Indieterria meets Membranes

Hello!

Forget the saying “never meet your heroes”. Sometimes you just have to meet them! When we heard that John Robb is working on a new material, we immediately knew we wanted to speak to him about it. John is not only a musician, magazine editor (he runs the wildly popular Louder than War magazine) and journalist. He is also a poet, a modern philosopher and an artist. His works have been shaping musical landscape since 1977 and Membranes are considered as one of the most influential punk/alternative rock outfits in the history of British music.

We sat down with John a couple of days before his (sort of) homecoming gig at the Manchester Ritz to discuss the new album, forces of nature, our place in the natural order of the universe and performing with a choir! It was a huge pleasure and priviladge to interview our childhood hero, so if you have one, don’t wait and apporach them. Disappointments happen, but so does the magic. And for us it was a magical experience.

Membranes photographed by jay3008

Membranes
John Robb (vocals, bass)
Nick Brown (guitar)
Peter Byrchmore (guitar)
Rob Haynes (drums)

Official bio: This one comes with their own Wikipedia entry!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Membranes

“What Natures Gives… Nature Takes Away” is your first studio album since 2015 and a follow up to the acclaimed “Dark Matter/Dark Energy”. Four years is a long time. Can you tell us how this album shaped from its conception to the final mixes?

John Robb: We got busy. We didn’t expect the last album to go as well as it did and we were sidetracked by touring and life. All the time though the idea of the next album was germinating (ha!) like a seed. There is no rush for a band like ours, we are not a teenage hit machine. This stuff is art and art takes time. Just create when you are ready. Don’t wait for permission on how and when you create. When it was ready, it was ready. There were always ideas and when they had a grand scheme to fit into to with the nature thing then it all fell intom place. Making a record as epic and ambitious as this is, of course, a gamble. The underground scene has lots of rules and you are expected to conform by them! In many ways underground music is even more tightly regulated by what you are perceived to be allowed to do than the so called mainstream. Alternative music is often not that alternative, is it?

The album’s title, quickly brings connotation to the famous Bible verse “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). Was it something you wanted the listeners to notice and think about? Are we, as human beings, at the mercy of the forces of nature?

The front cover of “What Nature Gives”

John Robb: Yes, the album is about the beauty and violence of nature. It’s also about how we are the nature and as you say we are at the mercy of the forces of nature. We are at the mercy of its ebbs and flows. We do our best to try and break away but we are just chimps in suits. We like the idea of biblical preachers against a stormy sky shouting at nature. Like the good book can even have any control on the mighty forces already unleashed way before a god was even invented. As human beings, we are merely navigating this swirl of wildness and hoping for the best.

The “natural theme” is omnipresent on the record. Looking at the song titles, one cannot miss multiple references to animals (“Murder of Crows”, The City Is An Animal”), plants (“Demon Seed/Demon Flower”) or forests (“Deep In The Forest Where The Memories Linger”). Are we looking at concept album, or “dark rock opera” as one of the reviewers called it?

John Robb: “Dark rock opera” is a pretty cool term! There is a concept running through the album but it’s not as literal as it sounds. The songs take the themes of nature but each song is its own entity but the tracks run in an order. For me, it’s very much an album with each piece in place and not loads of tracks chucked together. Like a book with chapters! “A Strange Perfume” is about the power of pheromones and the powerful primal instinctive urge of the perfumes of our own scent whilst “A Murder Of Crows” is about the dark power of crows – their mystical power, their smartness and their cunning cruelty. The song also looks back on the roots of the word “murder” back to the plains of India where it is an actual Hindu word. “Demon Seed/Demon Flower” is a dark dub built around the themes brought up by Baudelaire – it’s a Baudelaire dub! It’s about how sex runs right through nature and we celebrate the voluptuous flowers trying to attract each other’s attention in the battlefield of life. “Deep In The Forest” is a celebration of the tomblike silence at the centre of the darkest first, a place where you can hear nature sigh in its eternal woody silence. It’s also part of a theme for the perfume we are working on with Lush which will be called “A Strange Perfume”! It smells of the erotic dampness, leaf mould and autumnal richness of the forest – a place where your memories linger for eternity.

