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]”

Ed Hall: Grafting To Make Your Dreams A Reality [Interview]

All Silk Mastering House has been Ed’s dream project. He got an insight into how he’s made that dream a reality.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

What’s your dream project? Each and every one of us has that fantasy in our heads: a vocation, a band or a goal that we hope we’ll one day be able to make real.

Well, Ed Hall’s dream is All Silk Mastering House and, through hard graft and dedication, he’s made it a reality. You may know Ed from Egos At The Door, but nowadays he’s probably better known for his talented ear and knack for exceptional audio production.

This year he’s finally been able to realise his dreams, by building a bespoke space for mixing and mastering, now offering quality and attention to detail at competitive rates. We spoke to Ed about his love for all things audio and all the hard work and emotional investment that’s gone into to this.

Firstly, give us a little overview of what you do at All Silk Mastering House – explain to us laymen what do you get up to?

For sure! A mastering house is an audio suite (which is more or less a control room, minus being attached to a live room) geared towards mastering as opposed to, say, mixing or recording. An engineer who specialises in mastering takes the final mixes which are often years in the making and analyses their objective traits. Every final mix will have strengths and weaknesses so the processes play to and accentuate or diminish these traits with the end goal of making a competitively loud and tonally pleasing track.

There is more or less a standard intrinsic loudness to most music, especially now, so that it can play amongst thousands of other tracks on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, CD players, iPods and not sound out of place, quieter, uncomfortably distorted/louder or at all noticeably off in comparison to the average.

It’s a mastering engineer’s job to deliver the best version they can of the audio they are provided while ticking these boxes. Of course in the real world it is much more subjective and subtle than this with sympathy to the art/the vision/taste…

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What was your vision for All Silk when you first started out?

I think I had made a decision to push toward mastering maybe 4-5 years ago. I was much more of an all round audio guy at the time, which meant every couple of months a DIY band would need mastering done and I’d just do it! Continue reading “Ed Hall: Grafting To Make Your Dreams A Reality [Interview]”

Podcast: Punk Rock Holiday Cocktail Special #2

Listen to Sarah getting drunk with Spoilers, Rebuke and Captain Trips on this second Punk Rock Holiday special.

On today’s podcast, we will be whisking you back in time to the beautiful, sun-drenched beach at Punk Rock Holiday. Sarah grabbed Spoilers, Rebuke and Captain Trips for a chat at Slovenia’s premier punk festival. Grab a drink, put your feet up and listen to us getting progressively drunker as the day goes on.

Ben Davis and Dan Goatham from Kentish punks Spoilers have just released a sterling debut album in the form of Roundabouts. They’re a hilarious bunch so we jumped at the change to discuss the album, their summer holiday plans and

We speak to Petter Mossberg and Phil Nordling from skate-punks Rebuke. We share a pina colada, discuss their 15 years as a band, the current Swedish music scene and some of the bands they currently admire.

Finally, we spoke to Rich Mayor of Portsmouth skate-punks Captain Trips. We were officially 10+ cocktails deep at the time of recording, so it’s nice to have a recorded reminder of a conversation we’d no doubt have forgotten. We cover important topics like showering, cress, sweat, flip-flops, Dean Gaffney and solo projects.

I highly recommend sticking around to the end, as Sarah’s sobriety goes rapidly downhill in quite an amusing way. As Petter quite accurately puts it, “You meet too many cocktails.”

We play the following songs:

  • Spoilers – Roundabouts (from album Roundabouts is out now on Little Rocket Records, SBAM Records and Boss Tunage)
  • Rebuke – Take To The Seas (from their album Wouldworks, out on Disconnect Disconnect Records)
  • Captain Trips – Bottom Of The River (from their EP Stand By now on Umlaut Records)

If you enjoyed this, check out our first PRH Cocktail Special with Ducking Punches, The Murderburgers and Dead Neck.

La Armada: “Furious Is Our Nature” [Interview]

Latino/Chicago hardcore act La Armada share the secrets to their uniquely ferocious sound, and their dual passion for music and politics.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

La Armada bring a passion and ferocity to the stage that’s rarely seen, even in the hardcore punk scene. Starting life in the Dominican Republic, they’re heavily influenced by latin and Caribbean rhythms, but they’ve since relocated to Chicago via Florida, where a love for thrash, hardcore and grind has galvanized their fiery sound.

To relocate from Latin America to the USA for a shared musical project shows overwhelming dedication but they’re not stopping there: lyrically they’re aiming to be a voice for those who don’t have one, in Donald Trump’s America. Musically they’re seeking to defy genres and leave their own mark on the world.

We spoke to guitarist Paul and bassist Mani to learn more about this unique band.

I was lucky enough to catch you guys live at Punk Rock Holiday last year – I was floored by your live show. What did you most enjoy about your time in Europe?

Paul: A lot of things! I think the biggest one is the passion people have for music. I remember walking around precisely at Punk Rock Holiday and seeing groups of people marching around between bands and just singing songs from their favorite bands from the weekend out loud, just excited to be there and to see live music. You really don’t see that level of excitement as much on the side of the world we live in. So, definitely the appreciation people have for live music is the top thing we enjoyed seeing.

Aside from that, the experience of traveling country to country and being submerged into different cultures, languages without having to stop at a crosspoint for borders was great. We are planning to be back in Europe in the summer of 2019 with the help of Epidemic Records from Italy, who helped distribute our new record out there.

