Pranx – Interview

Monday 12th September 2016

Influenced by the likes of All Time Low and Greenday, I catch a moment with German Pop-Punk Rockers ‘Pranx’ for The Junction UK to find out more about their latest release and how it’s all going.

You’ve just released your EP ‘Things On Your Mind’. How did you find the process of putting it all together, and did you face any hurdles you had to overcome?

We fortunately had a very comfortable recording process with very little problems even though we didn’t have very much time in the studio, mainly because we had planned every little song detail beforehand. The only minor difficulty was at the end where we had a little time delay and finished mixing (watching our producer mix…) the very last song just in time at the last studio day. Slightly increased stress levels but it was all cool in the end and overall.

What about tracks that didn’t make the cut; was it difficult to decide which tracks you wanted to include?

There were around 8-10 songs that we considered to be possible EP songs. However most of them were old songs from our previous band that we couldn’t really identify with anymore, so we picked the 3 songs that we’d exclusively wrote for PRANX so far and added the one favourite song from the old ones to complete the track list. In that regard it was a rather easy decision making process.

How responsive are you finding the fans to your music?

All in all there has been positive feedback to our music so far. What we found surprising is that people don’t seem to have one favourite track of the EP. Everytime we ask someone which song he/she likes the most we always hear a different answer. It’s pretty much split equally between all songs.

Have you had any airplay on mainstream radio?

Not mainstream but we had airplay on a few smaller local stations like Campus Welle or Fritz Unsigned.

It’s clear to see that you guys are influenced by the likes of Blink 182, Neck Deep, Greenday, and All Time Low to name a few, but what do you think sets you apart from these bands?

I think we have a very unique sound. The nasally sounding and rather calm voice is something that’s not very common in this type of genre. Our drummer also tends to play beats that have their own character and differ from the standard hihat-bass-snare beats.

What’s the music scene like in Germany, and have you managed to take your music further afield?

We have a handful of really cool pop punk bands but they’re all hidden very well in the underground scene. Most of the mainstream music here is German melancholic pop rock or German hip hop. Both not really something you want to listen to in my opinion… Regarding shows we’ve pretty much covered all of Baden-Württemberg (a German ‘state’ in the south-west if you will where we come from) but we’ve also played shows further away. Recently we had a gig in Erfurt which is in an area that belonged to former DDR/Eastern Germany. Thanks to the internet we also have a few individual people outside Germany or even Europe that know us.

How is your tour schedule looking for 2016, and when can we next catch you at a show?

We have only 3 more dates until the end of the year because we’re going to focus primarily on making our second record that’s going to be released next year. You can catch us on October 8th in Äpfingen, October 29th in Althütte and on November 12th in Bad Friedrichshall at the Geschrubb&Geschepper festival warm-up party.

Really enjoying your music videos, they’re really fun and match your music style. Who is the creative genius that comes up with the ideas, and who did you work with to create them?

All of the ideas for our music videos stem from us. We’re really lucky that our bassist Rouven is studying media art and design at a university in Saarbrücken, knows how to produce music videos and has the resources to create them. Through him we’re able to borrow high quality equipment from the university and shoot the videos on our own which doesn’t cost us one cent.

Being a band in the early stages of their career, how are you finding the process and have you been given any lasting advice?

It’s such an interesting stage because we’re still able to choose any direction we want to go. People don’t have expectations so it’s still up to us which way we want to go. Something that’s not so easy anymore for established acts who already built some kind of image and created their identity which people expect them to maintain.

A helpful advice we were given in this early stage was to focus on the right things. A lot of young bands make one mistake and that’s not making the actual music their first priority. They focus for example primarily on contacting bookers/venues or labels and hope that it gets them out there but don’t realize that their songs or the quality of their recordings are not good enough and that it’s the things they should be working on in the first place. By releasing high quality recordings you’ll get the attention of those people you’re trying to reach way easier without writing a million emails to them. If you focus more on – as basic as it sounds – the actual music instead of fixing everything around it first, you’ll get forward much faster. People that can do stuff for you will come to you and you won’t have to beg them to let you play at their venue. That way you’re automatically in a much better position. Write the best music you possibly can and put all effort in your recordings first. Then focus on the all the other things that come with being in a band.

