Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Jakub Zytecki

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Jakub Zytecki is a guitar virtuoso from Krakow, Poland. Know for his work in progressive rock act DispersE, Jakub released his first solo release Wishful Lotus Proof in 2015 to much acclaim. His recent release is a double album Ladder Head/ Feather Bed is soothing on the ears and mind alike.

I spoke to Jakub about his latest release, writing alone and more.

Hi Jakub, you recently released a double album ‘Ladder Head’ / ‘Feather Bed’. How does it feel?

Hi! Feels nice man! The idea was to have these two little releases mostly as a sonic introduction to the possible musical futures of mine. It’s awesome to have it out there, but there’s that constant desire to do more and more, so it’s hard to sit and appreciate the previous work haha.

‘Ladder Head’ / ‘Feather Bed’ has a mellow sound compared to your previous release. ‘Wishful Lotus Proof’. What inspired the change in your sound?

I just got really fixated on songwriting and presenting the core idea of a track in the simplest way I possibly can. I loved working on ‘Wishful’, but when that album was often about how crazy I can go and what else I can try here out, the new EPs are more about what I should not do here, in order to not break the spell. The EPs also represent my love to sound design and production which was not that obvious on ‘Wishful’.

Your band DispersE released an album Foreword early last year. How did you manage between writing and recording the album and your solo releases?

It was not that difficult since when ‘Foreword’ was finished in June 2016, I had more than a half of a year just to just chill out. Then, 2017 was only just for tweaking my solo stuff. The tricky part starts now actually, where there might be two albums in the making simultaneously, but I don’t want to plan anything or set a deadline this time. Even if it takes two years to write any of the albums, it will probably have to be like that.

Do you prefer writing and recording lone or as part of a band?

I spend more time making music alone, so it’s naturally easier for me. But still, working with other people can sometimes spark the ideas that you alone would have to be looking for 10 times longer or would never actually thought of. We’re really striving for stepping up our game in terms of band communication. Hard to say what I prefer though, it depends on how I feel and on what my current state of sanity is haha.

What have you been listening to lately? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

I’m currently smashing the new The Neighbourhood album, really awesome stuff. Can’t get enough of Jon Hopkins too, especially his new single, I’m really looking forward to his new LP. I really dig Zoology, new Four Tet and I’m rediscovering my love to the old good Trifonic.

Do you have any plans of performing your solo material live or will it stay a studio project?

I don’t really push to be able to take my solo material on the road, but if the right opportunity comes, we’ll see what happens.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Just making the new music really. I’m also doing a Summer Camp in Czech Republic in August. Plini, David Micic and many of people I know are gonna be there, should be fun! Besides that, DispersE has a gig on Euroblast and we might have a few shows around that time as well, we’ll see where it all goes.

Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Simply thanks for being interested in what we do! All the best.

Written by trendcrusher

March 22, 2018 at 10:00 am


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Calligram are a blackened hardcore band  from London. They put out their second release, Askesis via Basick records in November last year. The EP is a dark and bleak listen.

I spoke to guitarist Tim Desbos about their latest release Askesis, the origins of the band and also their plans for the year.

Read my interview with Tim on Moshpitnation.

Written by trendcrusher

March 19, 2018 at 11:54 pm


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2018 is turning out to be another great year for rock/metal fans in India with acts like Incubus, Veil of Maya, Plini amongst others performing in the country. Next month, Bear from Belgium will join this list. The band released their 3rd full length album, /// via Basick records last year. The album combines technical and groove metal resulting in the soundtrack to destruction.

I spoke to the band ahead of their India tour about their unique sound, their latest release /// and what the Indian audience should expect from their shows.

Read my interview with Bear on Unite Asia


Written by trendcrusher

March 17, 2018 at 2:43 pm

DJ Solo

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A throwback interview from when I used to write for Mid East Dynasty.

Neil Andrew aka DJ Solo is a turntablist and producer. Originally from High Wycombe and London, U.K., he now lives in Dubai, UAE. Read on to find out more about his EP “Who is Wriggly Scott?”, how Neil got the “DJ Solo” moniker and more.

Hi Neil, hows it going? Congrats on the release of your “Who Is Wriggly Scott” EP. How has the response to it been so far?

