What can we say about Wozniak that hasn't already been said? Signed to the epic 'Morningside Young Team Records' & producing powerful, atmospheric & blissfully emotive soundscapes that sweep through numerous sonic plains depositing high grade shoegaze creations onto the everyday humble folk who follow this band with intent - Wozniak are an immense outfit. After the release of their first single 'MFMB/New Hampshire' back in August 2013, second single 'El Maresme' in June 2014 & then their epic debut EP 'Pikes Peak' also in June 2014 the focus of the underground shoegazing world was set firmly on this 4 piece from Edinburgh, Scotland & they did not disappoint! On 12/11/14 they unleashed their brilliant new single '5 Star' onto the world alongside a remix of the same track by none other than London based noise merchants 'In Violet'. Add into the mix their inclusion in the epic worldwide shoegaze compilation - Revolution - The Shoegaze Revival released jointly by Ear To Ear Records & Gerpfast Kolektif plus an impressive cover version of the classic RIDE track 'Time Machine' for the recently released RIDE covers compilation 'Leave Them All Behind - A Tribute To Ride', from 'The Blog That Celebrates Itself Records', plus their inclusion in the joint EP from Scottish blogs - Scottish Fiction and Almost Predictable & you have a maelstrom of serious expectation's for what will come next from this amazing band. We caught up with them as they prepare to visit Dublin in what will be their debut live show in Ireland & asked them a few questions on playing live, playing with Irish rockers Makings & future plans. Check it out:
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1) TELL US ABOUT YOUR BAND? WHERE ARE YOU FROM? FORMATION? BAND MEMBERS?
Wozniak formed in Edinburgh in 2012 with a vague mission to create a lot of noise and use as many pedals as possible. We are Simon (guitar and chief pedal hoarder), James (bass), John (drums) and Sarah (guitar, vocals, occasional keys). We formed after Simon, John and I had played in a covers band a few times, but we quickly decided that we'd be better off doing our own thing, whatever that might be. We were amazing at a few indie classics though. And, in case you are wondering, we ARE named after Steve Wozniak.
2) DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND?
It's always so tricky to describe the sound, we're a bit of a cocktail of shoegaze, post-rock and noise. I guess there is some good, old-fashioned rock and roll in the mix too. It's loud and densely textured. We are huge fans of the holy trinity of gaze - reverb, distortion and delay - which will be obvious to anyone who's listened to our stuff. Where there are vocals, they're buried in reverb and fuzz too, which is probably a blessing for all involved. It is always surprising to hear the comparisons that other folk make, but someone recently said we reminded them of Band of Susans, which was fine with me.
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3) WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
We've got a wide range of influences, which is one of the reasons that I think Wozniak works so well. Otherwise all our songs would just be 20 mins of squalling feedback. Obviously, there is a lot of first generation shoegaze in there - MBV and Slowdive, some Sonic Youth, Warpaint, AC/DC, some Queens of the Stone Age. A heady brew of rackets, which uniquely combine to create our own racket.
4) DESCRIBE YOUR LIVE SOUND?
Our live sound can be pretty intense. We like to play loud, with feedback wailing. We are ALWAYS getting told to turn our amps down. Volume, though, is an important part of the Wozniak experience. We want you to leave with your ears ringing and (maybe) your heart soaring. A soundman once said that we were 'brutal, in a good way'.
5) WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT PLAYING LIVE?
Playing live is a lot of fun, but not without its stresses - will all the pedals work, will anyone turn up (you'll note the order of these concerns)... But when people do turn up, well, that's pretty cool. The best thing about playing live is when the audience are really into it. It doesn't have to be a big crowd, but when you can sense they are on your wave length, it's a great feeling. I also love checking out the other bands - we've played with a few of Primal Radio's favourites - Inuit, who got top album in your end-of-year show last year, We Came From The North & In Violet. All very talented, all very ace people. And venues - there are lots of great venues. We loved the Sebright Arms in London, and Bloc in Glasgow is great. In Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's, the Wee Red Bar and Opium are all worthy of note.
6) BEST LIVE GIG YOU GUYS HAVE PLAYED SO FAR?
I think the best live gig so far has to be our only show so far of 2015 at the Sebright Arms. It was just such a great adventure as we hadn't played in London before. We had the van, and the '100 greatest indie hits ever'. We were playing with In Violet and Degree of Arc who are awesome bands. The show had come about because In Violet and Wozniak got played on the same radio show in May last year and we got in touch over Twitter. They said, come to London, so Goodsoul Promotions got involved and got it sorted out. It was a brilliant venue, great people and a really good crowd. Plus, Mike Goodsoul and his awesome mum Norma made us breakfast. So much breakfast.
I also enjoyed playing at Edinburgh University's Rock and Goth Society - that was ages ago but it sticks in my mind as a good show. I think we were the band with the least amount of tattoos/ eyeliner ever to have played, but they were right into it.
7) ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING DUBLIN WITH MAKINGS?
We are amazed to have been asked to Dublin to make noise. I've decided to call it our European Capital Tour. First London, then Dublin, and then who knows where? I don't know a great deal about the Dublin scene, but I have high hopes as I imagine it is party central... Huge thanks are due to you, Del Chaney for making it happen. A few pints will be coming your way as a thank you!
8) WHAT'S NEXT FOR WOZNIAK THIS YEAR?
We've had a pretty busy start to the year, first featuring on the awesome Revolution - The Shoegaze Revival compilation from Ear to Ear Records and Gerpfast Kolektif, then we did a cover of Ride's 'Time Machine' for a tribute album from Brazil's 'The Blog That Celebrates Itself', and we've just featured on a joint EP from Scottish blogs, Scottish Fiction and Almost Predictable. Almost. If you haven't already, you should check all of those out.