What would you say is the next step for the band? If we came back to chat with you in another year, where you you hope to be?

In one year we hope to reach more people, play more and bigger shows and in general continue doing what we’re already doing now but on a much bigger scale. Next year we’re going to release our second EP which you can expect to have at least another 3 music videos that we hope to share with as many people as possible. We’ll see what the future brings :)

Connect with Pranx via their WebsiteFacebook and Twitter.

Kath and the Kicks – Interview

Thursday 4th August 2016

Kath and The Kicks are a 3-piece alt-rock band hailing from Leeds. They’ve just released their EP ’20 Years of Screaming’ so we take a moment to catch up with the band to find out more about the release and how it’s all going.

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You’ve just released your EP ’20 Years of Screaming’. How did you find the process of putting it all together, and did you face any hurdles you had to overcome?

We’d been gigging the tunes prior to recording which helped to refine them before going into the studio. We’re pretty well rehearsed, so it’s just a case of focusing and getting the foundations down between me, Tom and Lee – the bass, drums, guitar and main vox. After that there’s room for creative flare with the opportunity to put some over-dubs in and second guitar lines. The only challenge we have sometimes is that we have lots of ideas and not enough time! We would love the opportunity to immerse ourselves in recording somewhere remote for a lengthy period of time. We’re working towards that!

What about tracks that didn’t make the cut; was it difficult to decide which tracks you wanted to include?

We based our track selection for the EP on what we feel most represents us now – they feel good to play; they’ve been going down really well live! Our primary goal is to make sure that we have our supporters entertained and that people can rock out to our tunes.

Where did your record the EP and who did you work with?

We worked with a chap called Ben Hannah local to us in Leeds, and we recorded at his homemade studio. Fun couple of days!

What’s your writing process as a band, and how do you all come together with your ideas to get the finished track?

We spend more time together now as a band than we ever have so we usually discuss where we are at ideas wise in the pub ;)

I’m (Kath) the main songwriter, and musically I create the ideas which we then work on together. Tom and Lee are very good to bounce ideas off. We know our style, we know what we want to create, so we pick up and run with an idea that I’m working on quite quickly. Within our music we can go from raw rock to fast punk, to outright off the wall to ballads, all mixed up with alternative undertones. Sometimes if we haven’t done a rock one for a while the guys will help me start with a direction, a thought or potential content – a beat a bass line. Then I’ll close myself off in my home studio to let the ideas flow. Once I’ve got something down I’ll share ideas and demos and we take it to the studio to see what we can do with it as a band. Once gig ready, we test them live. That’s what we’ll be doing again for the next EP.

How responsive are you finding the fans to your music?

We have some very dedicated followers and we appreciate how they keep in touch with what we’re doing across Facebook and Twitter etc. Our tunes are all about connecting with other like-minded people who love live music, like heavier stuff and enjoy what we create. I think our fans know that we buzz off that shared appreciation, so it’s a very natural and genuine appreciation, people seem to like that.

Who would you say influences you as a band? Do you all have different music tastes, or would you say your interests are similar.

As a band we all actually like pretty heavy stuff. But we’ve all been in bands for years and there’s been a lot of different genres playing a part in our lives from rock to mo-town, heavy metal to alternative. A few bands we really like are Skunk Anansie, Queen Adreena, Pearl Jam, Rage, Joan Jett, Slipknot, Muse and Royal Blood. There’s loads of great bands and influences.

How is your tour schedule looking for 2016, and when can we next catch you at a show?

