Category Archives: Interviews

INTERVIEW: The Pumpkin King

These questions were answered by rap/metal melting pot The Pumpkin King.

 

First things first, how did you get into music?

Music started out as poetry in high school. I was a hopeless romantic who just kept getting used and hurt, and I turned to writing as an outlet creatively. Music was always an escape for me, and it became almost second nature to combine the two to make my own creative escape.

 

How would you describe your style of music?

A lot of people try to lump me into the ‘horrorcore’ genre. But I try not to limit myself to things like that since I’ve been able to do shows along with metal icons like Mushroomhead. I consider myself ‘metal rap’, with horror overtones. Kinda like Misfits are punk with horror overtones.

 

What would you say your biggest influences are?

Personal biggest influences were Sutter Kain (The Ghetto Metal king) and Wolfpac. As they were both metal/rap orientated artists who molded my character as a late teen. And to my absolute joy I was able to work with both of them on my album ‘The End Is Mine’.

 

What would your dream tour to see be and what would your dream tour to be on be?

I would love to see Killswitch Engage (with Howard), along with Spineshank and Ill Niño, as they are three of my absolute favourites. As for a tour including myself, whilst I love mid level venues and bonding with the crowd, if I was going to do stadium type tours it would be with Rob Zombie and Slipknot (although I would need a full band behind me). If I were to just up and join a dream tour tomorrow then I’d love to go with Insane Clown Posse, Wolfpac and/or Hollywood Undead.

 

Who is your favourite band or artist?

That’s a tough one. I listen to over 50 hours of music every week, from bands and genres ranging all over. I’ve always been favourable to rock/metal but I even enjoy j-pop and hip hop from time to time. One of my personal favourite bands is Silverstein. I have every album, know every word. I just enjoy that can be heavy or soft, and still emotional.

 

How about your favourite album?

My favourite album (that I’ve made), so far, is ‘The End Is Mine’ because I was able to work with childhood influences, friends from overseas and I just really enjoy how it turned out. As for my personal favourite album, it’s not even from one of the bands that I listed in the previous question, but I really enjoy ‘The Lonely Position Of Neutral’ by TRUSTcompany. It’s one of the few albums I can listen to from start to finish, on repeat and not get bored of it.

 

And what is your favourite film?

Again this is another one that depends on the genre. Love a good action movie. Anything with Jason Statham. But if I had to make a choice I’d say the ‘Transporter’ trilogy.

 

How important do you think social media is for the growth of an artist is the current age?

Social media isn’t going anywhere, any time soon. So being actively involved and properly marketing is a big step in the success of any artist, especially those who have to rely on themselves without labels or PR groups funding their promotion. So you should always be involved in most social media outlets, be involved with fans. RESPOND. Answering a fan makes a world of difference to them and lets them know you care that they support you! More people pay attention to social media than the news or any other media outlet, which is a double edged sword of spreading lies and facts, so it’s important you’re actively involved in showing people who you are.

 

What are your hopes for the future?

Well as of lately my personal life has kinda fallen to pieces, so I took time to properly put it back together and rebuild stronger before picking my mask back up. In that transition, I found a new day job, bought a new car, fixed my credit, etc. So life outside the mask is good, which is good news for life in the mask. Now that I’m on my feet and climbing again, I’m able to put more time and energy into my full length album ‘DEAD CROWS’. Along with all new merchandise and music videos and more. Big things are on the horizon.

 

Finally, what would your pornstar name be?

I always joked that it would be ‘The Pumpin’ King’… but if you look hard enough or watch A LOT of porn, you may just recognise my tattoos in a few videos that still float around on the internet!

 


 

You can check out The Pumpkin King here:

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INTERVIEW: Neon Hitch

These questions were answered by ‘gypsy pop’ artist Neon Hitch.

 

How would you describe your sound?

The answer to that used to be a lot easier when I was doing more straight forward dance pop, but now that I’ve really started to find myself I have become a lot more experimental with my music. I would say my most recent creations have been a lot more urban gypsy free flow, story teller vibes, with catchy hooks that everyone can sing along too.

