Saturday, 30 January 2016

Behind The Borderland - Interview with Wayne Rudell (Borderland Fuzz Fiesta Spotlight)

For the past couple of months now I've been interviewing bands who will be appearing at this year's Borderland Fuzz Fiesta. I'll be featuring a couple of more bands in the future. This time I'm interviewing one of the masterminds behind this awesome festival. The one and only Wayne Rudell.

Apart from arranging kick-ass festivals with killer line-ups, Wayne is also part of two fantastic Stoner Rock Bands – Fuzz Evil and Powered Wig Machine.

Wayne has kindly agreed to talk to me about the festival, future plans for the festival and for both bands. So lets get started with the FUZZ.......

Hi Wayne. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today?

Hey Steve cheers man we are doing great!

So we are here to talk about your awesome music festival happening soon. Borderland Fuzz Fiesta.

How did the idea came about for this festival. The idea came from my good friend David Rodgers who runs the Southwest Terrorfest, and Battleground Records. He said that maybe I should think about starting up a festival that mainly caters to stoner rock and psych fans, so we can pick up where SWTF leaves off. I planned it to offset SWTF, so now Tucson can look forward to two yearly festivals.

This will be the second year the festival will be happening. How did last year’s festival go?

Being a first year fest I think it went exceptionally well. We had a great lineup that brought Fireball Ministry with Scott Reeder, Wofat, Mos Generator and many more stoner bands from across the region. The turnout was on target and overall we had great fan response.

Did you learn any important lessons from the previous festival?

Man you are always learning. You are going to make mistakes. They say repetition is the mother of skill. The longer we do this the better we are going to get, and hopefully that translates into growth for BFF and Tucson. You have to admire festivals like Roadburn, and Hellfest and just be in awe of what they have accomplished. It really is something to aspire too.

How were the responses from the Psych/Stoner Rock Community in regards to the festival?

I think the overall response has been great. I have had bands from all across the world reach out to play on BFF. Joey and I’s whole vision for BFF is for it to be the biggest stoner rock and psych party in the US. We have had a lot of support from labels like Ripple Music, and blogs like yours to hopefully make this vision a reality. Onward and Upward!

I have to congratulate you both on the great line-up. What can people expect from the festival?

This year we are very proud of the lineup. Both nights will be packed with riffs and heavy grooves. Fri ,Feb 26 will have more of a psych feel. I am very excited to see one of my all-time favorite bands Dead Meadow with Yawning Man. Seeing those two together is going be a real high point of the fest for me personally. Sat, Feb 27th will be a bit more of a heavy groove night with Elder headling. Their record Lore was just unreal and we lucked out bringing them all the way from Boston.

How did you choose this line-up? And is this line-up close to your original plans.

When we plan the lineups we mostly go for a certain vibe. I like to make things flow naturally with the band selection, where the music complements each other. The final lineup is very close to the original lineup with the exception of the Saturday headliner, which just wasn’t in the cards for this year.

It seems you guys have gone bigger and better for the second festival with some truly great artists on the bill. Was that part of your plan to try to do something better that came before it?

We are always gonna keep pushing ourselves to make things better. These first two year will more than likely be the most difficult times to succeed just because the popularity of the fest is still growing. The fest doesn’t have a built in fan base yet so Joey and I are always on the streets handing out flyers talking to people spreading the love of BFF. I imagine by years 4 and 5 things will be much easier when it is more of a mainstay fest, but until then we are gonna be putting a lot of boots on the ground.

Was it easier or harder arranging the festival this time around? Man it was much easier arranging the fest this time around.

It takes time to learn the ropes and workout the details with agents. Like I said before repetition is the mother of skill.

Which bands/artists are you looking forward to the most performing at the festival?

I am looking forward to all of them! It is a killer hand picked lineup by myself and I can’t wait to see both nights.

Do you have an extended team helping you run the festival on the day? As you guys will be extremely busy on both days.

Joey and I mostly plan everything. We do have help with flyer distro and Pr. The day of the fest we will have to just delegate a lot of things. As much as I would love to just watch the show, we are going to be extremely busy making sure everything runs smooth and everyone has a good time.

Will you start planning Borderland Fuzz Fiesta 2017 or is that way too early to tell.

We will probably start planning in March or April a month or two after the fest and start locking down our headliners. We typically start planning almost a year ahead. I feel you have a better insight right after the fest to improve your weak areas and make the overall experience better for everyone when things are fresh.

Enough festival talk. We have to talk about Powered Wig Machine and Fuzz Evil. What’s happening with both bands? Are you guys performing gigs regular? Releasing any new material soon.

