Category Archives: Interviews & Features

Kyle Daniel: ‘A winner never quits and a quitter never wins!’

We had the chance to sit down with Kentucky’s own Kyle Daniel to talk about his European tour (including The Long Road Festival), and his music, past and future!

How was the European tour?

Oh man, I’m still on an absolute high from that thing. It was incredible. This time felt like a family reunion of sorts. It was very nice!

The cool thing about this run was all of the different places that we played. We played on a boat, we played the blues garage which felt like we were in Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge Tennessee or something. I love playing clubs, I’ve played clubs my whole life, and a couple of venues in Germany were like that. And then obviously The Long Road Festival (review here) was super cool as well!

What’s the scene like in Europe compared to over there?

I think there’s a different appreciation for music all together. It feels a little hungrier I guess. Maybe it’s the fact that they don’t get to see a bunch of American artists so part of the hunger comes from that. But man, some of the best fans that anybody could as for, definitely. The support from socials to merchandise to streaming songs, the crowd over there is a different beast, for sure.

Your local scene looks to be having a bit of a resurgence too, right? Any other artists you want to shout out?

Yeah! I mean there’s so many that it’s really tough to kinda single anybody out. There’s a lot of groups in and around Kentucky that are making a splash right now. I think it’s really cool. For the longest time I think Kentucky Tennessee people think like ‘do your cousins wear shoes?’ and stuff like that. For the longest time there was a weird stigma about being from Kentucky. I think guys like Tyler Childers and Sturgil Simpson and Chris Stapleton obviously blew the doors wide open for it to be cool to be from Kentucky again. I’m just glad to see some buddies overseas, I got to see Everette while over there and it’s like man, we played in a bar that holds 350 people for years and years called Tidballs in my hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Super proud of them!

How would you describe your sound? What inspirations do you draw from?

I would categorise it as southern rock personally, as that’s what I grew up on. I love The Almond Brothers, Greg Almond is my hero. And obviously the duel guitar leads, that leant itself to [Lynyrd] Skynyrd and Thin Lizzy and The Band, that classic sound that was this Southern thing. Even though The Band weren’t from the south they definitely sounded like a southern band.

I think that was what really initially for me that set the hook. My dad was a big Almond Brothers and Skynyrd fan and Marshal Tucker and Charlie Daniels so you put all that stuff together… I specifically remember I think that all leant itself to my own personal taste when I remember my dad saying ‘Son, this is real music’ and put on The Almond Brothers band. ‘Statesboro Blues’, they counted it off and I will never forget what it sounded like when that slide guitar came in. I was like ‘what is that?’ and my dad was like ‘son, that’s slide guitar, you need to learn how to play that!’.

So that was it. I went from some teenage punk kid that loved what was popular. Ironically early on Green Day was one of my favourite bands. I had a different eclectic taste, I loved a lot of hip-hop and rap. I grew up in the 90s so a lot of that R&B, soul stuff kinda peppered in with the alt rock stuff so it was kind of a jolt to say the least when that kind of stuff was introduced. I was listening to something completely different at the time. It definitely spun me in the right direction!

You put out the Following the Rain EP a couple of months ago. Did you want to talk about it? It seems like quite the journey!

Yeah man. I think this entire record, which will be ‘Kentucky Gold’, is quite the journey. I started writing this probably a year before Covid started and it’s still not out. There’s many reasons for that. The record itself, the songs are very close to me. I think this record as a whole gives a 30,000ft view of who Kyle Daniel is as a writer, as an artist, as a human being. A lot of them are very emotional songs.

I wrote a song for my wife on the record which I had never done before. I wrote a song that touches on dealing with depression and the things that I’d kinda gone through in that time. We did cut the record in the midst of Covid so that was in 2020 I believe. They’re very close to me, they’re very personable. I wrote a song about my old man on the record. I wrote about the state of the Union in some of the stuff. Not politically charged one way or the other, just a hey, this is where we’re at. A sign of the times sort of song. Ironically it still rings true to this day.

I think I tried to give as broad of a perspective of the way that I think, the way that I can feel at times and who I really am. That way people that don’t know who I am maybe get a little better understanding of that.

I can’t imagine you can give much about the dates of the album but is looking like this year?

No, I think it’s probably going to be a next year thing. I waited on it because I couldn’t tour in the midst of Covid so I tried to do what I could to keep the fire burning on socials and just being selective. I felt like what I have in this record is special and I didn’t want to rush it out just to rush it out. I probably could have done that but I’ve spent a small fortune as an unsigned artist on this record so I felt like as a businessman I had to make sound decisions on when and how I release the record.

You know, some things work, some things don’t. I feel like I’m in a really good position at this point and I think it’ll definitely coming out next year. And I think the patience I’ve had will lead to the record being hopefully more successful.

The unsigned artist thing is really taking of recently, it’s easier than ever to get heard.

