Band Spotlight: Molars [Interview]

Introducing Molars: new emo/pop-punk from Nottingham. FFO: Tiny Moving Parts, Neck Deep and Modern Baseball.

Molars are a new alternative / pop-punk / emo band from Nottingham with a fresh and exciting sound. We spoke to them to learn more.

You’re releasing your very first EP Tight, But Not Groundbreaking soon. How long has it been in the works?

Dec: We recorded the entire EP in June at Phoenix Sound Studios. Since then we’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes, such as filming our own music video.

Is the title what you’re aiming for, or are you predicting the reviews?

Matt: Funny story – after our first gig in Nottingham, a bloke from one of the other bands came over and said we sounded tight, but not groundbreaking. This seemed like a really weird thing to say to a band after they played their first ever set (however true it may be!), so it seemed only right to name our EP after this interaction!

How would you sum up Molars for someone who’s just discovering you?

Chris: I guess we come under the banner of pop punk for the most part but with some elements of emo with some of the guitar parts and lyrics.

Continue reading “Band Spotlight: Molars [Interview]”

Band Spotlight: Buenos Treehouse [Interview]

Nottingham’s Buenos Treehouse are an upbeat new melodic pop rock band, FFO: Weezer, PUP and Jeff Rosenstock

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Nottingham’s Buenos Treehouse are a band new pop rock band, who’ll go down a treat with fans of Jeff Rosenstock, Weezer and PUP. As they launch their new single Low, Shout Louder spoke to guitarist/singer Will Bailey and bassist Duncan Muggleton to learn more.

Hey! You’ve recently put out your first single, Low. What makes that song the best introduction to Buenos Treehouse?

  • Will: I think Low has got a bit of everything that we try to do as a band – it’s pretty catchy, has a huge chorus and we’re super excited with how the video came out. We asked Dave Lankester to make us a video – who directed of all the Heck/Haggard Cat videos – and it looks great! The lyrics to Low are pretty depressing, so we wanted a contrast of loads of colour… it’s all very over the top.
  • Dunc: We produced it ourselves, too, so it captures the DIY element of our initial approach to the band. But we also put a lot of hours in to getting it just right, and couldn’t be happier with the results!

How would you sum up Buenos Treehouse for someone who’s just discovering you?

  • Will: I think if you’re a fan of early Weezer, the energy and live show of PUP/Jeff Rosenstock and three part Beach Boys/Bracket-esque harmonies then you’ll probably be into us! The line we’ve put on our socials is “Harmony laden pop-rock” – we’re kind of a punk band too, but we’re not that punk… If you’ve only just heard of us and like what you hear, definitely try and make it down to a show – we’re one of those bands that feel much more at home on a stage than in a recording studio. We’ve really got our live set down now, especially after playing 5 shows in one day for the single launch.

Continue reading “Band Spotlight: Buenos Treehouse [Interview]”

Simon Wells Interview #2: Touring The Soviet Union with Snuff in the 1980s

Article by Sarah Williams.

Last year, I was lucky enough to share a pizza and a pint with Simon Wells. In Part One of this interview he gave us the full, colourful history of Southport, going on to explain how his experiences in that band shaped his more mellow solo album Crime Of The Scene.

Many things could be said about Simon, but no one can deny that he’s an exceptionally captivating storyteller. He had an endless heap of anecdotes and entertaining namedrops for us.

I remember meeting Fat Mike and telling him, “The Longest Line is my favourite song.” Mike said, “We were pretending to be Snuff in the studio when we wrote that song!” We both stepped back and I said, “This conversation has gone really weird – I kinda liked it when you were pretending to be me. This is quite bizarre.”

Simon is well known as a founding member of legendary British punks Snuff. Early on in our conversation, Simon realised that when I was born (in 1989) he was already well into his punk career. Snuff Said had just been released and he was touring Europe with the original incarnation of the band: Duncan Redmonds and Andrew Crighton. Here he tells us some genuinely fascinating tales about his experiences of touring the Soviet Union before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

So, Simon… while I was being born, you were in Germany watching the Berlin Wall coming down?

Simon: Actually the story peters out quite badly after that initial ‘you were in Berlin when the wall was coming down’ part! We didn’t actually leave the bar we were in. We were just drinking all night with the US band Victim’s Family.

Were you aware that it was happening?

Yeah, the guy at the bar kept telling us people were going crazy outside. We went out when it was dawn, I believe, and just laid around in the road because we were so drunk.

