Wednesday, December 7, 2016
When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphanies since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.
What have been your musical epiphany moments?
George Hage: I started playing guitar when I was 13 and Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix were really the first to artists I clicked with. Hendrix bent my mind being a virtuoso and Cobain showed me you could write great songs with just power chords.
A.C. Hill: Two moments stand out for me. One was seeing postal service live in a small bar in Chapel Hill before they were "big". Completely caught me off guard. The other is probably hearing "time out of mind" (dylan) for the first time.
Danny Johnson: The first time I heard Radiohead's Kid A, it hit the reset button for how sounds could be used. For a kid who grew up on 60's rock and folk, it broke the "rules" of song structure and how instruments should be used. The idea that a guitar doesn't have to sound like a guitar was a huge realization. Tom Waits' Mule Variations was another epiphany for me -- innovative sounds with an unconventional voice, but all tied to songs that, for me, are unrivaled in their authenticity.
Chris Sayles: Probably the first time I ever saw Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Huge epiphany moment of yes, that's what I want to do. The music thing.
Talk to us about the songwriting process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?
GH: It’s an ever-evolving process that’s never stagnant. Sometimes it’s a riff one of us brings in or makes up on the spot. Other times it’s an idea or story that inspires me to fully flesh out a song before bringing it to the band. Other times A.C. or I may have a melody and rough lyrics that we take to the band to flesh out together.
ACH: For me it usually starts with a riff and a melody. I'm big on melodies. We all contribute to fleshing out the songs from there.
DJ: Musically, anyone who strives for exceptionalism. Not technical expertise, necessarily, but being the best at what they do. While I love listening to Jerry Douglas be the best dobro player around, I'm more inspired by listening to Jeff Buckley, Ryan Adams, Dawes... artists who worked to figure out their pocket and really dedicate themselves to perfecting it.
ACH: Danny Johnson
GH: There’s too many to name. I try to learn or take something away from any experience whether it’s how someone successfully delivered a song or seeing why something doesn’t always work well. We are very lucky to be surrounded by a wide variety of talent and a diverse community.
Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?
GH: I’ve actually found a lot of inspiration at comic book and indie press conventions. It’s really motivating to see so many artists/creators come together to share their original ideas with thousands of people who are all there to interact with and consume their art. Sometimes I find that same inspiration at a concert but we don’t really have the same set up for music/bands. As far as finding ideas, 2016 has been a hell of year full of death, life changes, and teeth-grinding, local lawmaking and national politics.
ACH: I am honestly bored with most music I hear these days. I do like to listen to hip-hop to get inspiration now and then.
CS: In the least expected of places. Could be a commercial I see on TV, could be a percussion loop in an EDM song I'm listening to in the gym, a solid plate of eggs (how is that NOT inspiring).
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?
GH: Raleigh is a rapidly growing city and it’s an exciting time for us to grow with our city. It’s been amazing to see live music develop over the past decade and the diversity it brings. With festivals like Hopscotch Music Festival bringing some of the best in indie, metal, hip hop, etc, and MoogFest bringing some of the best experimental and electronic artists, and IBMA bringing the best bluegrass players together annually. That mix of talent definitely inspires us to blend several styles in our music.
DJ: Raleigh is such a music town, it's hard not to be influenced by the abundance of talented writers and performers in the city. Raleigh has a big-but-small metropolitan environment that makes it possible to walk down the street and recognize others from the community, but it’s got a big enough population, and steady growth, to seek out and win over new fans.
Where'd the band name come from?
GH: A.C. and I lived together for a bit while we wrote and recorded some early song ideas way back in 2005. We wanted to schedule a few shows to test them out so we needed a name. At the time we didn’t feel like the music we wanted to make was represented on the radio so our thought was to make the kind of music we want to hear and jack the radio. It started as a call to action but it’s somewhat transformed into a character we are fighting with our music.
You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?
GH: Would be totally down to do the remakes of Roadhouse or Dune if they ever decide to do it. Beyond that any western or sci-fi western movie would be rad.
ACH: Schindler's List. Seriously.
DJ: We'll call dibs on whatever film Quentin Tarantino puts out next. Either that, or we could grab a time machine and head back into the hey-day of spaghetti westerns to team up with Ennio Morricone on a flick.
CS: Pi. The black and white movie from the late 90's. Look it up.
You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?
GH: First thought is either Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away” or Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand”. Both have truly memorable and epic moments for me and the reversed guitar solo by Hendrix is a classic.
