REVIEW (LIVE): Icarus Fell

This review was conducted at the Icarus Fell/Massmatiks/Tilt Back show at The Horn on the 23rd of April 2016.

 

Despite not being the most ‘popular’ band on the bill, the boys of Icarus Fell play like they easily could be. Facebook likes to paint a deceiving picture and they draw in the biggest crowd of the night. They kick off their set with an instrumental number, which provides an apt introduction for the evening ahead. Not long into their set, disaster strikes in the form of vocalist/bassist Cameron Owden’s microphone cutting out. What could’ve so easily knocked them off kilter didn’t seem to dent the young bands confidence too much. Whilst the microphone issue is fixed, they charge on through their set without so much as a brief pause. They continue to show just how well their sound works instrumentally (albeit this time unintentionally): the guitar, bass and drums just keep driving forward. By the end of the song, the vocals are back and normal business can resume. Icarus Fell conduct an auditory rampage throughout The Horn, the weight of the riffs pushes your head down and before you know it, you’re banging your head along! Their powerful set does a great job of advertising their new EP ‘Concrete Desert’ with four out of the seven songs appearing on the record (Fool, Sticks And Stones, Burnt At Both Ends and Gasoline). ‘Gasoline’ is an accurate demonstration of what Icarus Fell aims to do, and that is to rock your socks off.

 


 

You can check out Icarus Fell here:

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Details for the bands upcoming gigs:

June 19th – Northampton @ The King Billy (NMF16 Rock Stage)

July 21st – Milton Keynes @ The Craufurd Arms

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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’.

 


 

You can check out Kamelot here:

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INTERVIEW: Abiotic

These questions were answered by John Matos, guitarist of Florida death metal band Abiotic.

 

First question, how did the band get started?

The band got together back in the summer of 2011. We were all in different local bands at the time and I reached out to a few of the most talented members that I could find to get Abiotic going.

 

And where did your band name come from?

Abiotic means anything non-living or the antagonist to life. We felt that the name and definition was a good representation of what we wanted the band to sound like.

 

How would you describe your music?

The music is fast, melodic and heavy, with some darker, borderline progressive parts. I’d say we’re a death metal band for sure, but we get labelled with all kinds of subgenres.

 

Who or what would you say your biggest influences are?

My biggest influences right now are Death, Cynic, The Contortionist, Wretched, Necrophagist, The Faceless and Animals As Leaders.

 

What has been your biggest challenge as a band?

I’d say our biggest challenge as a band has been bouncing back from the member changes we went through a couple of years ago. The band had built up so much momentum and we had to take some steps back just as the doors were opening. But overcoming that challenge has made us stronger as a band and has lead to the strongest Abiotic line-up to date.

 

What has been your favourite show to play?

A show we played recently in Austin, Texas with Between The Buried And Me was one of my favourites to play for sure. It was the first time playing songs off of Casuistry to so many faces at once. The crowd was leaving it, so it was all around a good time.

 

What would your dream tour to see or be involved in be?

Right now I’d love to be on a tour with some fellow Metal Blade artists. Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Between The Buried And Me and Fleshwrought would be tits.

 

Does anyone have any bad habits?

We all do, but they’re tolerable to where we haven’t killed each other… yet.

 

And finally, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?

Good question! Music would be difficult to live without, for sure!

 


 

You can check out Abiotic here:

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