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Tomatrax

An independent online music magazine

Interview with Alex Arpino

Alex Arpino has had a rich history in Perth music, with a decade fronting indie pop purveyors The Autumn Isles behind himhe now sets out on a solo escapade with his debut self-tilted record. Tomatrax caught up with Alex to ask a few questions.

You’ve just put out your latest solo single, what’s it like to have it out? 

It’s great, I’ve worked on this material for quite a while now and as a debut solo record, it’s exciting to finally get it out there. I’m really enjoying that payoff.

What was the inspiration for the 80s style video for ‘I Remember You’?
I was lucky to meet up with Yaegar Mora-Strauks early this year, he directed the videos for the first two singles. After we completed the video for Space Ghost (In a Puppet) we started to talk about the next idea. Yaegar was keen on a narrative driven video. I thought a location that had some historical context to my childhood would be fun and the Morley Rollerdrome really fit the bill. It was a common hang out spot as a kid in the late 80’s. I reached out to them and they were so accommodating. For me that venue will always have an association with the 80’s, so we just ran with it! The lyrics really informed the narrative. From there I recruited some friends and the ideas just flowed. It was a very fun and rewarding video to shoot. 


You’ve said that this song is more autobiographical covering recollections of lost love, childhood hopes and adolescent adventures. Is it hard to put something that personal out for everyone to hear?
I think when you come from an honest place it can really resonate with people, and ultimately art is better for it. All the things listed are pretty universal themes that have motivated songwriters from the very beginning. I’m just finding my way in all of that, trusting what I know and expressing it.

You have an album coming out next month, how will the rest of the album compare with ‘I Remember You’?
I took the time to produce an eclectic mix of material, and find the unique voice or colour in each song. I really look for that in albums as a listener. I want songs to have distinction across a record. The challenge is to keep it working in a cohesive form. There are some far heavier and equally more delicate moments on the record.

What made you decide to make the album self titled?
I spent quite some time looking for the right title that best summarised the material. As it’s my debut solo album, filled with personal moments, it just felt right to put my name on it. It’s also been a process of claiming it. Something that’s taken some time for me as a songwriter and producer, to proudly stand up and say “I made this”.



You spent a decade fronting indie pop purveyors The Autumn Isles, how does performing solo compare to being in a band? 
It can be far more personal, and does take more focus to deliver the music as a sole voice. I have had some really rewarding experiences performing solo. The irony is this album is very much a studio record and would be a challenge to translate as a solo performance. I’m in the process of putting a band together to bring it to the stage, which I’m looking forward to! As far as working on the material in the studio on my own, it has been very rewarding. The sense of freedom with no expectation or pressure has been liberating.  

When writing what comes first, the words or the music?
I would historically start with a chord progression and vocal melody. Then I would gradually refine it, add layers, with lyrics being the final stage. For this album however I wanted to mix it up and make the most of not having a band, so it would be working around a beat or start with a synth line for example. It really helped me to try out different ideas and let it come together organically. 

Do you ever listen to your own music?
While I’m in the production process, I listen to it a lot. Once an album is completed  and released I gradually move away from it and focus on developing new material. I generally don’t revisit it for some time after that. It’s interesting listening to stuff you put out 10 years ago, time is the most qualified music critic in my opinion. 

What music do you listen to?
I’m always looking at what’s out there, curios to see what is inspiring people in the current climate, one of the benefits of living in the streaming age I suppose. I’m also lucky to live in a town with great local talent releasing new music- Jacob Diamond, Bats, Michael Savage, Em Burrows, Simone and Girlfunkle, David Craddock, Myths. And I have my staples, Sonic Youth, David Bowie, ELO, Beck, ABBA, Wings, Wilco, the list goes on and on…
A lot of my musical taste is genre driven, based on mood, like Yacht Rock for example – Steely Dan, Hall and Oats, Toto or sometimes I need to listen to KRS 1, Kool Kieth or Portishead, Weezer, Blur, Dennis Wilson…I have broad musical tastes which I think is important as a songwriter. 

What do you have planned following your album release?
I have started to put together a great group of musicians to  bring the album to the stage. I will be making a few more videos for this album and keep making fun content. As long as the material is strong, I’m enjoying the process and those around me are equally enjoying it, that’s the ultimate goal.

Check out Alex Arpino’s website to find out more!

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Inhuman Remnants – Solipsis

Spawning from deep within the aphotic caverns that lurk below the nation’s capital of Canberra comes Inhuman Remnants.

