November 29, 2011

Band Horn: Derision (United Kingdom)


Derision is a UK based band that began with Eddie, John, Tony and Seddy all imminent in forming a purely Metal sounding band.  “I’m not saying we are an “original” sounding band, is any metal band these days? But I do feel we stand out, as we have songs that are memorable, with memorable riffs and choruses,” says Eddie.

Indeed memorable shreds of the guitar remained in my head long after listening to a track off their debut album, Ancient! As the director of Bloodstock Festival, Vicky Gregory says, “[Derision] has an awesome sound!” However, Eddie states that creating that “awesome” sound is no piece of cake, “Let’s just say we learned a hell of a lot about each other, the band and how we will work in the future! There was a lot of joy too making this record. There were some great moments where we’d all look at each other after hearing a finished recording, and us realising its worth all the hassle!”

Regarding the making of the album, Derision had a little helping hand rather a helping amount of encouragement from the infamous producer Russ Russell of Dimmu Borgir and Napalm Death fame. Eddie continues, “We never physically worked with Russ only through email and text. I cannot stress though how much Russ has made this album and Derision sound better! The help he gave us, which he didn’t have to, was priceless! His words of wisdom have made this album sound the way it does and I cannot thank him enough! He’s a top bloke! A lovely chap and I am proud to call him my friend! The plan for album number 2 is to have him produce it, so fingers crossed!”

The result Ancient is a massive natural progression from the EP, with catchy hooks and aggressive riffs to get heads moving along with tempos to get the blood flowing.

So, what are Derision’s latest projects? Eddie fills me in, “Latest project are, to push the album and get as many people as possible to hear it! Hopefully get some backing from somebody as we would love to make a living out of Derision. Gigs will be ongoing throughout 2012 and beyond. The main aim is to get on the festivals in the UK, Bloodstock especially (which I’m working on anyway) Sonisphere and Download (even if it’s just to meet Black Sabbath! Ha-ha!) I’ll also, no doubt, be starting and finishing the writing of album number two throughout 2012. It’s an important year for us, maybe even a make or break year!”

A make or break year – my instinct is it will not be the latter! Do give Derision a listen and you get to download their track for FREE at their official website
Also catch the band at the following social media sites; Twitter and Facebook.

A grand thank-you to Eddie and the Lads at Derision for agreeing to do the interview!
  



November 24, 2011

Show Me The Metal Finland 2012!



Finnish Metal Expo (FME) 2012
17 – 18 February 2012


Finnish Metal Events Oy Company describes themselves as “An independent, heavily networked and stubborn event production company based out of Helsinki, Finland. Our best known productions are the annual Tuska Festival and the Finnish Metal Expo.”

World’s premier strictly Metal expo, an indoor festival and showcase event, has reached the eight year milestone. Since its inception, Finnish Metal Expo has brought together the metal music industry in arctic Helsinki.
Besides the classic exhibition area where record labels, merchandise companies, music shops etc. deliver the latest goods, the eighth edition of the FME sees the event shift towards indoor festival form with the introduction of the second stage. The number of performing bands during the two days will be increasing to more than twenty!

Friday February 17, will be headlined by Edguy, who just released their latest album Age of the Joker. Also confirmed for Friday are Norway’s ICS Vortex and Finland’s Swallow The Sun. Saturday February 18, will feature Stam1na, who are one the biggest success stories of recent years in Finnish metal. Stam1na are currently working on their new album with producer Joe Barresi. The Finnish Metal Expo show will be a part of Stam1na’s record release tour.

Industry Day meeting will once again bring the who’s who of the metal music industry to Helsinki. Industry Day has established its spot as the most important professional meeting of the metal world. The upcoming Industry Day will take place at the confines of the Cable Factory, making it convenient to attend seminars, check out the showcases and set up meetings.

One-Day tickets cost 35 Euros in advance and 40 Euros at the door (if not sold out). 
Two-day ticket costs 57 Euros. Advance ticketing only.
For further enquiries and information visit the official FME website.


Previous FME post
 at Air Guitar.


November 22, 2011

What Dr. Phil taught me about the Music Industry!