 

How has your music evolved over the years?

My music evolves as my mind does. We learn along the way, so as I grow so does my music. Every lesson learned for me is just a new lyric and a new story to tell.

 

Is there any kind of theme to your music?

#Freedom.

 

Describe your songwriting process.

It’s always different, it depends on what is inspiring me at the time. I might have just had a break up, jumped in a cab crying, wrote the lyrics first in my head and then found the chords for it later. Or I could just be feeling really good when I hear a beat, jump in the booth and freestyle whatever my subliminal mind wants to say. I can’t control it when a song comes into my head, I just have to allow it to flow in whichever way it is meant to.

 

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist so far?

The battle between freedom of art, and conformity.

 

Do you have a favourite song to perform live?

That’s tricky to say. I haven’t gone out and performed the new music from ‘Anarchy’ really yet but I feel like it will be my favourite so far because it’s the most honest work I’ve done, so it should be easy to portray on stage.

 

What was your first job?

Hmm… I did have a normal job once when I was a teenager, I worked in a pizza shop for a week! That felt like a job. But every other job I’ve had hasn’t really felt like a job, from face painting and stilt walking at the age of 6 to now creating music, they all are just things that I love so it’s hard to call them a ‘job’.

 

What is the first gig you ever went to?

Apart from all the live bands I’ve seen at festivals I grew up at, the first deliberate show I went to was The Spice Girls! I went with my dad and observed everything about the show in awe… I really think that was when I realised what I wanted to set out and do on my journey.

 

What would like to be reincarnated as?

That’s an awesome question. You know what, I really enjoy being myself and I know none of us are perfect, like I said we learn along the way. And I think by the time your time is up you are finally fully wise. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a second chance at being yourself?

 

You have recorded a lot of covers in the past, but which was your favourite one to work on?

I really liked bringing a visual to my covers, it helps bring them to life. They were all a lot of fun, but I would say ‘On My Level’ was my fave.

 


 

You can check out Neon Hitch here:

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She also has a new album called ‘Anarchy’ available at all good retailers, as well as features on soon to be released tracks from Nytrix (‘When Will I See You Again’) + Jason Parris and My Buddy Mike (‘No Warning’).

INTERVIEW: 2far2jump

These questions were answered by Alistair Hynes, vocalist of Surrey pop punk band 2far2jump.

 

How did the band get started?

Rupert already knew Aaron before I joined, they used to play around together on cover songs and wanted things to move forward, I was also looking for a band in the area so I got in touch with them and it just worked.

 

Where did the band name come from?

Rupert thought it was a cool name and bought the rights to it and all the domains before suggesting it to us, but we liked the name enough to go with it anyway… I guess it is pretty unique and works with our sound.

 

How would you describe your music?

To throw a basic label on it, I’d say alternative/pop punk and kinda mainstream but we really just write what we feel and let people decide what they want to call it.

 

Describe your song writing process.

Rupert or one of the other guys usually comes up with a track, and I shape it to work well lyrically with the vocals. I put vocals to it on a demo and we show it to whoever in the band hasn’t heard it then they add their element in the studio and it goes from there really, getting a little tighter each time we play. We tend to get songs sorted pretty quickly.

 

What is your favourite song to perform live?

At the moment it’s probably Aspirations, I love playing all of them though. It kind of depends on the crowd on the night.

 

Who is your favourite musician/band?

At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Real Friends and Knuckle Puck. I love so many bands though. PVRIS are another one.

 

Is there an artist that you feel is underrated?

When it comes to unsigned bands I think a lot of them need to find out who their target audience is and who they want it to be, and work on advertising more to get
in front of the right people. Not enough bands seem to do that and I’ve always been up for helping other bands succeed. Yeah it can cost money but I’m not gonna remember my balance being £30 higher or whatever, what I will remember is succeeding with another band and playing shows together.

