Category: Music

Hailing from Melbourne five-piece heavy metal outfit Armoured Earth have spent the last couple of years fitting all of the pieces of the jig-saw puzzle together. As it turned out one of those pieces was securing the services of former Frankenbok member Daniel White as a front-man. Now with all those pieces in order the guys are ready to unleash something special on the public – a brand new EP.

“It has been an interesting time, man,” says guitarist Chaise Egan when I begin to talk to him about everything the band has gone through to get to the point where they are able to release this new EP. “Over the last few years we have been pretty stagment… we have always struggled to get a full line-up together to be honest. Not because of lack of trying but it has just been pretty tough to be in Melbourne with so many bands and to try and attract half-decent musos. That is basically the reason for the distance in between drinks but we got Dan from Frakenbok on board about a year ago and it all just came together and we’ve been sitting on the EP for about a year now. I have to say we are pretty happy with it to.”

Finding the right members for a band is always a tricky thing to do and I ask Egan how he feels the best way to go about it is especially when you are in a crowded market like Melbourne. “There has always been three of us in the band now for about eight or nine years,” he says. “We’ve had a few bass players over the journey but when our singer left about four or five years ago that was what really tripped us up a little bit, that put everything on the backburner for awhile.”

“Then about a year or two ago I reached out to Dan because I played in Scarlet Circus with him,” he says continuing. “But he was playing in Frankenbok at the time and he was working full time so he really only had a limited about of time and energy so we had to try and navigate through that. But then he left Frankenbok and it all just sort of started to fall together about a year ago. But yeah we did everything before that, we advertised on social media or that sort of thing. I harassed all my muso mates around Melbourne to keep an ear out for us and that sort of thing… just the usual sort of things.”

With the line-up now in place Armoured Earth were ready to start song-writing and Egan admits that the band member’s vast love of music has certainly inspired the sound that people will hear on the Ep when they give it a listen. “There are a shitload of influences,” he says with a laugh. “Our other guitarist Brendan Scott and our bassist Julian Lewis they have amazing playlists – it would blow you away the kind of music that they listen to. But we all love the classic bands – Pantera, Sepultura and Metallica, that kind of thing. Then Dan is a big death metal fan. So I guess what we have done is just bundle up our top ten influences and then just thrown them into the blender – then we just see what comes out.”

The other major change the band has seen with Dan White coming into the band is to their lyric writing. “Dan writes about ninety percent of the lyrics,” says Egan as we discuss the EPs lyrical content. “It is funny though every time I ask him what a song is about he says ‘well read it.’ I think though that he normally does have a bit of a theme in mind – there will be something going on socially or whatever it might be, but I think he also likes to keep it a little bit open to interpretation and I kinda like that stuff but that is how the lyrics are born.”

To finish off Egan has a special message to all of the band’s fans for this weird time we are going through. “Stay safe everyone,” he says. “The EP will be released on all the usual streaming platforms on Friday, the CDs are a few weeks away because of the shipping hold ups with the whole Coronavirus mess but please stay safe, try to give it a spin on Friday, hit us up on social media and Spotify and we hope that you enjoy it… and we are always open to feedback.”

 

Armoured Earth’s new EP will be released on March 27th.

 

 

One artist that couldn’t be more excited about having a track on the Murder In The Rue Morgue Volume 1 compilation is solo musician Grant Burns. Burns has made a name for himself over the years performing with bands such as Mason, Vulgod, Vespers Descent, Darkenium and Watercolour Ghosts and he released his solo album Chaos In Design with Rue Morgue Records last year.

“My journey with Rue Morgue all started when I was recording my solo album,” says Burns when I get a chance to chat to him about the new compilation. “I was recording it and I just wanted to do something with it. It was around about the time that Rue Morgue Records was starting and I’d had a few offers but I was like ‘nah that’s not for me’ and I kept going.”

“Then I contacted John,” he says continuing. “I contacted him mainly for his camera work and I said ‘would you mind doing some shots for this album that I have been working on’ and he said ‘yeah no worries.’ So I gave him all the stuff just so he get an idea of where I was headed and then he listened to it and he said ‘we’ve got to meet as soon as we can because I think we can do something.’ For me that was a really nice feeling when you have been working so hard on an album and I had no idea what to do with that. That was the start but then the great part was putting it all together, for me it wasn’t just about releasing a bunch of tracks that I had been working on so from there we just worked together to see how we would put it out and promote it and make it something tangible that we could put out there. Looking back to what it was like after it was released it was just basically…WOW!”