Other than that, we've been in the studio a fair bit this year with the plan of making an album. However, that's quite an undertaking and it's going to take us a while to make it happen. So, we've decided that we're going to issue a four track EP in the meantime. It'll be out in June and we'll let you have all the details as soon as we know more ourselves. We've got a few shows lined up in Scotland around that and beyond that, we are open to offers...
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Photos Used With Permission: GabbyStonePhotography.co.uk.
by Primal Music
'Makings' are a tour de force on the Irish music scene right now. They are changing the perceptions of Irish music not only on the live circuit but with the songwriting and soundscapes that the band are creating in the studio. With wide musical influences coursing through every single track the band have a canny knack of sounding relevant, but a new relevant!
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Having recently finished up recording their debut album 'Cognition' and then managing to get one of the top producers in England Chris Potter who has previously worked with The Verve, Blur & The Rolling Stones, to pick over the production details the band have been working tirelessly on the live circuit perfecting their sound to hopefully catapult themselves skyward and breathe new lifeblood into the Irish music Scene and its fans. With that in mind we caught up with the band just after the announcement of the forthcoming gig in The Grand Social Dublin with Edinburgh based atmospheric shoegazers 'Wozniak' & we asked them a few questions on Music, Playing Live & Future Plans. Check it out:
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BAND? WHERE ARE YOU FROM? FORMATION? BAND MEMBERS?
Makings came together when Rick, from Louth (lead vocals, synth, guitar) & Shock (lead guitar, vocals) started to exchange ideas. After a few jams they realized they were in the need of Mr. Reynolds (drums, percussion, vocals), a friend of Shock from Donegal. The typical powerful rock sound of the band was born. While the band was carving a more electro sound they tried several bass players until they found Raul Marcos all the way from South America, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND?
We enjoy the fact that people have difficulty describing our sound, because we do too. We like rock and other genres like electro and dance music so in our music you get a fusion. Creating a banging electro beat with live drums on top, vocal harmonizations and raging guitars creates 'Makings' signature sound.
DESCRIBE YOUR LIVE SOUND? WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT IN MAY AT THE GRAND SOCIAL?
Insanely powerful. Our live sound is an authentic experience. We play for ourselves, to have a great craic and dance to the beat. The groove gets into the crowd and you can see that our live shows are proper electro rock parties.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT PLAYING LIVE?
The connection we get with the crowd, everybody's dancing, going wild and we get lots of energy that fuels our performance.
BEST LIVE GIG THAT YOU GUYS HAVE PLAYED SO FAR?
Definitely the gigs in the Grand Social. We love the venue , the people that go there and the bands we played with. We fill the place and have great nights smashing the dance floor during and after the gig.
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING DUBLIN WITH WOZNIAK?
Cannot wait!!! We dig their sound and the fact of doing gigs in Scotland & Ireland with them is really great. It will be a great experience :)
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WHAT'S NEXT THIS YEAR FOR MAKINGS?
Grand Social in May, UK and Ireland tour in June, and preparing the second album...
Big thanks to the guys from Makings & Pinkman Promotion & Management for taking the time to answer the interview questions. Makings play The Grand Social Dublin with Wozniak on 16th May 2015. The Primal Music Blog will be there in force covering every aspect of the gig.
New York based shoegazing noise merchants 'Honeymoon' came to our attention last month when we reviewed their epic debut EP release 'I Wanna See Everything'. With a sound full of shoegazing tendencies intertwined with the tenacity of the traditional noise pop fraternity & an infusion of subtle dreampop swirls this band are uniquely modern in todays shoegazing circles. We caught up with them & asked them a few questions on music, shoegazing, future plans & recommended listening. Check out their rather short answers below:
We're a fairly new band, having only formed in the Autumn of 2014. We're based in Brooklyn, NY. Cait sings and plays guitar, Rob plays guitar, Nate plays bass, and Ryan plays drums.
We're somewhere in the realm of shoegaze and dream pop, with a heavy dose of brit pop and punk influence.
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WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
When we were writing and recording I Wanna See Everything, we were listening to lots of The Smiths, Beach Fossils, and My Bloody Valentine. All of us grew up on punk rock and hardcore music, going to DIY shows in our hometowns and playing in garage bands and all that.
DESCRIBE YOUR LIVE SOUND?
We're a bit heavier live than we are on record. The gain is cranked up a bit and we tend to play faster.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT PLAYING LIVE?
It's a trip, man.
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BEST LIVE GIG YOU GUYS HAVE PLAYED SO FAR?
It's too early to really pick a favorite, but we managed to sell out our first gig. That was very exciting.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SHOEGAZE?
Shoegaze is like a warm blanket that might make you deaf.
IS IT A SHOEGAZE REVIVAL OR A REBIRTH? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NEW FILM 'BEAUTIFUL NOISE' AND REUNIONS OF SUCH BANDS LIKE RIDE, SWERVEDRIVER, MEDICINE & SLOWDIVE?
I haven't seen the film, but shoegaze never really went away in my opinion - it just sort of changed forms. I always saw post rock bands like God Is An Astronaut or This Will Destroy You as being an evolution of what bands like Slowdive and Ride were doing. And now you've got bands like Nothing and Whirr who take post rock and shoegaze and mix it with sounds that you'd expect from Neurosis or Isis or something. Hell, there's even Deafheaven who are a black metal band that clearly owe something to Loveless.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR THE WORLD TO HEAR YOUR MUSIC? WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR INTERNATIONAL READERS?
I'd prefer to play music instead of having a day job, so please. For all our sakes. Give us a listen, won't ya?
MUSICALLY WHAT ARE YOUR BANDS PLANS FOR THE NEXT YEAR?
Writing, potentially recording a short single soon, and some light touring.
