‪REVIEW EMMA BALLANTINE RELEASES ‘SOMEBODYS STORY’ EP AND THE FOURTH TRACK ‘ THROUGH YOUR EYES’!

Emma Ballantine is a new British artist from London is ready to tell a story!

Releasing ‘ Through Your Eyes ‘ this is fourth track that has been released.
A sound of a mystery from start to finish and vocals that instantly make you feel a connection and an instrumental that is very peaceful and slow and takes you on the journey!

The lyrics so strong and the passion that’s been put to not just this track the whole EP is amazing  and so enjoyable!

With a professional and warm feeling throughout you are in for a treat!
check out ‘ Through Your Eyes’ Below:

Buy  ‘Somebody’s Story’ EP

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/somebodys-story-ep/id1220059437

 
Follow Emma Ballantine for updates;

Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/pg/emmaballantinemusic/about/?ref=page_internal
Twitter;

Wesbite;

http://www.emmaballantine.com/

SWEDISH ROCK BAND ‘MY HEART IS A METRONOME’ TALK THEIR NEW SINGLE AND EP ‘TIERP’ CHECK OUT WHAT WAS SAID RIGHT HERE! 

What is the bands name? My heart is a metronome

 

How did you come up with the bands name?

“My heart is a metronome” is kind of like a reminder too keep going, to never give up on your goals, especially musically. If you give the name some thought you’ll get it. 

 

What is your genre of music?

Alternative rock, maybe?

 

Give us a little bio about you as individuals and as a band.

We started out as a band about 4 years ago. Well, actually, it all started with Mattis Malinen (vocals and guitar) who wrote a whole lot of music on his own and then busked the streets throughout Europe. When he came back home to Sweden he felt the songs lacked a rhythm section. This is where Gustaf Simonsson (bass) and Felix Carlsten (drums) joined the band. Mattis used to collect live videos on his harddrive when he was around 15. One day he found a video of the band System of a down playing a show at Big day out festival. The guitarist Daron Malakian was acting crazy, running around stage, spinning around, throwing himself on the ground to play a solo. This is what got Mattis into playing guitar. The rest is history.

 

 

Gustaf had been interested in music for his whole life. Growing up in i family with his mother who was an opera singer and grandpa who was a cantor, it was no coincidence Gustaf started to play music at a young age. He did his first live performance as a new born baby, representing “the new year” on stage at a big gala party. He then used to perform on every big family occasion singin’ funny songs alone on stage. When he was 9 years old he was learning how to play the guitar. He was really focused to learn how to play a clean barré chord. He tried and tried, but did not succeed. He got so disappointed and sad that he climbed into a closet, held the door shut from the inside and refused to get out. That is what you call a real musician! Legend says he still walks into his closet when he can’t figure out the right chord for a song.

 

When it comes to Felix he literally started playing the drums on ice cream boxes, saucepan lids and plastic toys when he was 14 years old. He also liked to go to the kitchen, open the pantry and oven and hit everything that would make a sound. At last, his parents got so annoyed (impressed?) that they finally bought him a drum kit. However, we want to believe that they bought him the drumkit due to that they thought he had talent. Funny thing is that it is the same drumkit as he plays on, on the song ”Feel Think”.

 

What made you go in to music?

Music made us!

 

Are you a signed?

Yes! We’re on the fantastic indie label Soul City Enterprise, a label started by our beloved friend and manager Tobias “Pitbull” Rosén.

 

Your brand new Single is out ‘Tierp’, what can you tell us about it?

 it’s the place where Mattis grew up and spent his first 18 years. It’s a song about memories and friendship and how to hold on to that. 

 

What was the recording process like?

We recorded the EP in our rehearsal space with the help of our good friends Jakob Jakobsson Blom and Axel Tovedal. It felt a lot more like “home” compared to expensive recording studios and it also meant that we could put more time into playing around with sounds and ideas. And to go and take a swim in the river when we had to.

 

What was the writing process like?

Fantastic and fun. We love writing music together and we hope that reflects in our songs. We write together by jamming in the rehearsal space.

 

Who did you let listen to the single before it was released?

Close friends and family. 

 

You have released your EP’ Tierp’, tell us more about that.

It consists of 4 tracks which we’ve put our heart and soul into and are really proud of. The songs are quite different from one another, but they’re still held together in some weird way. 

It was written and produced by ourselves, recorded by the above mentioned friends and mixed by grammy award winner Pelle Gunnerfeldt (The Hives, Refused).

 

Describe each track in three words.

Tierp – Disco, melodic, alternative.

Pick it up – Rhythmic, playful, technical.

Queen – Groovy, groovy, morecowbell

Bubble – Energetic, fast, bubbly

 

Do you play any instruments?

Thank god we do. Mattis plays guitar, Felix drums and Gustaf is slappin’ da bass. 

 

Who are your influences?

The list is long! Anything from soul classics to fast metal. 

 

How do you get inspiration to write songs?

Life and what comes with it. 

 

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?

Hopefully playing bigger stages, touring worldwide and making a living off of our music.

 

When you’re not doing music, what do you do?

We all have dayjobs. Mattis works at a home for people with disabilities, Felix is a management consultant and Gustaf is a building construction engineer.