Ok, so I admit it, I watch crappy television shows – even more so out of sheer boredom! However, South Africa is known for the trashy import of day-time American talk shows. It’s really entertaining especially Jerry Springer if you have nothing better to do on a Tuesday night, that is.
So, this brings me to a point of interest – What Dr. Phil taught me about the Music Industry! (Bite me but this is really good!)

Who the f*ck is Dr. Phil? He is a bald and tall man who tells rough edged humans to – “Get real about their lives” – In a no-nonsense manner! That is all you need to know.   


Dr. Phil: You either get it or you don't

It's easy to tell these people apart. Those who "get it" understand how things work and have a strategy to create the results they want. Those who don't are stumbling along looking puzzled, and can be found complaining that they never seem to get a break. 

The Music Industry:

The Music Industry is not forgiving. Every band needs to know what they are doing and why they are doing it and how they want to play within the fields of the industry.

Dr. Phil: Life rewards action.

Decide that you are worth the risk of taking action, and that your dreams are not to be sold out. Know that putting yourself at risk may be scary, but it will be worth it. You must leave behind the comfortable and familiar if you are to move onward and upward.

The Music Industry:

Following the idea that every band knows what, why and how they are operating in the music scene then it’s time to go into action. Nobody got famous for only playing garage shows. So get out there into the scene!

  Dr. Phil:  You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.

Acknowledgment means slapping yourself in the face with the brutal reality, admitting that you are getting payoffs for what you are doing, and giving yourself a no-kidding, bottom-line truthful confrontation.

The Music Industry:

Change is constant in the Music Industry and bands need change too! (This would be a great time to mention Lulu by Metallica) What is holding the band back? Listen to the critics!

Dr. Phil:  We teach people how to treat us.

You either teach people to treat you with dignity and respect, or you don't. This means you are partly responsible for the mistreatment that you get at the hands of someone else. 

The Music Industry:

Face it – a band’s fan base will be and always shall be the greatest asset! If you treat potential and existing fans like shit – don’t expect any releases to be sold. Simple.

Conclusion: Dr. Phil's "Life Laws" just got applied to the Music Industry! Plus, they actually make sense - to me at least. What are your thoughts, reader? 




November 17, 2011

Exclusive Band Horn: Sólstafir (Iceland)

Epic Rock 'n' Roll Times

SÓLSTAFIR rose from the darkest and coldest depths of the Northern Lights and make their way to the forefront of many epic bands. Their sounds are immaculate like the soundtrack of an unfolding movie or as Dani Couture states, “this album feels like the soundtrack of a movie that was never made.”

Earlier this year, a twist in the myth allowed for Sólstafir to sign with a new record label and the result was Svartir Sandar. The double release is impeccably breath-taking and it serves as a slight contrast to their prior releases. Nonetheless, the Svartir Sandar album resurrects Sólstafir as a mature band that is not afraid to show their hard work, ardour and priceless love for music.

Air Guitar has been fortunate to converse with Sólstafir’s, Gummi as he tells about how record labels are not all glitter and sparkle, what is happening in the Icelandic Metal music scene and that their music is not Viking Metal! 

Sólstafir has been a very busy and successful band since the humble beginnings in 1995. How has each band member progressed since then; in terms of character and musician?

We’re all going slowly insane!
Our lives have of course changed a lot since 1995. We were 16 when we formed the band and now we are in our 30’s. Two of us already have kids, which is life changing. We’ve gone through schools, different shitty jobs, lived in other countries etc...
Photo by Björn Árnason
Congratulations to Sólstafir for signing with Seasons of Mist (SOM); after being pushed against a brick wall from the previous labels. How did the band get signed to Seasons of Mist and how has it been working with them?