DJ: That's a tough one... it would be a tie for me, both story-songs. Dawes, "Little Bit of Everything", because it's a great Americana tune, and demonstrates how to tell a touching narrative with direct, contemporary language. Either that, or Tom Waits "Pony", because it gets me choked up every time I hear it, so there's got to be some interesting science behind a song that can do that.
Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?
GH: Still one of my all time favorite moments was playing a rooftop party to kick off a festival in the Berkshires. Playing a rooftop show had always been on my bucket list after watching the Beatles’ last public performance in 1969. The night was full of amazing food, beers and even rocked out with the mayor.
DJ: I definitely got lost backstage at Memorial Auditorium when we opened for George Thorogood, ending up out in the crowd and trying to convince the backstage security staff that I was with the opening band. Certainly effective for instilling humility.
Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?
CS: Live shows are where the magic happens. There have been countless musical interactions that have happened between members of the band that we've been like "Damn, I wish we had put that on the album!" It's where we loosen up and have even more fun than when we record, which is already a lot of fun. I'm not sure we can measure the amount of fun.
GH: Exactly that. It’s a place to directly interact and share moments with the audience. It’s amazing to see what songs or parts of songs people connect with and getting lost in those moments together.
ACH: Carl Anderson.
DJ: In our area, Mount Moriah, Phil Cook, and American Aquarium are really inspirational in regards to sheer exceptionalism -- each of those acts has dialed in a unique sound that speaks to what NC has to offer the national arts scene. Outside of that, Dawes consistently puts out some of the most engaging and well-written songs in years, especially in regards to Taylor Goldsmith's lyrics. He tells stories that are captivating and memorable, which is become less and less common in pop music. Blake Mills is probably my favorite all-around artist out now. As a player, songwriter, producer, sideman... he's as good as it gets.
GH: Jack White, Dan Auerbach, Dave Grohl, Sturgill Simpson, and Blake Mills guitar work just off the top of my head. Locally we have some great talent as well with Wild Fur, Kooley High, The Dead Tongues, American Aquarium and a ton of other great bands.
Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?
GH: Vinyl when I want to sit down and really digest an album. I love digital for the convenience and portability and CDs for long drives but both can come with distractions. It’s a treat to be able to put a record on and hold the cover in hand and read through lyrics and credits.
ACH: No question. Vinyl.
DJ: CD for convenience -- I've got a wall full of CDs and the collection keeps growing, but vinyl for sheer enjoyment. Hanging out with my daughter, pulling a record from its sleeve, and watching together as it drops down on the turntable from the autoloader on my 1950's Magnavox console player... not much better than that!
CS: Digital. Can't play records on my phone while I'm at work or doing other responsible-adulty-type things. And I scratch CDs like a professional. Can't use them within a week.
Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice
GH: Why choose when you can have both. You wouldn’t split up a great duo would you?
DJ: Out and about? Beer. NC breweries are the unofficial fueling agents for many Raleigh musicians. At home or in the studio, a glass of rye whiskey fits the bill.
CS: Whiskey. And not that whiskey needs a defense because it doesn't, but it's less carby. #fitspo
We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your hometown, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?
GH: Schoolkids Records is a staple in the Triangle and the Raleigh store just added a bar so make sure to stop in, grab a drink and enjoy some music.
DJ: Schoolkids or Nice Price are both bountiful treasure troves of music.
What's next for the band?
GH: We’re always working to push our live show and crafting new ideas. Currently we’re in the midst of planning a new Jack the Radio beer collaboration with Trophy Brewing to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of our debut album, Pretty Money for release early 2017 with a new music video for the song.
Additionally we’re working on other exciting album releases with some familiar faces and short tours for 2017.
Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
GH: I’m writing this fresh after the election results. I’ll stay out of politics but want to say despite our differences in this great country, let’s remember to be kind to one another.
OH and music is good for the soul so find more at www.jacktheradio.com and follow on Twitter: @jacktheradio, Instagram: @jacktheradiomusic, and subscribe on youtube.com/jacktheradio
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
RUBY THE HATCHET
(photo: Troy Memis)
Philly heavy psych quintet RUBY THE HATCHET has completed work on its highly anticipated new album. The bewitching rock troop featuring vocalist Jillian Taylor, guitarist Johnny Scarps, bassist Lake Muir, drummer Owen Stewart and organist Sean Hur, recorded the album in an 1800's era estate deep in the Pennsylvania woods with engineers Joe Boldizar (Retro City Studios) and Zach Goldstein (Kawari Sound). The as-yet-untitled album is slated for a spring 2017 release via Tee Pee Records. The upcoming full-length follows the band's celebrated sophomore LP, Valley of the Snake, which was hailed as "trippy, organ-tinged doom metal" by Revolver and "a commanding display of hard rock" by Verbicide.