Yeah it is. For me I know that can be good and bad. Part of the frustration sometimes is not being able to cast a wider net. But you can sit here in your home studio and record a record and put it up on Tunecore just like that. I think it has its pros and its cons. You have the freedom and the creativity to do what you’d like but you can hit a ceiling real fast.

Have you got any advice you could give to an artist just starting out?

Stay after it. I think that’s the number one name of the game here in Nashville and I think maybe anything in life. My old man used to always tell me ‘A winner never quits and a quitter never wins’. That’s a very true statement, I think that only the strong survive. It’s a dog eat dog world. There are 2500 artists in Nashville right now at my level doing what I’m doing. They’d cut my throat to get in front of me any day of the week. I’m not saying that maliciously, but everybody’s serious about what they do. I think if you don’t have an undying hunger for music you should probably try to find something different. It’s a gruelling, long road that artists take.

I’ve been here for 13 years and watched them blow up like a firework but then do just that and be done. Then I’ve also seen people who’ve taken a bit more of the long road approach. Put the time in, played their dues, played the small dirty venues for $25 and they have continued to write, record, tour, just continue to push the ball down the court. Sooner or later that gets recognised.

And there we have it! As always keep up to date on all of our content from our Instagram here.

Massive Wagons: ‘Your time will come, don’t give up!’

We had the chance to sit down with the awesome Baz from Massive Wagons while at Call of the Wild the other month for a quick chat about the band and their future plans! Check it out from below!

What’s it like finally being able to play Call of the Wild?

Yeah, it’s great! Big admiration for the organisers having to reschedule it two or three times because of Covid. Bands dropping out and suddenly you’re doing it a different weekend and a band can’t play on the same day or whatever but we’re here at last! We’ve played for Raz (the organiser) a few times over the years. Him asking us to do this is really cool, we’ve been looking forward to it.

And what brought on your pyro and bigger stageshow elements?

The thing is you play with so many great bands on this scene and your live show is kinda your bread and butter these days. We sorta hit a ceiling and you’ve just gotta think of ways to stand out. We’ve always reinvested money back into the band.

We started it at Steelhouse. We did a headline slot there on the Friday a few years ago and did a bit there. Every time we do a headline festival slot we always try to bring a show, you know? You’re a headliner for a reason, you’ve gotta bring it.

It’s coming along tonight, we brought our firework, a box of matches.

Are you working on new music?

Yeah, it’s recorded, it’ll be out this year (check out some of it below!). We recorded it a couple of months ago.

Check out our last COTW interview here.

And then straight into touring?

Yeah! Well we’ve got quite a few festivals, we’re in Europe quite a lot this year. Same as normal really, it never really stops. We’ve got loads planned! As much as possible.

How is it different preparing for a gig supporting at an arena compared to your own show or a festival headline slot?

It’s a little bit different. Obviously we’re supporting so we’re not bringing our own big show. Headline shows are a lot different, it’s a lot longer for a start. I think we’re doing about half an hour [supporting Thunder]. it’s in an arena so we’ll need proper monitoring and stuff like that. It’s different preparation. The sound’s always different in an arena but it’s nice, I’m really looking forward to it!

We did a little run of dates with Lynyrd Skynyrd a few years ago in arena which was very cool!

Do you have any advice you could give smaller bands starting out?

A big one for us… we’ve been going since about 2010 I think. We never got any support to us for a long time and we were always a bit bitter and jaded about it. But I’d say to other bands don’t be in a rush, it’ll happen when it happens. It was better for us for it to happen later in our career because we got ourselves pretty good. You’re going on stage and you’re actually going to win fans over. You know what you’re doing.

Don’t feel bitter about other bands getting support slots and you’re not, your time will come. Don’t give up!

Jack J Hutchinson: ‘I need to be reminded by my manager that I should be playing songs off the current album!’

Check out our interview with our good friend and awesome blues guitarist/songwriter Jack J Hutchinson! We spoke about his upcoming EP/DVD boxset, his upcoming tour and his new line-up!

Obviously we were going to see each other at Rockin’ the Bowl this year before the cancelation. Having said that, what do you think of the music scene at the minute?

I mean there’s a lot of bands that were on at Rockin’ the Bowl that I’ve seen at a lot of festivals in the last year or so so there are some great acts. A lot of guys that I’ve been on the same bill as that I really rate. Some great players. The biggest thing for me is songwriting really, bands that have good tunes, and there’s tonnes of great stuff. I like quite a variety of different music too, from blues to heavy rock and even acoustic folk stuff as well. We’re sort of overloaded with music at the minute which is cool!

You have the EP/boxset coming out next month, how did that come about?

Well, I released an album earlier on this year called ‘The Hammer Falls’ and during that process I was offered the opportunity to work with Kevin Shirley who’s produced some incredible artists: Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Joe Bonamasa, just loads of people. So I was kinda in the latter stages of mixing the last record when Kevin offered to do one or two songs. I had this idea of doing a remix of some of the tracks we were working on last year. So what you hear on this EP is alternate takes of some of the songs.

