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Tomatrax

An independent online music magazine

DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT announce Second Melbourne Show on May AU/NZ Tour

 

It seems Australia and New Zealand can’t get enough of Hevy Devy. Melbourne’s 170 Russell Show on 24th May has completely SOLD OUT and a second show at the same venue has now been announced for Tuesday the 23rd May.

Tickets for the additional show are now on sale at mjrpresents.com.

Post-Rock/Prog legends sleepmakeswaves will be taking the stage with DTP on the whole tour – and they will have their new album “Made of Breath Only” out in time for the tour. New single Tundra is already a triple j favourite and the shows promise to be an epic one-two punch of prog goodness.

Devin Townsend Project is obviously the brainchild of frontman Devin Townsend – who released new album TRANSCENDENCE in September 2016. To celebrate the success of the album, they are returning to Australia and New Zealand in May 2017, presented by MJR Presents. The album was the first ARIA charting album for Devin Townsend Project, coming in at #10 in its first week in the charts – all the more reason to celebrate!

Previously here in 2015 on a string of sold-out shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne – this time Perth and Auckland (NZ) are getting some HevyDevy love. The guitar virtuoso is one of the most celebrated singer/songwriter/guitarists in heavy music and Devin Townsend Projects’ live show never fails to satisfy and amaze.

Over the course of Devin Townsend’s storied career, a single constant has persevered: change. As far back as Steve Vai’s Sex & Religion, which Townsend fronted, to 2001’s landmark full-length Terria to the multi-instrumentalist’s country rock outfit Casualties of Cool to his stunning new album Transcendence, the Canadian isn’t too interested in keeping an even musical keel. To stay the proverbial course is, well, anathema. For certain, he’s far too impatient to write the same Strapping Young Lad song over and over—which is why he folded the band in 2007—and it’s likely there will never be a fourth or fifth Ziltoid album (a third if we’re lucky) because by that point he’ll be in a totally different frame of mind for galactic puppets gone awry.

Tickets for Devin Townsend Project’s Australia/New Zealand Tour in May 2017 including the added Melbourne show on May 23rd are now mjrpresents.com

Interview with James Williamson from the Stooges

Fans of The Stooges and Radio Birdman are in for a real treat this spring as guitarist James Williamson and singer/guitarist Deniz Tek have teamed up for a new spin on four classic Williamson compositions from the early/mid ’70s.

Tomatax caught up with James Williamson to talk about the project.

What inspired you to perform acoustic versions of your previous songs?

“Deniz and I struck up a friendship over the course of the last 4-5 years, meeting hear and there while the Stooges were still touring. During this time, we discovered that we both liked to visit the Big Island of Hawaii. So slowly, we had one conversation then another about doing an acoustic show at a small venue in Hawaii. Although that never materialized, we decided to record a few of the old tunes, just for fun really.”
How did you pick which tracks to perform acoustically?

“Well, Deniz suggested we do some of my old stuff, so I just picked 4 songs (2 from Raw Power and 2 from Kill City) which I felt could use some updating and were suitable to be done acoustically.”

Are there any plans to do any follow up acoustic renditions?

“Hard to say at this point. Just trying to get these out there. March 31st is the official release date. So, we’ll see after that how things go.”

Are there any plans for any other collaborative releases between you two?

“Same answer as above really. We’ll have to just take em one project at a time.”

Have you had any reactions of the EP from Iggy Pop?
“None from Iggy so far”

Are there any plans to perform the acoustic versions in concert?

“I don’t really tour anymore since the Stooges disbanded in 2013/14, however I’ve told Deniz I would do a couple of selective shows if we could get them. For example, The Bridge Benefit Festival in San Francisco would be perfect for this music. Let’s see what Neil Young thinks about it.”

You released your first solo album a few years ago, how does recording a solo album compare to being in a band?

“Well, its the same in the sense that there’s a group dynamic kinda like a band. And, on the album I only used 2 sets of musicians so it turned out almost like a band. In fact, some of them (Micheal Urbano on drums & percussion, Petra Haden backing vocals/vocals & violin, Gregg Foreman-keyboards) almost are like my band now because when ever I record something new (I’ve released 3 singles and the upcoming EP in the past year), they are my goto musicians.
On the other hand, on my solo stuff, I’m free to use whatever singers I wish to use and who want to do it, so there is much more flexibility in vocal styles.”

There is a wide range of guest vocalists on the album, was it hard to get them all together?

“Not at all, in fact it turned out to be quite easy since everyone I contacted pretty much accepted the offer to do it and I had nothing but positive experiences with all of them.”

Are there any plans for a follow up solo album?

“Well, I’ve been enjoying making singles and this EP in that with smaller projects, you give everything all your attention, you don’t gloss over anything. So, every song gets the best version and treatment you can afford. However, the marketplace seems to prefer albums…so hard for me to say at this point…I’m no longer in the music business really in the sense that I’m not trying to be commercial per se. But, I would like my music to reach people. Anyway, we’ll see how many songs I can write over the next year or so and that’ll be what I put out…long or short.”

You’ve been making music for over 50 years, what’s the secret to your longevity?

“I haven’t got a clue really. I’m the same as I was when I first started in that I write music to express my emotions. I don’t write it for any commercial purpose …at least not the good stuff… What I’m most well known for at the songs on Raw Power and Kill City, but I feel the music on Re-Licked is every bit as good. And, the newer stuff, I’m pretty sure will resonate with people but maybe not for another 20 years.”

