Category Archives: Interviews

Oceans Of Slumber

Supporting Epica’s European Tour.

Firstly, apologies for not being able to get down to Nottingham’s Rock City early enough to conduct a face-to-face interview with you guys – I was very much looking forward to meeting with you in person. Sadly, the day job got in the way, but all was not lost as I managed to catch your entire set, which was great. Never have I witnessed a crowd so content with listening to a new band! Many here in the UK are probably only just discovering you on the strength of your new album ‘The Banished Heart’ which I can only describe as a masterpiece.

If I may, I’m going to ask ten questions, If you could answer them briefly, to keep it short and sweet, I’d very much appreciate it. I’d like to add this into my live review. I know you are busy touring the UK and Europe with Epica, so I can appreciate your time is precious which leads me onto my first question.

1. Were you invited to join this tour, or did you apply?

[Cammie] We were invited by Epica to join them on the UK leg of this tour. It came as a bit of a surprise but we were happy to join as we have a strong following in the UK as well.

2. Have you toured the UK much since the bands conception? If so, what is it about the UK you like and how do we fare compared to other countries?

[Cammie] Our first time through some of the UK was last year with Enslaved and Ne Obliviscaris. It went well and was great, so we were not hesitant to gig here again.

3. The band are primarily from Houston, Texas. How are you received in America, compared with Europe and the rest of the world?

[Cammie] We have a strong following in the US, but find the push and promotion for what we do stronger here in the UK and Europe. While there are a collection of fans for OOS all over the world, we continue to push forward to grow and spread our music.

4. It would appear the band enjoy playing the odd cover song. You’ve performed a version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ – why did you choose this song? You’ve also recorded a version of ’Nights in White Satin’, which appeared on your second album ‘Winter’. Why this song, by the Moody Blues? Performing covers is a great way to connect with people, who may not know who you are, yet tells them who you admire musically, would you agree? If not, why do you enjoy performing covers of other artists music?

[Cammie] I agree, doing cover songs is a great way to simultaneously show people who our influences are while connecting with them over songs different from what the band will create originally. It’s also our way of giving respect to those musicians and those songs that have played such pivotal roles in our musical development.

5. I’ve listened to all three studio albums and the latest ’The Banished Heart’ clearly stands out as being the most polished. I love the brutal honesty you’ve given us. However, is it hard to re-live those sad times or do you embellish each song every time you perform them, knowing you’re creating something truly wonderful from a dark period in life?

[Cammie] I find the more I perform each song the more meaningful it becomes as it changes from my singular experience to something I am sharing with those who relate to it from the crowd. I hope that by having created something so raw and real that it will find a purpose among those that need its catharsis.

6. My favourite track, off the latest album is ‘The Decay of Disregard’ that guitar riff is AMAZING. LOVE IT. Thankfully, you played it live last night (thank you): my question is, to anyone who wants to answer (please state who) which is your favourite track to perform live and to listen too, off the new album? Is there any chance of last nights set list as well please?

[Cammie] The most difficult, and my favorite song to perform, is No Color No Light. For me, the greatest gift of performing is the connection with the crowd. During this song I can often see teary eyes, or solemn faces and I know that we are all sharing in a moment of loss and hurt. When the song is finished there is this big sigh of relief we all share.

Set List: 1.Fleeting Vigilance 2.A Path to Broken Stars 3.Howl of the Rougarou 4.The Decay of Disregard 5.No Color No Light

7. I would have loved to have met Dobber, as I’ve read he is largely responsible for the bands sound and is a massive contributor, creatively within this band, so my question to him is, what lead him onto his musical path? Who inspired him to start writing music? Who influenced his sound? If any?

I grew up surrounded by music. My dad listened to old country, Motown, and doowop music from the 50’s-80’s respectively. My brother and sister were kids of the 70’s and that’s where the NWOBHM and blues music came from in my life. As a child I would be kind of cut loose with the radio and MTV which led me to seeing David Gilmour solo on Comfortably Numb at some live concert around 1986-87, which would make me 8 or 9 years old at that time.

Combine that with Franz Liszt and Wagner music from the Looney Tunes world and you arrive roughly to me now. Somewhat.

8. A question for Cammie Gilbert, how did you discover your voice? Were you always destined to be a singer? Does it come naturally, or do you have to work hard at it?

