I’m looking for illustrations/anything that pleases eyes for my zine (zine about that).
We don’t have a theme so we can accept all contributions. You can draw hearts around Dale Cooper’s face if you really wanted to. (I would). I want this to be ‘art’ orientated, or whatever that means. Let’s do cool stuff! Please feel free to submit any short stories/poems/haiku’s whatever. a zine full of Dale Cooper’s face would probably be boring to look at (haha, yeah right).
The deadline is the 11th of February. Get busy.
I Don’t Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Bath/Saltford’s I Don’t Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings have come a long way in a short time. After releasing a split with Cassus, they’ve bounced around the country, playing in support of the likes of Suis La Lune and We Came Out Like Tigers. Is it the fruits of a perfectly calculated master plan? I emailed them to find that, among other things, out …
So, easy question first up – how did you guys all meet?
Ben: I’ve known Peter and Jord since we were toddlers, and I’ve been jamming with them since I was 10 when I picked up music, but it wasn’t until this band that the three of us started jamming together.
Jordan: Like Ben said we’ve known each other since we were really young. I met Peter through his old band that he and Ben were in.
My research tells me you’re named after a Simpsons episode. Does the phrase hold any deeper meaning for you guys than that?
Ben: The name comes from three places, one being a Simpsons episode, another because there is a Maya Angelou book about civil rights named I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Also for me it is a metaphor for struggling with depression, in the way that you are trapped in a cage, and you are singing an answer on how to help yourself. But you refuse to acknowledge why you are singing.
You’re a pretty big deal by screamo standards, how does it feel to be in a position like that, especially when you’re all pretty young? Did you feel welcome in a scene made up mostly of twentysomething dudes?
Ben: first of all I resent that we are a big deal haha. Secondly not at all, everyone has been super kind to us and it’s been rare for us to have felt looked down upon. Ever since our first show people have said many nice things about us, so maybe we’re doing something right.
Peter: The amount of support we get in the scene is extremely humbling (we think/know we suck) - everyone’s been so nice from the very beginning, and it’s amazing that we’ve been able to release, and play our music to people pretty much solely off the backs of other people’s kindness.
Jordan: We’ve been welcomed with open arms and it means so much to us that people have been willing to take the time and effort to not only to listen to us but to be give us slots on shows and let us sleep on their floors. Everyone in the scene has treated us incredibly well and we can’t thank them enough for being so kind and welcoming.
You’ve played some pretty prestigious shows – Suis La Lune or Todos Caeran, for example. Which, if any, was your favourite? Who’s the most fun to play alongside?
Ben: For me it would be WCOLT, Cavalcades, FTWIHATHHTS, Ladstorm and us. We love all of those guys to bits, and it was pretty packed so it was amazing to see a sucssesful screamo show. Also a special mention to the two times we’ve played in Truro because everyone down there is so nice. Special mention To Ed Eames and xEdx for putting those shows on, they’ve both been so great to us.
Jordan: I can’t think of a show we’ve played that I haven’t enjoyed if I’m honest. I’d have to say that the Todos Caeran show was my personal favourite. It was the first time playing with and actually meeting the guys in Cassus who are just amazing. The line up for that show was fantastic, Todos Caeran have been a favourite of mine for a while.
Your split with Cassus has been very well received. Do you plan on doing any more splits?
Peter: There aren’t any splits planned, but we’re (hopefully) going to be putting out a 7” some time next year (which I’m ridiculously excited about).
Jordan: Nothing currently planned but it’s definitely something I think we’d be up for doing again. We have a track on the upcoming Dog Knights compilation “Epilogue of a Car Crash…A Tribute to Orchid” which we are very excited about.
Ben: Oh and we will have a Winter Demo that will probably come out on tape.
I’ve heard it can be difficult to be a touring band and balance that with your life off the road. How do you guys manage that?