I think it’s quite interesting to compare them to the other versions on the album. And then there’s a brand new song on the EP as well. So that’s pretty cool!

A DVD isn’t something you see much in the underground scene these days, do you think bands are having to do more ‘out there’ merch to make more of a living?

Yeah I guess. I’ve always wanted to try and come up with new ideas in terms of the product that I put out there. When I put my album ‘Who Feeds the Wolf’ out I did it on a splattered red and black vinyl which seemed quite a unique thing at the time but everybody’s doing it now. I’m not insinuating that they’re doing it because I did it but…

I could have done this release as another multicoloured vinyl release. There are two reasons why I didn’t. One was because I wanted to try something different and I wanted to do something that was a two disc set, like the Rolling Stones ‘From the Vault’ boxset. Also I brought this Winery Dogs DVD a couple of years back that was pretty cool. Like a companion disc for the record. So that’s where the idea of it came for.

Check out our review of The Hammer Falls here.

Another reason I didn’t want to do it on vinyl is because of the experience of the manufacturing of it over the last two years. It’s taking so long to do it. I was lucky with The Hammer Falls as I got a heads up about what was coming. I put my order in before the album was even fully recorded. I paid for the slot like 10 months prior. There was only like three songs that we still had to record but there was a risk in it. It could have gone completely, horribly wrong.

But for this release I wanted to get something out for the latter half of this year. Then the Kevin Shirley thing came about and I thought it was exciting and something just a bit different!

Is it touring for the foreseeable or are you writing again already?

I’m actually supposed to be going to Spain next month. It’ll be the first time I’ve really been over to Europe since the pandemic kicked off. So at the moment I’m just trying to work out all the visa stuff and all that. When I started playing guitar when I was like 14 I didn’t envision that it’d all just be admin at one stage in my career. It’s all I’ve really done this week.

So next month we’re headed out on tour. I’ve got a new band heading out with me later on in the year which is cool. This Brilliant bassist called Charlie Rachel Kay who’s joining. She’s the bassist for Ashley Sherlock. Then the drummer is Phil Wilson who’s played with tonnes of people: Elles Bailey, Sean Webster, Lawence Jones. It’s going to be exciting to take a new band out. I’ve had the same band now for almost four years. We work really well together and had some amazing experiences but they’re kinda moving on to do different projects.

Yeah, it’s exciting to be playing some new songs. And I have been writing a lot of material recently so we’ll have to see if any of it makes it into the setlist. I hope it will! It’ll be a real shift from the last tour where we were kinda doing stuff that we’d been playing for two or three years. Now’s the time to refresh it a bit!

Do you think it’ll have a bit of a different feel on stage with new members?

I don’t know, man. I’ve never been one to over-rehearse ahead of tours. I think you’ve got to allow things to organically develop. You’ve got to trust your players. The person who really needs to do their homework tends to be me, I’m a bit of a scatterbrain with all of this stuff. I move on from project to project quite quickly so I need to be reminded by my manager that I should be playing songs off the current album.

We’re looking at getting some rehearsals in at the end of this month, which is exciting in of itself. With bands you’ve got to foster a vibe with the people who are part of the band. Music is one element of it, but if people are miserable in the band they’re not going to play very well. I want every band I take out with me to enjoy it. This is rock’n’roll man, they should be going out and having a blast on tour, not moping and moaning about it.

The few support bands announced for it so far look sick. How would you say the environment of the NWOCR scene is?

Yeah, I mean I speak quite closely with Wes (my manager) on who to take out. I always see support slots, although I don’t really like using the word support, as an opportunity for the bands that come out with me to meet my audience and gain fans. But also I want bands to come out that are going to make it a pleasurable experience for me. I make sure I listen to the acts and I want a badass collection of bands on the tour. It means that before I go on stage I can go out and have fun and watch the bands myself.

We have a band that are doing a few of the dates, Firekind, they were the support act for my tour last year. They’re great, just really fun to have around. They make you laugh and that’s what you want. And obviously White Raven Down are a fucking incredible band too.

Marco Mendoza: ‘The new direction is the right direction!’

We spoke to bass legend Marco Mendoza ahead of his new album, New Direction’, about said album, his upcoming tour and any advice he has for new bands. Check it out down below!

Talk to me about the new album?

It’s coming out September 16th. I’ve gotta say I’m really excited about it! We started recording this in September ’19, so three years ago. After 2021 just for a minute it felt like ‘is this thing ever going to come out’, you know? At the beginning of this year we were working the logistics with the label and even then we didn’t know what was going to happen.

So, when they released the first single ‘Take it to the Limit’, the response was great. More than expected. Then ‘Shoot for the Stars’ also got a lot of thumbs up and stuff. Then ‘New Direction’ came out, the title cut of the album, and everybody seems to dig it. So I’m really happy man. From ground zero to the release of the album, I have some dates to announce, including the UK.

