Introducing: the Powerhouse that is YNES

Alternative, Punk, Singer-Songwriter

If you haven’t heard of YNES by now… you’re welcome. The fiery songwriter takes on the style of 00s pop with a post-punk style and attitude. 

YNES’ greatest skill as an artist has always been in combining DIY artist energy with sharp and witty lyricism.

Her  single ‘Better Job’ featured her fearless critique and resentment towards zero-hours contract culture, backed by mammoth guitars and extremely high energy drums. 

A lyric that really stands out to me from this track has to be: ‘A better job one where I can wear a tie to work but I’m a woman so It’ll have to be a miniskirt’.  

This whole song showcases what a talented songwriter Ynes is as she takes on current issues in an intelligent yet witty way with her lyrics. 

On the last single God’s Little Punching Bag, YNES further embraces imperfections with help from her razor sharp tongue. 

For all the instrumentals’ liveliness, it is YNES’ vocal performance that steals the show. She is a force of charisma, ‘call me what I call myself, some desperate overgrown rebel, just don’t call me ever again,’ she intones. It is this willingness to treat contradictions with a smirk rather than a shrug that gives God’s Little Punching Bag its instantly replayable charm.

Be sure to check out YNES and thank me later 

A Chat With: Caged Arts

Interview

The story of Caged Arts is an inspiring one. A mixed ability rock band fronted by Gary, an autistic man who overcame homelessness and alcohol abuse through the strength of his own character and the support of music therapy charity T.I.M.E – the organisation that took him off the streets and onto the stage. With such a fascinating history, we had the pleasure of chatting to the man himself to find out more…

RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why? 

Pink Floyd dark side of the moon. Because it has so much going on with the music. It has so many different sounds, textures and instruments and lyrically it describes life in such an interesting meaningful way, I really connect with the words and the feel of the music. 

RR: How did you first discover rock music? 

Growing up my parents always loved rocked music, ACDC, Budgie. From a baby there was always rock music in the house. My parents had a Vinyl player with tonnes of LP’s that I loved playing with. That really sowed a seed for my love of rock music 

RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music? 

I think there’s great local scene for rock and alternative music, especially in Essex, Southend and Basildon. But id love to see more bands like them hitting the mainstream. And although rock music isn’t as popular as it once was I think there’s a real underground scene for it still. 

RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why? 

My favourite at the moment is called Dirty Honey, I discovered them in lockdown and absolutely love them. I like it because It sounds like rock music from the 80’s and 90’s which I really love. The vocals really stand out to me, such a strong voice, and there’s a great theme to each song. 

RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad? 

I think there’s a lot more music being made now because its so easy for people to record and release their own music without needing for a record label so I think it’s great that there’s lots of different genres blending and new sounds being made. I love being able to easily discover new bands all the time on Facebook and YouTube.

RR: How would you describe the music of Caged Arts? 

I find it difficult to put a label on us as every song to me is different. Crystal castle is more of a slow emotional song whereas the artist still has that emotion but is much faster and upbeat. So, I suppose there’s always a lot of emotion within the music, especially with the lyrics, I spend hours writing down ideas to the type of thing I’m trying to say. Aside from that we love big guitars, big drums and an overall hard-hitting sound. 

RR: What is the meaning behind the name Caged Arts to you and the band? 

Caged comes from behind trapped with yourself and arts is the creative side. Sometimes in life it has felt as if the art inside me has been caged because of my disability. Caged arts is about showing the artist inside of me despite of the cage. 

RR: Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences with T.I.M.E? 

Since coming to TIME’s drop in I showed off some of my lyrics and ideas and from there it went from strength to strength, we quickly started to write songs develop the music and before I knew it, we were playing shows and I was singing as the frontman of the band. Mike, Rob and Marc have been such great friends to me and have really made me come out of my shell. I’m not sure where I would be without TIME. I certainly wouldn’t be making music like I am now. 