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CAN YOU NAME SOME BANDS FROM YOUR COUNTRY OR ELSEWHERE AS RECOMMENDED LISTENING?
Wildhoney. They're one of the coolest bands on the planet right now.
Kyiv based 'On The Wane' are a truly Immense musical force! They released their stunning debut album 'Dry' on the 19th December 2014. We had the pleasure of viewing it for the Primal Music Blog & you can check out what we thought of it: HERE
'On The Wane' are well balanced, competent musicians who are not afraid to experiment with sound. Not only do they create sonically astute soundscapes through the medium of high octane shoegazing but they also breach the barriers between genre’s to produce a melodic concoction of 80’s/90’s Post-Punk, New-Wave & full on Noise-Rock. On the verge of their first Ukrainian tour, we caught up with the band and asked them a few questions on influences, shoegaze, future plans, their beautiful country & inspirations. Check it out:
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We are “On The Wane” from Kyiv, Ukraine. Eugene, Daria and Alexander played together in another band previously. 1.5 years ago we decided to play another music in a new band. Few months later we met Anna, she became our drummer. So “On The Wane” was born. It was March of 2014. It was a very hard time for our country The revolution was over but Russia had just started a war in Ukraine. All of our songs were written in this past year so they are maybe a little bit gloomy.
We want to unite guitar noise and the groovy riffs of rock music. We are between noise, rock, punk and shoegaze. Now we are trying to introduce elements of other non typical(for us) genres of music like surf and even twist! But we still play noisy alternative rock.
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Of course, our biggest influence is “Sonic Youth”. It can be heard by everybody who listens to our tracks. But now we try to find our own sound. It’s like “Blonde Redhead”, for example. Their first albums were similar to “Sonic Youth”. But later they found their sound which can’t be confused with anything else. Other our influences are mostly alternative bands of 80s-90s: Cure, R.E.M, Wire, Pixies, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins, Iggy Pop etc.
It’s noisy! :) There are many pop-rock or britpop bands in Ukraine. So most of soundmen in clubs can't understand why we ask them to set vox quieter and to set guitars louder. They think it's unnormal. We must argue with them at almost every our gig. That's why it was difficult to find good soundman for mixing and mastering our tracks for album too. Fortunately we found Alexander Chabanenko. He have done all that we wanted and even more.
We like to feel the energy. We like when people slam and mosh under a stage. We like when people know the words of our songs. When people give their emotions and energy, we give it to them too. Playing live is the best feeling in life. It's like sex ....... but better!
BEST LIVE GIG THAT YOU GUYS HAVE PLAYED SO FAR?
We are young band, so we haven’t played on big stages or at big festivals yet. Now we only play in clubs. Our last gig in one of these clubs was cool. The general public were nice. In a months time we go to our first Ukrainian tour. We hope that the public in other cities will be cool too.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START MAKING MUSIC?
We just love music. Music is our life. We can’t stop listening to it. And we can't stop playing it either. We love our guitars & drums, our garage, our city. All of this inspires us. Kyiv is a nice place. It can be very friendly and blooming. But it can be gloomy and frightening too. We live in scary but great period. It's time of great changes for our country & for us. We've already showed that we are not a part of the USSR or ex-USSR already, we are just part of a civilized world. This inspires us too.
We like that guys like Kevin Shields or Robin Guthrie decided to play music that it wasn't similar to music played by other bands of that period. It was challenging. They invented a new sound and a new type of music and it was great!
IS IT A SHOEGAZE REVIVAL OR A REBIRTH? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THR RECENT FILM 'BEAUTIFUL NOISE' AND REUNIONS OF BANDS LIKE RIDE, SWERVEDRIVER, MEDICINE & SLOWDIVE?
It’s a revival. All these band reunions are really great, but we don’t believe that we will hear new “Souvlaki” for example. The world needs new bands, new brave guys that can invent electric guitar anew, like Hendrix or Thurston and Lee did that in their times. Alternative rock more dead than alive. Its a sad statement but a true one. 'Beautiful Noise' is a good film about old times. But we prefer to listen to bands instead of watching films about them.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR THE WORLD TO HEAR YOUR MUSIC? WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH INTERNATIONAL LISTENERS?
We don't know if it's important for somebody to listen to our music. We are glad that somebody thinks it's good. If somebody feels something hearing us, this is awesome! One message that we can share with our listeners is don't spend your time listening to bad music! Listen to music that evokes emotions! That's all.
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We plan to record our new EP or maybe a new LP. Maybe it will be this year? We do have some new tracks. We dream about a European tour. If we could find label that help us to organize gigs in Europe, we would be delighted. This is our main goal now.
We are proud that we lived in a country with “Ummagma”. We think they are one of the best dream-pop bands ever. Another nice shoegaze Ukrainian band is “Mandarinaduck”. We love their songs. And we like other nugaze/dreampop bands like 'Ringo Deathstarr', 'Place to Bury Strangers' & 'DIIV'. One of the best punk-bands of this past year is 'White Lung'. And we adore 'Savages’, they are a perfect post-punk band.
Postpunk? Shoegaze ? Pop? Hermetic Delight aren’t afraid to play with aesthetics, embracing a singular identity. With the release of Heartbeat 12’’, in 2013, their last maxi single that splashed all over the blogosphere, the five members of Hermetic Delight have built up a solid following and are a band to keep an eye on. Founded in 2011 & hailing from Strasbourg in France, we caught up with the band and asked them a few questions on Music, Future Plans & their involvement in Revolution - The Shoegaze Revival. Check it out:
WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOUR BAND AND HOW YOU ORIGINALLY CAME TOGETHER?
We are a 5 piece band from Strasbourg/France in 2 guitars, a bass, drums and a singer format. We’re making this music that is sometimes called to remind a good mixture of noise pop and shoegaze.
