Category Archives: Interview

Interview with Last Bee On Earth

The Last Bee On Earth’s debut full length album Prism Break is out in the open right now! So no fancy introduction, just listen to a tune and read the exclusive interview!

The Last Bee On Earth is a very evocative name. When exactly did you first start working on your solo career?

I’ve been writing songs since I was in my early teens. I was always better at creating my own or improvising entire songs on the spot than playing covers.  I’d start to learn someone else’s track and it would quickly spark an idea or a feeling of my own that quickly turned into something else, so I didn’t learn in the traditional way, but I absorbed a lot of different music, Delta Blues, house, Grunge, Rock, Jazz which affected my own style. 
It’s great to have influences, but ultimately, there’s an original fire in all of us, that’s what I like to play with musically, and in life! 
The name came to me from the aether, as most things do. Last Bee on Earth was the whisper and so it had to be that.  I knew it would make sense further down the line.  You cant go against the flow! 
It has a few different levels to it apart from the obvious environmental vibes, I’ll keep that mystery open a little! 

Your music is truly the work of a solo artist as it encapsulates your entire world view, philosophy and spirituality…

Thank you! So many people, in this crazy world, try to project themselves as something they aren’t or want to be.  That’s not a judgement, that’s how this place works, it’s a circular copy factory! But it’s not how I work.  Finding who we truly are and why we are here was my ultimate goal, always has been.  I’m just trying to get a feeling across, documenting my thoughts and otherworldly adventures of the Now, like a musical time capsule! 

… your lyrics refer to the wheel of life, the duality of man, nature… and you seem to have a pre-occupation with the devil…

I spent a lot of time with Robert Johnson as a kid, that may have had an impact! The blues was my musical start really and still the core of my guitar playing,  you can hear elements on the album in songs like ‘White Light’ and ‘Two Wolves’. 
It’s all a documentation of my spiritual journey really, themes and ultimately, my experience here on Earth.  I look at life from an outside perspective looking in, I usually sit back and let the higher Mike takeover to be honest.  He’s a creative maniac, I’m just along for the ride! But we need each other 🙂 Were both from the Stars. 

Can you run us through the album track by track?

In the Woods / Prism Break 
(it was just a regular day in the forest, until a doorway appeared) 
Ebb and Flow 
(Quantum Fluctuations in the Aether and coming changes)
White Light 
(Reincarnation Traps) 
Testament Song 
(Duality and Fire) 
Human Heart 
(An important health and safety message about protecting yourself from unwanted forces) 
Two Wolves 
(Duality, you become which Wolf you feed the most) 
Here Comes the Wave 
(Maybe I’m letting people know about something that’s coming, something BIG) 

Which instrument do you write on?

Predominantly on guitar, however when you’re pretty (I guess accomplished is the word) on your instrument I find that can take away from the songwriting.  
This album wasn’t about what I can do with the guitar, so that became secondary really.  It was about trying to get what was in my head into the physical, so I built some of the tracks up from beats and piano strictures so some of the songs were a little less guitar based.

Prism Break is a lot more “song based” than the Prologue EP and talking of Prologue, ‘World On Fire’ is a huge dazzling song that Richard Ashcroft dreams  of making! How, when and why did it come about, It’s very emblematic of your music…

Ah man, it’s old that! It was probably recorded about 2009 when I was just learning how to make my own recordings with a new set up.  To me, it sounds very old as the voice has developed a lot in that space of time.  However, production aside it does have its place so I’m glad it featured on Prologue along the more experimental chaos! 

My mate John asks after listening to ‘The Concept Of Alan Watts’… “Are the philosophies of Alan Watts to you… or did you create music to accompany his readings because his voice sounds like Hal from Stanley kubricks 2001?”

A bit of both! That track was recorded the day after a heavy weekend at Liverpool Psych Fest a few years back.  Can you tell!? Alan Watts is a great philosopher so it was fun to create that track and improvise around his voice.  And obviously to make him sound like HAL! 

Your record and produce your music yourself, right?

I’m a one stop shop! I’ve had to do it this way to keep costs down.  I create so much material it isn’t feasible to pay for all the mixing and mastering that would be needed.  I’m opening a new studio space very soon with my wingman Craig, I’m really excited about that.  I like Air! 
I wanted to keep a realism about Prism Break.  Its not shiny inside, it’s a shithole! So if anything, I under produced it.  Imaginging I was recording in analogue, post blast and technology… Last Bee would use a tape deck not Pro Tools, that’s the vibe (to me anyway!) 
It was mostly created in a converted shed… I didn’t want to fully bury that reality! 
The next album will sound very different.  

You’re also playing with The Winachi Tribe…!!

Yeah man! That’s my full time gig, being a Tribesman.  It’s a beautiful roller-coaster, I love it.  I get to play with top musicians, friends and to experience collective bouts of rock and Funk madness.  What we’ve done in the last year is beyond expectations, It’s like the Funk dreamboat! 
How was it playing on the West Coast on tour with them?
Who doesn’t want to go touring Los Angeles and California! We’ve got and have made loads of friends in the U.S.  The support for the Tribe is strong stateside and our last trip culminated in supporting The Charlatans at the Teragram Ballroom, working with the X man (John X, Bowie, Black Grape, Inxs) at his amazing studio off Venice Beach.  Good times! 