The T.I.M.E Team! (Mike, Rob & Mark)

Connect with T.I.M.E down below:

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A Chat With: Shiny Glide

Interview, Uncategorized

Great rock music has always come from a special place from within. A place inaccessible to those unable to truly cope with thorough introspection but Shiny Glide, and his latest opus of psych-rock heaven, shows that those that reap the benefits of doing so can create something magical. We got chatting to the man himself to dive deeper…

RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?

Supertramp – Crises What Crises. All the songs on the album are great and powerful and simply timeless, the atmosphere and the sounds are very dreamy with some classic and psychedelic vibes which makes the whole album unique in its genre.

RR: How did you first discover rock music?

Through my oldest brothers when I was a little child, they used to like and listen a lot to Pink Floyd, Eagles, Neil Young, Nick Drake, King Crimson and lot of other great progressive and psychedelic rock bands of the seventies.

RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music?

There are a lot of great new bands and artists, the new indie rock and alternative rock scene is very creative and strong. I only listen to new artists and there is so much talent and variety that you can enjoy, also because we are in a very digital age where making music and producing great albums is not so hard and expensive as it used to be back in the old analog days. Besides that in these times it is very easy and fun to collaborate with other artists and musicians through the internet and to promote your own music in social networks.

RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why?

Too many to mention, in this period since I am kind of an insomniac I need and love to listen to very dreamy, hypnotic and relaxing music, so at the moment my favourite artist is Homeshake, his music is unusual,very ethereal, suave and minimalistic.

RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad?

Alternative and indie rock and also bedroom pop, lo-fi and psychedelic rock are always evolving, I am a Zen type of person and artist, I live in the present and I only listen to new music and artists who are very independent and produce their own music in their home studios and bedrooms, like I do.

There is much more intimacy and inspiration,creative freedom and real talent in independent and in all types of alternative music, and only good things can come from that. The only bad thing is that Spotify, Youtube and even Facebook and all the other digital platforms and networks are not paying well enough and giving enough attention and consideration to impendent artists. That is a shame considering that most of independent artists make and produce much better music than most mainstream artists.

RR: Can you tell us where the original concept for nocturnal flight came from?

I love the night, it is a time for dreams and creativity, for the essence and the soul to come to life, and to me it is very important to be connected to my inner self and my inner child in order to cope and to function in a pretty sad and horrible society and world. Besides the night, I love birds and their philosophy and behaviors.

Birds can fly anywhere they want without needing money, visas, passports and licences. Birds don’t build bridges and frontiers, like arrogant presidents and countries, if you want to be free and light and enjoy peace and universal love, you must learn from birds and be like a bird. That is why in the past my stage name was Seagull. Now I call myself Shiny Glide and this name was inspired by the albatross majestic, perfect and enlightening gliding flight.

RR: Did you encounter any issues at all when writing/recording the album?

I had so much fun with it, I love making music, I spend most of my time doing that,the only problem is the frustration for not being able to travel and tour because of the pandemic rules that are still very exaggerated and too strict here in Italy. This is another reason why I don’t like this place, too much bureaucracy, racism and mafia, now covid gave these people more reasons to hate and discriminate one another and even capitalize and exploit this horrible virus. Hopefully we are at the beginning of the end of this nightmare.

RR: How would you say the new material compares to your previous albums?

In my new material, I also produce, record and mix my music in my bedroom studio, while in my previous albums I used to pay for studio time and record the vocals and the guitar parts of my songs. Also in my new material I am open to other music styles like electronic music, lofi and bedroom pop and I use a lot of great midi-controller sounds in my new music but I will go back to my guitar based dream rock songs soon.

I am working on so many different type of sounds and projects, and I am trying to produce and release a single every month and at least three albums every year. I love it and I love to be generous to those who love me and my music.

Connect With Shiny Glide Below:

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A Chat With: Youth Illusion

Alternative, Interview, Rock

The rock scene is a saturated one at best and overcrowded at worst. With the entire genre screaming their throats into oblivion it’s not easy feat to have your voice heard above the rest so you have to make damn sure that what you’re offering is worth blocking out the noise for. Alt-rockers Youth Illusion, and their upcoming EP ‘Seeking Answers in Silence’ make short work of such a challenge and have provided some of the year’s most indelible hooks and most devastating moments of aggression and we had the pleasure of chatting to the guys behind it all to find out more…

RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?

