Archive for July, 2011

Shields – Interview

Posted: July 30, 2011 in Shields

“The North East music scene really is the best it’s been”
“Each time one of the local bands does a gig or records a new tune they raise the bar. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to spur you on.”

Shields have raised the bar to a stratospheric height with their new single “Spires”. Already chosen by BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe as his Hype Track in June and mixed by Adrian Bushby (Double GRAMMY award winning producer, for Foo Fighters ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience, Grace’ in 2008 and then again in 2011 for Muse’s multi-platinum album ‘Resistance’.) http://www.adrianbushby.com/ Spires is released on August 1st.

SHIELDS ‘Spires (Adrian Bushby Mix)’
BBC Radio 1 – Zane Lowe ‘Hype Track’ 16th June 2011

Can you take us back to what first got you into music, and what inspired you to start writing your own songs.

That’s going back a while. We have all individually been playing music since we were kids. The bands that got us into music back then probably are too embarrassing to mention. For me (Luke) live music is the main reason. The buzz of going to live gig is amazing but it’s 10 times the feeling when you play a good gig your self.

For anyone who hasn’t heard your music how would you describe it?

Hmmm. Tricky. Layered.

You started off as Pilots. Why the name change?

A few things. There is another band called Pilots based in London so we had to really but it coincided with the addition of a member. It felt like a bit of a fresh start.

You’ve had a good year so far, what have been the highlights and what are you looking forward to for later in the year?

The night we played our first London show we also got our first Zane Lowe play so that was pretty awesome. Making the XFM playlist was also brilliant.
We are really looking forward to shooting the video for Spires next week and playing a couple of festivals towards the end of the summer.


You’ve been playing a few gigs in London. How’s that been going?

Brilliant. The last one we did was a lot of fun. It’s nice to get such a warm welcome when we are coming such a distance


Tell us about your new single Spires. How did the song come about?

Like all of our tunes someone had an idea and we jammed it and played around with it until it was finished. It seemed to get people excited so we went with it.


How did working with Adrian Bushby come about and how have you found working with him as a producer? Have you any plans to work together again?

This came out of the blue and was one of the most pleasant surprises we have ever had. I (Luke) got a phone call from Adrian one morning. He introduced himself and explained that he heard our version of White Knuckle Tight Grip and then asked if we would mind him doing a mix. Ridiculous. We have learnt a lot from him and he is a pleasure to work with. As for working with him in the future, we have his number and he told us to send him new tracks when we have them so…. who knows!


You are about to make a video for the track ‘Spires’. Looking forward to it?

Immensely, the one of the creative teams at Brooklyn Brothers approached us because they really liked the song and sent a few treatments to our management. We absolutely loved one of the treatments that is essentially a homage to the 1956 film, The Red Balloon. If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it. It’s beautiful


Music from the North East is attracting a lot of attention at the moment with the help of organizations like Generator and Amazing Radio based in Newcastle. How much do you feel a part of the North East music scene? Which bands would you recommend checking out?

The North East music scene really is the best it’s been since we have been involved in it. We are really proud to be a part of it. Generator and Amazing are absolutely brilliant for pushing the scene. It feels like each time one of the local bands does a gig or records a new tune they raise the bar. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to spur you on. It also means new local festivals like Leave me Here and Split have an abundance of brilliant local bands to choose from. We are big fans of Grandfather Birds, Vinyl Jacket, Cauls and Mammal Club,

What influences have helped shape your music?

We like all kinds of music. Currently we are listening to Fleet Foxes, Darwin Deez, Strokes, Everything Everything, Bon Iver, Field Music to name but a few.

With the growth of music sharing on the internet it’s much easier to discover new music through platforms such as Soundcloud or Spotify. Have you made any new musical discoveries you can recommend?

Individually we’re often finding new music to share with the rest of the band. My (David) favourites at the minute are Micachu and the Shapes, Tune-yards and Metronomy; which I managed to go see at the O2 in Newcastle and were excellent.

Where can people see you live next ?

Our next show is Club Fandango at the Bull and Gate in Camden London, on August 3rd – there is a list on our website if you miss that one (www.behindshields.com ) or our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/behindshields

3rd August – ‘CLUB FANDANGO’ : The Bull & Gate, Kentish Town, London

4th August – ‘CLUB THE MAMMOTH’ : The Old Queens Head, Islington, London

5th August – ‘BACKTOTHEFUTURE:CLUB’ : 93 Feet East, Brick Lane, London w/Bastille + GLC DJ’s – FREE ENTRY

14th August – ‘LEAVE ME HERE FESTIVAL’ : Wycliffe, County Durham

17th September – ‘SPLIT FESTIVAL 2011’ : Ashbrooke Sports Club, Sunderland (Time TBC)

4th September – 13th NOTE CAFE Supporting FRENCH WIVES

22nd September – ‘JAZZY LEMON PRESENTS…’ : Newcastle Riverside : Quayside, Newcastle Upon Tyne w/Mausi + Lake Poets


What’s next for Shields?

