CAGE THE ELEPHANT
On Cage The Elephant’s third album, MELOPHOBIA, the rock band was faced with the challenge of finding cohesiveness in the ideas of five different people.
Matt Shultz“As individuals we all had fairly vague visions for how we wanted the record to turn out. They were pretty polar. It really became a challenge to combine all these polar opposites together in a cohesive way. We first started writing material that was very intimate and had a very kind of close and hushed sound to it, but our hearts missed that energy and swagger and playfulness we love so much. Once that came to light, the record really started taking shape on its own. It was the uniting of several different ideas that were really different from each other.”
The approach was highly experimental and based around the idea that that you don’t write a song, you find it. Throughout the process the musicians stopped listening to other musical recordings almost entirely and Matt Shultz drew songwriting inspiration from listening to those around him interact.
Matt Shultz“I wanted the making of this music to be comparable to drawing your childhood house purely from memory. Your mind recreates things that aren’t based so much on physical truth but more based on emotion. I can speak from my own personal experience that pride and fear are always the enemy when you’re creating. Sometimes we cater toward certain sounds or approaches or deliveries because that is what we think society at that particular time has deemed artistic and we totally lose sight of the fact that art is a form of expression. On this record, lyrically and musically, we really strived to be better communicators.”
alt-J follow up their debut album An Awesome Wave with This Is All Yours. The debut sold over a million copies worldwide and was the 2012 Mercury Prize winner, and the band found themselves at the outset of making a follow up in a new position of recording an album that was actually anticipated, and having gone from a four piece to a trio.
Gus“There was an element of mourning for the conditions we made the first album in. Before we started making the new record, I was personally quite freaked out by the thought of getting together in some sort of anonymous rehearsal room. I can’t imagine us being able to write an album in that setting. There was a real innocence to how we did things in the beginning, it was very much a case of us just having fun and enjoying each other’s company. And I was worried that, with the new album, it was going to be a case of, ‘Ok, book this place for six weeks, we have to get it done’.”
The solution the band arrived at was a combination between a rented space in Hackney where they could write and then a studio space in Brixton where they would record
Four became three, when Gwil Sainsbury decided to leave the band. It was a disarming event for the band and one they found challenging to adjust to.
Control is an apt word to apply to This Is All Yours. The multiple and diverse elements the band work with on the album might, in the hands of other musicians, so easily have resulted in something unwieldy or overblown, and yet it didn’t for alt-j.
Joe“We like to try to tantalize listeners, giving them the right amount of something, just before they start craving it. You sort of want to drive people crazy, but not overuse the idea. That’s the only form of self-censorship. You want to give them the idea but not ram it into their earholes.”
Gus“We do add a lot of layers in the latter stages of recording a song, and we certainly don’t worry about how we’re going to play it live – we probably should, actually. We tend to just go for it. Our attitude is much more, ‘Let’s worry about this later’.”
‘El Pintor’ is Interpol’s fifth and most exhilarating studio album. It’s a driving, relentless record, taut and epic in equal measure.
The album, recorded as a three piece with frontman & guitarist Paul Banks picking up the bass, kicks off with “All The Rage Back Home,” signaling a return to what Interpol does best, layering pulsing bass, bursts of guitar, and driving drums beneath Banks’ instantly recognizable voice.
Meanwhile, “My Desire” features a throbbing beat and insistent guitar riffs that shoot off like flares into the night, while on “Same Town, New Story” Banks crafted up an unexpected melodic context for Daniel Kessler’s laser-sharp guitar lines.
In contrast with previous records, Interpol took a step back on ‘El Pintor’ and let the songs happen. What emerged is something urgent and compelling, something revitalized and reenergized. The result is as accomplished and thrilling a collection as the band has ever released.
