Archive for the ‘Ambient’ Category

I shot some footage at the Arthouse for the Amenta headline tour. They were spreading their particular brand of blackened death metal across the country on their national V01D tour, and I also captured some intense footage from French band Hypno5e. Again the quality isn’t stellar, although the vibe created by both bands is quite cool, they are indeed unique. Hypno5e have a really cool take on experimental metal, going from sample-drenched ambience one minute to shredding tech djent to the next. Amazing musicians.

The Amenta, looking suspiciously like Genocide Organ

Also, I recently wrote up a piece on live music for Funproject, which includes some of the footage I’ve posted here. Have a read here. It’s just basically talking about why seeing live music is a worthwhile and underrated pursuit.

The Arthouse footage:




Check them out online if you want to hear their recorded output instead of my shoddy video footage haha:
– The Amenta – www.myspace.com/theamenta
– Hypno5e – www.myspace.com/hypno5e

This set was taken ages ago but I’m yet to share it with the internets, enjoy! I guess I can use the fact that Dream On Dreamer just wrapped up the recording of their debut album as an excuse to post some of my shots taken at their shows. Check out the three video updates Dream On Dreamer posted on their Youtube channel for the latest news. Their debut LP Heartbound is on its way and the first single, Downfall, is set to drop in June.

Jarrod - Check Your Smile

Matthew - Check Your Smile

Matthew - Check Your Smile

Azza - Dream On Dreamer

Daniel - Dream On Dreamer

Michael - Dream On Dreamer

Marcel - Dream On Dreamer

Marcel - Dream On Dreamer

Dream On Dreamer on Facebook.
Check Your Smile on Facebook.

Norwegian avant-garde electronic act Ulver have made a rare appearance in a set of video interviews discussing their latest album, Wars of the Roses.


Jørn H. Sværen
and Daniel O’Sullivan appear in the interview, which was cut into four parts and posted on Freethinkers Blog.

O’Sullivan spoke about the first track off the album, February MMX saying:

“It’s a pop song, and it’s the only pop song I would say, in terms of it’s form. I think it’s something that Kris and I have always talked about doing, we once spoke about doing a pop project, total Frankie Goes to Hollywood meets Salt-N-Pepa. But we decided to incorporate that in a band that already exists.”

Discussing the second track, Norwegian Gothic, O’Sullivan said:

“Musically it’s probably the most fragmented piece from the album. It involves Steve Nobel, an improviser from London, he played drums on it. He has a more free-form approach, [his style] involves improvisation and contemporary music. He bought his palette to the table. It works really well because it has this string motif unpinning the whole thing, but everything else is really fragmented, with particles of sound flying around. The words and the strings hold it together. Everything else has this fluid sensibility to it.

Ulver

Wars of the Roses is due out on April 25, on Kscope.

www.myspace.com/ulver1

Melbourne’s House Vs. Hurricane are now well established as one of Australia’s biggest hardcore/metal bands. They didn’t get there without a lot of hardwork, establishing a recognisable and unique sound and supporting it with near constant touring. They now have 2008’s Forfeiture EP and their 2010 debut album, Perspectives under their belt and are currently writing the follow-up. Vocalist Chris Dicker spoke to me about writing new material, the departure of long-term keyboardist Joey Fragione and where you can find the best coffee in Melbourne.

House Vs. Hurricane in 2011

You have Push Over coming up on the 13th of March, the band also played there in 2009. Who are you looking forward to seeing the most on the line-up? What makes you keep coming back to play at the event?

It’s a well-run event. The staff at Push Over are usually a bunch of younger volunteers, which is rad and they take care of everything. You just need to rock up and play, and that’s certainly a nice change from the world we’re used to. I’m pretty keen to see our friends in Break Even hit the stage again. It’s been a while.

Perspectives ended up being mixed in Australia instead of the US with Brian McTernan as originally planned. Were you happy with the final mix? Do you think it’s likely the next album will be recorded/mixed in Australia or overseas?

Our experience with Brian was a learning curve more than anything else. We had every intention of having it mixed in Baltimore, but as the end of our time there drew near, we realised we’d be lucky to even finish tracking. So many things went wrong over those six weeks, but I think it was an unimaginably invaluable experience in hindsight. Perspectives didn’t come out how we had planned, and I feel as if we feel short on we were trying to achieve with the production on that record. As for the next one, we’re still throwing ideas around as to who we’d like to work with. Ultimately, it depends on what the record sounds like as a whole, and who we feel would be most suited to help us grasp the sound we want to achieve. We’ve a few people in mind, both here and overseas, so I guess we’ll just see how it plays out.

Chris doing his thing on the Perspectives tour

What were the differences in musical opinion that led to keyboardist Joey Fragione’s departure? Do you know if he is still playing music or involved with other projects?

