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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.

Massive, Ghosts of Men and Dig Lazarus at Ye Olde Sal!

Pardon my French, but what a great putain gig! Three hugely impressive sets from some of the best hard rock bands in the underground rock scene right now. Massive, Ghosts of Men and Dig Lazarus. A big thanks to our good friends at Dig Lazarus sneaking us into the sold out Ye Olde Salutation Inn in Nottingham for the gig! We were able to experience it first hand, and just had to let you know how great it was!

Opening the night were the ever awesome Dig Lazarus. For a band that I had not really heard of before Call of the Wild Festival back in May, I have become a huge fan since then. The band were on top form here as well. Their sludgy, heavy blues sound translates perfectly live, especially in a smaller, indoor setting. However, my favourite thing about them is still the backing/duelling vocals. It adds so much to the catchiness of tracks like ‘Never Change’ and ‘Tell Me Why’ and begs audience interaction. These guys are going to be huge sooner rather than later if they keep putting out great music like this and putting on shows to match!

Next up were a new band to me but ones that definitely won me over fast, Ghosts of Men! When just two people took to the stage, I was wearily curious. However, they filled out the sound and the stage masterfully. The frontman oozed charisma and had a voice sounding like a combination of Zakk Wylde and Neil Fallon. Meanwhile between his fantastic guitar playing and the drummer’s awesomeness, they both played a great set of QOTSA-sounding grunge/desert rock.

The band don’t take themselves too seriously, joking around and having fun on stage. It is refreshing to see these days and means when they do get serious with track ‘Wolfpack’, it hits even harder. The band have a new fan in me from their amazing set. I’ll definitely be listening to them a lot moving forward!

Check out our last live review here.

Finally, we reached the headliner and the band that the vast majority of the crowd were there for, Massive. Frontman Brad Marr spoke about how long it had been since their last show in the city and how much the tour had been postponed. You could see and feel his passion throughout the gig, clearly missing being up on stage playing his music. Unfortunately due to injuries and visa issues the band had a few last minute lineup changes for the tour. But, all four of them played their hearts out for the rabid, packed house.

Tracks like ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Dancefloor’ sound just as good now as they did 10 years ago, and went down a storm, just like the most recent tracks. And Brad is one of the best frontmen in the business right now, having the crowd in the palm of his hand through the whole set. I’ve been a fan of the band since Full Throttle and have seen them a few times but never this good. They were on top form and I cannot wait to see where they go from here!

And there we have it. One of the best gigs we’ve been to this year thanks to three incredible bands, an amazing venue and a packed house full of hungry rock fans. Be sure to support each of the bands as much as you can and definitely go and see them if they are playing locally to you. I can’t wait to see them again already!

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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?

Ricky Warwick: ‘I’m already working on the next solo record!’

The first in our ongoing Call of the Wild 2022 Diary series, we sat down for a quick chat with Black Star Riders/Thin Lizzy/The Almighty/Fighting Hearts frontman Ricky Warwick. Check out below as we asked him a few questions before his set at the festival!

So what’s it like to finally be able to play (Call of the Wild) festival?

Great! It’s just great to be able to be back out playing. In the darkest days of the pandemic in the back of your mind you’re thinking when is this shit ever gonna end? Will we ever get back out there? So the fact that we’re completely outside and seeing everyone at shows and all the smiling faces. You’ve got people that you saw at gigs three years ago that are still well and healthy which is good!

Check out our review of the festival here.

What would you say the scene is like, post-covid?

I think the problem we have is that there is still so much wrong, as is always with the world. I think the cost of living is really hurting everybody. I also still think there’s a little bit of trepidation, a lot of people aren’t ready to go back out into a social situation because they’re a little nervous and I totally understand that. I think some people have embraced it and gone ‘great, get me back out there’, while others are wanting to wait a few months just to see how everything goes.

You put out an album last year that seemed to go down well?

It went down great! The only bummer was that I couldn’t tour it. You put out an album and you do all the promo and it did really well in the charts and then you just want to go on the road. We couldn’t do that, so it was like ‘yey!’ and then ‘no!’.

Are you only just touring now then?

We’re only just really getting round to it now/ We went out with the Fighting Hearts in March and did 20 dates around the country which again were postponed from the previous year. So was this, so we’re just playing catch-up really.