We asked to be released from the contract we had with Spine Farm because they totally ignored us despite all the good reviews we were getting. For instance, we started off out tour to support Köld in Helsinki (Spinefarm’s home base) and we had told them many months in advance that we would pick up copies of the album there to sell on the tour. When we came there they had only 50 copies, which sold out on the first 3 dates on a more than 30 date tour! At first they did not want to let us go, even if they had no interest in doing anything for us, and we certainly weren’t making any money for them since people couldn’t buy our albums anyway as they were nowhere available. But then they changed the label boss, and now it is run by a guy we know, and he’s a very cool guy and he agreed on letting us go, even though he wanted to try and fix up our relationship and give us a better deal. But for us it was just too late and we were already talking to a few labels, including SOM. But I’m sure he’s the right person to restore that label to its former glory AND they were the only label willing to sign us back in 2005!
Like I said we were negotiating with a few labels, but SOM offered the best deal by far. And even if they were probably the smallest label we were talking to they are always on the rise and just seemed like a perfect home for us.
With SOM things are totally different. We have had more communications with them now then we ever had with Spinefarm. And they are doing some promotion for us too, something that Spinefarm just didn’t do.
Svartir Sandar out on Season of Mist 
Cover painting by Kim Holm
In October 2011, the band released Svartir Sandar. How would the Band like to describe Svartir Sandar especially to a non-Icelandic speaking audience and how does the new release differ from the previous Sólstafir releases?

I guess you could describe it as something like epic rock’n’roll. Some like to call it Post Metal. We don’t really care what people call us, as long as they don’t call us fucking Viking Metal! [Lav: We would not dare!]
I don’t think Svartir Sandar is much different from Masterpiece of Bitterness and Köld. It’s kind of like a blend of those two. But we have of course kept on developing our music. We’ve never really written the same album or the same song twice.

In my opinion Svartir Sandar sounds marvellous with a dark underbelly – just as Dani Couture explained, “this album feels like the soundtrack of a movie that was never made.” That says a lot about the quality of Sólstafir’s work. What are the Band’s thoughts on this?

I really think that’s a big compliment. If our music inspires people to close their wyes and imagine some scenes from a movie never made, it means our music is really moving the soul.

Sólstafir will be playing at Inferno Festival, Pagan Festival and completing a Finnish tour in 2012! What are the Band’s expectations for the upcoming festival? What should the fans expect for the festivals?

We’ll also be playing at Roadburn, which will be awesome! We’ll do a two hour set there! Finland and Germany are always like a second home for us, and we can’t wait to go back there. We’re super excited to be touring with our good friend Mat and his new band Hexvessel in Finland!

However, Sólstafir has played around Europe many times before; can you tell me what the highlights for Sólstafir have been so far? Are there any favourite gigs that stand out?

I guess that would be Roskilde Festival. We got a 70 min playing time, at around 8 in the evening, prime time! The tent we played in was packed and it was one our best shows ever!
But we’ve had good gigs all over and met so many wonderful people and toured with people that will for ever after be our friends.
Photo by Ágúst Atlason
On that note, have there been any low lights for Sólstafir, so far? Are there any particular memories that should be forgotten?

The lows have been the years of countless struggle when it seems like no one gives a shit and we’re always on the verge of financial and mental bankruptcy. But somehow we have always pulled through and walked our own way, against the current.

What is Sólstafir’s take on the Icelandic Metal music scene? Is there a limited scene or is it the Artist who creates the scene? How does this affect the Band?

Today we have an okay metal scene, with some bands making waves in the international scene, such as Atrum (Black/Death), Beneath (Technical Death), Skálmöld (Viking Metal), Angist (Black/Death), Momentum (Psychedelic Post Metal), Brain Police (Stoner), Gone Postal (Blackened Death), Svartidauði (Black)  and Potentiam (Post Black). All those bands can be found on our Facebook site. 
But it hasn’t always been like that. We had a big death metal scene in the early 90’s but when we formed there was only one other metal band active in Iceland, Forgarður Helvítis.
photo by Rebekka Kolbeinsdottir
Do you have any last words?

Thank you for the support Lav!
[Lav: Thank you!]
Sólstafir can be found at Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Reverbnation Seasons Of Mist and the Official Sólstafir 




November 16, 2011

Band Horn: Nostra Morte (Mexico)


Reigning Goth

Nostra Morte make Goth Metal better than any band that I have heard! In fact, if any Vampire series would have a sound track - it would be this! From the dusty dawns of Mexico - Air Guitar brings you Nostra Morte!



Tell me more on how a family became known as Nostra Morte and where did the name Nostra Morte originate?

Nostra Morte:

Hello Lav, first of all it’s our pleasure to meet you and also is great to know that we have fans so far and that our music it’s been listened in such beautiful lands like yours.