Next is much more writing and recording and hopefully a tour.

Advertisements

Francophilippe – Interview

Posted: July 27, 2011 in Francophilippe

I recently caught up with up and coming French Electro artist Francophilippe, currently receiving a lot of attention with the release of his first single “Only After Midnight” on Velcro City Records on 27th July. The Vodge Diper remix of the track is currently just outside the top 30 in the Electro House Chart on Beatport.
Only after Midnight (Original Version)

Only after Midnight (Vodge Diper Remix)

I began by asking him about what originally drew him to French Electro.

I started listening to Daft Punk at a very early age. My brother had the album ‘Homework’ playing at his flat and he was starting to mess around with drum machines. I took to this sound very quickly and I guess this was my introduction to French House music.

Who or what inspired you to start making music yourself?

I began making music at around 15 but different to what I make now, I liked guitars and drums in my teen years. There have been lots of inspirations from DJ Shadow to Radiohead, Prince to Wu-tang etc. but I always enjoyed creative arts as a child so music seemed to be the next natural step.

Which artists have influenced you and why?

Daft Punk are certainly the strongest influence on the music I make now. They have combined everything I like about music at some point or other and their trademark sound is still what every French electro artist tries to emulate today. They definitely rewrote the rulebook when it came to electro/house music and made it liberating for the new wave of FE producers.

What is your setup for music production?

I keep it real simple. I use Ableton, running on a PC with an i5 processor (although I have recently ugraded to a Macbook pro) and a pair of Sennheiser HD 25-13 headphones. I just use a basic midi-controller for producing, although I do use a Novation Launchpad and Reloop mixer for live shows.

From a production point of view who’s work do you rate?

Daft Punk obviously, and I really like the dirtier rough and cut-up feel of SebastiAn, Justice also had this vibe on their first album but from what I’ve heard of Civilization those days might have been and gone. Deadmau5 is a technical master, you can hear how much effort goes into building the synths he uses. Madeon deserves a mention, think he just turned 17 the other day! His productions are beyond industry standard.

Who do you think are the up and coming French Electro acts to watch out for?

VanGuard and Madeon stick out for me. They’re both gathering popularity at an amazing rate and they’re both hugely refreshing and original. Madeon will be a superstar before long, VanGuard maybe won’t become a house hold name but will no doubt be a cult artist for French house fans.

You have a single due out in July on Velcro City Records, what’s the deal with them?

I received a large number of label offers for the single so I’m quite proud. I was just about to close the deal with another record company but I got a little worried by a lack of speedy correspondence. Velcro City swooped in at the right time and I think I chose the right label. They’re a US digital label with a strong following and they’re well linked in the electro community, from what I’ve gathered so far.

You collaborated with Once a Thief for Fist n Poon are there any more collaborations in the pipeline?

Well myself and Gareth Denny (Once a Thief) have been messing around with music for over a year now, we’ve always been into the same stuff and he’s probably the only other Electro enthusiast I’m good friends with. Fist n Poon was really intended to just be a live gimmick but we put together some ideas and sampled some funky disco, so we’re actually pretty proud of the few tracks we made for our EP ‘Sex Grooves from the Future’. The track ‘Care for You’ seemed to gather a cult following and was praised by some top electro artists, it’s easily the closest one of my productions will ever come to sounding like Daft Punk.

As far as new projects go, I was just discussing a possible collab with another producer (Lazyboi from LA) this morning but have very little to tell about that currently. I have also been trying to get some tracks sorted with a talented vocalist from Manchester called Markle! He’s sent me some good ideas and great voice cuts but no full songs as of yet. The idea for that would be a Chromeo/Prince meets Glitch-Electro pop thing.

What are your plans for live work?

At the moment I do some DJ stuff, maybe once or twice a month I will play a party or event where I just tend kick out some beachy French filter house ie. Fred Falke, DJ Falcon, Bangalter, that type of thing. I’ve done several live shows where I mix my own material with mash-ups I made of my favourite artists, but I’m still trying to develop these skills. I have discussed a handful of shows abroad in France, Germany and maybe Italy, however I have to be realistic about what I can afford to do for the time being.

There is a very healthy music scene in Newcastle and the North East are there any acts which stand out for you?