So hopefully we’re headed in a new direction, we’re trying to find our way back home after our industry got hit hard. So there’s specs of a light at the end of the tunnel, a lot of hope and optimism. It’s not going to happen by itself, you need to learn to roll the dice and believe in it. I’m excited to say the least. I was forced to listen to the songs back and I’m really proud of it. It’s a good album!

And would you say it’s a new direction in terms of the sound?

Well, it’s a trip. In our industry we start labelling everything, ‘this is hard rock, this is classic rock, this is metal, this is black metal and this and that’. And at the bottom of it all is pop music. Back in the day, the people I grew up listening to had songs on the radio, so they were pop songs. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Ted Nugent… they were playing music on the radio. So to me, that was what pop represented. Then as we got into the 70s and 80s we started labelling things and I get it, it’s fine.

I would say if we had to label it we’re leaning more on the songwriting, the pop side of music if you will, which is fine.

The new direction is that we found a direction again! Like I said, we lost our way somewhere and for a moment it was pretty grim. The world came to a screeching halt and we weren’t sure when it was going to start, there was a few false starts too. September/October last year I ended up rolling the dice and I got invited to do some stuff and with all the restrictions and lower capacity, we had a successful tour. That’s what gave me a little more gas in the tank. The new direction is the right direction.

Check out our last chat with the man himself here.

Is there a different approach taken to writing with your solo stuff as opposed to with the likes of the Dead Daisies?

Yeah, well the Dead Daises was put together to be a collective, meaning every member of the band would get around the table with acoustics and collectively throw ideas into the melting pot. We’d come out with 20-25 ideas that were almost finished and then our producer would also be there and we’d all agree which to pick.

With my solo project it is different, it’s a little quicker. I’m not saying it’s better or easier, just harder. I’ve written with cats that are songwriters and for me to be part of that I just stay out of the way. There’s a lot of different dynamics depending on the situation. You learn to compensate and navigate and adjust.

With us being a solo project, Sorrin being my producer/guitar player/songwriting partner, him and I make decisions so it’s quicker. It’s very sincere, very honest. We don’t over-analyse stuff, we just know when something’s working, we document it. It’s a faster process. And then we get the players in and they play the songs.

The process is different; it’s quicker and… not more productive but it’s a faster process. I like to work fast when it comes to music. There’s two schools, one is play, learn the songs, record it, boom, done. Then the other method is a lot of playing and adjusting and relearning. It’s like baking a cake, you’ve gotta make sure it’s right before you take it out of the oven.

What goes into the decision of choosing a single?

Well I think with the previous album, Viva, the first song that was written was ‘Viva La Rock’. We got together and within an hour, hour and a half the song was done. We sent the demo to a label and they loved it. They said this is the title for the album, this is the first single.

It kinda repeated itself again this time around, the first song was ‘Take it to the Limit’. Again it was written within hours of us getting together and sent to the label and they said it’s great and it’s the single and title of the album. The decision was made but then 2020 and 2021 came and I did a couple of runs under the Take it to the Limit heading so we decided to change it around and look at how relevant these other songs are to what is going on. New Direction had a great response so we chose that instead of Take it to the Limit, which was overused.

I believe the album has more than three singles to be honest, but logistics and decision making and all that, it’s got to go through due process. New Direction being the title cut made sense.

It’s back and forth ideas and suggestions. For me, to be honest, I have a great team of people working with me. I put my two cents in, I take a few steps back, then I either agree with the process or I put my two cents back in, then I take a few steps back again. It’s all about trust and knowing that people are pros and are making the right decisions. I think the single choices were good.

Is it just touring for the rest of the year now?

Yep! Next week I do a festival in Romania and then we start in Germany begnning of September. And then we’re booked all of September, October and all the way to November 25th I believe. It’s a trip. We started with 20 dates, now it’s this and this and we two more and then three more. When you announce you’re going out people are aware of it so you start getting ‘well you’re here, can you come here?’. That’s the process. But I’m really looking forward to coming to the UK!

Do you have any advice for bands just starting out?

The not to dos are very simple for me because I did it the wrong way. Pay attention. Do it for the right reason. Do it because you love the music and because you’re passionate about it. And set goals, long and short term, to stay focused. Be willing to put the time in, through blood sweat and tears, because there will be blood sweat and tears! Sometimes the music for me is its own reward. After all the logistics and travel and financial worries, getting up on stage and get away from that and let the music take me places, that’s my reward. It keeps me coming back.

Also, be okay with letting it go when it becomes frustrating. I think there’s something to be said for learning stuff while you’re having fun. You’ll accomplish a lot. And believe in yourself, no matter the people around you. Gravitate towards people who support you. You can’t expect anyone else to support you if you can’t support yourself.