Ben: We’ve only been on tour once, and that was during a holiday. We only practice once a week, if we can. The other guys have jobs as well as school stuff, so it’s harder for them than it is for me, I just bum around. Music is my life and this a major aspect of it. But Screamo will always be a sporadic thing to me, if we practiced more and toured all the time I think we’d lose a lot of the energy and fun.
Peter: Pretty much what Ben says. We’ve always known this was going to be a short-term thing, so the band pretty much fits around school (making touring/playing far away a bit complicated - to put things into perspective, our tour with Cassus was originally planned for May, which got postponed all the way to October).
And I agree in the fact that if we were touring every other month and practicing every day, it would get a bit stale.
The independent/DIY music scene is really strong the UK right now. For new fans, the wealth of artists can be pretty daunting. Who do you really rate?
Peter: We Came Out Like Tigers are probably my favourite current band. Cassus are great, too (we have to say that), as are Cavalcades, FTWIHATHHTTS, Vales and I’m a huge fan of Witch Cult.
Jordan: Not including the bands Ben and Peter mentioned; Pariso, Gnarwolves, As We Sink, Nai Harvest, The Long Haul and Mothbites are some of my favourites at the moment.
For more I Don’t Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, check out http://www.facebook.com/idontwanttoknowetc
Words by Nick Sadler
Hey guys! can you introduce yourselves and tell us the story behind Small Steps?
Well I’m Grant I am the singer and guitarist. Paul(do the same) Well the story behind Small Steps basically comes down to drew and I hanging out last spring at house shows talking about starting a band. We had some ideas then of what we wanted it to sound like, then the summer time came and I got back from new york and we decided it was time for us to get down to it. The name is quite simple we were all talking about our favorite football team and In mid sentence I heard drew say small steps, and I was like dude that’s it! Even though our band has nothing to do with football I think it fits us well.
So you’re from Athens (not Greece) right? What’s the DIY punk/emo scene like over there?
Grant:Nope not Greece, Ohio actually. Across the pound as some would say. There has been a pretty large punk scene in our town for quite a few years now. Every few years there is a new group of people that want to continue the scene. Which is awesome! There aren’t very many punk/emo bands in our town though. So we contact bands from out of state to bring them to the area. We are trying to build that part of the scene up more.
Drew: Athens is home to Ohio University, so you naturally get a rotation of kids coming and going through the city which revives the scene every couple of years. Luckily, kids that are into the same stuff steadily come through and donate their houses as show spaces. It’s cool to see DIY kids that are willing to come to shows consistently and donate and buy merch from the touring bands.
From your sound, you appear to have quite a heavy emo influence. Who would you say are the bands that influence you guys the most?
Grant: For me I am heavily influenced by bands like Lautrec, Suffix, I Hate Myself, Life Without Buildings, and funny to say Modest Mouse.
Drew: For me I would have to say I draw influence from The Dismemberment Plan, 90’s emo like Braid and Mineral and also Land of Talk
What was the best/worst show you’ve played so far and why?
The best show we played was this past September at our friends house were we normally hangout. The basement was crowded people were going crazy, crowd surfing, moshing, and singing along. It was the sweatiest I have ever gotten. Drew: The worst show I played with Small Steps was the first show we ever played at The Union. It was the first time in over two years I had played on a stage (I don’t really like stages) and I didn’t have enough guitar in my monitor and my floor tom kept falling over.
If you could play anywhere with one band right now, where and which band would it be?
Right now I would say my friends in the White Mage! I miss those guys a ton, and location doesn’t matter as long as we are together haha. Also Teen Suicide needs to come through and play a show with us, and/or we need to go to them. They are crazy cool and pretty depressing.
What’s the future going to be like for Small Steps? Any new releases, big shows, merch etc?
Right now we are writing songs working towards a full length that we will probably record late this year. t. Our tour is going to be the highlight of my winter. We’re gonna get to play in front of a bunch of cool new people and meet a lot of new friends. So I guess thats what I’m looking forward to.