We can say that the band was actually formed by Delphine (drums). She took up drum lessons for a while and she wanted and needed to form a band. She had met Bob (bass) and Atef (guitar). They kept playing together for a while and when Geoffrey (guitar) and Zeynep (vocals) arrived in 2010, the actual line up was ready to go.
This has always been a difficult question because each member in the band is into listening to various kinds of musical styles. Our tastes make an eclectic blend altogether but to start with, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, Wire, Sonic Youth, etc. are what comes out as influences on both the sound and shape of our band.
Everyone in the band has a different story to tell. Some of us started at really early ages some of us a little bit later. What inspired us maybe, is the urge to smash our heads on punk rock (as Sebadoh named it well.)
IS IT A SHOEGAZE REVIVAL OR A REBIRTH? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RECENT FILM 'BEAUTIFUL NOISE' AND REUNIONS OF SUCH BANDS LIKE RIDE, SWERVEDRIVER, MEDICINE & SLOWDIVE?
It is too early to tell whether this is a revival or a rebirth, but it somewhat seems like both of them are happening. I haven’t watched the film yet, but I definitely will. One of the best parts of this now is that we get to see many of these first-wave bands in live action. We missed the chance to see when they were active because many of us were too young and some of us weren’t even born yet. It’s also amazing that these bands are still great today and that they continue to write new stuff.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE RECENT REVOLUTION SHOEGAZE REVIVAL COMPILATION?
All of a sudden, Gerpfast Kolektif from Indonesia contacted us to send a title for an upcoming joint shoegaze compilation with Ear to Ear Records, but we really didn’t know that this would be such a huge event! This has been a good occasion for us to consider how widespread the shoegaze community really is, and this is very exciting for us to receive such positive feedback from all around the world about this compilation.
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MUSICALLY, WHAT ARE YOUR BANDS PLANS OVER THE NEXT YEAR?
The next year for us will be about composing as much as we can for an album that we plan to release in 2016 but meanwhile we won’t totally leave live acts aside and we will surely make small surprise releases from time to time. We are in negotiation process with labels at the moment.
IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO COVER ANY ARTIST, WHO WOULD IT BE & WHY?
We already did two covers for a digital release that came up in 2013. The Funeral Party from The Cure (which is included in the compilation) and The Gravedigger’s Song from Mark Lanegan. The first reason was our desire to pay homage to two musicians, who we respect and love. At the same time, the idea to try to challenge ourselves by experimenting with these songs without totally turning them into mutants, but to reshape them in order to try give an essence of H.D. anyway, was a fun thing to try.
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IF YOU HAD TO PICK 1 OR 2 OR 3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Heartbeatful noise, edgy and danger.
'Tuath' are an Irish language prog/ psych/ noise/ gaze band from Donegal/Galway & Dublin in the Republic Of Ireland who specialises in recording, producing & self releasing magnificent soundscapes through the medium of gaze! The outfit started off as just Robert Mulhern, sick and tired of being let down by other musicians, he got together with a band hell bent on exposing the Irish language to a bigger audience. He decided that his native tongue would help spread the word & be the vehicle that was needed to get the Irish language out through their songs! Eventually the project was minimised to just himself & Ashley Mobasser ( Saxophone) for recording purposes only, with session musicians coming on board for live experimentations! Their debut 7 track EP - 'Tuath - An Taobh TAat(hail)' had its official release on 17th March 2015. We caught up with Rob & Ashley from the band and peppered them with a few question on influences, future plans & shoegaze! Check it out:
WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT THE FORMATION OF THE BAND & YOUR HISTORY?
'Tuath' was started by me (Rob) in my sitting room in Galway, Ireland. At the time of recording & mixing it I was in the process of working on an EP for another band of which I play bass in called 'The Death Letter Devils'. I was playing around with my loop pedal after a stressful day of mixing so I recorded some bland guitar chord progression for a song that will be on our second EP called 'Poll Mór',
I recorded drums, bass, 2 guitars and zero vocals for half of it and I used it to pretend that we were an already existing band and that we just needed a 'new drummer' & ' bassist' for it. Declan Huban(cracking drummer) and Dave Cigs(cracking bass player) fit the bill and off we went. My wonderful warrior girlfriend Rachel and I were running an open mic at the time and Ashley Mobasser showed up. We jammed over some Jazzy stuff and I invited him to be in the band. He accepted and off we went.
ASHLEY: Biggest influences are John Zorn, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver & Black Sabbath,
ROB: My biggest influences are Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Primus & Korn. I stopped listening to bands around the age of 20 because Techno and Dubstep seemed more interesting. I still don't really listen to music but have really fallen in love with 'The Northern Drones' from Dublin.
Our sound is quite varied and will continue to change a lot due to the fact that much of it is coming directly from my (Robs) back catelog of the best of failed projects from different parts of my development. At the moment electronics are starting to become more stationary but there is talk of a desert rock EP in the not to distant future. Our first EP was largely progressive, noise rock & shoegaze with some elements of Techno. Our second EP is doom jazz influenced and damn near metal levels of palm muted guitars! The lyrics are largely about depressing stuff but Ashley and I are thinking of doing a 'Shadows' influenced spaghetti western type of thing with whisteling and trumpets and some telecasters! Drum n' Bass is a big influence of mine. Im going to donate money to the surviving Winstons members from the profits of our music. How much will depend on what I can afford, but we owe them a lot.
ASHLEY: What inspired me? Music was the only thing that gave my life a purpose and made me feel alive.
ROB: What inspired me to start making music was a few guys around me. My friend Eamonn McGee taught me the opening chords to 'Tonight Tonight' by the 'Smashing Pumpkins' & I was fascinated as it was the first thing I was able to do well & very quickly. Then I heard 'System Of A Down' and there was no quenching my thirst. Their first album has some of the best guitar work ever.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR THE WORLD TO HEAR YOUR MUSIC? WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH INTERNATIONAL LISTENERS?