The not to dos for me very simple: don’t drink, don’t do drugs, don’t do anything mind-altering that can impede your ability to be there and be as productive as you can be. I went through it and I went through hell. I came out of it, thank god, but I often think what would have happened if I’d have stayed on the right side of the street.

And the reality is there’s hundreds if not thousands of projects and artists and bands that want to be in your place so if you start goofing off people are going to say ‘next’.

And work work work, practice practice practice, and book as many shows as you can. I know it’s sometimes hard as the finances aren’t there, but in terms of human nature when we want something, we make it happen.

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Dig Lazarus: ‘I’m always amazed when someone knows the words!’

Another of our Call of the Wild festival interviews, this time with the amazing Dig Lazarus. Check it out as we talk about their last year or two and their future plans!

How was the gig? Sounded good from our end!

Fantastic! That sounded good?! It looked good from our end. It’s pretty daunting playing a Sunday morning after a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. But it was great, plenty of people showed up!

How’s the festival season going so far?

Heretic was wicked. It kicked off the festival season. It’s good to finally be at an outdoor festival, especially with the weather like this. The clouds parted for us so we took the jeans off immediately and put the shorts on!

What’s it like being a part of this underground rock/NWOCR scene?

It’s amazing man, it’s great to be in the circles we’re in. We have great management in RPM Management, but even outside that every thing we do like this it kind of crosses over and we know people and can hang out with people… it’s fantastic. I think the British rock scene is so good, that these festivals happen and that we’re a part of it. There are so many line-ups that we’re honoured to be a part of. All the HRH stuff as well. The bands and the fans are all really into it. It’s great to be a part of it.

You can meet someone who’ll say ‘oh yeah, we met you at such and such festival like three or four years ago’.

And how would you say the scene is looking these days?

We’re getting there. When the first lockdown happened we were midway through a tour so everything got took away from us that we had planned. As it did for every band. You’ve just gotta try and rise above it and come back stronger, right? The first tour back we did after lockdown was supporting The Virginmarys. It was so good to be back out. Fans wanted to come back out and see live music again, they were begging for it. And we can provide that!

Check out our previous interview here.

You guys put out an album last year, it seems to have gone down pretty well?

Yeah definitely, we’re stoked! I’m always amazed when someone knows the words. We had a good tour with Virginmarys in support of that album and it’s just kinda snowballed from there. Like to come out to these places and people say they’ve been listening to the album non-stop in the car, that’s amazing to hear.

And are you guys writing again already?

Absolutely. We never stop writing. We’re going back into the studio to finish album two, half of it’s done. But we’re also toying with the idea of doing this heavier EP. Just four song EP just to get it out of our system. We don’t want album two to be so far away from album one but we have these songs that we like that are a bit heavier. I turn up to practice and I can hear it through the walls, playing something filthy. But it sounds awesome.

I think that’s a good thing for bands to do. It opens us up to being able to support other bands. We don’t want to just be a part of the NWOCR scene. It’s great to be a part of, but we can then step away from that and do a stoner gig. That’s the dream!

Speaking of, have you got a dream tour?

I mean dream tours can go big… Kiss! Queens of the Stone Age! We were influenced by a lot of bands and in that sort of circle I think Eagles of Death Metal would be doable. I think we could do that, we know Jesse, he’s on the album.

But bands like Scruffy Bear, I love that band. I’d love to go on tour with them. We like nice people. There’s no rockstar persona or ego, leave your ego in the van, just go on stage and play. Like Ryder’s Creed, we’ve known them for years so it’d be good to get out on tour with them.

The Bastard Sons: ‘We’ve basically finished writing and recording all of the music for an album!’

The next Call of the Wild interview had us talking with the rhythm section of Phil Campbell and the bastard Sons , Tyla and Dane! Check out as we talk about the bands future release and touring plans and if they had any advice they could give to smaller bands!

So firstly, what’s it like touring with Phil?

Well he sleeps a lot. You’ve just got to wake him up when he needs to be woken up. Lots of toilet breaks. Not a lot else, it’s not that exciting really!

You know he’s our dad, right?! Just in case.

He enjoys a pasty from a service station. Or a tin of macaroni cheese as I found out last night. Which he doesn’t cook!

And you guys have just finished a Motorhead tour, right?

Yeah, it was cool! We’ve been talking about it for a while. We kinda knew it would go down well, there’s definitely a thirst for that music even though we’ve always played around half and half. It was a different vibe. Physically more challenging for me, being a drummer, too! But yeah, it’s been amazing. Every gig has been incredible.

It’s been a couple of years since the last album, are you writing again?

We are. We’ve basically finished writing and recording all of the music for an album. Joel (vocals) has done maybe half of it and then we had to start touring. Damn touring is interrupting our touring process! But hopefully after today we can get into it a little but this is the start of our festival season now.

It’s the busiest summer we’ve ever had. Three years worth of festivals crammed into one. So we’ll have to try and squeeze in some vocal sessions during the summer. We don’t want to rush it so it will probably be out early next year. Because of Covid the demand for vinyl production is nine months delayed.

