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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Mad rollers - Get mad

A couple of months ago, the German label Contra Records released "Get Mad", the full length debut of MAD ROLLERS, a five piece hailing from Roma, Italy. The album is described as an overdose of catchy Pub Rock / Bovver Rock anthems. 

So If you like 70's Junkshop Glam like HECTOR ,  Terrace Stompers like The Hammersmith Gorillas or the bigger names in Glam like SLADE with a bit of pub rock thrown in for good measure, The MAD ROLLERS are gonna be right up your alley. 

Their rendition of "Bish Bash Bosh" made famous by The JOOK is brilliant and worth alone the price of admission. It's also the proof of the good taste of these five Roman gentlemen!

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

We are Mad Rollers, a band of five rock'n'roll and punk lovers. Marco is our lead vocalist and Alessio is the lead guitar, then we have Filippo on rhythm guitar, Oliver on bass and finally our engine Raoul on drums.

2) About the "Get mad" full length record,  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? 

The recording of “Get Mad” was been pure fun! We made it through two “live in studio” sessions, say four days, where we tracked drums, bass and both guitars. Once the main core of the record was recorded we overdubbed lead and backing vocals plus a bunch of tracks like synths, percussions and a few guitar licks. A very natural recording process that lead us to a powerful and crunchy analog mix! Getting into minor details, a crucial role in the making of the album has been played by a long pre-production period, months during when we rehearsed very hard to push ourselves, and our tunes, in great shape for the final recordings.

3) Do you guys use the nowadays recording technology or do you only work with analog machines in analog studios?

According to our producer's philosophy, we used an hybrid (analog/digital) technology to achieve the specific sound you can hear on the album. A set of modern and vintage microphones as well as tube and “class A” solid state mic preamps were used to send the signals into the converters of the HD recording system. The mixing process it's been made through an analog desk (Soundtracs Quartz) enhanced by the use of outboard gears like Urei 1178, Lexicon 480, API 2500, etc... the final stage of our mixing chain was a stereo ¼ inch tape recorder, a beautiful Revox A700 which gave us the last touch of warmth.

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

Most of the time the song writing process starts with the guitars and later on the pieces are arranged by the voice in order to find melodies and choruses, each of us does his best and not infrequently we are inspired by the music we’re into at the moment. 

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

Many times we take inspiration from real life events, something that happened to one of us or people we know, then we spice these stories up with some fantasy elements and they become songs. Generally we express our feelings and emotions through music, we talk about love as well as anger, the spirit of revolt as well as the simple need to have fun and to be able to live life to its fullest.

6) How would you describe the music Mad rollers are playing? Is it glam-rock? Or do you consider that it's way more than that? 

Let's say that we simply play what comes out, we do not plan much beforehand. Of course we do love glam but we are also pretty much into 70's proto punk sound and we try to bring it out in our songs. On numerous occasions, we are defined as a Bovver rock band and actually, we don't mind it.

7) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the LP??  

We are currently still working on an official video but you can check on YouTube for our most recent upload, which is a video cut took from the 1976  Notting Hill Carnival riots filming featuring our track “I trust nobody”, it seemed to us that the song suited a lot the events represented so we decided to release it.

8) What can concert goers expect at a concert of Mad rollers? Are you playing any famous cover songs during the gig? 

Except for "Bish bash bosh", which is also a part of our new album we don't play covers, most of our songs are original compositions. Still, if you're a 70's punk and rock'n'roll sound lover and you don't mind hanging out on a fun night among gallons of good beer you will definitely find something to sink your teeth into coming to one of our gigs.

9) Are there any bands in Italy today you consider yourself close to, musically speaking?

Undoubtedly the Italian rock'n'roll scene of the past years has been greatly influenced by Giuda, as they brought back those 70's sounds that seemed long lost, progressively many others followed their example, groups like Mash, Dr Boogie, BBQT, Hard Wax and some others may be considered similar to our genre. Nevertheless we are glad not to be associated with Giuda as some kind of imitation band but we are rather seen as something close yet different in sound.  I guess we play a bit out of the box and just do what comes our way.

10) What are the plans for 2022 as far as Mad rollers are concerned? Are you gonna tour Europe to promote the record?

After London gigs in September we are planning a tour in Germany with our booking agency, it will take place in March and include such cities as Hamburg, Berlin, Hanover  and others. Unfortunately in these times because of the covid situation you can never be sure that something will not be canceled or postponed but we want to stay optimistic and ready for this new adventure.

11) Anything you wanna add?

We wanted to thank the guys from Contra Records for the excellent work they've done.


Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Warmbabies - Let's Live Underground

Can you judge a record by its sleeve? Hard to tell. But at least it should give you a clue to the type of music a band is playing. Putting the picture of a vintage Fireglo Rickenbaker 330 is a pretty strong statement in itself. Considering Paul Weller, Tom Petty or John L., to name a few, all played one, this should already give you a serious hint.

Putting a TWELVE strings Rickenbaker 330 is an even bigger statement. The doubt is no longer allowed and you know exactly what you are in for: 60's influenced rock'n'roll with a good dose of 70's power pop thrown in for good measure.

