#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with John Gibbons

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I recently had the privilege of doing a Skype interview with Irish producer and remixer, John Gibbons, following the release of his latest single and cover of the massive 1994, ‘Hotstepper’.

We spoke all about how some of his cover versions came to be, who he’d most like to collaborate with, what his passions are outside of music and one of his most embarrassing moments on stage. It’s all here…



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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Mirza Radonjica-Bang from Siamese

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Having just released the second single, ‘Ocean Bed’, from their upcoming record, Super Human (out 24th May on Long Branch Records), I had the chance to chat to lead singer, Mirza Radonjica-Bang from incredible band, Siamese.


Hey Mirza, how’s it going?
Going well, man. Just about to release some new music. If that doesn’t affect your mood in a good way… you should probably stop eh?

Good to hear…so you are gearing up to release your new record, ‘Super Human’ in May; how do you feel prior to a new release? Is it nerve-wracking or exciting?
It’s defo both. Exciting cause we get to tour again and see our friends around the world. Nerve-racking if the same ol’ fans don’t like the new shit. I think they will though. BUT also we hope to get some more people on board man. Would be nice to evolve the family over here for sure. So if you do not know Siamese and you like your heavy with some funky pop, I’d appreciate it.

I love the title, where did the idea come from and what’s the meaning behind it?
Our last record, Shameless, was all about positivity and looking forward and just outright living and partying a bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always been quite dark, but on Super Human it’s all about realising that life might still just be suffering after all. And that coping with that mechanism is something you really need to do. I lost my faith in revelations man. You know that shit where people say they are at peace with who they are? Well OK. Fine enough, but that is not entirely true, I’ve come to find. It’s not human nature to be honest. And its super human to admit that. Hating your girl, doing bad stuff, doing drugs, not doing drugs, being jealous, not paying attention to the ones you loved. It’s all in this record. You will make mistakes. You are not perfect. And you need to tell yourself that once in a while. That’s the theme of the album.

Wow, deep! So what’s the track you’re most excited for people to hear on the record and why?
My personal favourite is ‘Ocean Bed’, but the track that stands out is ‘Super Human’. Lyrics and the feature from Olivio Antonio makes it something completely different. Oh and for the first time ever, I’ve opened up about my background as a refugee on ‘Unified’. I’m kinda excited to see if that song only resonates with me or it can tell people something about something more universal.

That’s amazing! I can’t wait to hear them all. I was wondering, what’s your usual process for writing/recording?
Me (Mirza, Singer) and Andreas lock our selves up in a tiny room with a computer, a piano for about a month and go on to produce the structures and melodies of the songs. We pretty much get it done front to back in month right now actually. We work as pop producers (because that’s our background) and then the rock and heavy elements come on later in the process. Not a lot of heavy bands that I know of, do it this way. Some also frown upon it, but yeah buddy. Release 5 albums and let’s talk about it again yeah? I mean. There is so many effing problems you demolish by working as we do. And we can keep doing it for many years on without going broke or something like that.

Where do you take inspirations from when writing/recording your music?
I listen way too much to bands like PVRIS, Dance Gavin Dance, Slaves, The Weeknd, Zara Larsson and so on. But mostly our inspiration would start by a sample, we hear 4 simple chords which I would sing to, and suddenly Andreas would go STOP!! That one! haha. Lyrically this time I have taken a lot of my friends’ stories and put them down as lyrics. I wanted to portray being super human in many aspects and not just my own. Dunno if that makes sense but it did to me at least.

Yeah, I get it. It sounds like a great way to write – listening and interpreting other people’s stories. I like your eclectic music taste too! If you could collaborate with anyone else, who would it be and why?
I’d like to collaborate with Tillian Pearson from Dance Gavin Dance. He is a huge inspiration to me, and I really think he could teach me a thing or 500.

Haha! That’d be cool. What music have you been listening to most recently?
The new Bring Me The Horizon album has been spun quite a lot, After The Burial and I still find my self spinning PVRIS and Slaves once in a while. Shame what happened with Jonny Craig. Slaves will not be the same I’m afraid.

Yes it’s a real shame. If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
‘God is a Woman’ by Ariana Grande. And lord, I actually it will happen in the near future.