For those people out there who are going to be lucky enough to buy one of the limited edition Murder In The Rue Morgue Volume 1 compilation albums they will get something very special from the hands and mind of Grant Burns. “The compilation track is something that I wanted to do special just for that,” he explains. “It is just a one off track that I did just for the compilation, the reason being because after all the work with my single and my EP and everything that Rue Morgue have done for me when it came to the compilation I wanted to do something different. I wanted something that hadn’t been released because I wanted something new on there. I wanted it to be something special and I wanted to be able to thank John for the hard work that he had done.”

“So what I did was I gave him the track as a thank you and then there would be something new on the album,” he explains. “Also because it is a one off track it gave me the opportunity to experiment a little bit so that was kind of exciting in itself because I had a few tracks and I wasn’t sure which one to pick. But I had all these different ideas where I could use different guitars and such because it is a one off and I could do whatever I wanted. So in the end I convinced Jarrod Moseley (from death metal outfit Destructor) to play drums on it, so this particular track is a lot more drum orientated which made it really fun, and because it was just a one-off we didn’t have to rehearse for hours or anything like that. It was just more like ‘come down to the studio and we will just go for it.’”

With Burns being so happy about what he was able to do for Murders In The Rue Morgue I asked him just how important compilations like these are to have out there. “This was hugely important for me,” he says with happiness in his voice. “I think the whole Rue Morgue thing and what it has done for me is quite a lot so in a sense it has helped create my main music entity and has helped me to reach out to entire new audience. So for me to be able to be on this compilation at all is just another way for me to reach other audience members that weren’t potentially there before. I think there is also a bit of a community feel there as well, I mean you are a part of a family with the Rue Morgue compilation. You are not just thrown in there it is something that Rue Morgue have put together and we are all in it together and I don’t think that anyone else who is on that compilation wouldn’t lend a hand whenever something came up. So yeah, it is a bit of a community as well.”

So for all music lovers out there do the right thing and get behind the community and grab yourself a copy of Murders In The Rue Morgue Volume 1.

 

It has been a strange couple of months for Melbourne hard rock outfit Riff Raiders. First there was the success of the release of their double A-Side through Rue Morgue Records and then just as they were hitting the stage to promote the release of their brand new album Rock ‘n’ Roll Daydream the tour came to a grinding halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But fans can still rejoice. Yes, they are stuck at home but they are able to enjoy what is one of the finest rock albums to be released this year in the form of Rock ‘n’ Roll Daydream. I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk to front-woman Jenni Powell about the creation of the album.

“We changed our line-up about a year ago,” says Powell as we begin our discussion about the massive line-up change that the band went through while they were in the process of recording the album. “We well and truly into the recording process at that point and I think that was the alarm bell particularly for Marty (Powell – the band’s guitarist) who is the producer/songwriter. His visions for the songs just wasn’t coming to profusion with the tracks as they were being recorded so it was a really difficult situation because the guys we were playing with we loved dearly but in the end the songs had to be the winners which made the decision really hard.”

And while changing members was a really hard decision to make it also meant putting the creation of Rock ‘n’ Roll Daydream on ice as well. “That was a really hard decision to,” she admits. “We had to shelve everything and start everything again, particularly with the drums because they just weren’t sounding right. We did use one track on the album though with the original drummer, so he’s still on the album and been heard on the radio a few times recently. But it was a tough time because I am a people pleaser and maybe that is the role of a front-person because I want everybody to love me and I want everybody to be really happy, and I was always like ‘that sounds really good’ and ‘yeah that sounds awesome’ but Marty really knew and he was right… the songs are the best they can be now, so it was tough but fair decision in order to change that all up.”

The amazing thing about Rock ‘n’ Roll Daydream has an album is that it is an album full of infectious rock tracks with no filler so I asked Powell how Marty goes about his song-writing technique.”They really are all Marty’s babies,” says Powell honestly in reference to the tracks on the album. “He and I are partners in life and in music so he will show me ideas along the way and ask me ‘how does this sound?’ and ‘this doesn’t sound too much like this band or this other song, does it?’ and I’ll always answer honestly and be like ‘that sounds good’ or ‘yes that does sound a little bit like this or that.’ But really the process for him is to be locked away in his music room and then being inspired by things. It really is his process and it is really nothing much to do with us until he brings an almost fully-formed song to rehearsal.”

