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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

WEAK13 Feature - New Controversial Video 'Joke'





Controversial British independent band WEAK13 are gearing up later this year to release their very anticipated debut studio album which fans of the band have waited years for but now a new previously unannounced single has been released on iTunes with a music video to accompany it that could raise the bar for unsigned bands. The three piece grunge industrial band is led by Singer and guitarist Nick J.Townsend with Neel Parmar on Drums, and Wesley Smith on Bass Guitar. They band pride themselves on breaking rules, surrealism and honest raw music and for doing so have been described as 'badass' (Kerrang) and just to prove how different and weird they can be, Andrew W.K. said this about them, 'If aliens tried to make rock music, it might sound like this'! This statement applies not only to their sound but their music videos, as you can probably guess by now they are not ones to shy away in the face of adversity..quite rerfreshingly! The band have been known for their weird, wonderful and brilliant music videos. In the past their videos have featured frontman Nick Townsend dressed entirely in newspaper in 'Prouder Than U 2' and even a massive budget mini movie style video inspired by World War 1 trench raid with 'Wakedown' which won the award for ‘Best music video’ in the London Limelight Film & Arts awards (2010).

However with their latest self released visual offering they had no backing from a label, so it was done on a low budget but it could well be their 'biggest' music video yet despite this, due to the strong statements of empowerment for unsigned bands as well as the controversial theme behind it. I have kindly been given an exclusive first look/listen at the new video, which could potentially cause quite a stir..Here is what front man Nick J Townsend had to say on the matter..


"Music videos are dead. The majority of signed bands music videos we see released seem to be just a collection of cold money shots with no real storyline and quite a lot of unsigned bands music videos I've watched leave me thinking "Do they actually expect to get this on Television or watched by human beings?" because it's shit. However I defend a lot of unsigned bands because most have no financial backing and have to do everything themselves and for some reason there is a great deal of pressure on them to be like their piers from day one in order for them to be taken seriously despite having no money or status. Our music video may not be expensive but it's different to what a band in our position is expected to make; maybe it will encourage bands to be more creative and to think outside the box?"

The song appropriately titled 'Joke' is the first preview of a track from their upcoming debut album set to be released at the end of the year. The theme behind the video may be obvious at times, but there is more to it than meets the eye, which is thought provoking and gives not just unsigned bands something to think about but the general public equally....

"I think the point of a music video has been lost, it should be an opportunity to further say something about the song that you've already created. A lot of mainstream bands nowadays have a creative team step in who are basically a collection of executive 'yes men' with cameras (whose job it is is to ensure that what's being filmed is suitable for VH1 or any music channel that's mind numbingly boring) who arguably aren't totally aware of what the song is actually about; a song which in some cases may not have even been written by the band that they're filming. Noel Gallagher for example has been quoted many times slagging off the Oasis music videos he's been in which suggests that he either considers them artistically separate to the song or has no control or say on the final look; or possibly even no interest in how they represent him which is sadder really".

The main statement of the video is about authority figures
and media generally fooling the public on a regular basis, and let's face it this is quite true unfortunately! Nick confirms this..

"The music video to 'Joke' took just over six weeks, it started with an idea I had after reading a report on a Twitter news feed about the 'Selfie' incident at Nelson Mandela's funeral involving President Obama. It highlighted to me how privacy has been invaded in the 21st Century and also the hypocrisy of it all seeing as the photo used in all the newspapers was a photo of someone taking a photo and not the 'selfie' itself. So for the WEAK13 music video I set about inventing a politician called Presley Dent and created a world where he is the President of the United States of America and basically poked a bit of fun on the whole 'Selfie' culture"..

"The song itself I guess is a statement about how some people are too eager to blindly follow powerful authority figures and as a result often accept information relayed by those in control as total truth even if the person or organisation representing their interests is somewhat of a joke; this domination is secured by consent. You get those that consider themselves rational and intellectual that still fail to grasp the basic concept of media manipulation and, for example, believe everything the news tells them without question.








Picture taken from video in question



Not being ones to be overly serious but still get their message across, the video although controversial is also light hearted and commical at times, and just damn right strange characterisally of them! They found a equal balance of serious and silly which is well thought out and important to them:

"The video we produced is satirical with a little exploitation here and there but it's got something to say and hopefully will get people thinking and make them laugh a bit too perhaps. Lyrics to most mainstream songs are dumbed down and riddled with capitalist values whereas WEAK13 songs could be argued as swaying more towards Marxism/critical thinking in regards to lyrical content. The band as an alternative practice is very counter-hegemonic".

