Myles Knight has a new track out and we at Roots Live Music are pushing the idea that the best way to support our amazing original artists and help the music scene is to buy the tracks to download that way the artist get the cash to write more stuff.
For a mere £0.59 you can own some original art and bask in the knowledge you have supported and made a real difference and even if you only buy one track a week 4 or 5 tracks a month it’s still less then a coffee at Starbucks
Myles Knight is a Nottingham born Singer/Songwriter, who has been described as a ‘Quick Witted’ and a ‘Stellar’ Songwriter with a ‘Distinctive Tone’. Myles Knight, occasionally accompanied by his band, provides a fusion of Indie Rock vibes with Blues undertones.
“The Frailty of Humans – Lawrence County This is the first album release under the new band name from who once were DH Lawrence & The Vaudeville Skiffle Show.
This album takes a big shift in the musical direction of this bunch of guys and gals from the Bagthorpe Delta. There’s not a washboard in sight! Instead, the band have gone for a earthy, true-grit Americana sound with electric guitar an full tremolo mode and plenty of mountain-style fiddle.
The songs are carried with great care by drum (Bob Carlisle) and bass (Pete Heron) who provide a secure and gripping rhythm in every track.
Although obviously inspired by the Americana and alt-country sound, Lawrence County write songs about England (except for Bye Bye Americae which is definitely about America!).
They use Americana as a vehicle for telling stories about North Nottinghamshire, and the album is rich with local folklore.
12 of the 13 songs are original, with traditional English folk song Lucy Wan receiving a complete Lawrence County make-over – hard core folkies will no doubt be upset with this! The rest of the songs take us on a journey full of highs and lows, mixing rocking country tracks (They’re All There, I Don’t Sing County Anymore), with lonesome, pitiful ballads (Lights Go Out, By The Briar).
The fiddle and accordion are delivered skilfully by talented multi-instrumentalist Martin Gallimore. Lawrence County frontmen and songwriters Al Rate and Bill Kerry III are joined by local lasses Charlotte Pynegar and Marianne ‘Maz’ Clarke, who provide a contrast of backing vocals ranging from sweet and pure to proper gritty country. Lawrence County were lucky enough to have some incredible session players contribute to this album, namely Kristen Horner on cello, and George French on Trumpet.
These really add to the class of the tracks that they play on. Local music has never been so rich with talent, and this album is a ‘must listen’ to give us even more love for what the best of Nottingham has to offer.”
Lawrence County feature often on our radio station pushing Original music
Over the last 5 years Roots Live Music have been promoting original music in and around Nottingham and Derby in a few different ways, such as weekly open mics & weekend festivals and even created our own radio station that only plays original songs by our local artists from the two great cities…. To run a station is no easy thing it takes a great deal of time and indeed Money.
The station itself doesn’t generate an income so we have over the years funded it from the revenue of the open mics we hosted, but due to us currently not running a night we decided to start a new venture to help us fund it which found us making badges that musicians & Bands use to promote themselves this has been a great way for us to still keep the radio running
The Badges at the moment are two different sizes 25mm and 32mm we offer free Delivery on all orders so for £23 you can get 100 badges delivered to your door all in the knowledge its helping independent original music
We also do Stickers they are 60mm round which are £12.99 for 100
We have lots of plans to develop the station and promotion of original independent music so hopefully this can give us the funds that are so important to our mission
Welcome to our Radio station roots live music radio (Original music Nottingham and Derby), We are based in Nottingham as Roots Live Music and play original music by local artists & we also produce some merchandise in the form of Badges and Stickers to help support all this as Roots Badges .. All songs are by independent artists in and around Nottingham and Derby. Please help us support this amazing array of talent our area has to offer and try listen as often as possible.
over the next few months we will be creating musician profiles introducing you to new and established artists who create their own original songs at a fantastic quality, you just have to look at the likes of Jake Bugg who before signed was on the open mic circuit in Nottingham who knows who will be the next artist to break out of the City Original music Nottingham and Derby is huge at the moment.
we also have an app you can download free for your mobile device all this really does come at a cost and at the moment it does not generate any income so improvements take time so bear with us we have loads of ideas for the future of the station so any help feel free to contact us.