What’s next with the Tribe?

I honestly can’t yell you, but it’s bigger than your Average planet and there are lots of amazing, mind blowing things happening in the world of the Winachi Tribe! 

How hard is it to balance being in groups with a solo career?

Easy! My music is what I do when I’m not doing anything else.  Some people watch TV, drink beer, I write and produce music pretty much all the time. I also teach music so it’s a full time music based life.  
It is important to me to get my stuff out to people who want to listen, but i’ve no grand ideas of becoming a solo star, I have too much fun with the Tribe, I’d be bored on my own! 

Do you think solo artists are a dying breed? 

No. But maybe Solo artists with something real to say are? 

Down here we worship on the altars of John Cale, Tom Verlaine and Julian Cope. As a solo artist, which solo artists do you listen to?

Robert Johnson, Ian Brown, Jose Gonzalez, Johnny Cash, Pj Harvey, a mixed bag! 

For the tech heads, what guitars and gear do you play?

My main guitar is a 74 Fender Strat with Kinsman Woodstock Pickups, plus a load of blues guitars.  My favourite guitar in the world is my new Taylor 322e acoustic, built in the Heavens! It blows my mind everytime I play, touch or look at it! 
I’ve got loads of amps but at the moment I’ve gone full Borg and I’m using a Digital Keeper Profiling Amp with the Tribe! It sounds great and is obviously really useful in the studio.  I haven’t located it’s Soul yet but I’m working on it!

Prism Break is available right now and we heartily suggest you buy this treasure chest of psych-folk gems!

https://lastbeeonearth.bandcamp.com/album/prism-break

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Interview – Dead Sea Apes on Warheads

Warheads is a unique collaboration between Stockport’s kings of heavy space noise Dead Sea Apes and the artist Adam Stone, described on bandcamp as:

Classic British pessimism and speculative dystopian fiction entwine with morbid social commentary and a long piss-streak of bleak humour. This is a claustrophobic and self-contained world where paranoid bunker mentality goes for a Pot Noodle with a faded society always teetering on the brink of collapse, ranting street-punk drops bad acid, and Space Station fuses with Bus Station.
Standing their ground in a dirty jumbled junkyard between Robert Calvert’s schizoid Hawkwind monologues, Dead Kennedys’ stinging cranked-up racket, Gil Scott-Heron’s rhythmic social polemic, Butthole Surfers’ deep-brain-fried psychpunk and John Cooper Clarke’s wry wit.

We were lucky to catch up with Mr Brett Savage, head honcho of Dead Sea Apes to go deep into Warheads; where it came from, how it happened and lot, lots more!

While reading, why not listen to the full album on bandcamp, you can listen to it right here and at £8 it’s a bargain for a masterpiece of the modern age.

Ok, tell us about Warheads – what is it and why should we buy it?

Warheads is the first proper full album that we have made with Adam Stone. We had worked
with Adam a couple of times before and thought that this really was a natural progression.
Although it is very much a collaboration, I see Warheads as being an Adam Stone album,
where Dead Sea Apes are his house band. I kinda see our collaborations with Adam in the
same way that Michael Moorcock worked with Hawkwind, or how when Robert Calvert
dragooned in Hawkwind members to play on his solo work, that kind of arrangement. We
don’t share a squat in Ladbroke Grove, though.

How, when and why did you first start working with Adam Stone?

We first met Adam at a show at the sadly now defunct Kunst Gallery (R.I.P) in Belper. The
shows used to follow a loose mixed media approach where a band would normally follow
someone doing a spoken word performance. Adam had told me that his performance would
be a dystopian monologue where he toyed with the idea of analog synth noises burbling
away in the background as he delivers his intergalactic status report. I idly suggested that I
wouldn’t mind adding a few ad hoc noises live whilst he played, not giving much thought as
to what that would entail. As it got closer to the show, I asked Chris Hardman (drums) if he
would help me construct a drone in the background to complement my synthy warbles (Chris
is a sound engineer for the Beeb by trade). So, when it came around to doing the
performance, Chris did some live manipulation of the drone whilst I added some improvised
noises on the synth. Feeling a little left out, our bass player Nick (who has since left for
pastures new) started to pick up his bass and join in. Now, Chris records everything for
posterity and the performance was very well received, so Cardinal Fuzz suggested that we
release it as a one-sided vinyl, which was released as ‘In The Year 2039’.
At the time, we were putting ‘Sixth Side Of The Pentagon’ together. We had discussed
bringing other voices into the album. We had also discussed how ‘Sixth Side’ should reflect
our geopolitical views in some way (which is pretty tricky as an instrumental band, believe
me). Adam is both a political and sociological lecturer. Given how impressed we were with
his stand out performance, it almost seemed like the stars had aligned to bring us all
together.

https://deadseaapes.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-year-2039

How did the full album come about?