It’s certainly growing and I know a good few of the local talents, I don’t want to choose favourites but I have been listening to a fair bit of Grandfather Birds recently, also Bird Island are a new solo project from the Jimmy & The Sounds drummer which I really dig, if you like the lazy surf moods of The xx and The Drums then you’ll probably like his stuff.

Are there any artists locally you would like to work with?

There are A LOT of remixes and collaborations with local artists in the pipeline ☺

And worldwide?

I’ve built up some decent connections in Europe, US and Australia these last few months. So perhaps there will be some more new remixes to follow, of course I’d love to work with my favourite artists but one has to be realistic about that.

What’s next for Francophilippe?

There’s plenty on the cards but I’m just waiting to see what unfolds after my first record is released. More and better live shows is my current aim, I’d love to be playing in Europe a lot this summer and I’m working hard to make this a possibility. In terms of producing, I will probably knock out a couple more small EPs over the next few months but until I feel I’m properly settled in with a good record label, I can’t see a full-length album coming anytime soon. I have to be sensible about my offers and work hard to achieve the best possible situation for this to happen.

Thanks

My pleasure mate ☺

Free Francophilippe Downloads available below:

Your next robot may not want to hurt your feelings

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR THREE WINNING REMIXERS AND MASSIVE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SUBMITTED A REMIX. YET AGAIN THE QUALITY AND CREATIVITY WAS AMAZING AND IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO CHOOSE THE WINNERS BUT HERE WE GO:

AND THE WINNER IS – STARBLAZE

IN SECOND PLACE – THAT SWEDISH GUY

AND THIRD – KARNAGE

The Blackmoth AKA Alexander Nilere is striking out on his own after a number of high profile collaborations including The Prodigy, Bjork, Nellee Hooper and Guy Sigsworth. He first came to prominence with the critically acclaimed Acacia also featuring Guy Sigsworth (who has worked with Britney Spears and Madonna amongst many others and is currently working with Alanis Morissette). Acacia was also where Imogen Heap got her first break singing backing vocals. Alexander went on to form the R’n’B/club music project Hexdragon with Nellee Hooper (Soul II Soul, Massive Attack and many others), which produced the singles “Da Boogaloo” and “Two Summers”. He is currently working on a solo record in collaboration with the producers and writers Sean McGhee, Jake Bullit and Jay Tronica. You can also look forward to the release of Mixtape Vol 1 from The Blackmoth soon.

Cocaine Psychosis from The Blackmoth on Vimeo.

Sporting a YSL black leather jellaba, The Blackmoth begins to see his evil self around his penthouse apartment in a drug haze and decides to fight his unknown enemy amidst guests at his party (and he can fight if he wants to.) Shot by Dir. Martin Weisz in Hollywood to a track co written with Guy Sigsworth with a sample from James Brown’s “Black and Proud” and a interpretation of Dillinger’s “Cocaine in my Brain” At the end one Blackmoth is thrown through a window but which one survived?

Contest Submission Deadline: September 31st 2011
Download the stems and remix Cocaine Psychosis by The Blackmoth. After you have downloaded the stems, please follow us on Twitter so we can tell everyone about your remix and keep you up to date with news on this and future remix competitions. If you don’t use Twitter, sign up now. Just click the Twitter Follow button

Contest Rules
• Create an original Remix using any of the provided Remix Stems and your own original content.(No illegal samples)
Upload your remix using the Dropbox below:


Use this dropbox to send us your Remix

Make sure you include your name in the title of the track.

Finally and this isn’t a rule but you really need to do it so we can let people know about your remix and keep you up to date with this and future remix projects. Follow our Twitter account @buzzbands_uk Just click the Twitter Follow button

Submitted remixes will be evaluated and approved by moderation staff. Not all submitted remixes will be approved. Mixes are evaluated on quality, originality, and professionalism. Mixes that have illegal samples will be automatically rejected. You may enter as many mixes as you like during the contest, but keep in mind that we’re looking for quality not necessarily quantity from an individual user.

• Approved Entries will be uploaded to Buzzbands Soundcloud page. We will let everyone know about your remix via our Twitter account @buzzbands_uk so it is important you follow us on Twitter. Remixes with the highest number of plays on our Remix group page will be shortlisted.
• Winners will be selected from the shortlist by The Blackmoth & Buzzbands Staff
• 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place will be chosen by The Blackmoth (Personal Picks)
• The winning remixes plus commended selected remixes will be made available for download on Buzzbands website.

