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Tomatrax

An independent online music magazine

Interview with Moonshine Effect

The Moonshine Effect are an up and coming indie / shoegaze 6-piece from Athens. Two years ago they put out their release Our eyes should meet which was met with applause in their home country. They are now looking to spread their sound across the world.

Tomatrax slid a piece of paper with questions under a door and received the following responses.

How did the band form?

The band was formed in 2015 when Johnny and Kostas, long time friends, decided to collect their ideas and started writing and recording demo versions of the songs. Pinto, Jacqueline, Theodorosand Nikos contributed to the song writings and orchestration. John X-Tam helped with the edit of the demo versions. We all had band experiences but this time we wanted to do something complete and official.

Where did the name Moonshine Effect come from?

We all love the night and the shining of the moon but above all it sounded good to our ears. We also liked the playful game of the different meanings of the name.

Where did the album title Our eyes should meet come from?

All of us don’t feel comfortable with the dominant culture and search for something different. Therefore we need to meet and explore our common likes, trying to express our love for music with sincerity.

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘Just before dawn’?

Aris Michalopoulos , who made the video, and the band both agreed that the video shall be something trippy and emotional like the song itself, including the element of memory.

Given you’re from Greece, why do you sing in English?

The music and the songs we like since our childhood are in English. So there was no other way to express ourselves except from English.

Have you considered writing songs in Greek?

This is something that never worried us. We were confident of writing songs in English.

What is the music scene in Athens like?

Despite the financial crisis and the music industry crisis, Athens scene is alive and well. A lot of concerts are being organized and plenty of groups release high quality albums in all kind of formats (vinyl, cd, digital).

Your music has a very calm and relaxed vibe to it, was that the intention when writing and performing your songs?

The intention was to have sweet pop melodies with some feedback noise in a dreamy atmosphere.

When writing what comes first, the words or the music?

Usually the base of our music is the vocal melody on the guitar chords. Then we build the songs with the other instruments and of course the lyrics.

Do you ever listen to your own music?

Frankly speaking, we never do it. We have listed to the songs so many times during the recordings, mixings and master processes that makes us not so positive to listen to them again and again. However, of course we love them and we are impatient to play them live.  

What music do you listen to?

We listen to all kinds of music, from rock n’ roll and jazz to electronica. We like to dig old sounds and also to explore contemporary music territories.

What do you have planned in 2020?

We are planning a re-release of the cd format of the album because it’s sold out, a new music video and simultaneously we are in the process of writing new songs for our forthcoming second album.

 

Check out the Moonshine Effect’s website to find out more!

Interview with Will Tremain of Inklines

Inklines rounded out 2019 with the release of ‘Too Much’, the first offering from their mid-year recording sessions at the local Housefox Studios. Supporting the single with successful shows in both Sydney and Melbourne, the band also gained generous airplay across US/Canada. They aim to continue the momentum with the release of new single ‘Wherever You Go’, and supporting show on February 7th at Manly Boatshed.

Tomatrax caught up with Will Tremain, the band’s lead singer, to ask a few questions.

Its been over a year since you were last featured on Tomatrax, what have you been up to over this time?

Time flies! Oh man.. Heaps. We’ve been on 3 interstate tours, recorded these new songs with Lachy, been playing shows around home, making big plans for the future haha. We’ve got our own little studio thing now too, which we’ve had for about the last year. I mean.. It’s just a garage that we rent out, but it’s perfect for rehearsal, allows us to spend a lot more time getting our sets solid and experimenting with new ideas. All our gear just stays set up there so it makes things a lot easier. That has definitely been a big game changer since last we spoke.

Youre about to release your latest single, how does it feel to have it finished and ready to go?

Feels great! We’re really proud of these new tracks. Hearing them come to life was super exciting for all of us cos we really felt like we had done something good, even in the early stages of learning them together. I think a big part of that was just that we finally felt like we weren’t ripping anyone off. That’s not to say you won’t hear influences of course, but for us it felt like the first time we’d done something that couldn’t be immediately compared to another specific band or song. The last single, ‘Too Much’ got a really great reaction, and this one was definitely tied for favouritein our camp, so we’ve been really excited to get this one out. This does go hand-in-hand with a certain level of concern that this one won’t get the same reaction, but I try not to spend too much time on that thought.

