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Interview with Salvation

Photo by Neil Chapman

Photo by Neil Chapman.

Salvation have been putting out their own brand of post punk rock since the early 80s. Following a hiatus in the 90s the Leeds based outfit have been touring consistently, putting out a live album at the end of last year, showing off their best tracks from past few decades.

Tomatrax caught up with the band to ask a few questions.

Where did the name Salvation come from?

Salvation is all about bringing a little light to those in darkness! In other words, we were never over-the-top-gloomy or pretentious like many of our contemporaries… we won’t mention any names! (laughs!). 

You recently put out a live album from your 2020 tour with the Mission, what inspired you to put out the live album?

Working in the studio is great but can also be frustrating as it’s hard to capture the essence of the band on record. On stage, there is a different dimension to the sound and the best way to capture this live energy is simply by recording the gig as it happens. 

Where did you get the idea to release it as a purple record?

Purple vinyl and in a limited edition Tote bag! It’s just something special for the fans as we are all record collectors ourselves. 

Given you large back catalogue is it hard to pick what songs you’ll play at a concert?

It’s hard because they’re all classics! (laughs). No, seriously we like all of them. We try to play songs from different eras and vary our set. We also update old songs that we haven’t done for a while. 

Are there any plans to release any new material?

We’re always coming up with new ideas and melodies so yes, that is the plan. 

Your bio talks about how previously, constant touring saw the band reach their breaking point, what did you change after reforming to address this?

Less alcohol, less chemicals… but just as much Rock’n’Roll. Also you become more tolerant as you get on generally so that must be one of the reasons as well. 

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

We write together but it also depends on the song. In fact, there’s no general rules. Anything can trigger an idea and it really is a joint effort with everyone contributing. 

Do you ever listen to your own music?

We don’t want to annoy the neighbours! (laughs!) No, we do if we need to.  

What other music do you listen to?

Bit of everything. The classics: Bowie/Roxy/T.Rex. Evil Blizzard. The Mission, of course, as we have played with them so many times and they have become good mates. 

What does Salvation have planned for 2023?

We’re playing the ‘Antenna’ festival in Leeds on January 14th with Rose of Avalanche, Ghost Dance, Danse Society and some of the newer alternative bands. Then hopefully going back to Europe which was an amazing experience for us.  

Check out Salvation’s website to find out more!

Interview with Nevrness

Nevrness is a bass instrumental project started by Japanese bassist Bitoku in 2022. The album titled Reorient, features 20 songs of pure bass instrumental. Tomatrax caught up with the mastermind behind this exciting project to ask a few questions.

What inspired you to become a musician?
To be honest, I became a musician before I knew it. I planned to become a public servant when I was in college. But a friend of mine asked me to work as a touring musician and recording engineer, and that’s how I ended up where I am today.  

When did you write your first song? 
Around February 2022.

Where did the name Nevrness from from?
It’s influenced by a science fiction novel called “Neverness” by American writer David Zindell. My Senpai Shimpei (Alphoenix) helped me decide on the name of this project. He also did the album cover and logo.

What made you decide to use an alias rather than your name?
I wanted listeners to hear it without the bias that I’m a metalcore musician. As you have heard, this is not a metalcore record. I want listeners of a wider variety of genres to hear it.

What inspired you to made a record purely using the bass?
Musically, I was influenced by The Omnific. The specific event that triggered this project was an Ibanez demonstration video I was involved in. The song I wrote for the video was so well received that I decided to make an entire album in the same style.

Do you intend to produce future albums just using the bass or do you think you’ll include other instruments?
I think I will continue in this direction. If I make an album with other instruments, that will be a different project.

Have you ever considered adding vocals to your sound?
I do music with vocals with my band Sailing Before The Wind, so I don’t think I would want to do it as a solo project at this point.

Given the songs are instrumental, how do you determine the song titles?
I chose words that would fire the imagination of listeners. 

Where did the title Reorient come from?
I chose this title because it can be interpreted in more than one way. You can construe it like “I (Bitoku) tried to reorient myself” or “reorient your thinking about bass guitar” or “Reorient a bass music” etc.

What was the inspiration behind the album’s cover?
I left it completely up to designer Shimpei (Alphoenix) because I trust him. The motif is based on the runic alphabet Nauthiz.

The bulk of the songs are two minutes or shorter, did you intend to make all the songs short in duration?
Yes. I didn’t want to bore the listener, so I included as many phrases as I could. It’s more enjoyable to move on to the next song in two minutes than to repeat the same parts over and over for four minutes.

You are also part of the band Sailing Before the Wind, how does performing on a solo project compare to being on a band?
I also write songs for the band, so there is no big difference. I think solo project is more free to make decisions.

What’s the music scene like in Tokyo?
Tokyo is full of possibilities. There are not many people in Tokyo metalcore scene where I belong, but you are sure to meet new people and new bands at the local metalcore show.

Do you ever listen to your own music?
Yes. I always make the music I want to listen to.

What (other) music do you listen to?
I listen to country pop these days, music like Eric Ethridge and Mitchell Tenpenny.

Now that the album is out what do you plan on doing next?
I upload a video to my YouTube every week for each song from the album. I’ll keep doing that until I upload the entire album. The next album will be released in 2023.

Check out the Nevrness website to find out more!

Feature album: Salvation – We gave you diamonds

This week we are featuring the Live album from Leeds rock veterans Salvation.