We’d like to say thanks very much to Small Steps for telling us all a little bit about their lives! Before we go, is there any bands/labels you’d like to give a shout out to?
Shout out to White Mage, The Reptilian, Teen Suicide, Sign-Off, Team Genesee and Slammin’ Sammy
And Messy Life Records!
We recently got the chance to interview Dowsing and we’ve ONLY JUST been able to put it up on the blog. (tumblr didn’t want to separate our sentences so everything was all jumbled together..lame) anyway, here it is.
Hey, Dowsing! Could you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in the band?
Erik: Hi, my name is Erik and I am the singer/guitarist for the band.
Gooey: I’m Goo
Delia: Hi, I am Delia. I play the keyboard.
You guys are from Chicago, I’m guessing the scene up there is pretty great. Who do you recommend we check out?
Delia: our friends that we just toured with this summer, the island of misfit toys, are pretty awesome. i believe they are in the process of recording something really awesome as i type this, so hopefully that will be out soon!
Can you tell us about how Dowsing formed and how each member came to join the band?
Delia: once upon a time, over two years ago, myself, erik, and gooey were exploring the city and eating deep dish pizza and whatnot and we decided it would be fun to start a band. gooey suggested we call the band “dowsing” because it is a silly name. we recruited marcus instantly. thus, dowsing was born.
Which has been your favourite release so far and why?
Erik: Our LP because it has an awful picture of my best friend on it.
Any future tours you have set up that you can tell us about? We hear that you’re coming to Europe next year, that must be pretty exciting?
Gooey: We are indeed going to Europe. Though so far that is all we know about the tour.
You’re in the process of a new release titled “I Don’t Even Care Anymore”. Can you tell us about that?
Erik: The new LP is coming along great and we are still writing it as a full band. I think it has some of our best songs. Don’t let the title trick you.
Delia: it is super sad. and pretty catchy. and there is a song about cats. or something.
Can you tell us your musical influences and any bands you guys have been listening to lately?
Erik: Influences would be the Weakerthans and Superchunk. I’ve been listening to In Reverie by Saves The Day a lot.
Delia: the weakerthans and superchunk always, but also a lot of the world is a beautiful place and i am no longer afraid to die, ps eliot, and the firebird band because “gift” on repeat is really the only thing to listen to around this time of year.
Gooey: I’ve just been listening to re-orchestrations of music from Pokemon Red & Blue. What is emo?
What are your plans for the future?
Erik: write more songs and play on the moon. Gooey: I really want to get Dishonored.
Anything else you would like to mention?
Gooey: My other band (The Island of Misfit Toys) have been recording for a bunch of releases we plan on putting out within the next year. I just want to encourage people to check us out. You will be hearing more from us soon.
Boy Meets Wade
After being lucky enough to witness their first ever show, I emailed Chris & Mark of Geordie DIY punks Wade to ask them some questions about fresh starts, writing, and the future. This is how it went down:
You guys were all founding members of Sunday League – does this sometimes feel more like a lineup change than a fresh start?
Chris- Actually, that’s not totally right- Nate replaced Mark on bass when Mark left, and Steve replaced SL’s first drummer Joe, when Joe moved to London. But I get what you’re asking, and for me it feels like a totally fresh start. It’s pretty different to SL in most ways.
Mark- Yeah, Chris and I are the only SL originals. I quit because I had other commitments and Nate took my spot. We’ve all played in bands together in the past but never as this line up and never all together actually, so yeah I’d say it feels pretty fresh too. New songs, new ideas, new sound.
Could you talk a bit about Wade’s sound? How would you describe it?
Chris- I would say it’s a pretty rounded sound- some upbeat parts, some heavier parts… I would say it’s pretty energetic? Haha.
Mark- We all listen to a wide range of music and draw influences from a ton of different bands but i’d describe what we have so far as pretty raw, emotional punk. We just throw it all in and see what comes out. Sorry if that sounds really lame.
