#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Crypitus


   

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Crypitus are a thrashing death metal band from Vermont consisting of four friends, Doug Friend (Guitar/Vocals), Joe Minard II (Bass), Peter Snee (Rhythm Guitar) and Zach Patch (Drums). Find out more about these rockers in our interview below…


Hey guys, how’s it going?
Zach: Hi. It’s going great.
Pete: Hi I’m good.
Joe: Hi. It’s going alright.
Doug: Hey guys! I’m doing well!

What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
Zach: Well the big future plan is world domination, but were working on putting together our next tour for spring/summer.
Pete: One last show this year and we have plenty of shows planned for next year.
Joe: One more show this year and a tour next year.
Doug: We are heading to Portland, ME on 12/8/17, planning on working on a new single this winter and working on setting up our spring tour!

Where do you take inspirations from when making your music?
Zach: My biggest influence is Blake Richardson from Between the Buried and Me, but I also take notes from Terry Bozzio with Frank Zappa and Mike Portnoy.
Pete: The mountainous woods we live in. Some of my favorite artists are Frank Zappa, Roger Waters, Chuck Schuldiner, Aaron Marshall.
Joe: Old Metallica, Primus and System Of A Down are some of my inspirations.
Doug: I take inspiration from how screwed up this fucking world is.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
Zach: We usually just start jamming on something, and when we play something that really sounds good, we start to build on it and fine tune it. As far as recording goes, we just try to lay down our parts as best we can.
Pete: We usually jam to a certain riff or riffs over time and they get fleshed out into full songs.
Joe: I just go with the flow.
Doug: Every song has been made on accident.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
Zach: I’d really like to work with the guitarists from An Unction in Braille. I bet we could come up with some sweet Schmidt.
Pete: Any of the incredible musicians I meet at open mic nights in our home town.
Doug: I’d love to collaborate with Black Absence for a track!

What music have you been listening to most recently?
Zach: Blotted Science, Between the Buried and Me, Plini, Sithu Aye.
Pete: Scale the Summit have been blowing my mind for a little while.
Joe: Animals As LeadersMadness of Many album.
Doug: Unflesh, Kreator, Blotted Science and Death Angel.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
Zach: I wouldn’t.
Pete: Like Top 40 charts? Fuck that noise.
Doug: Never.

What makes a great show for you?
Zach: A really enthusiastic crowd. Even if it isn’t a big one.
Pete: An energetic, responsive crowd. Not breaking a string too.
Joe: A fun and energetic crowd.
Doug: A good line, inviting audience and headbanging.

Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals?
Zach: I have to stretch. Otherwise my body will now do what it needs to do. Caffeine too.
Pete: A few minutes by myself to mentally prepare for melting faces.
Joe: Drinkin’.
Doug: Not particularly I like to wear my guitar for like ten minutes before I play though hahah.

Has anything scary ever happened to you on tour?
Zach: Not scary, no.
Pete: I popped a tire going 85 on a snowy highway. That was fun.
Doug: One time Pete road with me, I never wanted to get to a venue so fast.

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Zach: I like fishing.
Pete: Star Wars, DC comics, nature, movies.
Joe: Video games, beer, and just chillin’.
Doug: Hiking and exploring mostly. I like to see new things.

What really grinds your gears?
Zach: Idiots.
Pete: Lack of lubricant can grind gears pretty bad.
Joe: Not a lot.
Doug: Bad drivers.

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Zach: Natural Born Killers.
Pete: I really liked Justice League.
Joe: I don’t watch movies often.
Doug: I’m with Joe on this one.

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Zach: Nobody could fill these shoes.
Pete: Well, anyone acting now wouldn’t be the right age. I’d want someone new to the mainstream acting scene.
Joe: I don’t know and don’t care.
Doug: Leonardo DiCaprio.

If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Zach: A nutty one.
Pete: An Almond Joy.
Joe: A Milky Way.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Zach: Always keep a jar of marbles. Don’t lose them, cause what are you going to do when you lose your marbles?
Pete: “Get yourselves a bass player.”
Joe: Practice makes perfect.
Doug: Hey, don’t eat that.


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Frankmusik (2017)


   

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It’s been nearly 2 years since we first interviewed the incredibly talented Frankmusik (see our previous interview here) and with the first release of his 2-part record, SS17, due out on June 17th (pre-order here), we thought it was about time to catch up with him.


