Interview: Landscapes

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

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Whilst rarely leaving the press suite at Hit The Deck Festival I also got to catch up with Landscapes, check out what happened:

Landscapes are a band that tour relentlessly and with ‘Life Gone Wrong’ hitting our ears last summer and a new release on the cards Landscapes truly never stop.

We caught up with vocalist Shaun ahead of their set at Hit The Deck Festival. See what he had to say about Europe, Canada and olive paste.

You can find out more about Landscapes via their official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LANDSCAPESUK

HTF: How was Bristol?
Shaun: It was good, to be honest it was a lot better than we expected. We don’t really have much of a following in Bristol so we didn’t expect much, but in terms of the amount of people that were there to see us it was really cool. Personally I think the venues could be worked a little bit better, things were too spaced out but other than that it was a really good show.

HTF: Do you reckon Nottingham can top it?
S: Definitely yeah, because things are so much closer people can just come check us out. This is the first time we are playing Nottingham,  we were supposed to play here about two months ago on The Ghost Inside, Rock Sound and Impericon Tour but it was the first show of the tour and because we had to fetch drums from London and then we met rush hour traffic we missed it.

HTF: How would you describe a live show?
S: At the end of the day I only look at us as another band, so anything that we can bring to the table is a bonus. I do think we sound different but we are all trying just as hard as one and other, we used to be quite a fast sort of hardcore punk band but these days we’ve mellowed out and found more of a common ground so we are finding ourselves as a sort of hardcore kind of emotional rock… to a degree.

HTF: Have you had any unusual riders?
S: Sometimes you get some weird ones, on the Counterparts tour we were in Italy and a guy turned up with our food.  We were starving as we’d driven from Vienna and this guy came in with olive paste, bread and potato chips and we were like I don’t know what to do with this, you can’t mix those things together.

HTF: Weirdest tour incident?
S: So the first time we toured Europe and we played in Forst, Germany. Nobody knew who we were and the venue was in a derelict building so there were a lot of interesting characters there. People just kept flicking the lights out so I ended up sleeping in the van to be away from it all,  but as people left the venue they all kept banging and pissing on the van, I was pretty freaked out.

HTF: So how was the rest of Europe?
S: It’s really good, we did a European run before we really toured in the UK so we’ve always looked at Europe as our main interest as to where we want to tour. They’ve always treated us with great hospitality, given us great opportunities and met tons of people along the way. They look up to bands from the UK and USA so you can’t take it for granted.  When you go over to these countries you can count it as a bit of a holiday and the next you know it’s lads on tour getting really drunk and it can upset a few people and sometimes outstay your welcome so it’s something we tread very carefully with. We try to keep it very respectful but a lot of bands including my band as well can be a nightmare sometimes. European promoters and audiences are more grateful that you’ve made the effort, they make sure you have a good show as much as they want a good show, they always give you a place to sleep flat and the promoters will often go out of their way to make sure you’re fed. They look after you in every way possible.

HTF: Excited about your upcoming tour with Polar Bear Club?
S: We met those guys briefly towards the end of last year at a show in the Bristol.  We played The Fleece with This Is Hell and Polar Bear Club played at The Exchange which was about 20 minutes down the road. The shows coincided but they were not meant to clash, it was there as a whole show but in the end it made one venue empty and the other very packed. But at the same time it was cool to hang out with those guys. We already knew their drummer Steve Port through a band he used to be in and we had helped them out in the past when they got stuck on the road in the UK so we struck up a friendship through that anyway. So were really excited to be out with those guys, I’ve liked that band for a long time.

HTF: We’ve heard there are plans to tour Canada?
S: It’s in talks, we toured with Counterparts who are from Canada and we hit off with them really well. They’re very similar to us in music style we had the same crowd reaction so there was no idea of ‘oh you got a better crowd than us tonight’ it was exactly the same for both of us. So we sort of talked about touring together and getting on their release tour. And no they are recording their new album we confirmed so it’s all still in talks at the moment, but it is definitely in the making.

HTF: What’s next for 2013?
S: So there is the Polar Bear Club tour, a number of festivals, Canada plans. I am the mother of the band so I liked to know what’s going on. We are in talks of other tours so I don’t want to say anything about them at the moment. We always writing and working on releasing another full length for early 2014.


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Interview: Attack! Attack!

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I was one of the few lucky people to get to speak with Attack! Attack! on the day they finally split up, it was also my first ever proper interview with a band after The Colour Line warmed me up. Check out what happened here:

After various line –up changes we met with new vocalist Phil Druyor and guitarist Sean Bell of Attack Attack! before their set at Hit The Deck festival this weekend.
Prior to their announcement that Attack Attack! were calling it a day it is easy to see now why they were so  ambiguous about their future. Check out what happened with one of the last interviews with them here.

HTF: How’s the UK treating you?
Phil (Vocals): This is my first time here and I love it the culture is awesome.
Sean (Guitar): The band was last here about a year ago and we love it.
Phil: The buildings are sick, London was sick, Bristol was sick, I got my hair cut!

HTF: How do UK shows compare to American?
Phil: It’s actually not a huge difference honestly.
Sean: We kind of came in not knowing what to expect from the crowds with a different vocalist coming over so who knows.