Warren Ireland is the embodiment of a modern-day troubadour. A young singer/songwriter from Nottinghamshire, you can catch him at festivals and gigs all over the country and busking in towns throughout the north of his home county.
His latest single, Demons, sees him up his game to a whole new level, utilising his signature pedal looping technique and calling on some of North Nottinghamshire’s most versatile and talented session players to augment the arrangement.
Ireland’s vocal dexterity is working at the max for the duration of the whole track, tripping out words with great skill. There’s also a catchy refrain which adds a singalong element to this song.
Demons is performed with considerable passion, building to some beautifully engineered vocal layers and outstanding instrumental breaks from Zosia on sax and Scott Makepeace on electric lead who bring the piece to a massive crescendo before breaking back down to its original raw form in contrast to finish. Add a one-take percussion track from Isaac Walters and some steady bass riffs from Luke Yates, highly production values from Mansfield’s Electric-Bear Productions, Demons is all set to be a winner for Warren Ireland, deserving as much air play as possible.
Download or stream from tomorrow, 27th September, on all quality digital music platforms. This is a track not to be missed and will surely be included on this month’s Rock Shotz Recommends within the next few days.
There’s a painful beauty in both the lyrics and musical arrangement of The Fine Art Society’s new release: ‘Footprints.’
Rock Shotz’ previous experience of TFAS material is upbeat and ‘laddish’ (considering the debut single, ‘Waiting For The Summer To Arrive’!) ‘Footprints’ is more introspective, emotional and, we suspect, is an indicator of the musical versatility of Messrs. Turner, Marshall and Leedall.
In stark contrast to the ballad-style verses, when Matt Turner almost wails: ‘I’ll take the stars from the night sky So you can wear them in your eyes…’ a most magnificent, passionate, (almost haunting) chorus, you can almost sense the song’s narrative on a personal level! It’s one of those choruses that brings the hair up on the back of your neck! Citing influences from artists such as Frank Turner & Mumford & Sons, the boys from The Fine Art Society are aiming high and, in Rock Shotz’ opinion, they’re getting it right! In less than three weeks’ time, you can decide for yourselves from any of the major quality digital music platforms. ‘Footprints’ will be sure to find a place in your heart (for the song and for The Fine Art Society!)
Recently, Rock Shotz has made mention of Nottinghamshire singer/songwriter and all-round versatile muso, Isaac Walters, as a session musician. We have also featured the work of his band Take 96; however, this week the spotlight is on his work as a solo artist.
Drunk Again is a plaintive, modern love song which, on it’s release, will additionally employ a video to add to the atmosphere of the melody.
Not only is Walters a writer and arranger, but on this track he plays ALL the instruments AND sings! This is surely deserving of being labelled a ‘virtuoso’ piece!
In the Rock Shotz office, it has taken some time to warm to Drunk Again, but after a number of plays, the tune is being hummed with ease, which is suggestive that this is a more catchy song than you may first believe.
Drunk Again is a ‘gentler’ composition than Rock Shotz is used to hearing from Isaac Walters, but it is a song we are warming to with each spin.
Give it a shot for yourselves on all major digital music platforms from this Thursday, 03/10/19. This young man has real talent!
Omen Machine is new young 5-piece band on the East Midlands Metal scene and in Crown of Thorns, their first single, they are setting the bar mighty high. They describe themselves as an ‘Alternative Metal’ band and within the first few bars of the introduction, a whole wave of major influences can be heard, justifying their claim.
I make no apology for making comparisons with major names such as Rage Against The Machine and Faith No More, whose work has obviously flavoured the band’s approach. What these guys are delivering is outstanding! Once Matt Nathan opens up on his lead vocals and the track gets underway, you could so easily be forgiven for believing this is an established band with a credible history!