Seriously?! I love that song and oh my God, I can’t wait to hear your version!!! Do you have any pre or post-gig rituals?
Drink 4 beers. Not 5 and not 3. 4 beers. Post gig rituals, I have none. Just be nice to people and get your adrenaline down.

Haha! Yeah that after-show buzz is mental eh? Have any of you got any weird habits?
Christian on violin vapes man. I fucking hate that nicotine dildo in his mouth. But to be honest none of us have weird habits that I know of.

That you know of…haha! Do you guys have any other passions outside of music?
I’m big on TV shows. There is not much I haven’t seen. And anything good I have seen. Also I am very passionate about Arsenal and FC Barcelona. You can talk football for hours with me.

Unfortunately I don’t know loads about football…sorry. What really grinds your gears (winds you up)?
Postmodernism. Dude do not start that fire. Identity politics. And influencers. I guess we live in a time where there are a lot of insignificant things you can hate eh?

Too true man! What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
I enjoyed A Star Is Born. Did I cry a bit. Yes I might have. OK. Leave it.

If, say in 10 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play each of you?
In the name of political correctness, I’d like an all female cast to play us.

Haha! Love it! Lastly then, what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The world is never black and white. There is no ultimate answer.

Good point. Thanks very much for taking the time to talk to me today. Good luck with the album release and your recent single, ‘Ocean Bed’, too.
Cheers.


Siamese‘s releases are all available:


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Aaron Barrett from Reel Big Fish

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Reel Big Fish are undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest ska punk bands (as if you didn’t already know!) and December 2018 saw the band release their ninth studio album (and first new album in 6 years), Life Sucks…Let’s Dance! (click the link to read our review).

I was lucky enough and truly honoured that Aaron Barrett took some time out of the band’s busy tour schedule to talk to me!


Hey Aaron, so you‘ve been gearing up to release your ninth studio album, ‘Life Sucks… Let’s Dance!’ and the buzz around it seems be great but how do you feel prior to a new release? Is it nerve-wracking or exciting?
Aaron Barrett: There is definitely a lot of excitement this time around because I think for the first time in my life I am totally confident in the record. I know it’s really good and the songs are awesome and I can’t wait for people to hear it! In the past I really always was insecure about the albums and thought people would hate the new stuff and I just dreaded everything about putting out a new one.

Well nothing to fear with this record…it’s great! So where did the idea for the title come from and what’s the meaning behind it?
Aaron Barrett: That was just one of the songs I wrote for the album and I guess it’s just kind of how I’m feeling these days. Just make the best of whatever situation you’re in, that’s about all you can do sometimes.

What’s the track you’re most excited for people to hear?
Aaron Barrett: All of them! There are so many great songs on this record! I think my favorites are ‘Life Sucks; Let’s Dance’, ‘In Love Again’ and ‘I’d Rather Get It Wrong’.

All great tracks! What’s your usual process for writing/recording and where do you take inspirations from?
Aaron Barrett: I’ve never been a “Sit down and write a song/album” kind of guy. I pretty much just wait for song ideas to pop into my head. I might be at a restaurant, in the shower, at the beach, I never know where or when an idea will come. But when it does, I don’t record anything, I don’t write anything down, I just try to remember and I figure that if it’s good enough for me to remember for a few years, then it’s time to get out the guitar and figure out how it goes and show it to the rest of the guys. So this new record is just the last 5 years of little musical ideas piling up in my brain! Haha.

I love that – so organic and honest! Haha! So what future plans have you got? Any big tours? Will you be winging your way over to the UK any time soon?
Aaron Barrett: Well with the release of a new record, that means even more touring than we usually do! Gotta go everywhere and spread the word about the new music. We will definitely be in the UK this summer and who knows, maybe the fall too!

If you could have anyone feature on a track, who would it be and why?
Aaron Barrett: I’d love to have CC Deville from Poison do a guitar solo on a song! Or maybe do a duet with Dolly Parton? That would be cool!

Both of those would be amazing! What music have you been listening to most recently?
Aaron Barrett: I’ve been listening to nothing but 80’s country music for the last couple weeks on the tour bus, the rest of the band hates me now! Haha!

Haha! Reel Big Fish goes Country for the next album?! Maybe not! If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
Aaron Barrett: I honestly couldn’t name one hit song that’s been out in the last few years, I’m completely out of touch with music today…thank goodness! Haha.