Prizes
The First prize winner will have their remix on The Blackmoth’s next EP
Second Prize is the Leather hooded jellaba worn in the Cocaine Psychosis video
The runners up will get a bright lyric-ed Blackmoth sweat-shirt

Have Fun

WINNERS ANNOUNCED
FIRST – DANDELION

SECOND – INDEFINITE REVERB

THIRD – OLEKIRKEBY

The 405 Singles Of The Week // 19th July 2011
http://thefourohfive.com/news/article/the-405-singles-of-the-week-19th-july-2011#.TifwuiwhZpN.tweet
Single of the week Kyeo.tv – July 20th 2011
http://www.kyeo.tv/2011/07/20/single-of-the-week-vinyl-jacket-koala/

Contest Submission Deadline: August 31st 2011
Download the stems and remix Koala by Vinyl Jacket. After you have downloaded the stems, please follow us on Twitter so we can tell everyone about your remix and keep you up to date with news on this and future remix competitions. If you don’t use Twitter, sign up now. Just click the Twitter Follow button

“My favourite band I’ve seen in the last year – Great Playing, Great Songs, Great Performances, Huge Energy” – Tom Robinson BBC 6 Music

“I thought they were brilliant” – Huw Stephens BBC Radio 1 – Tip of the Week

‘The world may not have heard of them yet but, take it from me, Vinyl Jacket are a band at the very top of their game. One memorable radio record is all it needs and they’ll be all over the 6 Music playlist like a rash.’
Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

‘A joyous blast of dancefloor-friendly art rock with scattershock drums, stuttering guitars and synth squeals.’
Artrocker Magazine

I loved Vinyl Jacket from Newcastle, a band who sound ready to take the world on with colourful, upbeat tunes. Huw Stephens (Glastonbury Festival 2011 Report)

‘Yeah, I like this’ Chris Moyles, Radio 1

Vinyl Jacket are a young five piece that hail from the small village of Wylam in Northumberland, removed from any influence of a ‘scene’ the band developed their own sound and created their unique brand of ‘Diesel-Pop’. Having only formed early 2010 the band headlined the BBC Introducing Stage at In the City and were featured on the Chris Moyles Breakfast Show for BBC Introducing week January 2011.

Their debut single Painting Stations (21.02.11) received airplay from Chris Moyles, Huw Stephens (track of the week), Steve Lamacq, Lauren Laverne, Tom Robinson and Capital FM as well as a ‘New Blood’ feature in Artrocker Magazine. They followed up the single by touring the UK with their arsenal of intelligent, intricate and inventive Indie-Pop songs as well as supporting Little Comets, playing Liverpool Sound City and opening the main stage at Evolution Festival. The band were then selected to play the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury Festival by a panel that included Zane Lowe, Jo Whiley and Emily Eavis.

Contest Rules
• Create an original Remix using any of the provided Remix Stems and your own original content.(No illegal samples)
Upload your remix using the Dropbox below:


Use this dropbox to send us your Remix

Make sure you include your name in the title of the track.

Finally and this isn’t a rule but you really need to do it so we can let people know about your remix and keep you up to date with this and future remix projects. Follow our Twitter account @buzzbands_uk Just click the Twitter Follow button

Submitted remixes will be evaluated and approved by moderation staff. Not all submitted remixes will be approved. Mixes are evaluated on quality, originality, and professionalism. Mixes that are out of timing (in a non-musical sense) or have illegal samples will be automatically rejected. You may enter as many mixes as you like during the contest, but keep in mind that we’re looking for quality not necessarily quantity from an individual user.

• Approved Entries will be uploaded to Buzzbands Soundcloud page. We will let everyone know about your remix via our Twitter account @buzzbands_uk so it is important you follow us on Twitter. Remixes with the highest number of plays on our Remix group page will be shortlisted.
• Winners will be selected from the shortlist by Vinyl Jacket & Buzzbands Staff
• 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place will be chosen by Vinyl Jacket (Personal Picks)
• The winning remixes plus commended selected remixes will be made available for download on Buzzbands website.

Prizes (see below for details of 1st, 2nd, 3rd Prize split)
Vinyl Jacket – Glastonbury T Shirt

Vinyl Jacket – Koala CD (Sold out on day of release)

Vinyl Jacket – 10 track Digital Collectors Edition Album Downloads

Prize Splits

1st Prize – Vinyl Jacket – Glastonbury T Shirt + Vinyl Jacket – 10 track Digital Collectors Edition Album Download
2nd Prize – Vinyl Jacket – Koala CD (Sold out on day of release) + Vinyl Jacket – 10 track Digital Collectors Edition Album Download
3rd Prize – Vinyl Jacket – 10 track Digital Collectors Edition Album Download

Have Fun

Vinyl Jacket – Interview

Posted: July 18, 2011 in Vinyl Jacket

Vinyl Jacket are a band currently going from strength to strength. Their second single “Koala” completely sold out of all physical copies on its day of release. It has been awarded single of the week in several publications online and in print as well as being chosen as Huw Stephens “Tip of the Week” on BBC Radio 1. They have just played a prestigious BBC Radio 1 Maida Vale session. This is what Tom Robinson had to say about the band when he introduced them on stage at Glastonbury earlier this year – “My favourite band I’ve seen in the last year. Great playing, great songs, great performances, huge energy. It’s a wonderful group, please welcome Vinyl Jacket.”