ZAC: Ok, hear me out…. AC/DC “ Back in Black”…….  this album has with stood the test of time. You have multiple generations of musicians they picked up a guitar because of this band.

RORY: There are so many that changed music but since I grew up and got my musical education in the 90s I have to say its between Nirvana – Nevermind, Oasis – Definitely Maybe, or Green Day – Dookie. All for the same reason, they changed the course of music and reintroduced rock/punk music to the mainstream after the disastrous hair metal and synth wave of the 80s.

MATTEO: GNR Appetite for destruction in my humble opinion. The reason is that Axel was at the top of his shape vocally speaking, the second best singer of whole times just after Freddy Mercury. The line up as well was just insane, the bond that the band had it was just sensational. Song after song it’s just a never ending of filthy riffs, iconic bass lines and the perfect vocal tone as the cherry on the cake. (when I named Freddy above on the tv suddenly came up Freddy singing ‘who wants to live forever’ on the news)😱

HEATH: If we’re talking straight up rock, it’s got to be Superunknown – Soundgarden. Chris Cornell’s voice is amazing.

RR: How did you first discover rock music?

MATTEO: My dad introduced me to it, my dad never followed Italian music, he was a rocker – leather jacket, biker and so on but he never played an instrument. Since I was a kid my dad use to play to me bands like Dire Straits, Queen, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and many more on our old hi-fi.

HEATH: I first discovered rock music at a very young age as my parents would often play the likes of AC/DC and Queen around the house.

RORY: I grew up in a very musical family so was raised on bands like Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, ELO, Eagles etc. My uncle lived with us and was into metal so I used to raid his CD collection and got into Metallica, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Exodus and the rest. But I started developing my own taste when I was given a tape, Offspring – Smash. My brother got Nirvana – Unplugged at the same time so we used to swap. He then started borrowing music from his friends and introduced me to Rage Against the Machine, Marilyn Manson and the heavier bands of the 90s. After that, everything got turned up to 11!

ZAC: I grew up in a religious house. My dad used to have this shelf for CD’s. I remember looking through the CDs curiously and I found this album that was all black and I asked my dad “what is this?” and he said “it’s AC DC, you can listen but don’t tell your mom” hahaha, I still remember hearing back in black for the first time and it was game over from there.

RR: How would you describe the songwriting process behind the two new singles?

ZAC: I usually come up with a riff in record on my phone and then send it to the boys at 4 in the morning with a text message in bold saying “oh my god listen to this!!!!” hahah  we are starting to get more regimental with the process but these two singles were honed in after many writing sessions.

MATTEO: Both tracks are Zach’s ideas but all of us added our personal ideas to it. We worked on this record as a team, we made so many changes since the beginning to the tracks but then we got to point which we thought ‘ this is it!’.

RORY: Zach will come up with the riffs and the vocal melody and we will loop the hell out of it in pro tools. I will then chop it up and create a basic song structure and program a simple drum beat. Once the back bone and structure is completed Matt comes in and adds the sparkle. Obviously the song is evolving the whole way through as new parts and transitions are added or changed. Then we go into the studio and it all comes together.

HEATH: Although I wasn’t present for the writing of the two singles, I do enjoy adding my own style of playing to the songs when we play them live.

The band’s previous hit single ‘Cover Up and Die’

RR: What does the future ahead look like for Youth Illusion?

RORY: Hopefully a lot of touring and a lot of festivals. The goal is to do this full time and hopefully that is on the cards.

ZAC: Bright……I’m not just saying that to sound arrogant but I really believe we can do something great with this band. Hopefully we get a chance to tour more and do festivals.

HEATH: The future of youth illusion looks bright. With the tours and the album release, we’re shaping up to have a good year and a lot of fun. As always with music, it’s great to keep it professional and have a good time doing so.