I’m still in regular contact with Joey, and I think for a friendship of almost eight years it deserves to be kept alive, despite the fact we live in different cities. I don’t really want to go into that side of things, everything I wanted to make public, I did in our press release. Furthermore than that, I think the rest belongs to the people involved. These kind of things have a tendency to be misinterpreted, or misunderstood as people imply their own meanings onto it, and I’d rather avoid that all together. I know Joey has a huge ambition to move into writing scores for film, and is taking steps towards that end. If you’ve shot a film recently, hit him up. He’ll kill it.

You’ve said the band will remain a five-piece after Joey’s departure. How does this affect live shows? Is one of the core five members doing double duties and playing keys live, or are you getting someone to fill-in on keys live?

We’re continuing as a five piece, without a keyboard player. We felt that we couldn’t fill Joey’s shoes musically, so at pushover and on this up-coming tour with Your Demise, we’ll be running Joey’s parts from a sample pad. Sam’s played to a click for quite some time, so this is the simplest and easiest transition we could muster.

Joey live with the band prior to his departure

Joey played a major role in writing Perspectives. Who is stepping up into his place in terms of song-writing and who is writing the keyboard/electronic parts in the new material?

Joey certainly had a lot to do with the songs on Perspectives, equally as much as Chris Shaw (Guitar) did. Chris had written our EP, almost in its entirety alone (bar of course the keyboards and vocals), so I guess a lot of that strain has been placed on him once more. Although, we are approaching this next record with a much different style of writing. A friend of ours has given us a permanent space to leave our gear set up, and come and go as we please, so the songs we’ve written thus far we’ve written from scratch together. For the first time, we’ve had the ability to jam whenever we want, and following this tour in March, we’ll be doing nothing except writing until the record is ready to be recorded.


Talk about your experiences playing live across Europe with Heights and Flood of Red. How was the band received overseas?

Hands down, it was the best thing we’ve ever done together. Those two bands are both incredible bands, and some of the most hospitable people I’ve met. I’m content in knowing I’ve made some life-long friends from that tour, and the minute we can get back to Europe, we will. The shows we very much hit and miss. Some shows we’re incredible, people knew the band and the words, other shows, we played to literally 15 people. But you can expect nothing more when going somewhere for the first time, particularly, in countries that speak no English. Hopefully we made an impression on some people, and next time we go, our shows will be a little busier.

How was your last minute show with Heights at Lilydale Baptist Church recently?

I literally found out about the show at 2pm. It was ridiculous! Certain over excited members of my band managed to tee it up so we could jump on the show, and to be honest, it was the most laid-back set I think we’ve ever done. We took requests for god sake. It was so good to see the boys from Heights, and we all went out after the show and caught up.

The band said you’ve got a new song in the works to be released in March. Is that still on track, set a date yet? Will it be included on the LP also or just a stand alone release?

We’re still working on this. We had two songs completely written and ready to be recorded, before we decided to scrap them and start again. We’re good like that. We’re hoping we can get it together and put out a new song by the end of March, but it all depends on when the song is actually ready. Not sure if it’ll be on the record just yet. Although, we’re about to begin filming some of our album writing footage, and hopefully we’ll be able to share that online soon.

How many songs have you guys written for the new album? How is it progressing?

We’ve got two full songs that we’re still pulling apart, and another half-finished that we started from scratch together. I think we’re more motivated as a band than we have been in many years, all super excited by the idea of doing a new record, and I feel as if these songs are to be a lot more crafted than anything we’ve done previously.

Perspectives had longer and more progressive songs than the EP, are you continuing in that vein? What style and direction are you taking with writing the new material?

We made the decision that we’re not to pick a direction and go with it. We’re just going to write songs that are relevant to us right now, that represent where we are musically with one another. Judging by what’s come out so far, the songs seem to be a lot more focused on specific melodies or vocal sections, as opposed to have several conflicting lead lines as we have in the past. I hate describing my own music, so I’m just gonna let you do it when we release some jams.

Chris live in Melbourne

The lyrics in HvH seem to focus on positivity, is this deliberate choice or just a product of the song-writers’ outlook? Do you think a positive mindset is necessary to achieve what you do in life?

As the primary songwriter, I think positivity is essential in almost every facet of our lives. Some of my favorite bands sing from a place of such anger and frustration, and I feel that’s entirely relatable. In short, a frustration with the way things are, and by the looks of it, the way we’re headed as a species. In saying that, I feel unless we can look to the future with the sense that it’s entirely in our hands, rather than a feeling of dread, doom or despair, then that’s the only way we can even incite positive change. I mean, we are the change. It’s completely on us as to which way we move forward.

On Twitter you discussed a possible US tour. Can you elaborate on anything with that, even if it’s just possibilities you’ve being throwing around (length of tour, locations)?

I really can’t speculate. We’re looking at making the trek over sometime this year after our record is finished, but I can’t really say much more.

If you could play with any musician or band, dead or alive, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain or Jeff Buckley.

Last time Dylan spoke to KYS, he said the band had been listening to a lot of Black Sabbath. Do you guys get into other 60’s and 70’s rock, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix etc.?

