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Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Speedways - Just Another Regular Summer


Since the digital release of "Just Another Regular Summer" everybody with the ears in the right place knew that the songs  written by Matt Julian were instant classics. Being the old school type, yours truly was convinced since day one that a physical release was also requested. The wait has been long but is now finally rewarded since the Canadian label God's Candy Records put out some beautiful colored vinyls. Needless to say you should purchase multiple copies of it!

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The Speedways to introduce yourself? What have you been up to since the demise of The Breakdowns? 

The Speedways are a guitar based pop group from England. The debut album 'Just Another Regular Summer' will be released this month on Gods Candy Records (Canada). It will also be available on Ghost Highway (spain) Beluga (sweden) Crocodile (UK) and Get Hip (USA/worldwide)

With zero contacts and zero effort The Speedways have been played on the radio the world over.
Legendary American DJs Rodney Bingenheimer at Sirius FM and Todd-O-Phonic-Todd at WFMU have lent their support to the band. Mike Rogers has spun The Speedways on InterFM in Tokyo & power-pop Legend Paco Pepe of PlasticoElastico in Madrid has played us many times on his show.
Celebrity fans from the world of Rock n Roll include Protex, The Baby Shakes, Nikki Corvette and Teengenerate to name just a few. There has also been national UK magazine coverage in Vive Le Rock as well as further online radio play across Europe. The songs have only been on bandcamp for 6 months and we've only played 2 gigs, so it's done relatively ok.


2) Why choose a "band" name since this record is mostly you?  Did you not want to release the record under the Matt Julian moniker? Who is playing what instrument in the "live" band?

I felt it would work better if I put it out under a band name. That's all. All the songs are connected - the girl with glitter in her hair is represented by the imagery of Diana Dors and Brigitte Bardot, I'm represented by 'The Speedways' ..that way nobody gets hurt, apart from me. The band name is taken from the Morrissey song 'Speedway'

As luck would have it, 3 of my best pals down in London also happen to be 3 of the best musicians I know. They all liked the Speedways songs so it came together really well. Kris is on drums, Mauro on lead guitar & Adrian on bass. We've had 3 rehearsals and 2 gigs up to this point & are already the best band in England.


3) About the full length record "Just Another Regular Summer",  what can you tell about the recording process? 

I played everything apart from the drums. I double tracked my voice and then harmonized on top of that. It took a few months to get the finished album out for people to hear but the actual recording time was only around 3 days. All the rhythm guitars were recorded first take, every bass guitar part was a full first take. All the keys & percussion were done in a couple of hours.
It was as economical as possible in terms of time & money because there wasn't a full band to share the costs around. I recorded at my mate Tony's studio in Nottingham. He's a lovely chap & we'd usually sit around drinking coffee for the first 2 hours & talk about The Beatles before we actually did any work.


4) Do you consider it should be foolish not to use the nowadays recording technology or do you only work with analog machines in analog studios?

The album was recorded digitally. Fully modern on a laptop and everything. I love the idea of recording to analog but it wouldn't have been practical with what I was doing on this album. I couldn't afford it for a start.


5) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today?

I went through 3 teenage music stages - early teens would be Pop/Chart music + whatever I liked in my parents collection, mid teens was the Heavy Metal phase, late teens was when I started to get into some punk & that kinda thing. The one constant from early to late teens was & still is Rock n Roll from 1955 to 65. My favorite band as a teenager probably changed every couple of years, but pound for pound I'd have to say The Ramones. Three bands that still influence my songs today would be The Ramones, The Smiths and The Ronettes.


6) What are your favorite topics to write about or the topics that come "easily" when you write a new song?

I write songs about disappointment & love. They both come very easily. I actually have very strong political & social views but they don't ever inspire me when I pick up my guitar. In another life I reckon I was a Brill Building song writer with Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin and Carole King etc.. I just feel that love songs are timeless & universal. The Ramones wrote fantastic love songs lest we forget.


7) The Speedways is described as a power pop band. Do you agree with this label? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that?  

I think it's a convenient term of reference & it's probably just about right. The Paul Collins Beat, The Nerves, The Shivvers, Teenage Fanclub, Squeeze, The Exploding Hearts, Phil Seymour, Elvis Costello etc.. were all a big influence on what I was trying to do with The Speedways. I don't have a problem with being called Power Pop at all! ..but I think there's a melancholy & pessimism to The Speedways that makes it a little bit different to a lot of power pop maybe.


 8) Do you have a new video on youtube  featuring a track from the newly released LP?? 

Yes, yes I do! Here's 'Tonight You'll Find Love'



I'm very fond of this video. Those kids had a ball filming it.


9) What can concert goers expect at a The Speedways gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs? Will you play some Breakdowns tunes or is this totally out of the question?

They can expect to have a dance & to have a melody stuck in their head as they walk home later that evening with their faith in love still devout. We've already played 'Back Of My Hand' by The Jags and we've also done 'They Don't Know' by Kirsty MacColl, which is one of my favorite ever songs. It'll only be Speedways stuff + one cover per-show! That's the deal!


10) Are there any bands in the UK today you consider yourself close to?



Lucy and The Rats work to the same premise as me that your records should be well crafted & 'radio friendly' ..and then when you get on stage you can turn it up - which is what The Ramones did too of course. That's not an exact science & doesn't apply to all bands, it's just what I like personally.
My other favorite bands in the UK right now are The Cavemen, Thee Dagger Debs and TV Crime - who are all outstanding.


11) 1 album - 1 gig - The End. Is that for real or are you reconsidering this statement now that the record is out?