I do remember touring the Eastern Bloc before the wall was torn down. It was before the EU –  tours in those days were 3 months with 3-5 days off. If you were going out on those tours you’d make lots of money in Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden. The penance for making all that money was that the tour operator would make you go to the Eastern Bloc as a cultural thing. That was the biggest eye opener. Continue reading “Simon Wells Interview #2: Touring The Soviet Union with Snuff in the 1980s”

Simon Wells Interview #1: Southport’s Colourful History and How His Solo Career Grew From It

As a founding member of Snuff and Southport, Simon Wells’ has a world of music experience. He shared it with Shout Louder in this two-part interview.

Article by Sarah Williams.

Simon Wells is a man with a colourful musical history, but he was particularly busy in 2017. He released his first solo album on July 1st, celebrating by playing a release show at Wonkfest. Crime of The Scene is a real divergence to much of his previous material. It’s mostly acoustic with piano throughout, allowing his voice and his lyrics to really shine. It’s gentler and more soulful but there’s still plenty for old punks to enjoy.

Simon’s better known for being a founding member of British punk legends Snuff, recording Snuff Said and Reach with them in 1989 and 1992 respectively, and touring the world with them in their early heyday. After a break, he went on to form Southport: the renowned mod/punk/soul act who’ve had a revolving door of members from different 90s punk bands over the years. Nowadays he’s based down in Hastings, but often pops up playing acoustic sets around the country.

Last year, I met Simon over vegan pizza and a couple of pints. I hadn’t really planned to interview him, so I went in without an agenda apart from wanting to find out more about how his solo album had come to be created. Crime of The Scene, although very different to Simon’s other material, will definitely appeal to old Southport and Snuff fans. There are a handful of reworked songs from both bands, plus new tracks like All At Sea.

In talking to Simon it quickly became clear that Southport’s history was essential to understanding how Crime of The Scene came into being. So when he asked me this, I leapt at the chance to hear more:

“Have I ever told you the story of how Southport started?”

Simon: There was this local pub where I was living in Headstone Lane. It was an Irish pub called O’Flaherty’s in North Harrow – it was an old converted shop. There was a fella who used to sit next to me called Pat. And he had two mates, both called Pat – it was that sort of bar. I sat next to Pat drinking probably every other night for a year; we’d sit there in silence, drink four or five pints each and go home. As you went home you’d acknowledge each other, and that would be it.

After literally a year of drinking next to each other in the pub, Pat said to me, “Did you used to play in a band? Did you used to play in Snuff?” I said yeah. He says, “My nephew plays the drums. You should have a jam with him one day.”

So about three weeks later this 16 year old kid covered in acne, really tall, really thin, wearing a Nirvana t-shirt that was 15 times too big for him walks into O’Flaherty’s. “Are you Simon? I’m Dom. Pat’s my uncle. He said you wanted to have a jam.” Continue reading “Simon Wells Interview #1: Southport’s Colourful History and How His Solo Career Grew From It”

The Penske File: Existing In A Moment of Melody [Interview]

“Music is a freeing art form that has an ability to wash away the very real problems in our own lives and in our own communities, if only for a moment.”

Interview by Sarah Williams.

The Penske File are a melodic punk band from Burlington, Ontario, who recently visted the UK for a short run of gigs. We’re been enjoying their latest album Salvation since its release in April, however we were completely blown away by their live show in Manchester this week. They’re full of energy, enthusiasm, catchy melodies and memorable choruses.

We spoke to guitarist Travis Miles ahead of the tour about their new album, their motivations and their growth as a band.

The Penske File cred Eden Kittiver
Photo by Eden Kittiver.

Salvation is a very emotive album title. What are you seeking salvation from? Do you think you found it?

That’s a good question that I’m not sure I fully know the answer to and am doubtful I, or many of us, ever really will. I think in a sense that I am seeking salvation from the confining realities of my selfhood and how that is inevitably framed by the society in which we all live. Music is just a very freeing art form that has an ability to wash away the very real problems in our own lives and in our own communities, if only for a moment.

To me the closest I’ve ever been to a true feeling of salvation has come in those moments when music washes away my sense of the internal and external world and leaves me existing solely within a moment or a lyric or a melody.

