Interview: The Union Ares

We speak to Todd Giles of The Union Ares about his multi-country musical project, their sound, history and creative ambitions.

The Union Ares are an unusual premise: two bands in one. Linked by guitarist/vocalist Todd Giles, who’s based in The Hague (NL), the first incarnation of the band includes Iain and Huw from Scotland (known for their work in Carson Wells). Their first album Songs From The North was released on April 1st, a literal message from the ‘northern’ band. It’s due a response from the ‘southern’ version of the band, which features Mike and Gabry from The Hague. Confusing, right! We guess they’re making good use of Zoom to keep track of it.

I caught wind of this fascinating new band late last year, and had a chat with Todd Giles to shed some light on it.

Continue reading “Interview: The Union Ares”

Interview: Stonethrower on Legacies and Lockdown

Scottish post-hardcore band Stonethrower have just put out an enthralling new album. We discuss their creative inspiration and the punk scene at large.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

I was chuffed to see a fresh album from Scottish ecossemo peddlers Stonethrower released earlier in July. They’re doing a digital-only release for the time being, with all proceeds going to Conroy’s Basement / Rad Apples in Dundee and Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights. Legacies as an instant winner for fans of post-hardcore or old-school emo, packed with

We spoke to the band to get an insight into the latest release, and on how coronavirus has impacted them.

How would you sum up [the band] for someone who’s just discovering you?

  • Ross: Yikes, I’m normally pretty bad at this part, but let’s give it a bash: ‘punk music made by people who don’t listen to all that much punk anymore’.
  • Ken: Haha! Punchy, pulsating post-hardcore? It’s probably post-something. I actually don’t really know. Maybe Cal’s got a better answer…
  • Cal: The music is pretty aggressive but don’t let that put you off, we’re really OK guys. 
Continue reading “Interview: Stonethrower on Legacies and Lockdown”

Punk Rock Tour Tales #8: Matty from Roughneck Riot

Matty Roughneck gives us is favourite memories (and lack of memories) of life on tour in the Euro DIY punk scene.

Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we interview bands about their tour stories. Read them all here.

Before the coronacoaster got rolling, Warrington’s folks-punks Roughneck Riot were booked to make a highly anticipated return to the live circuit. After nearly 15 years of touring, earning themselves a reputation as one of the riotous bands the UK punk scene has to offer, they took a one-year hiatus in 2019 to recoup some energy.

We took some time out to speak to Matty about his favourite road stories, including many that he’s forgotten.

Of the touring you’ve done, what’s been your favourite so far?  

Pretty tough question for a couple of reasons. There’s been so many tours, with good and bad parts to them that it’s hard to say what was the best. They also seem to blend into one big tour in my head and a lot of the memories have been blurred by the finest beverages and such from across the mainland.

Continue reading “Punk Rock Tour Tales #8: Matty from Roughneck Riot”

Punk Rock Tour Tales #7: Max Kaspar of CHRISTMAS and Subkultura Booking

We speak to Max from longstanding German hardcore punks CHRISTMAS about their experiences on the road.


Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we interview bands about their tour stories. Read them all here.

Christmas are an unstoppable German punk act who’ve survived thirteen releases in ten years, 500 gigs across 13 countries and 14 worn-out former band members.

Earlier this year, Christmas released their latest full-lengths Hot Nights In Saint Vandal, with the help of Kidnap Music and TNSrecords. We thought it would be a great time to quiz Max Kaspar (who’s also part of the team at EU booking agency Subkultura Booking) about his time on the road.

Of the touring you’ve done, what’s been your favourite so far?

A pretty big thing was our last tour, Spain in October. Totally relaxed routing, well-attended shows, brilliant atmosphere in the audience and delicious food. The people loved us, we loved them!

Continue reading “Punk Rock Tour Tales #7: Max Kaspar of CHRISTMAS and Subkultura Booking”

Follow Your Dreams’ Manchester Punk Fest Interview

Enjoy this in-depth interview with Manchester hardcore genre-smashers Follow Your Dreams, originally to be included in the Manchester Punk Festival program.

Article by Sarah Williams. Cover photo by Hold My Pint.

Sadly, this year’s Manchester Punk Fest has fallen victim to the COVID-19 catastrophe. Before then, Shout Louder had been working to write this year’s MPF program, including a series of band interviews. Rather than waste everyone’s hard work, we decided to post the interviews for your enjoyment here (plus keep an eye on Ear Nutrition for an excellent interview with Shai Hulud).

To start, I had an excellent chat with Manchester genre-benders Follow Your Dreams. Evolved from old-school ska-core band Rising Strike, with TNSrecords‘ behind-the-scenes legend Kaz Hinsley providing vocals, Follow Your Dreams and one of the greatest up-and-coming bands in the UK punk scene right now. Be sure to check out their new full-length record The Half Life of Teaspoons out on TNSrecords now.

We spoke to guitarist / vocalist / all-round awesome dude, Tom Houseman, ahead of MPF. Continue reading “Follow Your Dreams’ Manchester Punk Fest Interview”

Haest’s Manchester Punk Festival Interview

We talk to doomy-hardcore DIY kings Haest about their tongue-in-cheek approach, originally designed for print in the Manchester Punk Fest program.

Article by Sarah Williams.

Sadly, this year’s Manchester Punk Fest has fallen victim to the COVID-19 catastrophe. Before then, Shout Louder had been working to write this year’s MPF program, including a series of band interviews. Rather than waste everyone’s hard work, we decided to post the interviews for your enjoyment here (plus keep an eye on Ear Nutrition for an excellent interview with Shai Hulud).