MATTEO: Bright! I’m 100% sure that this record will let people turn their heads, we are eager to show what we have to offer so I can’t wait for it! We want to play shows as much as we can and take this EP as far as we can.

RR: If you had to describe your music to someone who could not hear, using only images, what images would you use?

RORY: Fireworks.

MATTEO: A rollercoaster: calm sections that suddenly switches in heavy breakdowns going up and down like a rollercoaster.

ZAC: Gosh, that’s a tricky one.  Maybe a picture of an avalanche? Hahaha

Seeking Answers In Silence is available everywhere on 25/03/22! Connect with the band below:

Website

A Chat With: Bent Self

Alternative, Hip Hop

Evolution in music is inevitable, there’s nothing that can stop it and nothing strong enough to even resist it. Hip-hop, and the myriad branches that grow from its core values, are no exception and alt-hip-hop solo project ‘Bent Self’ shows that this is nothing to turn your nose up at. His latest LP ‘Waves’ is a melancholic triumph in brooding atmospheres and intelligently designed soundscapes so it was only fitting that we got to pick his brain and dive deeper…

RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?

That’s a really hard one….but I would go with Tool “Undertow” because it has that raw dark vibe with great hooks, originality and vocal dynamics. It’s under that timeless category so it will still sound fresh 20 years from now.   

RR: How did you first discover rock music?

I was around 7 years old when I heard Guns N Roses ‘Welcome To The Jungle” on the radio with my dad and it just grabbed me instantly. I asked him take me to the Chevron to buy me the cassette tape and I played it on repeat on my walkman. They had this grime, chunk and killer vocals that no band had at the time so I really connected with it.   

RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music?

I would say rock/alternative music is not dead and is alive and kicking. I believe many people just look at the mainstream rock artists that you hear on terrestrial radio saying rock is dead but they miss all the other less known artists that have great music and touring.

RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why?

I really dig Puscifer because they stand out and mix some of my favorite genres electronic-rock, trip-hop and post-industrial to create a vibe. Each song has an experimental aspect to it and I always enjoy the mixed in female vocals.

RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad?

It seems like alternative/rock is mixed with many genres these days and is always evolving which is what I love about it. Many artists are mixing it with electronic, pop and hip hop currently so I think that it will evolve in those areas for the better.

RR: How did you come to fuse elements of modern hip-hop and rock/metal?

Well growing up in the 90’s I really connected with rock/metal, hip hop industrial music and really liked the fusion. So in 2001 I started by band Arvins Garden which has that alt/metal, nu-metal sound and then nine years later I started my solo project Bent Self. Bent Self is more of the experimental side which still incorporates hip-hop, rock/metal but with less heavy guitars more electronic, industrial and trip hop based elements. There are endless creative paths being a crossover artist blending genres together and that’s how I ended up with my experimental sound.  

RR: Do you think it’s a blend that has seen the right amount of love from critics/public so far?

Yeah I believe so, we are in the days of being able to create outside the box with music and visuals.

RR: Did you have a particular ‘listener’ in mind when writing Waves?

I don’t really write that way unless the album or song needs a specific vibe intended for a movie, video game, etc. I sit down focused on writing experimental music that makes myself happy first and conveys the emotions I’m feeling at that moment. As far as the overall vibes I wanted to encompass for the listener in mind would be dark, lyrical, sexy and dynamic.

Waves is out now and available everywhere! Connect with Bent Self below:

Website

A Chat With: Izakman

Interview

Rock music has exhausted almost every avenue of songwriting it has available to it but the trip-hazards and mind-bends of Lewis Carroll and Brothers Grimm’s classics is one fruit that has rarely been picked. Rock risers, Izakman, have seized the opportunity with flare on their upcoming record ‘Cyber Love’ and we got a chance to shoot some questions over to songwriter and frontman Itamar Isaak to dig a little deeper…

RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?

I have several favorites, but I’ll go for the rock opera Tommy by The Who.

