Indieterria meets Methods

Dear Readers,

One of the things Vanadian Avenue has been trying to accomplish in the past year was to bring Manchester and Birmingham scenes closer together. We networked, attended gigs, introduced people to each other, nagged, bugged and dragged folks by their collars. As you do. We have just found ourselves allies in our continuous struggle to connect Kingdom of Mancunia and The Black Country.  Please meet Methods. This five piece has been born between Wolverhampton and Salford and they just released an incredibly good EP at the beginning of October.

For A&Rs there is nothing better than a new band to interview so we went and did just that. And it was such a fun.

Band`s logo

 

Ash Bradley (vox)
Ryan Deakin (guitar/keys)
Adam Hall (bass)
Peter Bates (drums)
Jon Nash (key/vox)

Official bio:

Influenced by life and their soundings along with the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The National and Interpol, METHODS formed with the mutual understanding to do things their way and write what they love.

Methods have made their mark with their own dark sounding synth indie anthems. The Midlands based 5 piece have been gaining recognition in the last few years, playing countless shows to crowds across the UK. The band have been garnering support from the likes of BBC Introducing West Midlands as well as nominations at The Birmingham Music Awards and Black Country Music Awards.

We have seen Methods live earlier this year as part of Magic Garden Studios fundraiser for Musicians Against Homelessness in Birmingham. Magic Garden is of course the very famous recording studios where Gavin Monaghan and Joe Murray help create the best music around. Think The Blinders, The Pagans SOH, The Novus, The Lizzards etc. Methods, who also work with Magic Garden, played a wonderful set at The Coach and Horses on May 3rd and quietly we knew we were to expect something huge from them.  Their stage presence was immaculate, the songs sounded exciting and in general we had jumped up and down on the night having the best time.

The sleeve for Anything – a new EP from Methods.

When Methods` new EP “Anything” landed in our office both Rita and I could not wait to give it a listen. As you probably can deduct from the tone of this post, we loved it to bits, but before we will offer some words on the EP itself,  its only fair to give you some back ground information about the artists. What`s the point of a review otherwise?

We have sat down with band`s guitarist Ryan Deakin for a quick chat about the band`s inspirations and song writing process. This is what he told us:

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  

Ryan Deakin:  Hello,  we are Methods.

Where are you based and who is in the band?

Ryan Deakin:  The band is based between Wolverhampton and Salford.

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve to date?

Ryan Deakin:  We played some good support slots with some high profile bands – but – we haven’t really got any goals, just making music we want to hear and see what happens.

What inspires you? What artists or genres had the biggest influence on you?

Ryan Deakin:  The one that we all seem to love is Bowie.

It`s all about the music – and we want to hear how your songs have been written.

Ryan Deakin:  Normally we send each other voice messages of melodies and we work stuff out from that.

Name your best song. Is there a story behind it?

Ryan Deakin: We love all our children. We are proud of “Back of Your Hand”, we literally did the whole thing in about 2 hours. People take so many different meanings from it which is great, and what it’s all about. It was written when Trump was supposed to meet Kim Jong-Un….take from that what you will.

How do you create your unique sound?

Ryan Deakin:  We kind of mix 80`s synths with some 50`s surf guitars…and add a mad singer to the mix.

Are you touring? Where can we see you play live?

Ryan Deakin:  We will appear in Manchester at  The Peer Hat on 13th October.

Squad goals – where do you want to see the band in five years time?

Ryan Deakin:  We want to be playing some decent sized venues and have a couple of good albums under our belts – that will be fine.

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Ryan Deakin:  Contact us at Methodsmusik@mail.com

Imagine you can record an album with any producer, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Ryan Deakin:  Recording at Sun City with Phil Spectre (pre Homocide) would be interesting.

Methods photographed by Nidge Luhg Sanders (Trust A Fox Photography)
https://www.trustafoxphotography.com/

So, let us pen few words about Methods` new EP “Anything”. As we mentioned, it was released on October 4th 2019 to rave reviews from blogs and music magazines alike.  You will find four songs on the record (“Back Of Your Hand”, “Collector”, “No Cover” and “Human Existence”) and two short instrumentals (Intro, Interlude).