[Cammie] I suppose I came out of the womb singing. My parents met when my father was a church choir director and my mother was in the church choir. Having been labeled a very loud baby, always chirping and carrying on, I don’t remember a time before I sang. As I’ve come to this arena of performing and touring I’ve had to be more mindful of caring for my voice, but I try not to stress too much over being too technical or sounding perfect with a performance; for me that is time to show more emotion.

9. In your Facebook Biography, Dobber states; “We’d love to be heard by a wider audience and I know the audience for this kind of music exists all over the globe, but they’re hard to reach sometimes,” My question is, has this new album achieved what it is you was hoping for? From what I’ve read, from other music sites, who’ve reviewed the new album, they’re all giving it 10/10. Must feel good right, knowing people get what it is you’re saying?

[Cammie] Absolutely, it gives us hope to know the work and dedication that went into this album has affirmed OOS into the hearts and minds of more listeners. There was such a deep understanding of the depth of this album that certainly made us feel understood both musically and mentally. Refreshing to say the least.

Incidentally, Dom Lawson’s write up makes you sound very intellectual. Would you say that’s a true reflection of the band? Would you consider yourselves as being intelligent? In my opinion, It sure takes a great amount of talent, to produce the music you do. It’s probably a good thing we never met! Haha!

[Cammie] Thank you for the compliment. Intelligence can be a tricky thing to measure; I’d say we consider ourselves hard working. We work very hard and are always striving to get better and grow as individuals. We don’t like becoming stagnant in any way, whether that be with our music or our lives.

10. Where do you go from here? Having been through troubled times and still managed to come out of the other side, producing an amazing album (some are saying the album of 2018) regardless. Do you now purposely seek out trouble and strife, to help fuel your creative juices? Or will your next album take a new direction? Is life better, or is the world so messed up, there’s still plenty more you want to say. Honesty appears to have worked for you, will you continue being so honest?

[Cammie] Haha, there is no need to seek out any trouble or strife. Guaranteed it will always find a way to penetrate ones life. We found our stride within the process and internal searching of this latest album and we only aim to dig deeper and go heavier moving forward.

I look forward to reading your answers and I thank you for your time, in advance. Enjoy the rest of the tour, with Epica.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Monster Truck

The Monster Truck tour of the UK, Europe and USA is well underway and we’re pretty chuffed that Jeremy Widerman took time out from a busy schedule to answer a few questions for Toni Reed – here’s how it went:

Monster Truck

For anyone that hasn’t had the pleasure of hearing you, how would you describe your sound and what makes you different/stand out from other bands?

After being in a band for 8 years and looking at it under a microscope for that amount of time it’s almost impossible to have an accurate view of how other people perceive the music and vibe. I’ll leave that to people who are far more articulate than I.

Why did you decide to call yourselves Monster Truck?

At the time we chose the name we didn’t really think this band was going to be taken all that serious. It also had a lot to do with the sound we were going for and the fact that no one had taken the name yet. As we grew we had thoughts of changing it but it just seemed to fit the music so perfectly that we let it stick.

You have toured a lot over the years and have shared the stage with an impressive list of bands, including Slash Deep Purple and Nickelback. Who and what has been the most memorable moment so far?

That’s an impossibly hard question. They have all been totally amazing and memorable in all their own ways. The last year has been our best and most memorable year yet just mostly due to the fact that we’ve play the longest stretch of massive shows in the last year. It’s been really fun getting comfortable in the arena setting and we feel pretty ready to take on any size crowd at this point.

If you had the chance to play with anyone, who and where would be your dream gig?

For me personally it would be ACDC I think, however it’s hard not to be overshadowed by such a legendary band so I think the most fun would be to do a full length tour with the Rival Sons.

Checkout the single The Enforcer” taken from the album ‘Sittin’ Heavy’.

The album “Sittin’ Heavy” has been out for a year now, has it been well received?

I think so! Our fans are amazing and seem very keen on it so that’s a positive.

What is your favourite track to play live?

For me it’s New Soul.

You sponsor a girls hockey team, how did that all come about?

We wanted to do something that gave back to the community but also something that we are really interested in…. HOCKEY!! It was a great experience I think for everyone involved and something we look forward to doing again in the future!

Last time you were in Nottingham with Nickelback you had a training session with the Panthers, are you planning on doing the same when you’re back here again?

