Haest: Hastings’ New Hardcore Supergroup [Interview]

We spoke to Dan and Mark from new Hastings sludgy-hardcore act Haest about their latest musical project.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

You might have heard the name Haest cropping lately. If you haven’t yet, we guarantee you will soon.

Haest are the latest in South Coast hardcore; hailing from Hastings they’re a vertiable DIY supergroup, feturing members of Matilda’s Scoundrels, The Barracks, Wizard Fight and The Dead Anyways. Seeking a new, heavier musical outlet, these four guys recently banded together to create something fresh. The result is EP #1, which showcases their gritty, sludgy take on hardcore.

We spoke to Dan Flangan (guitar) and Mark Tanner (bass) about their latest endeavour.

For a new band, there’s a lot of buzz about Haest at the moment! What first prompted you to start making music together?

  • Mark: Dan could’ve started the idea off before, but I’m pretty sure I got involved after a few drunken conversations with Dan about a side project for a bit of fun playing some heavier stuff.
  • Dan F: Matilda’s Scoundrels had 10 weeks off at the beginning of the year without a show and I had a bunch of riffs I’d written that weren’t really Scoundrels material. So Mark and I spoke about it then got Dan K onboard.

Haest Live 1.jpg

How would you describe your sound to someone?

  • Dan F: I’m not really sure how to describe it. It’s very mixed. Hardcore driven with sludge/metal elements?
  • Mark: My favourite description I’ve heard is that we’re like a punk Black Sabbath mixed with early Black Flag. I guess we’re sludgy hardcore/punk. Slunk!

Continue reading “Haest: Hastings’ New Hardcore Supergroup [Interview]”

[Interview] Level Up Festival: Ska-punk is Alive and Skanking in South London

We had an in-depth chat with the collective of promoters working on the UK’s best ska-punk festival.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Now in its second year, London’s Level Up Festival is proof that ska-punk certainly ain’t dead. Last year was a sold out skankstravanganza, but 2018’s line-up is even more exceptional, featuring the likes of Random Hand and Lightyear as headliners. In terms of DIY-level festivals, this by far the biggest and best ska-oriented event, taking place at New Cross Inn on July 20th – 22nd.

The event is an unusual collaboration between three promoters, bringing three distinct tastes to their bookings. Paul and Mike Smith who run Be Sharp are London based, with Paul spending his days as the Events Manager at the up-and-coming New Cross Inn. Chris Fishlock runs Bristol-based Fishlock Promotions, known for booking DIY all-dayers, including the well-known Fishstock event. Finally, Jason Berden brings his influence all the way from Belgium, where he also books the incredible El Topo Goes Loco Festival. We spoke to all of them, to get an in-depth insight into Level Up Festival.

LUP17
L-R: Paul Smith, Jason Berden, Chris Fishlock, Mike Smith

Level Up festival is looking incredible this year! Tell us what we can expect.

  • Paul: Some of the best bands in the world and happy faces. Last year was one of the most positive events I’ve been involved with, and that’s mostly down to everyone that travels from all over, purely to have a great time. The floor will be fine too.
  • Jason: Some old legends, such as Lightyear or Random Hand, making their return, as well as some of the best upcoming bands of the UK ska scene. I also added my fellow Belgians in Koala Commission to the Saturday bill, to show our island friends that the mainland scene is as strong as ever before!

Continue reading “[Interview] Level Up Festival: Ska-punk is Alive and Skanking in South London”

Aerial Salad vs. The Raging Nathans [Interview]

Jamie Munro quick-fires questions at Josh Goldman of The Raging Nathans ahead of their UK tour.

Later in July, The Raging Nathans and Aerial Salad are heading out on a killer European tour, taking in 15 dates around the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, inluding Wonk Fest and Rebellion.

The Raging Nathans are a punk rock collective out of Dayton, Ohio, featuring members of The Queers, The Dopamines and The Slow Death, who’ve been going since 2007. They released their second album Cheap Fame through Plasterer Records in April. It’s 13 tracks of melodic, up-beat punk rock, reminiscent of mid-90s Green Day and the golden era of pop-punk rock. Frontman Josh Goldman also heads up the awesome US label, Rad Girlfriend Records.

They pair perfectly with Mancunian Green Day / Jawbreaker wannabes Aerial Salad, who bring catchy pop-eque punk your way, loaded with a lot of fresh, Northern attitude. Vocalist / guitarist / all round handful of a human being, Jamie Munro, is a regular contributor to Shout Louder – if you want to laugh till your jaw hurts check out our recent podcast with him.

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Josh and Jamie getting intense

Shout Louder was recently offered the opportunity to interview Josh on the tour. Reluctant to pass up this marvellous chance for a chat, but with very little time on our hands, we asked Jamie from Aerial Salad to interview him for us. We knew, we’d regret this…

Jamie: Who did 9/11?
Josh: The Jews? Just kidding. My people wouldn’t do that.

