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Tomatrax

An independent online music magazine

Interview with Rachel Aggs of SACRED PAWS

Glasgow duo Sacred Paws today share the infectious ‘Almost It’, the latest single to be taken from their new album Run Around The Sun.

Tomatrax caught up with Rachel Aggs to ask a few questions.

You’re just about to release your latest album, how does it feel to have it ready to go?

Its a little daunting to be waiting to hear what people think about the record but were both really proud of it so were also excited! It feels like the next chapter in our lives can start now that its out.

Where did the title Run Around The Sun come from?

A friend of mine was toasting Heres to one more run around the sunon their birthday and I just thought it was a really great phrase. Its a really flippant and light hearted way of describing a year, as if the passage of all that time is ever that effortless!

How does the album compare with your previous work?

We felt a bit more self-assured when it came to our ability to write pop songs on demand – we also felt really comfortable in the studio this time seeing as it was our second record working with the producer Tony Doogan. Hopefully some of that confidence comes across on the record. To me it sounds a lot bolder and bigger than Strike A Match.

What made you pick ‘How far’ as the latest single?

We really liked that it was a little steadier and calmer than the rest of the record and we wanted to highlight that as a new kind of direction for us. I suppose its nice to show off when you manage to do something a bit different or switch things up! I also love the tone of Lewissynth playing on this song, I asked him if he could make it sound like a steel drum and I think he did that so perfectly, its a really gorgeous sound.

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘The conversation?

You might have to ask Jack Barraclough about that as the whole video was really his concept and his vision! We really just wanted to make a fun video and we always trust Jack with that. Were not particularly good at taking ourselves seriously when it comes to image so were always really happy to hand over the responsibility to someone like Jack who is always full of ideas that arent too dumbbut are at least light-hearted enough to reflect our uncool selves in a smart way. I think it turned out looking a bit like a 90s sci fi tv show but I think that might have been a happy accident!

The band initially worked long distance between Glasgow and South London, how did you manage to work together while in different cities?

I still dont really know to be honest! It seems totally mad that we ever even attempted that let alone maintained it for so long. I think it just kept it really fresh for a long time, we would only write songs when we got together before shows and then we would play live them the same night – it was exciting! But it did mean that we worked quite slowly over all. And we both spent way too much time on trains!

Where did the name Sacred Paws come from?

A lot of bands can probably relate when I say we were pretty desperate for a name and had a gig coming up. We were texting joke names back and forth and I just kind of liked Sacred Paws, it sounded both earnest and stupid at the same time. We did the show and then we were just sort of stuck with the name! I dont think either of us are totally in love with it now but names stop really meaning anything after a while, it just becomes its own thing!

Do you ever listen to your own music?

I do! Definitely while we are writing I get really hooked on listening to demos, theres often a sweet spot when Im obsessed with what weve done and think its the best thing ever – but then further into the recording/ releasing process I find it really hard to listen to stuff because the self doubt kicks in and everything starts sounding awful to me! Im also a very hyperactive musician though so I often loose track of what Ive actually done and I worry a lot about whether its any good. Listening to our music later down the line reminds me of what weve achieved and all the cool ideas weve had. It does depend on my mood but sometimes I actually enjoy it!

What other music do you listen to?

Right now Im listening to Marshall Munhumumwe the Zimbabwean guitarist from the band The Four Brothers. I don’t care what anyone says, I think its the best guitar music in th world.  

What do you have planned once the album is out?

We are going on tour in the UK this week then we play Loud and Proud festival in Paris and then on to our first North American tour in July!

Check out the Sacred Paws’ website to find out more!

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Interview with Jan Nicholas Blom from The Silencio

 

The Silencio are a 4-piece pop-rock band hailing from South East Queensland’s tourist hotspot, the Gold Coast. With an ever evolving and maturing sound since their inception back in 2014, the band have landed firmly on their feet with the March 2019 release of their new single ‘Same But Different’.

Tomatrax caught up with Jan Nicholas Blom, the band’s guitarist and lead singer, to talk about their latest offering.

  • How did the band form?

I started the band as a solo project when I was around 13/14 years old but over time I realised that I was more of a rhythmic guitarist so a drummer would compliment the riffs I had been writing. I sourced both Dylan and Jared from having known them through work and writing together just clicked. Kurt came a little later when Dylan swapped the drums out for guitars and keys.

  • Where did the name The Silencio come from?

I named the project after a scene in the David Lynch movie ‘Mulholland Drive’. The scene just resonated with me and I’ve been devoted to the name ever since.