Alferis DaMort (Guttural Vocal, Lyrics):

“Well, Nostra Morte comes from the Italian words that mean “Our death” as in Spanish will be “Nuestra Muerte”, and so Nostra Morte was just going to be a song in our album called “Un cuento antes de morir” - “A tale before to die”, but one night Sonia, Alferis and I were listening the song and I liked the idea of calling the band like that. I have Italian ancestry and also we believe that death is something we all have in common, but we do not see death as a fatal termination because we refer to death as the death of all negative things. Also we as Mexicans celebrate death in a carnival, because we tend to make fun of death until she wins the bet of life.”


Where does Nostra Morte observe influence from?

Pier LeMort (Founder, Composer, Producer, Guitarist, Audio engineer):

“We have admiration for other bands of the genre from around the world, but the influence has come mostly from other composers, orchestra directors and movie soundtracks because when we compose we imagine each story like a movie. Some examples are, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, Danny Elfman, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Wojciech Kilar, Beethoven, Elliot Goldenthal, Modest Músorgski, just to name a few. And the lyrics are inspired by stories, myths and legends from our country.



How do you feel about playing at Hell and Heaven Festival in Mexico in a few days? Can you tell me what other shows Nostra Morte has played at?

Arcan DiMort (Drummer):

“I think that one of our best shows has been in “El Circo Volador”- “The Flying Circus” in Mexico City when we went for the first time at this big City and the people were awesome with us and we gave a great show.
And we have had a few bad shows at some gigs but mostly because of the technical problems and bad event organizers, but people always support us.”

 Nostra Morte:

“We feel great about going to Hell & Heaven Fest and we are eager to play and totally looking forward to this Fest because it is a huge honour to share the stage with all this world-class bands such as Megadeath, MoonSpell, DarkFuneral, Mayan just to name a few, so yeah we are exited!!!”

What does Nostra Morte think about the Mexican Metal Scene?

Nostra Morte:

In Mexico we still need more openness to this genre, yet the response from the people has been positive,
but gradually we have opened the way along with other bands so it will be more places and dissemination of 
the metal scene in Mexico hopefully in the near future.”


Tell me more about Nostra Morte’s fans.

Eiven DuMort (Baritone):

“Fans have been amazing here in Mexico and around the world; we had an overwhelming response from our
 fans always faithful to us and support us. And the press has treated us great and we are always received with
 a lot of respect.”

I am an ardent listener of Un Cuentos Antes de Morir! Where did the conception derive from?

Nostra Morte:

We have until now one album release called “Un cuento antes de morir” which means “A tale before to die”, and it was going to be just a music book with stories, tales and legends of our country then evolved to become a music project that’s when Nostra Morte as a band was born, and the album is confirmed by various fantasy tales.

How important are the lyrics for Nostra Morte? Especially since the concept is of story-telling

Nostra Morte:

The lyrics as well as the melody are very important, to tell a story through music it’s very important to choose the words that can take the people inside the stories and make the people live them as if it was real.
Alferis, he is our lyrical composer and Pier LeMort is the composer of the music and also sometimes of the lyrics.


Alferis:

“I am inspired basically by the same stories that already exist, and try to tell them in a simple way highlighting the fantasy in them.”

What are Nostra Morte’s latest involvements?

Malek:

“We have a few tours around our country, and we are about to release a video of the song “Trato o Truco” , also we are looking forward to a South American tour for next year, and the release of our second album called “ Sin retorno ” that means “No return” from which we have already 5 songs done and around YouTube.”


 Any last words?

Nostra Morte:

We will like to thank you Lav for this interview, and also for taking the time to know more about us and what we do, also to the people that support us in your land and all the fans that are reading this we thank you all for letting us get inside your ears and your hearts with our songs. And we invited you all to keep visiting our sites in Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and our channel in YouTube.  


November 14, 2011

Linestyle Artwork

METAL ARTWORK 


Linestyle Artwork is a young design team consisting of Anna Jäger-Hauer and Sandra
Näsemann. They represent exceptional creative work:

CD-Artwork
Band Merchandise
Illustration
Animation
Design (logo design, business cards ... etc. ..)




Tattoo Design 


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Artwork for Bands such as seen below



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