Koji: Activism, Community & Collaboration [Interview]

We spoke to America singer-songwriter and political activist Koji ahead of his upcoming European tour.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Andrew ‘KOJI’ Shiraki is an American singer-songwriter know for his political activism, plaintive songwriting and his collaborations with bands like La Dispute, Into It Over It, Title Fight and Balance and Composure.

He’s embarking on an extensive tour of Europe in January and February, beignning with a run of UK dates with Such Gold and Ducking Punches before a series of headline solo shows on the mainland.

KOJI has been quiet over the last few years, after spending his 20s on the road. Rested and revitalised, he’s aiming to return to music with renewed energy in 2019. We were keen to speak to him ahead of his UK tour.

Thanks so much for talking to us! You’re embarking a major tour around Europe right now, sharing quite a few dates with Such Gold and Ducking Punches in the UK. What are you most excited for?

It’s been a long time since I’ve been over to the UK or toured anywhere for that matter. My one and only tour last year was with the Movielife in Japan and it’s awesome to now experience the culture here in the UK on the back of that experience. Such Gold and I toured here in 2011, so this is such a cool reunion.

You’ve been to the UK quite a few times before. What keeps bringing you back?

The UK music community is amazing. There are so many friends I’ve made here that continue to enrich my life. I’ve always felt inspired by the people, music, and landscape. When I’m in the UK, it really feels like I’m playing music and not just going through the motions. In life, you have to trust the places where you feel joy. Continue reading “Koji: Activism, Community & Collaboration [Interview]”

Band Spotlight: City Mouse [Interview]

Soulful Southern Californian punks City Mouse are a breath of fresh air. We had a quick chat with Miski Dee to learn more.

Southern Californian punk trio City Mouse have crept into the hearts and minds of punk fans in the last few years, humbly becoming a more familiar name. You may have caught the in the UK in 2018 as part a tour with beloved Scottish power-punks The Murderburgers – they’re a treat live!

In support of that tour, Little Rocket Records released the latest City Mouse album Get Right in a limited edition crimson vinyl.

We spoke to vocalist and guitarist Miski Dee to learn more.

Your latest album, Get Right, gives a big tug to the emotional heartstrings. Was that something you sent out to do when you started writing for it?

No. I’ve always used songwriting to work out heartache. It’s not intentional. It’s just something I absolutely have to do to help myself.

What inspired you most when writing for the album?

Just life and loss, really. Continue reading “Band Spotlight: City Mouse [Interview]”

Main Line 10: Fierce Spanish Melodic Hardcore [Interview]

We speak to Dani about Main Line 10’s 13 year history, their influences and their plans for 2019.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Main Line 10 deliver a whirlwind of positive melodic hardcore loaded with adrenaline. Originating from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, they’re one of the most exciting live acts Europe has to offer.  Their latest release The Fox featured on our Top 10 Punk Rock Albums of 2018, and they’re due an appearance at Manchester Punk Festival in April.

After falling madly in love with their latest record, we were keen to speak to drummer Dani Amengual about their 13 year history as a band, their latest release and their touring plans for 2019.

You’ve been together since 2005. How do you think you’ve grown as a band, and as people in that time?

As a band I think we could have done more things and better, for example our two first records sound like crap! (AdrenaLine released 2006 and Today Is Tomorrow released 2009) We could have done more tours and more shows but when you start a band at 17/18 years old, nobody tells you how to to those things, and didn’t have social media in 2005.

I think we’ve grown well as a band and as people. We are the same as we were in the beginning with the same humor, same bad jokes and with a strong friendship between us… We’re fatter and have more hair in our faces but, in the end: the same. Continue reading “Main Line 10: Fierce Spanish Melodic Hardcore [Interview]”

Band Spotlight: The Friday Prophets [Interview]

Introducing Swedish punk rockers The Friday Prophets. FFO: The Bouncing Souls, Not On Tour, Green Day.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

The Friday Prophets are a Stockholm based punk rock band who ooze energy, positivity and good times. They’ve recently released their second album In The Key Of Sublimation via their own label Holy Howl Records. It’s exciting, upbeat punk rock with heart of gold that’ll appeal to punkrockers worldwide!

We spoke to Mattias Robertson to get a proper introduction to the band.

How would you sum up The Friday Prophets for someone who’s just discovering you?

I would say that we are a punk rock band from Stockholm that tries to unify the harmonic part of punk rock with the more gritty side of it. Then I would recommended some songs to check out! Which songs? I would say Reason, Where Are You?, La La La and With You. That oughta be enough for a start!

What inspired you most when writing your album, In The Key of Sublimation?

First of all, I would say music in general. I listen to a lot of music and it just inspires me and makes me want to pick up the guitar and start writing something on my own.

Regarding the sound, there have definitely been some albums that have been particularly influential and these are: Lifetime‘s self-titled album, Green Day’s Dookie, Against Me!‘s Transgender Dysphoria Blues and The Bouncing Souls‘ self-titled album and How I Spent My Summer Vacation. To me these are exceptional records, the kind of records that you can rediscover again and again. Continue reading “Band Spotlight: The Friday Prophets [Interview]”

[spunge]: 25 Years And Still Going Strong [Interview]

Alan caught up with frontman Alex to talk about keeping things positive, playing the old songs and teabagging. Not that type of teabagging, relax.