The response so far has been amazing both here and abroad. It’s been featured on various blogs and radio shows in the US and Europe, and one of the tracks is currently no.21 in the US College/Internet Radio Chart.

When did you start working on the EP? What was the writing and recording process like?

I didn’t specifically start working on an EP, and was just working on separate tracks. After a few of them came together and I did the track ‘Tangible Dream’ with Orifice Vulgatron, I think it was his encouragement which made me decide to try and release something. So from then on I would write beats, and then contact MCs that I knew and thought would suit specific tracks. The only MCs that recorded their verses in my studio were Feras, Jibberish and Orifice, all of the others sent their verses from abroad. It was actually a pretty smooth process all in all.

How did you choose which MCs to work with? How did you get J Live to feature on your EP?

The guys that I worked with were all friends that I’d known or worked with before, and it really was more of a case of suiting certain beats to certain MCs – obviously it depends on which beats they’re feeling also, or the verses would lack energy. In the back of my mind however I did have the inkling that I wanted it to have broad spectrum of nationalities on it. I met J-Live a few years ago when he performed here. Myself and Solphonic always said that we could retire from producing if we ever worked with him, – he’s really been one of my favourite MCs for a long time. Anyway, I managed to get in touch with him via Ben McDonald (Mach 4), who was originally involved in bringing him to perform here, luckily J liked the track and we took it from there, it reminded me of one of the beats off his second LP which is why I felt it would suit him.

“Who Is Wriggly Scott” EP will be released digitally by Dented Records, how did the deal come about?

Honestly it just kind of came up in conversation. I remember when I recorded Orifice’s verse (he’s a co-founder of Dented Records) for ‘Tangible Dream’ he said “you’d better do something with it”, or something like that. I think later on he just asked me if I’d like to release it on the label, to which of course I said yes. It’s been a real learning curve so far, and I’m lucky to have landed on a label that’s professional, and is already established with such great contacts in the industry. As a producer, especially in this region, it’s hard to guage the quality of your work and we always look to producer such as J Dilla or Madlib, as opposed to someone in London who probably knows a producer who lives on his street corner with a string of releases under his belt – I mean it’s great that we do that because that’s a very high standard to set yourself, but it can also make you question the level of your production.

When did you start DJing using turntables?

Well I started collecting records when I was 13 or 14 as it seemed that I could only buy the hip hop I liked on vinyl at the time. I bought my first turntable I think when I was 14 or 15, it was a belt-driven JB Systems Disco 2000 – I bought it from my friend who also threw in loads of old Jungle records. I used to call friends and scratch down the phone on my one turntable – my first DJ name was ‘The Deck Destroyer’.By the time I was 16 some of my friends were DJing, but they were all playing Jungle, Garage or Happy Hardcore and as none of them were playing Hip Hop I felt like it was kind of my duty as my home town (High Wycombe) once had a thriving hip hop scene which nobody seemed to be catering for anymore, so for my birthday I asked for another turntable – this time a belt-driven Soundlab – so my set-up didn’t even match. I also got a Kam GM25 mixer whish was particularly bad. I then changed my name to ‘The Drunken Master’, but it turned out there already was one in Wycombe, so I called myself ‘Peter Parker’ and later ‘Hash Solo’ (which stuck and became shortened once I moved to the U.A.E.) When I was 18 I visited New York with my Art College, and actually saved my money so that upon my return I could buy some Vestax turntables, the rest is history.

Do you play any musical instruments ?

I used to pay the piano growing up, then the guitar but unfortunately put them down when I started DJing. I still like to play the keys when I’m producing and also record a lot of percussion to give it a more ‘live’ feel. My mother and sister were both piano teachers, and I definitely feel that having even a small background in music theory helps me to structure things more musically when producing or scratching. I did take the piano up again a few years back, but due to a heavy workload had to drop it again.

When did you move to UAE? How did you get involved in the music scene?

Around 7 years ago. At first I played at a few MIS parties, and those guys later opened ibo, where I used to play quite regularly. I also played at some of the Global Funk parties. I actually gained a lot of exposure by just handing out mixtapes wherever I went. After meeting Dany Neville, he offered me guest spots on his show so that also helped a lot. Just meeting like-minded people leads you to meet more such people and before you know it you have a good circle of contacts.