 

What was your first job?

I’ve never had a ‘proper job’ for more than like a month. I believe that if you work on something you love more and get paid less to do it, in future you’ll end up being paid more to do less.

 

Is there one thing that you couldn’t live without?

Probably green tea or sushi.

 

How do you find juggling your solo career alongside your time with the band?

Pretty easy at the moment, I love being productive and we’re currently working on our debut EP as a band whilst I’m currently working on my debut EP as a solo artist. It’s just with my solo thing I’m doing everything at the moment like production and playing almost everything you hear on the tracks. It’s nice cause you have more control over it when you’re doing a whole project yourself. I set the record label up i’m putting my stuff out on too.

 

What does the bands’ current schedule look like?

We just put out our third single ‘A Place To Run’ and we have a music video for ‘Starlight Estate’ coming out real soon! Then we’re booking a string of shows across the UK and starting promo for our debut EP. We have a photoshoot tomorrow, that could be cool as we could do with new promo pics! The last we did were kinda crappy and it was freezing. These new ones should look sick though.

 

And what can we expect from the soon to be released video for ‘Starlight Estate’?

Me sitting in underpasses, looking homeless… nah but really there’s a lot of driving shots and footage of me walking around my friends estate at night. The songs about travelling and having lots of temporary places to reside. It also has us playing in front of huge light box with shots of us travelling overload.

 


 

You can check out 2far2jump here:

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2far2jump are playing at Asylum in Chelmsford on the 4th of November, for which further information can be found here.

INTERVIEW: Revocation

These questions were answered by David Davidson, vocalist and guitarist of technical death/thrash metallers Revocation.

 

How would you describe your style of music?

The core of our sound is death/thrash, but there’s also a strong progressive influence as well.

 

What would you say the main message behind your music is?

I don’t think there is a singular message behind our music, it can mean so many different things to different people it’s a bit too hard for me to distil it down to one main theme.

 

Describe your songwriting process.

It all starts with a collection of riffs that I think fit well together. From there I start working out the arrangement in my head and eventually record a rough demo on my computer. Then I’ll send that demo to our drummer Ash so he can get familiar with the structure. Once we get in a room together, we start jamming through the parts until everyone is up to speed and then I’ll make some little tweaks here and there or the other guys will make some suggestions of ideas to try out arrangement wise. After all the parts feel solidified I’ll start working on lyrics, solos and melodies to complete the song.

 

How do you decide your setlist for shows?

We usually start a group text thread and bounce different songs off each other. Generally we’re usually all on the same page so it doesn’t take us too long to lock down a setlist.

 

Do you have a favourite show that you’ve played?

That’s a tough one seeing as we’ve been touring pretty solidly for the past few years. One show that sticks out in recent memory was a festival in Colombia called ‘Manizales Grita Rock’. There were about 14,000 people there, so that was a pretty unique experience since I’ve never played in front of a crowd that big before.

 

What is your favourite song to perform live?

Currently, ‘Madness Opus’.

 

What is your craziest tour story?

We were on tour with Darkest Hour and Periphery a few years back and I was trying to get Misha to stage dive since he had never done it. I tried to assure him that it was totally safe so I went off and dove into the crowd. The first time the crowd caught me and rested me safely on the ground, the second time however things didn’t quite go as planned and long story short the back of my head hit the concrete floor and I ended up in the ER with eight staples in my head. After all that I’m not surprised that Misha never followed my lead!

 

Does anyone in the band have any bad habits?

We all used to party a little too hard on tour, but we seem to be mellowing out as the years go by.

 

If you could go back to the beginning of the band, would you do anything differently?

No, I like to thank of any mistakes that we’ve made along the way as a learning experience.

 

And finally, any advice for young bands or people thinking of starting a band?

Try to find your own voice and be creative.

 


 

You can check out Revocation here:

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INTERVIEW: Peter Pepper

These questions were answered by ex Retard-O-Bot frontman and now solo artist Peter Pepper.