2016 has been pretty cool so far with the highlight being Pandora Fest in Scotland which was an ace weekend camping with the band and playing in a man made medieval fort up in Duncarron. We love that side of it; meeting other bands like us, watching them play, them watching us and having a few drinks meeting new people. Next gig is in Dewsbury at The Old Turk on 6th August. We got this one because we did a fest at Dewsbury train station – lots of the goodens are word of mouth and from meeting people at other gigs. The next big one is Saltaire Festival which we’ve just announced – we’ll be playing the main stage in Roberts Park on 17th September.

Which are your favourite tracks to perform live?

Usually the new ones as they have a combination of nervous and fresh aggressive energy. So at the moment I’d say Basement Bullets is a fave and so is Bernard’s in a Ditch. The old classics are fun too. We seem to be really enjoying Your Delight at the minute!

Being a band in the early stages of their career, how are you finding the process and have you been given any lasting advice?

We’ve all been doing music for a long time. Some of us have been in bands that have been pretty successful or verging on the edge of ‘success’. So we’re seasoned musicians and have our heads screwed on – we’re serious about making it together. The best advice is the advice we give ourselves after having spent literally years in the industry; don’t wish it away, enjoy the journey and have faith in your own abilities.

What other bands or artists are you listening to at the moment?

Kath: At the moment it’s Joe Bonnamassa, ZZ Top, Tina Turner and I’ve been listening to a lot of Radio 3.
Tom: Drenge, Black Moth, Rival Sons and The Bronx to name a few.
Lee: Royal blood, led Zeppelin, the usual culprits!

Connect with Kath and the Kicks on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Iodine Sky – Interview

Wednesday 28th July 2016

Pitched to us as a band for those who are also fans of Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Shinedown and Tremonti, we knew straight away it was something special waiting for us. Iodine Sky have just released their impressive album ‘Tides’ and the release clearly shows the band have what it takes to be up there with the greats. Their sound is tight and polished, and has all the hooks and riffs of a tasty rock album – a refreshing addition to the unsigned rock scene, from a band who shouldn’t be lingering there much longer.

I catch up with the guys for The Junction UK to find out more about how it’s all going since the release, and what we can expect from them in the near future.

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Really excited by you guys, being influenced by the likes of Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry really made us sit up and listen. How did it all start for you, and what made you want to start Iodine Sky?

Aww thanks guys! Honestly it was down to a love of music and wanting to create our own sound. We had loads of influences to start with but the Alter Bridge tone settled in well.

Have you been lucky enough to meet any of your influences? Our editor James met Myles Kennedy and got his Ibanez signed by him, he was such a great guy to meet and hopefully you’ve had the pleasure too.

Funnily enough yeah. Our singer Azz has a habit of making stuff happen.

Azz – I got us to record and was then honoured to feature on Brett Hestla’s (Creed and Dark New Day) solo album. Brett’s without a doubt one of my idols as a musician. I already saw him as a legend but then he also hooked me up at Download and managed to convince Alter Bridge to help me propose to my now wife backstage (I still have the video). It was surreal because we then came round the corner and got congratulated by Chris from Black Stone Cherry!

You’ve just released your debut album ‘Tides’. How responsive are you finding the fans to your new material?

The response has been wonderful to be honest, some of the comments people have made have been heart warming and it certainly has made us want to keep doing it again and again.

Who was the creative genius to hand draw your album artwork, and is there a meaning behind it?

That would be the wonderful Rebecca Decadorette, she’s an amazing artist and tattooist. The photos and wonderful phoshoppery is by the very talented Phil Mairs. The artwork was based on the lyrics to the middle 8 of our song Tides. We felt the lyrics encapsulated our journey so far and the changes we have had to make.

How did working with Brett Hesla to produce your album come about, and how was the experience for you guys?

Initially we were introduced by a chap called AJ Gallant who now runs Famous Records Global with Will Hunt. It was an amazing experience, we’ve made great friends (Stovetop especially) and it’s just surreal to be in a room with people like AJ, Brett and Steve that know what they are doing and how to get the best sound possible out of you.

Did you face any major challenges with the recording and how did you overcome them?

Alchohol was definately a problem haha.