Hahah Joey and I never rest . We have taken a small break with both bands to plan BFF, but 2016 will be a very busy year musically for us. We will finally release the Fuzz Evil debut in the spring. Fuzz Evil will be doing a split with Switchblade Jesus in the fall, and Powered Wig Machine will be doing a 4 way split in the winter of late 2016/2017 that I can’t really give any more details just yet :0 PWM will also be doing a west coast tour in fall 2016. Fuzz Evil will be playing a few festivals in the us this summer then heading off to Europe the first few weeks in Oct with Switchblade Jesus. Hahaha At some point we are gonna eat and sleep but when you do what you love its easy.

Before we go, do you want to provide any advice, warm welcome to the people who will be attending the festival?

We are looking forward to meeting a lot of the attendees and see just how far people traveled to come see the fest. Last year we had people drive 12 hours to come see BFF. If you see Joey and I come say hi.

Thanks for doing this Wayne. And thanks for letting me interview a range of great artists on the blog. Much appreciated.

Thank you Steve Cheers!

Words by Steve Howe and Wayne Rudell

Thanks to Wayne for taking the time out to talk to me.

Powered Wig Machine Links:

Fuzz Evil Links:

Borderland Fuzz Festival Links



Early Bird Two Day Pass:
Dead Meadow Single Day:
Elder Single Day:

An Interview with SHE HUNTS KOALAS


When Argonauta Records announced their new signing to their label and preivewed one of their songs, I was transfixed. Not just by the haunting single – Plague – from the ablum with it's hypnotic style of Doom, Stoner and Post-Rock almost Cinematic Sounds but also by their brilliant name - SHE HUNTS KOALAS.

So very different to the normal Doom/Stoner Rock circles but it showed a band with intelligence, wit and a sense of originality. I was given the chance to interview the band and here's what went down.

Hi guys. How are things with you today.

Things are going great, thanks. Such a pleasure to write back.

So why did you choose the name She Hunts Koalas for your band. Any specific meaning.

It's just to annoy stoner doom purists with a «WTF name» without 'smoke', 'black', 'goat' … :)

No, seriously, we let everyone make his own story. One day, someone told us that it was a direct reference to Tank Girl, I quote, « Because of the Koala scalp on her head!». People's imagination is crazy sometimes...

How did the band get together. Did you all know each other before forming the band.

At the begining, we were four guys experimenting on shoegaze & noise stuffs. Original drummer had to move abroad and Julien came in the band bringing a new style of play. We met Dan, mad of analog crazy sounds and he has integrated the band at keyboards & machines.

From that moment we naturally slipped to a slow,loud and down-tuned music while maintaining our noisy, dark and psychedelic luggage.

Nathan (Guitar), also had to move abroad, letting Alex the only guitarist. Alone but with louder guitar. :)

So, the fixed line-up since a while is: Julien on drums, Alex on guitar, Dan on machines and François on bass & vocals.

How would you describe your music. 

In a world I would say 'instinctive', particularly in live performances. We used to say that our music is a trip from the depth to the astral. Mind-blowing and sweet as well as it can be crushing, massive and sludgy.

You've just signed to ace Italian Record Label – Argonauta Records. How did you get involved with them. Great label doing a fantastic job.

Doing a fantastic job, yes!. That's why Argonauta Records was one of our first 'target'. Because of his human size, open-mindedness and variety of the roster. We thought that it was totaly in accordance with our way to work and our multi-influences music.

We've been in touch with Gero to submit him Terra Dementia. After several listenings he was finally totaly into it! We were super happy and kinda prouds for sure.

Did you have any others to sign with any other labels.

We were also blown away when Jon from Conan proposed us a digital release on his label Black Bow Records after having thrown a ear on the songs. Have positive feedbacks from labels or bands you like is more than motivating and means a lot. It's worth all the energy and effort you put into your music...

Also, we are planning a co-production of several labels to press some vinyls, but it will take a long time if it happens.

You're releasing your debut album “Terra Dementia” in April 2016. What can people expect from the album and why did you call the album “Terra Dementia”. Definitely a bleak sounding album title.

As many debut album it's like a 'photography' of what makes the sounds we like at this moment. Like a fisrt overview to set the bases...

People can expect passing thru mystic opium filled landscapes to pachydermic and cataclysmic earthquakes. There is dark heavy-riffs, loud-tones, psychedelic analog noises, larsens, celestial glows...

We used to say it's a little like Sleep meets Ufomamut meets Sigur Ros, with all due modesty of course.