The WARMBABIES, all veterans of the rock'n'roll scene of the French Riviera, sure know how to write good tunes with a really punchy rhythm section, sizzling guitars and perfect vocals to match. This LP is full of soon to be classic Power Pop songs. Very Highly Recommended !

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The WARMBABIES to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays? What are your various individual backgrounds?

Serge : We are a quartet of "classic" rock and we live in Nice, at the french Riviera. The Warmbabies, in the present form, exists for about 5 years. With Marc Galliani on guitar and lead vocals, Olivier "Bratch" Nemejanski on guitar, Serge Ceccanti on bass and Daniel Aprosio on drums. As far as our various individual backgrounds, we would only mention one : The Bratchmen.

2) About the full length record "Let's Live Underground", can you explain the choice of this title? 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? 

Marc : "Let’s live underground" is one of the first song from "Bratch", that we rearranged for my voice. A starting point. Rehearsals and concerts were so far apart that we couldn't show ourselves as a band. We were an Underground band, by force of circumstance. 

Serge : The title of the album was suggested by the graphic designer. A good idea that was unanimously accepted! The recording of the album was disturbed by the first pandemic but in the end, it gave us a lot of time to refine some titles. Bass, Drums and Rhythm guitars were recorded live, all the rest was a re-recording. 

3) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

Photo : Sandra Rinaudo
Serge : Our choice went to a digital studio. But all the instruments and amp we used are analog! All the guitars and basses used on this disc are vintage gear over 50 years old! We are simply fascinated by the beauty and the sound of these old instruments.

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

Marc : Everybody is involved. This album would not have been possible without one of us. The material on  this record is made out of old songs from "Bratch" and Marc. The next record will contain more of Serge songs. 

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

Marc : The pop format we like for this project fits better with stupid love songs. Someone said , The more stupid they are the truer they are…

Serge : Love, birds and the sun ! But the next songs will be darker : Lost love, frozen birds and rain !

Photo : Richard Prompt
6) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers and does it still influence your today work? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

Marc : Can I name 4 ? John, George, Paul and Ringo

Serge : We are clearly influenced by the rock 60's. But not only... I will quote three groups : Plimsouls, Fleshtones and Teenage Fanclub, But there are many others.

7) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the latest full length? 

Marc : We have no money left for video, so we are pirating images for our songs. We are going to do something …Serge : No money, no time, finally is it really useful ?

8) What can concert goers expect at a gig of The WARMBABIES? Are you playing any famous cover songs during the gig?

Marc : We used to play Kinks, Big star, Plimsouls, but mainly our songs.

Serge : We like to integrate a few covers in our concerts, just for pleasure.

Photo : Sandra Rinaudo

9) Are there any bands in France you consider yourself close to? musically speaking?

Marc : Doc Vinegar from Aubagne

Serge : There may be but we do not know...

10) How would You describe the music you're playing? Is this POWERPOP or do you consider there is way more than that?

Serge : Our music is impregnated with the music we love. A mix of power pop / 60's rock / garage rock, no doubt.

Marc : We are doing our stuff with our influences, we would be happy to be classified in power pop but that was not planned at all.

11) What are the plans for 2022 as far as The WARMBABIES are concerned? 

Marc : We would like to play festivals or nice venues, specially abroad, Belgium, Spain, North of France. With the covid situation we just don’t think about it. But we are affordable for private request as well.

Serge : We work hard on new songs. Our goal is to compose the ultimate pop song ! Recording in autumn, hope.

12) Anything you wanna add?

Serge : Recording an album for a band like us is always a "small adventure" hazardous, with lots of problems to solve. We have completed this mission and we are very proud of the result !


Hey Viewers, don't go away......While you are at it, check out this other band hailing from the French Riviera, and one that includes some of the members of the WARMBABIES, or is it the other way around: THE BRATCHMEN. 

The cover here is a little more misleading, I give you that. Judging by the cover you would have every right to expect some French FLESHTONES. 

Well, not at all, here we are closer to the Everly Brothers or the early HOLLIES but all the tracks are very neatly performed and the whole record is really enjoyable. You  should definitely give it a try.

The record comes in a beautiful gatefold sleeve! 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Brent Seavers - BS Stands For

A couple of months ago, the German label Screaming Apple release the brilliant debut solo full length record of Brent SeaversBrent is best know for being the bass player in the Californian outfit The Decibels.

When the pandemic started, Brent decided to record some of his original songs and ended with a full album on his hands. Obviously there is some very DECIBELS-like material here, but going solo has allowed Brent to drift a bit forward in time, from mid-60's pop right up into the 70's and early 80's power-pop scene. 

Brent Seavers channels his own brand of modish guitar, the pop sensibility and DIY appeal of early dB's, the mod-era WHO with a pinch of the JAM, but squeezed through his own filter that gives them his own sound. This is a real must buy!

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, what would you tell about you and your musical background to introduce yourself?  