Oh yeah, you’ve gotta love the classics. I’m a huge Sabbath fan, and Nirvana have been getting a huge revival of late. Obviously that’s 90’s but nevertheless. If you can’t appreciate where the music came from, it’s birth, then how can you attempt to understand where it’s going? We still love a lot of the old stuff and have a lot to learn from it, the structures, the recordings. They have such a different feel, so much more organic. They certainly don’t make music like they used to.

A few quick questions to wrap up:

What’s your favourite Aussie band at the moment?

The Broderick, if they ever actually do another record.

Is there one musical style or artist who you wish would just go away?

Dubstep.

Where is the best coffee in Melbourne?

Degraves.

Do you still get nervous before shows?

Sometimes, but it’s good for you.

What is the best movie you’ve seen recently?

A Scanner Darkly.

Any parting words for the wonderful people of the internet?

Turn off your computer and television and read a book.

———————————————————————

House Vs. Hurricane on Facebook.

Catch them live tomorrow (Sunday) at Push Over at Abbotsford Convent, or at their Corner show in Melbourne, Sat 19th of March. I’ll be heading to both shows, see you there!

Originally posted by yours truly at Kill Your Stereo, as I’m contributing at KYS now.

If ambient yet crushingly heavy metal/ hardcore sounds like your cup of tea, then you really need to be listening to Heights, UK’s latest export. They have released a three track EP, available for free download at their website, which shows an incredibly mature sound from such a young band. After a powerful performance at Download Festival which attracted some major attention, touring all over Europe with House vs Hurricane and having their van crushed by the German police, the 5-piece are just getting started.

Welwyn Garden City hardcore. That's right. Photo courtesy of the Heights official Facebook page

Recently they released a new song online showcasing a heavier, more metallic direction, which is streaming here. The EP had a greater focus on hypnotic and soaring ambient leads, while the new track hits hard from the get-go with massive riffs, leading into a distortion soaked dirge of an outro. Melbournites familiar with House Vs Hurricane, The Bright Star Alliance and Lovers Grave will find plenty to enjoy in the Heights brand of hardcore.

Heights singer

Live at Hevy Festival 2010. Photo courtesy of the Heights official Facebook page

Heights have just wrapped up a run of six UK shows playing alongside hardcore/ metal act Devil Sold His Soul, and as I write this, the band are on a 30 hour plane trip to our sunny shores. They are touring nationally with headliners The Storm Picturesque, who play a melodic style of deathcore (admitedly deathcore and melodic are not mentioned in the same sentence very often, but have a listen and decide for yourself). The tour kicks off tomorrow (4th of February) and runs until the 19th of February, including shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. The promoters have repeatedly hinted at a Melbourne date, so fingers crossed there will be one announced soon (preferably at the Arty).

See the full list of dates at:
The Heights official Myspace.
The Heights official Facebook.
The Heights official website.

Melbourne ambient metalcore act House Vs Hurricane (HvH) have parted ways with long term keyboardist Joey Fragione, due to personal and musical tensions. Joey was a significant part of the well known HvH sound, which incorporates dance influenced synth along with more traditional hardcore and metalcore riffs. He had also written a significant part of the band’s debut album, Perspectives, which caused quite a stir on the Australian scene when it was released in March 2010.

HvH: Slimmed down to a 5-piece.

The split was announced on Tumblr last week and the band had the following to say with regard to their future direction:

“We shall continue on as a five-piece, with all our currently booked shows proceeding as planned. We’ll also be announcing a tour we’re really excited about this Wednesday and if all goes to plan, we’re hoping to have a brand new song for you all around March. Our attention from now will be focused on continuing the writing process for our second full-length record, which we’re aiming to record in the middle of the year, with a release to follow in the second half of 2011. We’ll be filming a series of writing/jamming videos so you can all follow the progress of the record (and give you all a bit more insight into what we do), along with consistent tour and studio diaries when the time is right.”
Read the full statement here.

Old days: HvH with Joey (third from right).

While they are continuing on without a keyboardist, the band has stated that keyboards and electronics will remain part of their sound. HvH are no stranger to line-up shifts, having two bassists and one drummer depart in the last two years, as well as several fill-in members. Nonetheless they have gone from strength to strength, recently playing a national run of shows on the No Sleep Til Festival, alongside massive bands including Megadeth, Katatonia, Parkway Drive and Atreyu.

The band clearly have no intention of slowing down; they will be hitting stages across Australia with several Melbourne shows and a national tour coming up. Catch HvH live tomorrow night (Tues, Jan 25th) in Melbourne at Plastic (Bang venue) supported by Melbourne hardcore act Vultures. HvH are also playing Pushover on March 13, along with a big line-up including Deez Nuts, Dream on Dreamer, I Exist, Hopeless, Break Even and Trainwreck. To top it all off they are undertaking a national tour in March, with Your Demise (UK) and Adelaide purveyors of dirty hardcore, Nazarite Vow. The tour kicks off on March 17, and is hitting all major cities, including two shows in Melbourne at the Corner on March 19 (+18) and 20 (AA).

Get full details on upcoming shows at:
House Vs Hurricane official Facebook
House Vs Hurricane official Myspace