Are you already writing again?

I’m always writing! Got the new Black Star Riders written and recorded and the first single’s gonna drop next month (find it below). Then the album’s coming out in January. I’m already working on the next solo record.

Is it a different approach to the songwriting between the bands?

I mean Black Star Riders yes because obviously it’s a band. The solo stuff you get to be as narcissistic as you wanna be because it’s just you. But obviously with BSR you’re working with the guys and you’re listening to everybody’s input and everybody’s ideas, which I love. So it’s a very different situation, my solo stuff is very me me me. But I just love to write so I’m just happy that I have the outlet to do that!

And finally, if you could take one band out on tour with you, who would it be?

I think I’ve gotta go for the classic Thin Lizzy lineup. I’d go for the Black Rose lineup as that’s my favourite Lizzy album so I’d take that out. MC5 would be good. We just had the Virginmarys just come and do some shows with the Fighting Hearts, I thought they were phenomenal.

And there we have it folks, we hope you enjoyed the interview! Keep up to date on all of them, including all of our Call of the Wild coverage, from our Facebook here.

Voodoo Blood: ‘Embrace the different, creative, wacky side of yourself!’

We had the chance to sit down with the phenomenal Kim jennett (Solo, Myke Grey, Voodoo Blood) to talk about the return of her breakthrough band, Voodoo Blood. We talk about their return and new single, as well as Kim’s experience on The Voice and her plans or the future!

What promped the return of the band?

I was writing for the Kim Jennett stuff, which is how I’ve released all my music over the last few years. When we started writing we realised it was kinda heavy and just sounded like a Voodoo Blood song. And it inspired me again to do all the creative stuff and do the music videos and lots of other ideas. It just felt right to do it as Voodoo Blood. It just fit.

It’s a lot more fun for me too, to be honest. It opens up a whole world for me to be creative in rather than when it’s Kim Jennett it’s just me. I feel like I can let go of that when I’m doing Voodoo Blood because it’s a character so it’s a lot more fun for me.

You mentioned the earlier writing, was that ‘Black Mirror’ (the recent single)?

It was, yes! That riffy kinda bluesy stuff that we started writing and this one sounded like Voodoo Blood. But then we do have a few other songs in the works that do sound a bit different, which are different from anything I’ve done. My boyfriend has got different influences to me, he plays with Geoff Tate, Queensryche’s old frontman, so he’s got that sort of other influences. But then we’ve got stuff that’s quite different and experimental so I’m quite excited to release that as well!

Check out our last interview, with RXPTRS, here.

Is it a whole new line up aside for yourself?

Yeah, the actual band is just me and my boyfriend. We do all of the writing, he plays guitar and records me and does all of the production. It’s just us two and then depending on where we are in the world we can have different members. The other two are interchangeable for the moment.

Is the plan for an EP or album or are you just focusing on singles for the moment?

We’re doing singles for the minute but we are working towards having a release like an EP or an album down the line, yeah!

How did you come up with the whole Voodoo Woman persona?

It was strange. Voodoo Blood first started around 2018 and we were kinda just playing as much as we could, playing every single gig we could. But I didn’t have the persona yet. We did cover an old blues song by Koko Taylor, ‘Voodoo Woman’. We made it our own. She says ‘I’m the voodoo woman’ in the song and everyone at our shows started calling me the voodoo woman. It kinda developed from there.

My parents do the artwork for us and I wanted to take that idea and create a character for one of the EP artworks. Then I thought for one of the shows I’d dress up as this character and promote the EP and it all gelled together then and I became the voodoo woman!

I didn’t think of it as me playing a character on stage, it was still a band. I was just myself and it naturally turned into the Voodoo Woman. So now a large part of this project is creating a world around her and creating her backstory.

You were on The Voice last year. Why do you think shows like that doesn’t see rock as very positive?

It’s strange actually. The thing the judges said after I’d been on was very much ‘oh but it’s rock’ like that’s a negative thing. I think they said a similar thing to Nathan James (Inglorious) a few years before. I’m not sure, I guess they want music that everyone’s gonna like and I’ve got quite a different voice, I have that rock edge to it. I guess that pushed me into just what I want to do again.

I was going to ask, did that have an impact on your direction and plans after that?