 

What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?

I think it all varies for the three of us. For Mattis it was “Psycho” by System of a down. For Felix it was “Drain You” with Nirvana. Gustaf’s first own album he bought himself was Michael Jackson – Thriller. Memories are vague, but that album probably had a big influence.

 

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

Can’t think of one given straight to us, but a good quote from the legend Jeff Buckley is: 

“Be the best. No negativity. No weakness. No acquiescence to fear or disaster. No errors of ignorance. No evasion to reality”

 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?

Do your own thing, work hard and trust no one. The most important thing is to have fun though and try to hold on to why you started playing music in the first place!

 

What quote or saying do you always stick by?

Life’s a bitch and then you die.

 

You get off a plane in your hometown,

1/ where is the first place you visit

Bäverns rehearsal space. 

2/ where is the first place you see

You see an awesome church/cathedral #hotforchurches

3/ where is the first food place you go and what do you get

 Jappi – red curry!

 

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?

Our instruments, merch, backdrop, fresh ginger aaaand… a setlist for Mattis.

 

You work with Quite Great PR how did that come about?

We found them through googling around for UK PR agencies.

 

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?

First of all we have our own webpage http://www.myheartisametronome.com 

where you can read more about us and get direct links to all of our social media platforms. 

If you are a lazy one, here you go:

 

Facebook: facebook.com/myheartisametronome

Instagram: @myheartisametronome

Twitter: @MHIAMband

Snapchat @MHIAMband

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ_sirsd9qo6wFKnBVv0pHQ

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4aaBqtuCgkgQce4h3lZKDc

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/myheartisametronome-1

 

REVIEW: FOLK POP SINGER KRIS ANGELIS IS DROPPING HER LATEST SINGLE ‘HEARTBREAK IS CONTAGIOUS’

Kris Angelis composed her first song at three and never turn her back on music! 

Here now with ‘Heartbreak Is Contagious’ which has its upbeat melodies and its own spirit to let it jump out at you and it definitely  does do that and that folk feel makes it special and adds to the message.
Vocals are so sweet and flow wonderfully check it out for yourself below.

Kris is also set to release her EP ‘Heartbreak is Contagious’ 

Keep an eye on Kris’s page 

https://krisangelis.bandzoogle.com/store

Follow Kris on social media;

https://krisangelis.bandzoogle.com

https://www.facebook.com/krisangelismusic

https://www.instagram.com/krisangelis

https://www.youtube.com/user/krisangelis

READY TO FOLLOW UP THEIR EP ‘EL DORADO’ ITS ‘DRAWING NORTH’  WHO CHATS TO ME ABOUT THEIR NEW EP SET TO DROP IN SPRING,PROGRESSIONIS KEY AND THESE GUYS ARE  CERTAINLY READY TO SHOW US!

What are your names?Drew, Po and Jake

What is the band’s name?

Drawing North

How did you come up with the band’s name?

It came originally from a play on words of my name – Drew Southwell Draw/Drawing from Drew, North from Southwell and we all liked it and decided that it could also represent an adventure. The North aspect kind of symbolized venturing out of our home of Australia and pursuing music in America and other parts of the world.

What is your genre of music?

Alternative pop

Give us a little bio about you individually and as a band.

I’m a songwriter/producer and I’ve been playing musical instruments since I was a child. I’ve written with a large number of other writers in America through my travels, which in turn helped us acquire our visas to live here! We started the band in in 2010 but didn’t really take it seriously until a few years ago. When we recorded and released our debut album El Dorado which peaked at #3 on iTunes through Universal Music. We’ve played over 200 shows and have showcased at festivals such as SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, Vans Warped Tour and more. Our next EP comes out this year!

You are set to release a new EP this spring, tell us more about it.

We recorded it end of last year on a beautiful beach on the central coast of Australia with a producer named Andy Mak with whom I co-produced it with. We did 5 songs and we’ll be releasing a bunch of singles before the EP drops later this year. The first is called Stay and comes out April 5!

It is a follow up to your LP El Dorado , what is different about the new EP?

The style has progressed and we’ve grown as writers and musicians. I’d say the music is current and the production elements are a bit more electronic.

Some of your previous tracks have been endorsed by Joel Madden, How did that come about?

One of our first songs we released was a song called Timepiece and we did an acoustic video for it. He somehow stumbled upon it and tweeted about it saying how much he liked it and for everyone to check it out. It was really cool as a younger band to wake up to a whole ton of comments and new fans.

You have also played so many great festivals, What are they like?

Festivals are so much fun. The biggest crowd we’ve played to was a festival in our hometown in Australia to 15000 people. One of the coolest aspects is all the other artists on the bill that we get to meet and chat to. We we’ve been lucky enough to share the stage with some acts much bigger than us and it’s always great to hear their stories and advice or even just have share some drinks!
What is your dream festival to perform?

Coachella would be amazing. Glastonbury is also up there.

What made you get into music?

We all loved performing and loved playing instruments growing up. I think everyone secretly everyone wants a career as a rockstar so as young, naïve teenagers we decided to pursue it!

Are you signed?

We signed with Universal Music Australia for distribution of our debut album last year, but we are now unsigned and doing the next EP independently.