You released Anti-Colonial Vol. 1 earlier this year – it’s a melting pot of aggressive, latin-influenced hardcore. It’s quite a unique sound. What’s inspired that combination?

Mani: Music is a quintessential part of latin culture and identity. Before we even heard of punk and metal, we where listening to Caribbean merengue, salsa and bachata, and these rhythms had a big impact on our early musical development. By the time we went over every sub-genre of punk and metal (from grind to thrash) it was almost like we where fluent in two languages.

I think our current sound is also a direct result of the process of migrating and relocating to the US, being detached from our friends and families for so long pushed us to find a way to musically reconnect with our culture. Continue reading “La Armada: “Furious Is Our Nature” [Interview]”

Misgivings: Isolation, For Better Or For Worse [Interview]

Southsea gruff punks Misgivings discuss the inspirations for their new album ‘Hermitage’.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Portsmouth’s Misgivings are one of the best gruff, melodic punk bands the UK currently has to offer. Think Iron Chic, Leatherface, Samiam, Osker and you’re on the right track.

We love Misgivings’ intricately melodic, emotive songs and their coarse vocals. Following a string of EPs, they’re due to release their debut album Hermitage via Lockjaw Records and Charlie’s Big Raygun Records in December.

We spoke to vocalist/guitarist Will Pearce to learn more.

Hi Will! I’m madly in love with your new single Call It Off. Do you think this marks a big milestone for the band?

Hi! Thank you and yes it surely does, it’s our first ever video and our first single for Lockjaw which is very special. We made the video in one day and wanted to capture what a typical Misgivings rehearsal looks like.

I’ve had a bit of a sneak preview your new album Hermitage and I’ve fallen in love with it. How long has the album been in the works? You must be excited to share it with the world?

We recorded the album at the end of 2017 with Tim Greaves at Southsea Sound and finished mixing at the beginning of this year. The songs were mostly written in the years since Rob (drums) joined the band, although Shameless dates back to 2013 around the time we first started! Continue reading “Misgivings: Isolation, For Better Or For Worse [Interview]”

Podcast: Tom May from The Menzingers

Enjoy this in-depth chat with the frontman of Pennsylvania’s melodic punk legends The Menzingers.

Cover photo by The Shutter Happy Jose

While indie-punk heroes The Menzingers were touring Europe this summer, Sarah was lucky enough to catch singer and guitarist Tom May for a fantastic chat about creativity, musical growth and stealing Madonna’s tour bus (among other things).

We recorded this conversation at Brakrock Ecofest in Belgium earlier this year. Tom’s an inspiring, interesting individual and a great podcast guest; we’re sure that you’ll enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed recording it.

We managed to cover a lot of ground over just under an hour, plus we play new tunes from The Menzingers, Spanish Love Songs and Triple Sundae. We discussed the journey that brought The Menzingers from Alpha Kappa days up to their current After The Party incarnation, and how their current sound has developed. We covered some van-based hijinks and on-stage food poisoning. We even talked about some of Tom’s personal high points with the band, and some of his interests outside of music.

You can listen here or on Soundcloud directly. You can also subscribe to the Shout Louder Podcast on all good podcatchers, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher and heaps more…

We played the following tunes:

  • The Menzingers – Toy Soldier
  • Spanish Love Songs – Joana, In Five Acts
  • Triple Sundae – Indecisive

Band Spotlight: Lay It On The Line [Interview]

South London’s Lay It On The Line deliver ferocious melodic hardcore. We spoke to vocalist, Alice, to learn more.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

South London’s Lay It On The Line are a brutally fast melodic hardcore quintet, adhering to the popular double-time skate-punk template but twinning it with frenetic, furious anger and a unique combination of male and female vocals.

We spoke to vocalist Alice to learn more about this ferocious band.

Hey! We really enjoyed The Black Museum – it’s heavy as hell! How would you sum up Lay It On The Line for someone who’s just discovering you?

Pretty simply really, we’re fast melodic hardcore. I think every member of the band is a fast punk rock fan so we probably couldn’t play it much differently if we tried! Dual vocals between myself and Mike gives an extra edge to the sound as, whilst we both sing and scream, we do it quite differently.

There’s also a little sprinkling of the occult in there too – Mike is influenced quite a lot by the Process Church of the Final Judgement in his writing and this comes across in a lot of his lyrics, as well as a few song and release titles. The title The Black Museum itself is a direct reference to one of the writings from The Process that talks about how we are obsessed with day to day life and luxuries, forgetting that humanity does a lot of damage to the world.

For me, the thing that sets Lay It On The Line apart from other bands is the combination of your vocals – how did that first come about? Do you think it’s harder writing for two vocals parts?

Mike first asked me to do some guest vocals on some old tracks and it just worked. It was quite organic and when we wrote together for the album it was actually really easy – our ideas just seemed to fit together and in the case of the first track (Level Up), myself and Mike actually found that we’d written about similar experiences without even consulting each other first. Maybe it was just luck, but the whole process was remarkably easy – we’re both pretty open to the other’s ideas and not afraid to say when we don’t like something so it came together very quickly. We only finished the lyrics and arrangements in a few hours the night before we recorded!

Continue reading “Band Spotlight: Lay It On The Line [Interview]”