Hey Vincent, how’s it going?
Very well thank you.

What have you been up to since our last interview with you?
Working on a two-part album. SS17 + AW17.

So, I love your recent singles ‘Going Under’ and ‘WYG’, is the rest of SS17 going to be similar?
Absolutely.

Have you written or recorded with anyone interesting recently?
Yeah, quite a few right now actually. But don’t want to single anyone out incase I forget to mention someone. You know, like no favourites between children type of thing. 😉

Which track on SS17 are you most excited for people to hear? Why?
The title track ‘June 17th’. I worked on it with Lindsay Lowend who co-produced the track. But really all of music excites me. So it’s kinda like picking favourites again. Maybe I’ll just say this, you’ll know why I picked ‘June 17th’ when you hear it. 😉

What made you decide to do 2 EPs this year? And where did you take inspiration to theme them along the lines of the fashion industry?
I decided to make a 2-part record because I wanted to shoot a music video for every track. Providing that amount of video content required me to split the music work load into two parts of the year. I got inspired by the fashion industries way of splitting collections by seasons from working with Anya Hindmarch. I’ve been creating the soundtrack to her runway shows since late 2015 now and really loved the idea of taking my music in a sort of ‘collection’ based release. There will be one mood for the summer SS17 + one for the winter AW17.

Frankmusik-009 BannerPhotos in this post are credited to Brian Jamie.

So does that mean that every track on both SS17 and AW17 will get their own music videos? If so, how has it been developing videos for each of those tracks?
That’s the idea. We’re going to try our best to shoot videos for all the songs. It’s been great. I’ve been making music for 10 years, I wanted to broaden my horizons. It’s been a big learning experience. Every video we learn something new.

Can you see yourself releasing like this again next year?
Potentially… It’s also because I produce music for so many other people it’s tough now a-days to dedicate a large portion of the year to just my personal project.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
The Lemon Twigs. They’re about the only thing that really stood out to me this past year.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I like the production on Zedd’s Stay’, so maybe that one?

If someone else was to cover one of your songs, who would you like to hear do it and which song?
Justin Bieber – any song would make my day.

If a film were to be made about your life, who would you want to play you and why?
Daniel Radcliffe cos he’s hilarious.

Are there any plans to tour the UK soon?
Not right now.

Lastly, if you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Mars Bar, cos that’s my favourite.


Frankmusik‘s releases are all available:


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with A R I Z O N A


   

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Having just released their debut album, ‘GALLERY’, I had the privilege of talking to the fantastic, A R I Z O N A.

During our interview, the guys discussed their debut album, their favourite track on the album, who they’d like to cover one of their songs and in true Muzik Speaks tradition, we played a game of ‘Would You Rather…?’ It’s all in the interview video below!

I want to say a massive thanks to Harriet Brampton, Jake Posner and Geneva Gamblin for making this interview happen! Thanks guys 🙂

I really hope you enjoy watching this interview! Please show your support for the band by sharing the link to this post on all of your social media accounts!



A R I Z O N A‘s releases are all available:


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#EventSpeaks: Chicane @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 19/05/17


   

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On Friday 19th May 2017, Chicane came to Brighton to perform a full-band set (which is a very rare thing!) It was an absolutely incredible night, with support from Chris Hopkins, who did an hour and a half DJ set.


Chris Hopkins (DJ Set)

One of Nick’s friends, Chris Hopkins did a great DJ set to get the evening started, playing a range of dance anthems as well as some remixes of classic songs by Prince and others; it was non-stop tune after tune.

Highlight:

  • The dedication made to Robert Miles before playing ‘Children’ was touching and had the crowd cheering and dancing along.
  • Also playing a Chicane song (not on the set list), right before he took to the stage, was a great way to get the crowd going.

Chicane

Chicane took to the stage with the recent, ambient, ascending track ’38 Weeks’, accompanied by his band (Karlos Edwards on drums and Simon Small on guitar and bass) and singer, Rosalee O’Connell. The set was then packed with his biggest hits from the past 20 years, in celebration of his recent album, Twenty. I particularly enjoyed the live performances of ‘Poppiholla (Anniversary Remix)’, ‘Fibreglasses’‘Don’t Give Up’‘Nite On Shore’ and ‘Saltwater’.

