In one of the most fun interviews that we have ever done here at Subculture we this week chatted to Jeff Hortilossa about his brand new EP The Horticulture Vol 1.
After being with legendary rock group Deep Purple since 1969 you could forgive Roger Glover for being a little ho-hum about the release of a new album – after all Whoosh! will be his twenty-first album with the Hall Of Fame listed band. Instead when I get the opportunity to talk to him about the album I find out he is just as excited as he would be if this was the band’s first album.
“There is that magical moment between finishing an album and releasing it,” he says as we talk about how he is feeling at the time. “Of course this has been a slightly longer one because of the virus, but during that time it is still ours. Then when it is released it is not ours anymore, it is out there in the world on its own – coping the best it can. It is nothing to do with us anymore.”
“So yes at the moment there is still that magical moment,” he says with a slight chuckle. “I am still hanging onto this little treasure that nobody else knows about at the moment. But then it comes out and then it is anybody’s business.”
Yes, as they say nobody can dodge Covid-19, not even a multi-award winning band like Deep Purple. While their fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of the album (it was originally due out in June) they now have to wait until early August before the album will drop.
“It was the record label’s decision,” explains Glover. “It was pushed by three or four months because basically there would be no shops open. That would mean the only way that you would be able to buy the album would be by downloading it, but a lot of our core audience prefer the physical thing – either the actual album or the CD – and seeing that they couldn’t buy those they pushed it back.”
“I mean music stores are already doing it rough,” he says continuing. “The whole music business is in turmoil. Streaming and downloading has become the thing but we are one of the older acts that still believe in albums. To me an album is a sign-post to the state of the band at that particular year and that is important to us and I think that it is important to our fans.”
Whoosh! Is out on June 12th through earMusic. You can listen to our full interview below.
2020 has been a strange year for American hard rock band Pop Evil. It should have been a year when they were extremely busy. They have a new album coming but instead of being out there on the road Covid-19 has seen them become restricted to just releasing singles for their fans. Mind you the release of singles like “Work” and “Let Chaos Reign” have made fans very excited… and that is something that lead singer Leigh Kakaty is very aware of when we catch up with him.
“All these songs were written way before the pandemic hit,” says Kakaty as we talk about the fact that their themes almost make them a soundtrack for what we are going through at the moment. “So it is very interesting how songs can almost predict the future in a way. These themes are hitting hard now, they are hitting harder now then what they even did back then.”
That discussion leads us both to start talking about the foundations of these tracks. “They all came out of the writing process of what is going to be out sixth studio album,” he explains. “I just went out and the band really trusted me this time. They don’t write a lot of lyrics so I just needed to go out and write, but to also go out and see where my mind was. So I was out in LA and I just thought ‘you know what we really have to go hard on this record… it is a statement record.’ We’ve done five albums so I knew that we needed to weed out the crap and amp up the stuff that we had done well.”
“The one thing that I knew that I wanted was infections guitars,” says Kakaty continuing. “When we go back over our back catalogue you can hear that the choruses are very alive but there are also a lot of words… so there is not much of an opportunity for the music to do the talking so I decided that this time around that I really wanted everything to be very guitar driven.”
“Work” and “Let Chaos Reign” are out now. You can hear the full audio interview with Pop Evil above.
With their new album exploring topics such as exploitation, desperation and unrest it almost feels that Lamb Of God have written the soundtrack of 2020. For the band themselves though they felt that this was an important album for other reasons. Grammy Award nominations and being described as ‘one of the most important heavy acts of modern times’ aside they just wanted to deliver an album that felt like it was Lamb Of God.
“It is what we do and it is what we are accustomed to doing,” says lead guitarist Mark Morton when we begin to chat about this self-titled album. “But I have to say we were really excited about doing it. There were some unique conditions, it had been five years so there was a real anticipation for us about the new material and what kind of shape it was going to take. We were talking about what kinds of styles would pop up because we were all really compiling song ideas on our own so there was a lot of material to pick through… there was a lot of raw material.”
Another exciting element for the band this time around was getting to record with new drummer Art Cruz for the first time. “You know we had been playing with Art for a couple of years before we got into any kind of pre-production for this album,” says Morton. “So it was not playing with him that was the new experience, we had worked out all of those transitions and the feel of things on the stage over the past year and a half, but we were excited to be able to write music with him.”
“But yeah when it came to process we worked with Josh Wilbur like we always do,” he continues. “But I think the biggest difference was the way the time was spread out. We started to work on this album while we were still touring with Slayer. We still had a couple of legs left on the Slayer farewell campaign and that was really the reason why it was so long between albums because that tour cycle got extended. So on breaks from that tour Willie, Josh and I would go into a studio somewhere and work for a week and a half on demos for new songs, so we would do that, then head out onto the road again, do that and then on the road again. So we would have this brief pre-production sessions that were like spread out for over a year and that really gave us a lot longer to really sit with the material and let it settle.”
“I turn that gave Randy longer with each song,” he explains. “That let him work out the themes that he wanted to attach to each song. That gave him a chance to really write around it and so that really gave us a long view of being able to put all the material together. While that was all born out of necessatity given our tour schedule it really did become an asset and it became an unique part of the album because it was gestated over such a long period of time.”
That leads me to ask whether or not that time period meant that the album also looks at more themes as well. “It’s hard to say,” he says after thinking for a moment. “It is hard to dissect like that because the raw material of the album is kind of collected over that time. It wasn’t like we went five years and then Willie and I were like ‘let’s write songs.’ The ideas were documented over that course of time, so I guess it could be but I haven’t really micro-analysed it like that. I do know though that there were a few influences in there so over that time that may well be the case. I do know that this is a very dynamic album though.”
Lamb Of God is out on the June 19th 2020 through Nuclear Blast Records.
Singer songwriter Jasmine Rae has released one of the most powerful and personal songs of her career, ‘Don’t Do It For The Haters’.
Written as an emotional response to the “hate” directed at her in response to a copyright lawsuit centred around her 2017 song ‘When I Found You’, Rae as co-writer was not a part of the litigation. However she found herself the subject of extraordinarily negative emails, phone calls and social media commentary that left her reeling.
She explains, “Because I was the face of our song, I copped an enormous amount of hate anyway, from all directions. It was a really confronting and confusing time for me.
For a while, I didn’t want to co-write with anyone, didn’t want to put myself out there or be vulnerable and I was questioning everything. People around me actually thought that I would give up.
But later that year I did a short tour with US country artist Granger Smith and that experience was a wonderful reminder for me about why I love doing what I do. I was reminded of how the love of music brings people together, the love I get from people who support my music and the love I get from performing my songs with my friends.
I realised that I don’t do it for the haters. It’s the LOVE that does it for me!
I wanted to write something about that whole experience. I initially wrote some very angry songs but this one feels truer. This song is the one that sums up the real lessons learned by that experience and puts a full stop on it for me. It gives me closure.
There are times when we face all sorts of roadblocks and setbacks. A lot of people are experiencing soul destroying challenges right now. So I guess this song is a testament that sometimes it can take just one good moment to remind us why we do what we’re supposed to do.”
Jasmine Rae’s new album ‘Lion Side’ will be released on July 24th and is available for pre order now.
‘Lion Side’ was recorded in Sydney and Nashville with producer Lindsey Jackson (Jessica Mauboy, Tori Kelly, The McClymonts) and 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.
The brutally honest songwriter and electrifying live performer said, “I took a long time to make this album, but ultimately I simply had to do it. 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.”
‘Lion Side’ – released on July 24, 2020 – Pre Order Now