Will you be touring this year?

Yes! We’ve been touring since the start of the year and will be continuing throughout the rest of the year.

If so, where will you be heading?

At this point, just America and Australia.

Who are your influences?

This is a hard question because there are so many new and innovative artists that inspire you to keep going and to keep creating. Songwriting-wise would be Max Martin, Ryan Tedder or Dr Luke.

How do you get inspiration to write songs?

Usually from personal experiences or stories that have happened to us, our friends or family. We try to be always be aware of what is happening around us and try to translate that to music.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully touring and playing bigger shows, writing with bigger artists and still growing and learning.

When your not doing music,what do you do?

I’m a graphic designer so I do a lot of art. I also love to snowboard and travel.

You are from Australia, what is the music scene like over there?

It’s a lot smaller than here in America, but there are some incredible artists back home. The festivals are also a lot of fun.

What would be your dream venue to play in your hometown?

One of the stadiums in each major city would be a pretty wild achievement!

For anyone visiting Australia, where would you recommend they go?

Anywhere on the beach. Australia is beautiful and has some incredible rainforests up north too. Sydney and Melbourne are insanely fun.

If you could collaborate with one UK Artist or Band who would it be?

Ed Sheeran or Coldplay would be a dream. The 1975 would be dope too.

If you could collaborate with one US Artist or Band who would it be?  

One Republic  or The Weeknd would be a lot of fun.

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

Aim to remain humble and believe in yourself daily.

What quote or saying do you always stick by?  

One quote I often think of is ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ It’s cliché but it’s very relevant to the music industry. You have to have a lot of skill but you also have to have a lot of luck and this helps me every time I doubt myself to keep building and growing.

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?

The melodies, the lighting, the production, the venue and the clothes the performers wear.

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Instagram.com/drawingnorth
Facebook.com/drawingnorth
Twitter.com/drawingnorth
Soundcloud.com/drawingnorth
Youtube.com/drawingnorth

REVIEW: NEW ZEALAND ARTIST FOREST DROPS HIS DEBUT EP ‘PURPOSE’ AND ITS ONE TO INSPIRE AND HAVE FUN TOO!

Forest is an artist ready to showcase his musical talent and it’s refinery safe to say you need to have this in your playlist and playing at your parties!
First track is the title of the whole EP and letting you know their is a ‘Purpose’,it also features Rei.A track so catchy your singing along after the first listen. Bold and fun which really gives you the expectation you was waiting for after he released track 4 ‘Animal’.

A message to help you figure out ‘What your Purpose is’ which does get you thinking. 
A very ‘Different’ feel to track number two which brings back that old hip hop again.

Vocals so appealing makes and lyrics so heartfelt, telling a story which is very inspiring and that it’s ok to be ‘Different.
Then we have track 3 ‘Motivated’ which says it all in the title of this track. Lyrically and production so professional and easy to listen too!

Track 4 ‘Animal’ before the beat kicks in you can really hear his vocals and they are wonderful.

Then the beat kicks in and it surprises you in a fantastic way, he is an artist that is bringing back that old skool hip hop and I love it! 
The production / recording is so professional and I am so excited for the EP to get released. 
I think this is an EP that is fantastic and so inspiring in every track but has that edgy and fun vibe throughout to have it playing at your BBQ!
That whole old skool hip hop vibe just gets me every time and Forest is an artist that can pull it off for sure.
Check out ‘Purpose’ right here 

https://forestsounds.bandcamp.com/album/forest
And like Forest Facebook for all updates;

https://www.facebook.com/tanewilliamsactorspage/

EXCLUSIVE: OXFORD FOUR PIECE ‘FLATLANDS’ RELEASE THEIR NEW SINGLE ‘ ONE MAJOR ONE MINOR ‘ AND CHAT ABOUT THEIR NEW EP ‘PROVISIONAL LICENSE’

What are your names?Tom Keogh – Vocals, Guitar

Jamie Corish – Vocals, Bass

Nat Jones – Guitar, Keys

Rob Maclennan – Drums


Tell us the story behind the name ‘ Flatlands’.

Flatlands came to Tom as he was interrailing with his ex-band member in Germany. They were going their separate ways after school, both locationally but also in music taste. Tom wasn’t ready to stop playing in a band, though. As such, the idea for a new band with a stronger focus on rock was formed as he was travelling through some literal Germanic flatlands. Neat, right?
What is your genre of music?

We play both Indiepunk style music, inspired by the likes of Modern Baseball, The Front Bottoms and Brand New, as well as the occasional Post Rock esque number, akin to such Oxford legends such as Foals and Radiohead. 
Give us a little bio about you as a band and individuals.

We initially came together from opposite directions. While we all at school, Tom and Rob were the lead singer and drummer, respectively, of the indie folk band “Midnight Run”, whilst Nat was one of the brains behind the prog-rock epics served up by rival band “The Aureate Act”. As they approached the end of their time at school, they came together one night to form the skeleton of a new band.

Looking for a bassist proved difficult: no one in our year who played bass really wanted to commit to a band with bigger aspirations than school concerts. Jamie, however, offered up his dedication to the trio despite having no idea how to play a bass guitar. He set himself the task of learning the bass in two months before their first gig. Amazingly, he pulled it off and the rest is history.
Are you a signed?