  • You’ve said how your single Same But Different reflects the band’s drastic change in sound, what prompted this change?

Dylan finally convinced me that he should play an electric guitar and he was right as it truly benefited our sound. I’m still on the acoustic which maintains our signature sound but the electric creates more room tonally to shift what we’re doing into more of a mainstream sound.

  • You are working on a new album, how has that been going?

We have completed the pre-production now on a further 9 songs and we’re scheduled to go into the studio in July to put it all down. It was a big challenge this time around as the songs have a lot more going on in them than on previous material. There was a lot of bouncing ideas off friends and family before we all agreed that what we had was special.

  • How will the album compare with your previous work?

This album will have a lot more experimentation on it but I think the general listener would still be able to tell that it’s us based on a few of our signatures. We were very proud of the last album when it was finally completed but I feel like this is the album that truly defines us.

  • What will the album be titled?

It’s as yet untitled. I’ve been toying with some titles but won’t officially decide until I hear the whole thing finished. I kind of want the album to name itself.

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

Predominantly the music but this time around, we did write a song with the vocals/lyrics first. I recorded the whole song to just the clicking of my fingers then wrote the music around what I had put down. It’s turned out to be one of my personal favourites for this reason.

  • Do you ever listen to your own music?

I certainly do. It’s the only way to get better.

  • What other music do you listen to?

Lately I’ve been listening to Don Broco, Cave In, Bring Me The Horizon and Thrice. My all time favourites are Radiohead, Silverchair, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge.

  • What do you have planned once your upcoming album is out?

We toured nationally 3 separate times with the last album. I dare say we’ll be doing the same if not more with this next one. Maybe overseas? We’ll see.

 

Check out The Silencio’s website to find out more!

 

Interview with Stefano Bellerba from Japan Suicide

Italian post punk rockers Japan Suicide have just released their new album, Ki. The album was inspired by the art of Mark Rothko and by Confessions of a Mask of Yukio Mishima.

Tomatrax caught up with Stefano Bellerba, the band’s lead singer, to discuss their latest work.

 

How did the band form?

We all live in the same town, Matteo (bass) and Leonardo (keyboards) went to the same high-school and decided to play together. Then came the others. Saverio (guitar) from We die in such a place and the other Matteo (drums) from Ki.

Where did the name Japan Suicide come from?

It comes from Yukio Mishima.

You’ve just released your latest album, how does it feel to have it out?

We are very satisfied about the result, and we think that it is a good point that we have reached as band, from “We die in suche a place”, passing through “Santa Sangre”, our previous works.

Where did the name Ki come from?

Ki is part of the Aikido. The name Aikido is composed of three Japanese words: ai, meaning harmony; ki, spirit or energy; and do, the path, system or way. Aikido is the way of the spirit of harmony.

What made you pick ‘One day the black will swallow the red’ as the album’s single?

In the beginning we didn’t think to use this song as first single, but talking to other people we have considered that even if it is not one of the more catchy of the album, it could be the most representative.

The music on the album was inspired by the art of Mark Rothko and by confessions of a mask Yukio Mishima, what prompted this inspiration?

Well, we take inspiration from everything. Mishima is one of Matteo’s favourite writers (bass) and we made a sort of conclusion of a circle, with some referring to Mishima in the album, over the song “Mishima” itself.

You’re putting out a release of 100 printed copies, what made you decide to make printed versions of the album this limited?

During this years we have invested a lot in our music, and in particular for this record, produced in Uk, so we have decided also to print by ourselves the album, and to see how people will react to the album.

What’s the music scene in Terni like?

Terni is a small town, there are many bands, maybe a little audience for live music.

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

Music comes first. maybe a lyric could be written before in terms of time, but then it has to be good for the music.

Do you ever listen to your own music?

We listen a lot the period pre and post release of every album, and sometimes the previous albums, both for have a term of comparison and to know if we still like something 🙂

What other music do you listen to?

We have different tastes in music, also for other genres and often a disagreement about famous bands. We have found an agreement on “The Doors”, but not on Manzarek.

Now that the album is out, what do you have planned next?

About the future, we have planned something of very different from this five years and more of music published and of life as a band, we are already working on new stuff. Meanwhile we hope you’ll enjoy “Ki”!

Check out Japan Suicide’s Bandcamp page to find out more!