Their mini-EP Solipsis has just being released through Eschatonic Records. The single will see its release this Friday in iTunes, Bandcamp and Spotify.

Included is the single ‘II’, the aptly titled part two of a three-part story that makes up Solipsis. The dark, brooding track was Mixed/Mastered at TsunTsun Productions and the lyric video created by Drain Hope.
Inhuman Remnants are a mainstay of the Death Metal scene in Australia – The end of 2012 saw them release their first EP ‘Anathema’ along with the start of many live shows along the east coast of Australia. Gaining momentum, the band began amassing an eager online following and 16 months later, they released their sophomore EP Inattentional Blindness in early 2014.
Since 2014 Inhuman Remnants has fine tuned their live show by supporting bands such as Aborted, Cattle Decapitation, Revocation, King Parrot, Ne Obliviscaris, Born of Osiris, The Black Dahlia Murder and many more.
Inhuman Remnants’ EP ‘Solipsis’ is out now. Check out Inhuman Remnants’ website to find out more!

Bury The Kings – V

 

Melbourne’s Bury The Kings last month announced the release of their new EP, ‘V’, a concept EP dealing with the 5 stages of grief – it will be out May 18th. The EP is available for pre-order now, and today they are rolling out a new single and music video, entitled Skin and Blood, which features on the EP.

Wojtek Tomczyk, guitarist for the band says that ““Skin and Blood” is easily the most personal song Bailey and Woj wrote together – we feel that it puts “Depression” out there and our aim was to connect as many people as we could through our music; To show everyone that they’re not alone, and that there’ll always be help when asked for it.

The band’s intent with the EP concept is that It’s about dealing with loss, fighting your inner demons and overcoming against the odds. “What we tried to do with this concept is not only match the lyrical concept, but have the music also correspond with the particular stage,” said Wojtek.

Skin and Blood is track Four on the record and symbolises connection with others. Wojtek says that “We did this to show to everyone that even though you got through the 5 stages of grief, the grief will always stay there, no matter what –  even if it’s the smallest amount.

The EP was produced, mixed and mastered by Scottie Simpson from Alpha Wolf, who has also worked with bands such as Death in Bloom, The Gloom in the Corner and Gravemind. Guitarist Wojtek Tomczyk aided Scottie in the process of the production of the record.

 

Check out Bury the Kings’ Facebook page to find out more!

The Word Alive – Violent Noise

The World Alive have just put out album number 5, Violent Noise.

Included in the album is the band’s latest single ‘Why am I like this?” Vocalist Telle Smith explains that ‘Why Am I Like Is?’ is about “pursuing something that more than likely you know you shouldn’t or that might not be the healthiest choice for you. The last two years I experienced making choices that took me further away from who I wanted to be, and I was living in the moment with no regard for how it would effect me or someone else. It’s about finding that person who is kind of the devil on your shoulder, and you want them to tell you what you’re doing is ok so you can rationalize it and justify it.

Violent Noise was produced and mixed by Matt Good [Asking Alexandria, From First To Last], who also produced the band’s last offering Dark Matter.

Since 2008, The Word Alive have steadily maintained a course towards the forefront of alternative music and continue the upward trajectory with their fifth studio album Violent Noise. The Phoenix-based trio-Telle Smith [vocals], Zack Hansen [guitars], Tony Pizzuti [guitars]-tosses and turns between visceral metallic power and entrancing emotionality encased in swathes of otherworldly electronics. It’s a singular sound that has naturally evolved since Deceiver [2010] and through Life Cycles [2012], Real. [2014], and Dark Matter [2016].

They’ve earned acclaim from the likes of Alternative Press, Revolver, Guitar World, and Modern Drummer, have supported I Prevail, Killswitch Engage, A Day To Remember, Asking Alexandria, Motionless In White, and Parkway Drive, among others, and are known for their ability to ignite crowds across the globe. 2018’s Violent Noise represents the culmination of a decade and the unbreakable bond shared by Telle, Zack, and Tony. They re-teamed with the producer behind their last offering Matt Good [Asking Alexandria, From First To Last] and followed a spirit unafraid to experiment.

By holding nothing back, The Word Alive’s connection rings out louder than ever before on Violent Noise. “The most distracting noise in life is the one that comes from your head,” Telle explains. “We all battle with self-doubt, insecurities, and trust. This record is about the balance. There’s light and dark. Nevertheless, you always have control. I want to show everybody that. I’m proof.

 

Check out the World Alive’s website to find out more!

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