Instrumentally, Omen Machine are smashing it! Fred Bettis’ drums and Ross Walters’ bass line create a bedrock of power, depth and drive, while guitarists, Callum Parkin and Oliver Nelson display incredible versatility from the melodic introduction to thrashing choruses and intricate noodling solos.
If this is their first offering, then, on my recommendation, Omen Machine is destined to be ‘a name’ of the future!
Pre-order Crown of Thorns in time for release on all major digital platforms from 4th August.
Life can be so tough and music is such a great method for people to express the way they cope with the challenges that come along.
All For You is a heart-on-the-sleeve love song from talented musician , Alex Cavan. The East Midlands-based singer/songwriter has a beautiful wife and tiny daughter far away in South Africa and his song is an open dedication to them as he tries to make a life for them over here.
The production on this track is excellent. It enhances Cavan’s rich, sonorous voice and increases our empathy with his wishes to be reunited with his family as soon as possible. Lyrically, the words are crystal clear and the listener is left in no doubt as to the sentiment expressed here. Musically, All Of You is a charmingly melodic, gentle rock style.
This is a song you can listen to over and over again. There is also a beautifully shot video on YouTube which is worth catching. Alex Cavan’s delivery is so impassioned and genuine, you can’t help but want his wishes to come true quickly. In order to do that you can help towards realising that dream by streaming/downloading All Of You on all major digital platforms now.
How do folks? You find me in the midst of a rather manic day before a holiday. My car needs packing, there’s mixes to mix and I have other exciting things occurring that I’m dying to share in good time! Today’s blog however, focuses on a young chap called Jack Ryan.
I met Jack around 10 years ago when me and his Dad Mark played in an outrageous prog band together. I’ve performed with Mark in loads of guises throughout the years, and without going off topic I will quickly note that he’s an amazing drummer who has an unrivalled passion for JUST PLAYING MUSIC.
Though it may not seem immediately relevant, Mark played an important role in my journey as a producer when he asked if I would like to rent a residential rehearsal space with him. Whilst this seemed like a cracking idea, my 17-year-old self lacked the funds for such a luxury and my band at the time did too. After scraping together all my pennies and inviting Matt to join the band because he had a JOB and a VOLKSWAGEN POLO (sellout…), we still couldn’t quite meet the figure needed. Faced with this information most people would just drop the idea, but Mark isn’t most people. He was so passionate about music (both supporting it and playing it) that he agreed to front far more than his fair share of rent so we could get the space and commit serious time into playing and developing as musicians. Having that creative space and the time to use it led to me finding my passion for recording and the rest, as they say, is history.
(His wife Jo also deserves an honourable mention here for always encouraging me, Mark and Jack in our musical endeavours – nice one Jo!x)
With this background, I was more than happy to help when Mark got in touch asking if I could record his son Jack and capture some songs he’d written. Whilst I knew Jack was really creative after hearing about his infinite list of hobbies, I was chuffed to hear that at the age of 15 he’d sat down at a piano and written his very own batch of his songs. In a time where there’s a million distractions for kids and adults alike, it’s always great to hear about someone you know finding a way to channel some much needed creativity into the world.
You never really know how people will perform when they first enter a studio (particularly at such a young age!) but Jack honestly blew me away with his tunes and really natural performances. So on one sunny Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago we found the time to get Jack in for a video. Aided by the legend that is Rich Wosik on acoustic guitar (Crazy 66, Maffa Kings….Himself), Jack performed his song ‘Why Can’t You See’.
It’s an awesome little ballad, and whilst it was never intended to be a Pin-up Session, it struck me that releasing it as one might give Jack a little leg up when setting up his artist pages and beginning his journey as a musician. Though I know Jack loves Billie Eilish (who doesn’t?), his first batch of tunes put me more in mind of Adelle/Sam Smith and the likes. The recipe of simple raw songs sung with tonnes of passion is certainly one I can get behind. Take a look at the Roots sneak peak of his session below!