The hip hop scene has been slowly developing in the UAE and the Middle East in the past few years, where do you see it going in the future?

Hip Hop and music as a whole has always been an extremely powerful tool to get your message across, but it’s a shame that many of the artists that I revere in this region seemingly don’t get enough exposure. Not only are record companies or club promoters generally more interested in the more commercially-viable artists, but individuals often get held back from traveling or studying abroad due to which passport they hold. Honestly I cannot predict where it will be in the future in the same way you cannot predict where this region as a whole will be next year, but I do see it growing and hope that the scene continues to develop in diverse ways.

You have a weekly online radio show “Another music” and also run a weekly club night “Freshly Laced”, any other ventures that we should know of?

Hmm, well I’m already working on my follow-up release which will be the first official release under the guise of ‘Wriggly Scott’ – it will be a lot more diverse in terms of the production, and will feature a mixture of instrumental and vocal tracks. I’m also working on a release for one of my other aliases ‘Ductchild’ which is much more moody, electronic stuff. I have another few ideas kicking around my head for collaborations but I have to keep them secret for the time being.

What are your plans for the rest of 2011?

Mainly to continue working on my production. I think that after my second or third release I will start looking into performing abroad more but am in no rush right now.

Written by trendcrusher

March 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

Eschatos interview

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Eschatos are a progressive metal band from Latvia. The band consists of members of bands like Wagars, Protean, 9Horizon, Pulse of Nebulae and Black Earth Black Sky. Their latest EP MÆRE released in December last year and is engaging listen. It has received much acclaim and was nominated in the Rock and metal category at the Latvian awards, zelta mikrofons (Golden Music Microphone) last month.

I spoke to the band about MÆRE, their change in sound and also managing multiple bands.

Band photo by Lauris Aizupietis

Hi, you recently put out an EP MÆRE. How does it feel now that it has been released?

Kristiāna: It was a long road. We feel excited and pleased with the result and even though the recording has been around for only about a week, we have already received a lot of positive feedback from listeners in our home country Latvia and abroad.

MÆRE is engaging listen despite its lengthy tracks. Do tell us more about the EP.

Kristiāna: Lengthy tracks have always been characteristic to our music. The song, in this case the whole recording, is a story that needs an opening, tension and climax, and sometimes it can take its own course. MÆRE is in a way a very personal work for me. It revolves around different experiences related to sleep paralysis and sleep itself, the everyday death each of us encounter. Some lyrics have been written right before falling asleep or waking up. Sometimes voice recordings did not make any sense, sometimes they sounded like something from Marina Abramović ‘Freeing the memory’. The whole process was an experiment to explore how my mind wonders and where it goes when I sleep.

On Mære, you have moved away from the black metal sound on your previous releases. What has inspired this change in sound?

Edgars: It was partly unintentional, but at the same time it was also a conscious decision, and probably a result of not trying to fit in a specific genre. When a new combination of notes are being laid out on a fretboard, they make me feel something, I can try to make it sound like black metal, but it just doesn’t feel right or necessary anymore. Anyway, black metal is still a huge inspiration.

Marko: I have to add that MÆRE is the first eschatos record with full time keyboard player as part of the band, so I believe this fact alters the writing process. Keys bring in atmosphere adding experimental vibe to the composition.

Mārtiņš: It is essential to remember that the band has gone through a significant lineup change with Jānis leaving and me stepping in. Jānis was a very important member of the band, having composed a significant portion of previously released music, it is only natural that the sound of a band evolves when songwriters change.

The EP was recorded and mixed by Martinš Platais. What do you feel are the pros and con of recording yourself?

Kristiāna: I feel like there are two sides to this coin. We had control over the whole process, which, in this case, suited well for us, but at the same time Mārtiņš had an insane schedule and slept for 3 hours a night for 3 months.