The reason that I decided to sing in this band was because I didn't think anyone else would see my vision correctly and I didn't want to argue with anyone over the end decisions. Drawing on my experience in Portugal, a country whose culture is insanely rich and romantic and juicy and vibrant, all I could see everywhere were TV's playing VH1's nostalgic 80's pop hits, like - 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' etc etc. This upset me, as people were just kinda singing along and nobody even spoke English. So this lead me to really see how much the English language is gentrifying culture accross the Globe. These people are being exposed to mind numbing drivel when they could be exposed to the beautiful culture of 'Faro' music and other such things. This is when I decided that hearing brutal music on the radio (sung in english) & seeing Irish people acting like 'Tupac' when they have probably never even seen a gun their whole lives, just made me think that We Are Having The Piss Taken Out Of Us so I chose our native tongue as a medium of vocalisation. I have strong feelings about it. Also, my main gripe with it is that the language is being destroyed by Nationalism and guilt. When I was growing up I hated the language because it was forced down my throat by Nationalists - specifically in my Secondary School. It was Nazism on a smaller scale. I also don't care about 32 counties either. I think we need to leave them on their own. They have been living in the 'Occupied 6' for just as long as we foreign french 'gauls(gaels)' invaded Ireland for the first time and we invaded them first so Nationalism is just a tool that divides people and I could not care less about it. The Irish language is a beautiful, descriptive, floaty sounding language. It has with it - gutteral tones, lovely oohs & aahs that when combined with reverb and delay result's in top quality sounds and rhythms. It also obscures the measuring stick for me as nobody can really be compared to me vocally because nobody has done this before. If you take the reverb and delay away then my voice sounds like a frog croaking. The message I want to send is that our language is class. Its upsetting that we are willing to let it die as a language. It is a window into the past & words are the amber that preserve the mosquito of culture and to lose that is to lose the history of an entire people.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE BANDS & ALBUMS?
ROB: SOAD, Toxicity - Unknown Mortal Orchestra(all of it), Primus - Tales From The Punchbowl, Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist, Black Sabbath - Paranoid, Tool - Aenima, Aphex Twin - Drugs, Tame Impala(All Of It), Fear Factory - Archetype, Format B -Restless, Meshuggah - obzen. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew, Phantogram - Eyelid Movies, Holy Fuck - both Lp's...those guys are so awesome!, The Flying Eyes - Self Titles.
ASHLEY: Headhunters by Hancock, Ten by Pearl Jam, Cape Verdean Blues by Horace Silver & Aenima by Tool.
MUSICALLY WHAT ARE YOUR BANDS PLANS OVER THE NEST YEAR?
We plan to play all over the place! Release an album & 3 EP's, do a live soundtrack for a silent film(all the cool kids are doing it) & the grand mission is to be able to afford better equipment to make it so we can play more dense sets live with visuals and head to europe and the states for a tour(s).
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER:
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. He also currently writes for Canadian based online music webzine ReplicantEars. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
Italian shoegazing is on the rise as far as we're concerned here in the Primal Music Blog HQ. Every one of our contributing writers are in agreement. Italian 'Nu- Shoegaze' bands are creating some of the best sonic sounds around, not only in Italy, but in our opinion, some of the best in Europe!
CLUSTERSUN are an Italian based band riding the crest of the Italian shoegaze tidal wave right now. They create sonically astute, washy, loud shoegazey reverberations infused with blissful walls of sound, cold wave atmospheres & crystal clear dreamy melodies. The band are Marco Chisari - vocals & bass, Mario Lo Faro - guitars, Piergiorgio Campione - synthesizers, keyboards & backing vocals & Andrea Conti - drums. Hailing from Catania, Italy, the band have been together since the beginning of 2013. Their first selfproduced single “Be Vegetal” was included in the CD Summer Sampler 2013 published by american indie label Custom Made Music (Peter Hook & The Light, Freebass, Ringo Deathstarr, Dead Leaf Echo). After that they got signed to the italian indie label Seahorse Recordings for the release of the first album “Out Of Your Ego”. We caught up with the band as they prepare for their first American East Coast tour ( April 23rd to May 3rd - New York, Boston Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Providence, Lancaster, and Lowell) & asked them about their influences, band history & future plans. Check it out:
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Who are you? Tell us about your band and how you originally came together?
CLUSTERSUN are basically four long-time and really close friends from Catania, Italy, that enjoy making loud noises together. Everything started at the beginning of 2013, when all us four began to rehearse together just for having fun and playing loud. Very loud! We instantly found a wonderful feel and interplay between us: that comfortable sensation of speaking the same musical language, with cranked amps, reverbs and eyes pointed at our feet. So our strong human interconnection and common musical background helped a lot in moving things really fast. We soon self-produced our first song, "Be Vegetal" and put it on Soundcloud. The wonderful Dave Allison of U.S. indie label Custom Made Music heard it and appreciated it: he included it in CMM Summer Sampler, a compilation of shoegaze, post-punk, psych, garage from great acts of all over the world. That really pushed things up and was a big spotlight for us. A few weeks later we signed with Italian indie label Seahorse Recordings, run by Italian underground legend Paolo Messere: he brought us in the studio at the end of 2013 for recording our first album "Out Of Your Ego", which came out in April 2014.
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Describe your sound?
We try to mix shoegaze, dreampop, coldwave and psychedelia with hypnotic-obsessive bass lines, dark and cold drum pattern, a strongly expressive guitar with a range that goes from ambient ethereal mood to fuzz-and-reverb madness, fat analog synths and dreamy vocal melodies. Our album "Out Of Your Ego" came out with a distinctive airy-spacey-dreamy-ethereal mood that we love, but we are now at work exploring our fuzzier, grittier, dirtier side in the live renditions of the album tracks and especially in the new material that is coming out at rehearsals. We hate to stand still.