What’s it like, comparatively, preparing for your own gigs to a big festival or supporting the likes of Guns’n’Roses?

Well, you have a shorter set when you support! The Guns’n’Roses show we’re on at like 5pm for 30 minutes, so we can drink more alcohol afterwards. Festivals logistically are more difficult. Sometimes you’ve gotta fly from one play to another at stupid’o’clock in the morning because it’s the only option, and then you’re really tired for the rest of the day then. You’ve gotta make it happen somehow.

Have you got any advice for bands that are just starting out?

Yes! Lots of advice!

We’ve all come from small bands. Prior to this we’ve all done the toilet circuit; supporting, touring, playing to nobody, we’ve done all that. And we learnt a lot from being able to do that. The way I see it is even if you’re playing a gig in front of no one, it’s still a free band practice. It’s more practice getting used to playing in a live environment.

Obvious tips for if you land like a local support slot for a band like us or someone else. Be prepared to use your entire backline. Bring all of your gear, or as much as you can. Load in when someone says you can and start setting up your drumkit straight away, off the stage of course. Try not to make noise, the headline band are probably sound-checking.

And a really important thing: your most important task is to play your set, don’t overrun your time, like if you’re told to finish at eight, aim to finish at one minute to eight, and then your own priority is to get your stuff off the stage as quickly as possible. People might want photos or whatever, do that later. Get your stuff off the stage and then the headline band and their crew will think you’re great. They’d be more inclined to get you back again.

Spilling drinks on stage? no. If you do, wipe it up. Don’t expect other people to do it for you. You’d like to think that’s obvious but apparently not. Even going on a couple of minutes early just to allow time if you have a technical issue or break a string or something. Just so you don’t have to cut any songs and can still finish on time!

Things like that are just little things we’ve learnt over time. It’s really important to conduct yourself well in a gig situation. Even if it’s just the promoter that gets good feedback, they’re going to ask you back. It obviously helps if you can bring a few people who are wearing your shirts and stuff as it’s like ‘oh okay, they’ve sold a few tickets’.

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Anchor Lane: ‘New music is coming!’

Another interview from Call of the Wild Festival, this time with the amazing Anchor Lane. Check it out as we talk about the bands new sound and where they want to go with it in the future!

How was the gig?

It was good fun! We enjoyed it. It was nice to play outdoors again. We did a couple outdoors last year, we did the Rock & Blues Custom Show in Derby and we did a secret festival which was a bit ominous at the time!

So, what happened to your bassist?

Up in Glasgow! Back home!

So we had a bassist and we’re still great pals. We were right in the midst of writing a new album and going on tour and so we gave him to option of if he was in or not. It’s totally fine but then was the time to say.

So now we run with the SPD and backing tracks, which are great. The sound engineer loved it, he said it’s so nice to have a band that’s not got that muddy bass on stage. It’s definitely been an adjustment!

Your name seems to be everywhere at the minute, is it nice to start getting that buzz?

Yeah it’s good! I think the thing is is that we’ve had a really good last six months or so going out with Wayward Sons and with Ricky Warwick and both were quite long tours. Like 10 dates each. So quite a lot of dates to actually go out and start getting a bit of a fanbase across the UK. We’ve had chance to do it in small bursts but now to get those opportunities for a band that are still starting out to get on with a proven touring band, it gets us in the conversation of bands that tour so it’s easier to get the next one!

You’re on a pretty gruelling schedule with your tour at the minute, right?

Yeah! It’s been a really really busy few months. There’s obviously a bunch of stuff that we can’t talk about. And fitting all the touring in between that has been a real slog. But this is what we want to do. I think that’s when you find if it is for you or not. It’s gruelling but it’s awesome. This is what we love doing, in a van travelling around and playing music, it’s great!

Check out our last interview, with Reckless Love, here.

Do you have any advice you could give for a band just starting out?

Learn to drive. Get your drivers licence as soon as possible. The amount of bands where none of them can drive and it’s like ‘what the fuck, how do you get your stuff there?!’ Some of them just get taxis which is insane, they’re not going to be making any money. It’s bad enough hiring vans! It’s one less obstacle, in which there are a lot in this industry.

Obviously you guys are (have at the time of writing), playing Download, what’s that like?

It’s terrific! Personally it’s a big dream of mine, it’s an iconic thing. I feel like technology has aged so quickly I remember I would get a copy of Kerrang! which had the announcement. Maybe I was just behind the times but yeah, then to have your own bands name on there is kinda crazy!

Obviously you’ve got Biffy Clyro and Iron Maiden and Kiss and all these other bands and their logos and then it’s like right at the bottom it’s Anchor Lane, fucking yeah!!

And you guys just did a live(ish) album, how did that come about?