“That was even more so this time because they were all pretty much done,” says Powell continuing. “The writing process really didn’t involve the new line-up and we probably collaborated a little more on “Light” which is quite a personal song and even now I struggle to sing that song without getting a lump in my throat because it is something that is really dear to us because we are singing about our kids essentially. So yeah, the song-writing process is really just a lot of stuff that is in Marty’s head and there are things like “Stepping On A Cloud” which is very different to anything that we have ever done before because it has Marty on vocals, I do have an appearance on it though, and that track was inspired from when the band when skydiving together a year before when we played at a sky-diving festival so I always get that euphoria of what it was like to jump out of a plane together when I listen to it or am performing it. It’s been an interesting write.”

There is no doubt out Rock ‘n’ Roll Daydream is one interesting ride that you will want to listen to over and over so make sure you grab yourself a copy when the album is released next week.

 

 

One of the fastest rising bands in the world at the moment are City Of Souls who hail from New Zealand. Over the past few months the band have been preparing for the release of their new album Synaesthesia on May 1st and during that time the buzz around them has just got louder and louder. They even found that their singles have been charting on the in the New Zealand charts.

Eager to find out more about the band that seems to have the world talking I had a chance to chat to guitarist Marcus Powell while he was looking after his kids.

“This has been a long time in the works – 2015 in fact,” says Powell when we start to talk about the beginnings of Synaesthesia. “We all came together after being in other bands because we were looking to create something that was a bit more emotive but at the same time keeping that heavy drive. We were just like minded individuals getting into a room together and jamming really.”

Hailing from bands such as Blindspott and Blacklistt himself Powell admits that the band members past musical experience all impacted on the song-writing for this album. “We found that a few of the band members were awesome song-writers so that helped us create an awesome production level. Everyone will go off and create things themselves and then they bring it to the practice room and we all jam it together. It is when we get together as a group that the songs really come to life.”

Powell says there is nothing that moment when they first come together and listen to what each other has been working on. “That is the part that I love the most,” he says. “If I have a riff that I create and I bring it to the group I get a real kick out of listening to their creative input and then see what they bring to the table… and vice versa as well. I love trading melodies and then meeting it up with a riff and then I’ll create something to go over the top or the same with Steve (Boag – one of the band’s other guitarists). I guess now we just all vibe off each other.”

There are some deep personal lyrics on Synaesthesia and as our discussion goes on Powell tells me that all the lyrics come from front-man Richie Simpson who previously performed with New Way Home. “The lyrics are all Richie’s doman,” he explains. “They all come from deep personal stories. For example some of the songs that we have written have been about people that have passed away in his life and he will be trying to come out of dealing with that so he’ll go into his room and try to write what that person would have wanted from him.”

“That is the beauty of music,” says Powell continuing to talk about Simpson’s lyrics. “When somebody shares on such an intimate level like Richie does it only creates a more intimate relationship with us. It makes us feel closer to him and I think that now shows on stage with our live performance. When we are all inter-linked into that story and have that understanding I think that it makes for a much better live performance.”

The fact that the band have started to find chart success in their home country has also been a surprise to them. “It has been quite surprising and really humbling as well,” he says. “Rock isn’t as widely spread here as some of the other genres. Like New Zealand is very big into six-sixty, LAB and there is a lot of dub-step, reggae and R ‘n’ B going on so to see rock hit the charts I see that as a bit of a milestone. We really want to send gratitude to everybody, thank you for listening, thank you for enjoying it and we hope that you guys really feel something when you listen to the album.”

 

Synaesthesia is out on May 1st.

 

It is no mean feat for any artist to get signed to a label, but we all really need to be celebrating the fact that Australian outfit Dregg have just been signed with Epitaph Records. When it comes to punk music there is no bigger label than Epitaph and Dregg become just the third Australian act to be signed to the genre leaders. The honour of such a signing is something that is not lost on frontman Chris Mackeritch.

“Basically this all started when we performed at Bigsound,” says Mackeritch when I ask him how the journey with Epitaph began. “That was about six months ago. We got contacted by this random American dude who was like ‘I’ve checked out all your videos and I’m not really watching any other bands at Bigsound but I would love to come and check out you guys, do you have a booking agent or manager?’ and we were like ‘no.’”

“So he came down and we all went for dinner afterwards,” he says still explaining. “He was a really big fan of it and he put forward whether or not he could manage us guys and I have people back at home we could wall work together. To be honest we were a bit sceptical but we were like ‘cool, cool, cool – this will be interesting’ and then we went home and looked up the guys on the internet and found out that they were actually pretty big dogs in Hollywood – they had worked with really big acts like Talking Heads, Maroon 5 and shit like that. Turns out they were super interested in the band and they said they saw our vision and wanted to help us get there. One thing turned into another and Brett Greenberg from Epitaph Records got wind of it all, he phoned us up and then it all happened.”