The set was diverse, mixing his more upbeat, club anthems (which had the audience going wild; jumping up and down and singing along) and the more mellow, ambient tracks; at times joined by either of the two singers (Rosalee O’Connell or Gavin Conder) accompanying and others with just the musicians; it all flowed perfectly.

It was great to hear these tracks live and the combination of Nick’s synth tracks and keys alongside live instrumentation was a really unique way to experience his music.

The performance was about an hour and a half long and people loved every second of it (myself included); we could quite happily have gone on listening, watching and dancing all night. There was genuine disappointment when it came an end but an encore led to rapturous applause before closing the show with ‘Stoned In Love’, with Gavin Condor on vocals.

If you haven’t ever seen him play with a full band, you must! I’m already itching to catch him live again!!!

Highlights:

  • The set list was crammed full of hit after hit.
  • Nick mixed the sounds to perfection and whilst the quality sounded like the studio versions, the subtle changes to the track made them unique to that performance.
  • The bass sounds were so heavy and loud, you could feel them reverberate through your chest.
  • The guitarist was incredibly talented, particularly on the track, ‘Nite On Shore’ when he showed off some impressive acoustic guitar skills.
  • The superbly powerful vocals of both singers were stunning to witness.
  • The drummer’s use of both drum kit and samples pads added a diverse edge to the performance.

All of these excellent photos are credited to Elliot McRae.
Go on, give him a follow – @EMcraePhoto


 Setlist

38 Weeks
The Bridge
One Thousand Suns*
Poppiholla (Anniversary Remix)*
Saltwater (Kryder Remix)
Hiding All The Stars
Still With Me
Fibreglasses
Carry Me Home
Don’t Give Up*
Nite On Shore
Saltwater*

Encore
Stoned In Love

These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Louis for organising this review and backstage interview (here) and also to Chicane (Nick) for putting on such an immense evening; I loved every minute of it.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Cyrus Bolooki from New Found Glory

With the recent release of their 9th studio album, Makes Me Sick, I had the opportunity to catch up with Cyrus Bolooki from one of my favourite pop punk bands, New Found Glory. We caught up about why the band chose the title for their latest album, which current song he’d like the band to cover, who he’d love to work with and which chocolate bar he’d be. It’s all here…


   

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Hey, how’s it going for you guys?
Going great, thanks for asking! We’re currently wrapping up our 20 Year Anniversary Tour here in the US and it’s been nothing short of amazing!

So you’ve just dropped your 9th album, ‘Makes Me Sick’ how exciting! Where did you take inspiration for some of the songs from? What’s the title of the record, in reference to?
As with pretty much all of our albums, the inspirations for our songs, both musically and lyrically, comes from within. Musically with this record we wanted to allow ourselves to explore any idea that had come to mind, which is where the extra layers of guitars and 80s-sounding keys come from, whereas on Resurrection we specifically went for a more stripped down sound and didn’t want to overdo any of the production with additional elements besides the core drums, guitar, bass, and vocals.  There was a lot more freedom this time around, which was a great feeling while writing and recording this album.

Lyrically, inspiration comes from everything around us, and you will notice a theme on this album where the beginning of the record starts out pretty critical of things going on in the world around us and relationships people may have, but by the end of the album the finger is actually pointed at the listener, challenging them to not always just criticize others without remembering to also look at themselves to see if they are guilty of the same things that they are pointing out about others. The title of the album, Makes Me Sick, is nothing more than a play on words, because we knew that it would be funny for people to literally say the phrase ‘New Found Glory Makes Me Sick’ even if they didn’t feel that way at all. It was to serve as a talking point, which is exactly what happened here!

What music have you been listening to most recently?
I honestly had been listening to a bunch of our old NFG material just before this tour, as on this tour we’re playing over 77 different songs from our first 6 full-length albums and quite a few that we had never played live before, so there was a fair amount of “refreshing” needed in order for us to pull all of this off!

Now you guys are no stranger to a cover, so if you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I’m sure this answer will get me in trouble because it’s bound to come back and haunt me at a later time, but I personally would love to put our own spin on ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ by Taylor Swift & Zayn. I think that song would have the heaviest chorus, especially if we sped it up in the verses and then slowed it down in the choruses, typical NFG style. Plus, Jordan’s voice is high enough to hit those notes in the chorus, right? But honestly I’m sure no one else in the band would agree with me on this, so don’t expect a cover of this anytime soon!

