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Franklin Fest 2017 Interview - Los Coyote Men

Up next... I had the great privilege of chatting to international heartthrob and Sultan of the Squared Circle, Sir Randy "Captain Dynamite" Hornocker of Los Coyote Men

RH: Ah Ms. Sheringham, I've been expecting you. Sit yourself down kick off your shoes. You're in the company of Randy "Captain Dynamite" Hornocker of thee fabulous Coyote Men!

DS: Can I call you Randy?

RH: You can call me Randy.

DS: Randy, could you give (for those who are not in the know) a brief history of Thee Fabulous Coyote Men?

RH: The Mighty Masked Marvels of Moron-o-phonic Mayhem have a long and un-illustrious past as thee first All Rockin' Lucha Libre Rock 'n' Roll Grapplin' Garage Punk Combo™ spanning some 20 odd years with the distinction of NEVER completing a single year without splitting up! Using my colossal cranium I deduce that if we base the career of the band purely on the time we have spent as an active concern, we have toured extensively throughout Europe/Canada/The US of A and released 5 albums and a baker's dozen of 45's all in the space of 3 months...'n' that's a scientific fact.

DS: Wow, that's pretty impressive! and of course you had a few releases on Estrus during their heyday - that must have been pretty exciting?

RH: Exciting? It was a dream come true... for Estrus!!! Mr. Mono Man the master of mullet Davey Crider flew himself to England with the sole purpose of gettin' his hands on the John Hancocks of myself, Randy "Captain Dyn-o-mite" Hornocker a.k.a. Thee Grand Poobah of the Electrical Geetar and Helmut "The Bruiser" Von Schoen, going as far as to threatened to burn down the Estrus empire if we didn't join the Bellingham big boys on his fine roster of rock. Dave treated Los Coyotes real nice and flew us out to the Garage Shock fest and arranged a U S of A tour, so Los Coyote Men repaid him by recording a tribute to Captain Crider in the form of our Dull City Records hit 45 'Mullet Man', what can i say, we've got a collective heart of gold.

DS: Indeed. I saw you play recently in Newcastle supporting King Salami & The Cumberland Three, that was a pretty wild night..

RH: Oh yeah Prince Saveloy and the Hot Dog Trio, that was the first time back in action for Los Fabulous Coyote Men 'n' the first with new bassonist "Slapsey" Maxie Rosenbloom II, so I mark that one an "A-" for rockability on behalf of Thee Sultans of The Squared Circle.

DS: And since you're playing at the Franklin Fest next weekend, what can the punters look forward to? Is this the first time in Scotland for Los Coyote Men?

RH: As you'll witness at the Franklin Fest, Debs, I can call you Debs can't I? Scotland was the first place to take Los Coyote Men to it's deep fried heart. In fact Edinburgh's swingin' spot The Cas Rock Club (R.I.P.) was the scene of the second Coyote Men show and the last appearance of "Slapsey" Maxie I. He shuffled off this mortal coil in a car park on the journey home from the show. Doctor's said they'd never seen a case like it and that he'd died of shame. I myself, Sir Randolph Hornocker, have had many a great time spreading the sports/rock entertainment live spectacle to Los Coyotes tartan horde and categorically deny the frankly absurd rumour that I was once thrown headfirst through two sets of doors into the street and banned from playing with Los Coyotes...lies damn lies!

DS: Okay, so a night of mayhem is pretty likely! I look forward to seeing your interactions with Franklin Rock ‘n’ Roll Club’s cartwheeling barmaid Brenda...

RH: Yeah word on the wire is Brenda's a live one! Scotland will be receiving the usual Coyote Men all out organised chaos no more no less as Thee Greatest Four Man Rock 'n' Roll Wrestlin' Combo only have two speeds 'n' thats "Goin' 'n' Gone"! We be sittin' on a mountain of top of the pops tunes so maybe there'll be a 12" headin' your way soon but 'til then there's a brand new 7" out on FOLC Records in Spain that's crazy limited to 250 copies in four different hand screen printed sleeves featuring individual shots of each fantastic member of Los Coyotes (Obviously there's an extra few copies of the one featurin' the ladies choice The Randster!). Hey, Deb are you sure you haven't kicked off your shoes? There's a funny smell about...