In all honestly no, the time in the studio with Brett was the easiest and most pleasant studio experience I think we have ever had. For ‘Tides’ we were recording here and then sending them over. It caused a bit of home sickness for Brett’s studio if I’m honest.

Were there any tracks that didn’t make the cut, and how difficult was it to piece the album together?

No to be honest it was a really nice process, we had a good handful of songs that we were working on and we just focused on the ones we had a connection with. But the album itself was a concept about showing our beliefs and wanting to try and inspire or help people relate to our life experiences.

What’s your tour schedule looking like for the year, and are there any further announcements to come?

We have some pretty exciting discussions going on at the moment, not revealing too much just yet! Tour wise we are going over to Florida in September to play our first gigs stateside whilst recording so that will be fun :)

Are there any personal favourites from the album that you enjoy performing live?

It depends on the crowd to be honest. ‘Tides’ has been amazing when people join in on the gang vocals, but at the same time ‘Rewind’ has developed a soft spot.

What’s the next step for the band, and are there any major plans in the pipeline?

Right now we are working on new material for the next album and fingers crossed we will be releasing a couple more singles early 2017 with some interesting collaborations. Can’t officially announce anything right now but watch this space!

Connect with Iodine Sky on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Calling Apollo – The Great Depression Act 1

Wednesday 28th July 2016

Since we stumbled upon Calling Apollo back in March, and being lucky enough to interview the guys, we’ve been patiently waiting for the release of their new EP. It’s with great excitement we can now give you a sneak peak of what to expect from the release, as we grasp ‘The Great Depression Act 1’ with both hands and can confirm that the music machines were most certainly ‘set to stun’.

Reviewed for The Junction UK.

Track Listing:

1. Light The Way
2. Clone City
3. Obelisk
4. The Wars
5. Act 1: House of Cards
6. … and The High Plateau

Calling Apollo press shot

The first release from the album has come in the form of track ‘Clone City’ which has already received rave reviews since its premiere with Upset Magazine, and was picked up by Andrew Shay and featured on Scuzz TV. It was most definately something to write home about and tell the grandkids, and set a prescident for a stellar album release.

When we caught up with the guys about what to expect from the album they said we could expect a theme but a different track to the last, and with that said there is a noticeable progressiveness which can be heard throughout. Opening track ‘Light The Way’ gives an arousing yet chilling start before belting straight in to a more vigorous pace, but there is no slowing down as Obelisk provides those anthemic hooks.

‘The Wars’ takes a turn into something more ambient and slightly theatrical, a mid-set cooldown some might say, but not for too long as ‘Act 1: House of Cards’ punches straight through in to premium riffage and more aggressive vocals. There is the perfect addition of the piano too, and whilst listening keep thinking of how amazing this would be performed in an arena – I’m thinking that the likes of Muse’s creative team could work wonders with this!

‘… and The High Plateau’ is the final track and starts to play out the album on an acoustic note, before again picking up to give an electrifying ending, and also provides the opportunity to hear and really connect with Christian’s malleable vocals.

Releasing a two-part record is something the band have always wanted to do, and their style and alt-rock sound really lends itself to the idea. The band have taken a genre and really turned it in to their own having drawn on each others ideas and interests, and produced an eclectic yet defining release.

Connect with Calling Apollo on Facebook and Twitter.

Charlyn – Self Titled EP

Friday 22nd July 2016

Track Listing:

1. Marylise
2. Dive
3. The Last Dance
4. Eventually
5. Eventually (Instrumental Version)

I’m currently sat in my office wondering what to delve in to for this week’s ‘New Music Friday’ when I remember that the new EP by Charlyn arrived in my inbox a couple of days ago.  I plug in my earphones and give it a listen whilst I potter round organising my day ahead, drinking tea and before I know it I’ve had the EP on repeat 4-times over.  To sum up the EP would be to simply call it beautiful.

‘Marylise’ is the extremely promising first release from the debut EP, and Charlyn has such sweet vocals that you’re drawn in to an easy listening indie-pop bubble.  Accompanied by a fun but uplifting sound gives the song something to boast about, and makes for productive listening on a breezy summers day.