After 3 albums with the band Generation X, Billy decided it was time to go solo and in 1981, the EP “Don’t Stop” landed him a solo deal. He found the perfect collaborator and partner in guitarist Steve Stevens and released the self-titled “Billy Idol” in 1982. Idol made full use of the MTV explosion – the hugely successful videos for “White Wedding” and “Dancing With Myself” showcased his peroxide spiky hair, sneer and leathers to great effect.
The early 90’s were relatively quite until 1998, when a cameo appearance in the hit movie, The Wedding Singer (1998), began an Idol revival. In 1999, his recognition was confirmed with his second wax model opening in Las Vegas. He teamed up with Stevens, once more, and found the old magic was still there. A more extensive “Greatest Hits” was released in 2001 and sold over half a million copies in the USA alone, 2002 saw two VH1 specials – Behind the Music and Storytellers.
Idol is currently working with Stevens on new material, some of which has featured in the most recent tours over the past four years. It may be some time since the hedonistic, hell-raising days but his unbridled passion for music and performing remain and the shows are still no-holds barred. Despite his bad-boy image, offstage Idol is said to be quite gentle and sensitive and knowledgeable with a good sense of humor.
Riding a tidal wave of rave reviews, killer TV appearances, and Triple A Top 10 single “Do You” (just added into rotation at mtvU and MTV2), Spoon’s eighth – and by all accounts, best – studio album They Want My Soul (Loma Vista/Concord) has entered the U.S. album chart at #4, selling nearly 40,000 copies in the week since its August 5 release.
The New York Times Magazine“Their songs deliver a pure rush of musical elation… the power of familiar songs without actually sounding that much like other rock music at all.”
The Los Angeles Times“They Want My Soul is Spoon’s strongest album yet, something rarely (if ever) said about a band’s eighth record.”
They Want My Soul’s #4 debuts ties the band’s career high, established by its previous albumTransference (Merge) which debuted in the same position in 2010.
They Want My Soul also claims the #1 spot at independent retail by a large margin, with nearly 20% of the record’s first week tally coming from Spoon’s groundbreaking Vinyl Gratification initiative. Additionally, They Want My Soul landed at #3 on the digital chart. Purchase They Want My Soul on Amazon and iTunes.
Spoon has put forth the official video for “Do You,” They Want My Soul’s lead single. View the video now on VEVO.
Spoon recently kicked off its tour supporting the new album with a sold out show on the Fairbanks Lawn of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, as well as show-stealing performances at festivals including Governors Ball, Lollapalooza and Outside Lands, all of which back up ROLLING STONE’s warning that “you’d be a fool to miss Spoon in concert if you get the chance”. A complete listing of announced shows can be found below.
Los Angeles songstress BANKS released her highly anticipated debut album, GODDESS this September, which is a gorgeous fourteen song collection that instantly affirms why the bewitching and beguiling singer has rapidly become one of 2014’s most exciting new artists.
Since the release of her debut EP, LONDON, in 2013 BANKS has gone from being L.A.’s best kept secret to an international phenomenon who has sold-out headlining shows around the world, graced the cover of V Magazine’s music issue alongside Lorde and Haim, and landed in the Top 3 of BBC’s highly lauded Sound of 2014 poll, whose previous nominees have included Adele, Frank Ocean, Sam Smith, and more.
The EP’s four luminous tracks introduced music lovers to BANKS’ dark sonic world – a place where mid-90s Aaliyah R&B meets glitch electro sparks; where the intense emotionality of early Fiona Apple meets an expressive, velveteen voice capable of wrapping itself around a perfectly- formed chorus. On GODDESS, BANKS delivers on these sounds and more. The debut is a hypnotic, visceral debut – a testament to BANKS’ core songwriting chops and her innovative production choices.
Schitzophonics are a high energy garage rock band from San Diego. Formed in 2009, they’ve earned a reputation for being one the most wild live acts around. Guitarist/singer Pat Beers, bassist Tom Lord, and drummer Lety Beers combine the influences of Jimi Hendrix, Iggy and the Stooges, and the MC5 to create a heavy soulful freakout.