After ‘Sixth Side’ was finished, we always knew that we would want to maintain a creative
relationship with Adam (who wouldn’t?), We had done a live version of ‘Tentacles’ with Adam,
so we knew that we could get things together in the rehearsal room and that it did seem that
the next logical step would be to do an album together.
Seeing as Dead Sea Apes have generally worked within the instrumental spectrum,
how was the change to working with a vocalist?
I suppose all of us had been in bands with vocalists before, so it didn’t really seem that odd,
and especially as we had done live stuff with Adam, we were pretty much comfortable in
each other’s presence. Adam really took the bit between his teeth.

Did DSA make the music to fit the words, did Adam write around the music? Just how
collaborative was the process? How long did the album take to write and record –
from a production point of view it sounds like a million dollars.

At the point where we started Warheads (which was originally going to be titled Ancoats
Community Centre Raga Workshop), Nick had left the band to start his own business, so Dead Sea Apes was just Chris and I. Our usual process of writing in Dead Sea Apes is to do
long jams; listen back, pick out stuff that we like, drop in any creative suggestions or
directions and develop it from there. We knew that Adam was only there for a limited time,
but it just seemed to flow naturally. Adam had a few pointers where he wanted it to go but
gave us all the space for it to be processed through the DSA machine and then just picked
up the baton and ran wherever it went. Alternatively, Chris and I would start working up a riff
or an idea, and Adam would conjure something from his big black ring bound book of words
– which was perhaps more in keeping with our usual methodology. Nothing seemed to faze
Adam though, he was always more than up to the task.
I honestly thought that Adam would do a series of monologues and spoken word pieces in
the Moorcock/Cooper Clarke style, but he obviously had a bit of latent vocalist waiting to
bust out of him.

As for how the album sounds, well… that’s all down to Chris’s consummate skill as producer,
engineer and musician. Everything that we record is recorded in the rehearsal room, but you
would never know given how good Chris with his production. Personal biases aside, he is
pretty bloody amazing.

I love the album art! Who designed it and what does it mean? Is it partly a reference to
The Thing?

That’s all Adam’s work. He has a massive collection of grotesque, amusing and insightful
stunning drawings that we could pull from. Presumably, he draws these in lesson times
when he’s meant to be marking exercise books.

The first track is huge surprise, sounding as it does, like the Dead Kennedy’s! Where
did that come from??

Again, some of the steers came from Adam. He envisioned that kind of nexus of psychedelic
punk, punks on acid vibe – Hawkwind, Chrome, Butthole Surfers etc but I think his inner
Jello was maybe activated by the surf-y East Bay Ray-ness of the opening riff? He had the
germ of an idea but it quickly got recomputed by Chris and I.

https://deadseaapes.bandcamp.com/track/inside-of-me

I love the groove on ‘Retreat To Your Bunker’! The bass reminds me of ‘Telephone
Thing’; by The Fall!

Well spotted, that man. We sketched out the song without a bassline, so I had suggested a
sort of Gil Scott Heron type of thing which is kind of reflected in the bass line that Chris (who
is, coincidentally, a huge fan of The Fall) came back with.
I’m kind of put in mind of the beginning of Frankie’s Two Tribes with this song. We resisted
the temptation to record it whilst wearing white vests, though. We are children of the 80’s
after all, and the fear of nuclear annihilation was ever present after being fed the nightmare
fuel of Threads, When The Wind Blows and any number of worryingly sober public
information films.

Parts of the album don’t sound anything like Dead Sea Apes, how was it playing
totally new styles?

That was quite a refreshing break in all honesty. I think that with Warheads, we were given
the chance to play around with styles and themes a bit, whereas with DSA (and without
trying to sound pretentious), the sound pretty much comes straight from the heart.

PiL’s Metal Box is an obvious comparison for me, with Adam as the sermonising John
Lydon.

Well, I think Adam had kind of picked up that PiL are a big influence for us, as I think it is for
is for him. As far as the sermonising goes, especially with ‘Reduced To Zero’, I think that he is
plugging into some real contemporary anxieties with how KPI and ‘target culture’ have
pervaded every aspect of everyday life. That’s how I read it, anyway. I’m sure that he’d be
able to explain it a lot more eloquently.

One of the things I like most about DSA is how a track on an album tends to pave the
way for the album after. ‘The Sixth Side Of The Pentagon’ is the gateway to the album of the same name, on which ‘Tentacles’; sets the precedent for Warheads. I love how your discog is like tumbling down a rabbit hole. Can you tell us about this creative process and how deliberately you set out to make this chain?

There is always a bit of a time lag between when an album is released and what you are
working on currently, so it can feel like a bit like that we are all over the place with ideas but I
like to think that there is some consistency. The idea with DSA is to try and filter our
influences organically and variedly through our music. I like to think that we avoid being
generic or being too keen to hop on whichever vogueish influence comes into circulation. I
always thought that input = output. Opening yourself up to lots of music fills your head with a
wider set of ideas to process and percolate down to your own sounds. We’ve always been
keen to share music between us.
I think a lot the ideas have developed over time, too. Dub is something that cropped up
pretty early with us as a band. I’ve always been interested where that intersects with rock
music e.g The Clash, PiL, The Pop Group etc. We also came of age in the 90’s where
remixes were the norm as B-sides and stuff and they were often pretty dubby, especially
from the likes of Adrian Sherwood, The Orb and Andrew Weatherall etc. Also factor in the
way bands like Massive Attack, Little Axe and others who would introduce quite leftfield
guitar ideas to be reprocessed that through dubby production. At the same time, there was a
reissue label called Blood & Fire, who reissued lots of classic dub and roots reggae albums
(partly funded by Mick Hucknall, I hastened to add. Mick Hucknall clearly played a huge role
in my musical development. I need to let that sink in!) – so a lot of that filtered into my
unconsciousness. I’m not sure about Chris, but I’m sure the innovative production work of
King Tubby would have piqued his interest quite early on. He has pretty expansive listening
tastes in any case.