"Setting up shop and recording ourselves in an 1800's era estate has been a pleasure and a labor," comments Taylor. "We built the studio in house from the ground up – mostly Sean (organ), with help from our friends at Kawari Sound and Retro City Studios. From homemade preamps to third floor room mics hidden in echo chambers, the tones on this album are truly vintage. Putting ourselves into seclusion provided a process that influenced the album's sound, allowing us to create our own pocket of deep space rock inside of a time warp where everything else stopped - politics, personal shit, the day-to-day worries that tarnish the soul…all gone. This album is like nothing we have ever made before."
More details on RUBY THE HATCHET's upcoming album will be released soon. The band will launch a U.S. tour alongside labelmates Earthless on December 2 in Chicago, IL. Fans can expect to hear a taste of the band's new material on the two week trek, which runs through December 17 in Detroit, MI. The tour wraps up two years of heavy touring by the band in support of Valley Of The Snake, which saw RUBY THE HATCHET hit the road with Black Mountain, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and The Sword.
RUBY THE HATCHET tour dates:
* All shows with EARTHLESS
December 2 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
December 3 St Louis, MO The Firebird
December 4 Norman, OK OPOLIS
December 6 Dallas, TX Club Dada
December 7 Austin, TX Barracuda
December 8 Houston, TX Rudyard's Pub
December 9 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
December 10 Atlanta, GA The EARL
December 11 Raleigh, NC Barcade
December 12 Richmond, VA Strange Matter
December 13 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
December 14 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
December 15 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe
December 16 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
December 17 Detroit, MI El Club
About RUBY THE HATCHET
Psychedelic space rockers RUBY THE HATCHET are one of heavy music’s finest on-the-rise bands. Evoking a decade’s worth of growth and maturity gained in just a few short years, the genesis from the band’s 2011 self-titled EP to present day has been nothing short of stunning. Forming after a series of New Jersey basement practices, this doomy quintet bring an organ-driven Deep Purple groove, wailing female vocal harmonies and fuzzy guitar and bass tones that are nostalgic, but not dated. Live intensity and tightness is paramount for these in-the-pocket groovers who not only write together, but live together. RUBY THE HATCHET conjure occult-flavored, evil hard rock with hypnotic and mythical lyrics for a witchy brew of ominous wild rock sounds. If the Wilson sisters had a 5-headed Sabbath love child and Stevie Nicks was the mid-wife, consider RUBY THE HATCHET the bastard that strikes a balance between psych density and metal grandiosity.
Follow RUBY THE HATCHET on social media:
John Garcia's cult desert rock unit SLO BURN to reform for an exclusive performance at DESERTFEST LONDON
What better place for a SLO BURN reunion than DESERTFEST LONDON, folks? The legendary desert rock unit fronted by none other than the master himself – John Garcia – is set to ravish all desert and stoner rock fans from the outset with a one-off performance in Camden this April.
It's been twenty years since John Garcia's desert rock supergroup SLO BURN released their unique album "Amusing The Amazing", leaving the whole stoner rock scene gambling on a plausible return.
After previously welcoming John Garcia's Unida, DESERTFEST LONDON is now more than honored to host another Palm Desert cornerstone act in Camden. The reunion lineup will comprise John Garcia on vocals, Damon Garrison, Erickson Houghton and Chris Hale, whom will perform their all-time classics "Pilot The Dune", "July", "Muezli", as well as songs taken off the Kyuss catalog.
Other bands announced include headliners Turbonegro, but also Candlemass, Lowrider, Samsara Blues Experiment, Black Spiders, Satan's Satyrs, The Picturebooks, 1000Mods, and dozens more to be confirmed.
- DESERTFEST LONDON 2017 -
28th to 30th April in Camden, London
Weekend passes (£100) available HERE
Get more infos on the Desertfest website
Monday, December 5, 2016
Ahoy waveriders! Have you ever needed a push, or two, or three from someone you know or trust in order to discover some music/movie/book/etc. that is right up your alley? The rest of this write-up will clearly show that I have experienced this very situation. Now let's talk about an artist named Sturgill Simpson.