You can catch Randy and the phenominal Los Coyote Men on the Saturday evening of the Franklin Fest, details here. Further details of the band can be found here


Franklin Fest 2017 Interview - Nervous Twitch

Ahead of this years Franklin Fest (where did the last 12 months go?), our very own girl in the garage has managed to have a good old fashioned gossip with few of the participating acts. They'll be an article each day this week leading up to the opening night - Thursday 29th  - so you can look forward to intimate tête-à-tête's with MFC Chicken's Spencer Envoy, Chrome Reverse's Lili Zeller and Los Coyote Men's Sir Randy 'Captain Dynomite' Hornknocker! no-less.


Up first is Erin Van Rumble, front woman and bassist of Leeds pop-punksters Nervous Twitch.

DS: ようこそ Erin, please introduce yourself..

EVR: We've been together for about four or five years and after a few lineup changes etc. we are currently a three-piece. Myself, Erin, on bass and singing, Jay on guitar and Ash on drums.


DS: Okay, and how did Nervous Twitch evolve, and did you know each other beforehand?


EVR: Jay and I are a couple and we met through music and going to gigs. Jay was in a different band at the time, and has been in bands since he was a teenager. I originally came on board as a drummer and it was my first proper band! In our early days we made the decision for me to move to bass which vacated the drummer position which is where we're introduced to Ash through a friend.


DS: So what kind of music drives the band?


EVR: We are all fans of various types of music but I think what we all share is a love of a catchy pop song and playing punk rock... so I think that's how we get our sound. Music that inspires our writing is bands like The Ramones, Billy Childish, Nobunny, amongst many many others!


DS: Care to mention a couple of tunes that have inspired you?


EVR: I would find it hard to pinpoint inspiration down to a particular song but album wise Nobunny Love Visions/First Blood (or maybe the song 'Chuck Berry Holiday'!) Ramones Rocket To Russia, or maybe just them all! Billy Childish has A LOT of great songs and far tooooo mannnnyyy albums ha ha!

Also big fans of '60s girl groups like Shangri-las and The Ronettes and the Girls In The Garage comps which has inspired our songs such as "Johnny's Got A Gun" 

DS: You certainly can't go wrong with a bit of Mr Childish. Any particular incarnation of his that you prefer?


EVR: I personally love The Delmonas. Today we had Thatcher's Children byWild Billy Childish & The MBE's on the turntable, which is awesome. Also a fan of the Headcoats, Headcoatees, Milkshakes, so most of his music! He just has a great knack with writing songs!


DS: Turning to output, how many releases to date?


EVR: Two Albums: both released on Odd Box Records on cassette, and then the first one “Get Back In Line” re-released on Vinyl on Middle Ear Recordings and our second “Don’t Take My TV” re-released on Vinyl on Odd Box Records. We’ve also had two singles out on Punk Fox Records and various CD EP's along the way.


DS: ..and what are the band up to at the moment?


EVR: Just finished album Number three “I Won’t Hide” (which we are all very excited about!) which will be released in October on Odd Box Records, as well as a single on Punk Fox!


DS: Will this be the first time you've played in Edinburgh?


EVR: We played in Edinburgh when we toured spring 2016. Awesome gig, so much fun! So we’re all excited to be back!


DS: Are you sticking around for the whole weekend, and who are you looking forward to seeing?


EVR: We are, and can’t wait to see all of the bands really! Sad to be missing The Fnords on the Thursday (I will catch them one day!) but otherwise looking forward to MFC Chicken, Coyote Men, Das Clamps, and The Sensation Seekers.