What was the idea behind splitting the track ‘The Sixth Side Of The Pentagon’; through the album, splintering it in time? That song seems like a real creative turning point. The bass on that reminds me of ‘Love Lies Limp’; by Alternative TV.

The initial idea of doing a full album in a total dub style was Nick’s, after we had released
Spectral Domain, where we’d done an extended dub track called ‘Sixth Side Of The
Pentagon’ (the title of which was nabbed from a short film by Chris Marker. The title seemed
to suggest that slightly paranoid occulty/conspiracy/deep state vibe that shot through Spectral Domain). From what I remember, Chris had started to take little sections out of the
larger jam that became ‘Sixth Side…’ (the song) which became the thematic interludes in the
album. It did suggest itself from there. I always saw it like cutting little cultures off from some
mould and letting it develop in the Petrie dish of the rehearsal room, which is admittedly
pretty mouldy. It is definitely one of my favourite things that DSA have done.

Going back further, Lupus is a bloody bleak album isn’t it?

It is a little! But, if you think Lupus is bleak, wait until you hear our new album, The Free
Territory. It sounds like The Beach Boys in comparison!

How and when did the band first get together and what was the first release? How do
you look back on it? Also… why Dead Sea Apes?

We got together as a band way back in 2009 on one of those internet dating sites for
musicians. So, 10 years ago this year! The first thing that we released was a self-released
EP called Soy Dios, which got re-released on our forever home of Cardinal Fuzz a couple of
years ago. Its hard to get any perspective on looking back on it, as its always been a part of
our set, so never really went away for us. To be honest, that got us quite a bit of positive
attention at the time, so its hard to look on it with anything but fondness.
10 years has flown by at a rate of knots and a lot has happened in that time, sometimes
without us even noticing it. What we have done is built a back catalogue of records that we
are really proud of. We’ve also managed to play lots of great shows and connect with loads
of really nice people in the meantime
One of our founder members, Nick left last year to set up his own business, so that was a
tough time until we could find someone to step into his big shoes. But we’ve found Mr Jack
Toker on bass, whose fitted like a glove. We have also expanded the line up by taking Mr
Alistair Reid (also in Manchester based Surfy-garage rockers Thee Windom Earles) on keys.
As for the name, Dead Sea Apes are a fabled group of Dead Sea dwellers who turned their
ears from God and got turned into Apes for their lack of faith. They then went on to develop
their own brand of instrumental rock on the shoreline. It seemed as good a name as any.

For the tech-heads, what guitars and pedals do you use?

Man, you must be something of a masochist for asking me that question, as I’ve got a fair old
sized pedal board on the go. My favourite pedal of them all is called the Interstellar
Overdriver by Death By Audio which is just divine. Wasn’t cheap though! I do swear by the
Echo Machine by Behringer, I swear by them enough to have two of them on the go at any
one time. They are cheap and cheerful clones with slightly shoddy build quality, but they are
amazing. I’d consider having a third if that wasn’t ridiculous.
I generally have to take 3 guitars with me everywhere we play because I do like to play in
lots of different tunings. It does look a bit extravagant to the untrained eye, but there is no
way I’m doing the silly tuning work that would be required between each song.
If you are still awake at this point, I play a Guild Bluesbird, jerry rigged with a Bigsby tremolo
as my main guitar (which I absolutely LOVE!). As for my others they are Squiers and
Epiphones, which as much as they are budget range guitars, I don’t really see or hear any
difference in them to their more expensive siblings and love them equally.

What’s next for the Apes from the Black Sea?

Well, considering that we had such a long time out of the loop, we are coming out swinging.
We did manage to keep the wheels rolling by releasing a compilation of odd’s and sods called
Recondite and Warheads whilst we were a two piece. We also have been finishing off our
new record, The Free Territory. We started it back as a 3 piece but have worked on it ever
since. It was originally meant to be a cassette release, so we did some of the recordings to
tape and is full of spooky tape hiss for added atmosphere. Tonally, its much more in the
same place as Lupus. It is a lot darker, introspective and a bit more experimental. It has
some full band tracks and others pieced together over time. We also managed to rope in Nik
Rayne from one of our favourite bands, The Myrrors to play on it. He was staying at mine for
a short while, so we made him sing for his supper, so to speak. This album will be kind of an
end piece of the original line up of Dead Sea Apes too. Nick, our original bass player left to
open B’Spoke café in Heaton Mersey (good luck, Nick!).
So, that takes us up to where we’re up to now. We have a new line up with Al and Jack. On
Jack’s first rehearsal, we had a couple of jams with Nik Rayne and those are coming out on
vinyl towards the end of the year for those of you who enjoy free-form extended pieces. We
are also writing new stuff that sees us going off in new directions, hopefully we’ll start to get
that recorded next year – but we are going to be giving them a run out at a few upcoming
gigs that we have in May/June.
We have also got a gig booked in Belper with Adam Stone (does ASDSA sound like a good
band name to you?). We’ve also recorded some tracks for a 7” which will come out with the
next issue of Optical Sounds.
Thank you for asking the questions – and putting up with the long answers!