Listen to Vinyl Jacket’s Maida Vale Session here:

First Track Koala is just after 16 minutes in. Second track Painting Stations, Interview with Huw and third track His Delicate Brain are just after 50 minutes in.

BBC iPlayer – Huw Stephens: Vinyl Jacket in session.


Can you take us back to what first got you into music, and what inspired you to start writing your own songs.

We’ve all been involved with music from a very young age. One thing we have in common is that we were part of a local musical theatre group, which gave us the desire and the hunger to perform.
We’ve all written and composed various bits and pieces individually for a few years now. As a five-piece we were messing about with various ideas as good friends before we decided to go ahead and push ourselves under the Vinyl Jacket brand. We were lucky enough to feel comfortable writing as a five-piece and it just felt naturally like the right thing to be doing.


You come from Wylam which is a fairly small pretty rural village by the River Tyne in Northumberland. Do you feel that has had any impact on your sound or approach?

I don’t think this has had an impact on our sound but I do feel where we live has had an affect on how we approach things and how we develop our ideas. We like to use Wylam and the local surroundings as a backdrop in our music videos as a reminder of how privileged we are to have grown up in such a beautiful place, and also I guess to say thank you for the unparalleled support shown to us by the local community. We do still write and rehearse in Wylam. Living in the village keeps us well grounded too.


You’ve used the term diesel-pop to describe your music. For anyone who hasn’t heard it can you describe what diesel-pop sounds like.

Diesel-Pop is pop with more miles to the gallon. We believe it is a very accessible genre – perfectly easy to enjoy but also intricate and interesting.


You’ve had an amazing year so far, what have been the highlights and what are you looking forward to for later in the year?

The main highlight of our year was playing the BBC Introducing tent at Glastonbury. It was such a fantastic, overwhelming experience and the whole atmosphere and general ambience of the festival was inspiring. We were lucky to open up the main stage at our local Evolution Festival in May which was also great. To see such a good crowd dance and sing along to our stuff was unbelievable and the whole experience taught us a lot (primarily not to forget your capo seconds before going on stage!). Another key moment this year was our latest single launch night for ‘Koala’. Again, we were blown away by the support shown, the ambience of the packed out crowd inside the Cluny 2 that night was incredible. It felt as if everything had been leading up to that moment, and not often is it that we can say this but everything felt ‘right’. We’re really working hard in particular at making our local shows more of a spectacle, and we were really pleased with the impact the added brass section had that night.

You’ve had great support from BBC Introducing. How important have people like Tom Robinson and Huw Stephens been in helping you break through to a bigger audience?

BBC Introducing is such an important tool for up and coming unsigned artists. Tom Robinson (BBC6 Music) has been so helpful and we will be forever thankful for his support. He has spearheaded our campaign for the past year, and to have such an enthusiastic, experienced character on our side has been phenomenal. To be gaining praise from the mighty Huw Stephens on Radio 1 too, we have seen our music exposed to a broader audience. We are lucky enough to have been invited by Huw to do a session for him at Maida Vale later next month which is a dream come true for us. BBC Introducing also provided us with the opportunity to play Glastonbury Festival this year and a feature on the Chris Moyles Show back in January, which was quite bizarre.

You got a great reaction at Glastonbury. How did it feel do be playing the iconic festival?

We were so pleased with the turn out at our show at Glastonbury. We had a packed out tent and the crowd were really responsive, making the whole experience incredible. To be playing the most famous festival in the world, especially at such an early stage, was an honour and something we will never forget. It has made us hungry to keep climbing the ladder.

Koala

Painting Stations

How much has your background in musical theatre had an impact on your live performance?

I guess having a background in theatre has given us great confidence in our live performance. We believe that enjoying performing is a huge thing in a live performance as it really helps the crowd to engage with what you are doing. If you are having a good time, it makes it hard for the crowd not to have a good time. We aim to have fun and to play interesting, exciting music.


Tell us about your new single Koala. How did the song come about?

The song is based on what Ben was experiencing at the time. It’s about throwing yourself into the unknown and making your own decision by staying true to yourself, without letting the opinion of others sway that decision. No regrets. We wanted to build on the platform we had created with our first single ‘Painting Stations’, so to write an upbeat summery tune was high on our agenda.

Koala – Promo Video


The cover designs for your 2 singles have been stunning. What led to you working with Emilee Seymour?