Back cover of the new album

Two songs, however differ from the rest, thematically and musically. “Pandora’s Box” and “Mother Ocean/Father Time” seems to be inspired by classical Greek mythology.  Can you tell us more about them?

John Robb: “Pandora’s Box” is the apocalyptic end piece of the album. It is about the power of love and lust and the curveballs that nature throws at us in life and that moment in time when you have to jump in and open the box.

“Mother Ocean/Father Time” is about the ocean and it’s also about my grandfather, a French Canadian who used to work on the cable ships as they crossed the Atlantic in the early 20th century. They used to call it the most dangerous job in the world. Eventually he stopped over in London for a couple of days and had the briefest of dalliances with my grandmother and was never seen again. I liked that mystery to their brief affair, that intensity of the moment against the backdrop of the mighty ocean. The music was written to reflect that with the riff being the churning of the waves and the salt stained seas, another celebration of the sheer power of nature. I used to live by the sea and loved that line between suburbia and the wild ocean. On one side the thin veneer of civilisation and on the other the wild and mysterious depths.

The record, which is set to be released on June 7th, is a double album full of intriguing guests: Chris Packham, Kirk Brandon (Spear of Destiny) and even a 20 – person choir. You have previously worked with Estonian female choir Sireen for festival slots and BIMM choir for a tour in the UK. Which choir have you employed on this occasion?

John Robb: I like working with guests. I think rock bands don’t have to be so rigid. We have done so many collaborations over the years. We played in Mexico last night and did a live collaboration with a local band who are called Descartes A Kant (who are really worth checking out). We had one rehearsal and a get on stage kind of affair and that is the kind of risk taking that always creates great art. The choir we used on this album is recruited from BIMM – we can’t afford to fly an Estonian choir around. It’s the price you pay for having ideas bigger than your budget. I put the call out on Facebook for a choir and Claire Pilling, who teaches singing at BIMM college came back to us and recruited the choir. It was great working with the Sireen choir who I saw play a festival in Estonia 5 years ago and asked if they wanted to do a gig with us straight after. They said yes and we played two amazing and brilliantly received gigs in Estonia with them which is where this album really started.

We want to ask you about another person who is featured on the album – dame Shirley Collins, the force behind English Folk Revival of 1960s and 1970s. What an incredible woman. She is 83 years old this year and just released her new album herself. Was it hard to convince dame Collins to appear on the record? It does look a bit like Metallica/Marianne Faithfull collaboration!

John Robb: Shirley is amazing. I met her through filming stuff for Lush, the cosmetics chain, who have created a media channel which I film content for. She was in Lush one night at the launch of a film about her and it was great to meet her. She is a wonderful woman. I asked her if she wanted to do a piece for the album and an hour later she was reading this great piece about the South Downs and the power of music and how it comes out of the very soil of the surrounding hills. Her description of the flowers and birds in the Sussex hills is so evocative and perfect and one of the highpoint of the album for me.

“What Nature Gives” comes with an incredible sleeve artwork that is actually a Gothic Victoriana painting by artist Valentine Cameron Prinsep, a relative to Julia Margaret Cameron, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. The title of the painting does sound like something Nicky Wire would come up with: “At The First Touch Of Winter Summer Fades Away”. How did you come across this piece?

John Robb: I did a Google search! I was putting key words from the album and then searching through images and hoping something powerful and evocative would come up. What I needed was a piece of artwork that would reflect the themes of the album: the transient nature of nature, life and death and the passing of the seasons and the second that image appeared I know it was perfect. I like it because it is the seasons and death and also because its quite erotic and tragic and full of flowers and lingering and tragedy – just like the album!

The release is being promoted by leading single “A Strange Perfume”, where the band members are shown singing among the ballet dancers clad in black. The video is surprisingly dark and has some sort of nervousness to it. It was directed by Anya Cinnamon Machin – visual artist and cinematographer based in Manchester. Please tell us more about the story behind the video.