Mārtiņš: It certainly was a very rough year for me. I had to combine working on several musical projects and my day job simultaneously. However, I feel very proud of MÆRE as we managed to accomplish everything we had planned with this release. The whole thing was done in the most organic and analog way. All the sounds and effects heard are from real sources, even with pedals recorded through real amps with next to no studio wizardry. We aimed to merge what eschatos sounds like live with a pristine studio recording. I prefer recording and mixing my own work, as it enables me to achieve the right focus for the music. I am exceptionally grateful to Dan Swanö who brought out the best from my mix, he’s always an absolute pleasure to work with.

You have been quite prolific, putting out 3 releases in 5 years. What is the writing process you follow?

Kristiāna: There is no particular formula. Usually a song evolves step by step. Edgars likes to write at home, same as our drummer Edvards, but working at our rehearsal studio in a live setting also plays an important part.

Edgars: When a specific set of new songs seem like they fit together and create a musical storyline, it is time to record them and put them out.

The band members are also a part of other acts like Wagars, Protean, 9Horizon, Pulse of Nebulae and Black Earth Black Sky. How you manage between multiple bands?

Kristiāna: Most of these projects are semi-active and come together before shows or recordings. eschatos is currently the main focus for most of us.

Mārtiņš: I am involved in a significant amount of musical projects, especially with international studio work, however, eschatos is my primary focus.

What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Kristiāna: Lately there has been a lot of choir music in my playlist – Russian Orthodox choral music, works from Italian renaissance, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Gregorio Allegri next to Kevät / Värimyrsky from Oranssi Pazuzu and Hiss Spun by Chelsea Wolfe.
Edgars: Anything from Sargent House. Seeing Oranssi Pazuzu live was an otherworldly experience.

Marko: I am very excited about the latest Ulver album. Definitely, “Assassination of Julius Caesar” is one of the most noteworthy recordings of 2017 next to Roger Waters’s new masterpiece “Is This the Life We Really Want”. I would also like to mention the latest The Ruins of Beverast album “Exuvia”. All the music you listen to undeniably gives you some kind of inspiration. You collect your most vivid emotional experiences, including those you get while listening to music and unconsciously use them to create something new.

Mārtiņš: I have a very diverse taste in music, ranging from popular music to grindcore. I must point out that the latest releases from Ufomammut, Vulture Industries and Archspire have been very influential to me.

Do share with us bands from Latvia that we should check out.

Kristiāna: Look up Tesa, Soundarcade, Das Sonntags Legion, Saturn’s Husk.

What are your plans for the coming year? Do you have any shows/tour planned?

Kristiāna: We are currently focusing on playing live in Baltics and working on music video for Luminary Eye Against the Sky starring Latvian actor Juris Strenga which will be released next year. eschatos is also doing an appearance in Ghent, Belgium for Shades Of Black’n’Death event on February 17, 2018.

Marko: We are also looking to start working with a record company and we are opened to offers.

Mārtiņš: And play many live shows as possible in 2018, if anyone is interested, let us know!

Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Mārtiņš: The best way to experience eschatos is to see us live, so make an effort and come to one of our shows, you will not regret it.


Written by trendcrusher

March 10, 2018 at 12:36 am

Posted in Interviews

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Sandesh Shenoy

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Trendslaughter Festival is one of the few metal only festivals in India. Started in 2012, the festival has featured underground bands from around the world like Demilich, Impiety and also Indian bands. The headliners for the second edition of the upcoming edition of Trendslaughter festival is Czech black metal band Cult of Fire, their first live performance in Asia, making it one looked forward to by many.

I spoke to Sandesh Shenoy, one of the people behind the festival. About the 6th edition of the festival, how the line up is curated and also their plans for the rest of the year.

Read my interview on Unite Asia

Written by trendcrusher

February 20, 2018 at 11:00 am

Djinn & Miskatonic

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Djinn & Miskatonic are a doom metal band from Bangalore, India. Their debut album Forever in the Realm was the first Indian release by Transcending Obscurity. The album received rave reviews from around the world and further strengthened Bangalore reputation as the Doom metal capital of India. Last month, the band released their  sophomore album Even Gods Must Die. The album takes forward the sonic template established on their debut album with a few surprises.

Read my interview with vocalist GK and bassist JP on Unite Asia

Written by trendcrusher

February 2, 2018 at 6:23 pm