American influence. I love that Fugazi made its way into that list by the way! Live we can be quite raw, but we like to get the layers and intricacies in there too. Really, I want this sound to evolve into something that shifts from chaos to complexity and back, but that’s for another time. Right now, we are very guitar driven, and try our best not to retread ground structure wise or atmosphere wise, so the wild mixture is probably down to that. I’d probably add Nine Inch Nails and Foo Fighters to that list; it’s basically all I listened to growing up.

Nuns debut single “Robot Love” received fantastic reviews from local and online press. It has been championed by Andrew Marston at the BBC Hereford and Worcester. You were also invited to play at BBC Introducing stage at Lakeview Festival at Eastnor Castle in August this year where apparently “you blew the tent poles off” with your powerful riffs. That’s very impressive start, don’t you think?

Troy Tittley: The thing is that’s not the start! We’ve been going at this for a while now and a lot of the feedback hasn’t been so hot. But that gives you thicker skin and if you can get past it, then that’s when the real stuff starts happening. We used to post demos online to public forums, because face to face people often say things that let you off easy. Online anonymity allows people to be complete dicks to you and you just have to deal with it! So, really it started there. We just got our ass handed to us until our “Mind’s Eye” demo took off. We were on the front page of Reddit Guitar Facebook page for a while and it felt amazing. It doesn’t surprise me as “Mind’s Eye” is currently our most popular song.

Second release entitled “Mind’s Eye” only cemented your reputation as a new band to look out for. Overblown Magazine called you “the saviours of mainstream rock”, Worcester Music Festival described you as “dirty drive 100 MPH through the deserts of the wild west” while Born Music gave you the title of “one of the UK’s most exciting upcoming bands”. By now, you must be accustomed to constant praise.

Troy Tittley: It is a good feeling knowing you are on the right track, but it’s important not to rely on positive press because it can make you soft, in my opinion anyway. I think I work harder when people are being harsh. Josh Homme once said “You’ve got to learn to love being hit by rocks” and I think that’s true. But I am deeply grateful for the positive response.

Your latest single, “Dead in the desert” has almost cinematic feeling to it – a certain dark vibe accompanied by an open landscape of fuzzed guitars and distorted echoes. It is easy to imagine surviving members of Velvet Revolver teamed up with Trent Reznor to write a soundtrack for a new road movie directed by David Lynch. I have to admit, it has been one of my favorite tracks this year. Can you tell us more about it?

Troy Tittley: Can I use that description? I love it. I would definitely watch that movie. That song started off as just the bass riff. Originally, it was a guitar line made by Arran. We changed it hugely and made it way more psychedelic. Then we dropped it from our set for over a year, the chorus just wasn’t right. After that, I got addicted to Arctic Monkeys’ “AM” album and it channeled a lot of how I was feeling at the time and the chorus just came together. Finally, the whole song just made sense. The weird sounds and little guitar licks were improvised in the studio. Our producer Scott Mahoney just set me up with this enormous chain of trippy guitar pedals, went out for a smoke and told me to do whatever I wanted. It was a really fun experience, and we were just trying to create the weirdest and most creepy soundscape we could get away with. I’m glad you like it.

Nuns of the Tundra during their BBC Introducing session
Photo by Andy O`Hare
https://www.facebook.com/andy.ohare1

On the 10th of October, you will release your first EP and a new single “Float Away”.  How many songs will be included? Where was it recorded?

Troy Tittley: The EP is the first 4 songs we recorded at the Funky Bunker in Malvern. “Float Away” will be the new track and all other singles released will be on there too. It’s our first CD and we’re so excited to have something physical. All songs were produced by Scott Mahoney and the current band lineup: me, Arran, Jim and Melos.

Recently, we found out that an animated video to “Float away” was produced by London based indie/alt rock art company YesMan. Its official premiere took place on the 28th of September and it has already been shown to critics at NYC Indie Film Festival where it was included into official festival selection. It will be competing for the main festival award in short movie category on 7 – 13th May 2018. We are very interested in learning more about this unusual collaboration.

Troy Tittley: YesMan caught our attention with his previous work; it has a really different feel to the majority of the stuff out there. We played him a lot of tracks that we’d recorded, and just asked him to pick the one that vibed with him most. We didn’t want any input; we just wanted him to come up with something, to make a song more than a song. “Float Away” is close to my heart, I wrote the main riff when I was very young, probably 13, so a part of me was hoping he’d choose it. And honestly the song works so much better with the video, once you see it, you won’t be able to separate the two. It’s just how I wanted it to be. Plus I get to be the moon!

Nuns of the Tundra are on the (rock and) roll. What are you up to in the nearest future?
Any gigs your fans should be aware of?

Troy Tittley:  We’ve got a few songs that are recorded and ready to go. We like to surprise people, so “Float Away” will be a departure from our main sound. The next batch will hopefully add another element to our repertoire. We have some songs to be yet recorded, a tour through October and big plans for 2018. Also, we’ll be back in the Louisiana in Bristol on the 4th of October, and our EP launch will be held at the Marrs Bar, October 10th. We’re heading back down to London on the 27th of October and we’re playing a special hometown gig in Malvern at the Unicorn too. Can’t wait!

You can follow Nuns of the Tundra online:

http://www.nundra.com
https://facebook.com/nunsofthetundra/
https://twitter.com/NunsoftheTundra
https://soundcloud.com/nunsofthetundra
https://www.reverbnation.com/nunsofthetundra
https://nunsofthetundra.bandcamp.com

That`s all folks. We will see you at Marrs Bar on October 10, for the EP launch.

Mal/Rita