When interviewed about the single, Charlyn described it as “a summery pop song, telling the story of a woman pretending to have ‘the perfect life’, however wanting to escape and live the life of someone else.”

When hearing tracks ‘Dive’ and ‘The Last Dance’ I can’t help but feel as though these would make great soundtracks to a film.  The melodic sound and sincere lyrics certainly lend themselves to a romantic chick-flick.  There are also elements of 80s pop to be heard and ‘Eventually’ really pulls that through with its synth-strewn beat throughout the intro and choruses.

Feeling fortunate to have been introduced to the sounds of Charlyn, I’ll be keeping a closer ear on where she is heading.  With tour dates already penned for London, Paris and Switzerland it won’t be too long before we hear much more, and here’s hoping we have a full album release in the near future.

Connect with Charlyn on Facebook and Twitter.

For The Girl – Interview

20th July 2016

For The Girl are a high energy Indie Pop Rock band from Nottingham, and with their unique style bring something fun to the scene.  Following the release of the first single ‘Where Did The Time Go?’ from their debut EP ‘Shark Attack’ the band are certainly starting to cause quite a stir. I take a moment to chat to the guys to find out more about how it’s all going.


How did you all meet and what made you decide to start up the band?

We all met through different avenues. Josh and Sam met in a band where Sam was the drummer. We then realised Sam could sing so they started an acoustic project. Through this, we then met Isaac Hallas who would come to our gigs and jump up when we needed an insane guitar solo. James came to one of our acoustic gigs and wrote some bass lines for our originals, quickly showing us that he was, in fact, a musical God. Foxy and Sam had the same drum teacher and joined the band when we realised we needed a drummer. The rest is history.

What got you all in to making music, and were any of you in bands previously?

Making music has always been our passion. We all grew up listening to music that inspired us and our goal is to do the same with our music. To have a crowd sing back your lyrics or dance to your songs has always been the main goal. We have been in various bands, as mentioned, but maybe those bands were too comfortable for us. We all have different music tastes in this band and we are mixing them together to create something new, exciting and enjoyable.

Your sound and vocals are very individual.  Who would you say influences your music and style?

We all have so many different bands and styles of music that inspire us individually. Foxy enjoys his metal like Metallica, James loves funk with artists such as Stevie Wonder (who he recently saw live) and Victor Wooten. Isaac is a big fan of the 1975, Young Kato and anything involving Slash, Josh enjoys Arctic Monkeys, The Sherlocks, Vant etc., and Sam loves them all (but he is really enjoying Brother Strut and their new album at the moment).

July and August are looking pretty jam packed for you with live dates in the Midlands.  Are you looking to spread your wings and perform further afield later in the year?

Always! We have one tour confirmed with the lads from Only Shadows where we will get to play some familiar places and some new ones. We are yet to announce our second tour but keep those eyes peeled on all social media for it.


How responsive are you finding the crowds to your music?

They’re loving it; we’re loving them loving it! The EP launch was magical to have so many people turn up who had learnt the words and sang them at the top of their lungs and that meant the world to us.

You held an EP launch party on the 8th July and hailing from Nottingham it’s easy to see why you’re launching the EP at the Bodega. Nottingham has great live music venues, but is there a special reason behind choosing this venue?

The EP launch was huge and went so amazingly well! We all had very sore heads the day after from celebrating. We chose The Bodega because so many bands that we admire have played there at the start of their music careers and we wanted to join the list of amazing acts. The night was amazing and we loved every minute of it.

You’ve just released a video for your single ‘Where Did The Time Go?’ which is very fun and enjoyable to watch. Who do you work with to create your music videos, and who comes up with the ideas for them?

Shooting Where Did Time Go? was so much fun. We worked alongside Theo Gee and Ian Bousher, who we are also working with for a couple of other videos (watch this space). We had never shot a music video before and the main aim of this one was to highlight the band’s personality, we aren’t serious/moody and wanted that to come across. We were all so happy with the end result.

