Tagged: Rue Morgue Records

 

No Aussie music compilation is complete without some dirty bluesy rock, right? Well bringing that to the table on the Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 1 album is Melbourne band Southbound Snake Charmers. This is a band who describe themselves as dirtier than a roadhouse bathroom and guaranteed to make you slither like a red-bellied black snake – and boy do they bring some magic to this album.

“So currently what we say we play is psychedelic swamp groove,” says main man Chris when I catch up with to find out a little more about the band. “This band has taken quite a few forms, initially we were three guitarists playing really heavy kind of Delta blues stuff and then that evolved through to drums, then some sax and an extra singer.”

“Then at some point the original singer left and me and the other guitarist did the old rock, paper, scissors to see who was going to take singing lessons to become the singer,” he says continuing with a laugh. “I lost, obviously since I’m the singer. So I went and got singing lessons and then when we went in to record our new EP we started to hang around Music Land and there was a bunch of musicians hanging around there so we picked up a bass player and then became a four-piece.”

Despite that major change though the band were still evolving. “We recorded our first two EPs like that,” Chris explains. “We had a real dirty blues sound – almost like The Black Keys but heavier, that sort of sound. Then the guitarist left and we became a three-piece for two albums, one of which we just released and that had the single on it that we did with Rue Morgue “Through The Smoke.” With the latest stuff we’ve been told we sound like a heavier version of Credence so you can see why we are saying it is psychedelic swamp groove.”

Southbound Snake Charmers’ relationship with Rue Morgue Records all started with Chris’ radio show. “We’ve been doing it for about fourteen years,” he explains. “And I met John through another photographer, so he had been on the show before and when I saw that he had started the label up and he was putting out singles I thought ‘this looks pretty good, let’s try and jump on this early.” So I messaged him and told him that we had just put an album out and were keen to put a single out so we went through there.”

As we delve more into the band’s music Chris tells me that the track you hear from them on the Rue Morgue Records compilation is a little bit different to the to the other music that they have been playing lately. “It’s weird because it is not our traditional psychedelic swamp groove,” he says. “I had seen what John was trying to do with the compilation. He was heading towards one of those old compilations that you used to get with the magazines. That was what he was heading towards so being a very big Motorhead fan, especially the first era especially the first two albums where they were basically a blues band but very heavy, I thought I could do something there and that would fit with the compilation and it would still be true to what we do, so yeah we put out a song called “Bad Ass Blues.””

“I had actually been playing around with those lyrics since Lemmy had passed,” he goes to say as he talks about the very beginnings of the album. “But I didn’t want to be like everybody else and just quickly put out a Lemmy tribute song. I just wanted to do it for myself and write what I wanted to write and everything just seemed to land in the same spot when this came out so I thought ‘let’s do this now.’ So we did.”

As we begin to wrap up Chris has just one piece of advice for those people who still haven’t bought their copy of Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol. 1. “Don’t hesitate, just grab it,” he says happily. “This is going to give you a great taste of a palette of a whole bunch of stuff there. You are going to get a taste of bands that you may never have listened to before!”

 

 

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.

 

 

Melbourne band Nothing Sacred are certainly not new to the scene. They have been around since the early 1980s and are a proud member of the Rue Morgue Records stable, so it is not surprising that they were one of the first bands selected to have a track included on the Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 1 compilation. Recently I was able to sit down with band member Karl Lean to chat about what being on the compilation means to him.

“I’ve known John for a long time,” says Lean and we start the chat by talking about how the relationship between Nothing Sacred and Rue Morgue started. “I’ve always had a massive amount of respect for everything that John has ever done, he is really focussed, he is really committed and he takes a lot of pride in what he does. He also puts a big emphasis on doing a good job. His photography work over the past decade has been outstanding.”

“So when Rue Morgue Records kicked off and they started to look at putting out original music under their own banner it just happened to coincide where exactly we were at. We came off the Metal For Melbourne celebration in 2017 in front of about 600 or 700 people at the Corner Hotel and straight after that we thought that we needed to follow up on it by putting something out… something new. So we started to write a new set of songs, we had already started to do some writing but we thought we should do some more. We had about six or eight new tracks and then we started recording and then we wanted to do something with them.”