Haha, fair enough! Where are some of your favourite cities to perform at?
Aaron Barrett: I always love to do shows in Hawaii because…well I get paid to go to Hawaii!! And of course I always love to tour the UK!

Who wouldn’t love to play in Hawaii! What a lucky guy you are. What makes a show particularly amazing for you?
Aaron Barrett: I think what makes a show great for me is if the audience is singing along and dancing and going crazy, that’s the most important thing for me. I do everything I can to keep people moving and excited and having a good time. And if anybody laughs at my dumb jokes, that’s a bonus too!

I bet they do; you’re a funny and charismatic guy! So, has anything really scary ever happened to you on tour? If so, what?
Aaron Barrett: We had a tour bus that burned down one time, that was pretty scary. Everybody was asleep in their bunks on the bus and the bus driver came running in waking everybody up telling all to get out. Some of the guys didn’t even grab their shoes or wallets and we pretty much all lost our cell phones. But all of our music gear was ok and we all survived. But that was crazy…and scary.

Sounds horrendous…at least you were all alright! Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals?
Aaron Barrett: I think the only pre-show ritual we have is drinking a few beers and changing into our stinky show clothes. Nobody does any yoga or punches themselves in the balls 30 times before they hit the stage or anything, haha!

Haha, now there’s an image! Have any of you got any weird habits?
Aaron Barrett: Yea, we all listen to SKA music!

Good one! Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Aaron Barrett: I’m obsessed with my dog Walter! Check him out on Instagram: @thewonderfulworldofwalter

*Looks on Instagram* ADORABLE! What really grinds your gears?
Aaron Barrett: When people ask me stupid questions…

Awkward…sorry, haha! What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to any of you, in life?
Aaron Barrett: I started a Ska band!

Embarrassing…or super cool?! What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Aaron Barrett: Edward Penis-hands.

Haha…enough said! If, in say 10 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Aaron Barrett: Kermit the Frog.

The Muppets as Reel Big Fish…love it! If you were a chocolate bar, which one would you be and why?
Aaron Barrett: I like sour candy, can I be one of those?

Course you can! Lastly, what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Aaron Barrett: “Don’t worry, be happy.”

Massive thanks to Aaron for taking the time to interview with me and to Mike Cubillos from Earshot Media for organising the interview.

📸Photo Credit: Jodi Cunningham


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Ben Haenow


   

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Ben Haenow is probably best known for winning X Factor back in 2014. From there, he released his self-titled, debut album, the lead single from which (Second Hand Heart), featured the singing sensation that is Kelly Clarkson. Now, 2018 has seen the release of his second studio album, Alive. We thought it was a good time to catch up with Ben about everything he’s been up to and more! Check out what he had to say, in this interview…


Hey Ben, how’s it going?
Great thanks! Thanks for having me.

So you are about to release your second album, ‘Alive’, how do you feel prior to a new release? Is it nerve-wracking or exciting?
Yeah, a bit of both. I’m anxious but really can’t wait for people to hear the new tracks so bring it oooon!

Where did the idea for the title come from and what’s the meaning behind it?
The lead track is called ‘Alive’. It was basically written as a thank you to the fans for keeping my dream alive, so we went with that for the album too.

What’s the track you’re most excited for people to hear? What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
The process can vary, sometimes it starts with a vocal melody, or maybe a just a lyric idea or guitar lick. Then it develops from there. It might take a day, a week or longer before it’s all done but that’s the beauty of it. You can take a bit more time writing and playing with sounds until you’re happy. I’d say ‘Give Me Your Love’ is one I want to see reactions too.

Where do you take inspirations from when writing/recording your music?
I guess for this album, the inspiration came from my experiences between X Factor and now. I try to draw on personal experiences when writing as I feel people connect more with something if there is truth/reality in a lyric.

Collaborating with Kelly Clarkson must’ve been pretty cool, how was it?
It was great! She is obviously a very talented lady and boy can she siiiiiing! She was a true professional and an absolute pleasure to work with.

If you could collaborate with anyone else, who would it be and why?
Gary Clarke Jr
– I think the bluesy vibe is really cool and he has a pretty awesome voice too. I love his musical style.

What music have you been listening to most recently?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder recently so I’m on a soul trip at the moment.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
Selena Gomez
’s ‘Wolves’ – I love the song and have an idea I’d like to try.