The album’s subject matter is heartrending and timeless, following a deaf, dumb and blind boy and his experiences with life and his relationship with his family. It has a fantastic narrative flow from start to finish. Musically and energetically, It stands the test of time. Epic! You come out of it in a different state than how you started.

RR: How did you first discover rock music?

I was first exposed to classic rock music when I watched The Yellow submarine for the first time as a child. Still, I only became aware of rock music at school when many of my friends were into 90’s grunge and metal bands. Everybody wanted to pick up a guitar, put on distortion, and shred in my teenage years.

If you wanted to be “cool” and impress your friends, you would have a skateboard or play soccer and play loud electric guitar.

RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music?

I think it’s all fragmented now because of the internet. I don’t know who the new most prominent bands are anymore because they’re so many now. I mainly get to hear about new psychedelic and indie rock bands. I guess it’s due to the internet’s data from my searches.

My latest discoveries are “UNI”, which a friend introduced me to, The Swedish band Dungen and Amy & The Sniffers, which I found randomly on the internet or perhaps I got targeted on YouTube. All are brilliant, and I hope to see them live one day.

RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why?

It’s hard to pick just one; recently, I’ve been more interested in discovering obscure rarities and traditional music from around the world. Nevertheless, I admire Pond for Nick Allbrooks confrontational charisma and cheeky showmanship.

Their latest album, “9”, is my favorite release I have encountered so far from last year, for its fun unapologetic energy and great emotional yet sophisticated songs from start to finish.

RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad?

Following psych-bands I like, such as “Tame Impala, Pond, UMO Temples”, and the Israeli “Iogi”, I think the majority are leaning towards the lusher and synthesized sound.

Production-wise, you get to hear a lot of amazing and exciting sounding stuff. But, still, artistically, I feel the approach has become somewhat escapist. You always have the exceptions like the Israeli Electric Zoo, which are more raw and rebellious in their approach. And Izakman off-course.

RR: Can you tell us about how the idea for the ‘Cyber Love’ music video came about and its significance?

Cyber Love was spawned from a feeling of alienation and deals with reaching out across cyberspace, social media platforms and dating apps and the struggle to make a true and meaningful connection.

The idea for the clip was inspired by Pina’s Bausch performance “The Man I Love”. The song expresses an individual’s frustration from poor communication. The theme of poor communication is reflected in the music video, which includes elements of Sign language, Morse and Braille, which are all used to overcome an obstacle in communication. The song may suggest that technology can be an obstacle to intimacy rather than a means to achieve it.

RR: How would you say this new album compares to 2015’s Rabbit Holes?

“Rabbit Holes” was made entirely D.I.Y. I had no method and no experience in music production before.Some of the songs I performed and mixed entirely on my own with no one else involved but for me. The song “Sleeping the Day Away” appears in different versions on both albums.

I tried to capture the sound of a late 60’s obscure psychedelic record. The new album was produced in a more “old school” way – in a proper recording studio, with a live band and Roy Nizzani as the producer. Roy’s approach was modern up to date. At the same time, mine was a more classic 70’s rock, resulting in a fascinating sounding record.

RR: Are there any sort of visual elements planned for the other tracks on the album as there was for Cyber Love?

Yes, “Down the Rabbit Hole” is also accompanied by an animated music video produced by Saloniki animation studio – Addart. I developed both “Cyber Love” and “Down The Rabbit Hole” music videos with my neighbour photographer Shay Ben Efraim who also filmed them and has worked with me throughout Izakman’s activities.

The new video is inspired directly by Lewis Carroll’s work across mathematics and literature; the video follows a young mathematician lost in a mathematical wonderland pursuing the solution to a complex equation – a solution that manifests as Alice. The video showcases a new mathematical branch, Soft Logics, that challenges the binary nature of true/false limitations.

Cyber Love is available everywhere on 27/01/22

Connect with Izakman down below!