Interview with Phil Wilson aka The Raft

Phil Wilson, aka The Raft is one of our favourite songwriters here at colourhorizon, combining luscious pop songs with a dreampop veneer to make perfect music for summer. There’s a brand new song out called ‘Xanadu’, so to commemorate, we caught up with Phil recently to talk all thing Raft-y! 

‘Xanadu’ is available right here!

I’d describe The Raft as somewhere between the bedroom and the kitchen sink, which probably puts you on the landing!! … How would you describe your music?

I think I did spend a lot of years throwing the kitchen sink at it and seeing what would stick, but over the last couple of years I seem to have settled into some kind of style.

A while back I was described  as ‘like Cocteau Twins covering The Sundays with lush, layered Beach Boys harmonies’ and I was well happy with that.

I don’t particularly like being pigeon-holed as one particular genre though and I’ve already got plans in the pipe line for something a bit different. I think it’s important to push yourself as a songwriter otherwise you run the risk of becoming boring and stale.

Your new single, ‘Xanadu’, which is excellent, is out now. Why should we get it?!

Thank you for that, I’m glad you like it. It’s a bit different for me in that it was written over loops of backwards guitar chords. In fact, it’s just the same four chords going round and round and dropping out in certain places. The inspiration behind the song was Linger by The Cranberries if you can believe that. Listen to the two back to back and I challenge you to find any similarities!

It’s turned out to be one of my favourites because I was just experimenting and having fun. Huge thanks need to go to producer, JPedro for making sense of it all and Claire O’Neill for stamping her mark on it too.

It’s actually free of charge! Pricing on bandcamp interests me, what is the thought process behind choosing a price to put on a single, album etc?
I’m on a label called Shore Dive records who decide things like pricing etc so I don’t really know to be honest. We decided to do this one for free as a taster for the new album.

On ‘free’ items do people generally download for free, or make a contribution?

It’s my experience that people usually download for free if that’s an option but the odd person will make a contribution.

‘Xanadu’ is available on bandcamp via Shoredive Records. How did this come about and what difference does a label make?

A mutual friend hooked me up with Nico from Shore Dive when I was looking for people to remix some of the Jellyfish stuff. It turned out he had his own label and liked my stuff so we teamed up together.

It’s been incredibly helpful in terms of getting my music heard and actually out there to people. And Nico is a great sounding-block when I’m faffing over some decision or other! He’s also a great guy and a real music nut which is infectious.

I hear a full length album is on the way…

Yes, we don’t have a specific date yet but it’s out in April on Shore Dive and it’s going to be called Abloom.

OK, let’s back up. Why is the band called The Raft and to what extent is it ‘your’ project

‘The Raft’ was actually the name of my mate’s band many years ago and I just really liked it. They split up before even doing a gig so I asked him if I could nick it.

It’s grown to fit over the years because the way I see it is I’m on this raft drifting downstream and certain people jump on and off as they choose. It was almost a collective at one point but now it’s just myself, JP, Claire and Jeremy.

I write the songs but I’ve never really seen myself as a solo act or anything. I’ve always needed good people around me because I’m a clumsy musician at best!

Give us a potted overview of The Raft’s history and which release are you most proud of?

Gave up trying to be a super star in about 2003 and recorded the first Raft album in my bedroom for fun. This was pre Facebook and everything so I used to make CDRs and sell them in independent record stores and via mail order.

After the debut I was hooked so I just kept on recording albums and releasing them in whatever way I could. And that’s basically what I’ve been doing ever since with varying degrees of success.

There’s two albums I’m most proud of. I did one in 2013 as Wilson&Joy called Love Is Happening and I love it. It was recorded at a defining time in my life so it’ll always be special to me. The other one is my debut which is just called The Raft. The playing is terrible, the singing is terrible and the production is terrible but the songs are great and it showed me that I could actually do it.

In the bandcamp/spotify age how hard is it to make and record music? To what extent does it make the art of making music a hobby?

It’s easier than ever to make and record music because you can get decent results from home recordings these days. I still don’t think you can beat working with an experienced producer in a studio but that’s not as essential as it used to be.

It is, however harder to make a living from selling recorded music but easier to get it heard, so it’s swings and round-a-bouts I suppose.

It’s a cliché but I make music and write songs to fulfil a creative need. My attitude has always been if anything comes of it then great, if not, that’s fine too.

The Jellyfish EPs seem to have been a really focused push by the band, tell us more!

I think the Jellyfish EPs were the first Raft release for seven or eight years so it did feel like a bit of a comeback.

I was just hungry to do it again and I started working with a new producer, JPedro so things seemed pretty fresh and exciting. I also had a better grasp of how to use social media so I was able to get it heard by more people.