That’d be pretty cool…you should do it! So, do you have any pre or post-gig rituals? Or have any of you got any weird habits?
Lots of weird habits if you ask my wife… but we (me and the band) have a ritual which we call ‘Ukla’… I cannot tell you what it is but we UKLAA before every show.

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
I love to cook… and eat.

What really grinds your gears (winds you up)?
The song ‘Jellicle Cats’ from Cats the Musical… I like real cats but that song, and those cats REALLY grind my gears!!

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you, in life?
I was 14, at a motorway service station, whilst en route to Devon with my dad and brother. I was wearing the Kappa tracksuit trousers with the poppers all the way down the legs… my brother thought it would be funny to pull my trousers completely off leaving me in my pants and a t-shirt in the middle of Little Chef!

Oh dear; that’s pretty embarrassing! So, what’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Guardians of the Galaxy 2… they’re great films.

If, in say 10 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Danny DeVito or Morgan Freeman… that would be fantastic.

If you were a chocolate bar, which one would you be and why?
I’d probably be a KitKat… chunky.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t eat yellow snow… or brown snow… or snow in general!

Thanks very much for taking the time to chat!
No problem and thank you for having me!!! Hope to speak soon.


Ben Haenow‘s latest album, Alive, is available:


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Georgie


   

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On Tuesday 13th March 2018, Georgie came to Brighton, as the sole support on Jake Bugg‘s acoustic, UK tour (review here). We were lucky enough to get some time to chat to her backstage at the Brighton Dome. I cannot thank her and her tour manager (Mark) enough for their hospitality and making us feel so welcome and sharing a couple of beers with us; it was a real pleasure!

📸 Cover photo by Damon Peirce 📷
Why not give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter or check out his website.


Hey, how’s it going?
Yeah, good thanks.

So you are about to release your EP, ‘Impacts’, how do you feel prior to a new release? Is it nerve-wracking or exciting?
Yeah, excited. I mean, it’s always kind of nerve-wracking to see what the response is going to be but it’s exciting because you’ve kind of been at the very start of the song, so it’s nice to write it, record it and then get it out. So yes, it’s always exciting.

Awesome! So, where did the idea for the title come from and what’s the meaning behind it?
Well the main single on it’s called, ‘Too Much TV’, so it came from that really and what the song’s about.

It’s a 3-track EP, isn’t it?
Yeah.

Is there one track you’re kind of really excited for people to hear, other than ‘Too Much TV’, which is already out?
Both of them really, yeah, because they’re both songs that I wrote ages ago, about 2 or 3 years ago so I’m kind of excited to get them both out.

What’s your usual writing and recording process like?
I haven’t really got one to be fair; I kind of write in different waves. Sometimes I’ll write like here, just on my computer or I’ll have an idea and I’ll write at home or just have an idea on the bus and I’ll get my phone out and like hum into my phone a little melody and I’ll write the lyrics. It’s all different really; if an idea comes I just try and get it down as quickly as possible. Well like a lot of the time I do write the music first and then the lyrics kind of go on top.

That’s awesome. If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
Oh…dead or alive?

Either. Or go for one of each?!
Oh…one of each. That’s a good question. I’d probably collaborate with Elvis for the dead one…just because it’s Elvis and just to be in the same room as him would be amazing! Alive; at the moment, I love Chance The Rapper; that album, Coloring Book it’s just so good, it’s like chaotic and beautiful, it’s amazing so I think I’d have to go with Chance The Rapper, yeah.

Nice, good choice…and different it would be quite a nice collaboration.
Yeah (laughs).

What music have you been listening to most recently?
Loads. I’ve got like a little playlist that I have on tour which I always add to. So, I really like Bruno Major at the minute, Rex Orange CountyChance The Rapper…I listen to a lot of old stuff as well, like a lot of old blues like Johnny Hooker and bands like Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin and stuff, so it’s quite varied.

Yeah, quite an eclectic mix! If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
That’s a good question…um…I don’t listen to the charts that much so I don’t really know what’s in the charts. Like, that Dua Lipa song, ‘New Rules’, is quite good, but she smashes it so I don’t think I could cover it and do justice to it.

I feel like it’s a grower that one, because I hated when I first heard it.
Me too! Me too! I was the exact same, I mean you can’t get away from it at the minute.