It really did seem like the stars were aligning for Nothing Sacred. “We knew that vinyl was making a big comeback,” Lean explains. “And then Rue Morgue came around so I reached out to John and he was only too happy to give us an opportunity to talk to him. I guess it really is a case of who you know.”

That brings our conversation around to what people can expect to hear from Nothing Sacred on Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 1. “Ah, our track is called “Final Crime,” says Lean. “Strangely enough this is not one of the newer songs that we have written. In the original line-up of our band way back in the 1980s we were finishing off album number two and for various reasons, some being industry reasons and some being personnel reasons we never actually got to finish that second album.”

“So the album was recorded but never mixed and never mastered and never released,” says Lean continuing. “Of course back then we had different members and we even had different guitarists, but a couple of the tracks off that album have always been amongst some of my favourite tracks that we had ever written so we were keen to see them not completely wither and die. “Final Crime” was one of those tracks so we have dusted it off got the new band together – I should say we kind of have one new guitarist and one old guitarist because George has been with us off and on for thirty odd years but he has always drifted in and out as he works on other projects, so he is back on board so we recorded the track all afresh. So it is actually a new recording but it is a track that dates right back and we wanted to release it because a I think it is a quality track and b in our minds it is kind of the closing of a chapter.”

“Now we can look forward to doing new tracks with Rue Morgue,” he continues. “They will all be fresh new track so “Final Crime” felt like a nice bridge between the past and the present.”

One of the other reasons that Nothing Sacred wanted to be involved with this compilation was because they knew it was important for the local music scene. “One of the things that I love that Rue Morgue is doing things like this,” he says. “Pre the internet, pre the time when you could fire up a machine and find whatever you were looking for compilations were the main source with how people got exposed to things. The world is very different it is never going to be exactly like that again but I think with what John has managed to pull together this will be a great showcase of a variety of different things. So you may have come looking for one particular band but you may end up finding two or three others that really stand out to you. So I think it serves as a really valuable bridge, I think it is great that somebody is trying to bring this back together again and once again kiss life back into the idea of compilations… I love it!”

With bands like Nothing Sacred being part of Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 1 this is one album that you will definitely have to have in your collection.

For anybody that thinks that the Murders In The Rue Morgue Volume 1 compilation might just be Melbourne-centric then think again. The next artist to feature on the compilation that we are taking a look at hails from Western Australia and was one of the earliest signing to Rue Morgue Records when the label was first starting out.

“Yeah I am Western Australia based,” says Brittain with a laugh as we start our conversation. “I’m a rock, metal singer who is probably best known for playing in a band called Shots Fired which were a hard rock group from WA. I also used to be in a band called Electric Dynamite out of Melbourne and just recently I have been playing with a Western Australian power metal outfit called Silent Knight.”

With so much musical experience behind him it is little wonder that Rue Morgue wanted him on their label and Brittain says the experience with the label has been awesome. “The journey with Rue Morgue began maybe fifteen months ago,” he explains. “I was in discussions with John, the guy who established and owns the label, and we wanted to produce some of my music through the label. We saw it as a way to get my music out there and a way to get the label up and running. We had great success releasing my 7’ and more recently my full album that also came out on cassette as well.”

“So, it just seemed natural to have one of my tracks put on this new compilation,” he continues. “The track that is one there has not been on any streaming services as yet, so nobody has really heard it except for those that bought my album. So, I think that is pretty cool.”

As he mentions streaming Brittain and I begin to discuss why it is important to still release music on CD, cassette and vinyl. “I think streaming is just a matter of convenience,” he says matter-of-factly. “It’s great when you are driving in your vehicle and you just want to have a mix of whatever playing, but I guess I appreciate it because I grew up with vinyls and tapes lying around the house. There was always music around the house so I guess it was something that was always comforting for me. It also felt real to me because you have a physical product that you can look at and admire… that is my take on it!”

He is also a firm believer that cassettes and vinyl are back to stay as well. “Oh yeah definitely,” he says when I ask whether or not he believes the comeback is real. “You only have to look at the statistics on sales in different parts of the world. Definitely cassette sales are on the rise compared to where they were ten years ago and I am sure that will keep increasing slowly. Also definitely with vinyl you can see that there is a renewed interest amongst younger people. I think it is here to stay, similarly with cassettes.”

“You can produce really great sounding hi-fidelity music on cassette especially if you get the steel-wound cassettes,” he says when we begin to talk about why music always seems to sound better when you aren’t streaming it. “It is almost CD quality.”