It was just good to be back and great that it actually seemed to be striking a chord with people.

Available here!

I see The Raft as fitting neatly into the Liverpool music tradition, in both songwriting and attitudes. Would you agree?

I’m not actually from Liverpool but it is the nearest city to where I am from so I guess it does rub off on me. I think scouse bands have this ability to mix melancholy and optimism brilliantly. Listen to anything by Michael Head, it’ll blow you away.

As to where I fit in, I’m not sure. We’re all the sum of our influences and loads of Liverpool bands have influenced me so I guess it must be in there somewhere.

Any gigs lined up?

I’m currently rehearsing with Claire O’Neill for some acoustic gigs and I’m hoping to do some full band stuff later in the year.

Who are you listening to at the moment? Feel free to name albums you would recommend from bands that need publicity.

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t bought any new music for ages. I’ve been listening to an Australian singer songwriter called Hatchie a lot recently and I really like what she’s doing. Other than that, Shore Dive are working with some really interesting bands so their Bandcamp page is worth checking out. And my friend Nax is knocking it out of the park at the moment so he’s worth a look too.

For the tech-heads, which guitars and pedals do you favour?

I’m not much of a tech head but I’ve got loads of chorus, reverb, delay and distortion pedals. I’ve never spent more than about 30 quid on any one though so they’re probably not very good. I find I can usually achieve the sound I’m looking for by blending various ones together, it usually happens by accident and I rarely remember exactly what I’ve done though.

Guitar wise I’ve got a Yamaha acoustic, a Cimar acoustic, a Crafter 12 string acoustic, a Squire Strat, a Squire Jag and an Ibanez bass. I use them all for recording apart from the Cimar because it’s in the loft.

Thanks to Phil for taking time out from crafting pop gems to talk to us, don’t forget to download ‘Xanadu’ and while we’re at it you should all spend a couple of quid on Yesterday, Today, Tonight & Tomorrow which is a tip-top album.

Hey Bulldog Interview – ‘Al Lupo’ single

By the night-time sounds of a wailing Stratocaster and the back street rumbling of a dirty bass line and the timeless clatter of a master sticksman, Hey Bulldog are all things for all men. They are psych-blues-rock dished out by masters of the arts. They are bringing the power trio back to glory. They are bringing mastery back to rock. They are the wolf and their new single, available from 20th April is called ‘Al Lupo’.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Rob M, a guitar slinger for the 21st century and put a few questions to him…

1 – Tell us about Hey Bulldog and the music you play…

We’re just three guys that enjoy playing music together, mainly guitar, bass and drums, but we’re definitely capable of branching out into other areas.

2 – Who are the members of the band?

Me (Rob Manton – Gtr & Vox), Matt Parry (Bass & Vox) and Ben Howarth-Lees (drums).

3 – You have a new single out called ‘Al Lupo’; when, where and why should people buy it?

When: 20th April 2018!

Where: From our bandcamp heybulldog.bandcamp.com, and all other major download sites like itunes, amazon etc.

Why: if you like decent garage rock music from a band with their own sound and with a nice catchy melody this is the one for you!

3a – Perche una canzone con un titolo Italiano? Da dove l’ispirazione? 

Sto imparando l’italiano. L’anno scorso abbiamo suonato ad un concerto in Sicilia,è il nostro sogno si e realizzato e un’esperienza straordinaria per tutti noi. Gli italiani ci dicevano “In bocca al lupo” e questa frase ci ha dato l’ispirazione giusta per scrivere la canzone.

4 – Do you have any plans to release new music?

We’d like to release another single this year, with either an EP or an album to follow on from that…

The response to ‘Al Lupo’ has been amazing so far, so an album is something we’ve been waiting a long time to make.

5 – You have a  new song called ‘No Future Part 2’ that is very different from your normal sound, tell us about it…

Well originally I had an idea for a Bladerunner soundtrack style spoken word synth thing called ‘No Future’ that I was showing to Ben and Matt at rehearsals, Ben starting playing this motorik Can style drumbeat which was not what I had in mind at all, but it sounded amazing, so all three of us spontaneously jammed around that and 90% of what ‘No future part ii’ is came from that 1st jam.

6 – … people have gone wild for it, do you think this marks a shift in the music?

It’s not a shift, we’re not that premeditated when it comes to the songs, we just go with whatever we feel sounds best at the time, it’s definitely something different for us though to do a mostly instrumental track without a proper verse or chorus, so it’s really opened up another avenue for us that we can go down, and also shows another side to the band that maybe people who see a lot of bands realise is something that not many bands are capable of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjRIu4c5ZJc

7- What gigs do you have coming up?

This month we’re playing with The Lucid Dream and Purple Heart Parade at The Victoria Dalston in London and then to celebrate the release of ‘AL Lupo’ we’ve picked some great bands to play with us at Night People in Manchester on 13th April, we’re headlining the night playing a bit longer than usual and really looking forward to seeing Savannah, Freakout Honey and Deja Vega playing on the same bill.

We’ve got a couple of things to announce for the summer soon too.

8 – What Hey Bulldog record are your most proud of?