Not yet!
You are releasing new single ‘ One Major One Minor’ can you tell us more about it.

One Major One Minor came out with the Provisional Licence E.P in February 2017. The music video soon followed. Since then, it’s had some nice reception from various bloggers, radios and music journalists. Been great to hear the feedback.
What was the writing process like ?
Nat originally came up with the main guitar hook and demoed it for the others at home. The rest all came together in a couple of rehearsals and Tom sorted the lyrics while getting driven home after each failed driving test.
What was the recording process like?

It was a real pleasure recording OMOM at Evolution Studios in Oxford. Tom, Jamie and Rob laid down the main bulk of the song in a few takes and then it was over to Nat and the vocalists to add the overdubs. It all went really smoothly under Nick Moorbath’s capable direction. What was anticipated to be a major problem – bringing clarity to the individual guitar layers – was easily resolved with his skill. 


You also released a very cool video for the single, what was the video process like?

Filming OMOM music video was great! We had a brief outline of what we’d do beforehand but really it all fell into place on the day. We knew that in order to match the musical and lyrical content of the track we’d need to make it light hearted and self-deprecating, hence all the continuity errors and the silly story line. Credit must go to Charlie Landells for producing the video so well. He also did a cracking job of putting up with us for 8 hours. 
What’s your best memory from the video shoot?

It’s got to be experience Rob’s acting masterclass. The boy’s got serious talent. Is burping on cue really serious talent?
What are you most looking forward too?

We’re looking forward to the future. 2017 looks to be an exciting year with the prospect of festival slots and amazing touring band gigs to come.


You also have an EP coming out called ‘Provisional License ‘ tell us the meaning behind the title.

Provisional Licence has been floating about online for a few weeks now. It’s officially out on 9th March. Our E.P Launch gig at The Library Oxford will see physical copies being released for the first time. The title riffs off the One Major One Minor lyrical content. It’s basically Tom feeling a bit sore about failing his driving test 3 times* but it also references how this E.P is a bit of a “test drive” for us too. We’re not fully fledged as a band but we’re aiming to use the E.P to springboard to greater things. 

*He has since failed for a 4th time and then passed on a 5th. Go Tom. 
Describe each track in three words 

One Major One Minor -Tom can’t drive

Truth Be Told.. – Obligatory Love Song

Ghosts – Skins, The Musical 
Will you be heading out on tour or any gigs coming up your fans/new fans can know about?

9th March at The Library in Oxford is a must. The support bands are fantastic and the tiny venue should make for an intense live experience. Tickets are selling fast though! Our tour plans are still currently under wraps… hopefully more on this in the next few months though. 
If so where will you be heading?

Hopefully cities with good music scenes. We’re looking at places like Manchester, Brighton, London, Sheffield, etc.
Will you be selling merch at any of your gigs?

Yes! We have T-shirts and CDs ready to be distributed at the 9th March E.P launch gig. What’s more, these will soon be available online via our Facebook page.
What made you go into music?

Encouragement from family and school are key to us all. What brought the 4 of us together was that we all started a gap year at the same time last September. Being abandoned by our mates as they went off to various universities up and down the country brought us together. We’d all played together in various guises whilst at school so the time seemed right to establish ourselves in the Oxford music scene
Do you play any other instruments?

We’re all classically trained musicians, actually. Tom and Nat play the piano and violin, Jamie is an awesome cellist and Rob is a percussion weapon. Nat claims proficiency at the banjo but this is yet to be attested to. 
Who are your influences?

Again, different for each member. There are 2 sides to the Flatlands sound and this is shown by our influences. Nat is much more into prog rock, electronic and UK alternative/Indie music, Rob’s grooves reflect both hard rock influence from the likes of Muse blended with exciting funk similar to Tower of Power. Jamie and Tom tend to be a bit more American in their garage rock tastes. Together we hope that we bring a fusion of our tastes into our music.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?

We’re quite prosaic in our inspiration. Basically, if something sounds good and is fun to play, it gets the nod. Nat or Tom usually come up with the initial idea and then it’s down to us as a collective to develop it into something more complete. As a general rule, we try not to write lyrics first. Crowbarring chords around a story we’re trying to tell never tends to work for us.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?

Always hard to tell as teenagers. We’ll all be playing music though, that’s for sure! 
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?

Rob is a bit of an organisational God. He fences internationally, plays at professional events as an orchestral percussionist for a bit of cash on the side and is an A* student in the spare time he has in between. As for the others: Tom wheezes through half marathons, Nat professionally drinks his body weight in alcohol (and runs faster half marathons than Tom) and Jamie rigorously combs the Star Wars prequels for more evidence that Jar Jar Binks was a Sith Lord.
What would be your dream hometown venue?

Oxford does grubby little pub venues so well. The Library is going to be super exciting on 9th March as its so small, that when it gets packed, it really feels nuts to play live.
If you could collaborate with one UK Artists or Band who would it be?

