Indieterria meets Michael Knowles

We go political!

Michael Knowles blows a kiss towards audience at Drum and Pig pub/music venue on its final night before a temporary closure and management takeover. Worcester, February 25, 2017

Everything`s political as Skunk Anansie song goes. And May issue of Indieterria will be all that and even a bit philosophical.

We are steering back our ship to Worcester shores to introduce you to Michael Knowles – leader of The STDs and one of the most controversial figures in the Midlands. How politically incorrect is Mr Knowles? His new single is called “Theresa May is a cunt” and contains language so strong you may want to dig out your “Cop Killers” and “Straight Outta Comptons” out of the basement instead. We can see you rolling your eyes and ears dear readers. So we will ante up and tell you that besides being potty-mouthed, Michel Knowles has a voice of 4,5 octaves, a pitch perfect hearing and is a trained in music production.

Aha, controversial yet talented – now that is a hard mixture to swallow for some. It is much easier to dismiss musicians and artists as immature and looking for attention when  they are painted as  common nobodies. Much harder to do so when artists are seen as complex humans who have their strengths and exercise the right to freedom of speech.

The current world of pop music has been derived of controversial and outspoken characters to the point that you cant even hear songs on the radio that were in heavy rotation 20 years ago in the middle of the day. Try requesting Nine Inch Nails` Closer nowadays on the radio and see what they will play you.

Indie scene had always a place for counter culture and the obscene and we are happy to report that independent and unsigned artists are stepping in to fill the hole. Shame have fantastic “VISA Vulture” with its libelous video to match, The Blinders paint messages on their guitars and Michael Knowles and The STDs hammer the message nicely from our town.   You may see it as unnecessary and infantile – but we see it a form of balance. Music is broad enough to incorporate Little Mix and The STDs in all their respective popness and cockiness.

Fear not. The interview below is all nice and dandy and you may find out that controversial  figures can have a lot of cleaver things to say. We loved the passion Michael has for his musical heroes. So sit back and read on:

Michael Knowles performing live at Drum and Pig pub/music venue on its final night before a temporary closure and management takeover. Worcester, February 25, 2017

 

Michael Knowles – a stream of consciousness

Technology is a wonderful thing. For example, it allows you to interview artists even late at night from the comfort of your own office. You type the questions into instant messenger and wait for the answers to arrive. Piece of cake. On the downside, technology can`t replicate that old fashioned feeling of excitement that every music journalist feels when meeting a new and promising act in person. And you need to know Michael Knowles surely earned himself a name to be regarded as exciting and controversial in equal measures. He fronts a band called The STD`s, dresses like it`s 1980s and is known for performances that are politically incorrect yet hilariously funny. No journalist would pass  the opportunity to see what makes Michael tick and we are no exception.

This is what we have found out:

Tell us about the band. How many of you and how did you start?

There were only three of us to start with: Steve Church, Dean Thomas Carter and myself. Steve and I had worked together in the past on an album I never released. Dean and I had played together in the house band of The Flag in Worcester (back then known as The Tap). One day we went to this kid`s backyard studio and we all fit really well so we started looking for a bassist as at the start Steve was on guitar.  Over time we’ve had some great musicians join us on – George, James or Tadd. They have come and gone to find new projects. Right now the line up is Steve on bass, The Jack (Tad Jones) on guitar, Dean on drums and myself on vocals. Plus I play guitar too.

Michael Knowles & The STDs performing live on 14th January 2017 at Marrs Bar
Photo by Andy O`Hare
https://www.facebook.com/andy.ohare1

So four guys in a rock and roll band that is nothing like Worcestershire ever seen.

This is true.

You have a very distinct image – very 80s classic rock. On purpose or is it just how you guys roll?

To be honest,  we’ve only really dressed up for gigs a few times but now I mean we don’t really want to have to look through stuff to wear!

So there`s image change on the cards? You know you have already made yourself a name of new Steel Panther in town!

It depends where we shop next (laughs) and really I thought we had the reputation of a noisy bunch.

Noisy yes. But people rather see you as classic rock revival. Quite an interesting twist on David Lee Roth and Poison.