John Robb: The song itself was about the erotic power of scent. A celebration of the sensuality of all five senses like in the Kama Sutra where all the subtlties of attraction are celebrated. The idea was to have a ballet dancer as we hate mimed band videos and prefer something a bit off kilter. I think the world is a bit too full of blokes pretending to play guitars in videos and we didn’t want to throw another one out there. Anya is a brilliant young film maker from Manchester and it was a pleasure working with her. We are collaborating on a new video with her now – an animation. We wanted “A Strange Perfume” to be dark and shadowy and also to take an influence from the film Black Swan. That edgy tightrope walking film about the nature of intensity and madness – all themes that we are fascinated by.

Not sure if somebody else observed it before us but there is a strong representation of females on that release: from the Persephone/Demeter figures on the cover, to guests such as dame Shirley Collins, to video director, choir members and ballet dancers in the videos. Its very uplifting in the male dominated industry.

John Robb: Yes! Great that you noticed. We wanted to make a record that broke down the traditional “4 blokes against the world” nature of rock music. There are many bands that are great at that and some of them are my favourites but there’s no point in us joining that eternal queue. We were bored of that macho conservative world and thought of ways to break it up. Using the choir was one. The human voice in harmony is one of the greatest sounds imaginable and to hear that harmony in a modern world that is full of shouting and not very much listening, is quite something. Having that many women around, changes the dynamic of things and the sound and texture of the music. It was great to have guests like 84 year old folk singer Shirley Collins on the album, firstly, because we love her music and, secondly, because we want to celebrate age and wisdom and the beauty of older people. Jordan is on there because she is one of my best mates and an iconic presence who defined punk with an artful brilliance that made her so key. She had inspired us when we were growing up.

Right after the release of the record, you embark on a tour that will take you all over the UK (Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool among other dates), Europe and even to Mexico. What can we expect from you on stage?

John Robb: The music is still physical and will be played in a physical way. There are many epic moments but you can still dance to it. We will bring the choir to as many gigs as we possibly can and try and make something spectacular if we can.

In an recent interview with GigSluts you jokingly said that Membranes can only operate on a grand scale. Here’s our last question: imagine you have no restriction of any kind (financial, timely or artistic) when it comes to the production of your upcoming gigs. What do you go for? Las Vegas residency, grand opening at the Carnegie Hall or Michael Jackson-like world tour?

John Robb: I would love to play epic events like the Carnegie Hall! We did check how much it would cost to hire once and it was a lot! (laughing) We’d love to play at the Griffiths Observatory in LA, The Royal Albert Hall in London or the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. All brilliant locations with the choir and a sense of the spectacular. I love off-the-wall locations. We played the top of Blackpool Tower a couple years ago and we love cinemas where we can use the screen to play a film! I would also love to play caves or in the middle of a forest. Or have this 3D immersive light show that I have been working on. Just need the money to make it all work. Of course, it’s all very ambitious but ambition is the driver in breaking barriers in art, isn’t it?

Listen to Membranes on their official Spotify chanel:


And follow them on their socials:

http://www.themembranes.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/membranes1
https://www.facebook.com/themembranes
https://www.instagram.com/themembranes/

Membranes new album is available at:
https://louderthanwar.com/shop/the-membranes/the-membranes/

Membranes will play Ritz in Manchester on Saturday the 8th of June with supports from Glove, The Pack (Theatre Of Hate), Liines, Queen Zee and HENGE.
More information about the event can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/226440181569176/
Last remaining tickets  can be purchased from: https://www.seetickets.com/event/the-membranes-henge/o2-ritz/1308269

We will be in the front row, so expect a detailed review from the frontlines!
Till then,

Malcia and Rita

Indieterria review – Burn by Edits

Dear Readers,

Liv and Chris aka Edits (self portrait)

After reviewing excellent single from Manchester trio Hot Minute, we are back with more new music to discover. We are so happy we decided to do an open call for bands in Merseyside area to send us their songs and describe them on their own terms. This month we are publishing those mini interviews and learning how diverse and absolutely amazing scene up north is!