Yeah, it’s everywhere! So how’s it been touring with Jake Bugg? What’s that been like?
Yeah, amazing. Like this is my third tour with Jake now so it’s kind of like [I’m] used to it now. It’s like I’ve become part of the team, so it’s quite nice. I’ve probably made myself too comfortable.

(Laughs)
Like go in and take milk from his fridge and stuff (laughs). But yeah, it’s good. He’s a great artist; he’s one of the best of what England has to offer of this generation, so it’s really cool to be on tour with him.

That’s cool. What have been some of your favourite cities to perform at?
Brighton! Which is true, like I love Brighton; it’s one of my favourite cities, just to go for a night out in. London’s cool – I do like playing London. I mean, the London crowd are very like sit there silent – they just want to be impressed.

Like, it’s your time. Impress me. Go! (Laughs)
Exactly, it is totally that. I guess they’ve just had everything come through the city so they’ve heard it all and seen it all. Up North’s cool; Manchester’s great, Nottingham, Glasgow’s always good fun – everyone’s like drunk. So yeah, they’re probably a few of my favourite cities.

Do you get much time off to go and explore them?
A little bit, yeah, a little bit. I did the Europe run with Jake (Bugg) at the beginning of this tour and I had like 3 days in Stockholm which was cool and here you get a few mornings off. I got a free morning in Margate the other day so I just had a run on the beach, which was pretty nice.

That’s pretty cool; nice to take some time.
Yeah.

What makes a show particularly amazing for you?
The crowd. I mean a gig for me is never just about the artist on stage, it’s about everybody in the room, so like the crowd are just as important as the artist, so if the crowd have really got a nice feeling, then they’re always my favourite kind of gigs. And the venues themself as well, like some venues just have something magical about them. Like tonight’s venue’s beautiful, like a lot of history as well.

Yeah, the Dome’s a good one!
Yeah, I saw Abba played here!

Yeah.
That’s it, I’m made. I don’t need to play anywhere else now (laughs).

(Laughs) Has anything really scary ever happened to you on tour? If so, what?
Scary? I don’t know…When I was in Dublin…yeah (laughs), actually two things in Dublin. I nearly set myself on fire in Dublin.

Oh my god! (Laughs)
(Laughs) Yeah it was the last show of the tour with Jake (Bugg) and I was with my band and he was with his band and I had a whiskey in my hand and I lit a cigarette and poured the whiskey down my scarf while I lit the cigarette.

Oh no! (Laughs)
And my scarf just went up in flames. I could still smell my burnt hair for like a week afterwards. Someone came outside and was like, “I can smell something burning,” and I like, “Yeah that was me.” (Laughs). Yeah that was probably the scariest thing, I would say, yeah.

(Laughs) Yeah, that’s pretty bad! Do you have any pre-show or post-gig rituals that you do?
Not really. I probably just drink a whiskey. I go to the bathroom and say a little prayer, um, and then I’ve also like, just started dancing a little bit, like ten minutes before. I can’t dance; I put like Sheryl Crow on or Shania Twain and just let loose (laughs).

I like that, that’s fun! Have any of you got any weird habits?
I probably have got loads! Before I go to sleep, I always have to say to someone, “Goodnight, God bless, love you, see you in the morning.” I’m like OCD with that, it’s like weird. Even if I’m on my own, I’ll ring someone up and be like, “Just ringing to say, goodnight, God bless, love you, see you in the morning.” (laughter) And it has to be the last thing I say, so as soon as I say that, I put the phone down (laughter). But that’s more OCD than a weird habit.

It counts as a weird habit! (Laughs) Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Yeah, sport I guess. I love football. I used to play football. I love playing tennis. I used to be really sporty before I did music, but I’ve only recently just got back into playing sports. And film, I love film. I just watch films all the time.

Ah, that lines up my next question very nicely. What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
I watched Spotlight recently, that was good; that’s disturbing though.

I’ve not seen it, but I’ll have to watch it.
It’s good, yeah, it’s good. I also watched that one on Netflix which is like Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller, but I can’t remember what it’s called. They’re like a Jewish family. I can’t remember what it’s called but it was really good. Like the characters are great and Emma Thompson is in it as well and she’s like one of my favourite actresses.