Well, that wasn’t our intention.

What was your intention then?

Just to be noisy and chaotic.

We could add early Alice In Chains to the influences you represent.

There was never really a plan. Still isn’t.

You still evolving sonically?

We’ve got a lot of new stuff in the pipeline. We always do.

Michael Knowles & The STDs performing live on 14th January 2017 at Marrs Bar
Photo by Andy O`Hare
https://www.facebook.com/andy.ohare1

If you were to describe new songs- what would you say? Shall we buy earplugs in advance?

Possibly. There’s  material about some dark times and then whatever we write in the meantime. Plus a concept album.

So no more comic rock and songs about female attributes?

Probably not. But who knows? Let’s face it there’s no plan.

You said that world doesn’t need love songs anymore. That world needs anger.

This is true. I think a lot of anything I’ve written that could be considered “love songs” are usually bitter sweet. With a hint of sarcasm and a lot of anger.

Well, Ledbury Song is very angry but at the same time hilariously funny. You have audience roaring with laughter.

It is less of a song, more of a rant really.

Michael Knowles & The STDs performing live on 14th January 2017 at Marrs Bar
Photo by Andy O`Hare
https://www.facebook.com/andy.ohare1

We don’t know if you agree- but we see your lyrics as a mix of Tenacious D with Morrissey-esque cynical humour and playing with words.

I doubt I could ever be compared to Morrissey. I’m never that poetic (laughs)

The Ledbury Song has the same motif as Everyday Is Like A Sunday:  dislike for a small town that is becoming like a prison for a young person. Moz also wants to bomb the town and he is not poetic about it.

I haven’t heard it but I agree with him.

You come from a small place?

A small town. Small in size and small minded. Hard to be anyone there.

Do you think you would be different if you were born in London?

I’ve been to London and I hate that place. Too big and far too busy. Everyone in a hurry to go nowhere.

So perhaps there`s a positive side of being born in a small town?

I think the point is everyone hates where they are from eventually but it’s always where you call home.

Who would you put in your top 5 artists?

I’d say Tool, Amen, early Slipknot and honestly Trent Reznor and Bill Hicks.

Michael Knowles & The STDs performing live on 14th January 2017 at Marrs Bar
Photo by Andy O`Hare
https://www.facebook.com/andy.ohare1

Very broad influences.

I just love their attitudes and way of creating. I love how Bill Hicks was born in the religious South yet could deconstruct the archaic institutions that he was thrust into. I love how angry Slipknot were and to a 13 year old outcast they represented hope that you might be a freak but there was a place in this world for you. Amen taught me that record companies are just stupid. Tool taught me the beauty of feedback and how atmosphere can really make the hairs on your neck stand up. And Trent is just the god of chaos in noise.

You talk so poetically about music. You will put Moz out of business one day.

It’s all I have really. My whole life has been music and everything else has come and gone but there was always solace in music.

You sing, write, compose, play instruments – that’s lot of talents.

I see it as separate parts of one whole encompassing thing that is just me.

Where do you think the music will take you or the band?

It’s less about what music can do and more about how far we take it. We’re not looking to be billionaire rock stars with handlers. Our goals are to play every show and know at least half the audience.

And will that be enough?

It was always enough to have fans to grow with than trying to appease the masses.

You can follow Michael Knowles online at:

https://www.facebook.com/MKandSTDs
https://www.instagram.com/michael_knowles21
https://soundcloud.com/michael-knowles-music

At the beginning of April 2017, Michael Knowles and The STDs began recording of their new material using premises at Marrs Bar in Worcester as a studio. The result is album (that still needs to receive a release date) and a single “Theresa May is a cunt”. You can listen it here:

https://michaelknowlesthestds.bandcamp.com/track/theresa-mays-a-cunt

As we said – you may not agree with the bands sentiments but taking into consideration news item such as: HERE  or HERE, it makes us wonder if the song should not be at least six minutes longer. To act as a vent for the anger and frustration, if not anything else.