Stay tuned for the full video on Friday (assuming I have signal at my campsite!) and give Jack’s brand spanking new instagram a follow at @jackryanofficial_music_page. You’ll no doubt watch him go from strength to strength over the next few years.
When I began pulling together artists for the latest series of The Pin-up Sessions I decided it was time to indulge my ears a bit and find an amazing bluesy/jazzy guitarist. I started my quest on Facebook and more specifically on some posts from Myles Knight who happens to run some of the finest open mic nights in Nottingham. I stumbled across a post mentioning Olly performing so I thought I’d better investigate a little further and go down the rabbit hole of clicking various links and profiles. To my disappointment I couldn’t find too much of him online, but what I did find was a homemade video of Olly playing John Mayer’s ‘Neon’ perfectly – which is literally ‘well hard’ for those of you who don’t know it! This was enough for me to ask Myles ‘Is this Olly lad much of a jazzy/bluesy guitarist?’ and when he replied with ‘Yeah man he’s awesome’ the deal was sealed.
You can also discover some awesome talent at one of Myles’ nights which you can find links of here and on his personal profile. Plugs are easy when they’re completely true! Oh go on you can watch his session here too if you want…
When Olly arrived at the studio it became apparent he was a very likeable chap and me and the Pin-up squad immediately hit it off with him. As resident guitar nerd, me and Olly had a chat about all things John Mayer, and after a brief introduction to the works of the amazing Joey Landreth we got to business.
Olly ended up performing a brand new song which didn’t even have a name yet (later to be dubbed ‘Midnight’). We love it when people do this as it allows us to capture a song in its early stages and get the undiluted essence of what makes it tick. After stating ‘I might mess this up’ Olly proceeded to smash out an effortlessly cool performance first time round. You can view a little secret roots snippet of the session below (the full thing is out on Friday so be sure to subscribe to my channel to catch it !)
To me, the track brings to mind all of the best bits from Maroon Fives ‘Songs About Jane’. Mixed in with Olly’s quite frankly GAWJUS voice, the result is a song that’s been going around my head for the last few weeks and making me subconsciously do that slow forward head bob thing like this…
Stumbling across Olly online highlights the unique situation the music industry and artists find themselves in today. How a man with his talent can remain largely hidden is mystifying, but the fact he can be found within a few clicks of a Facebook stalking session gives hope to all of us trying to get our music found. Hopefully this video and The Pin-up Sessions can play a small role in helping people discover some of the amazing talent that’s on our doorstep. With that in mind, make sure you follow Olly’s Facebook and Instagram, and if you’re interested in catching him as part of an amazing line-up, be sure to go to Tori Sheard’s headline gig at The Bodega on the 22nd July which also features our next amazing Pin-up Session artist Kelsey and The Embers.
I’ll end with a little reminder that you can watch Olly’s full Pin-up Session on Friday by SUBSCRIBING TO MY CHANNEL and also check out the likes of Pretty Babs, Scribble Victory, Reqs, MYOK, Them Are They, Myles Knight, Crazy66, Clonk and Boats on the Ocean while you’re at it. More artist sessions coming very soon!
Nottingham is a city awash with young singer/songwriter talent and Jack Chapman fits the bill. Having decided to go solo at the end of last year, he is carving out quite a local following! He plays a cool guitar and has a delicious voice.
Code Blue is a passionate love song. The lyrics are emotional and Chapman’s delivery lives up to that. It’s not sweet and sentimental, but a modern love song sitting comfortably in today’s Indie airwaves.
Instrumentally, the guitar playing is spot on and the balance with the vocals in production make this easy on the ears.
This is my introduction to Jack Chapman and if Code Blue is characteristic of his work, then I will be pleased to hear more. He has my recommendation as One To Watch!
Search Code Blue on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and Deezer to stream or download.
So after a few months away from Pin-up Session activity, the 12th of May went off with a bang. Or a clonk to be precise.