I hope so. Getting out on the ice like that to start the day is a great way to get those endorphins running and break up the monotony of touring.

Do you have any advice for any budding musicians out there?

Write music that you love first. Don’t worry about other people.

What’s next for Monster Truck after the current tour?

Touring with Deep Purple in Europe!

Big thanks going out to Jeremy for taking time out to answering our questions – good times and a safe journey, wished for the remainer of the European & USA tour!

EUROPE TOUR DATES
Mar 29 – Bochum – Rockpalast
Mar 30 – Berlin – Privatclub
Mar 31 – Munich – Strom
Apr 01 – Amsterdam – Melkweg Theatre
Apr 03 – Paris – La Maroquinerie
Apr 05 – London – 100 Club

USA TOUR DATES
Apr 30 – Jacksonville, FL – Welcome To Rockville
May 07 – Charlotte, NC – Carolina Rebellion
May 14 – Somerset, WI – Northern Invasion
May 20 – Columbus, OH – Rock On The Range
Interview by Toni Reed.

Tickets are on sale for all shows visit ilovemonstertruck.

Interview By Toni Reed.

Torous

Interview With The Band..

We last spoke with Marc Malone from Torous in the summer of 2015 and since then life has continued to travel at full speed for the band, so it was good to catch up again with Marc plus GMT and Tom, to find out how life has been treating them since then and look at what this year holds for Torous.

Torous..

Hi guys – good to speak with you again! When we had our last chinwag things were very busy for the band following on from the launch of the EP ‘Dried Bones’ and there was also a Winter tour on the horizon. Looking back would you say 2015 was a good year for the band overall?

Marc: Yes I would. I’d say 2015 was really the first year for the band, as 2014 was just setting up the ground work. The ‘Dried Bones’ EP was our first proper release and even though we have grown again since, I’m still very proud of it and the fact we didn’t conform to 3 minute singles just to get more radio play or Spotify hits which can always be tempting when you know you can write those songs if you wanted to. But, we do this as a therapy for ourselves first and foremost and release the music that moves us – and I think 2015 proved that other people were moved by it too. The first Tour went great and the subsequent Tours got better every time. We had a shitty end to the year with our gear being stolen and some personal issues of my own, but it made us more determined than ever to make 2016 a good year.

2016 has already seen Torous release a new EP ‘Paint The Sky’ back in February. What inspired the band to do an acoustic EP?

GMT: I suppose we were not trying to drag up the past, we weren’t in a position (because of the gear) to do the single or EP we wanted at the time. Time and funds were against us but we had the songs, the ideas and wanted to follow it through. We liked it, people liked it, plus it was different to what we usually do.

And bringing us bang up to date, we now have a fantastic new single from the band ‘God Game Suicide’ which really is an intriguing title. Where did the inspiration for this song come from?

Marc: Well, they are really the core of life, at least my life anyway. God, which you can take as a metaphor or literally, being the hidden hand, the creator, the unseen force at work for ends you may not understand. Then the Game, which is life everyday. Everyday is a day of chance and our decisions that day create a fork in the road which will determine the next day; “What game is it that we play?”. Finally, Suicide, which really just means death, as every day we commit a sort of slow suicide through our choices and actions, a result of the consequences of the God and the Game. Greatest thing about it in my opinion is that everybody’s God, Game & Suicide could be completely different so it’s what those things represent to you.

Torous also have a new video for ‘God Game Suicide’ which we are chuffed to bits to feature for you – can you tell us a little bit about the making of it?

Tom: Our good friends, Lisa and Rob of Billibee Creative Limited came down to record for us, they did a great job of filming us at our rehearsal studio doing we what do – rocking out.

At the risk of seeming greedy, are there plans for any more new music from the band?

Tom: There are plans, but our priority right now is to pursue this single through the next Tour and work with our label, Holier Than Thou, to reach more people.

And what about live dates, when can we expect to see Torous back on the road again?

Marc: We are gonna be announcing another Tour which will be in August. We really have a killer line up planned on many of the shows, but particularly our home show in Brum, as the promoters have allowed us to hand pick our supports. This Tour will also see new tricks and ideas on stage we haven’t attempted before. We are constantly pushing ourselves to be the best live act we can be.

Big thanks going out to Torous for taking time out to answer our questions and shining a light on 2016 and we look forward to seeing you live again in August!

Interview by Sue Wardle with Photography by Billibee Creative.