How would you describe your style of music?

We describe our music as ‘adventure punk’. No avenues are off the table when writing or performing, if it’s taking us where we want to go. It’s honest to how we see the world, focus on where you want to be and have a blast getting there.

Who or what would you say your biggest influences are?

My biggest influences are boredom and mediocrity. We can do whatever we want to, so when boredom starts to set in, it’s a reminder that I’m in too familiar of a place and that I better make a change. Whether that’s me writing a song or doing some low budget, punk travelling to the other side of the world. Take a chance, do something rather than nothing, make something new. That’s what drives me.

How has your music evolved over the years?

Slowly, haha. But it’s still fun to do, so I’m good with it. And people like what we do, so that’s a nice bonus.

How different is working on your solo project to your time as part of Retard-O-Bot?

Both are great in different ways. ROB was my first band and there was definitely something magical about the way it all evolved. Just being these dumb kids from Florida, having the opportunity to tour the country, meet and make friends with our awesome fans, perform with bands that we loved and make a small footnote in that era of music was the most insane ride ever. Peter Pepper is the natural progression of that experience. It’s ROB 2.0 with all the software updates, RAM and processors maxed out, meaning we can have more fun and adventures because all the fundamental stuff is second nature now, because with ROB we were still figuring all that shit out. And that was important, I’d recommend to anyone thinking about starting a band or a group that is hung up on logistics, just fucking do it. If you don’t start somewhere, you’ll end up talking yourself out of it and getting buried under all the ‘what ifs’. Make something that didn’t exist before you.

How important do you think social media is to the growth of an artist?

It’s necessary.

Is there an artist that you feel is underrated?

There are countless artist that don’t get the attention they deserve. We’ve toured with some of them. Music and art are suffering right now due to a lack of organic methods of discovery. Pandora, Apple Music and Spotify, they’re convenient but it takes time to get something new and exciting. I’d love to see John Wheeler and any of the projects he’s working on get major attention. I’m happy to see Eric Nally getting new opportunities that are receiving notable attention. The music industry has contracted so much and the business model has changed so much, that overall there is less of a risk taken on content in the fringes and this tends to filter out the art/music that progresses us as a culture.

Do you have a favourite show that you’ve played?

So many!

How do you decide the setlist for your shows?

You get a feeling for how you want things to flow and blam-o, that’s it.

What is your favourite animal?

I like the koala bear. The dude’s got two thumbs and hugs things all day. Angler fish are rad too, biting their mates and being absorbed into their body is pretty tight. There’s a ton of epic animals. Like chickens, come on, these things squeeze out breakfast on the reg.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

An interesting fact… my grandfather was the head of Electron Microscopy at a national laboratory in the 1960s. In addition to contributing research that advanced the field of microscopy, he also worked with lunar samples from Apollo 11. Shortly thereafter another blood relative of mine became the first American astronaut to travel to space and later commanded the Apollo mission to the Moon.


You can check out Peter Pepper here:

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INTERVIEW: Chuckklez

These questions were answered by horrorcore artist Chuckklez.

 

How did you get started in music?

I started writing and making music when I was about 14 years old, back in 2006. I use to listen to a lot of old school gangsta rap when I was younger, until one of my friends introduced me to underground music by showing me Esham. When I first listened to his tracks off of ‘KKKill The Fetus’ I became fucking addicted, which influenced me to create my own original style of music. Once I graduated out of high school, back in 2011, I recorded my first track ‘Keep The Heads And Eat The Rest’ and I’ve been rapping ever since.

 

How did you come up with your pseudonym?

When I came up with the name ‘Chuckklez’ when I was hella young. The name popped into my head like a voice or something that whispered in my head randomly, so I decided to claim it as my own to help create my image.

 

How would you describe your style of music?

What really describes my style of music is entering the mind of a psychotic person. It’s disturbing, dark, demonic, deep, shocking and mostly evil in my opinion. Every topic I talk about in one of my songs is pretty much me telling a horror story, using what’s going on in this world and what people are actually doing when they go crazy in real life.