Learning from all our shoots to date, the Pin-up squad* have come to the realisation that we can minimise our costs and boost productivity by getting a number of sessions done in a single day. It’s difficult, to the wire and couldn’t be done without the grim sweaty sweat of all four of us pulling in the same direction. What it does mean however, is that we can get an awesome adrenaline boost of different music through the day.
*more on this team of heroes to come in a future blog!
With this new found game plan, I decided that what we should be doing is showcasing as wider range of music as possible within the sphere of people we know and want to get to know. I’m endeavouring to make sure there’s a mix of genres and backgrounds and hopefully we can keep growing The Pin-up Sessions to properly showcase the awesome music we churn out around these parts.
Every artist we feature does have one thing in common though; the fact that they’ve ‘wowed’ me at some point and have the ability to do an amazing live performance without any additional production aids like clicks or backing tracks. So how better to start the day than with Clonk: an obnoxiously raucous 4-piece from Nottingham.
Side note – whilst I can truly appreciate the time and energy put in by artists who perform with full productions and backing tracks (and sweet DJ’s for that matter) I think it’s nice to shout about the freedom of unscripted and uncontrolled performance in my own little corner of the world – a world full of glorious little imperfections and loud things!
I came across Clonk after hearing good things about them from my band mate and partner in audio crime(s) Rob. He’d seen them at a battle of the bands and couldn’t stop raving about how massive they sounded and how professionally and seriously they went about their work. It turns out Rob wasn’t the only one digging this band, and I kept bumping into people with the same impression.
My first encounter (of the rock kind) came when I was in University putting the final touches to a mix for the lovely and supremely talented Ben Haynes (which you can watch here). Whilst being in the zone, I’d noticed some earth shattering screams coming from the virtually noise proof studios next door – some feat! This required further investigation…as I popped my head in the door I was greeted with the sight of Clonk doing some live demos. It sounded massive and unique and after I’d picked myself off the floor and recovered from the jealousy of not engineering the session, I thought I better get them in.
I’ve never been much good at accurately comparing bands with an encyclopaedic list of musical references, but to me Clonk seem to embody the raw vocal power of a Gallows era Frank Carter mixed with the musical complexity of bands like Queens of the Stone Age. Throw in a nice dose of unique sounding evil epicness and I think it’s a pretty delicious recipe for people who are in to such things. Just don’t expect your granny to like it…
The boys, consisting of George (vocals/bass), Troy (drums) and Fraser and Ed (shred wizards) didn’t disappoint at Pin-up HQ. They were awesome lads and smashed through several takes with precision before identifying ‘the one’. They were sweaty, we were sweaty, even the cameras were SWEATY (really need to get some aircon init?), but a thoroughly good time was had by all. Whilst you can view a little snippet of their upcoming Pin-up Session below, I implore you to check these guys out live and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram. Bands with their level of talent, commitment, and infuriatingly young age (how do the kids get so good?) have all the tools to go on and do great things with a little support. You can catch their full session on Friday bySUBSCRIBING TO MY CHANNEL and also check out the likes of Pretty Babs, Scribble Victory, Reqs, MYOK, Myles Knight, Crazy66 and Boats on the Ocean while you’re at it. More artist sessions coming very soon!
4-piece Alt/Rock band from Nottingham. I don’t know what else they do, but I’ve been listening to this track on repeat for around 20 minutes now and it’s so chilled!
The band are fronted by Jess, who’s vocals are a major feature of this song. To give you an idea, her voice is an amalgam of some of the most best rock/blues females I can think of: hints of Amy Winehouse; Cerys Matthews of Katatonia and the incredible Anastasia Walker, (Stars) of Bang Bang Romeo! It smoky, sultry and beautifully emotional.
Add to that a tight, rocky backing from the band and this sets the bar high for people like me for whom Enemy is an introduction to their work.
Pretty Babs haven’t been slouching since they released their debut album, Graffiti Lights, back in 2017 (I had to check then, in my head it was only last year!) – with an ever-growing gig schedule they’ve released a new EP, #upthebabs – building on their debut by adding Craig to the ranks to beef up their guitar sound.