Interview by Alan Corcoran.

Almost twenty five years in the game and the ska-punkers with the square brackets, [spunge] are still going strong. Latest single Liar is a blend of catharsis and upbeat rhythms. We caught up with frontman Alex to talk about keeping things positive, playing the old songs and teabagging. Not that type of teabagging, relax.

Firstly, seeing as I was there, I have to say congrats on your headlining slot in Boomtown this past summer. What do you remember from that night?

Awesome – nice and muddy wasn’t it..? We had a blast. It was our first time at Boomtown and with so much going on we didn’t know what to expect but the place was stuffed full… and we had a blast, seriously enjoyed it and as we only played a few shows this year it was great to play live for sure. Definitely one we would like to revisit.

One of my memories is of teabags being thrown into the crowd..is this normal at your shows or do tea bags just become part of the life of a maturing band?

Not really, it was more that the only thing left on the rider at that time of night was the tea and coffee… if we’d have played earlier it may have been cheese and beer… who knows… Continue reading “[spunge]: 25 Years And Still Going Strong [Interview]”

Podcast: Mute & One Hidden Frame

Double interview with two of melodic hardcore’s technical powerhouses.

Over the summer, Sarah got the opportunity to chat with two of the international fast-punk scene’s most stunningly melodic acts.

Firstly, at Brakrock Ecofest in Belgium, Sarah caught up with Étienne Dionne and Alexis Trépanier from Canadian technical masters Mute, a band who’ve been stunning audiences with their unrivalled guitar work for 20 years. As true legends of the tech scene they have a brilliant selection of tour tales to share with us.

Later, at Punk Rock Holiday, Sarah had a fun chat with Pekka Multaharju and Emil Stenbäck from One Hidden Frame: a brilliant melodic hardcore band from Lappeenranta in Finland and one of Shout Louder’s personal favourites.

One Hidden Frame have been going since 2002, however some of their best work has come in the form of their 2017 album Harmful Content and their recently released split EP with Thousand Oaks. We were absolutely delighted to get to chat to one another, and no doubt you’ll enjoy it too.

If you’re a fan on technical, interesting melodic hardcore, then you will love this podcast. Even if that’s not your bag musically, we’re sure you’ll love our chat.

These were the songs we played:

  • Mute – Fill The Void
  • Adrenalized – Crawling From The Ashes (feat. Étienne Dionne)
  • One Hidden Frame – Exploding Head Syndrome
  • Fullcount – The Motion (feat. Étienne Dionne)

Incisions: The Sound Of Young, Working-Class Anger [Interview]

“Like Minor Threat had been dragged through every bar in Manchester,” Incisions are ready to tear your world apart.

Interview by Sarah Williams. Photos by Cold Front Photography.

Incisions are a fresh, no-nonsense, blast of fury from Manchester, who’ve just announced that they’ll be releasing their self-titled debut album via DIY legends TNS Records in December.

Incisions’ Quit Now was one of our Top 5 Releases of 2017 and their new material promises even more exciting things. Seen live, their fast, take-no-prisoners approach captivates audiences.  We spoke to vocalist/guitarist Jordan Lloyd to get the latest on their new album and their plans to conquer the scene.

Hey Jordan! How would you sum up Incisions for someone who’s just discovering you?

Hey! We are heavily influenced by all the hardcore bands and Slayer but like to try and bring a bit more melody into the songs. We try to play everything as fast as we can. We recently were told we are ‘the audio equivalent of a brick through a window’. I liked that.

Tell me a bit about how Incisions came to be – how did the band form?

I moved to Manchester a few years ago ’cause I wanted to start a band and there place where me and Steab (guitarist) grew up had no music scene at all. I found a really good drummer. We put an ad out for a bassist and met Mandog. We then met up at the first Manchester Punk Festival and obviously MPF is enough to make anyone want to start a band… we were both pretty overwhelmed by the whole weekend as is the case for everyone that goes, so we were much more serious about what we wanted to do after that.

Our drummer moved back to Spain before we really got going, but Tom joined straight away and then took it up a level. We’d written our first EP after a couple of weeks. Tom left just after we finished recording Quit Now. Stefan has been playing live with us since the second EP.

You’ve undergone some line-up changes since then, too. Give us an update – what’s the line-up looking like now?

Yeah, Archie (a.k.a. Betty Egg) from Clayface is playing bass for us now which is ace cos I love him and he’s pretty easy to influence when I want to go out and get drunk.

Andy is now playing drums for us he plays in Animal Byproducts as well, he’s from Barnsley so none of us can understand a word that he says but he seems friendly.

Stefan is still killing it on his snide Gibson and they all still have to put up with me!

I was completely gripped by the Quit Now EP you released last year, in fact it was in our Top 5 EPs of 2017. How does the album differ to the EP musically?

Yeah, thanks for that. We were really proud of making that list!

I think we started to find our sound when writing the last EP but we had come to terms with it when we wrote the album, so this was a bit more focused in that sense. Someone said it sounds like Minor Threat had been dragged through every bar in Manchester. I think it’s a bit more direct lyrically than the EPs have been and there are more riffs. Continue reading “Incisions: The Sound Of Young, Working-Class Anger [Interview]”