Well yeah, I made that statement to add extra mystery to the band! ..but I've tweaked it a little bit since. The Speedways have some pretty cool stuff lined up for 2019 and there are also 2 more gigs to play later this year. I also wanna put out a 7" single or EP.  A companion piece for the album.
After that, I'm not sure.


12) Anything you wanna add?

Yeah! Please buy the record when it comes out! and if you've already bought it on bandcamp or pre-ordered the LP or been to one of the gigs - you're a star, Thank-you!

Up the Brigitte Bardot Punks!


PURCHASE A DIGITAL COPY HEREhttps://thespeedways.bandcamp.com/releases

PHYSICAL COPIES CAN BE PURCHASED HERE: 
https://www.godscandyrecords.com/product/the-speedways-just-another-regular-summer-lp




Monday, November 5, 2018

SMASH FASHION - ROMPUS POMPOUS


Los Angeles dandy rockers SMASH FASHION recently released their fourth full length, ROMPUS POMPOUS. Once more the band delivers everything you ever wanted from a rock'n'roll band: great vocals, brilliant guitar playing and a rock steady rhythm section.

The songwriting of Roger Deering is at its finest and what you get here is instant Powerpop, Glitter and boogie classics.

Time to talk to the man himself. 

Among other very interesting things, he reveals that the band has a full box of cover songs already recorded. So damn it boys, do NOT hesitate any longer, the next record MUST be this all covers album!!!

1) For of the viewers of this blog who would not know you, what would you tell about smash fashion to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays?

Smash fashion is a high energy rock ‘n’ roll band out of Los Angeles California. Purveyors of decadent psychedelia and atomic power pop with the feather boa!..The beginnings of smash fashion go back to 2004 -2005..With quite a few starts,stops,heartbreaks and broken bones. There’s been a few lineup changes over the years. However the concept and direction remains the same, to be a multi dimensional rock ‘n’ roll band that incorporates 50 years of rock ‘n’ roll into our sound.Classic rock ‘n’ roll with the rocket up its ass!

The lineup on our latest LP “Rompus Pompous “ is myself -lead vocals/rhythm guitars...Lloyd Stuart Casson-Lead /rhythm guitars...Repo Kauppila-Drums/percussion and Scarlet Rowe-Bass


2)About the latest full length record, Rompus Pompous, what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of over dubs?

It’s actually A little of both. All basic rhythm and drum tracks were recorded live... with a scratch vocal, which we sometimes kept ,well as some lead guitar which we sometimes kept,depending if it caught the vibe of the song. Some songs we put a lot of overdubs on and others we didn’t. Each song was treated differently, as most of the songs on the record have their own vibe and identity...Some went through different incarnations in the overdubbing process to reach their final destination.In other words,some were more torturous and some were as easy and as smooth as a gravy sandwich to track!

3) Do you consider it should be foolish not to use the nowadays recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analogue Studios?

Well there’s a couple of realistic factors that come into play here...1) tape is very hard and expensive to come by now...2) Analog tape machines and studios are getting more and more scarce... 3) it’s much more practical, convenient , and economically feasible to finish tracking using the digital format.There are plenty of plug-ins, so you can strive for a more analog sounding result. Our record is a little bit of both -some analog and digital on top. I believe we achieved our goal, in not having a over compressed ProTools digital sounding record. I personally can’t even listen to a lot of modern records, as the compression takes away any dynamic in the sound. A lot of modern records all sound like they’ve been recorded the same exact way. I think the” Rompus Pompous “ record sounds warm and lush, and it breathes... and no auto tune anywhere in sight! Now, if we had the money, space and time, I’m sure we’d love to make complete analog recordings and records... now if some smart label would put us up in a mansion in the English country side.... hint hint

4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved one way or another?

I’ve always been the primary songwriter... yet I’m well aware that it's guys individual talents that really help the songs shine. That’s why chemistry and playing with people whose company you enjoy is so important in a band format. We all have respect for each other’s talent and what we’re each capable of bringing to the table. Being in a band is like being married to three other women! It’s a lot of give-and-take and patience from everybody... it’s not always easy, but having 3 other people having your back is nice... as sometimes it really feels like us against the world!

5) About the new record” Rompus Pompous” can you explain the title? And what’s the connection with the artwork on the front cover? 

“ROMPUS POMPOUS “... is a song I had for a bit... it was originally inspired by a story I once read about Michael Jackson attending a party of Freddy Mercury’s and how outrageous it was... and how fame and power can disconnect one from reality and perception... but with the political climate being as such here in the States, it morphed lyrically somewhat into the present. About narcissism and selfie culture...we are in strange times and it’s gonna get even more weird.

The cover has symbols and references to outrageousness hence the bold graphics that just scream-Loud!....

6) Smash fashion as been described by some people as a glam or glitter band. Do you agree with this label? Are you proud of it or do you consider there was way more than that?

This seems to be a never ending dilemma concerning us... it seems nowadays people need to put a tag
on you for marketing reasons.In actuality were just a high-energy rock ‘n’ roll band. Of course glam and glitter are component of what we do. But it certainly doesn’t define who we are sound wise.