So many bands and artists have provided me with this sort of experience over the years and I think our ultimate goal as a band is to hopefully pass those moments of real freedom along to people who enjoy our music. Continue reading “The Penske File: Existing In A Moment of Melody [Interview]”

Death or Salvation: A Year In The Life Of Tim Loud

Antifolk singer-songwriter, Tim Loud, gives us a track-by-track insight into his latest album, ‘Salvation’.

Folk-punk antihero, Tim Loud, is due to release his third studio album Salvation via TNS Records on 28th September 2018. Salvation follows new musical and lyrical themes; a musical chronical of Tim’s personal quest for redemption. Shout Louder asked Tim to give us the background.

I was due to start pre-production on Salvation in December of last year, after a pretty shitty few months. Three years of heavy touring and trying to cram in some semblance of a personal life in the 5-10 day stints when I was back ‘home’ had taken its toll. I tried to go sans abode, thinking that if that financial pressure was gone then it might be better… but the uncertainty that added only made things worse.

My head popped at the end of a tour in August last year. I had to work out a more healthy way to carry on making music, if it was even worth me carrying it on at all?

I’d been drinking a lot over the years and had grown accustomed to taking a good ol’ cocktail of drugs to balance me out on the daily, so I decided to knock those things on the head. I still had a sparsely populated tour for September and October to complete, so I decided I would make those my last dates before taking a break. I wouldn’t stress too much about filling the last dates and maybe even take some days off to camp out in the Western European woodlands. I was doing this tour on my own; I often travel with another performer but due to my state, I knew I had to go this part alone.

Tim Loud Salvation Album Cover.jpg

I managed to stay off of everything for one month and then gradually began falling back into old habits, although with less gusto this time. I felt the time to clear my head had been useful. One of the last dates I played was at the ADM festival in Amsterdam; I have played there maybe a dozen times over the past 4/5 years and I have a lot of good friends there. They were all busy running the festival and tour fatigue had put pay to what remaining social skills I had left after the head-popping incident. I spent most of the festival wandering round on my own. It was nice, but it’s a strange experience when everyone else is so involved with each other and you’re just an individual.

So anyway, I wound up taking some acid and in the dawn-light in the back of my van. As electricity danced through every structure and a thin layer of ice shimmered atop everything in my line of vision, I had an epiphany of sorts. Two phrases kept repeating themselves in my head, “Find a home,” and, “I am me, and that’s OK,” for about 6 hours.

I put that together with everything else I’d been thinking for the previous years. It was time to take a break from touring. Continue reading “Death or Salvation: A Year In The Life Of Tim Loud”

Band Spotlight: Wild Tales [Interview]

Guildford’s Wild Tales are a poppy, twiddly dose of positivity, FFO: Marmozets, Tiny Moving Parts, Biffy Clyro, Thrice.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Wild Tales are an exciting new indie-punk four-piece from the lush green hills of Surrey. They are the latest addition to the Lockjaw Records roster, fusing math-rock and indie influences with pop sensibilities and big choruses. They released their first single Hourglass on September 14th – it’s refreshingly accessible pop with a healthy dose of twiddly guitar work.

To find out more, we spoke to vocalist/guitarist Adam Rains about their future plans.

Hey! We’ve been enjoying your new single Hourglass, but it only scratches the surface of what you guys have to offer. How would you sum up Wild Tales for someone who’s just discovering you?

Why thank you. For those that haven’t heard us, Wild Tales are a mashup of technical tappy tip toeing with a solid foundation of pop sensibilities and catchy hooks that will make your grandmother simultaneously weep and hoot in joyous fashion.

You guys are brand new as a band, but you’re not brand new to the scene. Can you tell us a little bit about your previous musical projects?

All four of us have played in various bands over the past two decades but most recently, and most notably, in a couple of bands called Trails and Atiptoe. The common denominator, bassist James, joined Trails in 2010 whilst playing bass for Atiptoe and our friendship grew from there, with guitarist Iain eventually making a guest appearance on guitar for Trails at their final show back in 2015. It’s all a bit incestual and dutty if you ask me.

How do Wild Tales differ from Trails musically?

Similarities can definitely be drawn between the two but, generally speaking, Trails wrote heavier more punky tracks, whilst Wild Tales are more pop based in both melody and song structure. The ethos of being open to writing whatever feels right and having no limits on the direction or sound of a track is something that I feel both bands have embraced and is something that helped and helps both bands avoid becoming too generic or boring. Continue reading “Band Spotlight: Wild Tales [Interview]”