What do you love about shoegaze?
Shoegaze is a music that can bring you to another dimension, sonically and mentally. It lets you a lot of freedom and big room for experimentation, allowing your creativity to expand in many directions. From a musician’s point of view is like a place where you’re encouraged to breaking borders and pushing things at their limits.
Your song ‘Hipnosis’ is on the compilation ‘REVOLUTION – The Shoegaze Revival’. How did that come about and what does this all mean?
We were delighted to be involved In “REVOLUTION - The Shoegaze Revival”, which is an international compilation put together for Ear to Ear Records by a great artist and friend Shauna McLarnon – she is the vocalist in one of the bands we love most, Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma. We were glad to contribute with our single “Hipgnosis”, that sits in excellent company alongside stunning tracks by 30 amazing bands from 16 countries of the world, covering 5 of the 6 inhabited continents: Orangenoise (Pakistan), Sounds of Sputnik (Russia), The Yours (Hong Kong), Trementina (Chile), Ummagma (Canada-Ukraine), Digilite (Indonesia), Jaguwar (Germany), Stellarscope (USA), Spool (Japan), Wozniak (Scotland), Ether Feels (Japan), Hideous Towns (Australia), Lights That Change (Wales, UK), Damascus (Indonesia), Weird. (Italy), Hermetic Delight (France), Rev Rev Rev (Italy), The Evening Primrose (Hong Kong), Stella Diana (Italy), Seaside (Indonesia), Blood Lips (UK), Magao (Japan), Clustersun (Italy), Duelectrum (Brazil), Intenna (Indonesia), Robsongs (Brazil), Slow Motion Picture (USA), Thud (Hong Kong), Sharesprings (Indonesia), and Puna (Peru). This compilation was released on British label Ear To Ear Records and the Indonesian label Gerpfast Kolektif – this is one of the major shoegaze events of 2015, a detailed representation of what shoegaze was, is and also where it could go, as confirmed by the great endorsement and support by legends like Creation Records co-founder Joe Foster, Graham Bonnar (Swervedriver/ Brian Jonestown Massacre), Stephen Lawrie (The Telescopes), and Louise Trehy (Swallow/ Strata Florida). We are so proud to be part of this. [Editor’s note: check out our recent interview with Joe Foster here].
Why is it important for the world to hear your music? What kind of message would you like to share with international listeners?
We can only say we make visionary music for visionary people, in the most genuine and honest way; we don’t pretend to deliver a particular message to our listeners, maybe an aesthetic ideal.
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Musically, what are your bands plans over the next year?
2015 is going to be a really great year for us! In just a few days we’ll announce our first American tour, 9 gigs on the East Coast between New York, Boston Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Providence, Lancaster, and Lowell, from April 23rd to May 3rd. After that we’ll plan touring in Italy and Europe for summer. We are also still at work on new material and it's a very productive and inspiring time for us. We have completed a bunch of new songs that are coming out in a grittier, edgier and more aggressive mood compared to the ones on the album.
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Can you name some bands from your country or elsewhere as recommended listening?
So many great emerging acts to discover in our country, we highly recommend Rev Rev Rev, Stella Diana, Novanta, My Invisible Friends, In Her Eye, A Modern Way To Die, Weird, La Casa Al Mare, The Crackers, Kimono Lights, 86Sandals, Sonic Jesus, Snow In Mexico, Last Movement, Electric Floor, Allie’s Dope, Winter Severity Index, Klam, Ash Code, and Geometric Vision. You will be able to hear (and download) many of them on the compilation out this week from Shoegazin’ Your Waves.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Keep following CLUSTERSUN at the links below.
Duelectrum are a shoegaze/noise pop band from São Paulo, Brazil, formed by Filipe Albuquerque (guitars), Franklin Weise (bass) and Elson Barbosa (drums), who also plays bass guitar in the super indie post-rock group Herod. As a duo (Filipe e Franklin), Duelectrum independently released the "Duelectr1" EP in 2001, which is now out of print. The "Electrolândia" EP was released in 2008 by Pisces Records and Sinewave.
Sinewave released the "Tempestadestelar" EP, which contains songs recorded between 2002 and 2005, in 2002, as well as the single "Chocolate Love" in 2008. In August 2014, the band released "She Doesn't Feel the Sun" (EP), with a guest appearance by Lucas Lippaus (Herod, Hopping to Collide With, S.O.M.A.) on guitars.
When we talk about modern day shoegazing bands, Brazil based Duelectrum are never far away from peoples lips! Their explosive walls of reverb laden sound are electrifying, emotive, passionate & expressive. Their live shows are a full on assault on your senses, bringing their fans on a musical journey with every note that they play! With their recent inclusion on the massive duel label, shoegaze compilation release - 'Revolution The Shoegaze Revival' on both 'Ear To Ear Records' & 'Gerpfast Kolektif Records', we caught up with the band and peppered them with some intrusive questions on all things music. Check out their frank but agreeable answers below:
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Who are you? Tell us about your band and how you originally came together.
I'm Filipe Albuquerque, I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, currently living in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. We started Duelectrum in May 1999 as a duo, with just Franklin Weise and I. At the very beginning, we used to play with a drum machine. Since them, we started to play some concerts (not much) and we recorded four EPs — Duelectr1 (2001); Eletrolândia (2008); Tempestadestelar (2009); and She Doesn't Feel The Sun (2014). We also issued one single — Chocolate Love (2010).
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Who are your biggest influences?