Website

A Chat With: Heart Through Sacrifice

Interview, Metal, Rock

Albums accompanied by a full-length graphic novel is always going to invite intrigue and the debut project from prog metal outfit Heart Through Sacrifice delivers such curiosity and then some. Speaking with the man behind it all, we caught up with Doug Rimington to find out more…

RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?


For me, it was Stone Temple Pilots – Core. This album I can still listen to from start to the end and love every minute of it (possibly the nostalgia glasses!). Great vocals, great lyrics, music that fuses jazz with grunge… and the first songs I learnt from music sheets were from this album.

RR: How did you first discover rock music?


A good friend introduced me to all this stuff, my family was quite poor when I was growing up, but this guy always had new tapes and cd’s to share. He introduced me to STP, TOOL, Rollins Band and many others.

RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music?


I think there will always be the ‘overlords’ of marketing and sales who rule any scene, but thanks to the world of independent distribution, social media etc… it is now possible for people to create and put out their own music… whether anyone hears it, is another question entirely…

RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why?


This is a tough one, the closest thing I might get to this is probably Spiritbox? It’s amazing what they did over lockdown, releasing fantastic music videos and building up a massive following, helped greatly by Vocalist Courtney La Plante’s 1 take videos show casing her skill and passion for singing.

RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad?


It’s hard to say at the moment, I think before the pandemic, things were turning back to the live performance side of music – how to make a good live show without relying too much on backing tracks etc… But now I’d say it’s going back again to focussing more on the recorded side of music. With NFT’s taking hold, smart musicians have found another venue to make a living so will live shows suffer? Maybe…

RR: How did the Heart Through Sacrifice project come about?


I’ve played in many bands, all have been great learning experiences but all fell short of expectations in some way. The last band, Voodoo Diamond, we spent so much money on the recording and then it all imploded after money became such a problem to take the band any further. I couldn’t let my music life end like that… so I decided to do something myself with the goals of it being epic, cinematic, doing it all (apart from singing!) myself and also to bring some positivity in any small way to the people involved.

For the shows we did, all tickets sales went to charities including the Rain Forest Trust and the British Heart Foundation. If I can’t make enough money to live on, I can at least put it to some positive use somehow…

RR: How did you decide that you wanted to produce such a colossal record?


The end product of this had to be bigger and better than anything I’d done before and mostly, something I could be proud of. I was tired of EP’s and singles. I wanted a full epic album that you’d listen to from start to the end and felt like you’d been on an adventure! The music was written before the story but totally inspired it as when listening, I saw in my mind this fantastical world, a battle with an evil beast and a fiery heroine warrior!

RR: Did you have any key inspirations behind the instrumentation of the album?


It was a combination of Devin Townsend’s extensive catalogue, Machine Head, Chimaria and Caliban… basically Prog, Thrash and Metalcore!

Be sure to follow Heart Through Sacrifice on Facebook and Instagram and to check out his new album on all digital streaming platforms!

A Chat With Chameleon Lady

Interview

With their new EP, ’11 Waverley Road’, dropping on this very day, 3/12/21, it was our pleasure to catch up with indie-rock outfit Chameleon Lady’s voice-box Cam! Diving into his own music habits and the band’s strong family ties, here’s our chat with Chameleon Lady…

RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?

The best rock album of all time is such a tricky question. I grew up with The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance and the unbelievable American Idiot by Green Day. Personally I’d have to chose one of them as they really introduced me to the genre. 

RR: How did you first discover rock music?

Apart from buying the albums Black Parade and American Idiot by My Chemical Romance and Green Day I suppose it was earlier rock. Bands like The Beatles, Meatloaf. Bat out of hell was regularly on in the house. 

RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music?

I think it’s in great shape. There are so many new and exciting bands coming through with different and unique sounds. It’s such an eclectic mix. 

Check out the band’s latest hit single – ‘Home (The Highlands)’

RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why?

I love Fatherson. A Scottish band from Glasgow. They are just brilliant. 

RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad?

I think the only way is up. I can only see the genre evolving into something bigger and better with new and more interesting sounds and talents. 

RR: Can you tell us about the band dynamic? I understand there are a lot of family bonds there!