We’ve got a friend who does amazing sound production, he actually did the bands first EP way back when. We wanted to do some live stuff so we thought why not put something together that keeps the ball rolling and shows that also Casino and is still relatively fresh we sound a wee bit different. We’ve got a different drummer, we’re playing some different tunes, we have different haircuts which makes it sound different so we just thought lets put something out. It’s one of my favourite things that we’ve done actually, it’s aesthetically pleasing, it’s very well lit of all things.

It caught a moment in time as well because it was the four of us and it was the last recorded thing we did with Mathew. I think he’d left about three weeks prior to its release. It was quite nice that we released it as the last sort of thing he contributed to.

And it’s also just hearing the album in a different way. It was fun to do, as well. Just to go in the room and play the songs.

And are you guys writing again?

New music is coming. That’s about it! That’s kinda the thing for us is we’ve got this new sound we’ve been developing and we’ve got a live show thought out and we’re very excited for it. We want to move forward with that so it’s coming soon. Hopefully we’ll have more to talk about at the end of this tour!

They’ve been going down really well, gone down a storm. Lots of people are enjoying them. It’s not like you need people’s approval, we wouldn’t put something out if we didn’t believe in it, but it’s always nice to see other people enjoying it too!

Reckless Love: ‘We’ve all had more time to dig deeper into our influences to actually create something new!’

Part four of our Call of the Wild 2022 interviews sees us talking to the headliners Reckless Love! Check out as we talk about their latest album, their plans for touring and their sabbatical!

What’s it like to finally be playing the festival?

Yeah, I mean it’s the first festival of the season and our first show in the UK for I don’t know how many years. At least four years. It’s the first time we’ve flown abroad since 2020. So super special!

You’ve just put out a new album, it seems to have gone down pretty well?

Yeah, the feedback has been amazing. Following the streaming numbers it’s been the best streaming by far from any of our albums.

It’s been 6 years since the the last album. We toured for two, two and a half years after the last album, InVader, which came out in 2016. After that we decided to have a sabbatical for a year, year and a half, because we had been touring for like eight years in a row. So we took the time to step back and get some fresh inspiration.

Then of course we booked a huge tour for 2020 that was supposed to be the ten year anniversary of the first album. We all know how it ended up. So it ended up being six years away from the studio. We never wanted the break to be that long but sometimes it goes like this. It can be really frustrating, and it was at times, but we’re really happy that we made it back.

Has the tour been pushed back then?

Yeah, we just skipped the whole anniversary thing and it’s now called the Turborider tour. We’ve got the new album out, why not celebrate it!

We’re back over here in late August and we’re starting the European tour from here. We’re going for like 5 weeks and we plan on just playing and touring all year.

Check out our last interview with Archy and the Astronauts here.

What would you say the music scene is like at the minute?

We’ve actually only done five shows in Finland before this one. It’s quite literally a fresh start for us.

When it comes to the music scene, the creative break that everyone was forced to take was actually really good for the business. The actual business side of things is in a sad state, so many sound engineers and backliners and technicians have gone out of business. So many bands have quit. But then again we’ve all had more time to dig deeper into our influences to actually create something new. Get inspired in new ways.

We’ve seen in these few shows that people are so enthusiastic coming out to these shows. They’re craving for it. At first it feels like people are a bit afraid, looking around like ‘there are so many people in this room, can we actually be here?’. Then after three songs they’re like this is fucking good!

Is there anything we can expect for tonights show and for the tour?

Of course we’re going to do some old ‘classics’. We’re never going to forget the parts which got us here. But yeah, we’ve got some new stuff on the live set and some new drum sounds and some cool stuff that we purchased for the new album. And so the old songs sound fresh as well. It’s like a hybrid of the synthwave style. A turbocharged Reckless Love gig!

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Archy and the Astronauts: ‘Dream big and then work your way up to it slowly!’

Part three of our Call of the Wild diary sees us talking to local boys Archy and the Astronauts. Check out the interview as we chat about their sound, how they formed and their plans for the future!

So firstly, tell me about you guys? What’s your sound? How long have you been going?

What is our sound? Alt rock as a blanket sort of thing, but we’ve got like Muse, Don Broco, Royal Blood, Foo Fighters, influences. Two of us like classic rock and metal and I like Britney Spears so it’s a great blend.

We’ve been together since July, so nearly a year. We met through school and college. So weird how things turn out, even here was such a last minute thing. We literally just managed to slip it in after talking to a friend and them originally saying ‘no, it’s been back-booked for years’ and then suddenly someone couldn’t make it or something. Somebody worked their magic and somehow we’re here! Someone bribed someone very well!

You guys have got your debut single out soon, right? What was it like to write and record?

The 27th of May, so Friday!