Jamie: What your favourite European food?
Josh: Over the counter Tylenol with codeine.

Jamie: What’s a clacker?
Josh: I’ll take you somewhere sometime and show you.

Jamie: Josh, when you were in middle school, what was the worst thing that happened to you?
Josh: Letting a man tattoo me for $20 because he wanted some ecstasy.

Jamie: What’s B1505 about?
Josh: My Grandmother dying and her apartment, that we spent time in when we were kids in New York City. Continue reading “Aerial Salad vs. The Raging Nathans [Interview]”

Symphony of Distraction: Skate-punk, zebra-stripes and dollar-store artwork [Interview]

Bicoastal American skate-punk Symphony Of Distraction shed some light on their new album and their iconically bad artwork.

Article by Alan Corcoran.

Symphony of Distraction are a skate-punk quartet from New York via California, who deal in songs that storm out of your speakers like a sugared-up Tasmanian devil. They’ll leave you dazed with a melody in your head for days.

The band have recently released their second full length album, Horse, on Less Talk, More Records and Interpunk. I talked with guitarist and vocalist Jay Stewart about the writing and recording of the album, that iconic artwork and we may have gotten into jazz piano a bit too…

Congrats on the new album Horse. Are you happy with how it turned out?

Thanks! Yes, we’re happy with how it turned out. We would not have released it until we had it in a place we were happy with. We don’t have any set deadlines or anything like that so we can take our time with it.

How did this one come together by comparison to Call It Off, John?

The biggest difference with how this one came together is that I live 3000 miles away from everyone else in the band now. On the previous albums, we lived relatively close to each other for the majority of the recording process so we could just work on it whenever we wanted. This time we did all of the tracking in Brooklyn over a couple of weeks or so. This mainly changed how Steve’s songs came together because he had to have his songs in a more completed state before we started recording.

What gear did you use this time?

We are not gear heads at all. We use whatever we have around. All of the bass on all 3 records was recorded on a $79 piece of shit bass I bought 10 years ago. We’ve used the same SM58 for the vocals on all 3 records that I’ve probably had for 15 years. It’s fun to try to get good sounds out of shitty equipment.

When mixing, I’ll revisit the SecondShot records I did with Ryan Greene since it gives me a really professional recording reference that I was the singer on.

Symphony of Distraction Live

This album seems to have a little more experimentation in guitar sounds; I’m thinking of Once and Future and United Failure for example… was this a conscious decision or did it just come from messing around with pedals?

We use a lot of computer plugins for that kind of stuff. I’m not a good enough producer to know exactly what I want something to sound like when we’re recording so we do a lot of DI which allows me to mess around with sounds later. It also saves time during the tracking process. Continue reading “Symphony of Distraction: Skate-punk, zebra-stripes and dollar-store artwork [Interview]”

Pkew Pkew Pkew: Toronto’s Hidden Gem [Interview]

Mark speaks to Ontario’s premier power-pop-punks Pkew Pkew Pkew on their recent UK tour.

Interview by Mark Bartlett.

The May 12th was a particularly great day for me. My band, Our Lives in Cinema, had the opportunity to support one of my very favourite bands, Canada’s Pkew Pkew Pkew at London’s famous New Cross Inn. It’s Pkewx3’s first ever European tour and their first UK show. Presale tickets were comfortably into triple digits and everybody was suitably stoked about the fun ahead, what with The Burnt Tapes and The Run Up also playing. I’m also doubly happy because I had the opportunity to interview the band prior to the show.

My fandom meant that I was pretty nervous to meet them, but they quickly put me at ease prior to our recorded chat with a friendly beer in the nearby park. I can happily confirm they’re all a great bunch of dudes. If you’ve never heard Pkew Pkew Pkew, they write concise, insanely catchy pop-punk about drinking, hanging out with your pals and eating pizza… but through a sort of gruff, glorious Bruce Springsteen/The Hold Steady lens. I spoke with them at length to talk about their tour, their upcoming record and their history.

Let’s start with the obvious! How are you?

  • Mike: It’s been awesome. I’ve never been over here before. Everybody’s been really nice to us, fed us, put us up… we’ve been eating really well, actually.
  • Ryan: I think we’ve lost a little bit of weight; we normally gain weight on tour.
  • Dave: There ain’t one Taco Bell in Europe
  • Mike: You don’t even have Taco Bell. We have Taco Bell sponsorship.

Continue reading “Pkew Pkew Pkew: Toronto’s Hidden Gem [Interview]”

Fair Do’s: No One’s Going To Set Standards For You [Interview]

Manchester’s finest talk working-class roots, quality-control and how hard it is to learn your own songs sometimes!