It’s hard to pick out one, if you’re not proudest of your latest song and don’t feel you are progressing or doing something different from your previous stuff then you probably shouldn’t release it.

We’re all really pleased with how ‘Al Lupo’ turned out, it’s probably the best vocals I’ve recorded and I’m really pleased with the way the melody and the lyrics work together, the production and mix came together really easily too and brought out the best in the song, there’s a lot of little details in there that people will start to pick up on after a few listens.

9 – What are you listening to at the moment and who do you recommend?

Recently I’ve been playing the latest Mogwai and LCD Soundsystem Records both are great, with a lot of different flavours to them.

Live vids c/o Dave Zoom @MistaMoZe and the great sage John Hall @Mancmusic1
(Thanks to Marta for helping us with our shaky Italian)
Tickets for Night People are available here:
Bandcamp page:
Coming On Stro-ong!

Dis-orientation Through Volume – Three Dimensional Tanx interviewed

Three Dimensional Tanx are one of the most exciting bands around, their raucous blend of garage, punk and psych whipping up an electric live show. Their self titled debut album is a little firecracker and there are more tantalising studio releases on the way. Without further ado check out the brilliant ‘I Am Go’ and read an interview with Lancaster’s finest!

How is work for the next album coming along?

It’s finished! There are 12 songs and it comes in around 35 minutes long – doesn’t give you much time to breathe. The artwork and mastering are being done as we speak and it should be out at the end of August with a single coming out just before.

Where did the characteristic 3D Tanx sound come from?

60 years-worth of rock ’n’ roll squeezed through our particular sieve. Dis-orientation through volume (ala Mission of Burma), and excitement through high-energy are important to us. An audience member once told us we made them have an out of body experience!

What are the main influences?

Waaaaay too many to mention really. But…When the band started around 2000, there was a nod to the Velvet Underground, Can, Neu, Stooges, MC5, the Fall, Joy Division. Since then, those bands plus loads more. We could list stuff for hours.

What are Spacey’s influences as a frontman?

Not poseurs…people who get lost in the music and give it their all, who let themselves get taken over by the music. Examples being Iggy Pop, Roger Chapman, Malcolm Mooney’s percussive vocals, Mark E Smith’s ranting.

This appears to be a “second era” of the band, what is the story behind 3D Tanx’s comeback?

Tanx never really went away as such, but there was a period of a kind of stasis and some uncertainty. Basically, original guitarist David was busy with his wife Holly who are the Lovely Eggs. Holly had done some vocals for early Tanx songs like ‘Baby Universe’ and ‘Peak Time’. There was some overlap with David doing some gigs with Pete and Richard in various combinations. There was one gig at Gullivers’ in Manchester when there were all 3 guitarists on stage at once. Eventually, the Lovely Eggs’ busy schedule meant that David left to pursue that band and Pete & Richard became permanent members. The new line-up have now recorded two studio albums, and various live stuff.


With such a plethora of psych bands, how hard is it to stand out?

I don’t know if we even are a ‘psych band’ as such. We certainly love psychedelic music, though it’s one of several elements to what we do. Also, psych can mean lots of different things to different people. A lot of current psych tends to draw from a fairly narrow definition. I think we stand out because we don’t really sound like any of the other bands doing psych at the moment. To be honest, we probably stick out like a sore thumb!

Does the internet make it easier or harder?

Easier to do stuff yourself, but harder in that there are a billion bands vying for attention, and fairly traditional channels and hierarchies (magazines, radio, taste-makers) still set the scene as to what’s cool or not. Access to information is easier at least, and we’ve been played and written about all over the world which probably wouldn’t have happened without the internet.

Why do you think psych is so popular at the moment?

I don’t think it’s ever totally gone away really. About 10 years ago, the emphasis was on bands like Espers, Vetiver, Feathers etc and a lot of folk-tinged psych. Loads of bands in the 80s (particularly Spacemen 3) and 90s (Brian Jonestown Massacre) were obviously psych-influenced. So it’s always there in some form or other. But the various psych-fests and promoters have cropped up and made it cool again.

What gigs have you got coming up?

We kind of stopped actively seeking them whilst finishing this latest album, but now it’s done we’re hoping to get out across the country again soon. We’ve got plenty coming up in our native Lancaster, the Northwest and beyond, quite a few tbc. Any promoters reading this, by all means get in touch with us.

Can you play ‘Psychedelic Sun’ at every gig you play… ever?

Er, probably not, sorry! We have played it a LOT, and it does come back into the set every now and again, but we’re keen to keep feeding new stuff into the live set, mix things up and keep things fresh.

Mother fuckers.

Buy Three Dimensional Tanx stuff here!! http://threedimensionaltanx.bandcamp.com

The Importance Of Cross Country Running

The Maitlands are brewing sweaty, full bodied guitar tunes that embody Northern guitar music. Colourhorizon caught up with ol’ school chum and Maitlands front man Carl Ingram to ask a few pointed, chummy questions about the band…

Colourhorizon: Who are you, exactly?

Carl Ingram: Carl Ingram of The Maitlands fame.

Tell us about the members of The Maitlands…

There are 4 of them, not including myself; Huw, Jonty, Martin & Ste and they are generally a good bunch. We get the job done.