The EP starts with unsettling “Intro” –  and despite just being 40 seconds long, this track actually stands on its own and serves a very important purpose – to set the mood for the record. Call it cliché but there is something cinematic about both instrumental tracks on the EP. They are not fillers, more like road signs pointing in which direction the music will go.

“Back of Your Hand” – is powerfully anthemic composition. Close your eyes and you can easily imagine the band playing this track to a full stadium backed by live orchestra and powerful visuals. The band considers it their best song to date and it tells a story of a historical meeting between two political leaders and sworn enemies.

By contrast “Collector” starts slowly but around one minute in incredible drums come in followed by a change of tempo and more optimistic overtones. And the lyrics! Just listen. Not sure who is main writer in Methods but man, they surely can deliver. Not one dry eye in the house – you have been warned.

Methods photographed by Danny Hodge https://www.dannyhodge.photography/

Interlude divides “Collector” from “No Cover” where dystopian theme clashes with uplifting music. Again it sounds nearly as anthemic as “Back of Your Hand” and we could only wish to hear it with accompaniment of a live orchestra.

“Human Existence” closes the record. Like “Collector”, it is slower and contemplative track. Yet the back ground melody line keeps hope despite rather bleak lyrics.

We love how the EP is divided into two equal parts. One faster/anthemic song and one slower/contemplative one. And a short instrumental track to divide them. Like two sides of a perfectly balanced vinyl record. Actually we want that EP on a vinyl.

 

Methods photographed by Rob Hadley
https://www.facebook.com/photosbyindieimages/

You can follow the band on the socials:

http://www.methodsmusic.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/methods2
https://www.instagram.com/methodsofficial
https://twitter.com/methodsmusik
http://www.soundcloud.com/methods_official
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGoNTNzTQv30UVpbeDbxJ2A
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5RG6MWN2BuVHelIs2HRZbo?si=TLYTQKUJT4aq2foeId4BjA

We hope you enjoyed this interview and if you have a chance to see Methods live, go and grab yourself a ticket. Actually two tickets – so you can bring a friend. You both will have an excellent time.

We will be back soon with more music and more kick ass interviews.

Love,

Mal+ Rita

Indieterria Reviews – “Remainder” by Trupa Trupa

Dear Readers,

It is with the greatest of pleasures that we present you today’s review. For the first time ever, Indieterria is hosting a band from Poland! And they are, in our opinion, one of the best bands to come out of our native country in many years.

Trupa Trupa has been present on the international market since the release of their debut album in 2015. Musically, they are closer to Fugazi and experimental shoe gaze mixed with wild psychedelic rollercoaster. This year Trupa Trupa played Off Festival and SXSW where they received rave reviews from Chicago Tribune, NPR and Rolling Stone!

Official bio: Trupa Trupa are Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, Tomek Pawluczuk, Wojtek Juchniewicz and Rafal Wojczal. They made their first international appearance in 2015 with the album “Headache” published by a British label Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records. A year later, they signed to French Ici d’ailleurs, where they released a remastered version of “Headache” on vinyl. In 2017, in cooperation with their British and French labels, the band recorded and put out “Jolly New Songs”, which was also published by the Japanese label Moorworks. In recent years, Trupa Trupa have toured extensively, playing at the SXSW, Primavera Sound, Iceland Airwaves, Colours of Ostrava, Waves Vienna, Eurosonic, Liverpool Sound City, to name just a few. In February, 2019 the band released a single “Dream about” via Sub Pop Records. The new album “Of The Sun” will be international cooperation between Glitterbeat Records (Europe & elsewhere), Lovitt Records (USA), Moorworks (Japan) and Antena Krzyku (Poland). Release date: September 13th, 2019. The band works with Paradigm Talent Agency in North America, South America, Asia, & Australia and ATC Live for Europe, and will promote the new album with tours in the USA, Europe and Japan.

Wojtek Juchniewicz by Steve Hampson

Their single “Remainder” is KEXP’s song of the day and received a solid airplay on BBC through Stuart Maconie, Gideon Cole and Tom Ravenscroft. The band has been mentioned or interviewed in Rolling Stone Magazine, Pitchfork, Wire Magazine, Clash Magazine and many others.