HTF: How was Bristol? Do you think Nottingham can top it?
Phil: Awesome, we stayed in a hotel on a canal.
Sean: But we had to pay for the internet. But we’ve heard a lot of good things about Nottingham, we’ve heard this is the place to play shows and the venue is awesome so were looking forward to it. Although there is always room for improvement, so even if you play the most awesome show you can always top the last one but from what we’ve heard Nottingham is the place to do it.

HTF: You don’t tour the UK that often, how does it feel to be back?
Sean: All of us tour the US so much but we are all so used to the same venues,
Phil: But when you show up to the venues you always know where the bathroom is, you know where the bar is, you know where load in is, you know where you can park for most shows,
Sean: The wifi password is already saved in your phone!
Phil: So when we are here it’s like everything is new and everything is something that has to be figured out for the first time.
Sean: Plus it’s really cool having an accent,
Phil: It means are a little bit nicer to me when I ask for directions.

HTF: Who are you excited to see today?
Phil: This or the Apocalypse but our set times conflict!

HTF: What’s the best tour rider you’ve ever had?
Sean: With this band the rider tends to be pretty typical, but the weirdest rider I’ve ever had was in China, we didn’t ask for a rider and they gave us what they thought Americans would want – a lot of Spam.
HTF: Do any of your instruments have names?

Sean: All of them have names! It just comes to me, I just see the guitar and know what it’s called. Actually my guitar for this tour has the least interesting name, it’s the Seanigan.  I think I’m going to name my next guitar Aladdin.
Phil: That’s a pre-emptive name now you don’t even know if it’s going to call for that!
HTF: Any advice for surviving festivals?

Phil: At home it’s so hot so I’d say drink a lot of water, but it’s really dim here so it’s not like everyone is sweating all the time so maybe sleep.
Sean: Which we are a band are really bad at, we find ourselves most productive between the hours of 3am and 6am.

HTF: What’s next for 2013?
Phil: Honestly it’s going to be a bit of a ride for us, there are a few things that we can’t talk about just yet but the latter half of the year is going to be full of surprises.
Sean: Unfortunately our tongues are tied but good things are to come! There is so much stuff that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t realise. There are the inner workings of being in a band which is also has to be business unfortunately, realistically it sucks to think about it like that but if you can’t make enough money you can’t tour, you have to be able to support yourself. So you have to do all the behind the scenes stuff to make it work and it’s been interesting but it’s working out.


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Interview: Empress

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I got to interview the lovely Empress at Hit The Deck Festival this year, check out what happened and try and give them a listen these guys are going to be massive.

It is impossible to pin down Empress as a band, the juxtapose lashing guitars with pensive time changes amalgamating into a whole new sound that Empress have paved the way for.
With new releases on the horizon we caught up with Empress after their set at Hit The Deck  and ahead of their tour with Bring Me The Horizon. See what happened here.

You can find out more about Empress via their official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Empressband

HTF: So how was the set? Did you prefer Bristol or Nottingham?
Ollie(Guitar/Vocals): Nottingham definitely, the venue was better and there were more people.
Alex(Bass): We are more established in Nottingham from what we’ve heard.

HTF: So who are you excited to see today?
Alex: Canterbury
Ollie: Feed The Rhino

HTF: Do any of your instruments have nicknames?
Ollie: Mine is just my baby,
Tom (Guitar): Your bass has a name right?
Alex: John Ellis? Everyone usually gives them girls names and mine is called John Ellis. It is a ridiculously old bass from 1973 so  at some point somebody called John Ellis has put their name on it.

HTF: Weirdest tour incident?
Ollie: They all involve our drummer basically.
Alex: He just loses his mind when he drinks.
Ollie: He had so much Jager I started on him it was that bad. I probably shouldn’t say anymore because he’ll read this, so he is lovely apart from that.

HTF: Any advice on how to handle festivals?
Ollie: We can’t even handle them, yesterday it got to nine o’clock and I was ready for bed. At the start of the day I was like ‘I’m going to get smashed today’ then it got to nine o’clock and I was done.
Tom: He was eating porridge in the service station.
Ollie: Yeah, just not speaking to anyone.
Alex: We just got cups of tea because we were knackered.
Ollie: It’s just not drinking loads, we knew we had to play today so we wanted to be on it.
Alex: Don’t drink too early, or drink too early but hammer it and keep up that pace till the end of the day.
Ollie: If you drink all day you just get to that stage where you go full zombie.

HTF: Are you all prepared for your upcoming tour with Bring Me The Horizon?
Ollie: No doubt something will happen to Ed our drummer.
Alex: We do like to party.

HTF: What is an Empress live performance like?
Ollie: We’re trying to convince people should like us.
Alex: Not that it is a sound that people get it, and I think people liked it when we played with Cancer Bats and we were worried they might not. Like it’s big and it’s dynamic and it kind of goes between soundscapey and then really heavy then ambient stuff like that. I guess it is a bit of a journey.
Ollie: Our main thing is to just be honest because we want to write music we want to hear, and it is the same thing live, don’t try to be something you’re not.

HTF: What is next for 2013?
Ollie: Our album is coming out, and then releasing videos and singles.
Alex: Download, that’s going to be huge for us.
Ollie: Our album is the main thing and getting our name out there.
Alex: We did spend a lot of time getting our shit sorted before, everyone looks at us as a knew
Ollie: We’ve been playing for about four years together
Alex: Before anyone even knew we were a band.


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