 

Describe your songwriting process.

When it comes to writing, it takes me a couple of weeks or a month to complete a track that I’m currently working on for an album or collaborations. It’s because I don’t want to rush my work and I focus on making a rhyme sound perfect for a topic more than anything. If I do the opposite then it’s not gonna come out the way I want my music to sound.

 

What would you do if you weren’t making music?

If I wasn’t making music I’d probably be doing GFX like I used to or maybe get a job voice acting scary sound effects for characters. Honestly though if I wasn’t making music today I would’ve been dead a long time ago.

 

Do you have a favourite genre?

The music that I listen to every day is mostly horrorcore… but also like other genres such as ‘devil shyt’, death metal, old school gangsta rap, alternative rock, hardcore hip hop and a little bit of blues.

 

What was the first gig you ever went to?

The first gig I ever went to was Mars and Kung Fu Vampire in Walnut Creek, CA around 2011. This was the first time that I met KFV and Mars in person and they were mad fucking cool for real. Plus it was a great show.

 

Do you have any bad habits?

I kinda have a bad habit of talking to myself when I’m in certain places I live or hangout at for no reason at all, which freaks some people out I guess!

 

What is your favourite film?

Oh man, there are so many films that could be on this list that I really love watching constantly. I would have to say ‘Zombi’ by Lucio Fulci and ‘The Shining’ are my two favourite films of all time.

 

And finally, what would your pornstar name be?

If I was a pornstar, I would go by the name ‘Scorpio Larue’. I’m lovable to the ladies and hardcore when it comes to fucking.

 


 

You can check out Chuckklez here:

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He also has a new album coming out in the summer called ‘Mind Of Evilness’, so keep an eye out for that!

INTERVIEW: Kamelot

These questions were answered by Oliver Palotai, keyboardist of power metal band titans Kamelot.

 

How did the band get started?

Kamelot was formed around 1988 by Thomas Youngblood, in Tampa/Florida. While the band back then was all American, today we’re multinational, with our singer coming from Sweden and myself from Germany.

 

Where did your band name come from?

Well, obviously from King Arthur’s court. In the beginning the band focused more on medieval subjects and historical ones in general. That changed through the years, but the band name remains.

 

How would you describe your music?

Symphonic, heavy with some progressive elements. We give ourselves a lot of room to experiment and to surprise our listeners with every record.

 

Who or what would you say your biggest influences are?

Speaking for myself, my main influences come from jazz and classic music. I always loved heavy music but my main studies happened in those genres opposed to metal. Besides being a guitarist and bassist, as a keyboardist or pianist you’re rarely influenced by metal players since the history of the keyboard/similar instruments is a long one and the most impressive things have been done centuries ago.

 

What has been your biggest challenge as a band?

Probably the period of trying to find a new singer some years ago. But we were more than lucky meeting Tommy Karevik, he brought so much fresh energy into the band.

 

What has been your favourite show to play?

There have been so many good ones over the years! One that was crazily good was at the O13 in the Netherlands on the last European tour. So much energy exchanged with the crowd!

 

Any crazy tour stories you’d be willing to share with us?

Ah, one of the most dreaded questions. We have an experienced crew, which means smooth shows and travel most of the time. I am also a pretty boring person backstage, reading books and partying very little. The crazy stories all happen inside my head.

 

What would you say the main message behind your music is?

There is none, no definite one. I might see a certain message in our music, but it will be something very different for another listener. That is the universal uncertainty of music, which is a great thing!

 

If you could go back to the beginning of the band, would you do anything differently?

No. We consider ourselves lucky to be where we are today and with how things went.

 

What is your favourite song to perform live?

I like so many. Of course as a keyboardist, I enjoy the moments where the wall of sound of my bandmates is lessened for a little while and I get to have some personal moments. Like in ‘Song For Jolee’.

 


 

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