While it would be nice to talk about the joys of cassettes and vinyl all day Brittain and I finally laugh and bring the conversation back to what we were supposed to be talking about – his track for the Murders In The Rue Morgue compilation.

“It is a hard rock track,” he says still laughing. “It kind of gives a tribute to the English bands from the south and it features some great local talent from Perth, all of whom are my friends. The track is essentially about the bondage of religion especially in the inner-west and it looks at the mechanisms used to confuse people deliberately. John chose the track – I actually didn’t choose it – because it was his favourite track on the album, so he chose it for me. I didn’t have any issues with that because if people are into that kind of music, heavy rock, although it does have some heavy metal elements it is largely heavy rock. It also has some Deep Purple and Rainbow type keyboard playing and some shredding solos… so yeah it is just really exciting to have it finally produced on the compilation.”

And when it comes to why people should buy the compilation there is not better salesman than Brittian. “If you are thinking about buying it just go out and do it,” he says. “There is so much great local talent on there – the speed metal kings of Melbourne Espionage, Grant Burns is on there… there is just some fantastic rock and heavy metal on there.”

So take Brittain’s advice and go out and grab your copy today.

 

Melbourne’s very own Riff Raiders are hitting 2020 with a bang. Aside from heading out on a tour that will see them headline the Kilmore Rock Festival the band also have their vinyl Double A-Side single landing on February 18th through Rue Morgue Records and then release their brand new album Rock ‘N’ Roll Daydream in March.

The band’s debut album Live Like You Mean It was released to critical acclaim and won the band a legion of fans. When we recently sat down to interview Riff Raider’s very own Marty Powell he admitted that it was something that was weighing on their mind as they worked on the new album. “I didn’t feel pressure when I was writing the songs because that felt like a bit of a break-through,” he says. “We were doing a lot of shows and we felt like a band on a run so the songs were coming from excitement and adrenalin so that worked really well.”

“But when it came to recording them we really wanted to approach them differently,” he admits. “I started the album about a year ago and like what happens with other artists – I just wasn’t happy with it and that is why the line-up of the band changed. That was so we could make it as good as we good.”

As we talk about the events that surrounded that moment we talk about what a drastic decision it was to make. “It was a really important decision to make,” agrees Powell. “The guys we were playing with were great at that level but musically if we wanted to go to that next stage we had to do something, and it was pointed out by the producer we were working with at the time. But yeah it was painful. But I thought if we are going to go to all this trouble and we have the best batch of songs that we can come up with then we really have to do them justice.”

“So we decided that we needed a different rhythm section,” he continues. “I think different is a better word than better, we just needed a different style and then I worked with a different producer that pushed it to a whole another level again. But we didn’t rush into it. We did a lot of shows with the new line-up to break in the band again, which I think you can hear on the recordings. It held things up but it also made things better. It also gave me the opportunity to define the songs a bit more and by re-recording them we were able to give everything a second go. That really helped.”

The work of the line-up is clearly evident on the Double A Side that is about to be released by Rue Morgue and they are both tracks that Powell are clearly proud of. “You’ve got Loaded Gun and Best Day Ever,” he explains. “They are the lead tracks off the new album – Rock ‘N’ Roll Daydream. There are two very different sounds of the band on show with these tracks.”

“Loaded Gun has that classic kind of slide, kind of a classic rock sound to it,” he says continuing. “The other track that is there is still rock but I guess it has more of 90s kind of vibe to it… it is a bit more fun. We really wanted to show different sides of the band. It is all rock, the title of the album pretty much explains that, and we aren’t ripping anything off but when I write the songs I always try to think about what kind of rock music I like which is all different styles. So when you listen to the album you hear those different styles as well, and the idea is that this kind of music has been around for a long while so we just try to do songs in this genre. It isn’t exactly re-inventing the wheel but putting more wheels on sale I guess is the best way to describe it.”