Hard to say, but the shoegaze stuff from late 80's and early 90's, plus some of current bands. Jesus and Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins, the first three Starflyer 59 albums, MBV, Spacemen 3, Astrobrite, Nothing, and Whirr.
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What inspired you to start making music?
Listening to good records, and seeing great bands playing live.
The idea of taking some pop approach, with great melodies, with noisy and loud guitars, some feedback and smooth vocals.
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Is it a Shoegaze revival or a rebirth? What do you think about the recent film 'Beautiful Noise' and reunions of such bands like Ride, Swervedriver, Medicine and Slowdive?
I think this kind of sound has always been there since the late 80's, influenced by 60's garage bands. The comeback of these bands you mentioned, and the documentary, all these things have brought some light to the sound. Plus there are a huge number of new bands making some good noise, who are keeping the scene rocking. But I cannot really say if this is a revival or even a rebirth, because I really don't know.
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What can we expect to see happening with Duelectrum in the near future?
To release a full length and also give some concerts. We just want to make a lot of noise as loud as we can and sing about ordinary stuff.
From Brazil we have - Herod, This Lonely Crowd, Loomer, Traveling Wave, Justine Never Knew the Rules, The Soundscapes...
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If you had the chance to cover any artist who would it be, what song and why?
We recorded a version of “Eisbaer” by Grausone, in our EP released last year. Also, we used to play Slowdive and some Starflyer 59 tunes at past concerts. For the next record, we have the idea of making a version of a song called "Minha Vida" from a Brazilian hitmaker named Lulu Santos. The lyrics from that song are great, and I think we can make a good noisy version of that song.
If you had to pick 1 or 2 or 3 words to describe your music, what would they be?
Pop, Noisy, Loud.
God bless you all!
Slow Motion Picture are a New York based 5 piece band who's immense atmospheric sound spans many genre's, from Shoegaze & Indie through into Space Rock & the realm of the epic Film Score. Their debut album - 'In Memory Of…' is covered in layers of hidden meanings and buried references to characters its listeners will never actually meet, yet still takes its audience on a journey of pure empathy. Each of the album’s ten songs are based upon a ghost story that multi-instrumentalist/guitarist Brian Caesar (As Tall As Lions) wrote in his early twenties as a way to cope with the passing of his father. Filling each song with haunting vocal melodies, luscious orchestral accompaniment and endless layers of fuzz driven guitars, Caesar, along with former vocalist Lauren Edman (Sleepthief), developed a sound that blended the depth of modern film scores with an airy timbre reminiscent of the shoegaze bands of the early 90’s. Bringing in drummer Aaron Kelly, bassist Dan Timmons and keyboard/synth player Marco Talamo enabled Edman and Caesar to finally bring these songs to the stage in 2013. The band recently added the heart-stopping voice of Scottish singer/multi-instrumentalist Anna Popplestone to its lineup and are looking forward to playing several dates in support of their new LP.
With their recent inclusion in the epic duel label release, 30 band shoegaze compilation - 'Revolution -The Shoegaze Revival', we caught up with the band to ask them about their influences, shoegaze tendencies & what the future holds for them musically. We'd like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the band for taking the time to answer our questions. Check it out:
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Who are you? Tell us about your band.
My name is Brian Caesar and I am in a band called Slow Motion Picture. We started originally as a duo writing songs under a different name. I had some musical accompaniments to these ghost stories that I had written after my father passed on a few years prior and started working with Lauren Edman (our former singer) to try to make these ideas work as songs.
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How did you originally come together?
We would email music, lyrics and top line melody ideas to each other back and forth and they quickly just turned into the songs that I always wanted them to be. We ended up recording a demo EP with some of the songs that would later end up on our debut album that came out this past year. When we wanted to start playing some shows we brought in Aaron Kelly our drummer and after a few different other players were able to finally settle on Dan Timmons as our bassist and Marco Talamo as our keyboard player.
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Who are your biggest influences?
Sigur Ros, Verve, Florence + The Machine, Fleetwood Mac, Smashing Pumpkins, Elbow, Doves, Mew, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Catherine Wheel, Swervedriver.. to name a few. Otherwise, I am highly influenced by a lot of film scores. All of those intricate parts and textures that awaken your senses and help you empathize more with the characters are what I strive to do in my writing.
I'm glad that you worded it that way and not "What is your genre?" .. we cross over a lot of different genres and sub genres within our sound. I like to think of it as cinematic indie space rock.
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I feel that shoegaze really encompasses a lot of the same emotional qualities that film scores have. The driving guitars, the clashing melodies all of it just creates this amazing tonality that takes you somewhere else. I can honestly say that it is my favorite genre because to me it is the only genre to truly capture emotion and surround you with it.
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Is it a Shoegaze revival or a rebirth? What do you think about reunions of such bands like Ride, Swervedriver, Medicine and Slowdive?
I actually don't think that shoegaze ever really left, but these days it's getting turned on to more and more people. The Grunge era, and Brit-pop eras came in and took over for a bit on the surface, but a lot of those bands had that 'shoegaze' undertone to them. I can't listen to Smashing Pumpkin's Siamese Dream and not think that there is a lot of the same fuzzed out shoegaze that there is on Swervedriver's Duel or MBV's Loveless. Some people say that shoegaze kind of tapered off, but on the contrary since the first appearance of the genre, more and more films, television shows and even commercials started incorporating its influence into their background scores. It was always there directing our feelings in one direction or another. I feel that more recently with bands like M83 & Sigur Ros bringing together these grandiose symphonic ideas and being able to break them up into song structure, that it almost is the evolution of classical film score.
Swervedriver and Slowdive were two of my favorite bands ever. Getting the chance to see them again will be magical. And the fact that they're all selling out much larger venues than they used to play is just further proof that shoegaze has never left.
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Can you tell us about your involvement in the Revolution shoegaze compilation?