Yeah, she’s cool. If a film was made about your life, in like 20 years time, who would you want to play you?
It would probably be…I dunno…I love Emma Stone, but she’s too cool to play me.

(Laughs) I love Emma Stone, she’s cool.
Yeah! (Laughs) Yeah, she’s great! Or Judy Dench as well – just put a brown wig on Judy Dench (laughs).

(Laughs) If you were a chocolate bar, which one would you be and why? Nice random question for you!
This is literally the best interview I’ve had. (Laughs) Yeah, this is so good, these questions.

Aw thank you, that’s very nice to hear.
Um, I’d say a Twirl, because you get two of them. They’re like flaky on the inside and crispy on the outside.

A Twirl is a good one actually. What really grinds your gears?
Loud chewing.

Oh God, I’m sitting here chewing gum! (Laughs)
No, you’re not chewing loud, don’t worry. You’d know about it if you were. (Laughs) It’s more like crunching. Like my dad’s terrible, like he’s just got the loudest crunch ever, so maybe that.

I can relate to that! What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to any of you, in life? Setting your hair on fire? (Laughs)
I remember when I was like 13, I’d just started playing the guitar and where I’m from, Mansfield, there’s like a big, steep hill going down into the town and I had my guitar on my back and I was just toddling along and it was icy and I slipped over onto my back but because my guitar was on my back, I couldn’t get up. I was just like a turtle and everyone was walking past. I was like there for a good 5 minutes just like, “Help!” (Laughs) This old guy came and helped me up, so that was embarrassing.

That’s hilarious! I’ve just got one more question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I guess, “Don’t give up” – the obvious one. Like my tour manager said one to me the other day, which was really good; it was like, “For every 50th brick wall, you build a Taj Mahal.” It was something like that. So you have to build lots of brick walls and it can sometimes feel like it’s taking forever but at the end you’ll get the Taj Mahal, if you keep building the walls.

That’s good advice; I like that! Well thank you very much for taking the time to talk!
No, thank you very much for having me!


Georgie‘s releases are all available:

  • To purchase on iTunes – Georgie
  • To listen to on Spotify –

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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Charly


   

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Having released the EP, Wild World as part of Charly & Faust (interview here), back in October 2017 and now releasing her solo record, Film Scores, we had the chance to chat to Charly about who she’d like to collaborate with, what recent chart song she’d love to cover, what she gets up to before and after a show and much more. It’s all here…


Hey, how’s it going?
Pretty good. Thanks for asking.

What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
I just released an album, a month ago, called Film Scores, regrouping songs I composed for short movies I got the chance to work on. I am now recording my new artist solo EP with two really talented musicians, Eric Reymond (bass and artistic production) and Coralie Hervé (drums and percussions). I can’t wait to release it and to perform it live with these two great friends and co-workers.

Where do you take inspirations from when making your music?
From everywhere. My parents always told me to look around me and to not just focusing on myself and my problems. It can be hard sometimes *laughs*. But it really helps me.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
For writing, it depends. When it is for a short movies, I focus on the script, talk to the filmmaker and then try to link the story to personal experiences to get a more specific idea of what should be expressed through the music. When it is for me, I usually start by playing guitars and when some melodic pattern catch my ears, I start to sing on it. I usually end up with some words that help me figuring out what the song is about.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
I could say Patty Smith or Tracy Chapman, but right now I would say Asaf Avidan. I rediscovered his music, and it really inspired me.

That’s great! I’ve not heard of him, but I’ll definitely check him out. So what music have you been listening to most recently?
Asaf Avidan, Twenty One Pilots, LP, M.I.A, Tank and The Bangas, etc.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
‘What About Us’ from P!nk. I really love her way to tell things that are hard to tell. Covering her stuff helps me to write lyrics actually.

What makes a great show for you?
The connection with your band mates and with the audience.

Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals?
Before the show jamming and get a beer with the band, after the show get another beer with the band and the audience.

Has anything scary ever happened to you on tour?
Not really. I saw weird stuff, but it happened to others so that wasn’t scary for me. I am sure if one of my band mate reads this interview, he/she will try to scare me on our next tour just to change that…

HAHA! They sound like a fun bunch of people. Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Gardening. That is my new obsession and everyone around me is tired of it. Except my cat which loves the idea of eating all the plants I am trying to grow.