We actually met Emilee through Sam’s brother. She had worked for artists such as Biffy Clyro and Adele in the past so we knew exactly what she was capable of. She is such a talented artist and the most important thing for us is that she listens to our briefs and understands exactly what we want.
>> http://www.emileeseymour.com

How do you find working with Liam Gaughan as producer? Have you any plans to work together again?

As Liam says, “we’ve always got plans”. We love working with Liam (or ‘Weez’). He, like Emilee knows exactly how we work and what we want to achieve. We got asked the other day whether we think consistency is important for things such as recording and we definitely believe so. Especially as a new band, when you are trying to establish your own sound and an image. Working with Liam is ideal – he is a brilliant producer and great to work with. We trust his opinion massively and he is an integral part of the team.
>> http://www.liamgaughan.com


You made a brilliant video for your first single Painting Stations with Matt Brown. The video shows your individual “dream sequence” ideas for the video. Can you take us through the brain storming, sorry ideas shower you went through in making the video. Were there any even crazier ideas that had to be rejected?

The video came about because we wanted to portray the variety of ideas and thought processes that were brought to the table when thinking of ideas for the video. We wanted to show the creative process that we actually experienced and it also gave us great scope to do things slightly out of the ordinary and create something which was very watchable. This was particularly important with it being our first video. One of the ideas rejected was to re-enact a game of cluedo on a lifesize scale. We also remain oddly determined to get a wide-lens shot of Andy wearing nothing but a pair of long johns in there at some point.. if that can’t get you excited for the next video, then nothing will.

Painting Stations – Promo Video


Music from the North East is attracting a lot of attention at the moment with the help of organizations like Generator and Amazing Radio based in Newcastle. How much do you feel a part of the North East music scene? Which bands would you recommend checking out?

Organisations such as Amazing Radio and Generator have been the backbone of the development of the scene; the work they are doing and support they offer for new and emerging artists is crucial to its recent success. We are so lucky that they are on our very doorstep. We are big supporters of the North-East music scene and repeatedly talk about how fantastic it is, because we really do believe that at present in the UK it is second to none. What makes the Newcastle scene in particular so exciting is that there is a distinct coercive network between the bands, promoters, venues, radios etc. which serves only as a means of promoting one another. The support we have received from other local bands, particularly when we first brought out the video for ‘Painting Stations’ has been phenomenal, and we will continue to actively promote other bands from our region. It is no coincidence that the North-East is churning out some of the best bands in the country at the moment, with many being nationally recognized on BBC6 Music and BBCR1. It really does feel like a big happy family, and we’re honoured to be part of that community. The North-East is simply the place to be.


What influences have helped shape your music?

David likes Usher best. Individually we have an eclectic mix of influences which makes our writing process very interesting. Strangely we don’t seem to clash much with our ideas but instead try to nurture what we believe to be the Vinyl Jacket blend from the cauldron, or just what feels right. In terms of other bands, from the very start we were influenced primarily by the likes of Everything Everything, Paul Simon and Little Comets. More recently we’ve been listening to a lot of Friendly Fires’ new stuff, Phoenix and Metronomy. David likes Usher best.


With the growth of music sharing on the internet it’s much easier to discover new music through platforms such as Soundcloud or Spotify. Have you made any new musical discoveries you can recommend?

As mentioned, a plethora of talent has emerged from the North-East over the past year. One band in particular that we enjoy playing with from up here is Shields who are receiving substantial support from Zane Lowe at the moment. They are absurdly talented and a really sound bunch of lads too.
>> http://www.behindshields.com

Toodar (London) are a band we have played with a few times and are repeatedly blown away by their unique character, intelligence and powerful live performance. I first met the singer Tom Grundy at one of Tom Robinson’s songwriting weekends down in Surrey. Since then they supported us at our single launch in Newcastle and we supported them down at the Bull and Gate in Camden. They play gorgeous lo-fi electro-acoustic pop.
>> http://www.myspace.com/toodar

We played a couple of dates with The Cads (Ipswich) on our recent UK tour. We loved them so much that we invited them to support us at our recent single launch for ‘Koala’ in Newcastle and they went down a storm with the Geordie crowd. Their identity lies somewhere between Two Door Cinema Club and Foals. They are also very good at drinking and their manager is allergic to the Head Of Steam… when we took him there, he went all puffy.
>> http://www.thecads.co.uk

Any more gigs in the pipeline?

We have a few local festivals remaining this Summer. We are looking forward to playing Corbridge Festival, the mainstage at Newcastle’s brand new Ignition Festival, REC-fest (Ashington) and also the mighty Split Festival in Sunderland. You can find full details of our upcoming shows at http://www.vinyljacket.co.uk.