Throwing Muses festival date + Kristin Hersh US tour dates in support of ‘Possible Dust Clouds’ LP

 

Indie music heroine and celebrated 4AD Records veteran Kristin Hersh announces June tour dates in support of her new highly acclaimed album ‘Possible Dust Clouds’, out now digitally, on vinyl and CD via Fire Records. Playing as a hard-hitting electric trio, along with Fred Abong (Throwing Muses) and Rob Ahlers (50FOOTWAVE), these shows are loud, tight and intense, featuring material off this album and from across Hersh’s 30-year career.

Kristin Hersh is most recognized as frontperson for the influential art-punk band Throwing Muses and power trio 50FOOTWAVE. Throwing Muses gained traction in the early ‘80s, playing with bands like The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. Kristin’s solo career spun off in 1994 with the widely acclaimed ‘Hips and Makers’, featuring ‘Your Ghost’, a duet with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. Kristin has since released a steady stream of distinct solo albums with 2010’s ‘Crooked’ the first release in the inventive book/CD format she is now known for.

In addition to a series of frighteningly intense mini-albums via 50FOOTWAVE, Kristin’s writing career has also flourished with the highly acclaimed ‘Rat Girl’ (titled ‘Paradoxical Undressing’ in the UK) and the award winning ‘Don’t Suck, Don’t Die’, a personal account of her long friendship with the late Vic Chesnutt.

Hersh is also pleased to announce that Throwing Muses will be performing at the Pasadena Daydream Festival on August 31, curated by Robert Smith, along with The Cure, Pixies, Deftones, Mogwai, The Joy Formidable, Twilight Sad, Chelsea Wolfe, Kaelan Mikla and Emma Ruth Rundle.

Kristin Hersh’s astounding career has crowned her queen of the alternative release. Her tenth studio album ‘Possible Dust Clouds’ is a highly personalized sociopathic gem delivered as a futuristic rewriting of how music works – a melodious breeze with a tail wind of venomous din.

A turbulent cracker with riot grrl swagger, this album is Hersh’s first new material since 2016, when she released her critically-acclaimed double album-book combo ‘Wyatt at the Coyote Palace’In contrast to that LP, which saw Hersh record over several years, playing all the instruments on these songs over many years, this album involves numerous friends.

Enveloping the juxtaposition of the concept ‘dark sunshine’, she created this brooding solo, expanding her off-kilter sonic vision. Produced by Hersh herself, this album was mixed and mastered by Steve Rizzo with contributions by Fred Abong on bass, Chris Brady (Pond) on vocals and bass, and drums by Throwing Muses’ David Narcizo, Rob Ahlers and Kristin’s son, Wyatt True. The result is a squally and heady mix of discordant beauty.

“When I heard the record back after leaving the atmosphere of the studio, it was like stepping back from a painting. It just sounded like this chaotic party. You want the chaos, you want the violence, the sweetness lends itself to a fun explosion. And that’s what “Possible Dust Clouds” sounds like,” says Kristin Hersh.

Feedback and phasing gyrate from simply strummed normality. Imagine Dinosaur Jr and My Bloody Valentine cranking up a Dylan couplet. ‘Possible Dust Clouds’ is a glorious return to form for one of alternative rock’s true innovators.

Touring allows listeners the chance to experience what the BBC calls Hersh’s “dark and dizzy world”. For this tour,
 Fred Abong also opens the show with an acoustic solo set in support of his own recently-released ‘Pulsing’ EP. His music is alternately described as “ragged Replacements” and “Elliott Smith with balls”.

Hersh admits, “My new favorite incarnation is the super-group I’m playing in now, with Fred Abong from the Muses and Rob Ahlers from 50FOOTWAVE. We’re touring ‘Possible Dust Clouds’ because they both played on it, but I had no idea it would be this incredible. We’re all terrified that this tour will end someday. Which it will.”

‘Possible Dust Clouds’ is available now online everywhere and on vinyl via Fire Records, who also re-released her seminal album ‘Crooked’ on snazzy orange vinyl on Record Store Day 2019. Hersh kicks off her new tour on June 19 in Northampton, MA at The Iron Horse. Ticket info and sales links for all shows can be found at www.kristinhersh.com/appearances.

‘LIVE AND LOUD’ TOUR DATES
June 19  Northampton, MA – The Iron Horse
June 20  Somerville, MA – Once Ballroom
June 21  Hamden, CT – S pace Ballroom
June 22  New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
June 23  Washington, DC – Union Stage
June 24  Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
June 26  Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
June 27  Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
June 28 Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club
June 30 Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre
Aug 31 Pasadena, CA – Pasadena Daydream Festival (as Throwing Muses)

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