I grew up in a musical home and have been playing and writing music since a very early age. As a young kid, I loved watching the Beatles cartoons and Monkees episodes. I got my first guitar when I was 11, a drum set a few months later, and then traded my Star Wars toys for a 4-track tape recorder so I could start recording my own music. I started a few bands that played a few live shows but never released any recordings. I joined The Decibels in my teens as bass player and contributing song writer and have been enjoying every moment. They’re a solid group of musicians and great friends.

2) If I'm not mistaking "BS Stands For" is your debut full length solo records. Since 1997, with your brother Dean, you are 1/4 of the Decibels. What decided to release a solo album now?

The solo album was pandemic-fueled. Being stuck at home in my studio with too much time initially compelled me to make a handful of music videos documenting the recording process and to keep my sanity ( After almost a year of that, I decided to record my own original music. There wasn’t initially a plan to release the recordings on any label. But after recording plenty of songs, I realized that I could.

3) About this debut full length solo record, what can you tell about the recording process? 

I’d sit down at the drum set, and record myself playing one of my songs. Then, I’d hit rewind, start the song again, and add the guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards, and whatever else the song needed. With the exception of a few hand claps contributed reluctantly by one of my kids, if you hear it on the record it’s me.  

4) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you only work with analog machines in analog studios?

I started recording music in an analog world and appreciate the process. I keep everything analog – tube driven, real instruments – up until the final step where I used to record directly to tape. At that point now, I record the audio digitally. There are rare moments where I record a track directly to tape and then transfer to digital, but not often. But I am very picky with my mic and tube-pre amp selections – pairing mics and amps with specific instruments - always chasing a specific sound.  

5) Are the songs on this record specifically composed for the purpose of this solo effort or are these songs you have composed over the years and deemed not fit to make it to a The Decibels record?  

Half of the songs predate the Decibels and were part of the reason I was asked to join the group. The other half were written during my time with the Decibels – Flatline being the most recent. Usually I’d bring a handful of songs to the group at practice, and we’d try them all out. The ones that clicked the easiest made it onto a Decibels album. I don’t think the group every said “no” to any of my songs. But since we had 3 contributing song writers in the group, not every good song made it onto an album. Both Dean and Joe have an extensive back catalogue of original songs as well.

6) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write the lyrics to a new song?

I like writing about the honest moments in life. Falling in and out of love happens to all of us, but so does self-doubt and failure and pain and innocent infatuation. I never set out to write a serious or a silly song. I write about whatever is happening to me in that moment. Sometimes it’s love. But sometimes its maniacal laughter inspired by the insanity of living. I love when lyrics are honest even if they’re silly. Life is silly.  

7) Does your solo album mean that the Decibels are now on an indefinite hiatus?

Not at all! The Decibels are alive and kicking and wrapping up our next album. And honestly, it’s one of my favorites. Every member of the Decibels has life outside of music – which is a good thing else we’d lose our inspirations. And we each take time to live every aspect of our lives properly. No neglected hobbies or children in this bunch! 😊 So, album releases and live shows will happen less frequently, but only because we’re enjoying each aspect of our multifaceted lives.  

8) Do you have a new video on YouTube featuring a track from the new LP?? 

When I recorded my original music, I didn’t film the recording process like I did on all those cover tunes music videos on my YouTube channel. So, the short answer is, not at the moment.It’s sometimes hard to give your best musical performance when you’re also the sound engineer, producer, camera operator and director. While it was alright for the musical performance quality to suffer a little for those cover tunes music videos, for my original tunes I didn’t want the music to be anything less than my best. But it could still happen.  

9) Are you gonna put a band together and perform this solo album on the road? Are you gonna play any famous cover songs? 

I have been performing my original songs with a band here in California to help promote the album release, and would like to take the band on the road as more venues open up. My main focus is on original music for album releases, but I do have plans to make some more cover music videos in the near future.

10) Are there any bands in The USA today you consider yourself close to, musically speaking?

There are so many great power pop and pop rock bands in the USA that it would be near impossible to name them all. I definitely feel a connection to many local California groups that I saw as a kid - like The Odd Numbers and The Hi-Fives to name only two – who were a huge influence on my early music.

11) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today.

As a teenager I listened to The Beatles, The Monkees, The Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, The Jam, Nirvana, Green Day, Letters to Cleo, The Muffs, The Romantics, The Knack, The Smithereens, The Plimsouls, The Beat – pretty much early rock ‘n’ roll 1955-1965 and late 70s to early 80s power pop and punk.

I always thought that The Beatles, The Monkees, and The Jam were probably my biggest influences on what I write, but it seems that when I create songs they sound nothing like those groups. So, who knows?  

12) What are the plans for 2022 as far as your solo career is concerned?

I’m about 6 songs into the next solo album, but have been focusing on finishing up mixing and mastering the Decibels next album. For me, The Decibels are my main focus. But I will continue writing, recording, and performing my solo music in-between Decibels projects wherever I find the time. It’s something that makes me happy.  

13) Anything you wanna add?  

Sure, why not. If you’re a talented musician who is frustrated because you haven’t been signed to a major record label, stop it. Take a look at some of the artists currently on major labels. They sign just as much talent as total garbage. Don’t let such poor judges determine if your music has value. Make your music. Keep it honest. Discerning people are listening. What you do matters.