Edits were the second band to get in touch with their music. They are childhood friends who combine studying with recording and writing their own material. Described as atmospheric electro pop, Liv and Chris cite MUSE, Royal Blood, The 1975 and even Nine Inch Nails as their influences.  Their debut single “Don’t Speak” came out in 2017 and was followed by self produced/self released EP “Re – Surface” a year later.  The band rounded up 2018 by releasing another single “Cold”.

On their new single “Burn”, there is more than just electro -pop to Edits. Firstly, what catches your attention is the vocal range of Liv Westhead who is first dramatic mezzo-soprano on indie circuit we came across. Think Amy Lee of Evanescence meeting Lisa Gerrard. Liv could hold her own in any genre really, from folk to Viking metal and even opera without missing a note. But then her type of voice is not called dramatic mezzo soprano for nothing.  Chris Abbot comes in with guitars to create melodic lines that range between indie outfit to industrial noise.

Edits place themselves comfortably among new coming  electronic indie bands such as White Room, The Ninth Wave, Drusilla or La Mode. Burn – came out on June 14th is opposite  o previous single “Cold”. We think it would be a good idea to have both songs pressed as a Double A single on a 7 inch in the future. Just imagine crystal clear vinyl with “hot” and “cold” side – who would not want that in their record collection? But its time to let Edits speak for themselves:

Burn – single cover

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  Where are you based and who is in the band?

Liv Westhead:  We’re Edits: Liv (vox /synths) and Chris Abbot (guitar) and we’re based just outside of Manchester in Northwich, Cheshire.

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

Liv Westhead: We’ve known each other since we were 15 but we really got serious about Edits whilst we were at The University of Salford studying Popular Music & Recording, which is why Manchester feels like home to us. Highlights for us have been playing at Warrington Music Festival and Chester Live and just some of the great reactions we’ve had to our music from blogs which makes you feel super proud.

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

Liv Westhead:  Growing up I was obsessed with the band Muse so I think they have a much bigger influence on the band than some people think. I’ve also always sung in choirs so a more classical/choral sound has always influenced my vocals. Nowadays, I love bands such as Mew, Biffy Clyro, Interpol, The Twilight Sad, Chvrches, Daughter, Radiohead, Everything Everything and Nine Inch Nails. We both love guitar driven music but often with some electronic elements.

It`s all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written.

Liv Westhead:  Our latest single Burn was written very quickly actually, which I think is how the best songs come about. Chris had this idea down in Cubase and then I just started singing the melody over the top. Every song for us is different, sometimes I write at the piano and have chords and melody for a whole song, sometimes Chris writes an instrumental and then the vocals are added afterwards.

I wanted Burn to be the opposite of Cold which was our last single back in November. Cold was all about the inability to feel and bottling up all your feelings. Burn is about finding that raw spark inside of you and the feeling of invincibility I get whenever we play live. It’s probably our heaviest and angriest song so far.

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

Liv Westhead: We have a couple of gigs coming up, firstly at LiveBars in Warrington on the 20th of June and then at The Salty Dog in Northwich on the 4th of August. We’re currently looking for a Manchester date so fingers crossed!

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

Liv Westhead:  You can contact us at: contact@editsband.com

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

Liv Westhead:  I would have to say the band Mew. They do some gorgeous harmonies and vocal layering and I would love to sing with them. Also, my favourite producer is Rich Costey who’s produced some of my favourite records ever (including Mew’s Frengers) so it would have to be with him! It terms of studios I don’t really know but I’d love an excuse to go to New York!

Edits are just warming up. Can you take the heat?

Listen to “Burn” here:

http://hyperurl.co/burn-edits

You can follow the band on social media:

http://www.editsband.com
https://twitter.com/editsband
http://edits.bandcamp.com
https://soundcloud.com/editsband
https://www.youtube.com/user/editsband
https://instagram.com/editsband
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6fwe92CcXSydfsBqpZRAfD?si=Fzlpd1m7QgWpuc6oiAfDHw

 

We are going to keep an eye on the band and so should you! This project – despite being still very young – has already shown a lot of potential. A seal of approval from us as A&Rs.

Much love for the band for sending their music in!