This video should be very inspiring to fellow unsigned bands showing that you don't need the backing of a label to create a powerful creative video which will grab people's attention! This illustrates perhaps that some bands don't think outside the box when it comes to promoting themselves or creating music videos on small budgets, but this video demonstrates you can and will hopefully inspire other musicians and bands to do the same! As Nick said himself on this matter, 'If no one gives us a record deal then so be it but I see bands every week doing nothing creative and moaning that they can't do anything without a record deal...we would like to think that this song and video shows you can'.

To watch the shocking and controversial video in question visit the link below (you know you want too!)

 
WEAK13 - joke [Official video]    http://youtu.be/eMgG-e0c9IY

To Download single - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/joke/id847612932?i=847613020
 

To keep upto date with WEAK13 visit these sites:
http://weak13.site4fans.com
https://www.facebook.com/weak13fanpage
http://www.reverbnation.com/weak13
http://www.twitter.com/weak13


Carina Lawrence

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bellusira - Interview






Australian alternative rock four piece, Bellusira are a hot new band to look out for, having released their debut album June last year titled 'Connection' which received positive press and earned them international attention. The band have been busy since, as recently signed with Stephanie Christie Management and Publicity as well as being co-managed by veteran rocker Will Hunt (Evanescence/Device) and are currently touring in the US for the first time. There's lots happening for them right now, so I asked bass player, Mark Dalbeth about being signed, the album, touring and what is to come for the band..


Firstly what does Bellusira mean and how did you come up with the name?

The name is a combination of two latin words which are Bellus (Beautiful) and Ira (Anger). Life is full of light and dark moments and that also comes through in our music. Our singer Crystal was the one that came up with the idea for the name.


To those who haven't yet been fortunate enough to hear your music, how would you describe you sound?

I don’t like to put any preconceived ideas into people’s minds about how we sound so generally I just lead them to the music:
https://bellusira.bandcamp.com/music


You signed with Stephanie Christie Management and Publicity and are also co-managed by veteran rocker Will Hunt (Evanescence/Device), how did this make you feel and what has it been like so far working with them?

It’s been an incredible experience so far working with those guys. Even though it’s very much the early stages of the relationship, we can already see the benefits starting to come through with having such and amazing team backing us.


You are heading out on your first US tour, how excited are you about this?

Getting over to the US has always been the big
goal for us. Everything so far has been a step towards achieving that. We are working on dates at the moment with management and will no doubt get those up on our pages soon.

What can attending fans expect from your shows?

The most important thing for us is that people get a show. If people are going to make the effort to come down and support you, the very least you can do is entertain the hell out of them! This whole new thing of looking bored on stage and shoe gazing makes me want to vomit in my mouth.


After your US tour, are there any plans to tour in Europe/UK? And also if you could play anywhere elsewhere would you like to go?

We would love to play in Europe/UK and that is definitely something that we are keen on and have already talked about. The idea of traveling the world and experiencing new places while playing music that you love is the ultimate for us, we will happily play any stage, anywhere in the world and love it!


Your debut album, 'Connection' was received well in Australia, how proud did this make you feel and what would you say have been the biggest highlights for you as a band so far?

We were very pleased with how the response was from the record. After spending so much time in the studio, it was hard to let go of it but we had to
just believe in the songs and trust that it would make that connection with the fans.

The biggest highlight to date was when we landed the mgmt deal because we knew that we finally had a strong platform to launch from. The most important thing for us is to get our music out to as many people as possible so getting that has certainly put us in a much better position to do so.


What was the recording process like for 'Connection' and what are the main themes running through the album?

It was a tough recording process; we had to work really hard on the songs and had very high standards with each section of each song so a lot of culling of ideas was going on. Crystal wrote all the lyrics for the record and as much as she doesn’t have a set theme that she writes about, she always draws from her own life experiences and also how she is feeling about the world that we live in.


Do you have any main influences or inspirations that contributed to the album?