Tell me about your writing process.  Do you write collectively, and what’s your process?

We don’t actually have a process, we can’t even put our finger on how it comes about! Isaac brings the spine of the song with lyrics and then we try different ways of playing the song until we get something we are proud of.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given about working in the music industry, and who provided you with those wise words?

One of the best pieces of advice that I have had (Josh) was from one of my favourite bands: Natives. They said that we should never be bothered with what any other band is doing and focus on ourselves and make music that we like, we are the ones playing it at the end of the day so it should always be enjoyable and not some contest. Working with other bands is half the fun of all of this anyway!

Do you have an ultimate aim for the band, and where do you hope your music will take you?

The main aim of the band is for as many people to enjoy the music that we are putting out there as possible. We want people to know that when they come to our gigs, they are going to dance around and sing as loud as they can and have our songs stuck in their head the next morning.

Connect with For The Girl via their WebsiteFacebook, and Twitter.

Awake At Last – Interview

Tuesday 19th July 2016

Since my first interview with Awake At Last the guys have continued to stay in contact with news and updates on the progress of their music.  I’m really impressed with the band, they have a great sound and are constantly trying to push themselves further to do what they can to make things work.  I was pleased to hear they’re working on new material, so I caught a moment with Imran to find out what they’ve been up to.

Awake At Last

What have you been up to since we last spoke in October, and what’s new for the band?

We’ve been on the road a bunch since then and were able to release a brand new single “Never Be A Memory” and a music video for it as well. We just got out of the studio with producer Andrew Baylis and have got a bunch of shows coming up through the end of summer!

You’ve been playing a lot of tour dates.  How have the shows been going for you guys?

They’ve been going great! We’ve played around 150 shows since King Of The Worlds release and we finally winded down that tour cycle now then we entered the studio for the new CD. We’ve been able to connect to so many people in that time and perform all over the country. We’ve been very fortunate to get to go out on the road so much and do what we love doing.

How responsive are you finding the crowds to your music? 

There has been a really solid reception to our music live; we all bring a high energy live show and love to perform our songs live! Having fans sing along with us is great and helps keep the energy high.

Word has it that you’ve been in the studio working on a new EP.  Are you able to tell me any details about that, and when we can look forward to hearing the new material? 

We just wrapped up recording a new CD with producer Andrew Baylis in June. We went in and picked out the six best tracks and were out in Cleveland for two weeks working on the CD. We currently are figuring out release plans and have nothing set in stone but a late Fall release would be ideal.

What was the decision behind setting up a campaign through Indigogo and how much will that help you with creating the new EP?

We are currently unsigned to a label and run everything in our band ourselves, including all the business aspects. So we decided it would help us cover the studio time costs and help us budget properly for this release, and we were able to cover the studio time from the Indiegogo. It helps out a lot and in return our fans were able to get cool perks and prizes from us.

Check out the full campaign and donate here.

What can we expect from the new EP, and how would you say this release has grown since the last?

We’ve definitely pushed ourself more musically – the guitars are definitely doing a lot more as are the drums, bass and vocal melodies. There’s a lot more energy on the new EP and we’re all confident in the change of direction the progression of our sound, since we would never want to release the same CD twice. We all came together a lot more on the songwriting as a full band and were able to blend our influences into this new direction of Awake At Last.

How did the opportunity come about to work with Andrew Baylis to produce your EP?

We’ve been friends with Andrew Baylis for years as he was the guitarist of Life On Repeat and we’d played many shows with them. We’d been bouncing a lot of producer ideas around and we’d decided to go with him due to both our history with him and how hard working and talented of a producer he is. He was the perfect fit for this CD and he was stoked on our new material and really helped us make the best CD possible.

Can fans look forward to any new material being performed at your upcoming live dates?

Yes! We’ve been playing some of the new songs live. Our set has been half released material and half the new songs. So we’re looking forward to seeing our fans rocking out with us on the new songs.

Connect with the band on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.