So there are a lot of family bonds. Myself and Tom are brothers, Caitlin and Robbie are brother and sister, Kenny is their dad and Michael is their cousin. Although a lot of people would suggest this is a nightmare it works really well for us. It allows us to have a very tight knit bond that other bands just don’t have. Our creative and performance chemistry is off the charts and that can only be a good thing. 

RR: What did you learn about yourselves as musicians from writing the new EP?

I think we all learnt that we aren’t actually half bad as musicians. It’s always difficult starting out and getting your foot in the door but this EP has really elevated our sound and understanding of our music. It’s been such a positive and fun experience. 

RR: What was the main source of inspiration from the new EP? Did this differ from your usual songwriting process?

Our usual songwriting process is very collaborative. One of us will bring a song or idea to a meeting and we all discuss and add our inputs from there. We have always done this but this time round we got more creative and experimental in what we were doing. We tried to dive deeper into the emotions and feelings of the lyrics and music. And we think we have struck gold this time round. 

Follow the band down below:

Website

Ajay Mathur’s new release ‘Anytime At All (Aftermath of Silence) – The Moment of Clarity.

Rock, Rock n Roll

In November 2021 Ajay Mathur released his mix ‘Anytime At All (Aftermath of Silence)’ with both the intimacy of acoustic and the beating drum intro this has become one of Mathur’s highest played songs on Spotify. The song, which is from his upcoming album, has followed from his already successful single “I Need You Now” released in August 2021. Mathur is a Grammy-nominated musician, an impeccable achievement for any singer-songwriter. He grew up in India, now residing in Switzerland where all his musical ideas come to life.

The track itself, ‘Anytime At All (Aftermath of Silence) most definitely is one that never gets old, written shortly after John Lennon’s death, it is dedicated to the legendary musician. The lyrics came from within Mathur’s emotional trauma felt by Lennon’s death, relatable to that of what fans felt all over the world. Although this wasn’t the first time Ajay has been exposed to death, having lost both of his parents when he was just a toddler, he exerts this pain and emotion into his music which can be felt through his vocals.

Written from the perspective of someone who was nearby when Lennon was tragically shot, from both the lyrics and instrumental you feel the unreal sense of disbelief. Moving forward to 2020, the world is in the grips of a pandemic, locking us inside. Ajay spends this time in his home studio, listening to his favorite records, some of which are The Beatles and John Lennon of course. This moment brings inspiration and motivation, he picks up his guitar, following that Anytime At All (Aftermath of Silence) infiltrates the room. At this point, Mathur has finally found the emotional strength and the right instrumental to create his song.

Ajay felt that he needed to convey the clarity that he himself felt when he revisited the song in April 2020. He reached out to a friend and pianist Michael Dolmetsch, who was someone Ajay always wanted to work with but never had the chance to. Michael instantly understood what Ajay wanted to exert through his music, from this he created an elegant grand piano instrumental. Ajay went on to work with many other musicians to create his touching track. Steve Birrer added pedal steel to enhance the fluidity of the track. After Ajay recorded his vocal, the song was mixed by Grammy award-winning engineer Austin Asvanonda, who had worked with the Rolling Stones.

He also worked with another award-winning producer/remixer Philip Larsen who has successfully worked with musicians like Human League, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga, among many others. Philip created the more contemporary version of the song, which was released with the single. Ajay chose the timing of the release to fit with Lennon’s birthday on October 9 and the anniversary of his death on December 8.

“People exit our lives for many different reasons – end of a relationship, geographic separation, death by illness, carelessness or maliciousness of others – and we are forced to face the void. Recognizing that they are never really gone is where we can begin to find peace and comfort. “Anytime At All (Aftermath of Silence)” describes that moment of clarity, that the people who have touched you deeply are always going to be there with you. All you’ve gotta do is call.” – Ajay Mathur

Ajay understands death, along with the emotions that come with it, he wants others to acknowledge that there is a sense of clarity when you realize although that person is not physically there, doesn’t mean they aren’t there with you – as his song suggests all you’ve got to do is call.