Interview by Sarah Williams. Live photos by Alia Thomas.

Manchester’s melodic hardcore shredders, Fair Do’s, have just announced that they’ll be releasing their first full album Leopards on July 27th, through Lockjaw Records. I have been begging for this album since 2014 and I can’t believe it’s finally happening.

There are few bands that combine hardcore punk with metal in the way Fair Do’s manage to, and they back it up with a hard-earned technical prowess that makes them stand out from the crowd. They formed in 2009 and released an impressive EP Trying Times in 2014, going on to kill it on stage all over Europe, playing with the likes of A Wilhelm Scream, After The Fall, The Decline and H20, including major festivals like Punk Rock Holiday.

I caught up with vocalist/guitarist Danny Cummings and drummer John Holt over a pint, to learn about the hard work they’ve put into Leopards, their working-class sensibilities and why you might hear hints of Beyonce in Danny’s choruses.

You’re releasing a new album: Leopards! That’s exciting. What took you so long?

  • John Holt: Oh, Jesus.
  • Danny Cummings: It took a while recording it, because we did it over weekends.
  • John: I tracked the drums in September 2016.
  • Danny: It was a different beast to the EP. The EP was thrown together: recording guitar at one studio, drums at another. We made a vocal booth in the corner of Josh’s flat for that. Whereas this we’ve done it properly, tracked everything.

Fair Do's Live cred Alia Thomas.jpg

Quality is clearly a major focus for Fair Do’s – it has to be to produce something so wonderfully technical. How do you keep the bar set so high?

  • John: There’s no one there to set standards for you; you can’t expect anyone to go, “You should be better than that.” It’s your job to do that for yourself. No one’s going to care that you had a bad show apart from you.
  • Danny: And the three people stood next to you.
  • John: When people see Fair Do’s as a band stood next to each other, they think we’re going to kill each other. You have to be able to say things and just move onto the next business. Harsh things need to be said occasionally, so sometimes you have to have a shouty, sweary match.

Do you argue with each other a lot, then?

  • John: One of the pitfalls of Fair Do’s is that we produce tunes before we can play them. The songs are written and composed but we can’t actually play them.
  • Danny: We can play them at that we demo them, or try some midi drums. We make sure we’re writing stuff that we can play.
  • John: Yeah, we’re not faking playing stuff, but we’ll come up with ideas that are not obtainable until after many moons of practice.
  • Danny: Dave’s alright, but for the rest of us it’s the sort of stuff we have to sit down and spend an hour a night working on it for six weeks to be able to nail it.

Continue reading “Fair Do’s: No One’s Going To Set Standards For You [Interview]”

A Wilhelm Scream: It’s a Long Hard Road Out There [Interview]

Sarah speaks to melodic hardcore powerhouse A Wilhelm Scream about their upcoming UK tour. “No one will survive. Not even you.”

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Melodic hardcore legends A Wilhelm Scream will be coming to the UK for a seven date tour in June, before heading over to the mainland for an epic month of club shows and festivals with bands like Descendents, Pennywise, Astpai and Darko! We at Shout Louder honestly couldn’t be more excited.

For those unfamiliar with A Wilhelm Scream, they are a 5-piece powerhouse of hardcore talent from New Bedford, Massachusetts. They’ve been killing it on stage since 1999, however the band are probably best known for their classic 2005 album Ruiner and 2007’s Career Suicide. They’re a band who’ve been said to scrap songs from their albums because they’re just ‘fast’ rather than ‘very very fast’, running in the same category as Strung Out, Strike Anywhere or Propagandhi.

As personal heroes of ours, we jumped at the chance to speak to drummer, Nick Angelini, ahead of their UK tour.

Hi Nick! Thanks so much for talking to me.

No problemo.

You’re planning a killer month-long tour around Europe and the UK in June. How do you plan to survive such an awesome few weeks?

No one will survive. Not even you.

You’re touring with Darko, Pennywise, Descendents and Astpai, plus a handful of festival dates. That’s a hell of a line-up. What are you most excited for?

I am super excited to play more shows with Darko. I listened the crap out of the last CD they gave me.  I’m excited to watch them play, knowing the songs now. They are all great bands. Legends. Darko is really kicking my nuts off at the moment.

You’ve got an impressive back-catalogue. Of your recordings, which are you most proud of and why?

I am really proud of all our records. It is hard to pick just one. It’s like having five human babies and saying baby Fernando is my favorite.

What’s your favourite thing to play live?

My favorite thing to play live is my Wail City Drum Kit. I dreamed of building a full drum kit for many years. When I finally pulled it off, I was so happy and proud. Every time I play it on stage I am like a proud pappy. Continue reading “A Wilhelm Scream: It’s a Long Hard Road Out There [Interview]”