 

Our interview with Michael Knowles has been kindly reprinted in Slap Magazine and you can see your copy at the link below:

http://www.slapmag.co.uk/slap-issues/issue-69-may-2017.pdf

Or download copy  here:

issue-69-may-2017

Some images for our records if anything else fails:

Slap Magazine feature – May 2017 edition

Photo of the article

Kudos to Andy O`Hare from BBC Hereford & Worcester for allowing us some of his photos.

And if you found this edition of Indieterria too much, bear with us. Next time we are going to the church!

Malicia

Migration in Maltese local newspapers – press clippings part two

Migration in Maltese local newspapers – press clippings part two


This is second part of the press clipping archive that we have built following the migration issue in Maltese newspapers. If you require to see the previous post (articles from February-March 2015) please click on the link below:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/migration-in-maltese-local-newspapers-press-clippings-part-one/

Without repeating ourselves – but putting emphasis on the issue – this is not done for any profit, but purely for the informational value. In recent weeks we have spoken to several foreign journalists, who were covering the migration story and each of them asked the same question: how is the phenomena of migration via Mediterranean reported in local press.
Malta is recognized as a hub for both humanitarian rescue missions and the destination itself for asylum seekers who want to reach safety of Europe. No wondering that there is an interest in how the local media tell the story.

Main backbone of the archive we have gathered is from Times of Malta and Sunday Times of Malta – as this media house is incredibly dedicated to the issue, much more than other English speaking newspaper. You can easily see it in this post – April was extremely hectic when it comes to coverage. So much that we had to make an entire new post for the month alone! If there was one or two articles on the topic in March, there were sometimes 7-8 different ones in the month of April per edition. Scanning and editing was a bit of nightmare – some stories or pictures are really unbearable. The more respect and awe goes to the staff of Times of Malta who were on the story round the clock. This newspaper is also bold. Please note the front page from April 16, 2015 – the photos published created an outrage on local level. Malicia has been on the island for a decade now and she cannot recall such a shocking cover before. But this is needed – this is the reality of the migration crisis. Times of Malta was also the only newspaper that  followed up the story on a daily basis, often reserving space for it on the front page.

There was however a very interesting article in the Sunday Circle, a life-style (glossy) magazine on April 26, 2015 and we have added it to our archive.

Again, if you are a foreign journo who needs some back up on the story, this archive was created for you. If you need assistance to be put in touch with local media workers, local photographers and NGO`s, please let us know at lil_lilac_tree@yahoo.com and we will  try to help you.

The Times of Malta/The Sunday Times of Malta:

April 6, 2015:

The Times of Malta – April 6, 2015, page 5
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The Times of Malta – April 6, 2015, page 7

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April 11, 2015:

The Times of Malt – April 11, 2015, front page

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The Times of Malta – April 11, 2015, page 4

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April 12, 2015:

The Times of Malt – April 12, 2015, page 6

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The Times of Malt – April 12, 2015, page 9

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April 13, 2015:

The Times of Malt – April 13, 2015, page 5

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April 14, 2015:

The Times of Malt – April 14, 2015, front page

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The Times of Malt – April 14, 2015, page 8

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April 15, 2015:

The Times of Malt – April 15, 2015, front page

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The Times of Malt – April 15, 2015, page 3

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The Times of Malt – April 15, 2015, page 6

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April 16, 2015:

The Times of Malt – April 16, 2015, front page

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The Times of Malt – April 16, 2015, page 4

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The Times of Malt – April 16, 2015, page 4 (#TimesTalk ad)

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The Times of Malt – April 16, 2015, page 9

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April 18, 2015:

The Times of Malt – April 18, 2015, front

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The Times of Malt – April 18, 2015, page 6

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The Times of Malt – April 18, 2015, page 11

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April 19, 2015:

The Times of Malt – April 19, 2015, page 10

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The Times of Malt – April 19, 2015, page 11

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The Times of Malt – April 19, 2015, page 14

TOM_April_19_2015_p14

April 20, 2015:

The Times of Malta – April 20, 2015, front page

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The Times of Malta – April 20, 2015, page  4 (upper page)

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The Times of Malta – April 20, 2015, page  4 (lower page)

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The Times of Malta – April 20, 2015, page  5 (upper page)