Many thanks to Erin for taking the time out to chat.

You can catch Nervous Twitch on Friday evening at The Franklin Fest 17. More information about the band can be found here.  


A Chat with J & The Rest

J & The Rest is the result of a series of happy musical coincidences. Frontman Jamal was raised in a musical family, but had never fully considered a career as a vocalist. While he studied music tech at Leeds Met, he left the course feeling that the path was not what he expected. However, his friend invited in to the studio one day to jam, where he met their uni mates John and Louis. The three clicked musically and, after their friend from the live circuit, Ricky, joined them on drums, J & The Rest were born.

MG: J & The Rest, who is who?

JAMAL: It's pretty much all in the name! Haha. There's J, me, the frontman, then there's the other guys - Ricky (drums), John (Bass), and Louis (Keys).

MG: J, did you piece the project together?

J: Well kind of...myself and an old member of the band (who is now off being a successful solo artist), decided to put the project together when we were broke and decided we would play some weddings and stuff to earn some extra cash!

MG: How did you find The Rest?

J: Well The Rest are a combination of Uni friends and awesome musicians we knew from around the circuit. Pretty much as boring as "Hey man, wanna be in my band?...Yeh ok."

MG: Who has the creative control of the group?

J: Ha, its a dictatorship! No, I'm joking. It's genuinely is a team effort in this band creatively, as most of the time we're all in the studio sessions together. I guess you could say ultimately though it is me who pulls the trigger on final creative decisions.

MG: How do you work together as songwriters?

J: There isn't really a set way of how we do it, it changes over time in the studio. Somedays I focus more on lyrics and other days it might be John, for example, who focuses more on the words as I'm more invested in the music side in that session. Everyone plays as many roles as poss.

MG: Who would you say are your key influences?

J: I'm personally influenced heavily by Prince and Michael Jackson but also grew up listening to a lot of Hip Hop and RnB. So it would be hard to pinpoint exactly where we draw most influence from. Each member has their own personal influences and they bring it to our messed up melting pot of J & The Rest flavour! 

MG: Your sound has a retro element married to a contemporary edge. Was that a conscious decision?

J: No! We go into the studio and literally make music as if we're just making it for just ourselves to listen to. Whatever comes out the other end is just what we thought sounded great at that moment in time. We literally never try to fit into a certain pigeonhole, but at the same time we don't try to avoid any either.

MG: If you had to choose your own comparisons, who would they be to?

J: I hate doing this! If I was forced, I'd say somewhere in between Prince, Justin Timberlake and Friendly Fires.

MG: The track '4 a.m. Again' heads up your debut EP. Give us 5 words to describe it...

J: Just. Your. Cup. Of. Tea. 

MG: Which song are you most excited to hear?

J: To be honest, I was really looking forward to '4am Again', but now I'm super excited for our next single. It's a banger!

MG: You're known for your striking live sets ow difficult was it to capture your live energy on record?

J: Not very hard, if I'm being totally honest. When we're recording, I always have live performance in mind anyway, so we try and stay as true to the live sound as possible. We just have to find the happy place in the middle.

MG: And finally, if you could perform at one venue anywhere in the world, which would it be?

J: Most people would say something like Madison Square Garden, which would be awesome, but I think it would have to be somewhere weird like the Sydney Opera House or something like that! Just to be different.


J & The Rest's new single, 'Kisses On The Mirror' is out this Friday. To find out more about the band, including news on their upcoming EP and future live dates, check them out on social media



Sun.Set.Ships. Interviewed At Vantastival 2017

"We're Sun.Set.Ships and we play electro indie progressive folk.” Ryan introduces the band as we find a quiet spot at Vantastival after their killer set. “I play the laptop and drum machines. We play loops in the background and other sounds. A lot of people say there's an ‘80s sound to it.”