Yeah it definitely did. It was like I did something quite commercial and I was doing my livestreams at the time, singing pop songs and covers. So I was doing the commercial thing and people still put me into that box of the rock one.

And I didn’t get to pick my own song, they picked their song for me. I don’t think it showed off my voice at all. I wanted to do an old blues song, ‘Cry Baby’ by Janis Joplin, which would have been brilliant. So it was like not everyone’s going to like me anyway so what’s the point in trying to please other people, I might as well do music that I enjoy, and I enjoy doing heavy rock music. I’m just going to do my only thing because I enjoy it and it makes me happy. Hopefully it’ll then inspire people who look at it to go ‘well, I’ll be myself too’. A big thing for me is inspiring others to be themselves. Embrace the different, creative, wacky side of yourself!

Do you have a dream tour in mind?

Of course I’d love to play with my influences like Halestorm, Ghost, Alice Cooper. Someone like that would be amazing! We just saw him on the Monsters of Rock cruise and it was just awesome. The show behind the music and the lineup – the musicians he’s got – are just excellent.

I didn’t really set out with this project thinking ‘I’m going to go and support another band’, this project is me being creative and if I am going to go out there and do a live show, I want it to be perfect. I want it to be a show, not just a gig. I really like the whole theatrical thing, not just a gig, I love that.

And finally, do you have any plans and ideas for the next few years for Voodoo Blood?

My goal is to be creative and to write music. I love writing the music videos and creating that whole world. My dream was to play Download festival and I did that a few years back. After that I just thought I’d play Download and that’d be it, I’d be happy then. Then that night I was still going back to my bedroom sat there thinking ‘fuck, what now? What’s gonna top that?’ and I actually felt quite sad.

So I thought what next? For me, to be able to do the music that I enjoy and to be creatively free, that’s what’s gonna make me happy so that’s what I’m gonna do. I’ve already seen a lot of people really liking the track which is nice to hear. But I’m out to do this to get all of this stuff that’s in my head out of there, it kinda keeps me sane. So that’s my goal really; to be creatively free and enjoy what I’m doing!

And there we have it! If you enjoyed our interview, check out our video ones from our YouTube here.

New Music Mondays: Porcupine Tree, Alestorm and Much More!

Another week packed with new music, from rock to metal. However, before we get into it this week, a couple of surprise honourable mentions.

We typically don’t cover EPs on this article, but y’all would hate me if I didn’t mention Spiritbox’s new stuff. It’s good. Better than their album, in fact. Also, while not strictly rock so I omitted it from an official entry, Jack Johnson’s new album is fantastic so go check that out!

Porcupine Tree: CLOSURE/CONTINUATION

A band that I have struggled to get into for years, there are actually one or two tracks here that I found myself enjoying a lot! The heaviness of ‘Rats Return’, especially that fantastic guitar riff, had me loving it throughout. And how can I not praise the bass in the opening track? Unfortunately it’s not all good. Tracks like ‘Dignity’ and ‘Of the New Day’ still bore me to tears. However, they’re not bad songs, just too slow and long and repetitive for me. If it’s going to prog, it better at least have highs and lows and plenty of changes, not just all slow lows. But I didn’t hate it, which is an improvement at least! 5/10

Alestorm: Seventh Rum of a Seventh Rum

Due to this particular review, I very nearly gave this album a 10/10. However, I wanted to at least maintain some integrity as a journalist. Objectively, it’s good. Not great. Not as good as their last couple of albums. Just good. I remember reviewing the last one (I think I gave it an 8) and saying I enjoyed the comedy songs more. I feel somehow the exact opposite this album. The lyrics for ‘Cannonball’ come across as massively childish and immature while ‘P.A.R.T.Y’ (while massively catchy and fun), does feel a tad… Fortnite. It just feels a bit like they are running out of clever ways to make the joke, meaning it’s getting a little old. Meanwhile, tracks like ‘Under Blackened Banners’ and the title track are fantastically catchy and well-written. And of course the latest entry into the ‘Wooden Leg’ saga is awesome, too. It’s a shame nothing quite came close to ‘Treasure Chest Party Quest’ this time, but it’s still a damn good pirate metal album. 7/10

Alexisonfire: Otherness

I’ve never ‘got’ this band. I don’t think I ever will. I know they have a pretty huge following, but this style of post-hardcore just sounds like a mess to me. While I can appreciate the ingenuity, the vocals rarely sound like they fit with the instrumentation, and the clean and harsh vocals don’t fit together at all. Some tracks have an alright riff but they’re all pretty simple, reminding me of the latest You Me At Six album. I couldn’t find a song that found myself enjoying, as much as I hate to say it. So, don’t kill me, but this album gets a 3/10 from me.