That’s hilarious! So, you have probably had the chance to work with many people over the years, but is there anyone you haven’t collaborated with that you’d really love to work with?
As a band as a whole, I think Green Day is the one band that we all collectively looked up to and took inspiration from at one point or another in our career, so an actually collaboration with them would be sick. I’d also love to see what would happen if we were to work with some of the huge producers of the 80’s and 90’s, like Mutt Lange (who produced Shania Twain and Def Leppard amongst others) or Bob Rock (Metallica’s Black album) or even Rick Rubin (who’s done everything from The Beastie Boys to System of a Down to The Dixie Chicks and plenty of others).

Other than music, is there anything else you guys are passionate about?
We all have various interests outside of this band. Jordan is a tattoo artist when he’s not on the road with us, Ian is probably one of the biggest baseball/sports fans and collectors out there, and Chad’s a huge movie buff. My passions vary from music production to even selling real estate, but I’m also very passionate about being a dad when I’m not on the road. Most of us in the band have wives and children, and we try as hard as we can to balance between family life and tour life, and although it’s one of the hardest things to deal with while in this industry, it’s also one of the reasons why we’re all able to still be doing this 20 years later, because we all understand and appreciate each other, both professionally and personally.

What really grinds your gears?
I’m a perfectionist, so that’s a good and bad thing, and I don’t like it when things don’t work out as I expect or want them to. Lots of [the] time that just puts extra pressure on me for no reason, but in the end I think it makes me better at what I do and I’d rather spend my life trying to be the best I can be rather than just letting everything coast by without caring if it’s good or not.

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
I’ll answer this on behalf of everyone else. I didn’t see it but pretty much everyone else in the band recently saw “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and said it was amazing.

If a film was made about your lives, who would you want to play you?
That’s a hard question to answer, because you can go different ways with it…would I go for an actor who’s well-known for being able to perfectly translate any role they’re given (like Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio)? Or would I just settle for someone that looks like me (might be a stretch, but how about Robert Downey Jr.?). Actually, now that I’ve let my facial hair grow out in the past few years, I think Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan from The Walking Dead) would be a great person to cast for me…

If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Butterfinger all the way. Snickers a close second.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I don’t remember where I first heard it, but I have always followed the ideology that you should take chances and go for it if you think it’s right for you, because nothing’s worse than living with regret. I’ve been guilty of not only following that, but also ignoring that a few times, and it’s true that to this day I still regret certain things that I either did or didn’t do when now looking back I realize I should have given them a chance. Also, that’s how I ended up being in NFG. Not too long after we all got together, we were presented with a choice — do we continue to play shows and write music as a hobby, or do we put our “normal” lives on hold and really give this a chance to see what could happen? For me, that choice meant giving up scholarships and dropping out of school, much to my parents’ dismay, but obviously I made the right choice, and I remember telling myself that the opportunities we were going to have would probably never come to me again, so at that time it was “now or never,” and if I turned it down I would probably regret it for the rest of my life.


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Laurel


   

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Before Laurel‘s recent show at The Green Door Store, Brighton (check out our review here), I had the opportunity to meet and interview her, in person, before she took to the stage. It was a real pleasure, as she was such a witty, humorous and down-to-earth person! Here’s how it went:


Hey Laurel, how are you?
Good thanks…cold.

So what’s new with you at the moment? I know obviously you released your new EP, Park, like a week or so back, how’s it been? What have fan reactions been like?
Yeah great, it’s really nice to have a new record out actually because I haven’t had an EP or anything out for quite a while. I’ve got a vinyl; you could get a vinyl player.

Obviously the tour kicked off yesterday, how was the first night?
Yeah good, good. I was really nervous actually. I’ve never been on my own headline tour before so it’s quite nerve-racking. I was guzzling wine before I went on stage and that’s not really like me. Haha!

So, where do you take your inspirations for songs from?
Just kind of life, I guess. They’re quite…quite truthful songs. You should search up the lyrics and you’ll know exactly what’s going on inside my head.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
Probably Tyler, The Creator, because I just think he’s sick and I just think the production on his music is so cool and just interesting…and he’s an angry…(Can I swear? I can’t swear. Can I swear?)…

I don’t care.
…an angry motherf**ker!