The one thing that really strikes you about these two tracks is the catchiness of them Walk away after listening to Best Day Ever and you will be humming it for the rest of the day. “We’re all about hooks,” says Powell laughing. “It’s not even about what we do in the studio, it’s about how we write the track and then arrange it with the band. You get to do that in the studio as well but when you see us live it is there as well. That comes back to that classic type of song-writing, it is heavy but you still want to be able to whistle the tune. That was The Beatles concept – is the song memorable? Playing that kind of music though can be difficult, take Loaded Gun for example, you are holding it back a bit. It’s like AC/DC when you get a band to groove like that it is quite powerful, but that is hard to achieve just smashing away and doing what you like. There is restraint there but you also want that hook side, so you try to go for both.”

Whatever the recipe is that Riff Raiders are working on it obviously works because both Loaded Gun and Best Day Ever are something very special indeed.

Rue Morgue Records will be releasing an exclusive boutique seven inch single of one of Australia’s finest bands… Palace Of The King.

The track ‘Get Right With Your Maker’ backed with ‘One Of These Days’ will be available for sale via the Rue Morgue Records website AND the Golden Robot Records site as well.

We’re beyond stoked to be bringing you this release in association with Golden Robot Records and having said that, Rue Morgue Records is elated to be working with Tim and the boys as well!

We promise this is going to be a fantastic release for all concerned.

Rue Morgue Records Label head Raptis says, “I have photographed Palace Of The King many times in my other vocation as a Rock Photographer and I always enjoy the performance the band brings forth. To be able to work on them in what will be a very special project is incredible personally, and for a fledgling label such as Rue Morgue Records! Let’s take things up a notch hey?”

Palace Of The King – Get Right With Your Maker available soon at Rue Morgue Records and Golden Robot Records.

Watch this space!

Formed in late 2012, Palace Of The King – nameless at that point – quickly recorded a 3 track demo and developed the vision of a blues-in fused rock and roll band. Far from a grave-robbing retro trip, Palace Of The King has just as much in common with Rival Sons, Graveyard & JackWhite as they do Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath & Deep Purple. Remember when bands released an album a year and toured ’til the wheels fell off the tour van?

Having spent their formative years storming stages in every corner of Australia – alongside bands as varied as Airbourne and The Tea Party – and priming themselves for an international assault, Palace Of The King took their finely-honed live show through Europe in October 2015. Armed with 2 EPs, a full-length vinyl LP and a second full length studio album; this is a band that has earned their stripes and wear them with pride. “Palace Of The King is literally like a huge ground shaking Palace of RIFFS, SOUL and Rock’n’Roll.” comments Joel O’Keeffe, lead singer and guitarist of Airbourne.

“With more hooks and lines than a hard working Bering Sea fishing fleet they are guaranteed to tangle you up, reel you in and blow you away with their unique six-stringing, soul singing, sexy stomping Rock’n’Roll! They are the real fuckin’ deal!  Crank up POTK!”

In 2015, it was time for the White Bird to take flight. From three minute funk-infused rockers through to seven minute Sabbath-esque crushers, Palace Of The King seized the opportunity to explore every intricate corner of their influences and craft a debut album that caught a band at a point where ‘scratching the surface’ wasn’t nearly enough.

In 2016 the band unveiled Valles Marineris on 15th July 2016 (Europe/ UK), Valles Marineris deepened Palace Of The King’s footprint on the international rock music scene by expanding on the “raw, energetic, imaginative and boundary-pushing”

(Dedicated Rocker Society) qualities of their debut through an all- new 10 track collection of blues and psych-infused hard rock. Lead by the bruising gospel-tinged riffathon of ‘Let The Blood Run Free’, Valles Marineris is both eclectic and unrelenting right through to the final eerie piano fadeout of album closer ‘Into The Black’.

In support of the Valles Marineris album POTK toured constantly throughout 2016/17 covering Europe as headliners and as guest with Airbourne, hitting America for the second time and multiple laps of Auatralia as headline act and also as guests with The Angels, Baby Animals and the Screaming jets.

In classic road dog style the band recorded at every opportunity when they were off the road and they have captured the raw energy of the stage on the new album

Get Right With Your Maker. From the moment the epic album opener I Am The Storm envelopes you it’s hard not to think that this is the sound of a band that has come of age, and once the fist pumping anthem

It’s Been A Long Time Coming hits you in the face you know it.

The ‘freight train’ metaphor may be overused. But you’d be hard-pressed to find one that is better-suited to a band that has played constantly, released a mountain of music and expanded their markets at such a prolific rate.

Palace of the King are set to release brand new music across 2019 through Golden Robot Records.