I am a huge fan of Ummagma and Sounds of Sputnik. When 'Ear to Ear Records' asked if we would be on this amazing compilation, I jumped for joy. I didn't even know what it was going to be, but hearing that we'd get to be on a compilation with two of my favorite bands got me so excited. Then upon seeing the list of artists featured on it., my mind was blown.. I feel like I am part of something historic. Like I'm on one of my favorite soundtracks.
Music is a way for me to heal. It is probably the way that I communicate best with the world and seeing that it has had an effect on listeners tells me that I did something right.
We're hoping to play a bunch more shows along the East Coast and start working on a new EP.
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Melbourne based 'Bloodhounds On My Trail' create a 60's sounding fuzzy psychedelic imprint that not only connect 80's atmospheric post-punk to early 90's gaze but also add a modern edge to their immense soundscapes. A love of shoegaze bands of the late 1980s to early 90s provided the catalyst for the formation of the band. Since then, members Johnny Green (guitar, vocals), Chris Donaldson (guitar), Jonny O’Hara (bass) and Nik Donaldson (drums) have sought to fuse the rhythmic underpinnings of bands like the Velvet Underground and the Stooges with the dream haze of Cocteau Twins and Slowdive. With an addictive, reverb soaked, maelstrom of layered effects and beautiful melodies their sound could grace any soundtrack of a modern day musical audience. 'Bloodhounds On My Trail' are one of our favourite bands right now & we are stoked to have interviewed them for the blog. Their latest amazing release - Escape EP is available to download from their Bandcamp Page HERE. We also reviewed it for The Primal Music Blog and you can read our thoughts on it HERE.
We new releases in the pipeline & serious attention building around the band, we caught up with them and asked them a few questions about their influences, future plans & their thoughts on shoegaze!
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1) Who are you? Tell us about the formation of the band & your history?
We are Bloodhounds On My Trail from Melbourne, Australia who practice the art form of music, writing songs, sharing experiences & falling out. In other words, we are a band. It all started pretty spontaneously with Johnny and Nik jamming on a few ideas that I had on a loop pedal. Johnny was listening to a lot of Jesus and Mary Chain at the time and that really inspired him to start a new band. Once they had worked out a few songs (incl 'She's In My Plans') Chris was asked to come check out what they were doing with it in mind to have him join as another guitarist since two guitarists could create a big sound. After hearing what the then duo had created Chris was immediately impressed and keen to contribute to what they were creating. After some practices as a trio a good friend Jonny O'Hara was recruited on bass who appeared on Escape EP. Shortly after the release of that EP O'Hara parted ways & Che (of Miniatures) threw his hat in the ring to punch out the 4 stringer. A brief history for a band that has only been around for just over a year.
2) Who are your biggest influences?
We focus heavy on the song writing aspect & find influence comes more from life & experiences than just music. We don't ever decide we like a particular tune so we try to do one like it. Its more the fact that tunes are written that capture a particular mood musically & have a particular content lyrically. Influence on writing a song comes from conscious thought that's decided by what happens to & around us or to an individual and the music is a subconscious influences based on the music we enjoy to listen to. As the music aspect goes, as a band we are into a wide range of music (anything from late 80s, early 90's UK/US stuff to Rockabilly to Punk) and we really dig that. It helps in keeping the ideas interesting and exciting. We collaborate and flesh out a lot of songs from a basic idea Johnny or Chris bring to the table and it's really cool when you leave rehearsal with a song that has taken a direction that you didn't see coming... Those are the songs that give us a buzz.
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3) Describe your sound?
Underneath it all we hope our song writing comes through followed by a big sound sonically. We are always trying to keep tunes very much together in terms of the instrumentation so we can have a thick blanket of sound. Maybe think of drone sounding guitars where the bass denotes chord changes & a most solid of beats. Add to that some JAMC inspired riffs melodies that are emotive.
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4) What inspired you to start making music?
It's best when it's more in your blood than a particular moment when you decide to make music. Sure there are turning points that may make you do something because it inspired you but music had always been a big part of growing up for all of us so it's just been a natural step from the beginning. Like Johnny got into a lot of bands (The Smiths, The clash, The White Stripes, The Beach Boys...all the good stuff) from the vinyl his Dad played from the lounge room. Wasn't something consciously thought about, just loved hearing new bands and new songs so figured why not learn guitar and start a band. The brothers (Nik & Chris), like Che as well grew up with a musical parents so nature + nurture will always win.
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5) What do you love about shoegaze?
The music itself just hits the right chord with all of us. Never really thought about it. Just heard and loved it immediately. Also the "scene" is a great community really. All supportive. The way it always has been really. It's niche. Niche people always get each other more.
6) Why is it important for the world to hear your music? What kind of message would you like to share with international listeners?
Because like bands that we love, be that local or international, everyone can bring something great. We like to think that people could be getting a good buzz of hearing our music just like when anyone listen to anything that they enjoy. As for a message... Escape?
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7) What are some of your favorite bands or albums?
We wanna take this question to plug some Roogaze (Australian Shoegaze) that we love (no particular order of course): Lowtide, Contrast, Miniatures, Hideous Towns, Flyying Colours, Blush Response, Luna Ghost, Kigo, Lunaire, Roku Music, Fait. So many. Probably missed some!
8) Musically, what are your bands plans over the next year?
Been writing a lot of new songs recently and plan to release a couple of singles in this year followed by an EP. We have just finished recording a cover of a ''Dreams Burn Down" by gaze fav's Ride for a Ride tribute compilation that is available on 'the blog that celebrates itself' bandcamp - check it out! Other than that, play more shows locally, around Australia and internationally perhaps!
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Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave, but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm The Primal Radio Show has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. He also currently writes for Canadian based online music webzine ReplicantEars. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.