When the initial contact happened though it wasn’t all party hats and streamers because Mackeritch admits that the band were not sure were to make of it. “We have a very strict rule here at Dregg,” he says laughing a little. “Don’t get excited about anything until it happens. So we remained really calm when it first came through. We tried to remain as calm as we could but at the same time we were like ‘okay this is serious’ but it wasn’t until we saw the contract and then we were like ‘okay, Epitaph literally just uploaded our video – this is really happening.’”

“I still think that it hasn’t set in for everybody,” he says continuing. “I still don’t think we realise what it means for such a massive label to take us on, we are just taking it day-by-day and are really grateful for it really… it is fucking wild really.”

Of course that leads to the inevitable question – now Dregg are signed to Epitaph what the hell happens next. ‘Well we look at like this,” he says laughing loudly. “It is 2020 and we will make an album when we are ready. We will write an album when we are ready but right now the world is very different – you can put out EPs, you can put out singles. Who knows we might put out an album next or we might do four singles in a row. We are really just playing it by ear because at the same time the world is in fucking lockdown so it is not really the best time to be putting out shit like that, but it is the time to be putting out music that is kind of one off stuff.”

That kind of thinking also leads straight into one of Dregg’s other passion. “We love making music but we also love doing videos,” Mackeritch explains. “But it is very difficult to make an entire album full of videos so we were are sticking to what we have always stuck to and that is that there is no plan. We just create whatever the fuck we feel like creating, it is kind of like what we are all seeing in the Soundcloud movement at the moment. Kids are just putting out whatever shit they want to put out – they are like ‘here I like this’ or ‘I wrote this on the weekend – here it is.’ That is what it is like now, the whole let’s work on an album for six months and then drop it is kind of the old way of doing things so we are trying to keep it fresh and do what young people are doing now and then we’ll just drop shit as we write it, drop shit as we produce it… and we have been given that freedom from Epitaph, they are just like ‘you guys can do whatever the hell you want because we can see the vision for it… we see that you are relevant… just go for it.”

So it may be a bit of a wait and see moment for Dregg fans, but whatever they produce next we just know that it is going to be epic.

Multi award winning vocalist Jasmine Rae has announced her new album ‘Lion Side’ will be released on July 24th and is available for pre order now. The brutally honest songwriter and electrifying live performer has also released the video to her current single ‘Green Light’ – watch here.

‘Lion Side’ is a culmination of several years of soul searching, rigorous and often tortuous self-assessment, indecision and the need to find greater inner-purpose and direction. Ultimately, Jasmine Rae has rediscovered that her true path to self-enlightenment is through her music.

“I took a long time to make this album, but ultimately I simply had to do it,” says Jasmine Rae“Music has always been my way of thinking out loud and figuring things out. Writing and performing allows me to express those feelings… to be dramatic… be loud or be fragile… be emotional… and be real.” 

Recorded in both Sydney and Nashville with producer Lindsey Jackson (Jessica Mauboy, Tori Kelly, The McClymonts), Lion Side comes from an artist who is an inspiration to everyone around her, while often wounded, angry and fragile. In fact, she would even go as far as saying ‘Fraudulent’ at times.  

The album’s current single ‘Green Light’, which is being embraced by both pop and country formats, reflects Jasmine’s battles with anxiety and indecision. “There are always opportunities: The opportunity to take action, or to purposefully let something go; to make a call or leave things unsaid; to change or try again or try differently,” says Jasmine Rae of the song. “No decision – is a decision in itself. This song is the inner dialogue of one of those experiences. These are some of the circling thoughts of doubt and indecision that drive me crazy.”

Also available today is a second album release track with album pre-orders, ‘Carrying The Flame. The song is a tribute to Jasmine Rae’s greatest mentor, and the friend who is now carrying on his legacy, while creating his own. 

“Being real is a superpower. It’s what heals us together.”

It’s the mantra behind Jasmine Rae’s album Lion Side, which will be released on July 24, 2020

Pre Order Now

 

If you were blazed by the heaviness of their first self-titled album and tripped to the psychedelic soul of Lady In Gold (#1 Germany) you won’t be immune to the effects of this third dose of the pills.

“Holy Moly!” was written, produced and recorded in BLUES PILLS’ own analogue studio which they built in the beautiful countryside of Närke, Sweden. In the old factory building, where the studio is located ZackElin and André spent almost a year recording and writing songs.

‘’This album is something we’ll be proud of even after death. These songs are from a very dark period of our lives. So much loss, anger and anxiety. Sadness and change. A separation into reincarnation. We stand behind every note and every word. This album was created in darkness and it guided us into the light again. One can only hope it will give you comfort too.”