What’s next for Vinyl Jacket?

Currently we are enjoying a sustained period of writing which is an absolute luxury for us; something we have been looking forward to for a very long time. If all goes to plan, we intend to be back in the studio by September. The Maida Vale session will be an important marker for us, and we’re doing everything possible to make sure we get that nailed absolutely on the button. Apart from that, we’re generally keeping our heads down and being nice to Sam’s parents for letting us sabotage their house for writing and rehearsing purposes. Thanks Jo and Steve, we do love you!

Hattie Murdoch – Black Shadow

You began your involvement with music at an early age. Can you take us back to what first got you into music, and what inspired you to start writing your own songs.
I’d started playing instruments from an early age, but I was desperate to sing, and couldn’t! So I taught myself guitar and taught myself how to sing(mostly because I didnt want anyone else to have to suffer the incessant wrong notes) but it naturally led onto writing my own tracks. I guess I covered a lot of stuff, but realised that my voice didn’t quite match up, so at least this way I could tailor my own songs to how I sing.

You’ve had a lot of attention in the North East and London but for anyone who doesn’t know what to expect how would you describe your music.
The darker, left field side of pop probably.

It’s been quite a busy year for you so far, what have been the highlights so far and what are you looking forward to for later in the year?
So many to choose from! Coming second out of 150 bands in the NE Unsigned comp was a huge highlight, and totally unexpected – then playing Evolution was huge as was the Sage Gateshead. Gigging with the band has been a massive thing for me this year – we’ve really pushed ourselves hard as musicians and techies. Coming up we have Ignition festival and also the release of Ocean Floor, which im so excited to get out there. It’s a big development of our sound and hopefully not what people are expecting.

Tell us about your new EP Ocean Floor. Is there a story behind the title? Can you take us behind the scenes of the songs and tell us how it all came together.

It did stem from the track Submarine – I like the idea that the ocean floor is undiscovered and like time, the way that it has this force that drags you along and you can’t do anything to stop it. I’ve also always seen these three tracks as a concept of a night out…the excitement, the groove then the chill.

Hattie Murdoch – Won’t Back Down

How did you find working with John and Andrew from Trafik on the EP? Have you any plans to work together again?
I was lucky enough to hit it off with the guys straight away and they understood where I wanted to go with the songs. We talked at length about influences and where the production could take the tracks. Knowing the prowess that they have as producers made the whole process a dream – so much so we’re currently working on the debut single and a few other collaborations.

Music from the North East is attracting a lot of attention at the moment with the help of organizations like Generator and Amazing Radio based in Newcastle. How much do you feel a part of the North East music scene?
At the moment the North East Scene is so eclectic and diverse that there isn’t a genre scene, but there is a huge musical social scene that brings all of us different musicians together. Generator have been a big influence in that – through the seminars, networking events and gigs. With Amazing Radio, I believe it’s been a huge opportunity for us in the North East – a national radio station on the doorstep has made it possible for people to get the exposure that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. It enabled me to get tracks out there to a huge audience and it’s getting recognised more and more as the essential exposure tool for unsigned acts.

What influences have helped shape your music?
Over the years, it’s changed so much. I’ve been in rock bands, jazz bands, orchestras, hiphop bands, cover bands…all sorts. I love music for how it makes me feel – but I also love music that’s just damn cool. I wanted my tracks to be turned into something I couldn’t do by myself – I wanted Ninja Tune, Chemical Brothers – I wanted them to be turned into something that I wanted to listen to.

With the growth of music sharing on the internet it’s much easier to discover new music through platforms such as Soundcloud. Have you made any new musical discoveries you can recommend?
I have to say that Amazing Tunes has been a great source of music for me – the two artists that I discovered through their charts was Kyla La Grange and also Daughter – two incredible female artists. I have to say, I also love the way that YouTube and LastFM can take you to some random places – once I started with Bon Iver and ended up with Nine Inch Nails – it’s like a tenuous link game.

Any more gigs in the pipeline?

Next gig coming up is Ignition Festival on the 6th August (Go! Team playing that one as well – huge fan!) and then the next big home-town gig is headlining the Riverside in November.

What’s next for Hattie Murdoch?

I’ll be heading back into the studio with John and Andrew to finish off the single and make a start on some other new stuff hopefully to be ready at the end of the year and in between that we’ve got a few gigs in mind around the country. As a band we have so much more we want to do to push ourselves, so a lot of work in the rehearsal rooms – we’re all really motivated to push this as far as we can.