For a bunch of fellas so young they have a mature gritty rock sound – the kind of thing Sam’s powerful voice has been literally crying out for since I first used to go see his acoustic evenings up at the Brown Cow in Mansfield. Coupled with the clear bond of friendship the four of them have, it makes for a really engaging live show.
Most recently I caught them at the always awesome Ey Up Mi Duck festival last month, and have subsequently been procrastinating about writing this review having acquired their EP there (thanks Andrew!). Oftentimes I find that my favourite live bands don’t always translate to recording – not that I don’t enjoy them, but it can lose the buzz you get from a live performance.
Not so here – clearly the band are careful to work with producers who aren’t going to smooth the edges too much when they hit the studio. Guitars snarl, bass thumps and drums crash across these five tracks, paces change and they give the perfect backing to counterpoint Sam’s voice.
The Fall opens gently before the main guitar riff kicks in joined by bass and drums, as the vocals join the guitar slows right up. There’s pace-changes in the pre-chorus leading into the chorus too before a treat of a guitar solo – the lyrics talk of lighting beacons and I suspect echoes of the horrendous political turmoil we find ourselves in at the moment. It’s a strong start!
Tumbleweed comes with an accompanying video (well, okay, it’s more of an image!) – after initial guitar it’s very percussion led with some overlaid guitar intracies. Almost hypnotic verses are pretty much driven by Brad’s drumming with building guitar and bass input before a rousing chorus kicks in. There’s a nice instrumental bridge here too showcasing pretty much everyone before the backing almost drops out but for subtle guitar and vocals – then everything’s back for a final rousing chorus. More referencing to lighting of fires too!
Blue kicks right in with vocals and guitar strums and occasional stabs, then some drum fills kick in to the full track. If there’s an underpinning of political influences in the previous tracks then here it becomes much more overt “It’s such a pity she’s a Tory girl”is the lament throughout but this is a real barnstormer of a track – you could get a good sweat on having a dance to it.
Roadrunner kicks straight in after a cymbal count in – I do think they missed a trick to have a “meep meep” in there, but maybe it’s not about a cartoon bird trying to constantly foil a not-so-wily coyote! But on listening, perhaps not the right mood to set – we have heavy chugging guitar here and empassioned vocals – definitely much heavier, with an unfeasibly catchy riff following through most of the song.
Then finishing up with with the quieter lament of Death of the Free Man, starting with deliciously intricate finger picking and heartfelt vocals, which you can sample a live rendering of below. I’d half expected it to kick in with the full band – but even as Sam’s vocals lift for the chorus the guitar picking is all that accompanies him, and I think that’s the right call for this song – and rounds off nicely the multi-facets that Pretty Babs bring to the party.
Of all the unsigned bands on the circuit I’ve grown to know and love over the last few years, I’ve said before and I’ll say again that in Pretty Babs they’re the one that I could imagine crossing over to become more mainstream – and I certainly don’t mean that as an insult, but they have such an accomplished style that you could see landing well with a more mainstream audience.
You can catch Pretty Babs at The Bodega in Nottingham on 15th June with a glittering array of amazing support acts too for the sum of just ten English pounds. It promises to be a really awesome night – I for one am looking forward to it very much. You can avail yourself of a copy of #upthebabs from the band at a gig – and presumably digital releases will follow.
Everything comes to an end, Betamax lost out in the battle to Video which became subsumed by DVD which is becoming slowly taken over by boxed sets stored on TV hard drives.
( Believe it or not I have just discovered the last Blockbuster video store exists in Bend Oregon and is still going strong)
I’m old enough to remember the 78 record the crackle and hiss of plastic discs which eventually gave birth to the 45 in tandem with the 33 LP ( for those too young to remember plastic discs the number refers to the RPM, revolutions per minute, that your chosen disc would play at, was when placed on your turntable )
There are strong parallels between film and music here. I don’t watch much television probably a couple of hours a month, preferring to listen to music or play and sing it at Acoustic nights.