It’s an unusual mix of heartfelt, traditional folk songwriting and modern electronica. “I am surprised there's not more people doing similar things and there aren't more people doing it, mixing the live band and the drum machines. We're delighted that we seem to be on to something that is a bit different”, he adds. Conor (keys and vocals) chips in, “We seem to appeal to a lot of age groups. A lot of older people love our stuff but there's a lot of young people too. It encompasses a wide spectrum.” Guitarist and vocalist Ciaran reckons, “There is that bit of pop to it so everyone can enjoy it”.

The Monaghan band have just played on the Firestone stage and they’ve had an amazing reception with people dancing like crazy. Conor is impressed, “It’s our first time here as a three piece, we (indicates Ciaran) were originally Sun.Set.Ships and we played before. Ryan was meant to play with us but he'd only joined three weeks before. We underestimated how long it was going to take to programs all them drums and stuff on the computer. We used to play off a synth.”

Back when they were a duo, they played chilled acoustic music but what started out like Bon Iver or James Vincent McMorrow became more electronic. Ryan was producing dance music at the time. “It was going that way” says Conor, “It used to be shakers. Then we needed to get a proper beat going. Then the synths came in. Then Ryan came along and he was producing drums much better than our ready-made loops. It was repetitive stuff. Now we have the freedom to do pretty much whatever we want.”

“One of our friends’ dads said to us that we're not a band because we don’t have a drummer, “You’re just DJs with instruments”. It's a lot of work programming drums. It would be much easier for us to have a drummer. We leave it ‘til last. We do everything else and then look at the drums. Sometimes you change the hi-hat a tiny bit and we get really excited. It sounds class. And no one will notice. You make these tiny tweaks that you think are unreal but people are just listening to the songs.”

The songwriting is where the magic happens, according to Ryan, “The songs took so long to write and make. They took on a different look. They didn’t sound like anybody else. But they all sound like us. If anyone brings a song to the table you never know how it’s going to work out. If Ciaran brings a guitar line and we add bass, synths, and drums, you don’t know where it will go, but it seems to work.”

They finished the set with a version of Caribou’s ‘Can’t Do Without You’ that brought the house down. “It's a big festival tune from about two years ago. It's not quite old enough yet to be a classic but we still love it, and we haven't played it for that long.” They’ve been recording in the studio, with that cover amongst the tunes. “We don’t know if it will be an EP or if we'll make it into an album”, says Ciaran, “We all have full time jobs so we only get to meet on Saturday. Something always comes up on Saturday. Like today, we're playing Vantastival so that's the day gone, from a writing perspective.”

The challenge of balancing their musical ambitions with regular paying work is tricky. “We've lots of singles ready. There's one that will be out soon. We might do a few singles. We did the EP and we want to keep it moving”, says Ryan. Conor shares the sentiment, “It took us nearly a year to do a six song EP. We kept adding things and getting delayed. We want to bang out a couple of songs quickly, get a bit of interest. Maybe put up the cover of ‘Can't Do Without You’. We have it recorded already, so maybe bang it up and keep a bit of momentum going. We've been quiet of late.”


Nonetheless they are looking for more festival slots. Conor confirms, “We're playing Arcadian Fields in Bellurgan, the old Vantastival spot. We played there last year”. Ryan isn’t settling for that alone, “We're still hoping to get into Electric Picnic too. We played last year and there's just so many stages, surely we'll get in somehow. We might just turn up anyway with our gear”.


Musos' Guide Chats To Rory Levelle

Rory Lavelle is an artist who boasts everyone from Bill Withers to Nick Drake as his influences. The diversity in the sounds that have shaped him as a music listener have also helped him to craft one of this year's most interesting DIY releases. With an air of Sufjan Stevens meeting Ned Roberts, his music is artsy indie folk with real heart at its core. We caught up with Rory to find out more.

MG: Hi Rory, for those not currently in the know, can you tell us a little about yourself...