How did you recruit the band?

I was going for an audition to join another band. The car never turned up. I knew Ste (Francis) lived near by, so I knocked on his door, he answered and we started writing songs. We then had most of the musicians under the sun turn up and jam with us, but they never made a return journey. Anyway, we ended up finding Jonty ( drums) on the Internet and he knew a fella who played guitar, and so on. Martin jumped in on bass just before a gig about 6 months ago and he’s stuck it out.

Which member of the band would you trust with dynamite?

Give it Jonty.

What is so important about cross-country running?

I’ve mentioned this before [in a pub conversation], I think you can tell a lot about somebody’s personality by how much effort they put into a cross-country. Sets you up for life.

If The Maitlands were doing a cross-country run, who’d be first and who’d be last?

I’ve never thought about it before, but if our drummer [Jonty] bothered to put his shorts on, I’d be last to finish. Don’t know what that says about me. You decide…. and Huw would be first, his Welsh legs would see him through.

I hear you have an EP out! Why not tell us all why we should buy it!

It’s soon to be out. Within the month. You should buy it because you’re a fan of the Maitlands and if you are not a fan then it would make a nice present for someone who is.

How is discipline maintained within the ranks?

2 weeks bread and water.

What would The Maitlands do for fame?

Not much, sounds a bit daunting that fame business. Hide under a rock.

What wouldn’t The Maitlands do for fame?

I wouldn’t live in the same country.

If Mark E Smith decided to steal one of your band, how would you repel the incursion?

Out of us lot I think he’d want me, I’m sure the band I’m sure would sacrifice me without argument. I better dust off the old bass just in case, eh?

Finally, on a self-indulgent note, we went to school together… How did we survive Royton & Crompton School?

We did. At the back. Slow and steady.

Yeah, but I was the fat one.

You heard the man, The Maitlands EP is out soon.

Nice Legs: “They were freaks too…”

Nice Legs are a sunny, effervescent bedroom pop band operating from South Korea. Here at colourhorizon we’re heartily keen on their EP Lullaby Land (listen and buy here!) We were lucky to catch up with Lew (vocals) and Henry (guitars and biz). Without further ado, watch a video and read the interview!

Colourhorizon: How did you guys come to work together?
Lew: We were born in the same hospital about a month apart, and it just kind of started from there. When we were sweet little babies.

Henry: LIES. Okay, only one part of that is a lie. We were totally born in the same hospital a month apart. We started by improv busking actually. And our first actual gig was at a funeral.

A FUNERAL.

A funeral?

H: Yeah, it was a friend of friend’s wake actually. We didn’t know the guy but apparently he was a fun wierdo and would have loved it. The crowd definitely did not know how to react. Luckily, they were freaks too. We all watched Rocky Horror afterwards. It was silly.

Why ‘Nice Legs’?
L: It was between that and “Food Groups” and “Food Groups” was taken.
H: I liked “Good Froups” but it didn’t make sense.

How long have you been in South Korea and how is life over there?
L: Life is great in South Korea. We have been here for several years and cordially invite you to come.
H: Safe. Great. Fun. Lots of good bands too.

nice legs2

Who are Nice Legs reaching out to?
L: Senators, lawyers, judges, and criminals.
H: And nerdy kids that like great lyrics. Lew is my favorite lyricist which sounds dorky but I’m serious, her lyrics rule so fucking hard. So yeah nerdy kids who like great lyrics.

Why don’t the songs on the EP have names?
L: Contrary to popular belief that we were trying to be cool, we just couldn’t come up with names and barely even had a band name at that point and just put those up there. You had some pretty good ideas for what we should call them, didn’t you?

Yep! ‘Break Your Own Damn Heart’, ‘What Can I Do?’ and ‘This Good’…

Lew E

Nice Legs have a garish fashion style that borders on the antagonistic, where does this come from?
H: This is the best question ever. I’m just going to bask in the glory of that shit.

Does the internet help or hinder a band?
L: It has definitely helped us. Anything outside of Korea that has happened for us has happened because of the internet. We have buddies all over the world helping us with write-ups, tapes, and tours, all because of the webs, and Henry’s oppressive and aggressive style of communication.
Although we do collectively waste a shit-load of time on the internet, so, shit, yeah I guess it is a mix of hinder-help.

H: Yeah definitely helped us. Until we started Nice Legs, I had no idea how great the internet actually was. If you want something why the fuck not ask for it? I always felt that shit would happen in time like tours or record deals or some other shit. That is absolutely incorrect. Everybody has an email and the worst they will say is nothing at all.

There are tons of cool as people across the globe just waiting for a pleasant email about something. I could rant but the internet is great. Fuck, you contacted us via email!

I certainly did! Where are Nice Legs going?

H: We have a few festivals coming up. Going to Japan soon too! That is pretty exciting. Lew is playing some European solo dates too. I’m totally jealous.
L: We’re just hustling everyday, man. We got so many hands in so many jars, just waiting for whatever pans out.
H: Can we go to your house?

Of course 🙂 I’ll get biscuits and everything…

Neat-o pix taken by Douglas Vautour!

P.S. This is very nice too…