There is a great joy and release in singing and playing, for myself and some of the people I play music with its the simple pleasure in the singing of the song but equally important is the community of singing and the discovery of new singers as they haul out their battered instruments and sing.
On many occasions I’m at a music night and the most unlikely of singers turn up and play and quite often are stunning and we all look at each other and say where have they been all these years.
I recall seeing Steve Cartwright the well known folk musician from Leicester at Wymeswold acoustic night some 18 months or two years ago. His songs were entrancing, fluid and resonant, he sounded as though he had been writing for centuries and was still looking for that elusive song. His dark dark song “Its Very Nice” is my favourite. Last nigh at the Guildhall Leicester he was in fine form.
I listen to his music on CD and in the car but nothing can beat the sheer joy of listening live to Steve and many others who make the live music scene in the East Midlands so joyous. It’s sounds good on CD\record but to me listening live with other people is the killer.
And so, for me so it is with film. I personally don’t think you can beat going to a cinema and seeing a film in the company of others and enjoying/hating the film with them and then afterwards in the bar or coffee shop dissecting the whole thing, the bits you liked hated and so on. For me its not the same as watching it in the quiet of your own living room.
Eventually Netflix will give way to some other format that you can watch films on, but it made me think that it would be incredibly ironic if the last film ever showed on Netflix before it closed was the wonderfully sad and elegiac Peter Bogdanovich film The Last Picture Show.
‘Dissonance!’ In musical terms it means a general lack of
harmony which, in Western music, our ears are unused to. In layman’s terms:
think of the sound created when a cat walks up and down a piano keyboard! Got
it? You need to know this in order to understand the context of this review and
to appreciate that this is a serious piece of work.
Infernal Symphony is the moniker of Derby musician, Dom
Bishop. Within this sphere, he is a one-man band, producer, artist, engineer,
songwriter, instrumentalist working on a solo project as a challenge away from
his previous work. Looking at the Facebook page, this is definitely a
cross-genre sound, with influences as broad and Gothic as: Megadeath,
Sepultura, Rob Zombie, Opeth, Slayer, Mastadon, Dream Theater and Iron Maiden.
The narrative is taken from classical German literature; the tale of Faust
selling his soul to the devil in exchange for unlimited knowledge and worldly
I guess by now that you are getting the idea of where this
Infernal Symphony wants to bring his music into ‘The
deepest, darkest depths of your soul’ and in my opinion, he is successful.
However, it certainly isn’t for me,then neither is the work of composers such
as Philip Glass, Alexander Scriabin, Arnold Schoenberg, Thelonius Monk, John
Cage, Jimi Hendrix and Pierre Boulez! I have always been challenged by
dissonant music and this album does not change my mind.
This is an opus of truly epic proportions, taking an epic
theme and drawing up an epic electronic orchestral chronical to accompany it.
The work consists of a whopping 20 tracks with titles such as: Yearning for
Burning, Seductive Decay and ending with, inevitably, Irrevocable Damnation,
leaving the listener in no doubt as to the fate of the character.
This is not an album to listen to if you want sweet,
memorable tunes, it is dark and disturbing; but there are people out there who
are really into this kind of Gothic doom. Infernal Symphony has a clear
demographic in mind. If you are even slightly put off by the artwork, track
titles, general Satanic vibe, go no further; but if you like a challenge, give
it a go!
Last week I
had a message from Chris asking if I’d like to join the writing team at Roots. Whilst
I’ve become a bit sick of late night dissertation writing marathons this year,
a head scratch lasting about 0.5 seconds led me to say ‘absolutely mate!’.
Although I’ve always felt slightly uncomfortable bragging about my own
artistic/producing ventures, I could rattle on infinitely about the talent around
these parts. Before doing that however, I thought I better start off with an
introduction to myself, what I do, and what I love about music.