We have sat down with Grzesiek Kwiatkowski, the singer and guitarist of the band to speak about the new song, his fear of people and why discussing history is so important in times of social divide.

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: My name is Grzegorz Kwiatkowski. I am the singer and guitarist of Trupa Trupa.

Trupa Trupa by Steve Hampson

Where are you based and who is in the band?

 Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Trupa Trupa is based in Gdańsk, in the north of Poland. Except for myself, the band consists of Rafał Wojczal (guitar/keyboards), Tomek Pawluczuk (drums) and Wojtek Juchniewicz (bass guitar, guitar and vocals).

Tell us something about your new single “Remainder”? Is there any story behind it?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Everything we do can be interpreted in many different ways that’s why there isn’t a single story behind this song. Wojtek wrote the lyrics so his interpretation of “Remainder”, his idea behind this track, is not the same as mine. I’m not even sure if I truly understand what inspired him to write it. I can only tell you what it means to me personally. And I think, when people start listening to the song, they realize it is a protest against denial, against conveniently forgetting about things that happened in the past. It is a song about Shoah (Holocaust), about human catastrophe.

Trupa Trupa (again) by Steve Hampson

Where did you record the song? Was it in your home town of Gdansk (Poland) or somewhere else?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: The song was recorded, along with our entire album “Of The Sun”, in Custom 34 recording studio in Gdansk.

The song comes with a black and white video that looks like it was filmed through a telescope. Can you tell us where it was shot and who directed it?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: The video to “Remainder” was directed by Nick Larson but Aleksander Makowski helped him a lot on the set so it’s rather a cooperation between the two of them. I have discussed the meaning of the song with them before the shoot and they seem to agree with my interpretation. The video too tells the story of a humanitarian disaster.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Yes. We work with ATC Live and Paradigm Talent Agency so we are really in great hands when it comes to touring. This fall, we will play in America, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland. So far, we have booked four shows in the UK: in London (Sebright Arms on 27th of September), Brighton (The Hope & Ruin on 2nd of December), Glasgow (The Hug and Pint on 4th of  December) and Leeds (Hyde Park Book Club on 5th of December).

You can purchase tickets online:
London: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/38535964-trupa-trupa-at-sebright-arms
Brighton: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/38990036-trupa-trupa-at-hope-and-ruin
Leeds: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/38982813-trupa-trupa-at-hyde-park-book-club
Glasgow: tickets available soon

Your new album “Of The Sun” will be released in September through Glitterbeat Records (Europe & elsewhere), Lovitt Records (USA), Moorworks (Japan) and Antena Krzyku (Poland). What can we expect on the record?

Tour poster

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Each song we put on the album is open to individual interpretation. For me, the record feels like a “Samuel Becket Lonely Hearts Club Band”. It is about time and nothingness. It deals with social issues on “Remainder”. And it is important to talk about these things. You see, few month ago, we wouldn’t be speaking about politics, but the mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, was murdered by a person radicalized by a right-wing hate speech. It was a huge shock for the entire country but it particularly strongly affected us. Gdansk is a city of freedom, (this is where the Solidarity movement started – Vandian Avenue), so the shock was even bigger. The band is now more aware of how the world around us has changed in the last couple of years, how bad it really became. We almost felt the history knocking on the door of our rehearsal room. I dedicated our SXSW shows to our murdered president.

I have always been rather afraid of people so that hasn’t changed. But now I realize, we live in a crazy, fucked-up Brexit-Trump times. Our reality has always been cruel and a lot has been done to cover up the brutality and violence. In the past however, people were more pretending, they wore masks. They were hiding their intentions. And suddenly, they feel empowered to say whatever they want. They do things in the most egoistic ways. Not all of them, but many do. They dont care about others. I feel this is a very risky situation. Evil can spread around faster than ever.