Because of the simple reason that glam and glitter mean different things to different people...The stuff that does influence my songwriting comes more from 70's glitter not 80's glam...Bowie, Queen, 
T. Rex, The Sweet , Roxy Music, etc.... in the 80's ,while hair glam was popular, I (and Stuart and Repo) were more involved in the punk scene... I didn’t pay attention to it... I didn’t connect with that scene as I found most of the music too one dimensional... it didn’t swing and wasn’t weird... I found it boring ,a bit too dumbed down... so, are we glitter/glam? Kinda... in the sense that we like dressing cool... but our influences and sound cover a bigger spectrum... and I do feel the tag hurts us at times... it stops some from investigating into us further... they see the “glam” tag and skip over us... glam is not a dirty word goddamn it!!SMASH FASHION IS A ROCK'N'ROLL BAND

7) Do you have a new video on YouTube featuring a Track from the new CD?

We do... “Runs In The Family”... a dity that concerns murder, mayhem and dying bloody....watch loud!



8) What can concert goers expect at a Smash fashion gig? Are you playing any famous covers songs?

First and foremost ,I would hope that anybody attending a gig of ours is there to have a good time... Because that ultimately is what we are about... We’re at the point where we have a pretty deep catalog.. so we can pick and choose from a lot of really good songs...Lots of guitar heroics from Stuart...lots of hats ,scarves and cool guitars!

As far as covers, they come and go out of our set... we’ve covered songs by ABBA, Elton John, The Saints, Dramarama, The Dictators, Rolling Stones, Golden Earring, Nazareth and many others over the years... as a matter of fact... we have a lot of those tracked and in the can for a possible all covers LP... we shall see if we ever decide to put it... and by the way... we do have a new 7 inch single ready to go for record store day 2019... so drop into our Facebook page to stay tuned... and if you dig it , buy our records!

9)Anything you would like to add?

Remember, rock'n'roll is a vicious game... but we like it!Cheers!!!!

Here's the band's homepage : http://www.smashfashionmusic.com/news

And the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/smashfashion

Monday, October 8, 2018

Faz Waltz - Double Decker



Our favorite Italian glam trio FAZ WALTZ released its latest full length album containing 10 new infectious songs all written and composed by Faz La Rocca some months ago but it's never too late to talk about a brilliant album, so here we go:

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about FAZ WALTZ to introduce yourselves?? How long are you guys together as a band? Were you in other bands previously? Who is playing what instrument in the band?

Faz: We're a Glam Rock band since 2007, we're from Italy. I'm Faz La Rocca, I sing and I play guitar, Diego Angelini is the bass player and Marco Galimberti the drummer.
We all played in other bands previously, mostly Punk Rock bands.

2) About the latest released LP "Double Decker", what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

F. We always play live in the same room, we love to get the sound of a real band playing and give the right intensity to the recording. We use to record on tape all the live sessions, the vocals, and the guitar overdubs.

3) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

F. When I was a teenager I used to listen to The Beatles, The Ramones, Queen, The Misfits, The Beach Boys, The Sex Pistols and many more.
My favorites were The Beatles and Queen and I think they still have an influence on my songwriting.

4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

F. Yes, I've always been the only composer in the band, music and lyrics.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

F. Song are mainly influenced by life and experiences, love, hate, fun and frustrations, but sometimes they're totally fruit of my imagination.

6) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release?  

F. Yes, at the moment we released the video for the single "Julie" from Double Decker. You can find a lot of official videos on youtube from our previous albums too.



7) What can concert goers expect at a gig of FAZ WALTZ? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

F. They can expect loud guitars amps and drums, head banging, foot stomping, strange faces from the drummer, small talking and me moving around and getting really sweaty. We never played covers... a couple in 11 years. Lately we play "Suffragette City" by David Bowie if the audience is still asking more at the end of the show.


8) Is there a new rock'n' roll scene in Italy these days and are there any other bands you are feeling close to??

F. Not a real R'N'R scene in Italy, we feel close just to a few bands here, Giuda and The Peawees to mention a couple.







9) What are the plans for the rest of 2018 as far as FAZ WALTZ is concerned? Are you guys planning to tour this side of Europe soon? 
Faz is the real Pinball Wizard! 

We're still promoting "Double Decker"  with gigs in Europe and we hope to get to Belgium soon.
We are working on the U.S. tour for 2019 and writing new material too.

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Thanks a lot for the attention,  keep on supporting Rock'N'Roll bands and blogs like this! Cheers!

"Double Decker" (LP 2018) is out on Contra Records (GER) / Spaghetty Town (USA) / Gods Candy (CAN)

Lyrics & Music by Faz La Rocca

PURCHASE THE GOODIES HERE: http://www.fazwaltz.com/music.html


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tommy And The Rockets - I Wanna Be Covered



In less than 2 years, the man released 2 full length records and a slew of brilliant 45's. Recently he has recorded a full album of RAMONES cover tunes. By avoiding the original Mosrite + Marshall sound and adding cool backing vocals, he managed to make these songs sound totally fresh by bringing up their inner pop side! He is the hottest sensation of the moment and every record label wants to release a Tommy and the Rockets record. Let's talk!

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about Tommy And The Rockets to introduce yourself? Is Tommy And The Rockets actually a real band or is this just you with some friends helping out?  What instrument are you NOT playing? ha ha ha! We want to hear it all from you!

In essence Tommy And The Rockets is just me playing all/most of the instruments. On some recordings I have guest musicians, on others I don't. I get by fine on guitar, bass, and drums, but I'm no virtuoso in any sense and sometimes a little help is needed :-)

2) What can you tell about the recording process regarding the songs included on your latest full length record "Tommy And The Rockets - I Wanna Be Covered"? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

Track by track. I record everything but the drums in my tiny little studio in my bedroom. And when I say tiny I mean really tiny! I have to sit in odd angles when recording an instrument. Not ideal, but I make do. I enlisted the help of a friend in Copenhagen who helped me track the drums at his studio. The guitars have been dubbed, and the vocals as well. Some of the backing vocals have been dubbed up to four times to make it sound richer. Mixing/mastering was done by Chris Frehley, the guy also responsible for mixing all The Dahlmanns releases.

3) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

I've been a huge Ramones fan since I was about 10 years old. That's MY band if you can put it that way. The Ramones is at the core of everything I write. They're my bread and butter. It was around this time I discovered AC/DC as well. Those two bands are by far the two bands I've listened to the most. I'm hard pressed to name a third band. There's too many to choose from! Hmm, Joan Jett maybe? She's the coolest chick in rock 'n' roll. Hopefully I can coax my daughter into looking like Jett when she gets older :-) I've gradually started introducing my two boys to all the good stuff and thankfully they seem very receptive to all the beautiful noise.

4)  There was a time when all the songs were written in a "four hands" collaboration between you and Michael Chaney? How was that collaboration split: were you handling the music and he the lyrics? It seems lately that you are now the sole composer music and lyrics of the tracks of your previous release (I'm not talking about "I Wanna Be Covered" since those are all Ramones songs) what happened to that collaboration?

For the first album and the first single, Chaney wrote all the lyrics, sometimes from song title ideas I had, or even scrapped lyrics I'd written, but mostly he came up with the stuff on his own. As for the music, I wrote about 95% of it (apart from the one where Chaney wrote both the lyrics and the music). I had some songs more or less written already, and some songs were put together from lots of little snippets I had recorded. Some songs were old songs from previous bands I've had that Chaney and I re-arranged a little.

Tommy teaching his boys the rock'n'roll attitude.

Eventually it got to a point where I wanted to stand on my own two legs and branch out a little. I had three songs written and decided to release another single where I was the sole writer (apart from the cover song that is also on that release).

It was a great opportunity to do the stuff I did with Chaney, and it was fun while it lasted, but things change, and now it's just me. I have some stuff coming up soon with collaboration from other people, so it's not like I insist on writing everything myself. More on that further down in this interview.


5) What are Tommy And The Rockets favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you write a new song?

Girls!

6) Is there a new rock'n' roll scene in Denmark these days and are there any other bands you are feeling close to?

Hard to say really, I've been out of the loop for so long. I live in Odense where nothing much is happening when it comes to rock 'n' roll. I'm sure it's different in Copenhagen, but I haven't lived there for close to 8 years.

7) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release? 

I do, but it's just an audio video. I dislike seeing myself on video, and it feels weird to record a video when it's just me in the "band". I'll get around to doing a proper music video eventually though. I promise.




8) Do you intend to take Tommy And The Rockets on the road one day soon and if this happens what can concert goers expect at a gig of Tommy And The Rockets? Will you be playing any famous cover songs? The full "I Wanna Be Covered" album?

I'd LOVE getting a band together! I really would. I've had offers to tour in Spain, Norway, Sweden, etc. There's "obstacles" though. It's very hard finding like minded musicians here in Odense, that's the main thing. There's social anxiety (which I've had my entire life). There's being an introvert. There's stuttering (which I obviously don't do when I sing, but I stutter a lot when I speak). There's having three younger kids which takes up a lot of time.

I'm a lousy front man in the sense that I don't speak at all between songs, and I'm a total wreck before/when I perform. I play drums in another band (The Hitchcocks - www.thehitchcocks.bandcamp.com) which is easier to handle, but there's still lots of nerves and whatnot before/when performing.

And the thing is, I don't want to just find someone not really fitted for the job. I'd want to find someone with the right attitude, the right style of playing (down strokes on the guitar/bass, 8th notes on the hi-hat, etc.).

So, as you can probably tell, there's a lot going against getting a band together if I have to put all these variables into consideration. Realistically speaking though, I know I'd have to mellow a bit on some of the stuff or it'll never happen, and I'd love for it to happen.

9) What are the plans for the rest of 2018 as far as Tommy And The Rockets are concerned? 

There's some exciting stuff coming up later this year/early next year.

A split single with a Spanish band called The Bikini Wipeouts will be out soon. Two songs from each band, one original and one cover. I did a cover of "Summer Means Fun" by The Fantastic Baggies and they did a Brian Wilson cover.

A split with The Dahlmanns will be out early next year. I did a cover of the Joan Jett song "You Don't Know What You've Got" for that particular release. The Dahlmanns is covering a song by Rachel Sweet.

I also have a project coming up with Wayne Ford Lundqvist (the guy who runs the "Ice Cream Man Powerpop And More" radio show). I wrote all the music, he wrote all the lyrics. I'll be playing (most of) the instruments and Wayne will be singing the songs. We'll call it "Wayne And The Rockets". Looking forward to that one a whole lot! It'll be an EP with probably six songs. I think we're looking at an early 2019 release for that one.

I've started putting together songs for a new full-length too, but that won't be out until next year. There's also a single in the works with my other band, The Hitchcocks. We recently just got together after a 9 year long hiatus.

And last, but not least, Tommy And The Rockets will be included on a Yum Yums 2xLP tribute album which will be out soon. Lots of prominent names on that one like The Queers, Nikki Corvette, Chixdiggit, Psychotic Youth, The Spazzys, etc.

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Trump is a butthole!