*Laughs* What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Maudie. It is a movie from 2016, but I just saw it on the plane coming back form France, and I really loved it. It has been a long time since I enjoyed a movie like that.

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Anyone who will like to play this role. I am not sure it would be really interesting for an actor though. My life is boring.

*Laughs* I bet it’s not that boring – making music is fun! If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
I might disappoint some people, but I don’t like chocolate. It hurts my teeth.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Take what comes without asking yourself too many questions and be positive whatever the situation gets in front of you.


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Weesp


   

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Weesp are an electronic/alternative rock band from Minsk, Belarus, that have formed their own unique style. Since 2008, the band have received numerous publications and performed many concerts around the world, including festivals in Belarus, Russia and Poland. They’ve taken time out of their busy schedule to chat to us about their upcoming album, Black Sails, and here’s what they had to say…


Hey Stak, how’s it going?
We all are in great mood and can’t wait to share our news with you!

That’s awesome! What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
We’ve already written a new album named Black Sails. Right now we are finishing the mastering, and pushing out new music videos, to support the release of this album. It is going to [be released] 24th March 2018. We released the first single, ‘Illumination’, and three more are coming!

Where do you take inspirations from when making your music?
It comes from everyday. All the events and people around. We like catching a mood, a condition of mind, a feeling – you know, all that short moments when you feel alive. All our songs are created from feelings, emotions, experiences that guided us. Each song has some kind of history or strong experience under it – this is the main source of musical inspiration. When we just started we also found an inspiration in such bands as Tool, Deftones, Nine Inch Nails and this kind of stuff.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
We divide the process of writing and the recording process very much. Often there is a long enough time between composing a track and recording it. Maybe a couple of months, maybe a year! Writing music from track to track always goes differently. Sometimes it starts from a jam, sometimes everyone composes his own part at home, sometimes we all get together and do the musical brainstorm.

As for recording, for the second time we recorded an album at the magnificent studio ‘Hertz’ in Poland. We lived there for a few weeks until all the instruments were recorded.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
On the LP, The Void, we made two tracks featuring Cory Brandon of Norma Jean as guest vocals. We really like these tracks and we are very happy with how they turned out. For the new LP, we decided not to invite guests, although there were very interesting options. And of course, I would really like to get a feature with Jonathan Davis.

That would be cool! So what music have you been listening to most recently?
I use Last.FM Scrobbler, so it will not be difficult to answer this question – I just have to look…so, this is Lil Peep with album Hellboy.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I’m thinking about ‘Triple Beam’ by Machine Head or ‘Less Than’ by Nine Inch Nails. These songs are pretty new and absolutely amazing. I don’t know about positions in any charts, but I don’t give a shit about charts anyway.

Haha! Fair enough. So what makes a great show for you?
Of course, first of all it is a crowd. The mood of the audience is quickly transferred to the musicians. And to play a show with a good mood is what makes a great show.

Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals?
Before the show our singer Lex always drinks 4cl of brandy, and everybody does a lot of sport exercises. And after the show – we bow, as in a fucking theatre.

Haha! I love it! Has anything scary ever happened to you on tour?
Returning from the last tour, we’ve got in a car accident and have seriously damaged the rental bus, and all because the car-rental forgot to give us a bus without a working ABS. This was really scary, especially since I have never been in a traffic accident before.

Yeah, that sounds really scary! Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Each of the members of course has other interests besides music. Mi, our Bassist, is fond of super low cars and builds his STANCE project. I like to humiliate enemies in the Call of Duty playing online on my PS4, and Lex is a big fan of drinking =)

What really grinds your gears?
You know, nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowderhead that doesn’t know when to keep his big trap shut… like that movie said!

Haha! What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
For sure it’s ‘The Greatest Showman’ with Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron in the main roles. We’ve even decided to add some musical dances to one of our new videos, inspired with this film!

Wow, that’s pretty cool! I wasn’t expecting that answer either. I’ve still not seen it but heard amazing things about it. If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
I would say – young Jackie Chan, but I’m too fat to pretend…so I’ll choose Sammo Hung!

Ha! If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Because me and my brother (he plays bass in our band) are twins, so it’s going to be delicious white chocolate Twix!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Stand your ground whatever is happening! And listen to Weesp!

Haha! Love a shameless plug! Well thanks very much for taking the time to chat to us today.
Thank you.


Weesp‘s releases are all available:


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