New single “Remainder”:
https://idol.lnk.to/Remainder

Tour: 
https://www.facebook.com/trupatrupa/photos/p.2530909726960137/2530909726960137/?type=1&theater

You can follow Trupa Trupa on socials:
http://www.trupatrupa.com/
https://www.facebook.com/trupatrupa/
https://twitter.com/trupatrupaband
https://www.instagram.com/trupa_trupa/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafPyfB3DfnALknzO4NMYCw

Articles:
https://soundcloud.com/trupa-trupa/david-fricke-of-rolling-stone-about-new-album-and-remainder-on-siriusxm
https://rockandrollglobe.com/shoegaze/trupa-trupa-coming-to-america/
https://www.gigwise.com/news/3329600/watch-trupa-trupa-share-video-for-new-song-longing
https://www.clashmusic.com/features/dreams-and-reflections-trupa-trupa-interviewed

“Of The Sun”, Trupa Trupa’s new album will be released in September and we will be reviewing it as soon as it gets into our hands.
You can preorder your copy now fom Bandcamp:
https://trupatrupa.bandcamp.com/album/of-the-sun

The band is also working hard at adding new dates to their UK tour so keep your eyes open for possible gigs in Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham!
We would like to thank Steve Hampson for his beautiful pictures taken during band’s rehearsal in Gdansk in July.

Support your (international) scene!
XXX
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria meets Joseph Murray

Dear Readers,

Some time ago we had a pleasure and privilege to speak to Gavin Monaghan, the founder of legendary West Midlands` studios – Magic Garden. The interview proved so popular that we were asked to go back and write some more about the studio and its personnel.  And we are happy to oblige. Part of what we do at Indieterria is to highlight the assets that young and up and coming bands have at their disposal. And nothing is more essential than a good recording studio and talented producers/engineers. Bands, artists and those of you who one day plan to produce albums professionally – please meet Joe Murray. He is one of the best engineers in the country and he has a lot of incredible things to say about working with musicians, mixing and making the magic happen.

If that is not the best interview we did this year then we don`t know how to do interviews.

Joe Murray at work

You are second in command at the iconic Magic Garden Recording Studios.  Please introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria.

Joseph Murray: Hey everyone. My name is Joseph (Joe) Murray and I’m here to try to answer these wonderful questions and hopefully not bore y’all to deathhh!

Gavin Monaghan – the owner of  Magic Garden described you as a man of many talents. You act as engineer, producer and mixer. You and Gavin work very closely with each other. How do you divide the workload on a regular day in the office?

Joseph Murray:  That is very kind of him as always. One of my favourite things about music is that there is no such thing as a regular day, which keeps things exciting and creative! I think due to how long and how closely we’ve worked together on mountains of records, we’re able to share the workload in various different ways to get the best out of the track and the band. So here’s a rough example of working with a random 3-4 piece band:

Step one: The Band shows up and before anything we have a look around and a general chat. The main thing is putting the band at ease and trying to make sure everyone`s comfortable and “vibing”. The band`s music is massively important and the recording will live forever,  so of course there can be a few nerves here and there.  I try to make sure the band knows I’m on their side and their music means as much to me as to them!

Step two: After all the gear is loaded in and coffees have been made, we’ll all gather in the control room and have a talk about the song and the vision for the track. It`s crucial to get an idea of where we’re heading.

Step three: Once we’ve discussed the in’s and out`s and any ideas on how we should track the record, there’ll be a little bit of mind reading between Gavin and myself and I will head next door to the live room with the drummer to get a better idea of what kit they are using. Whether they can use studio`s various shells or maybe they’ve brought their own or perhaps they just got their prize snare. I’ll then give all the drums a tune which is HUGELY important and often overlooked! The drummer and myself will have a nice in-depth chat about what they like and we will find two, maybe three snares to narrow it all down.

Step four: When we’re hearing everything back through the mics, we’ll then move on to start tracking against the vibey guide track Gavin and the rest of the band have put together.  We’ll do this till we’ve got the “magic” and then I’ll spend a little while putting together the best of each take whilst the band get some sustenance or a nap.

Step five: Then it’s time for the big bad BASS, which 9 times out of 10 we will capture through a high quality direct signal and an amp for vibe. Having the direct signal means that when we’ve wandered into guitar land, we can re-amp the direct bass through various oddities and balance the mid-range against the real guitars.