It’d be awesome to jam with someone like Johnny Marr. His guitar work is simply the best. You’d be in the studio and you can imagine him just adding on incredible overdub after incredible overdub. Flatlands aren’t anything like The Smiths but we appreciate the genius. 
If you could collaborate with one US artists or band should it be and why? 

Spending a few weeks locked up in Mac DeMarco’s Brooklyn flat/recording space would be pretty awesome. 
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to get more into the music scene?

Oxford has a fine heritage of music talent that makes being part of its current scene really exciting. In recent years the likes of Glass Animals, Wild Swim (now Low Island), ArtClassSink, Balloon Ascents (now Neverlnd) have shown that young ambitious musicians can thrive. Hard to pick a specific song but we really value the bands produced in Oxford. 
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

Never give up on your dreams. Only joking. Get performing out of your hometown. Play the next county, get down to London, go abroad! Gig once every 6-8 weeks at home, if you’re any good, the show should be really packed. 
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?

If you’re in a band you’ve got to be ready to criticise each other. We’re all really good mates here in Flatlands so telling each other our ideas are dud is pretty tough. But tough love triumphs when trying to put together a decent run of tunes. 
What quote or saying do you always stick by?

“You can drink a drink but you can’t food a food” – Confucius 
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?

Guitar

Bass/Jamie

Drumsticks

Capo

The lyrics
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flatlandsofficial/
Instagram: Flatlandsofficial
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/flatlandsofficial
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmWLD0jCqZgzfuTrZ95mFxA
Snapchat: Flatlandsmusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/flatlandsmusic

REVIEW: MARK SULLIVAN IS SET TO RELEASE ‘STILL GOOD FOR NOTHING ‘ ON MARCH 10TH BUT I GOT A SNEAK PREVIEW AND YOUR IN FOR A TREAT!

Mark Sullivan is a singer and songwriter who has a passion for music since he was 15 and now here with his NEW EP set to release on March 10th 17! 
‘Warm Your Bones’ is just one of those songs that you just sway a long to and really feel what is. Ring sang and in Marks vocals you can hear it’s personally to him which just makes you warm! 

With a low drum and guitar instrumental really adding something special to the song.
Track two ‘Birds At Night’ a little higher and fun instrumental to start of this track. With Marks deep vocals coming through makes you smile straightaway. So rough yet so appealing when each lyric is sang.

Lyrics again feel they have a personal message in but can still be related too by others. 

Track three ‘Take It Back’ has a very unusual and unique instrumental and gives the whole EP a different light to it which just surprises you in a good way!

A catchy and inspiring song with a message “Ready to fight for what you got” that you really feel when Mark sings it and makes you instantly go “yeah I got this” 
A three track with a mixture of messages and emotion yet something you all need to take a listen too!
Follow Mark on Social Media for many more updates; 

IAN WILLS OF WILLS AND THE WILLING HAS A CHAT TO ME  ABOUT WHERE THEIR NAME CAME FROM, NEW SINGLE BUTTERFLIES AND WHAT’S NEXT! 

What is your name? 
Ian Wills

How did you come up with Wills and The Willing?

It was born out of putting together a band who were wanting to do something different to what they knew and ‘willing’ to stand out and not be your typical band.

What is your genre of music?

It’s hard to put a single genre, chosen labels would be Spoken Word, Urban Fused Rock, Folk, World Music, 

Give us a little bio about you.

I cant do little, story to long it has taken a life times journey and still have not reached the starting line !!! 
Emma rest over to you !!!
Ok – here’s what I have from Soundcloud…
BIOGRAPHY
In late 2004 Ian formed Wills & The Willing and it was in October of 2005 that Janice Long started to champion the band, when she played the single “21st Century Love Song” on her highly regarded and popular Radio 2 program.
By the Summer of 2006, the band was enjoying strong national radio and media support, and was playing at festivals across the UK, including the much loved and highly respected Guilfest.
In 2007, Ian reformed his band, Wills & The Willing, bringing in musicians and friends that he had long admired to record the second album “Heroes & Villains”- the new line up consisted of Ian, Sean Genockey and Charlie Morton, plus part time members The Adj & John Tills, (Kubb, Paolo Nutini, Jamie Lawson). They released their first single “Skin”, which featured Didier Drogba and Michael Essien. “Skin” was used as part of the football anti racist “Kick It Out” Campaign.
Wills & The Willing went on to release the second single “Lipstick” to critical acclaim in 2008, featuring the Mercury Prize nominated (Tom McRae) .
Wills & The Willing went back on the road with the new line up in anticipation of the release of “Heroes And Villains”- they played Guilfest, the Isle of Wight music Festival, The Royal Albert Hall and live sessions at Radio 2.
Sadly, just as they were due to embark on a full UK tour, calamity struck as Ian was rushed to hospital and spent two years in and out of hospital during his recovery process – which resulted in “Heroes And Villains” not being commercially released.
In September of 2012, Ian, Sean, Charlie & John started working on the third Wills & The Willing album, “Dream In Colour”, which was recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios, Wales and at South London’s Black Dog Studios.


Introduce your band.