Coheed and Cambria: Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind

A band I know I’d love if I just had the time to listen to them past the ICONIC riff of ‘Welcome Home’. The band is full of fantastic musicians and songwriters and they even release graphic novels to help tell the stories of their albums. How am I NOT a massive fan already?

The bands infectious blend of pop, punk, prog and metal is on fantastic display throughout this entire album. The insanely catchy choruses of ‘Comatose’ and ‘Love Murder One’ are definite highlights, and of course it’s impossible not to talk about the masterpiece that is ‘Shoulders’. However, I would recommend you listen to the album back to back to really get a full appreciation of it all. It really is an amazing concept album and damn, I need to fully check out the rest of their back catalogue. 8.5/10

Weezer: SZNZ: Summer

The second of four albums this year, one to represent each season. This one is a vast improvement on Spring, feeling more like a classic pop-punk Weezer album. And honestly, most of the tracks are good. ‘Lawn Chair’ is weird and makes no sense, but the following four tracks are all fantastic. And on a seven track album, that’s a very good sign. While I wouldn’t say any of them feel that ‘summery’, I am definitely enjoying the album! Hopefully the other two are this good too, because I’d say this is as good as Van Weezer last year, and I LOVED that album! 8/10

Nervus: The Evil One

Google told me this was a punk band. Google got my hopes up and lied. It’s indie, with a slightly more rock/80s pop leaning than normal. Nothing more. That’s not a bad thing per say, but I was a little disappointed and, thus, bored by what I heard. Tracks like ‘Drop Out’ and ‘Rental Song’ are okay, but nothing we haven’t heard huge amounts of times before from other bands. I’d happily listen to this in the background as a chilled-out album while I’m busy, but concentrating on the album meant I got pretty uninterested after a few tracks. 4/10

Petrol Girls: Baby

I don’t see the appeal of bad female vocals in punk bands. In fact, let me re-phrase that. I don’t see the appeal of bad vocals. It just reminded me a lot of Wet Leg and Otoboke Beaver, two bands I cannot stand, hence the first sentence. The music behind the vocals is okay and inoffensive enough, but I cannot get past the awful vocals. It made it feel like it was going on forever when in fact I’d only gotten two tracks in before wanting to turn it off. I pushed through, but it doesn’t get any better, sadly. More power to you if you enjoy this, we’re clearly very different people! But sadly, this gets a 2/10 from me.

Saor: Origins

It’s Iron Maiden with a choir or growls over the top. I would take that as a compliment but at the same time, I’d rather listen to Maiden. I’m not sure what it was, but something here just didn’t quite click with me. I enjoyed it from a musical standpoint, but the vocals didn’t really much for me. Far less offensive than the previous entry in this article, they were definitely listenable, they just didn’t give me anything memorable. There was no big chorus or dirty scream or impressive high note. The only thing that seemed to stand out on this album were the riffs. Hence why I’d prefer to listen to Maiden or a folk rock band, someone that can do this just as well while also adding a second element to their sound. ‘Fallen’ is a bop though, even for that outro alone! 4.5/10

RXPTRS: Living Without Deaths Permission

I’ve reviewed this album already. It was fucking awesome. Check out said review here.

Paganizer: Beyond The Macabre

The death metal Swedes released their 12th studio album in 23 years last week. Firstly, that’s some impressive work ethic. Second, it’s impressive that it’s still of damn high quality. I know death metal isn’t for everyone and I’m only a beginner really with the genre, but everyone involved played their part very well. ‘Meatpacker’ was a particular highlight to me due to its crushing riffs and some very good ‘bleh’s. An album worth checking out if you’re into the heavy stuff! 7/10

And there we have it, another stacked week of new music! Tune in next week as always and keep up to date on all of our content from our Facebook here.