Step six: And speaking of guitars – another bit of mind reading takes place and Gavin dons the chef`s hat and starts crafting the bands melodic elements. At this point,  I`ll take what we’ve got so far into my mix room and start doing some session file housekeeping so that once Gavin has tracked the rest of the musical components it`s a matter of bringing it all together. From here I’ll start working on my Mix! Every day is completely different: some days I’m producing an electronic artist in one room and Gavin is recording an acoustic songwriter next door and on other occasions I’m mixing an album whilst Gavin’s producing vocals for another project. Every sessions is different so I’m open and ready for most anything (animal attacks included).

Joe worked with many established acts – here in the picture he is shown with Paper Buoys

About two months ago we interviewed  Gavin himself and he mentioned that the studio was being refurbished. Can you update us on the progress of the works? How does Magic Garden grow?

Joseph Murray:  The studio is always changing and growing, which again keeps things fresh we’re always on the hunt for the next big thing or a mysterious hidden gem.

At the moment, we’re putting focus on the benefits of a hybrid approach so far as getting the most out of the computer whilst also squeezing out the analog goodness of the hardware units. The main room is centred around two different analog consoles from two different eras to give us options and choices, when it comes to different genres or bands or even song by song.

One of the desks is a vintage 70’s German broadcast, which gives us great clarity, punch and in general just makes most things sound a little more lively. Then to the side, we’ve got a fantastic gem of a 60’s British desk which again gives us vibe, colour and some nice, rich saturation.

We’ve also got a stock of various preamps – for even more flavours. I find that if you can get the recording chain working WITH the sound from the start, life is just easier later. They’re all tools, like paintbrushes – some are great for huge broad tonal strokes and others are better for fine movements and just a little bit of highlighting.

Meanwhile in the “B” Room, we’ve focused on the finishing side of projects and put the emphasis again on a hybrid approach focusing on the summing side and making sure that the hardware used is as flavourful as possible. In both rooms we’ve got matched monitors to make it easier to transition projects and maintain the same vibe and vision. There’s also a vast microphone collection ranging from the standards to the weird and wonderful and that floats between the rooms

What we are trying to do via this blog is to highlight options available for people who want to break into the music business. And we not only mean artists or bands, but also future technical experts: producers and sound engineers. Judging from your experience –  if somebody wants to find themselves on the other side of the mixing desk – where should they do?

Joseph Murray:  I can obviously only speak for myself and my own experiences, so my advice would be… you should be prepared to work hard (and long) and make sure you love music. Luckily music is so multifaceted and there are so many moving parts that I guarantee there are jobs you’ve never even heard of.

I’ve always thought that the technical side of the recording process can come second and will be worked on for years and years and years… So as long as you’ve got the attitude and decent taste you’re onto a winner. I would also say to remain open minded, you could walk in wanting to be the producer but find that you actually enjoy the engineering side more or even the sound design aspect. Be fearless-ish.

Prepared for any weather.

What are the do`s and don’ts of your profession. If you were to pen a list of helpful and unhelpful habits of studio personnel, what would you include?

Joseph Murray:  I think that attitude is probably one of the most important aspects to studio life. It’s long days, usually all in the same room. You’re dealing with people and it`s important that they know you’re on the same team and you only want what`s best for the song at the end of the day. Being able to write a good clear track sheet is always helpful, making (good or bad) coffee is always appreciated, in fact make lots of coffee. Take notes, ask questions, listen to  e v e r y t h i n g .

For don’ts – each studio or professional will have a different view on what not to do but my main one is don’t make mine or anyone else in the rooms life harder and that`s about it.

You have been instrumental in creating one of our favourites albums of last year – “Columbia”  by The Blinders. Tell us more about the recording process behind this record? Was it easy to work on it? Or maybe it was a truly dystopian experience?