It was a really good experience. We worked with a guy called Tom Joy in Norwich. We’d worked with a producer previously and tried to do our own recordings and it was just never quite hitting where we wanted it to hit. That’s through no fault of the producer, it just simply wasn’t developed the way we wanted it to be. Only when we took a song that we’d done for ages did we think it was ready. I think it makes a massive difference because when we’re happy with how it sounds and making sure that the live sound is perfect then the recording sound kinda follows suit. We didn’t want to be one of those bands you go and see and then you listen to their track and you’re like ‘what the hell is that?’. We wanted them to be synonymous.

You’ve been on a few radio stations already with it too, right?

Yeah, we’ve been on BBC Introducing, three weekends on the trot! It was awesome. We just thought we’d put it on and see what happens. It’s weird as well as it’s a song that’s been around… I wrote it in college in my first year as a solo demo. Then by the time it’s gotten to now it’s taken on a life of its own. It’s completely changed.

I think through the live shows it’s changed too. The more you play it live the more you get accustom to it.

Are you planning on sticking with singles for now or working towards an album?

We have a bunch of originals already, the problem is getting the time to get them recorded and stuff. So I think the plan is singles until we get enough for an album.

It’s massively important to find the right producer as well. We’ve been trying to do it ourselves all gung-ho when actually it takes so much time and if you’re not very good at it… It’s plain and simple. It’s something where you want someone who’s been doing it religiously, it’s their thing, you know. They know it in and out.

Also the great thing with Tom is that he’s also a stellar musician, which I think is really important. Sometimes you hear stories of people asking things of the sound that actually isn’t what you want or even achievable. But he’s so in sync he’s almost like a temporary fourth member of the band. Just to push it in the right direction.

Check out our last Call of the WIld interview with The New Roses here

And do you have a plan for the next year? The next five years?

World domination! Penthouse apartments in New York!

Just to keep going. To have fun and to keep some kind of momentum. We’ve all got day jobs and of course the ultimate goal is just to shift it all over to the music. I think it’s doable and I think it’s a short term goal. Then after that world domination, Glastonbury, Download, the usual.

But yeah, gotta dream big and then work your way up to it slowly!

I think that’s what we’ve learnt over the last few months: to let whatever is meant to happen happen. We’ve put all the work and all the hours in but other than doing that you’ve really jut got to ride the wave and hope that something good will come to you.

Enjoy the process. If you focus too much on the final output you won’t have as much fun.

When we think about how long it’s taken us to get to the point where we’re comfortable writing and performing with each other and having gear that works, how much we’ve changed already. It’s not even recognisable, and that is progress. When you progress it’s very up and down, but if we look at the big picture it’s still moving in the right direction.

It’s all about staying competitive while keeping a level head!

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The New Roses: ‘You can really tell it’s important to help people have a good time!’

The second in our ongoing Call of the Wild 2022 Diary series, we sat down for a quick chat with The New Roses frontman Timmy Rough. Check out below as we asked him a few questions after the band’s set!

How was the gig?

It was great! These gigs are always kind of a rollercoaster ride, you know. You get here and you have no clue where anything is, they show you to the stage and you just go up there, grab a guitar and it’s like ‘You’ve got 50 minutes, go!’ It’s always a hellride, no soundcheck or anything so it’s very different to what we do on tour, but it’s very exciting.

How’s the tour going?

It’s amazing. Everybody’s afraid about how post Covid stuff is working so for us it was an incredible surprise that the venues were packed. People are very emotional, they really want to have a good time. You can really tell that they are sick and tired of worrying.

And when you’re in a rock’n’roll band and you’re playing every night you sometimes start to question your meaning. You’re singing about ‘having a good time, Saturday night’ and you start to wonder if you’re doing any good to the world. But now you can really tell it’s important to help people have a good time.

Have you got any more plans for the UK or any more dates at all?

We’re trying to put together a whole UK tour and we’ve just finished recording our new record which is going to be released around October. From then we really want to try and make it happen because we enjoy every UK show we’ve done. The UK rock fans are special. You can tell they really need it.

Check out our previous interview with Ricky Warwick here.

Would you say the album sounds much different from previous ones?

No. We just picked it up where it stopped and tried to push it to the next level. For me as a songwriter I try to focus more on strong melodies and proper songwriting than focusing on big guitar solos and stuff so we’ve just tried to come up with really good songs. I’ve got a big passion for songwriters like Bryan Adams so I just try to come up with good songs.

We worked together as closely as we ever did before. It’s a real band record this time. Everybody has their gaps filled. Everybody’s really taking part in the whole process. But, if you like The New Roses, you’ll like the record. It’s not like we’re trying something totally different.

As I said before, we just want people to have a good time, so we don’t want to try to work through the whole Covid thing. We tried to write songs about having a good time and leaving shit behind.

Have you got any advice you could give to a new band just starting up?

Firstly I’d say don’t take advice from anybody!

You should try to not quit. Work through the hard times and just keep pushing and enjoying. Don’t let it become too much of a job because people can feel that. They enjoy it the most when they see you enjoying it. But other than that rock’n’roll has no rules so how should I come up with any rules?