Mal+Rita

Indieterria meets Shiva May Care

Dear Readers,

We are in March already and it is high time to introduce another band to the never ending pages of Indieterria. We are back to the Kingdom of Mancunia to meet the wildest hard-rocking bunch in the North. And what fun gang they are! This five piece is truly international – with members coming from four different nations – all making a wonderful racket around Northern Quarter. Don`t expect the usual brit-pop-y sounds from them. This band is unlike anything you can hear in Manchester – they mix punk, hard rock, metal and even J-Rock to arrive at their own, very distinctive musical voice. A bonus is sense of humour, loyalty to their collaborators and friendship for each other. Show us another group like this in the region and we will buy you a lunch at Night & Day.

Grab your hair spray, your torn jeans and Motley Crue tees – its time to meet Shiva May Care!

Band Logo

Shiva May Care

Michael Morris – vox
Jet Lag (Federico Cossu) – guitar, vox
Jenny (Giorgia di Pancrazio) – bass
Raul Ochoa – guitar
Luke Thorpe  – drums, vox

Official bio: Born in 2017 as an collaboration between Federico Cossu (J3T L4g) and Stefano Carbone (who left the band few months later) Shiva May Care is a five piece based in Manchester. They play hard rock with glam, punk and metal inspirations. The band is actively gigging on the local scene with sold out shows at Hula Bar, Rebellion, Night People and Pop Bar in Hyde under their belt.

You are one of the most outstanding bands that came out Manchester scene recently music wise. Please introduce yourselves to readers of Indiererria.

Federico Cossu:  Thanks for calling us outstanding.  We really appreciate it. Hello Indierreria, we are Shiva May Care: Federio Cossu on guitar, Michael Morris on vocals, Raul Ochoa on guitar, Luke Thorpe on drums and Giorgia “Jenny” Di Pancrazio on bass. How are you doing?

Is there any story behind the band`s name? Who is the mysterious Shiva?

Federico Cossu:  Well, we liked the idea of a band with a “Devil May Care” attitude, but we needed something more exclusive than that, more personal. We are not hot-headed guys, we try to be good! For this reason Shiva takes place of the Devil.

Shiva May Care was born just two years ago as a collaboration between guitarist Federico Cossu (known on the Manc scene as J3T L4G) and another local musician Stefano Carbone. Now you expanded to a five piece. Can you tell us about the beginnings of the band and how this particular line up came together?

Federico Cossu:  We all met in pubs and clubs, we were friends of friends. I met Stefano at an house party  and we decided to start a band out of the blue. At that time, I used to work in the same company as our first singer, Massimo Zitti, so it was natural to ask him to join the band. We just wanted  to have fun and  play loud rock and roll. Stefano introduced me to Raul and I met Luke at Whiskey Jar in Manchester, amazing place, great vibes and inspiring music environment.  Massimo had to leave for Canada so Michael joined the band and our sound went in the hard rock/ metal direction. Our bassist Giorgia joined us last year to complete the line up.

The band is their glamorous splendour

The band is a proper international affair – with members coming from UK, Italy and Mexico. Your work with a producer from New Caledonia. You are basically a heavier version of Superorganism!  Do you think that coming from different cultures and speaking different languages is an advantage when it comes to song writing process? How do you overcome potential misunderstandings?

Federico Cossu: Oh yes, it’s definitely an advantage. But to answer your question – coming  from different countries where you struggle to find good music allows you to get deeper into the genres as you are not being constantly bombed by the big hits.  And we love Manchester, it’s a multicultural hive where people can express themselves as they wish.

I come from a small town where probably only me and my brother know “The Gift” by the Jam! In Manchester you hear these tunes being played every night at bars! It’s great, it`s like a dream!

Different backgrounds  bring  more points of view to the song writing process and, fortunately, the language misunderstandings  are not present as we work really naturally on our songs. I often show a lyric or idea to the band and  Michael and  the guys will make their own interpretation of it, in order to make it sound personal and more to their liking.

They care a lot – about music, fans and each other

Even if we wanted to squeeze you into a musical box, we would not be able to. There is so much going on in your sound – traditional hard rock, glam, punk, metal and even visual kei (Japanese rock). If we were to summarize your style we would have to define it as Motley Crew meets L`Arc-En-Ciel at a party in Mother Love Bone`s basement.  You have your own name for the genre you play: punk`n`roll.  Where did your sound originate?