Yes «Terra Dementia» is a bleak title. Most of our music or univers is bleak, dark or melancholic.

It's not a concept album at all but you can find a path, a progression between the songs from the beginning to the end, like a loop. The global theme is like the last breath of a planet and the madness of his livings. Hence the title.

It can be in the future or in the past, doesn't matter. We just give sounds and few words to activate your imagination.

Was it a hard or easy album to write and record for.

Unexpectedly the album wasn't too hard to record.

We did everything by ourselves in our rehearsal room in two live sessions. Only synths and vocals were added later leting us experimenting and testing on some stuffs.

Most of the song were already existing since a while so it was easy to record. Mix and arrangement was the longer and harder task. Because we were little fussy and we wanted 'Terra Dementia' to sound like what we had in mind.

For a first time and experience on a full DIY production we are happy with the result. Mastering was done by Christophe of Sinetracks Mastering. Cool guy, good and easy to work with!

We thanks again Romain, our sound guy for giving a hand.

How hard is it being a band in today's world. What are the most difficult aspects in being in a band.

If you're agree with the fact that you will loose more money than you can win, so it's easy :)!

As far as we are concerned music is essential for our mental health in this crazy world. So, we try to give as much as we can inside.

Having buddies to play what you like with, having your twoo arms and legs to scratch a guitar or whatever, meeting people thru music is just a fucking chance. But only reach to play your music font of an audience is a fight, even for a couple of bill...

Booking is a pain! Gain the confidence of the promoters and find a place in their networks is one of the hardest aspect. Feels like you constantly need to sell yourself...

There is more and more good bands and less and less venues. Cool underground venues where you can play DIY shows are closing one by one. Beside of it, there are nice associations and collectives working well to develop this scene.

We can not thank enough those who have given us a chance.

What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual.

It's a little of both. Like in many bands some songs blooms from a jam. Else, someone comes with a riff or a piece of song, an idea. Then we start to work arround. Improvizing or testing to interlock other riffs or ambiances from our stock. Like playing to 'Legos'.

I set first 'dummy' vocals, like a 5th instrument to find melodies. Lyrics come after. The song ambiance and tone influence the text sometimes.

Will you be touring this record heavily. I know it maybe too early to ask. 

We can say : some of you should be ready in April. Especially in Italy ;).

We all know the French Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene is thriving at the moment with bands such as Mars Red Sky, Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel amongst others making an impression lately. What is the scene like in France at the moment. Is it thriving or is it at a complete standstill.

I would say thriving. I think there is much more excellent bands than we can imagine !

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans.

We're are already working on new stuffs. It would be FAT!

Well guys, thanks for doing this. All the best with the new album.

Thank you very much. May the Force be with you.

Words by Steve Howe and She Hunts Koalas

Thanks to Gero at Argonauta Records and Barbara at NeeCee Agency for arranging this interview. Terra Dementia will be available to buy from Argonauta Records from April 2016.


Facebook | BandCamp

Check out their stunning new single "Plague" from their forthcoming debut album - Terra Dementia.

Meriin - Electric Children (Album Review)

Release date: March 11th 2016. Label: 4ONE8 Records. Format: CD/DD

Electric Children – Tracklisting

1. Bad Trip 2:59
2. Electric Children 5:56
3. Will ‘o The Wisp 6:22
4. Interlude 2:32
5. Night Creep 3:38
6. Warbringer 5:21
7. Julia Reprise 1:41
8. Tales Of The Wasteland 23:21

Band Members:

Jordan Knorr - Lead vocals
Carter Lewis - Guitar, background vocals, synth
Caleb Wyels – Percussions
Joey Hamm - Bass


Wizards and witches seem to have a cardinal significance within the stoner and doom scene. Merlin the wizard is a well-known figure within the fiction literature. As I’m not well read within the fictions genres of mystery, sorcery and fables, I will not dive further into the deeper meaning of the character Merlin, but stop at the conclusion that this configuration of Merlin that here stands before me is a dark, brooding, mysterious and yet peculiar compelling unity.

In 2014, Merlin released their first full length entitled Christ Killer to a high appraisal amongst a smaller group of illuminated hardcore stoner doomers. One can only wonder why more people haven’t picked up on this band yet, but perhaps it could partly be due to the fact that Merlin is harder to put to frame as yet another Kyuss, Sleep or Pentagram clone imitating the aesthetics within the genres.