Purchase the goodies here: https://tommyandtherockets.bandcamp.com/album/i-wanna-be-covered

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The 16 Eyes - Look


Look, the debut full length album by THE 16 EYES  was released weeks ago on Area Pirata Records out of Pisa, Italy. The 16 Eyes included 4 garage veterans, blasting the most powerful garage and freak beat sounds since the 60’s. If you like bombastic drums, fuzzy guitars, pinball bouncing bass lines and songs that will stick in your head, this band is for you. Drop the needle, PLAY IT LOUD and hold to your ears. Time to talk to these guys:

1. For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about The 16 Eyes to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Were you in other bands previously? Who is playing what instrument in the band?

Orin Portnoy – I play the electric fish (bass) we have been together as a band for a few years but “together mental it’s been a long time” I use to play in The Outta Place, The Optic Nerve, The Lone Wolves and many other bands which have all been enjoyable

Steve Ostrov: I play guitar and have been in The Freaks Of Nature, The Cybermen, Doc & The Pods as well as a bunch of other bands who never got around to recording.  I also played drums with The Tri-City Thundercats for a week in Japan.

Frank Labor: I play guitar also. Back in the day I played in a mod band called The Ticket and later the psychedelic band 85Kalidocolor. I’ve also played with The Jeff Dahl Band, Labor Party and The Battered Suitcases more recently.

Ward: The 16 Eyes will rock your socks off. I play drums. I was in Drag King, Primate 5, Sinister 6 and Tractor Sex Fatality. Currently I play drums in Shovel, Godspeedball and The 16 Eyes. The 16 Eyes has been together as long as I can remember.

2. About the recently released record "Look", what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

Orin: We did most of it live with very few overdubs.

Steve: We recorded at Audioconfusion in Mesa, Arizona.  Jalipaz was a treat to work with!

Frank: Jal is a great guy and gives Orin all the credit for turning him on to live tracking. We laid all the tracks with him at AudioConfusion and did the production at our BeatBum Studio’s. We all had a hand in the mixing process and after it was complete, Sharon Labor of The Bookends (my wife and master Mastering Engineer) did the mastering. We kept it all in house. Even the cover design. Area Pirata was great to work with in that way. In every way really!

Ward: It was a blassy gas.

3. To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

Orin: As a preteen I listened to The Cramps. The Ramones and The Fuzztones, though my biggest influence would be The Who.

Steve: The Beatles were the first band that really got my attention.  In my early teens, I drifted into prog rock.  In my later teens I had my heart broken by a girl and punk rock has been my main music ever since.  It's a shame really, as I never got a chance to thank her.  It started with bands like The Ramones, The Dickies and Devo but when I heard 60's garage punk on a local volunteer radio station, I was hooked.  I can't narrow it down to only 3 bands that still influence me, but I'll say those early Nuggets, Pebbles and Boulders comps are still my guiding light.

Frank: In my early teens I was obsessed with all the British invasion bands. Beatles, Who, Small
Faces, Kinks, the whole lot. In my later teens it was Iggy, the Dolls, Dead Boys, Gen X, and all that punk stuff. Once I got into The Jam it was all Mod. I think the 3 bands that influenced me the most through this record (LOOK) would probably be: The Yardbirds, The Kinks and The Birds.

Ward: Rock and Roll. Yeah it does.  Favorite bands Beatles, The Who, Judas Priest, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Beach Boys. The Who, The Beatles and Velvet Underground still have an influence today.

4. Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

Orin: Frank and Steve do most of the writing but I chime in and we all add our own twists to all the songs to make them our own.

5. What are The 16 Eyes favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you guys write a new song?

Orin: My favorite topic is slapping ones mother.

Steve: I like writing about unpleasant people I've had to endure- narcissists, liars, control freaks, hypocrites, etc...  Writing is a way to get the poison out without killing anyone.  As everyone has had encounters with toxic people, I'd like to think of my songs as soundtracks for folks to process their ordeals- to know that someone else has been there and that they'll get through it and be able to laugh about it in the end too.

Frank: When we first got together I started writing during the end of the presidential campaign. Sitting on the couch with a guitar watching the news. Bad old days, Shot in the dark and Dead blow hammer. Were all election news inspired. The other were more stupid personal things like my old car, an experience in a float tank, my desire to get out of town for a bit with my baby or my baby’s desire to get out of town and never come back. :)

6. Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release?

Orin: No YouTube yet but hopefully soon



7. What can concert goers expect at a gig of The 16 Eyes? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

Orin: Lots of stripe shirts, We are big fans of The Pretty Things.

Steve: Tinnitus can be expected, so bring earplugs!

Frank: We do throw in a cover every now and then. The mod classic “Leaving Here” is even on the record. I really enjoy doing to Pretty Things Midnight to Six Man live.

8. Is there a new 60's garage scene in Phoenix these days and are there any other bands you are feeling close to?

Orin: There is always people who play and enjoy this kind of music all across the world.

Steve: We've split a few gigs with a local band called The Faded Pictures.  They get it.

Frank: There are a couple hands full of bands here in Phoenix and we get some traveling bands come through also.

9. What are the plans for the rest of 2018 as far as The 16 Eyes are concerned? Are you guys planning to tour Europe soon to promote this newly released vinyl record?

Orin: We would like to travel and see our friends and start to record our next record.

Ward: To keep rocking in the free world.

10. Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Orin: There is allot of excitement about our band now and we are very humbled, Thank you!

Steve:  Music is food for the soul.  Please give our cafe a try.

Frank: Thanks for supporting the Ratboy69 blog, Area Pirata Records and this genre of music!

Ward: Thanks for your interest and hope to see you soon.