I guess my music has a timeless appeal since it springs from within and is not linked to any particular genre or demographic. Of course I was out of the music business for around 25 of those years, so I still have the enthusiasm that many musicians that have been around as long as I have lost.

You donated your Leopard Lady Les Paul Custom, as well as your Gibson B25N acoustic guitar to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Museum, does it feel strange not playing with them now?

“It feels pretty great really. Since those guitars had so much provenance, they were becoming a burden to protect. They had become valuable, yet no one in my family wanted to sell them. So, rather than store them we all decided they would be better served to be available to the public in perpetuity…I haven’t regretted that decision at all. Anyway, I have many other instruments which I’ve been playing for years now and sound fantastic…yes, those were special and I always played that Les Paul on everything I recorded…but that part is over now.

Now that this latest EP is out what do you have planned next?

Well the EP is out as of March 31st… I plan to keep writing new songs and figuring out who I should collaborate with to realize them fully. That and hang with my Granddaughter and the rest of the family.

Check out James Williamson’s website to find out more!

International women’s day 2017

Once again to celebrate International Women’s Day here are 10 tracks from all-female bands and solo female artists over the past year or so from across the world!

 

Number ten
Gemma Ray – The original one

Number nine
Animalia – Little earth

Number eight
Peppersplum – take the adventure of love

Number seven
Kristin Hersh – Soma gone slapstick

Number six
Ninoosh – Palms

Number five
Aya-Rosa – Flesh and bone

Number four
Bec Sandridge – You’re a fucking joke

Number three
Jess McAvoy – Curious

Number two
Sylviane – Ghost trapped in limbo

Number one
Clews – Feel

Interview with Benjamin Roberts from Hollow World

 

Last week, HOLLOW WORLD unveiled their savage new track WILDFIRE and announced their new album EXANIMATE release details – the album out on March 17th. Having just played alongside some of Australia’s best extreme metal artists on the Thrash, Blast Grind Festival alongside King Parrot and Psycroptic, today they are rolling out their Exanimate Album tour dates across Australia.

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

How did the band form?
The band formed from the remains of another band – called Wychbury Hill. After coming to a point where there were no original members anymore they decided to rename the group.

Where did the name Hollow World come from?
So Hollow World was initially just a name that the band had on a list of potential names after the decision to re-brand. At first it was the only name out of the list that sounded any good and wasn’t already being used by another band already. At first it had no particular relevance to lyrical content, but as we have evolved as a group over the years the lyrics have become more reflective of the name.

You have your new album coming out this month, how does it feel to have it finished and ready to go?
Yes we do! “Exanimate” comes out on March 17th! It is so exciting – we put so much into the album and now that it is ready to launch it really is the most excited I’ve ever been. We cut absolutely no corners on it – and it really shows. The sound is incredible and we are just so happy with it all. It’s heavy as hell, fast as hell and super melodic in sections too. We’re ll just really anxious to get it out and see the reactions to it now.

Where did the name Exanimate come from?
Exanimate basically means to be extinct. Given that the concept for the album revolves around the wipin gout of both humans and the planet – we thought that name was fitting for the story – and also being the closing track of the album – we thought it’d make the best name.

The album features two stories, one about humans being infected by a virus, the other about humans being a virus, what was the inspiration behind these stories?
I’d been thinking about doing a concept for the album and this story just kind of started forming in my head by itself. I started looking at the way people interact with everything in their lives, and started to see how disconnected we’re all becoming, and in that disconnection we are also cultivating a culture of disposability – where everything is designed to be discarded. This isn’t just prevalent in material things – it can be seen in the way people treat each other too. Everything and everyone are becoming disposable and this started working it’s way into the story I was writing. I wanted to communicate my idea of where the world will end up if we continue down this path.

What made you pick ‘Wildfire’ as the album’s latest single?
We released the song ‘Defiling Paradise’ as the first single off the album late last year – as we knew it’d be the opening song off the album so would make a good first release. “Wildfire” was more considered than that – we had a good listen to all the songs off the album and picked one that not only was really listenable but also a song that we thought would make a good video clip. “Wildfire” just really jumped out at us like that.

You’re about to tour Australia, what can fans expect from your show?
Yes we are! Heading out across the country with our good mates Daemon Pyre and Zeolite. Anyone coming out can expect relentless high speeds, high energy and an all-round good time. We are a band that loves to have fun on stage and loves the audience to have fun too. Expect plenty of drinks to be downed, plenty of brutals and plenty of buffoonery.

Do you ever listen to your own music?
Yes – I listen to our music all the time. I’m big on writing music that I actually like listening to. If I don’t like listening it then why would anybody else want to listen to it? So yeah, I’m big on that. We all are.

What other music do you listen to?
I listen so much different music. My favourite of all time is Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – I listen to them almost every day. Other than that of course I listen to a stack of metal. LAtely I’ve been spinning Dreamless by Fallujah a lot, that album is off it’s head! I also listen to a lot of hip-hop, lots of rock too – I’m pretty broad with my tastes in music.

What do you have planned after your upcoming tour?
Once the tour is over and done we plan to look at a follow up tour for some time in the second half of the year. We’d really like to tour this album internationally if the opportunity presented itself – so we are working on making that happen. There are a lot of other things in the works too, but nothing I can divulge until they’ve been confirmed. 2017 is going to be a big and busy year for Hollow World, that’s for sure.

Check out Hollow World’s website to find out more!

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