Like many, my musical career started by telling people I could play guitar when I was about 10. Unfortunately for me (and my impending school talent show) this was a complete and utter fabrication of the truth; the truth being that I spent most nights pretending to be Angus Young in front of the mirror whilst blasting classic rock tunes stolen from my Dad’s CD collection. After being caught in the middle of a ‘duck walk’ too many times to brush off, it was put forward by my parents that I could actually try and learn to play guitar FOR REAL. After some apprehension, I agreed and set myself a goal: learn one ‘sick’ guitar solo which I could impress people with, and then retreat to playing the Xbox and picking my nose.
At this point however, I was introduced to an eccentric guitar teacher who unquestionably changed my life forever. He taught me all of my favourite songs with a focus on enjoyment instead of theoretical aspects like reading music, and before too long I was hooked. No longer was one solo enough – I needed more. Much more.
I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged me every step of the way, and a teacher with patience and passion: though not essential, in my opinion these building blocks are invaluable in any music community.
The teacher’s name was Phil Brock and although I’ve lost touch with him a bit, I still see his crazy luminous green transit van knocking about from time to time, and I’m sure he’s still a guitar wizard (I endeavour to catch up with you soon Phil if you’ve finally got round to getting the internet!).
Though I need to crank an amplifier to remind myself of it sometimes, the joy I get out of playing guitar is ethereal, cathartic and unsurpassable (apart from scoring a mint goal at 5-a-side obviously). That joy fundamentally drives me to write, perform and produce music and also dictates what I want to do with my life and career. Although it comes in different guises, I’m sure that this same passion is present in everyone involved in the artistic community and it’s why this whole ‘music’ thing is so important for us humans.
“So why are you recording music now Benjy?” I hear you ask.
Well, Roots readers, my passion for recording started with my first original (and current) band The Fine Art Society. After rising from the ashes of a school prom performance and going through a few members, me and my best mates Matt and Max wrote a bunch of songs. We had no money and were too busy going to ‘Mosh Mondays’ and being 17 to even consider approaching a ‘proper’ recording studio. Max was studying at Confetti and had some basic recording gear, so we decided to record and release our tunes ourselves. We stayed in a sweaty band room for nights on end until the sun rose. We got noise complaints. We smoked too much and tried to sing high harmonies we had no right reaching. The result was a handful of songs which sounded a bit ropey, but contained all the honesty and gusto you’d expect from 3 lads who had nothing to gain; no X-Factor judges to impress, no record deals to gain and no fans to consider. Just the reward of getting OUR songs recorded and out into the world. Like a footnote or a piece of graffiti on a school desk – a little memento that we were here together and we created something we were proud of.
It was at this point I came to the realisation that capturing and releasing a song was an amazing achievement. From nothing, a small idea you have in your head can become tangible. Like catching lightning in a bottle – a little bit of your soul can be kept, shared and enjoyed again and again.
After a few more professional outings learning this dark art became my mission. Over the past few years its led to me spending all of my money on gear (an occupational hazard for us muso’s) and leaving a sturdy office job to study the trade at university. Again, taking this step was much easier with the encouragement of the music community around me.
(a special note here to my girlfriend Lara here who has been forced to listen to more mixes than any human should reasonably be expected to endure and still continues to support me).
Whilst I’ve got a few more skills now (and continue to gain them at a rate of knots) I’m still fundamentally a chubby air guitar champion who loves putting that passion into helping people capture their music. I’ve been lucky enough to record some amazing artists so far and am proud to have founded a pretty cool live session called ‘The Pin-up Sessions’ which showcases some mind blowing local talent. The D.I.Y ethos is strong, and we share a lot of parallels with the roots community:
Let’s encourage and brag about every ounce of talent we have around here and have a blast doing it.
I hope to spend future posts chatting about the artists I get to work with, music I think deserves your attention and maybe even some recording tips to help you get the best results for your budget and demos.
Thanks for the invite Chris and I hope I can write
some interesting bits for you all to read in the future!