Well that is a shame, because once you invest in the wizards twisted sorcery you I’ll find yourself blessed with a dark and psychedelic universe of “not-so-standard” stoner doom rock with strong, melodic and at times chant-like vocals. Fuzzy heavy riffs, pummelling, yet playful drumming, with song structures that switches between insisting grooves and slower psyched out passages leaving enough room for the monsters to crawl out under your bed and sink their fangs in…

First track, ‘Bad Trip’, is a short trailblazer that after a short intro and build-up of march-like drumming and swirling guitars sets off into outer space on a short but effective race around a dark moon. An über doomy version of Hawkwind or The Cosmic Dead immediately springs to mind. Next up is the title track that despite a running time at 5+ minutes still is, after Merlin standards, a fairly short affair. It alternates between faster paced space doom and slower groovy passages that gives the song a cool interaction that works really well.

On the album’s third track the pace is lowered even further and resembles more the imprint Merlin left on Christ Killer. This is one of the standout tracks on the album, and I’m impressed with how much gloom and atmosphere Merlin is able to pack into their songs. ‘Will ‘o The Wisp’ is probably how a slowed down Acidic Uncle would present himself when stalking around your house hunting you down for the inevitable decapitation. This is the perfect horror movie soundtrack and I might be mistaken but somehow I think this is exactly what Merlin set out to achieve on Electric Children.

Interlude’ is surprisingly a short interlude of different synthesizer harmonies, almost like the introduction to an occult ceremony in the black church of Satan. This short mood installer gives way to the (short) ‘Night Creep’ with an up-tempo and extremely catchy chorus, “Night-night-night creep, night-night-night creep, night-night-night creep, coming for you”, strong melody lines and great guitar solo works in the middle of the song. This is great, straightforward occult doom rock.

Next up in the wizard’s melting pot is ‘Warbringer’ where Merlin lends more towards a Spirit Caravan/Pentagram inspired riffing and driving rhythms. A solid stoner doom track with some cool and varied vocals, where Jordan Knorr show a little more bite and a slight anger in his tone, almost bordering insanity as he wails “Losing faith, losing life, lose your fortune, lose your mind. “My life, my soul, I think I lost them all”. Splendid!

Another short intermission ‘Julia Reprise’ sets the scene for what is next and nothing could have prepared you for the adventures that lie ahead on this album’s grandiose finale that is the closing track.

Now, for the album closer ‘Tales of the Wasteland’ that is an epic 23 minutes journey through murky and mysterious landscapes where evil lurks around every next bend in the notes. With this song, Merlin really stretches out and covers vast musical ground and the scope at stake here makes me think of a psych doom mutation of Pink Floyd's Animals album. And this is not a bad thing, trust me.

I fear we might not make it home through these wastelands tonight, but if I was to die this very night, this would be the perfect place to leave my mortal body. Why not? The heart is already lost to the evil hands of the bleak wizard. I dare any proclaimed fan of doom, psych and stoner with a craving for the occult to enter this dismal world of Merlin and take a dance of the death with his Electric Children.

Words by Niels Fuzz Bartholdy

Thanks to Remi at 4ONE8 Records for the promo. Electric Children will be available to buy from 4ONE8 Records on CD/DD from March 11th 2016.


GRIZZLOR - Cycloptic (EP Review)

Release date: October 25th 2015. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Cycloptic - Tracklisting

3.LIFE'S A JOKE 01:25
4.TOMMY 01:26

Band Members:



Grizzlor are the kind of band that are here to fuck shit up!!!

There's nothing sophisticated about their blend of Thrash/Punk driven Sludge Metal which has seen the guys inject a welcome does of black humour into their music. Their new EP – Cycloptic – is a violent blast from start to finish. Unapologetic in tone and nature these guys blast their way through a ton of heavy grizzled sludge vibes with Victor's pissed off vocals.

There's no point doing a song by song review as these guys write songs that live and die by the old classic punk way. Fast paced riffs all delivered under 2 mins which allows the band to show off their musical skills. Yeah it's down-right ugly at times but you can't deny how catchy their songs can be especially on War Machine and Starship Mother Shit. Lyrical geniuses they ain't but they can write a true sludge-punk-metal fest that will get all metalheads jumping along in the moshpit.

The best way I can describe Grizzlor as if The Melvins and The Sex Pistols having a pissing contest in who can play the loudest, disgusting and filthiest riffs. Insane description, I know but it's the best way I can describe them. It's loud, violent and filthy fun that's all over in 10 mins or so. The production is actually good for the type of band Grizzlor actually are. They don't fuck about but they do have a sense of rebellious fun that you can't deny.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Interview with Jimi from HONEYMOON DISEASE

When I first received today's guest debut album – Transcendence – late last year I wasn't expecting much. I heard from my friends in the know that I should really check them out. The PR Sheet that came with the album didn't speak volumes to me either. So I relented and pressed play on my MP3 Player.