The album was recorded Live at De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium on March 7th 2020 on the final night of a four-date tour supporting The Mission.

The albums acts as a kind of “best of” featuring 11 tracks from the band’s various releases. However, the band inject a new boost of life into each song, blasting through the tracks full of power and energy giving the songs a new and fresh feel! So much so that the tracks from the 80s and 90s could easily be mistaken for new releases!

For fans wanting the complete nostalgic experience, the album is now also available on vinyl!

Check out Salvation’s webpage to find out more!

Interview with Steve from Klammer

Leeds based rockers Klammer have just released their latest single Progress (or the lack of) from their The Day Before Yesterday album.

Taking influence from an assortment of arenas panning from post-punk, darkwave, goth rock and punk rock, Leeds-based KLAMMER embrace all things dark, loud, angular and melodic. The popular quartet have meticulously crafted a hugely distinctive sound that is crammed with integrity, loaded with dark pop sensibilities, and rife with layered edges that are hypnotic and deeply compelling.

Tomatrax caught up with Steve Whitfield to ask a few questions.

It’s been three years since you were last interviewed on Tomatrax, what have you been up to over this time? 
Well Covid kind of got in the way for a good chunk of that, but we managed to finish writing and recording the new albumduring and between lockdowns. The last track on the album called ‘Alone’ was totally written and recorded remotely andwith heavy use of the internet, we pulled it together.

For the rest of the album luckily I have a studio at home, so once the drums were recorded at another studio, everything else was done at mine.

The first lockdown I spent recording guitars by myself, and in another lockdown I spent it mixing.

We did squeeze in an occasional gig in when we were allowed, but that 2 year period was tough for us not playing many gigs.
Before Covid landed we also did a couple of cover version we are really proud of. I’ve always felt if you record someone’s song you have to radically change it, I don’t see the point in doing a 2nd rate copy of the original. We did a guitar version of The Human League’s Being Boiled and then we got asked to contribute to a tribute album for Pete Shelley from Buzzcocks. We picked a very electronic song from his debut solo album and again made it guitar driven.

Being Boiled

I Don’t Know What It Is

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

A bit of a relief! I’d spent so long writing, recording and mixing it during the various lockdowns that I was nearing the end of wanting to listen to the songs anymore. We finished itjust in time for me to still be enjoying it. Now it’s out and getting a great response I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Your previous albums have received widespread acclaim. Did this make you feel any pressure when working on this album? 
No not really, we just got our heads down and wrote and recorded. We tend not to get influenced by outside pressures.
We just do what we do, kind of in a Klammer bubble!
When I write music, it just happens. I’m not aware of my thought process at all. One minute I have a riff or a few chords and a few hours later I have a whole song finished and demo’ed. 

Critics have implied that this album has seen your music get even darker, were you going for a darker sound than before when writing the album? 

It wasn’t something planned, but yeah I think it probably is the darkest thing we’ve done so far. Whether that is influenced by the state of the world at the moment, I’m not sure! I think that may be part of it, but personally I’ve always found dark music fairly uplifting and have always listen to a lot of dark music. 

We were very happy with this quote from the review in the UK magazine Vive Le Rock, “Darkness shouldn’t be this catchy”

Where did the title “The day before yesterday” come from? 
Poss and I were just wondering if the world was better in previous times. So many things have improved around the world during our lives but recently many things seem to have peaked and are now on the slid back down. So we came up the phrase ‘The day before yesterday’ to maybe hint about that.

What was the inspiration behind the album’s cover? 
It’s a black and white photo that I took on film and scanned it into the computer and then zoomed into a small portion of it. Hence it became really grainy, which I think really works with the feel of the album. I’ll leave it up to people to decide what it’s a photo of. We’ve had a few different ideas from people!

You’ve previously produced various artists’ albums, have you been working on any other albums as a producer recently? 

There’s a new band from the UK called Reardon Love who are ones to watch out for. I’ve done all their singles so far, and hopefully they’ll be doing their debut album soon.

Currently I’m talking with The Scaramanga Six, who I love, about doing their next album. They are such an under-rated band.

I’m also in the middle of putting the finishing touches to my other band’s (Scenius) new album, which is a much more electronic affair. Think John Foxx/New Order meets LCD Sound System.

If you could produce anyone’s work who would you choose? 
I’d love to work with The Cure again, I was lucky to be the engineer on their album Wish. Also I’d really like to work with New Order and try to put a bit of edginess back into them.

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘Broken dreams in a crashing car’?
It’s an idea I had just before I went to sleep one night, I think I was in that limbo between being awake and asleep. The song is about a recurring nightmare, so I thought it would be good to get some thing with a slightly horror film feel to it.
A lot of people find ventriloquist dummies and clowns pretty scary, so we got them both in there!

Your previous albums have received widespread acclaim, did this make you feel any pressure when working on this album? 
No not all, any pressure that we might feel would come from us wanting to at least make an album as good as the last one.
First of all we do this to satisfy ourselves, that anyone else likes it is a huge bonus!

Now that the album is out what do you plan on doing next? 

We have 3 unreleased songs left over from the new albumsessions, so we are thinking of recording one more new one and putting out a four track EP. That and try to play as many gigs as we can. The live scene in the UK still feels like it’s recovering from the last couple of years and now we have a down turn the economy. A lot of promoters we know are saying they are finding it very hard as attendances are well down from the old norm.

Check out Klammer’s website to find out more!

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