Sean Genockey Producer, Engineer, Guitars ,  

Charlie Morton Producer, , Drums, Vocals

John Hogg Producer, Guitars, Piano, Vocals ,Spoons 

What made you go in to music?
Since I was 12 years old hanging out with the Maori’s at school in New Zealand – playing and singing music has been in my DNA, 

Are you signed?
My publishing is signed to Sony ATV
You have a brand new track out ‘Butterflies’ tell us more about it

You have a brand new track out ‘Butterflies’ tell us more about it

Like the whole country I had been moved by the people of Royal Wotton Bassett and the many repatriations . Late 2009 I was in Blackpool with friends for the Royal Variety Performance, on November 4th , 5 soldiers had been killed by a rogue Afghan Police officer , one of those fallen was from the Blackpool area, his coffin draped in the Union jack on the long journey home past the hotel where I was staying, after standing on the pavement to pay my respects I sat down on a bench looking out to sea and “Butterflies” poured out of me 

What was the writing process like for ‘ Butterflies’?

It was very much a collective process, I had some initial chords that I played Sean, Charlie & John made sense of them and wrote the rest and ‘Butterflies’ was born 

What was the recording process like for ‘Butterflies’?

I sat on the sidelines, when you are blessed with such amazing musicians who you also share a genuine friendship and trust, who continually bring the best out of me it is easy to step out until your name is called !!


What’s the most memorable memory you had during the recording of the track? 

Listening to the mix after Rory Cushnan had waved his magic mixing wand 

You released a fantastic video to accompany the track, what was the process like for the video?

I asked Pete Callow who made the video if he wanted to have another Ian Wills headache!!! , I had worked with Pete in 2005 his film making is phenomenal, I sent him the track told him the story behind “Butterflies’ and asked him what his thoughts were, from there as a band we filtered back our additional thoughts and left it to Pete, from the initial version Pete sent us we gave some inputs and Pete took those on board and produced a final version which is stunning.

Will we see a new EP or Album next year?

Our third album ‘Dream In Colour’ which ‘Butterflies’ is the first single was released late 2016 , The next single ‘ Running On Empty’ will be released in April, Our second album ‘Heroes & Villains’ recorded in 2008 was never commercially released , it has been remastered and will be released in May, the first track off of H&V ‘Villa’ is having a club remix as we speak and anticipation is that it will be one of the tracks that will be getting people dancing off there nuts this summer . Towards the autumn I will be releasing my ‘Wills’ side project ‘London Country’ which is a double album I started recording with Sean producing , I have written 67 songs and expectation is 20 will make the cut   

Do you have any gigs or tours coming up?

Wills & The Willing will be playing UK shows late April onwards, i will also be playing some acoustic gigs in the summer 


Do you play any instruments?
My weapon of choice is the guitar 
Who are your influences?

Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, John Steinbeck, James Baldwin, Phil Ochs, Sex Pistols, Peter Sarstedt, Billy Bragg, Ian Dury, Barry Manilow, and all that flows between. 

How do you get inspiration to write songs?

I think 99% of the time in everything I write or have written there is a piece of me, i know I am deeply flawed and often look inside of me before looking out

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?

Other than 5 years older, still writing and recording, still trying to get Chris Martin guest vocal on a Wills album

When you’re not doing music, what do you do?

I have three girls aged 24, 22 & 8 I have learnt how important spending time with those who love you unconditionally is, 

What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene? 

Thunder Road 

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

When I was 15 my probation officer said ‘ if you don’t stop fighting all around you and start fighting for yourself how do you expect anyone to fight for you’ that wisdom has never left me 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?

For every yes you get it will be the result of a thousand NO’s, without rejection you won’t find the inspiration, drive and the belief to succeed and achieve your own personal ambitions. If money is your driver than do not take path of creativity.

What quote or saying do you always stick by?

What is is and what ain’t ain’t 

Where in your hometown is a must go to visit? 

Top of Box Hill

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget? 

If I am playing a gig that question is easy, don’t forget the lyrics, the music, to have a good time as the moment may never come again, never out stay your welcome, most importantly that people have given there time and money to see you play and buy your music, never take it for granted and always give your best


You work with PlugginBaby how did that come about? 

I knew of Emma Scott, her reputation, within minutes of speaking I knew PlugginBaby was who i needed to work with and to take our music to the next level. fortunately, post our conversation she did not give up the will to live!! Emma believes in our music and also me as an individual , you can’t ask more than that, the rest is hard graft and luck 

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?

our website is http://www.willsandthewilling.com

my twitter is @IWILLS

and my personal soundcloud is https://soundcloud.com/iu67fxln84ob

POP HOUSE COMPOSER,PRODUCER AND SINGER MARTIN HELLEU FROM PARIS AKA STUDIO MONTAIGNE IS SET TO RELEASE ‘BELIEVE’ EP 



What is your name? 

Martin Helleu 

How did you come up with the stage name ‘Studio Montaigne? Originally this project started at school and as a duo but the name was Montaigne. After I graduated my friend and I launched this project in London.

 

What is your genre of music?

 Pop house.

 

Give us a little bio about yourself. 

I am from Paris and based there, I am a producer, composer and singer. Art is the most important thing to me. I guess it is a family affair.

 

Are you a signed band? 

Some ep’s have been released with labels Cascine and Irradiant Hologram but Studio Montaigne is not a signed band yet.