Federico Cossu:  Wow, that sounds like a good party. No one has invited us though!

Well, the genre punk’n’roll is something I know since I was a kid, we didn’t invented it. I’m personally a big fun of Social Distortion, Backyard Babies, The Hives, Hardcore Superstar, Radio Birdman, Gluecifer, Turbonegro and Hellacopters. I’ve always known these bands as punk`n`roll bands, especially referring to all the Scandinavian rock scene.

To summarize, you pick The Stooges, Ramones, MC5, New York Dolls, Dictators and stick a distorted  rocket under their asses: congrats, you`ve got punk and roll, action rock, death punk and so on.

All these influences have been probably mixed up with Luke, Michael, Raul and Georgia’s influences, such as ’80 classic rock and new romantic, metal and hair metal, blues and stoner rock. However, I wouldn’t get stuck with genres names and labels, it’s a never-ending battle, it’s only rock and roll after all.

Hopefully in the future, you will find us on the soundtrack to a new anime or a video game (laughs).

Shiva May Care – the wildest kids in Northern Town

You have just released your debut A side single “Til The Music Is Loud”/”Stubborn Lovers” produced by Mathieu Garcia at Red Sand Studio. We know Mathieu from his project Gold For Kids and incredible single he released last year “City of Your Name”. How did you find working with Red Sand Studio? 

Federico Cossu:  We felt at home! Mathieu is a friend and we love his solo projects. I remember he was working on his track “Plastic Guns” when we started talking about recording Shiva`s first songs. His music knowledge and skills are impressive and he has been able to catch the essence of Shiva May Care as a band. He also added effects, keyboards and backing vocals ideas to our songs.

Have you recorded any other songs with  Mathieu Garcia?

Federico Cossu:  We recorded together “Shiva Dance” – our live show opening track, which you will find on streaming platforms in the coming months. It is a small ethnic rock composition that became incredible thanks to Mathieu`s arrangement skills and taste. He added deep Asian and tribal percussions mixed up with modern sounds, giving it a “V for Vendetta” kind of vibe. For this song, we collaborated with two close friends: Nina Bakhshayesh on cello and  Kitty “Albino” Tha Eastankittan on vocals.

Mathieu contributed to the maturing of the band and we wish him the very best in his own career.

You are also teasing release of another single in mid March entitled “Stay With Me”. Do you plan any promotional videos for this song? What can we expect?

Federico Cossu: We are working with Luca de Falco on music video for Stay With Me. We tried to think out of the box, avoiding the usual hard rock clichés when it comes up to video clips. It will be great,  we had such a positive feedback towards the single so far. It’s a song that everyone can relate to and for the video we are bringing in this great Manchester dancer, Aisha Clasen. You will be able to enjoy her interpretation of the song through her performance next month.

The only way is UP!

Shiva May Care is regularly playing live shows around Manchester, recently at Lock 91. And your shows  are always described as very upbeat and dynamic. What`s the best part of playing on stage?

Federico Cossu: The best part of playing on stage is playing on stage I guess. There’s nothing better than expressing yourself, high on adrenaline in front of people who are waiting to have some fun. That’s the best drug ever. However, everything happens too quickly, as my ex used to tell me, so you need another gig  ASAP.

We are definitely seeing you live this year.  Are you planning a tour perhaps?

Federico Cossu:  We won’t plan any tours at the moment, we wish to see our fan base grow locally first. We will definitely be planning some gigs to promote Stay with Me. The next show will be at Jimmy’s on the 2nd of April and we will appear at Zombie Shack on the 5th of May for Below The Bridge event.

Radio Salford described your bassist  Giorgia di Pancrazio as the best bass player  to come out of Manchester since Peter Hook himself.  Any comments on that?

Federico Cossu:  We will take the compliment with pleasure, thanks for that. Georgia is great. And we will do our best to honour her talent  at our future live shows. Hopefully, love won’t tear us apart.