Purchase a vinyl copy HEREhttp://www.areapirata.com/

Purchase a digital copy HEREhttps://areapiratarec.bandcamp.com/album/look

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Patsy's Rats - Singles


Patsy's Rats, the charming duo formed by Patsy Gelb (PG) and Christian Blunda (CB) have already released a slew of brilliant 45's and E.P's and a cassette via Burger Records. Recently BACHELOR RECORDS from Salzburg, Austria had the marvelous idea to bring all this gems together and release the aptly titled "Singles" album. Time for this blog to talk to the duo after their Euro tour.

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about Patsy's Rats to introduce yourselves? 

PG: Well I'm not good at this but here's a bio my Dad (i.e.Howe Gelb of Giant Sand) wrote about us.

BIOs suck. They are a hazard. They try to sell you an idea and they don’t tell you nuthin’.
These guys began in Portland a little while ago. So what. They probably live in Highland Park now. Who doesn’t.

This band centers around Patsy and Christian. Patsy Gelb was named after Patsy Montana, just like Patsy Cline. Look her up. Her mom played bass in The Go-Gos and collaborated with Belinda Carlyle. Patsy’s real name is Indiosa, short for Independent, sorta. Her dad himself is an indie-rocker that she’s since collaborated with in his band Giant Sand. Big deal.

 She was born in Hollywood in 1987 between Sunset and Hollywood Blvds. and then spent the next 4 years at the Rimrock Ranch near Joshua Tree living besides and learning to dance at Pappy and Harriet’s. Pappy and Harriet adored her. Well, that’s pretty cool. She began school in Tucson after that and stuck around till Portland happened, went through art school there and eventually ending up working on the Portlandia series. Also, it’s quite possible she is part bird. There is some evidence.

Christian Blunda escaped from Washington D.C. when the gettin’ was good. He eventually ran out of road in Portland. He and his cohorts begat the Mean Jeans and have been clobbering guitars over skulls in ever increasingly tour-dom because he needs more road. Either he chose his guitar snarl from 1978 or it chose him. It doesn’t matter. His pop hooks are relentlessly engaged in every clutch.

Together this pair and its pulverizing rhythm section make you sad next year won’t be 1979. Yes, they sing. So shut up about it. You turn up. They turn it up. The end.

Get fuckin’ happy. And get lost too.

1) (Continued) Is Patsy's Rats actually a real band or is this just you and Christian with some friends helping out?  Who is playing what instrument in the band? We want to hear it all from you!

CB: I’ll answer your question with a question, what is a real band? I’m kidding. The band to this point has been Patsy and myself and whoever wanted to play. We both play guitar and sing. It’s enabled us to say we to every opportunity, and then find musicians to join us, which is great. It’s held us back in a way too, so we’re looking to have a solid LA band by the end of this year.

PG: Agreed, its both liberating and restrictive to always play with a new or different rhythm section. The cool thing is we can say we have band mates all over the country, prepped and ready for a tour/show in their neck of the woods! The not so cool is that we have repeatedly taught about 30 different people the same songs.

2) What can you tell about the recording process regarding the songs included on the full length record "Singles",? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

CB: it’s a collection of singles, so they were recorded at different times with different people. We track the band live and overdub Vocals and extras. In most cases the songs were new so we experimented with overdubs and figured it out as we went along. It’s a fun approach but you can take it too far easily.

3) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

CB
: I don’t find myself playing many punk records at home these days (sorry!) but the punk I grew up on has informed everything I’ve done musically, and probably most of my life choices. I got into Minor Threat when I was 12, which has always made me love it RAW, though I’m not on board with most of their message. Loving Weezer at the same age got me into pop songwriting, and was a gateway into The Cars and power pop at large. Then of course the Ramones have been there since my older sister got the Mania! CD, inexorably influencing everything I've ever done.

PG: I feel the same about Weezer, they were my very first concert (not including my father's which I was attending and participating in at a very young age). Since I was a teenager I have admired Scout Niblett and I still do. The Cramps, maybe not apparent musically but they inspire me to keep on doing this crazy thing we do together. 

4) Are you the main composer of all the tracks on this album or was this a full collaboration work between you and Christian?

CB
: we write together. There are a few tracks that are all Patsy or all me, but we work on each other’s ideas together.
PG: Yeah its not necessarily always a clear process but it can be severely beneficial to pass song ideas or melodies off to each other and allow them to grow from the another perspective. Christian and his experience can really add to my simple or half baked ideas and I can bend his more advanced ideas out of shape a bit.


5) What are Patsy's Rats favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you write a new song?

PG: I feel like half come from emotional hardship and darkness expressed within catchy pop melodies, possibly for self therapeutic purposes, and half are love songs.

6) Is there a new rock'n' roll scene in Los Angeles these days and are there any other bands you are feeling close to?

CB: we just moved to LA and have been mostly on tour since, so it’s all new territory for us. It’s exciting and there are tons of great bands. To name a few: Susan, CG Roxanne and The Nightmares, EASY, Small Wigs, Warm Drag, Cheap Tissue.

7) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release? 
Rock n Roll friend: 



8) What can concert goers expect at a gig of Patsy's Rats? Are you playing any famous cover songs? 

CB
: It’s different every time! Different band members at least. We do covers usually. A few bands we’ve covered so far: Roxy Music, The Fastbacks, Dead Moon, The Kids.

9) What are the plans for the rest of 2018 as far as Patsy's Rats are concerned? 

CB
: we’re working on our first proper LP
PG: Hope to get some solid LA band mates! And play locally a lot more, there are so many places to play in SoCal.