 

Your new Ep is called ‘Believe’ can you tell us more about it. 

We all need to believe in something. I guess I am just a believer. 

 

Did you work on it with anyone if so who? 

I composed and wrote “Believe” alone. Studio Montaigne is a solo project. 

 

What was the recording process like? How was the writing process for the song? 

The process was quite old school. Just a piano and my voice, the goal for me was to keep this song minimal.

 

Who did you play the EP to first?

 I like to share my new production with close friends. Some of them are musicians too and if they don’t like it, they always tell me for sure.

 

Do you have any UK gigs or a tour coming up or in planning? 

Not yet but we would love to play the Uk when the time is right.

 

if so where will you be heading? London for sure.

 

Do you play any instruments?

 I play the piano and synthesizer but I am self taught.

 

Who are your influences?

 It’s very eclectic: Raphael Saadiq, Disclosure, Duke Dumont, Paradis, French touch….

 

How do you get inspiration to write songs?

My inspirations are from love, or simple cool things.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 Years? 

I hope my music is successful so I can live in an island in my amazing studio with a view of the sea. 

 

When you’re not making music, what do you do? 

I am working on music all of the time. I am also working on a second musical project but it’s a secret right now.. 

 

Where is your dream venue to play in your hometown?

 It would be at the top of the Montparnasse Tower. 

 

If you could collaborate with one UK Artists or Band who would it be?

 Duke Dumont, I think he is a genius.

 

If you could collaborate with one US Artists or Band who would it be?

One of my biggest dreams would be to work with Beyonce.

 

What was the song you listened to most that encouraged you to get into the music scene?

 “Music sounds better with you” I was 12 when Stardust released this song, it has the best lyrics on earth to me! 

 

What’s  the best advice you have ever been given?

 If you think you are able to sing, do it.

 

Which show would you love your music to be played on? 

Any Tim Burton movies.

 

What advice would you give to any aspiring musicians not about the industry but just as an artist?

 Keep trying, don’t give up, be yourself.

 

What quote or saying do you always stick by?

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever” Ghandi

 

 

You get off a plane in your hometown, 

1/ where is the first place you visit

The Louvre 

2/ where is the first place you see 

The Panthéon

3/ where is the fist food place you go and what do you get

Probably the famous steak house “l’entrecote” you can order the best profiteroles.

 

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget? 

My lucky mic, my keyboard, my friends, water and the lyrics of course

 

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?

http://www.instagram.com/studiomontaigne/

http://www.facebook.com/studiomontaignemusic

http://www.facebook.com/studiomontaignemusic

http://www.twitter.com/studiomontaigne

 

Studio Montaigne’s forthcoming EP Believe will be available from 3rd March from Parisian record label Irradiant Hologram with remixes from Employee of the Year, Tero and Chine Larcoche.

SWEET GUM TREE IS A UNSIGNED SINGER AND SONGWRITER FROM FRANCE AND READY TO SHARE HIS JOURNEY ON NEW LP ‘SUSTAIN THE ILLUSION’ GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HIM

What’s your name?
Arno Sojo. I opted for the Sweet Gum Tree moniker in 2009 when initiating my solo project.

 

Give us a little bio about you.

I was born and raised in France, where I still live. I’ve been recording music and touring for a couple of decades already, mostly as a guitar player, in countless bands. At some point I set up Sojo Glider with my brother and my girlfriend, and we release three albums, notably “Man Sleeps To Forget”(2008, Discograph), which we recorded in New-York with producer Malcolm Burn (known for his work with Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop or Patti Smith, among others). The band barely survived this third LP and soon it made sense to go solo.

 

How would you describe your music?

I like blending textures and atmospherics with a more traditional singer-songwriter approach. There’s a bit of shoegaze and dream pop in there. You could label it as poetic, melancholic, romantic, cinematic (and a hundred more words in ”-ic’’, not implying pathetic !)

 

Are you a signed artist?

No, I release the music through my own imprint, which has distribution deals with The Orchard for digital and Plastic Head for physical.

 

You’re set to release a brand-new album, ‘Sustain The Illusion’, could you tell us the meaning behind the title?

The title nods to Wes Anderson’s movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, itself based on the writings of Stefan Zweig about Europe sinking into barbarity in the 1930’s, which retains much relevance today. The illusion being referred to would be that of humanity. Hence the lyric bit in the song called The Gift : “If we cannot make this world humane, at least we can sustain the illusion with grace”.

 

Try and describe each track in two words!

BREAKING THE BOND : light-and-shade, liberation

TWINKLE : playfulness, philosophy

SOMEDAY : utopia, pacifism

ROLLERCOASTER : female, courage

FAIRWEATHER FAITH : friendship, betrayal

STARS ALIGN : romance, fate

GUILT TRIP : witch hunt

CLEAN SLATE : childhood, memories

BURN YOUR ICONS : heroes, society

THE GIFT : father, son

KEEPER : darkness, lullaby

 

What was the writing process like?

Fresh, spontaneous, urgent, visceral, liberating. No written scores as opposed to the classically-arranged previous album. More heartfelt this time, less cerebral.

 

What was the recording process like?