What made you pick Wherever you go’ as your latest single?

I think we knew from the first time we played it, that it was going to be one we’d put in the frontline. Lachy’s dad, Mr Steve West, actually came by the studio during our first pre-production session and heard it and said something to the effect of “Yeah, that’s the one”, so that reinforced the way we felt about the song.

What was the inspiration behind the singles cover?

We wanted to sum up “movement” as best we could, both literally and metaphorically. While the lyrics are delivered with a bit of malice, I guess the main message that we wanted to stick to was; get on with it. Don’t sit still. Don’t spend time on people who only waste it. Don’t fill your trolley with things that poison you. You get the idea..

Tom and I were spit-balling one afternoon and came up with the idea of a long exposure shot of some traffic. The universe definitely approved, because within 24 hours of that conversation my good friend Ryan McLean, who’s a really talented artistic photographer, put that photo up on his social media. I saw it and took it as a sign. It originally looked more colourful and defined, but we went for the black/white, overexposed look to make it just a little less obvious what you’re looking at.. With the photographers approval of course.

Youll be playing a show in support of your latest single next month, what can fans expect from your show?

Yeah, we’re playing at The Old Manly Boatshed on Feb 7. Anyone who hasn’t been before is in for a treat – it’s a great little grungey, underground venue. We’ll be doing a 45 minute set which contains all the new tracks, including the unreleased ones, plus a mix of old favourites. We have a local band, Array, opening the show for us. I’ve never actually seen them before, but they’ve got some great tracks and they’ve been going for 8 years or something! So we might be given a run for our money haha. Nah it’ll be good, I promise.

Are there any plans for another EP release?

We’ll definitely release the remaining tracks from these latest sessions as an EP, yeah. We recorded 7 songs in total, so we’ve got one more we want to throw out as a standalone single, then we’ll follow that up pretty quickly with the full thing. You’ll be able to hear them all well before the year is over, that’s for sure.

Your previous single Too muchhas been getting AirPlay in the USA and Canada, how does it feel having your music discovered and well received in North America?

That was the craziest thing that’s happened in the last year, bar none. I woke up one morning and had these messages from people all over the place, saying “When are you coming to New York?”, “Any plans to visit LA soon?”, “Please come to Texas” etc. I was still half asleep and trying to figure out what was actually going on haha. I think some people may not have realised we were from Australia and had really only just started touring here, but the messages coming in were so nice and supportive. I replied to as many as I could and someone I exchanged a few words with told me they’d heard the song on Sirius, so I looked up the station and searched ‘Inklines’, turns out they were playing the track every couple of hours, and they did that for a little over 2 weeks. It was a fairly indescribable feeling, realising the weight of what was happening. It’s just so good to have something that people have been able to connect to. And we are definitely going to find our way over there.

Given the success youve achieved so far, do you feel any pressure moving forward?

I don’t think so, no. In the lead up to any release, there’s an unshakeable feeling of like “is this going to land? Will anyone like it?”, but in a general sense I wouldn’t say we feel any pressure. End of the day we’re just here to have fun and make music we like, anyone we’re able to connect with through the process is a bonus.

You previously said that you want your fans to expect improvement in your sound, do you feel that your sound has improved over the past year?

Absolutely. Not to dismiss any of our older stuff too harshly, but I definitely felt more confident about these songs in every stage of the process. It’s a bit of a broad topic because I suppose everyone has a different idea of what’s good and what’s not, but I personally feel better about these songs, yeah.  

What do you have planned following your upcoming show?

We’re playing another Sydney show shortly after that – Feb 13 at The Vanguard, Newtown. We’vehad a few people asking us to come play in various places around Australia, so we’re currently working out the details of that and then we’ll be back on the road.

Check out Inklines’ Facebook page to find out more!

 

THE STRANGLERS Announce Australian Tour 2020

Provocateurs and ultimate purveyors of Brit-punk THE STRANGLERS have announced their February 2020 return to Australia!

Hailed for their highly original sound, combining a brilliant melodic touch with a genuine dark aggression and effortless cool, The Stranglers are now recognised as one of the most credible and influential bands to have emerged from the punk era.