For two and a half years I had been reading sparkling reviews and hearing from reliable sources about this amazing music being produced by one Sturgill Simpson. "He's saving country music," they said. "You've got to listen to these songs! You'll love them," they told me. A slew of people took notice and bought his 2014 album Metamodern Sounds In Country Music. Some of my fellow Ripple Effect writers listed the album in their year-end Top 10 lists. After all that did I take the time to investigate this music? Nope. Not me. I filed the information away and told myself that I would get around to hearing what others were raving about later. Fast forward to 2016.
One day while shopping in Target, a major department store chain in the US for those that might not know, I perused through the dwindling CD section and was drawn to one album in particular thanks to the cover art. Interestingly enough the album in question turned out to be A Sailor's Guide To Earth, the latest release from one Sturgill Simpson. Huh? My memory banks quickly reminded me how this artist came highly recommended so I made the purchase.
Well, well, well. Wouldn't you know? My compatriots were right! This album is amazing! It's also kaleidoscopic in terms of musical scope. What do I mean by that? I'm glad you asked. Overall I like to sell A Sailors... as outlaw country mixed with Motown horns. No, really. The Dap Kings of Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings fame (R.I.P. Ms. Jones) just so happen to be the horn section adding the swing, soul, and funk to these compositions and the combination of sounds is awesome!
Outside of the tracks featuring the horn section there are also the delicate and earnest ballads "Oh, Sarah" and "Breakers Roar". Falling more into the Southern rock template is the insistent "Brace For Impact (Live A Little)". "Sea Stories" reminds me very much of a Waylon Jennings song and that's absolutely fine. Last but not least there is a fantastic cover of Nirvana's "In Bloom", where Mr. Simpson takes the original song and easily makes it his own.
Waveriders. Folks. My friends. Don't be like me. Don't wait years to check into the music of Sturgill Simpson. A Sailor's Guide To Earth is an album that will enrich your listening life right now! Pick up your copy today, listen and become a fan like me, and then recommend the album to somebody else. It's the right thing to do.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
"Silly name or not, I’ll take this shit any day of the week" - The Obelisk
"Will take you from clean shaven to massive, dirty beard in under 30 minutes"
Heavy, filthy blues trio Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters have signed to Riff Rock Records.
The London band (including former Dopefight frontman Owen Carty) have been turning heads on the UK’s burgeoning underground scene not least because of their combination of tie-dye and corpsepaint, but with a staggeringly heavy live show that has everyone who sees them agreeing that they’re about to become huge.
In the video for Mother Chub, CTBKM channels the Wu Tang Clan and their other 90s hip hop heroes for the type of music video you only ever saw when you woke up on the couch at 4am after a bad batch of brownies.
The band’s tongue-in-cheek approach belies their dedication to all things heavy and riff-shaped. A jaw-droppingly powerful live band, Bad Kush have already completed two European tours and repeated circuits of the UK’s underground scene since their inception in late 2014. Having supported the likes of Slabdragger, Dopethrone and Honky, audience members have picked up on the band’s vibe and now blow bubbles in appreciation of the band’s heaviest riffs.
Check out the video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPV3cUy4vQs
Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters will be recording and releasing their debut album in 2017 through Riff Rock Records. Catch the band live before they go into hiding to finish recording:
3rd December 2016 - The Unicorn, London
22nd April 2017 - Rebellion, Manchester
Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters are: Owen Carty (Vocals, Guitar), Will Hart (Bass), Mark Buckwell (Drums).
Created in 2015 to cherry pick the very best of underground heavy music and to bring it to a wider and more mainstream audience, Riff Rock Records has already achieved acclaim with its first signing - Vodun.
New Orleans' most toured metal unit GOATWHORE will kick off their final live takeover of the year with hometown comrades, Crowbar, tonight November 30th. The co-headlining trek will begin in Pensacola, Florida and run through December 14th in Macon, Georgia. Support will be provided by Lillake. From there, GOATWHORE will play three more headlining shows in Florida in Winter Park, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa respectively before heading home for the holidays. The band's latest excursions follows their recent US mini tour with The Blood Royale which included a pulverizing performance at Ozzfest in San Bernardino, California.