About two hours later I was about to start my 3rd listen. Holy crap, Honeymoon Disease infected me with their high octane riffs blended with Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Blues based Stoner vibes. The band have just came back from a well received European Tour. The album has also been acclaimed by fans and critics alike. You can read our review here.

I was asked to interview the band and I wanted to find out more about them especially why they chose their crazy name. I'm happy to say Jimi (Drums) from Honeymoon Disease is here to save the day....

Hi Jimi. How are things with you today.

It’s great thanks! A lot is going on in the Honeymoon headquarters. Booking shows for 2016 and we have also started writing some new killer material.

So why did you choose the name The Honeymoon Disease for your band. As its' not the most appealing terms out there.

Haha, no it isn’t. For us Honeymoon Disease is like a crazy ass honeymoon that never ends. It’s starting out as pretty beautiful, fun and romantic, but after a while it just turns into a painful and itchy horror story. But you can’t stop diggin’ it. Just like our music. The guitarist Jenna got the name from some weird soap opera show a long way back.

How did the band get together. Did you all know each other before forming the band.

Not really. The two guitarists Jenna and Acid played together before in a band called Thrill Worriers. They started Honeymoon Disease with our former bassist Admiral in 2014. Together they recorded the first single “Fast Love”. At that point they didn’t have a steady member on drums and just before the release of the 7” vinyl I (Jimi) moved to Gothenburg and met the girls at a concert.

They asked me to join and after one jam I stepped in as the drummer and we started to play live. Admiral then decided to leave the band last summer, after the recordings of our debut album, and shortly after Nick joined as the new bassist.

How would you describe your music.

Some say we’re the rock’n’roll Abba, haha. It’s groovy hard rock with well-trimmed guitar riffs and a lot of 70’s feeling. We have no problems of calling it retro but I believe we also have a modern touch into it as well.

Your new album – Transcendence – is superb. Full of great tunes that really get you in the mood. What can people expect from the record.

Thank you man! Like I said we want to find a good mix of old and new, a retro feeling with a modern sound. The album has everything from speedy tunes that kicks you in the balls to more mellow and groovy ones. You get in the mood, but not just one mood. It’s a journey of feelings and it can be dangerous to listen to it while in traffic, haha.

Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for.

The pre-production was a really stressful period for us. We were such a new band and really wanted to play live as much as possible but we also needed to record the album. So we worked with the songs together with our producers Ola Erfjord and Nicke Andersson (Imperial State Electric, The Hellacopters) in the same time that we were a lot on the road. It was an interesting process and even though it was stressful we got the opportunity to try the material for an audience. Two of the tracks on the record are actually mostly written in the studio, risky but really fun. The result became exactly as we wanted it.

The album is being released via Napalm Records Music. How did you hook up with Napalm. Did you have any other label offers to release the album.

We had some offers but Napalm Records showed and gave us a lot of support directly from the beginning. Even though we just had one single out, they believed in us and saw the potential. We feel really fortunate to have the chance to work with them.

I worked with Napalm before with my previous band Mamont. So it was pretty natural I guess, that they had an eye on my next project.

How hard is it being a band in today's world. What are the most difficult aspects in being in a band.

I think it has always been hard to be a band on this planet. Today it’s of course easier to reach out to a wider audience which is great. But it’s harder to provide yourself on the music I guess. That’s the most difficult part, to make it work without money, haha. You come to a point when you put in so much time and hard work but in the same time you need to have a boring job as well. It’s hard to find the balance and it takes a lot of energy. But if you’re creative you’ll manage which is pretty fun in the same time.

What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual.

Jenna and Acid often starts writing a riff from a feeling they have, sometimes a whole idea of a song. Then we jam it out and build up the arrangements altogether. All of us have the same musical roots but in the same time we have a lot of different references. For example I come from the stoner scene and Acid more from the thrash world. It’s always fun to mix this stuff during the writing process.

You've just finished your European Tour. How did that go and how did the audience treat you.

We had a blast! It was so much fun! We released the debut album under the tour so we were a little bit unsure if people would know who we were. But the response was amazing!

We toured with Swedish Avatarium and The Vintage Caravan from Iceland. It couldn't have been a better tour package! Super nice people and a great mix of speedy rock'n'roll, blues and heavy rock.