 

Now over 45 years on, with 24 top 40 singles and 18 top 40 albums under their belt, The Stranglers are still finding the time to hit the road, making their return to Australia this February 2020 hitting up Peth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

The early bird ticket pre-sale starts on Thursday September 26, 9:00am[AEST]. Sign up to the mailing list to get early access. General public tickets go on-sale Tuesday October 1, 9:00am [AEST]. For more info visit https://sbmpresents.com/tour/thestranglers/

 

First forming in 1974, the band’s no bullshit attitude saw them blaze an experimental trail, from Art Rock to Goth to New Wave Pop, inspiring a wave of prog rock guitar players and confrontational vocalists to find their roots in The Stranglers’ unabashed confidence. Their longevity and impact solidified with hits like Golden Brown, Always the SunNo More HeroesStrange Little Girl and Peaches – all establishing the legend of The Stranglers.

 

Australian fans are in for a treat when punk rock rabble-rousers The Stranglers return February 2020 to deliver a set for the ages, drawn from their eloquent and extensive catalogue spanning over 40 years.

 

Interview with Stazzy and Col from Frantic Chant

Winners of the Tomatrax song and album of 2017, Edinburgh psychedelic rockers Frantic Chant have returned with a new EP,  with four new songs covering the age old topics of love, hate, war, peace and alien abduction.

Tomatrax caught up with Stazzy and Col, Frantic Chant’s lead singer and drummer, to ask a few questions.

  • It’s been just over two years since you were last featured on Tomatrax, what have you been up to over this time?

Col – We were all set to start recording a new album and had a lot of interesting gigs booked. I then badly wrecked my shoulder in an accident which meant the recording had to go on the back burner. We honoured the gigs by putting together some programmed beats for the songs and I showed off my one finger keyboard skills.

  • You’ve just put out your latest EP, how does it feel to have it out?

Col – It’s been a long time coming after a few false starts. It’s a relief to see it out there, especially for me, after a long time wondering if I’d be able to play the drums again.

Stazy – We were due to record with our long time producer, Elle, but were unable to find dates that suited us both. We then had a go at recording ourselves but weren’t happy with the results. That’s when we found a great studio called The Groove Tunnel and finally got the songs down before the end of last year.

  • You said that the EP includes four new songs covering the age old topics of love, hate, war, peace and alien abduction. What was the inspiration behind covering these topics on this release?

Stazy – The first four topics are universal. “The Man Who Fixes Anything” is from a true story that Col read the night before a session which seemed to fit around a riff that Nick had come up with, which was “borrowed” from the Wonder Woman movie. So that was alien abduction sorted.

“Red, Wine & Glue” was inspired by a colourful weekend in a Glencoe caravan.

  • Your previous release was a 21 track, double album, what made you decide to release an EP this time round?

Stazy – It was just a case of wanting to get something out as quickly as possible. The plan is to release more EP’s this year so you can put your own album together.

  • Where did the title “The back green spaceship” come from?

Col – It’s a reference from the song “The Man Who Fixes Anything”, and back green is a Scottish phrase meaning back garden.

  • What was the inspiration behind the EPs cover?

Stazy – Our artwork is always done by our guitarist, Nick. He picks up little things from the words, music and feel of the songs and melds it with whatever else is going on in his brainbox.

  • Rod Spark produced the album and also contributed various instrumental elements, what was it like having him involved so closely?

Stazy – He seemed to understand exactly what we wanted without too much explanation and was on the same wavelength, sonically, as us.

Col – He came up with some great ideas for backing vocals and it was his suggestion for Mya [Gray] to sing on “Find Another Way To Die”.

  • Is Mya likely to appear on any future a Frantic Chant records?

Stazy – We only met her a couple of times as she was doing work experience, as part of her schoolwork, at the studio. She’s more than welcome on any future recordings.

  • Now that you have released your EP what do you plan on doing next?

Col – We have a few songs we want to record ourselves that will be probably be a lot more lo-fi. We’ll set up camp in our rehearsal room with a couple of mics and keep the overdubs to a minimum.

We’ve been a bit more active on Spotify recently and we plan to release a compilation of songs from previous albums that are no longer available to stream. This will also be on all the usual digital platforms.

Check out Frantic Chant’s Facebook page to find out more!

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