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The Times of Malta – April 20, 2015, page  5 (lower page)

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The Times of Malta – April 20, 2015, page  15 (editorial)

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The Times of Malta – April 20, 2015, page  18

TOM_April_20_2015_p18

April 21, 2015:

The Times of Malta  – April 21, 2015, front page

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The Times of Malta  – April 21, 2015, page 2

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The Times of Malta  – April 21, 2015, page 6

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The Times of Malta – April 21, 2015, page 7

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The Times of Malta – April 21, 2015, page 8

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The Times of Malta – April 21, 2015, page 9

TOM_April_21_2015_p9

April 22, 2015:

The Times  of Malta – April 22, 2015 front page

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The Times  of Malta  – April 22, 2015 page 4

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The Times  of Malta – April 22, 2015 page 5

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The Times  of Malta  – April 22, 2015 page 6

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The Times  of Malta – April 22, 2015 page 10

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The Times  of Malta  – April 22, 2015 page 15 (letters to the Editor)

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The Times  of Malta – April 22, 2015 page 16 (comments and letters)

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April 23, 2015:

The Times  of Malta – April 23, 2015, front page

TOM_April_23_2015_front
The Times  of Malta – April 23, 2015, page 6

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The Times  of Malta – April 23, 2015, page 7

TOM_April_23_2015_p7
The Times  of Malta – April 23, 2015, page 8

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The Times  of Malta – April 23, 2015, page 9

TOM_April_23_2015_p9

April 24, 2015:

The Times of Malta – April 24, 2015, front page

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The Times of Malta – April 24, 2015, page 4

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The Times of Malta – April 24, 2015, page 5

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The Times of Malta – April 24, 2015, page 6

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April 25, 2015:

The Times of Malta – April 25, 2015, front page

TOM_April_25_2015_front
The Times of Malta – April 25, 2015, page 4

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The Times of Malta – April 25, 2015, page 5

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The Times of Malta – April 25, 2015, page 8

TOM_April_25_2015_p8
The Times of Malta – April 25, 2015, page 9

TOM_April_25_2015_p9
The Times of Malta – April 25, 2015, page 11

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The Times of Malta – April 25, 2015, page 14

TOM_April_25_2015_p14

April 26, 2015:

The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 6

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The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 7

TOM_April_26_2015_p7
The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 15

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The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 18

TOM_April_26_2015_p18
The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 19

TOM_April_26_2015_p19
The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 20

TOM_April_26_2015_p20
The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 21 (editorial)

TOM_April_26_2015_p21_editorial
The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 23

TOM_April_26_2015_p23
The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 24

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The Times of Malta – April 26, 2015, page 28

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April 27, 2015:

The Times of Malta – April 27, 2015, page 5

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The Times of Malta – April 27, 2015, page 11

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The Times of Malta – April 27, 2015, page 14

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The Times of Malta – April 27, 2015, page 18

TOM_April_27_2015_p18

April 28, 2015:

The Times of Malta – April 28, 2015, front page

TOM_April_28_2015_front
The Times of Malta – April 28, 2015, page 4

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The Times of Malta – April 28, 2015, page 40

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April 29, 2015:

The Times of Malta – April 29, 2015, page 14

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The Times of Malta – April 29, 2015, page 15 (letters)

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April 30, 2015:

The Times of Malta – April 30, 2015, front page

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The Times of Malta – April 30, 2015, page 6 (upper)

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The Times of Malta – April 30, 2015, page 6 (lower)

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The Times of Malta – April 30 2015, page 7

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The Times of Malta – April 30, 2015, page 9

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The Times of Malta – April 30, 2015, page 15 (letters)

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The Times of Malta – April 30, 2015, page 44

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The Sunday Circle:

April 26, 2015:

The Sunday Circle – April 26, 2015, page 69

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The Sunday Circle – April 26, 2015, page 70

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The Sunday Circle – April 26, 2015, page 72

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The Malta Independent:

April 30, 2015:

The Malta Independent – April 30, 2015, front page

Independent_April_30_2015_front
The Malta Independent – April 30, 2015, page 3

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The Malta Independent – April 30, 2015, page 11

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