RL: I’m a Belfast based singer-songwriter and I’ve been writing and performing music for over 15 years. I’m known locally for having fronted Northern Irish rock act Indigo Fury and my debut solo record has just come out. 

MG: We love your new single 'All These Horrors'. What inspired it?

RL: Around the time of the post 9/11 Iraq war, I shared a house in Belfast with 3 other guys one of whom was obsessed with the 24/7 news coverage. I was working a long continental shift in a horrible plastics factory and would arrive home to my friend's passionate updates on what the troops had been up to. I conveyed my fears to him regularly and joked that they’d find me surrounded by a wall stomping my grounds with a double-barrelled shot-gun. Nobody gets in, nobody gets out. As we all know, things haven’t improved much since then so the images and the lyrical content built up over the years and fell out when the right riff fell into my lap.

MG: The video is brilliant. How important are visuals to your project? 

RL: My priority is the music but I totally appreciate the power of video and it's a lot easier to keep peoples attention through visuals. With regard to the video for 'All These Horrors', I was a fan of a number of videos for songs by local musicians and then found out it was the same guy producing them: Rich Davis. I love that old traditional animation that you rarely see these days. I had a brief chat with him, suggested the walls/war theme and let him get on with it. I loved seeing the final version and its thematically it really suited the track.

MG: We hear that an album is just around the corner. Is 'All These Horrors' a good example of what to expect?

RL: Absolutely! The album reflects where we are right now with the state of government, the daily media exposure of corruption, greed and violence and the general numbness and apathy in society. Lyrically, the songs delve into my darkest thoughts and the fears and insecurities we all experience, with stories of human fragility, tipping points and the pressures of modern living. Of course there’s the odd ray of sunshine to set the balance, in fact, the instrumentation is contradictory to the dark subject matter with lush strings, piano and harmonies taking centre stage. Much like life itself, the darkness is only there when you seek it out.

MG: The album is called Waves. How did the title come about?

RL: The title refers to a few things, mainly me staring at WAV files (approximately 350 in total!) while editing the album, WAV being the audio format commonly used in music production. The other connection would be the tone of the album flitting between dark and euphoric, peaks and troughs like a wave.

MG: Is there a song off the record you are most excited for people to hear? 

RL: I'm really proud of the arrangement on 'When the Crazies Come out' - lyrically it was an editorial exercise, I wanted four short stories about ordinary people cracking under extreme circumstances. The music is pretty tense and has a nice bizarre mixture of John Carpenter, Bill Withers and Massive Attack.

MG: The record is a DIY project. Do you enjoy being in control of all aspects of a recording?

RL: I've been in a few bands prior to going solo and I’ve always been very in control of the material and how it’s presented. There are pros and cons to the band and solo processes. A very talented drummer called Chris McEvoy worked with me for about two months on the feel and arrangements of the tracks. We recorded the drums, violins and cellos in approximately three days and then I was left to throw everything else down. I knew what I wanted and I’ve had good and bad experiences with producers - this way I got the recordings how I wanted them. There’s probably a little too much garage hiss at times but on the whole I’m really happy with the end result.

MG: You've built your name on the Belfast indie scene. How helpful has the intimacy of the Belfast scene been to you?

RL: The scene is lot more diverse than ever. When I started out it was Indie, Rock or Electronic or, indeed, a combination of sorts. Everybody and their dog seems to be able to play now and there are a lot more platforms for all sorts of genres which is perfect for me as the album is very eclectic, I think people are open to a lot more genres now.

MG: If you had to define your current ambitions, what would they be?

RL: I'm always trying to improve my playing, singing, writing and arranging, and this project has taught me so many lessons in all of these areas. I really want to continue with the performing and recording side of things.

MG: Lastly, if you could achieve one thing with Waves, what would it be?

RL: Hopefully this release will help me gather a few more fans and open some doors locally. I just want people to hear it, it's an honest album and I'm really proud of the end result.


