Thursday, May 24, 2012

Not Your Choice - E.P review

 'Rest in Peace, Live in Combat' is the title of the first E.P produced by metal/hardcore band Not Your Choice.  Hailing from the small town of Paderborn in Germany and forming in 2009, 'Rest in Peace, Live in Combat' is a polished and mature E.P that belies the age of this young band.  Starting out as a group of friends that had similar tastes in music, Not Your Choice began life as more of a thrashmetal band before the inclusion of second guitarist Chris in 2010 who brought with him a more of a punk influence.  "We have already gone through quite a long process and it isn't finished yet, but I guess it never will be and that's what it's all about isn't it?".
The Not Your Choice sound is intense, intricate and demonstrates a high quality of musicianship.  Lyrically the content is heavy, passion fuelled and written in English.  "I reckon that English is a nice, melodic language.  It feels good to write lyrics in another language that the one you use everyday to order your coffee, joke with your friends or to curse your neighbour who stomps his broom against his ceiling". 
The sophisticated musicianship, powerful lyrics and overall intensity makes Not Your Choice a band to watch.

Go check them out:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Such Gold interview

An unprecedented amount of photographers swarm the tiny First Unitarian Church stage as Such Gold play. It's the most media attention I've ever seen for a show here, even for bands like Thursday or Four Year Strong. "They were all up in my business!" laughs Skylar Sarkis. "I was like, 'Don't you take a picture of me singing,' because I look like an idiot." He mimics a frozen face and bandmate Nate Derby cracks up in agreement. I'm sitting with the two Such Gold guitarists in the side chapel upstairs, the faint sound of Comeback Kid's set below us. The crowd were just as emphatic as the photographers, piling on top of each other to sing into vocalist Ben Kotin's mic. It's a wonder no cameras were broken, but Nate admits the band have become accustomed to their fan's antics. "Although last night, I had my pedal board up by the front of the stage and kids were stage diving. One kid hit the pedal board that changes the samples, so I went to press the loop from the beginning of 'Minstrels' and it was the loop from 'Four Superbowls.' I didn't realize it until twenty seconds in and everyone was looking at me."

I first met Nate a few weeks previous at the Alternative Press showcase during South by Southwest, where they played alongside Cancer Bats, The Early November, and The Amity Affliction. "... We got to hang out with Braid a bit [at SXSW], which was ridiculous." Nate and I originally began talking about a friend of mine who lived in Such Gold's hometown of Rochester, New York and always complained there were never any decent shows there. Nate disagreed, stating that "[The music scene in Rochester] is all venue based, there are house shows, just no house venues. They got shut down... It's fluxuated over the years. Polar Bear Club started getting bigger, we played shows, then promoters started booking cooler bands and now there are great shows every week."

Nate and Skylar reveal that their upcoming full-length album, which was slated to be released this month, has been pushed back again to the summer. I asked them if working on that was any different than the splits and EPs they've put out.
Skylar- "I got asked that question earlier and I just said 'No.' It's just a bigger chunk of time."
Nate- "Yeah, it definitely represents us in the last year...We have songs that were written in January of last year and not finished until January of this year."
Skylar- "It almost sounds like two EPs put together. The first and second half could easily be their own CDs."
The unnamed album was produced by Steve Evetts, known for working with heavier bands such as The Dillinger Escape Plan and Sepultura. "Oh, we're going metal with this album." jokes Skylar. "No, he did Lifetime and Saves the Day too."
Nate- "He produced many of our favourite albums. Honestly, he somehow found out about us and contacted the label. We had a phone conversation with him and were like, 'Fuck yeah, lets do this!'"
Take Aim- "Steve Evetts played bass on one of Vanilla Ice's albums, that's a good connection to have. *laughs*"
Skylar- "That and Razor & Tie [Such Gold's label] does Kidz Bop!"
Take Aim- "No way! I had no idea!"
Nate- "Which one of our songs would be a Kidz Bop song?"
Skylar- "Storyteller."
Nate- "That would be hilarious."

No Trigger & Such Gold AUS Tour 11 Webocumentary from Brendan Coughlin on Vimeo.

On behalf of the many Australian Such Gold fans (watch the above video for awesomeness), I have to ask if they're planning on making the long voyage over to Oz again. "Brock, who booked our last tour has been talking with our management about bringing us back and we want it to happen, just we don't know what's going on, so much is completely up in the air still," explains Nate. "We're booked up until June right now and our record's not coming out until mid-summer. We want to go back, but who knows. I'm sure we will at the end of the year if everything works out. It's just really expensive... We did Costa Rica in June and are super in debt from that. We make an investment every time we go overseas and the pay-off isn't always immediate."