The band has sense of humour and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

We love your merch. The Shiva logo that appears on your t-shirts is one of the best designs we have seen in a long time. Can you reveal who is the artist behind it?

Federico Cossu:  The artwork comes from the mind of Matt Shock, Sardinian art designer. With him, just like with Mathieu, we immediately got the essence of Shiva May Care. The design was born from a photo I’ve taken in Market Street in Manchester of a girl wearing a jacket with a snake emblem on it. Matt added some Hellacopters influences and our Shiva logo was born. You definitely have to check Matt`s works, he is currently working on all our next artworks too.

Last question – but we have to ask. What are the things that Shiva may care about? Any ideas?

Federico Cossu:  Shiva may care about making good music. And we definitely care about people who will listen to our songs. We want the public to have fun while we are striving to encourage people not to waste their lives, all between a jump, a shout and a good riff. We really wish to see boys and girls of  Manchester (and beyond) beating depression, drug and alcohol abuse if they are suffering of any of these problems. There’s a huge potential within each of us and it would be a shame not to use it. We also care about  our pets… God, we love our pets and good coffee.

Shiva May Care merch stand is colourful and very artistic

You can follow the band on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/shivamaycare
https://twitter.com/ShivaMayCare
https://www.instagram.com/shivamaycare/
https://soundcloud.com/shivamaycare
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5l8feZRdChITHw7dp0L0gc?si=ww1Tiem0S5C0aOPiQbRoZw

Federico Cossu (aka J3T-L4G)
https://soundcloud.com/jet-lag13

We hope you found Shiva May Care interesting and we will surely report back on their musical endeavours in the future. For now, turn the volume up and enjoy the wild ride with the awesome band!

Laters,

Mal+ Rita

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

———Update 2018/04/14————

Canvas EP cover

After several months of being relatively quiet, our favourite Caerphilly based hard rockers, Mudlark returns with a new digital EP  entitled “Canvas”. We are extremely pleased to announce that “Canvas” is even better than “Come clean/Swansong”. We sincerely loved their  previous EP and we thought that recording something even better will be hard to beat. We admit, we were wrong!

Instead of four tracks, “Canvas” offers only two new songs: an epic 11-minute long “Stare at the Sun” and nearly five-minuter “Death Lessons”. As before, all songs were written by Mudlark and produced by Rhys Morgan.

The first track “Stare at the Sun” opens with a prolonged beginning with heavy, distorted guitars and melancholic vibes that would make Paradise Lost turn green with envy. Luke Powell’s monotonic, almost spoken-word monologue reminds us of  Johan Edlund of Tiamat (circa “Wildhoney”era) that quickly turns into a scream and then morphs into a crystal clear singing. The music is again layered and each layer seems to represent a different genre. You can find progressive rock, metal, heavy metal, college rock, math rock and psychodelic music. All in one yet perfectly mixed into what we can only call a classic Mudlark sound.

In comparison to “Stare at the Sun”, second track, “Death Lessons” is composed with much more simplicity. It has a gothic feel to it and is much more heavier which we liked a lot. It starts slowly, builds up quickly and finishes with crazy guitars, galloping drums and heavy bass line. Mudlark prepared a black and white video to this song which you can watch it below:

We truly hope that the departure of  Nick Giles (bass), will not mean the end of the band. Mudlark has a lot of potential and very unique style that is hard to find among  post-britpop and alternative rock outfits that dominate the indie circuit.

We keep our fingers crossed and hopefully we will have the pleasure to review further releases from them.

You can purchase/and listen to Canvas online:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1swXNojvoh5fv8YQvKR9CF?si=MiRtRcLpQmarOWUBX9Qzbg
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1366468517
Bandcamp: https://mudlarkuk.bandcamp.com/album/canvas
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mudlarkuk/sets/canvas
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Mudlark_Canvas?id=Bokd5hokn76xetdrxsd5qq22jhi
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Canvas-MudLark/dp/B07BVPFDCD/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1523700515&sr=1-1-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0&keywords=canvas+mudlark
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRMy-NderSk

 

Malicia and Rita Dabrowicz