GOATWHORE w/ Crowbar, Lillake:
11/30/2016 Vinyl Music Hall - Pensacola, FL
12/01/2016 Riverside Warehouse - Shreveport, LA
12/02/2016 Rev Room - Little Rock, AR
12/03/2016 The Shrine - Tulsa, OK
12/04/2016 Fubar - St Louis, MO
12/05/2016 5th Quarter - Indianapolis, IN
12/06/2016 The Hub - Ft Wayne, IN
12/07/2016 123 Pleasant Street - Morgantown, WV
12/08/2016 The Golden Pony - Harrisonburg, VA
12/09/2016 Broadberry - Richmond, VA
12/10/2016 Motorco Music Hall - Durham, NC
12/11/2016 Capone's - Johnson City, TN
12/12/2016 Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
12/13/2016 The Jinx 912 - Savannah, GA
12/14/2016 Macon Venue Project - Macon, GA
12/15/2016 Haven Lounge - Winter Park, FL **
12/16/2016 Kreepy Tiki Tattoos & Boutique - Fort Lauderdale, FL **
12/17/2016 The Orpheum - Tampa, FL **
** GOATWHORE only
GOATWHORE recently completed tracking the follow-to their globally adored Constricting Rage Of The Merciless full-length at Earth Analog recording studio near Champaign, Illinois. Further details to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Issued in 2014 via Metal Blade Records, Constricting Rage Of The Merciless debuted at #81 on Billboard's Top 200 chart, topping their last entry position of #171 with Blood For The Master. Crowned their most "varied record to date, as well as their strongest," by Pitchfork and, "unrelentingly pummeling and brutally oppressive," by PopMatters, Constricting... also hit the #21 spot on Billboard's Rock chart, #7 on the Hard Rock chart, and #13 on the Independent chart. Purchase your copy today at metalblade.com/goatwhore where you'll also find a host of videos, including a special edition of "FBS," compiled from fan-filmed footage from around the globe.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
In a Quiet Room https://vimeo.com/188403633
NYC-Raleigh four-piece The Veldt have released a new video for ‘In a Quiet Room’, created by Tokyo-based videographer Toshikazu Kaneiwa. This track comes from their five-track EP ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’, released via Manchester label Leonard Skully Records.
With 4AD legendary recording artist A.R.Kane contributing production on this EP, it effectively merges the alternative bliss rock sound The Veldt has become known for with the hallmark dreamy electronica that led to A.R.Kane becoming famed as ‘father of dreampop’. These tracks combine intense energy, layers of atmosphere and guitar with beautiful falsetto vocals.
The Veldt are identical twins Daniel (guitar, vocals) and Danny Chavis (guitar), Hayato Nakao (bass) and Marvin Levi (drums). Upon signing to Capitol Records in 1989, they recorded a debut album with Cocteau Twins dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie, which was never released, and then recorded a new once, called ‘Marigolds’, with Lincoln Fong (Moose).
After switching labels, Mercury Records released ‘Afrodisiac’ in 1994, produced by Ray Shulman (The Sundays, Bjork, Sugarcubes), before changing their name to Apollo Heights (they have since changed it back to The Veldt). Earlier this month, Pitchfork included this album in their top 50 shoegaze albums of all time, calling this “the great lost American shoegaze classic, with influences from Prince to Cocteau Twins to A.R. Kane to the Jesus and Mary Chain (who contributed a remix) fused into something beautiful and unique”.
Video producer Toshikazu Kaneiwa is an indie filmmaker hailing from Tokyo, Japan. A long-time friend of the band, their support for each other's art has been mutually complementary. Veldt bassist Hayato Nakao composed music for some of Toshikazu’s short films, including "Believe" and "Surface", while he would offer his skills in photography and creating videos for the band (then Apollo Heights). “They guided my soul when I was in NYC in 2001-2014,” explains Toshikazu.
“I was truly inspired when I heard ‘In a Quiet Room’. This sound is so beautiful and sad, and I felt compelled to do the visual work for this song,” explains Toshikazu Kaneiwa. “At the same time, I met k.a.n.a., who is an artist with so much talent - she can dance, act, paint and sing... and I got an idea for the video and I told her my directional plan. She said yes. I really appreciate that she brought a very strong performance into this video.”
The Veldt were part of a movement of innovators who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired many alternative artists, including TV On the Radio, and led to them working together. They’ve also collaborated with Mos Def and Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and have toured and played with The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Living Colour, and most recently with The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
'The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur' EP marks the band's re-emergence after a notable hiatus, going down in history as one of the most memorable shoegaze comebacks in 2016, as demonstrated by their recent North American and European tours. In early 2017, The Veldt will release new music through SonaBLAST! Records. The new EP is available on vinyl from Manchester-based Leonard Skully Records and on CD and digitally at http://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com
Keep up with The Veldt