Will you be touring again in 2016.

Hell yes! Right now we're planning a lot of stuff. Scandinavian dates of course and also some summer festivals and hopefully we'll play Spain and Portugal later this spring. An bigger European tour is also in the making.

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans.

Watch Out! Because the disease is coming for you! Haha, we can't wait to drive out on the roads and meet you people. If you like the record and haven't seen us live, then you should really come out and hang out with us! Looking forward to rise our beer bottles together soon! Cheers!

Words by Steve Howe and Jimi

Thanks to Andy at Napalm PR for arranging the interview. Thanks to Jimi for taking the time out to talking to me. Transcendence is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Napalm Records now.


RedWolves - Walking Roads (EP Review)

Release date: January 29th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Walking Roads (EP) – Tracklisting

1.The Barrier 04:34
2.Got You On My Mind 02:55
3.Farewell 05:34
4.Walking Roads 06:18

Band Members:

Rasmus Cundell (vocals)
Simon Stenbæk (guitar)
Nicholas Randy Tesla (bass)
Kasper Rebien (drums)


RedWolves debut EP – Walking Roads – should get these guys noticed within the Hard Rock/Classic Rock/Heavy Metal circles. It’s a throwback to the good old days where bands focused equally on melodies & lyrics and that are what RedWolves have achieved here with their debut EP.

It’s a stirring mix of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal where the dual twin guitars bring back memories of Thin Lizzy at times merged with classic Heavy Metal theatrics. Though RedWolves do have a certain swagger about them that reminds me of Kverletak at times. Maybe not with the Black/Doom Metal riffs but they have a cool Punk identity with lead vocalist – Rasmus – giving you the feeling that he was born in the wrong decade. This dude belongs in the 70s/80s heyday of Classic Rock and Heavy Metal. I mean that as a compliment as can shriek and sing with the best of them.

Opening track – The Barrier – is high voltage rock spliced with Thin Lizzy dual guitar riffs. It may sound like a simple track but I urge you to look again as RedWolves include moments of prog rock. It’s not the most original of sounds but RedWolves exceed in creating a thrilling start to the EP.

Second track – Got You On My Mind – is definitely a Punk Rock song at heart especially at the start before changing into a frantic fast-paced Hard Rock/Heavy Metal song. It’s pretty cool to hear RedWolves change from one genre to the next. The vocals once again impress through out.

Third track – Farewell – is the one of standout songs on the EP. It’s a deliberately slow-paced number with a sombre “lighter/mobile in the air” feel to it. It allows the band to expand their musical horizons by playing a few impressive solos. I will admit the lyrics could have done with more work as they sound rather contrived at times. Though the band gain full marks for the impressive guitar solos on show.

Fourth track – Walking Roads – is the final song and RedWolves decide to end things with a bang as they opt for a more classic rock feel though the song does open with a Kverletak style riff before returning to the world of Classic Rock/Heavy Metal spliced with moments of Blues and Psych Rock.

This may not be the usual stuff that we feature on the blog but I have to admit these guys won me round with their great music. Walking Roads has plenty to offer to all serious fans of Classic Rock/Heavy Metal though it will take a few listens to get the full effect of the EP. RedWolves are definitely worth your time. I can’t wait to hear the full length record.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Jacob at Disciplinarian PR. Walking Roads will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Jan 29th 2016.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Time To Go Hunting: An Interview with DUCKHUNTERS

Today's guests are part of upcoming French Stoner Metallers – Duckhunters, who released their superb debut album in December 2015. If you're a fan of bands such as Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Fu Manchu and Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel then these guys are the band for you.

I described the album as: “Extinction Road is a superb debut album. It's on the final epic song – Hands Of Doom – where the band finally create their own sound and show what a great band they actually are. It shows that the French Stoner Metal scene is providing another great band to check out. I would hope that on the next album that Duckhunters will carry on the sound from Hands of Doom as they have the potential to release something special in the years to come. They're not their yet but the signs are encouraging as they do have some great ideas on this album.

If you're not bothered about the concept of the album and you're only here for the riffs then you will find much to admire here. As Extinction Road is a thrilling debut album that will appeal to all fans of Stoner Rock/Metal.

I caught up Manu (Vocals) and Alain (Drums) recently to discuss how the band came about and what is Extinction Road actually about.

Hi guys. How are things with you today.

Alain: Hi ! What a lovely day !

So why did you choose the name Duckhunters for your band. Any specific meaning.

Alain: That's the name of the wild geese hunters on the Trans-Siberian construction site in the early 1900's. They were sharp-shooting badass mercenaries.