As one of the foremost up-and-coming bands on the current UK hardcore circuit, I was keen to speak to Haest. Based in their eponymous town of Hastings, they’re a sludgy, doom-laden co-project from members of Matilda’s Scoundrels, The Barracks, Knife Club and many others. No doubt familiar to Shout Louder’s regular readers (we’ve interviewed them in the past), they’re uniquely enthralling live, they’re also purveyors of excellent DIY music videos. They’ve recently released their first full-length album Anomie on TNSrecords.

We spoke to guitarist Dan Flanagan about all the joys of Manchester Punk Festival, their history and their tongue-in-cheek approach. Continue reading “Haest’s Manchester Punk Festival Interview”

Punk Rock Tour Tales #6: Mateusz & Karolina from CF98

We talk touring with Polish skate-punks CF98: including trips to Japan, Punk Rock Holiday and the UK.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

CF98 have made major waves in the European skate-punk scene in the last two years, although they’ve been carving out a name for themselves in their Polish homeland for more than 14 years. Residing in Kraków, they’ve recently had a successful Japanese and UK tours, plus a slot at Punk Rock Holiday. They were due to join us for Manchester Punk Festival this year, so we’re hoping we’ll get another chance to see them soon.

In the meantime we spoke to guitarist Mateusz Poznański with interjections from vocalist Karolina Duszkiewicz about their touring wins and failures. We love CF98 – check them out live as soon as you can!

Of the touring you’ve done, what’s been your favourite so far?

The tour we will always remember is our Japan tour in 2019. That was our first trip so far away from home as a band and also the first band flight together! This was really huge deal for us, I couldn’t believe we would actually fly to another continent to play shows. We loved touring in Poland, UK, Denmark and Ukraine, but making a Japan tour possible was totally different. It’s so cool that we were invited by Waki and the RNR crew. Continue reading “Punk Rock Tour Tales #6: Mateusz & Karolina from CF98”

Japanese Punk Rock Bands You Need To See Live

Musicians who’ve toured Japan recommend the best live punk rock bands they saw over there: this a one-stop list of Japanese punk recommendations you need to check out.

Article by Sarah Williams. Cover photo: Shames taken by Cold Front Photography.

We’ve made a playlist of all the bands featured in this article – listen on Spotify.

For UK bands, touring Japan is the Holy Grail of punk rock. Success in DIY music cannot be quantified by financial gains or commercial exposure, but it can be measured by how far you’ve travelled to share your music with excited fans.

With the assistance of dedicated organisations like RNR Tours, increasingly more UK and European bands are playing Japan. We’ve covered them in Tree’s Fair Do’s tour diary and Tom West’s Japan Tour Survival Guide. Although many tours have been cancelled recently as a result of COVID-19, PMX made it over just before the global travel restrictions.

As more UK and European bands are receiving attention from Japanese crowds, we thought it time to reciprocate and give column space to the Japanese bands making waves over here. No doubt a knock-on effect from Anarchistic Undertones promoter Ian ‘Tree’ Robinson’s trip to Tokyo with Fair Do’s last year, Manchester Punk Festival this year had booked four incredible Japanese gems: SHAMES, Stone Leek, Green Eyed Monster and Gibberish (who have one Japanese member). Although MPF’s fallen foul of the Corona catastrophe, there’s no doubt that the same bands will be invited again for a future event. Beyond these, there is a whole culture of uptempo, angry, exciting bands that many of us are yet to discover.

I asked UK artists who’ve toured Japan to recommend their favourite acts, to give you an trustworthy overview of what Japanese punk rock has to offer. Continue reading “Japanese Punk Rock Bands You Need To See Live”

Interview: Knife Club reveal their identity with video & album launch [Exclusive]

DIY punk rock’s most mysterious band, Knife Club, reveal their identities, tell us all their secrets and launch their new video and album!

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Knife Club are the most mysterious punk band of 2020 – teasing live shows and recordings without ever revealing who they really are. If you’ve missed the hype, we posted an article speculating about their identity (sorry folks: we were in on the joke the whole time).

Today you can finally learn the identity of the band! Our interview below sheds light on the whole affair. To celebrate, they’re launching pre-orders of their first full-length album We Are Knife Club available from TNSrecords.

Watch this video right to the end, and read the interview below to find out exactly who Knife Club are and what they’re all about!

You can finally tell the world who you are! Introduce yourselves for us.

We are…! Continue reading “Interview: Knife Club reveal their identity with video & album launch [Exclusive]”

Punk Rock Tour Tales #5: Pat from The Decline

Pat from Australia’s best skate-punk exports The Decline shares his memories of gigging, in jokes, and on-the-road antics.

Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we interview bands about their tour stories. Read them all here.

The Decline are a high-energy straight up skate-punk band from Perth, Australia. Unfortunately, their UK/Euro tour has been scrapped to due to whole pandemic malarkey, but we still had a chat with them about their past touring experiences.

They’ve recently released a rad album: Flash Gordon Ramsay Street on Pee Records (with international collab from Bird Attack, Disconnect Disconnect, Bells On, Cargo and Oxford Records). It fits right in the vein of Frenzal Rhomb, NoFX and Lagwagon. Questions were answered by guitarist / vocalist Pat, who first up said that they ‘love touring, drinking beers and playing legend of Zelda’.

Of the touring you’ve done, what’s been your favourite so far?

It’s very hard to say! Maybe Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia? Maybe South America with Much The Same and The Fullblast. Maybe Australia or Mexico with A Wilhelm Scream. It’s usually the people you’re touring with or the people you meet who make it the best, rather than the actual place… maybe the USA with MakeWar. Continue reading “Punk Rock Tour Tales #5: Pat from The Decline”