BLUES PILLS founders and main songwriters Elin and Zack spent the majority of their waking moments arranging and refining the songs. Together with drummer André they built up an album in nuances of light and dark. The album is recorded by BLUES PILLS guitarist Zack, although with some helping hands along the way from THE HIVES members Nicolaus Arson and Johan Gustafsson, as well as Martin Jacobsson from Rovljud Sound. Holy Moly! is self- produced by BLUES PILLS and mixed by the Grammy award winning Andrew Scheps (Red Hot Chili PeppersIggy PopAdeleBlack SabbathRival SonsHozier). About “Holy Moly!” Andrew Scheps says:

“Holy Moly!” can be a deceptive album. On first listen it seems like a great blues/rock album with classic songs and great vocals. On repeated listens though you start to appreciate the layers and nuance. Not often do you get a record that makes a great first impression but is still a grower!

The album illustration ‘’Beast” is by the artist Daria Hlazatova. A haunting capture of the devil embraced by kindness and sorrow. Just like life, it’s in the darkest times you have to glow.

With the band’s 3rd album, Holy Moly! to be released on June 19th, 2020, BLUES PILLS plan their return to a number of major festival stages.

Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of French post black metal formation VOUS AUTRES to the Underground Activists sub label. The duo will re-release their 2019 record ‘Champ Du Sang’ via the label, as well as a new album at a later date.

The band comments: “VOUS AUTRES is very proud to join the Season of Mist family. We feel honored to be accompanied by such a good label with so much history, and are very grateful that their great people believe in our music. This is a beautiful opportunity to share our music such to a vivid and broad audience thanks to the superb work and professionalism Season of Mist has shown for many years now. We grew up with their bands, we’ve been influenced by a lot of those who came before and pushed Extreme Music further and further, and we aim to give such matter through all of our future collaborations.”

VOUS AUTRES is a two-headed Post-Metal / Black Metal Hydra who hails from Nantes, France. Still enigmatic about its very core, VOUS AUTRES creates a dark, ambient and tormented sound, blended into the everlasting retrieval of what seems forever lost to human’s inherent evil.

Digging deep into the wide spectrum of ardour it conveys, the band wore its raw medieval habits with its first EP Trente Pièces d’Argent and grew into an epic skin of biblical judge during ‘Champ Du Sang’, a powerful and transcendental second project. Always summoning the darkest and most sublime melody through its rooted despair, the duo battles with its own demons alongside powerful riffs and breakdowns that resonate with the tramp of the marching feet of a thousand-men army, ready to engage in a one-way fight against their enemy.

VOUS AUTRES is not just another French blackened doom sensation you have to keep an eye on, but a quantum leap into the epic proportions modern Black Metal can take.

Australian blackened death metal outfit EARTH ROT are now releasing a brand new live video for ‘Bestial Shadow Forest’, which was shot during their tour with FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE and PSYCROPTIC in Tokyo back in 2017.

EARTH ROT comments: “While we can’t be bringing our live shows to you at the moment, we’ve dug up a live track from our previous album! Here’s ‘Bestial Shadow Forest’ from ‘Renascentia’ at a huge show in Tokyo from our 2017 tour with our friends Fleshgod Apocalypse and Psycroptic. Crack a cold one and enjoy a some Earth Rot while we’re all at home!”

Portuguese prog/death vessel opens its doors and streams an empty venue show tonight (20th March 2020) at 09:45 PM GMT  to make the most of this quarantine. They are set to play their latest conceptual sci-fi album The Far Star in its entirely. The livestream will be available on the band’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

Emerging from the city of Paços de Ferreira, APOTHEUS place their exquisite sonic territory in the middle of melodeath and prog metal. The Portuguese group started to record some demos soon after their formation in 2008 and released the EP “A Quest to Remain” in 2011. However, they did not perfect their desired sound until the creation of their 2013’s debut full-length, titled When Hope and Despair Collide.

Fast-forward to 2019, after many national tours and other original works, Apotheus made an international breakthrough signing with Black Lion Records (Sweden) for the sophomore album, The Far Star. The quartet took a completely different approach with their first-ever conceptual album, blending melodies with the story and emotion. The opus unfolds the untold story of our ancestry — a painful journey of survival in the majesty of the cosmos, but also a delicate introspective about human nature. The Isaac Asimov inspired album reveals how the collision of two worlds resulted something new: a hope, a mission and a destination. Out since November 01st via Black Lion Recordseach track of this opus narrates a different chapter of this epic saga.