How did the band get together. Did you all know each other before forming the band.

Alain: We started playing together at the end of 2012. I had a band with Manu which had to split because of the guitarist's departure to another horizon. We started Duckhunters with Jeremy, former bassist of our old crew, and Guillaume. We met him on through internet: he shared the same will to play stoner and to drink a lot. During the 2013 summer, Jeremy left and came Isidore, today's bassist/hippie hater.

Manu: He drinks a lot too.

How would you describe your music.

Alain: It's a hard thing to do ! Well, let's say it's like a mammoth riding a T-Rex on the martian desert. More seriously, we are influenced a lot by bands like Orange Goblin, Goatsnake and Mastodon.

Your new album – Extinction Road – is superb. What can people expect from the record.

Alain: Thanks, you look beautiful too ! We invite people to ride with us through infinity on the extinction road, from a savage start to a doomed terminus.

Manu: We would like people to get hit in the face by this album the same way they would be if they saw us playing live. But also to show the potential of local scenes (Brest in this case) and draw attention outside our country.

The concept of the album is very dark. What was that your intention to release something dark as this.

Alain: Honestly, we are not very dark people. Well, if we hit our little toe in the table on a Monday morning we can release our inside kraken, of course. We are heavily influenced by post-apocaliptic imagery: books, films, comics... Manu developed this inclination in our demo (called Drop Dead) with lyrics about men who lose control, and there's an obvious tribute to Thunderdome, the most underestimated Mad Max movie of the saga. With Extinction Road, we wanted to go deeper in the post-apocaliptic genre. The dark side of our music came after the writing, when we realised that it was actually pretty twisted! And if you listen to the album, you will understand that hope isn't part of this world. Not anymore.

Manu: We built this album in order to drive auditors into the heart of what our future as humans could become. A future built (and/or destroyed) by money, violence, wars, solitude, selfishness etc.

Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for.

Alain: When we came in Y Prod's studios to record it, we had been playing the album's songs live for one year. So it was pretty fast. We managed to drive our crowdfunding campaign with success, even hitting the 200% score! This meant we could record 2 extra songs. The whole process was an amazing experience with the two great guys who run Y Prod. And there's also a pool table up there.

Manu: During the last year, we spent a lot of time playing our music live and trying to find the best version of each song. The way the crowd reacts at the end of a song is a good way to know it's impact. We recorded this album in professional conditions: Y Prod is a studio which began to record a lot of bands in Brittany. We are happy because they deserve it.

I think the album cover makes the album stand out. Who designed the cover. Did you have much input into the final version.

Alain: The artist is Jo Riou. He worked a lot with the stoner scene, making album covers and gig posters. He has made a name for himself in the stoner world. We discussed a lot about the album's concept and their were some other versions before this one. The result is a mix of Japanese print with a K. Dick inspiration that lets you know what kind of creatures there are in this world.

How hard is it being a band in today's world. What are the most difficult aspects in being in a band.

Alain: Playing the music you want is not hard, I guess... But the real job is to succeed rising from the huge amount of amazing bands, first in Britanny but also around the world with platforms such as Bandcamp. We heavily respect bands who succeed around us like Stonebirds. In our country, finding places to play live is harder. Venues close one after the other, and in the remaining ones you often have to share the scene with other bands. Fortunately there are associations that organize live events and artists reunions, like L'Amicale du Fuzz (Lorient) or Red Sun Fest in our city, Brest. Or plenty of association in Brittany (Rennes, St Brieuc, even Quimper last days !)

What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual.

Alain: We are a democracy. We take a decision when each of us 100% agrees. It takes time but we are always fully satisfied. Finally, we end this with swords fight.

What is your favourite song off the album.

Alain: Last Broadcast

Manu: The hidden track.

How did you get involved with music. Was it a specific band, album or artist.

Manu: First of all by listening to our favorite bands when we were younger. But our learning of music didn't go the same way for everybody. Some started playing an instrument pretty early (Alain and Guillaume) while others took to the stage later (Isidore and Manu) when they discovered the local scene and wanted to be a part of it. We all love Johnny Halliday too.

Will you be touring this record heavily.

Alain: Yeah we hope so! We would like to finally play outside our region and tour the country a bit, play with other bands etc.

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans.

Manu: Sorry, we can't play less loudly.

Alain: If it bleeds, you can kill it.

Well guys, thanks for doing this. All the best with the new album.
Alain: Thanks ! Live long and prosper.

Manu: Thank you, and thank you for this interview!