Nate has a blog of his own, Long Days Long Nights, where he documents touring life as well as interviewing fellow musicians, but it has been on hiatus the past few months. "I've been so busy. It was just a cool idea. With the touring and recording a new album, I couldn't focus on it and had to put it on stand-by....I was going to do a tour blog for this tour, but I'm probably just going to do one at the end." Such Gold have indeed been busy, touring almost non-stop this year, currently with hardcore heroes Comeback Kid and Foundation.
Nate- "We got two tour offers and everyone wanted us to do the Set Your Goals/Cartel tour and we were like, 'No.'"
Skylar- "We wanted to do a hardcore tour to see what it would be like and its been really cool."
Nate- "This is the crowd that we see ourselves playing for...We were already on a pop tour when we got the two offers and had to go with Comeback Kid."

I end the interview with the mention of Such Gold playing Bamboozle, only to discover it was unfortunately an error. "You know, somebody else asked us that," laughs Nate. "I don't think we are. We would! Whoever put that up on our site fucked up." The Razor & Tie interns must have been rocking out too much to this to realize their mistake.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Murder by Death Australian Tour

With the tour recently being postponed until May, Murder by Death are still on the way for a seven date tour of Australia. With a south western sound blended with dark undertones, Murder by Death have been described as everything from 'Gothic' to 'alt country'. I spoke to singer, Adam Turla about their eclectic sound, the upcoming Australia tour and plans for a new album.
Angie Hurlock

Since forming in Bloomington, Indiana as a group of friends making music for fun, Murder by Death have gone on to release five albums and five EP's and cemented themselves as an intense live band with a compelling sound. Murder by Death's sound is unusual and has been labelled as everything from country to Gothic, but labelling the music is something that vocalist Adam Turla tries not to do. “Being eclectic is kinda our thing. I guess we mainly try to be a rock 'n' roll band with hints of Americana and some darker themes. When someone like my grandmother asks what we sound like I say, 'Dark rock 'n' roll with a cello'.

This eclectic sound stems from the diverse musical influences of the band, for Adam these include Percy Sledge, Sam Cooke, Ziggy Stardust era Bowie, The Cure and Os Mutantes. “I like groups/musicians that own their sound. We have very eclectic tastes and generally just enjoy the music of groups that go out and do their own thing and do it well”. Lately Adam has been listening to some of his friends bands and thinks that our readers should do the same. “O'Death is a friends band that put out what I think was the best record of 2011, it's called 'Outside'. It is such a well arranged, beautiful and creepy record, I love it. Our friends J Roddy Walston also put out an amazing record called 'J Roddy Walston'. It is a really fun rock 'n' roll, with a weird Queen meets Thin Lizzy meets Jerry Lee Lewis vibe”.

As Murder by Death prepare to come down to Australia for the first time they're incredibly excited for the shows and so are a lot of Australians who have been waiting for Murder by Death to grace our shores for years. “We've gotten so many e-mails from Aussie's who have been waiting for us to come there, but I think we might be even more excited than them! We are taking a week off to enjoy Australia too, as it's a place we have always wanted to go. I'm flying up to the Great Barrier Reef to scuba and snorkel and I hope to get some rock climbing in too while I'm there”. When it comes to the live shows, Australians should brace themselves for some rowdiness at a Murder by Death show. “The more the audience gives, the more we give. I love a good sing along. We have a tight show that we have worked on for many years. We plan to play stuff from all our records so people who have been waiting years to see us will get to hear the variety of sounds we have gone for. I can't wait”.

The future of Murder by Death is bright, with the Australian tour pending and work on their follow up to 'Good Morning, Magpie' almost complete. “We are in the studio with producer John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, St Vincent, Black Mountain) right now. We've been holed up in Dallas, Texas, working on a new record that will hopefully be out late this spring or early summer”. After this next album is released another Australian tour is on the cards for Murder by Death with hopes that Adelaide and Perth, who are missing out on shows this time round will be included in the tour next time.

Make sure you get along to a Murder by Death show this May.
Thursday 17th May | The Evelyn, Melbourne

Friday 18th May | The National Hotel, Geelong

Saturday 19th May | The Wall, Sydney

Sunday 20th May | Cambridge Hotel / Side Bar (Chino's), Newcastle
Tickets only available at the door on the night of the show.

Thursday 24th May | Surfers Paradise Beer Garden, Gold Coast
Tickets only available at the door on the night of the show.

Friday 25th May | The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
Tickets only available at the door on the night of the show.

Saturday 26th May | The Jubilee Hotel, Brisbane