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

CB: Check out my other band Mean Jeans, as featured on ratb0y69 in the past I believe! And thanks ratboy for the download of Phil seymours version of Little Town Flirt - I was looking all over for that.
PG: Thanks for reading and listening!

PURCHASE IT HERE https://shop.bachelorrecords.com/Powerpop/patsysrats

Special thanks to Elmar!

Friday, June 29, 2018

BBQT - Let's Go


No Front Teeth Records Released "Let's Go" the debut full length of BBQT. 

The songs were recorded and mastered at Fuzz City by the one and only Matthew Melton who also added some fine guitar work in the process.

Gabbie Bam Bam tells this blog everything you ever wanted to know about Austin's best kept secret.

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about BBQT to introduce yourselve? Is BBQT actually a real band or is this just you with some friends helping out?  Who is playing what instrument in the band? We want to hear it all from you!

It's the Poor Man’s Favorite Glam Band. Haha. BBQT started out as a bedroom recording project in which I would play and record all the instruments for. I think there are still some records where I play everything. I basically ask friends of mine if they want to go on tour with me whenever I hit the road. The lovely folks who are playing this line-up have been friends I’ve played with in other bands or friends that have played in bands The Bam Bam (my previous band) played with. I’m super stoked on this current line-up which consists of: Sal Go (she plays guitar), Alex Briscoe (who plays a mean lead guitar), Clink (da bassmon), and Jake Berry (on la bateria).

2) About your full length debut record "Let's Go",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? I guess it's Matthew who talked you into this but what do you consider might be the real advantage in recording in the tuning of A=432hz?

I must preface this answer with a backstory. So Let’s Go was kind of an accident. I originally didn’t want to do a full length and just a bunch of “collectible” glam style 7”s. It actually took me a whole year to feel confident about releasing this record. It wasn’t until Matthew said I should introduce my sound to the world (insert theatrically motivational music)  that I just kinda “went for it”. The recording was spread out between two years (I had recorded the 7” Inmate first) in three sessions.

Each recording was executed a little bit different each time. The first sessions was click track. It was this way mostly because I had just arrived to Austin without really knowing any other musicians. I was introduced to Chris through mutual friends who literally jumped on drums the day of the recording and kicked ass (he hadn’t even heard the songs prior). So the next five songs recorded were Let’s Go, Flatline Luv, Play Rock n Roll, Jade & Jasper, and Golden Twenty.

Those we recorded semi live semi click track. I had been used to click tracks because that's how I recorded the songs in the demos. The last three tracks: Tuff’n’ Up, All Day Night and Angel Sweet were recorded live. We practiced the songs a day before going into the studio the next day. Matthew then added bass and some guitar with my Vocals.

On the subject of A= 432. I'm totally a person who believes in everything happens for a reason. When I first started playing music I was told that I play with “feeling”. I was never really sure what that meant because it wasn’t something that was premeditated or anything. As Matthew recorded me and became more familiar with my writing he suggested 432hz because of that same “plays with feeling” sentiment. I guess it makes the most sense because it’s as much as a performance for the eyes as it is for the ears. There’s some research out there but I mainly noticed the affect it had with me and my audience and bandmates when we play shows.

3) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

I listen to a lot of different types of music as a teenager. Before being a full fledged teenager, I’d sing pop songs from female artists like Whitney Houston and Selena y los Dinos. Pop has and always will have a special place in my musical ventures. I had a great friend in high school who made me a mixed tape that changed my life. I’d say I listened to a lot of UK82/European 77 rock n roll/punk. I guess GG Allin was close to being my favorite when I was 15 but… I don’t really have favorites… not even to this day. I listen to such an eclectic mix of stuff. I guess I will get stuck on an album but can’t really say I have a “favorite”. I’d say the Jabbers, Blitz and X-ray Spex are the winners of still influencing me.

4) Are you the main composer of all the tracks on this album or was everybody involved in one way or another?

I am the composer of all the BBQT music. I love recording. I’m really just the conductor for music that writes itself through just me. Our live shows are so great because my friends play what they feel sounds best. I try to make it as open as possible. BBQT is ever-changing so sometimes my demos will be psych versions of the hard glam that ends up being recorded. I like facets of chaos. I try not to be too rigid with my approach to songwriting. I write quite a bit but I never really force myself to write. It takes away from the fun and chaos I like to have through my music.

5) What are BBQT favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you write a new song?

I used to write songs about drugs, being strung out or escaping from rehab. Thats my honest answer. There aren’t topics that I plan ahead really. The songs describe their themes. The songs kind of appear to me in my head. Yeah, its out there. I see more shapes and colors of things I write about more than any rigid system. Its subconscious… its worked for me so far now that I have a clear head.  I guess BBQT is an ongoing love letter to myself too haha.

6) Is there a new rock'n' roll scene in Austin these days and are there any other bands you are feeling close to?

It's hard to answer this question because I am new to Austin myself. It's so hard to comment on individual scenes for me because I look at the details than a bigger picture (sometimes a flaw I suppose). I know people who are definitely doing their part to contribute. Right now I feel closest to Trouble Boys and Cheap Fur. Besides being my friends I truly like and support what they are doing right now.

7) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release? 

This video is so f***ing cool because its the first time I’ve done a collaboration with someone overseas. I worked with a director by the name of Chris O’neill from Cork Ireland and he brought me together with some very talented folks who helped out with this video; namely, Sarah Corcoran, Seamus Hegarty and  Chris Collins.