Words by Steve Howe, Manu and Alain.


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Banquet - Jupiter Rose (Album Review)

Release date: February 26 2016. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Jupiter Rose – Tracklisting

1. Mastermind 4:04
2. Sword Of Damocles 4:20
3. Run To You 3:32
4. Set Me Free 4:39
5. Burning Bridges 6:25
6. Touching The Grave 4:46
7. Jupiter Rose 5:12

Band Members:

Doug Stuckey - Guitars / Vocals
Brandon Chester – Guitars
Eric "Don Cheeto" Kang – Bass
Damon Lockaby – Drums


Imagine Radio Moscow, Kadavar and The Shrine jamming together, then imagine it all through acid-psych tinged lenses and you have a good hint at what type of waters that Banquet treads. On Jupiter Rose we are greeted to a sonical feast serving up a top-shelf fuzzy 70’s retro psych rock meal able to satisfy the most hungry stoner rocker in the field. The quartet from San Francisco, California slings course after course of tasty tunes at the listener and the band seems eager to showcase their merits. A signature sound comprised of heavy distorted bass lines that comes through the mix nice and clear generating a vibrant moving current together with fast paced and intelligent played out drumming overlaid with frantic guitar shredding and way above average vocals.

The tempo is high with an almost punky feel on most of the tracks and packed to the rim with blistering guitar flares pointing in all directions leaving blatant comparisons to Hendrix-like outbursts apparent. On several occasions the stellar interplay and sheer quality of the band members musical skills resembles a more stringent version of fellow psych-rockers in San Diego based JOY that despite the ability to discern the individual instruments in fact manage to appear as a well-oiled amalgamated unity.

First up is Mastermind and the song itself lives up to its grandiloquent title. It is a brilliant way to start the festivity. A super-short drum-in and we are off on a thrilling ride on the retro rock highway. This song just rips with killer vocals, great guitar leads, gorgeous grooves and a watertight rhythm-section that proves Banquet are here to rock your socks off.

Sword Of Damocles’ (how cool is that song title?) show some very cool dynamics where punky virtues are mixed with slower psychedelic parts resulting in a very compelling song structure keeping everything alive and the listener on the edge of the stool eager to experience what’s behind the next neck-breaking shift in the song.

Third track also appeared on the band’s 7” released last year and one of the reasons I was drawn towards this young but ever so talented band in the first place. ‘Run To You’ is the closest you come to a danceable psych-rock song, it’s such an alluring beat and groove that makes it almost impossible to not jump up and start moving. ‘Set Me Free’ is more psych stoner goodness from the top-drawer of the old retro-rock rack.

On the fifth track, ‘Burning Bridges’ we see Banquet slow down for the first time and that suits them well to leave the listener with a little more breathing space in this way also giving a chance to let the impressions from the first four faster paced songs imbed into the cerebral memory. ‘Burning Bridges’ is a slower mellower track with a cool build-up that is first unleashed after nearly halfway through the song. The last part also consists of some quite impressive drumming with lots of sweet breaks and fills, and at points I am reminded of early At The Drive-In (also due to the vocal duties), which in my book is nothing short of magnificent.

With ‘Touching The Grave’ it’s again full throttle and the songs races over hedge and ditch in a frantic pace as if the sole purpose was to outrun a gigantic solar ray of psychedelic sonic flares and perhaps they succeeded in that quest as the songs sinks into a slower paced ending that works very well.

In spite of the often-intense tempo, the songs on Jupiter Rose are in a stronghold and at no point appears chaotic or unorganized. This is a crown achievement, as quite a few bands tend to trespass the thin line between well-orchestrated organic improvisations and unstructured and strenuous musical excursions without destination. Banquet keeps their path straight and narrow, never meandering into navel-gazing narcissism and in doing so comes out on the other side with some of the freshest and genuinely entertaining musical psych I have laid my ears upon lately.

Final track, title track, is a shimmering psych-rock pearl with perhaps the best vocal performances on the entire album and the track is a true earworm with a catchy melody running through the entire song bearing witness that Banquet are more than capable of writing a good ballad. With Jupiter Rose we get the feel of old matured quality wine on shining new bottles and I for one do not mind another sip of the delicious drink at their musical banquet. Watch out for the vinyl dropping on Heavy Psych Sounds in March, as this is a release you don’t want to miss.

Words by Niels Fuzz Bartholdy

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Jupiter Rose will be available to buy on CD/DD from February 26th 2016 via Heavy Psych Sounds. Vinyl will be released in March 2016.