Rory's album, Waves, is out now. Keep up to date with his future releases and live dates via his website and check out his Bandcamp page to listen to, and purchase, Waves. 


Musos' Guide Catches Up With Reverieme

Reverieme is the alter ego of Scottish singer/songwriter Louise Connell, who released the absolutely genius Straw Woman last year. With her quirky, refreshing and thoughtful folk with a pop twist, Reverieme is destined to be your next favourite artist. As she teases a return to the scene with the more expansive sound of 'Ten Feet Tall', we decided to catch up with her to find out what has changed in the year since we last crossed paths.

MG: Straw Woman is now a year old. What have you been up to since?

LC: No shenanigans with capybaras, that’s for sure. Oh, you meant musically! Well, I’ve been writing to stay sane, as always, and I’ve managed to compile enough tunes for one or two new releases. I’ve also been out and about all over the place singing at people and trying to work my new guitar.

MG: One thing we know you've done is record a new single. Tell us about it...

LC: My new single is called ‘Ten Feet Tall’ and it’s all about the terror of younger relatives growing up too quickly and making you feel geriatric and obsolete and scrotal. It doesn’t sound like it’s about that, it sounds like a lullaby about the wonder of children forging a path in the world as they grow older, but I promise it’s harrowing.

MG: Are whispers of more new material true?

LC: They are! You must know very coherent whisperers. Whenever someone tries to whisper to me, and it isn’t often, I usually assume they’re impersonating what they think it would sound like to boil a rattlesnake in a kettle. I realise now that wasn’t the pertinent part of the question. Let me try again. We’re currently recording and compiling all of the new songs I’ve written in order to decide on a release format that suits them best.

MG: What was the biggest lesson you learnt from the creation of 'Straw Woman'?

LC: I loved being involved with the production of ‘Straw Woman’, but I was a little timid at first. I’d like to think I won’t have any reservations when we work on the next record. That’s why there’ll be kazoo on every track!

MG: And what was the best and worst feedback you received?

LC: ‘Straw Woman’ was a mix of reasonably short pop tunes and longer atmospheric tracks, and many people had a favourite team out of the
two. It’s a fairly inoffensive album, so it didn’t attract a great deal of controversy, but there was some disagreement over which style people preferred. I mean, that’s what they spray painted on my front door when they came with the pitchforks.

MG: All artists receive comparisons to others - who do you enjoy being compared to?

LC: I don’t have particular artists to whom I like to be compared, but I’ll always have a soft spot for someone who doesn’t immediately compare me to the first female singer-songwriter that comes to mind. It would never offend me, of course (though do ignore that fist-shaped hole in the wall), and sometimes those comparisons are spot-on, but if it’s coming from a journalist then I can’t help but find it lazy.

MG: What is the strangest comparison you have ever heard?

LC: Being compared to early Genesis at a recent gig was definitely a new one. I’m not mad about it.

MG: If you could collaborate with one artist over the next 12 months, who would it be? 

LC: Peter Gabriel, of course... 

MG: Are there any other achievements you hope to tick off your list in the same time period?

LC: As well as the musical business, I’d love to complete a few more music videos. I have lots of strange (cockroaches-on-the-face strange) ideas to film.

MG: Lastly, 'Straw Woman' was Pledge funded. As an independent artist, how useful are interactive platforms for you to reach your artistic potential?

LC: Pledge, in conjunction with Help Musicians, was a huge help to us. As an independent artist, any money you make from sales is really only there to help you break even, which can be tricky when you’re at the beginning of a project. Platforms like Pledge, as well as other sites I use, like Bandcamp, are able to provide a space in which individuals who love new music can support artists and catalyse their work. It can be tricky to infer gratitude in my glib wee remarks sometimes, but I am truly thankful to anyone who’s spent real actual money on my music.


Check out Reverieme's website to keep up to date with future releases and live dates. To check out Reverieme's full discography, including the new single 'Ten Feet Tall', head on over to Bandcamp

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