Ajay Mathur Website / Artist pages

Official Website

VEVO

A Chat With: Ajay Mathur

Interview

Ajay Mathur represents a glorious cross section between the annals of rock music both classic and modern alike. With a wealthy and expanding discography already in the public domain, eyes turn to Mathur’s latest project: single ‘Anytime At All (The Aftermath Of Silence)’ and we had the chance to chat with the man himself to dive deeper…

RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?

Oh, that’s a very hard question. There are several rock albums that I consider exceptional and influential. Some of them are ‘Axis Bold as Love’ by Jimi Hendrix, ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ by Pink Floyd, ‘In the Court of The Crimson King’ by King Crimson, ‘The Soft Parade’ by The Doors, ‘Led Zeppelin III’ or Queen’s ‘A Night at the Opera’. If I have to choose my favorite album of all time, it would be The Beatles’ ‘White Album’. The White Album is full of gems. It’s down to earth compared to the psychedelic spiced Sgt. Pepper and it gets heavy as hell, when these guys decide to rock it. The White Album also has a personal context for me. It is said that most of the songs on the White Album were written in Rishikesh, India when The Beatles were there at the Ashram practicing meditation. That’s where I met them as a 14-year-old kid. That encounter possibly sparked my interest in learning to play guitar and make my own music. Before that encounter, I was interested only in drawing and painting.

RR: How did you first discover rock music?

Even though I grew up in a family of musicians and artists and was exposed to Indian classical and Bollywood music, somehow, I gravitated towards pop, blues and rock and roll that was occasionally played on radio shows in India. Maybe it was also a little bit of rebellion against the Indian music of the grown-ups. I grew up with an older cousin and I was fascinated by the way he and his college friends got together on our terrace and sang songs by The Beach Boys and The Beatles. To me it was magic. It was my cousin who then showed me my first three chords so I could play ‘Sloop John B’. That got me started playing the guitar and singing. The rest is history.

RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music?

Rock and alternative music is thriving as an art form, but unfortunately it doesn’t get the exposure it deserves in the mainstream media and the record industry. Nevertheless, rock and alternative musicians are creative and resilient. They are here to stay.

RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why?

War on Drugs, especially their album ‘A Deeper Understanding’, Greta Van Fleet, Garbage and Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters are my current favorites. They all rock, have a unique sound and a distinctive style of song-writing. I also think Alice Cooper’s ‘Detroit Stories’ is phenomenal. Alice Cooper at 73 is as indestructible as ever.

RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad?

The genre evolves all the time, reinventing itself. In my opinion, that’s not a bad thing at all.

RR: What was it like working with Austin Asvanonda on the single?

Working with Austin is a great pleasure. He not only mixed the single, but I also worked with him on the whole album ‘Talking Loud’ which should be released in Spring 2022. Austin is a pro. Even at his young age – he is 24 – Austin has a remarkable level of patience and dedication to creating great soundscapes and mixes. He has the gear and the ear and was even able to decipher my abstract and at times cryptic sound suggestions. On the single, I also got to work with the British sound magician and remixer Philip Larsen which was a really uplifting experience.

RR: How did it feel to win The Akademia award for best pop rock song?

It felt great! Winning an award is always a great moment when you know that your work has been well received and acknowledged by a jury and people well outside of your circle of friends and fans. It’s a boost to your self-confidence and confirms that what you’re doing is good.

RR: Do you think the landscape of rock music would look any different if Lennon was still with us?

I wish I knew the answer to that. I know that John Lennon was a creative force and at the time he died, he was still in his best form. Just listen to ‘Double Fantasy’, the album released shortly before his death, and the fantastic song material on the album. I’m sure that John Lennon would still be a major artist and acting as a voice for his many social causes if he were still with us.

Anytime At All (The Aftermath Of Silence) is out now and available everywhere!

Follow Ajay down below:

Official Website

VEVO channel

Soundcloud

Apple Music

Tidal