Have you got any weird habits?
(Laughs) Well, I have no idea. I think you’d have to ask everyone around me because I guess I would probably not know if they were weird or not. I imagine there’s quite a lot of weird things about me; I’m told that often.

What really grinds your gears?
I dunno…I’m quite a chilled-out person I think.

That might be the first response I’ve ever had like that, so that’s good.
Really?

Most people are like, “Well this and this and…”
What does really piss me off? It’s probably relating to food. Or, do you know what I really hate…when I get a thin coffee. I hate that! That’s a really rubbish one isn’t it? I could go more in depth into the type of person I hate, that really grinds my gears but I won’t do that.

Is there anything other than music you’re really passionate about?
Poetry. I love poetry. That’s about it; I’m kind of simple.

What music have you been listening to most recently?
Um…most recently…I’ve been listening to a lot of Morrissey recently because one of my friends really likes Morrissey. And then I guess the Talking Heads a lot and Mac DeMarco. I don’t usually listen to a lot of new music; I’m one of those people that finds like three people they like and they’ll just replay it forever.

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Do you know what, maybe not the best film, but the craziest film I’ve ever seen recently, was called Green Box or something. It was mental. Someone’s face got gnawed off by a dog, someone’s arm got shut off in a door. It was basically about neo-Nazis. It was mental and I’ve never ever had to like turn a film off and leave but I was watching round a friend’s house and had to leave; it was horrible!

OK, I’ll make sure I avoid that one!
Good. Yeah, don’t watch it! Or do watch it coz it’s quite a shocker!

If a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Me probably. Can I play myself? If I’m still alive, then I might as well play myself.

That’s a good one; might as well! What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Someone said to me once, “Don’t push the river,” which is from like some sort of weird, ancient proverb and I really like that; it’s kind of my mantra in life, just let things flow, don’t push to do anything that doesn’t feel natural, just kind of let life go as it goes, it will end up in the right way.

I like that! Well normally I end my interviews with a game of ‘Would You Rather…’ are you up for that?
Yeah, why not!


Would You Rather…?

TAME

Would you rather have a third eye or third arm?
I feel like…oo, they’re both quite handy aren’t they? Handy…arm!

(Laughs) I see what you did there! Pun!
I feel like I would rather have an extra arm because it would be handy for me to be able to play a drum whilst I played the guitar or a piano at the same time as playing guitar, on stage. Then I really could be a one-man-band.

Would you rather be super strong or super fast?
Super fast definitely…or invisible, can I just be invisible?

(Laughs) OK, just change the question.
I’ll be invisible.

Would you rather go through life and be unable to ask any questions or unable to answer any questions?
(Laughs) I reckon I probably am the asker anyway. I can’t answer a lot of things but I definitely, sure ask people a lot.

Would you rather live in a Disney universe or a Looney Tunes universe?
Disney, yeah! Who wouldn’t?

AWKWARD

Would you rather always speak your mind or never speak again?
Oh my gosh…Oh I don’t know about speaking my mind. That’s dangerous.

Would you rather have to listen to ‘Gangnam Style’ or ‘Harlem Shake’ for the rest of your life?
Be deaf!

WTF?!

Would you rather eat a live slug or drink a pint of gone off milk?
Milk. Ugh, I hate both those things! I hate milk but I’m so scared of slugs, more than I’m scared of anything in the world, is slugs…or ghosts actually. Probably the milk, although I’d be sick wouldn’t I?

Yeah
I hate slugs. No slugs!

Would you rather use sandpaper for toilet paper or vinegar for eye drops?
Ugh! So unpleasant! Vinegar, I guess.

At least you could wash it out, I suppose.
Yeah, I’d do some vodka after.

(Laughs)
Get boozy.

Excellent! Well good luck with the rest of the tour and for taking the time…
Thank you for the interesting ‘Would You Rathers’.

Cheers.


Finally, I need to say another huge thank you to Laurel for taking the time to talk to me before her show and another thanks to Chris, her manager, for arranging it for me. It was a real honour to chat with Laurel and I had such a laugh doing so.

Make sure you check out one of her shows and listen to her music below.


Laurel‘s releases are all available:

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


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Muzik Speaks: 2015 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for our blog – it’s got some interesting information about our statistics for the year – take a look, if you’re interested.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.