Joseph Murray:  That`s great to hear and thank you very much! It was a brilliant album to be a part of for many reasons. Firstly, I lurvve the guys and they’re great to just hang out. Secondly the songs were top notch and they’re performers through and through, which makes creating an exciting record a joy. The process for the album wasn’t too out of the ordinary and just felt organic. They’re a band with a collective vision and unwavering commitment to get to it. They each know what they like and what they want whilst also being collaborative and open to suggestions and guidance. We were able to develop the songs in such a way that I reckon got the best out of everyone!

A parent shouldn’t have favourites but we need to ask  – which album you worked on so far is your pride and joy?

Joseph Murray: (laughs) Well I try to make whatever I’m working on at the moment be my favourite. I like the idea that for the time the band are in the studio with me I join them as an auxiliary member and in doing so it’s not about a personal ego or a personal preference, it`s about collaboration and doing your best for the band. We’re Family!

There are records I’m proud to been part of because of their musical or emotional significance, there are records I’m proud of because of my input and contribution and records that I’m proud to be part of because of the experience, so I wouldn’t say I have a favourite. It`s like being part of all of these different little tribes!

Besides working in the studio, we have seen you delivering am impressive stand up comedy sets at Musicians Against Homelessness gig in Birmingham in April. Was it one off or have you been doing it for a while now?

Joseph Murray: Ah, well thank you very much! That was actually my first set. I’ve never considered myself a stand up comedian, just a guy who spouts various amounts of nonsense and likes to hear people laugh. It was for a very good cause and as I’m a musician who is most definitely against homelessness how could I say no! If you’re also a musician who is against homelessness, I suggest having a look into what Musicians Against Homelessness do!

Joe Murray delivering stand up comedy set at Musicians Against Homelessness gig in Birmingham. Photo by Annie Monaghan
https://www.facebook.com/annie.monaghan.984

Every sound engineer have their favourite tools to use. What piece of equipment you just have to have at hand?

Joseph Murray: I often will rant about how you can make a record anywhere using anything because it’s the songs that matter and a good song will always be a good song. That being said, it’s nice to have the luxury of your favourite tools and it`s more often a question of what you’re comfortable using. The most important thing for me is my ears and monitors. Everything else is a bonus. My desert island bag would probably have in it a particular snare we’ve acquired that I don’t know much about other than it sounds incredible and seems to just balance the rest of the kit really nicely! Not to compare myself to Van Gogh but if he didn’t have his favourite brush I reckon he’d still paint a masterpiece.

We know that working with Gavin is a dream come true – he is the Wizard of Wolverhampton after all. However, let’s pretend you can work with any other producer (alive or dead) on any album in existence. Who do you choose to collaborate with and what’s the title of the record?

Joseph Murray: I feel that music is always changing and evolving and growing, so I struggle to pick a favourite album or producer. There are thousands of records that I would love to be part of. Some albums that come to mind straight away are the Berlin era recordings by David Bowie, especially “Heroes” produced by Tony Visconti whilst Brian Eno and Iggy Pop were hanging around too. That would of been an experience, especially seeing Tony recording Robert Fripp creating melodic feedback just by walking around the room.

I also think being with Nigel Godrich recording “OK Computer” would of been amazing, to be at the genesis of this new turn in modern music.

There are so many more – Bob Marley`s “Exodus” (not just for the weather), The Beach Boys` “Pet Sounds”, Marvin Gaye`s “What`s Going On”, Wu-Tang Clan`s ”36 Chambers”, Beastie Boys` “Ill Communication” and of course Fleetwood Mac`s “Rumours”.

Thank you very much for talking to us!

Joseph Murray: Thank you so much for your brilliant questions and I hope my answers made some sort of sense! Keep It Loud and One Love.

You can follow Joseph Murray on the socials:

https://www.facebook.com/josephjosephmurraymurray
https://www.instagram.com/josephjosephmurraymurray/

And Magic Garden Recording Studios can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/MagicGardenRecordingStudio/
https://twitter.com/MagicGardenUK
https://www.instagram.com/magicgardenstudio/

There is an awesome playlist that showcases all the recordings made at Magic Garden on Spotify:

Yeah we know, we are so lucky to have such incredible studio in West Midlands and people like Joe and Gavin to take care of all the local (and not so local) artists. If you look for a place to bring your art to life – please get in touch with Magic Garden.

R/M