We are a band that listens to a lot of different styles of music so that naturally comes out in the writing process. We also try and stay away from what everyone else is doing in the scene, trying to latch onto something like that will no doubt be career suicide. The most important thing to us is to write the best songs that we can write. It worked
for the Beatles right?


Have you started writing any new material yet, or are you just focusing on touring with your debut at the moment?

We will be pushing the debut album overseas as it will still be pretty new to people over there but saying that Crystal and I have been doing some pre production work on the second release and have around 4 or 5 song ideas that we are starting to develop.


As you’re about to head out on your US tour, have you got anything you would like to say to your fans?

Firstly thank you so much for the support. Every day we get messages from people and it’s amazing how much they love what we do and what the music means to them. Hopefully we can meet a whole bunch of US fans while we are over there and have a drink with them!


Finally, what else does 2014 hold in store for Bellusira?

World domination and meeting Ellen Degeneras! We don’t mind which order that happens in!


If you haven't already, you need to check out this band: http://www.reverbnation.com/bellusira
Keep up to date with the latest news and tour information on their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bellusira

Also check out their latest video for 'Cachango' below:

 
 
Carina Lawrence

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Adam Havick - Ordinary Man EP Review





Adam Havick from New York is a singer/songwriter who has been performing for almost a decade, inspired by the likes of Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and Billy Joel. This is Adam's fourth EP and along his musical endeavours found his band mates and musicans to work and help him to shape his unique and defining sound. The EP is boasting brilliant and witty artwork, that contains a warning of 'catchy tunes' and explains 'may have difficulty putting down' which only adds to the intrigue and charm before you have even listened..

Opening song, 'Let Me Let You' has an old bluesy feel with a modern edge and is charming and easy on the ears with smooth fun vocals. Although the arrangement is fairly simple its executed wonderfully. To add to the blues vibes it features a super slick impressive guitar solo by Douglas Charles Showalter which gives it more power as well as some great screamed vocals really embracing the genre and mood!

'Halfhearted Attempt' is extremely catchy (as we have been warned!) and witty and the nice addition of gang vocals which add to the light 'hearted' fun! As the lyrics say themselves here's to "getting you out of my head" - the same applies to this song through its sheer catchiness and enthusiasm! This one is a great drinking song with friends!

Title track, 'Ordinary Man' opens on intricate guitar licks which continue througout and here we see some guest female vocals from Tiffany Schirz which compliment Adam's voice well, who shows off his good and cleverly written lyrics. Also this song sports a brilliant and memorable guitar solo by Alex Hughes which I highly recommend you check out!

'A Step Away' has a less positive vibe with thought provoking lyrics which are delivered by nice soothing vocals from Adam and again for more emphasis we see vocals from Tiffany, who also treats us to a beautiful piano solo. This is a pleasant and enjoyable song which is a must hear!

'Buried At The Bottom' begins with strong loud acoustic guitar with equally strong and varied vocals to match which show Adam's abilities greatly. The song picks up with more instrumentation coming in giving it an ambient feel and gang vocals adding more power! Although negative lyrics the beats and rhythms remain positive sounding, which I think is a nice touch.

Last song, 'Do You Miss Me?' is a slightly sorrowful love song which is portrayed through the lyrics, however unlike typical love type songs this may have a bit of a depressing context but the way its performed is still upbeat and hopeful making it a perfect relatable love song that allows you to reflect. There is a great mix and use of instruments to help give depth.

For someone who claims to be an 'ordinary man' Adam sure possesses a whole lot of talent and skill along with band mates! All of which is delivered with energy,enthusiasm and humour without detracting from the seriousness of the songwriting; You can tell a lot of fun was had making this EP! There is something for everyone here to relate to and with its changeable moods and elements of different genres, all used to create Adam's own personal sound and stamped with his unique charm, making this is an EP to take a listen to and thoroughly enjoy!


Listen to the EP Here: http://adamhavick.bandcamp.com/

And to keep upto date with Adam visit:
www.AdamHavick.com
www.twitter.com/AdamHavick
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adam-Havick/321374868816


Carina Lawrence

Issue 24 Of Stencil Magazine (31st March 2014)

 

 
Check out the latest Stencil Magazine featuring loads of awesome interviews (see above!) and reviews - including my reviews of Architects, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Comeback Kid, Polar & More Than Life!
 
Head to this link to check it all out: http://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue24
 
Carina