After “The Snakes You Charm & The Wolves You Tame” and its cast of twenty plus musicians playing live, it felt weird and lonely but also playful to work on the initial home recordings. I had to rely on myself and technology to bring those new songs to life. I enjoyed getting to play a lot of different instruments : drums, keyboards and bass in addition to the guitars and vocals. I got myself a cheap analog drum machine, which was fun to use and sounded pretty good. As much as the previous record relied on acoustic textures and natural instruments, this time I enjoyed shaping sounds with otherworldly qualities. When I was ready to go to a proper studio I played the material to Irish producer David Odlum, as we’d planned from the start. He’s great at bringing out the best in you, never forcing things out, acting more like a revelator, with a lot of patience, understanding and sensitivity. With musicians Romy (keyboards) and Elise (violin) we went to do some live recordings for a couple of days at Studio Black Box, where David is a resident engineer. The last overdubs and the mixing were completed months after that, so we might have lost some momentum there, but we definitely gained perspective.

 

Are you heading out on tour with the Album?

We’re working on it, there are a few dates being scheduled for the Spring, but hopefully in the Fall I might be able to tour more extensively, fingers crossed.

 

You have confirmed you are performing on the 5th April at The Good Ship, are you excited?

Sure, London is my favourite travelling destination, and yet I’ve only played there once before. As humbling as it can be to perform in culturally rich cities, there’s also usually a better reception of the project.

 

You have collaborated with some great names, Isobel of Belle &Sebastian, Earl Harvin of Tindersticks, and many more, what was it like to work with them?

It was thrilling, rewarding, and kind of unreal. Working with those artists I admire took none of the magic away, and I’m glad I’ve got those recordings to remind me that I haven’t been dreaming. Their presence on the project felt like a validation of my ideas, and it helped me build a bit more self-confidence. They certainly enhanced the songs a great deal, but then so did every other musician I’ve had the pleasure to work with, famous or not.

 

Did you receive any advice?

Very little actually, perhaps out of respect for my own vision, which those musicians were trying to help me achieve, and it even strikes me that I never followed the rare piece of advice that was offered by those heroes of mine, like when Isobel Campbell suggested recording a French version of “Bird Of Passage” for instance. But then we’re both self-admitted control freaks !

 

What made you first go into music?

I had an epiphany listening to Pink Floyd at the age of two, and since then, playing records, writing songs and performing them has been my main interest in life.

 

Are you playing at any festivals this year?

Not yet, but I’m still hoping to.

 

What are your favourite instruments to play?

Guitar first, and then piano. I got my first six-string at the age of three, and it’s been my obsession ever since.

 

Who are your musical influences?

Gaz Coombes, Kurt Vile, David Bowie, The Church, Talk Talk, Doves, David Sylvian, Lloyd Cole, Echo & the Bunnymen, Elysian Fields, Joseph Arthur, Ed Harcourt, Badly Drawn Boy…

 

How do you get inspiration to write songs?

It’s hardly ever a conscious process, that’s the beauty of inspiration. The main ideas come out of the blue, knocking at your door. Suddenly a song is here for you to capture. Of course every creative mind is like a sponge and so you constantly absorb things, from life, from other works of art… Sooner or later some of that gets recycled one way or another, feeding your imagination.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?

Probably still where I am today, perhaps living in a foreign country, like Canada… I don’t really have a plan for the rest of my life, and it feels great. My only certainty is that I’ll still be writing and recording music, as I always have, regardless circumstances, whether I have an audience or not, making art for art’s sake…

 

When you’re not involved in music, what do you like to do?

Well… playing records, reading books, going to the movies, but most of all spending time with my son, this is the best part, the most fun.

 

What was the song that made you want to go into the music scene?

“Under The Milky Way” by Australian band The Church. As a teenager I recall standing spellbound for those 4:59 minutes of velvet underkill, and by the time the song ended, my life had changed : a part of myself that I didn’t know was there had been revealed to me, and all of a sudden I knew who I was, in all my human complexity. In terms of mood, texture, this song stood out at the time from other productions. I still can’t believe it became such a hit, but it paved the way for the belief that this kind of “melancholic” music, reflecting a particular set of values, not the most commonly shared, could still somehow, almost accidentally, seduce large audiences.

 

If your music was featured in a TV show or Film which one would it be?

I don’t know, it could end up in many places I think, not necessarily the most predictable ones. But someone should get “The Gift” featured in a romantic comedy, that might actually make sense.

 

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

To remain true to myself.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?

Become who you are, and don’t be afraid to value the things that make you special, different, and ultimately unique.

 

What quote or saying do you always stick by?

There are many of them, but here’s a good one, from the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr : “To have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”.

 

When you come back off tour, what is the…

First place you visit?

Angers (France), my hometown.

 

First person you see?

My kid.

 

First thing you eat?

Tofu.

 

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?

– Which songs made the setlist

– The line-up

– The vibe from the audience, people’s behaviour, which can transcend the show or ruin it all

– Ultimately, that unexpected moment when you make eye contact with the performer during a song

– The occasional little chat with the musicians after the show

 

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?

facebook.com/SweetGumTree

twitter.com/SweetGumTree

youtube.com/user/SweetGumTreeSongs