8) What can concert goers expect at a gig of BBQT? Are you playing any famous cover songs? 

I’d say you’d have to come check us out to really capture the moment! We don’t cover anyone’s songs. Not on purpose really, we just haven’t yet. Possibly in the future?

9) What are the plans for the rest of 2018 as far as BBQT are concerned? Are you guys planning to tour Europe soon?

Currently planning a Mid West American tour in the early fall with our friends MAMA from Chicago. We would love to play Europe summer of next year realistically.

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Without YOU we wouldn’t exist! LIVE FAST PLAY ROCK N ROLL!!!

PURCHASE THIS AMAZING GLAM ALBUM HEREhttps://bbqtiswildatheart.bandcamp.com/album/lets-go

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Senior Service - King Cobra released on Damaged Goods Records



A couple of weeks ago, the ever so brilliant DAMAGED GOODS RECORDS label released the sophomore album of SENIOR SERVICE. 

So it was time for this blog to have a very interesting and enlightening conversation with Graham DAY who tells us everything we always wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

1) Graham you and you partners in SENIOR SERVICE are veterans of the Medway scene. Nevertheless, for the viewers of this blog who might not know you, What would you tell about SENIOR SERVICE  to introduce yourselves? How did you decided to start this particular band together? Who is playing what instrument in the band? 

Jon Barker plays Hammond organ in the band. He’s a bass player really, having been in the Daggermen and Buff Medways. He decided he wanted to learn the organ and asked us if we wanted to muck about playing a few Booker T covers for a laugh. I’ve always loved instrumentals so agreed to do it with Wolf Howard on drums (from the Daggermen, Solarflares and all Billy Childish’s bands since the Headcoats) and Darryl Hartley on bass. We soon realised that playing covers was boring and me, Jon and Darryl are all pretty decent songwriters, so we quickly came up with our own songs and the proper band was born. 

I’ve played in many bands over the years where I’ve been the singer and front man. Sometimes I get tired of doing that, and I’ve always wanted to be in the anonymous instrumental band that you see playing in the background of a cool 60s film. I don’t think there’s much call for that in real life but it would be fun.


2) About the sophomore full length record, "King Cobra" released days ago on Damaged Goods, what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

We normally record the backing track live in Jon’s little studio in his basement, and then put any overdubs on afterwards. So essentially you have live drums, bass and guitar, and sometimes the organ. It’s important to us that we have a good live and energetic feel to the backing track, especially when we put quite a lot of other instruments and percussion on afterwards as that always mellows out the sound. 

3) When I listen to your 2 full length records, I have the feeling that the first one (the 2016's The Girl In The Glass Case) could be qualified as being the "groovy record" and this new one is more the "cinematographic record", every track could easily be a movie theme. Do you agree with this feeling or do you consider there is way more than that.

I would agree with that to some extent. I think with all first albums they’re about finding yourselves and what sounds good, and what comes out is very raw and natural. With the second record we could learn from the first one and develop the songs better. We spent a lot more time on the second album, trying to get the sounds better, adding more instruments and trying to create a more cinematic feel. In a nutshell I would say the first album tracks are like tv themes and the second album tracks are more like film themes.

4) Do you believe it is easier to write a tune with lyrics or to compose an instrumental track?  

I’ve always hated writing lyrics, what the hell do you write about, especially when you get older?? but it’s easier to write a song with vocals carrying the tune. In order to write a good instrumental you need more than just a tune and a backing track. It needs to have highs and lows, space and texture. However an instrumental can be limitless; you’re not tied down to a range of notes that someone can sing, it can go anywhere, with any sound you want to add. It’s been great fun using a sitar, brass, baritone guitar and different percussion.
5) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

Me Jon and Darryl write the songs. We usually write them separately, make a demo then send them to the others before we record properly, but we never rehearse the songs. We like them to have a raw edge to them where we are just beginning to understand them so it’s not too polished. Jon and Darryl have co written a couple of tracks together, but I’ve never really been able to do that. A tune always comes to me when I’m trying to sleep or out walking the dog, and I normally write the whole thing in a few minutes or just forget about it.
6) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

My musical tastes have never really changed since I was a teenager. I grew up on the tail end of punk, and then discovered the Pretty Things, Kinks and then Jimi Hendrix. Then later on I discovered 60s garage. But all the way through I’ve been a massive fan of Barry Gray who wrote all the Gerry Anderson puppet tunes like Captain Scarlett, Joe 90 and Thunderbirds, and the majestic film scores by John Barry and Ennio Morricone. I guess the Senior Service are heavily influenced by these composers. 

 7) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release? 


8 What can concert goers expect at a gig of SENIOR SERVICE ? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

As with any band I’ve been in you will get energy, fun and a few wrong notes…. We mainly play our own songs but sometimes throw in a few Prisoners instrumentals.
9) What are the plan for 2018 as far as the SENIOR SERVICE are concerned? Are you gonna hit the road to promote this new full length?

Sadly there’s not much interest in an instrumental band to play live. There are a few surf bands playing at 60s festivals but we’re not a surf band and don’t really fit into any scene or genre. The gigs we have played have been great, but I think some promoters think it’s too much of a risk and we are not well known. We want to play more gigs, and are considering doing some songs with vocals to break it up a bit and make it more appealing for promoters to take a punt on, but to be honest we’d rather stick to our principles and just be ourselves. 

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Hopefully we’ll see you at a gig later in the year. Come have a dance, make up your own lyrics and sing along!

PURCHASE THIS GOODIE HERE: https://damagedgoods.co.uk/