You can follow Hattie on Twitter here

Kate Havnevik is a singer and songwriter from Oslo, Norway. Her debut album, the critically acclaimed electronica infused Melankton, was released in March 2006 on iTunes and April 2006 (on physical CD) in Norway only, before being licensed internationally later. Kate released an EP called ‘me’ in late 2009, while preparing her second album, ‘You’, expected in late 2011. Kate is releasing her albums through her own record label, Continentica Records. Kate is running a hugely successful campaign to raise funds for the release of her new album through PledgeMusic. Buzzbands spoke to Kate about her PledgeMusic campaign.

Listen to Halo by Kate Havnevik

The landscape of the music business has been changing radically over the past few years. Major labels haven’t been making as many new signings or investing as much money in new music. How do you feel about the current state of the music business?

As long as I have been in the music business it has been in a bad state….record companies are always complaining about how difficult everything is and how there is no money….so it’s nothing new really….Let’s just hope more money is going to people who work hard and create something, and not the big fish behind a desk with a nice tie…..

For your latest album you’ve taken a DIY approach using crowdfunding website Pledgemusic to fund its release. Did you consider using other crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter? What attracted you to Pledgemusic?

Pledgemusic is UK based and for music only, Kickstarter is US based for all arts/projects film/music/art etc…so it was natural to go with Pledge as most of my business and team are based in the UK and I did live there for 10 years….it’s a bit closer to Norway….It is crowdfunding, but it is important to highlight that it is pre-sales of the record and exclusive items for sale….there are no donations and no shareholders….

Your Pledgemusic campaign has been running a while. When and how did you get started?

I launched my campaign in September 2010, and the frustrating part is that I can’t send out albums to the pledgers until the album gets its official release…..

What methods have you used to publicise the campaign?

I used email, facebook , word of mouth…and Pledge publicized it on their website and front page.

You have now gone beyond the amount you need to raise, how long did it take to reach your target?

I think it took me around 2-3 weeks to reach target, I’m not quite sure…



You offered some quite unusual pledges as part of the project, such as the concert in a Mini Cooper. Have you worked that one out yet?

Yes , I will probably have 3 people in the audience inside the car…. we’ll park it in an open space or use the Mini Cooper Showroom, so we can have two doors open….. and I will have my laptop,mini-guitar, melodica etc…. and sing… and play my songs for them…will make sure I film it as it will be something quite unusual…

Were there any other unusual pledges which you decided not to include or have saved for another time?

I was considering a Concert in a Hot Air Balloon ….but the logistics would be hard to plan …. we would be depending on weather as well as a lot of other things….so I will leave it for another time….:)

Pledgemusic take 15% of any funds raised. What do they offer by way of support in running the campaign?

The pledge team are really supportive all the way, you can get in touch any time ask questions get advice… they also try to introduce your campaign to new people who have pledged on other projects in the past…

When doing crowdfunding it is great to be part of something like Pledge, they take care of all transactions and possible refunds… etc…


Many musicians are using Pledgemusic successfully to fund projects. What do you feel are the most important elements of running a successful campaign?

The most important thing is a good introduction video, updates, being in contact with the fans…and having really loyal fans really…..

This is Kate’s Pledgemusic intro video

Kate also does a regular vblog which you can watch on her Youtube page, here’s the latest installment


What advice or tips would you give anybody considering using Pledgemusic to raise funds?

To have a very clear plan and budget for the project, and make a really good introduction video of the campaign. It is important that the audience get a sense of what you are like as a person, and that they feel you are working hard at it and giving a lot of yourself.

Make it as personal as you can…. within your limits of course… it is about the music, but people wanna learn about who they are supporting…and feel part of the journey really. It’s important to include the fans on your ups and downs in the running of the campaign…


Coming back to your new album, when is it due for release?

The album does not have a 100% hard release date of today unfortunately,,,,even when you are independent you are a little bit stuck in the system of what time of year it is best for your music to be released, or you might end up with no reviews and not much exposure because 200 superstars just released a new album same month..! It is also better to start a pr campaign for a finished album almost 6 months before the release …. so things easily get delayed even though the record is done…all I can say is that it’s extremely frustrating, but if you have worked really hard for something you wanna get it right…..

Do you think you’ll use this same method for funding future projects?

Yes absolutely ! This is definitely the future of financing records….. for now at least …. until something new comes along. 🙂

Is there anything you think you might do differently next time?

What I will do different is before a campaign I would do even more planning for when the album actually can/will be released ….I feel immense pressure to get the album out now, but there needs to be a proper set up around it for the release, there is no point just sending it out to the pledgers and letting it leak onto internet download sites….there needs to be a frame and a plan in place…for the actual release….. The music is one part of many in a big puzzle to get an album out ….

There’s still time to support Kate’s PledgeMusic campaign here
Badge

You can follow Kate on Twitter here