You’ve written a fair bit of new material in a short time – how do you stay prolific? Is there any one thing that inspires you?
Chris- Nate is a riff machine. He’s always working on stuff, so when we started practicing and writing, it was a pretty quick turnaround on blasting through songs. I’m still pretty aware of the fact that we’ve only wrote a handful of songs right now though so I’m looking forward to writing more.
Mark- Nate is super productive when it comes to writing parts and coming up with ideas for how things should sound, He has a huge bank of riffs and comes to practice almost every week with something new. I think we all wanted to get this band off the ground as soon as possible so hammering out a few tunes to start playing shows together was a priority. We’ve only been practicing for just over a month and played our first show last weekend, so in my experience with past bands i’d say that was pretty quick. Just excited to write more songs and get something recorded now.
I’ve heard that it’s often hard to be a DIY band and make that work around jobs, life, etc. Do you guys ever struggle with that?
Chris- Nah, band/label [Chris also co-runs Get Into It Records] stuff is really what I concentrate my spare time on so I don’t have many other distractions.
Mark- Sometimes it can be a bit of a stress. Usually towards the end of the year when i’ve used up all my holidays to play shows out of town, but it’s totally worth it. I’m quite lucky at the minute to have a job with a regular shift pattern so I know when I can and cant play shows but you can always pull a few strings to get a day or two off if need me. Plus if it’s something you’re into, you just do it regardless of what “The Man” says. PUNX!
What’s the scene like in Newcastle? Who do you recommend we check out?
Chris- It’s pretty okay, it goes up and down sometimes but it’s pretty good at the minute, a lot of good bands starting up. Always recommend Farman, Tide of Iron. Wrestling are pretty close by in Sunderland and they rule. Durham has ONSIND and Martha … Baskin’s Wish stopped playing shows a while ago when Andy moved to Canada but everyone should check their stuff out, it’s all on bandcamp. So great.
Mark- It does have its ups and downs but there’s enough people putting the work in at the minute and making things happen. We have a pretty mixed scene and it’s not unusual for an Indie-esque band to play a show with a hardcore band, Newcastle’s a small city and our scene is pretty close knit. Check out the bands Chris mentioned as well as Control, Grace and Cauls.
What do you hope for the future for Wade?
Chris- Class house shows and playing shows outside of the UK hopefully.
Mark- Jumping in a van, Escaping Newcastle for a bit and having the best time. I’ve always wanted to release something on vinyl and tour outside of the UK. If we can do that you won’t be able to wipe the smile off my face.
Interview by Nick Sadler
Wade will be playing a series of gigs in Sheffield, Leeds, and Manchester this November. They’re still getting it all sorted out, but pay attention to facebook.com/wadediy and wadediy.tumblr.com for more details.
We’re thinking of doing a weekly feature of things that we’re currently digging
White Flashes - White Flashes II
On first listen, the new release from Des Moines songwriter and producer White Flashes is a synth-washed affair, taking varied influence from the likes of Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. In the former it’s the spacious electronic sound-scapes and the latter, the twin styled scattered drums and polyphonic analogue synth sounds. There were points I thought I was listening to 80’s synth-pop slowed down, but the vocals weren’t as high in the mix, which sounded interesting, but of course we’ve been hearing a lot of that recently. This is a very spacious record. There is a lurking ambience though, harking back to the shoegaze scene of the 80’s that White Flashes very much lend themselves to. The contemporary IDM backbeat is there though, which keeps it fresh. The stand out track s for me are new single February 27, 1974, which sounds almost like New Order at points, which is never a bad thing. White Flashes II features guest vocalist Sarah Downen on both Sketchy Arc and Inacci and Glitter. Her voice works perfectly with the music. On the former, it’s the atmospheric dreamlike soundscape interspersed with Downen’s angelic vocals. On the latter, the hard backbeat takes control and you can see a flicker of innovation. Overall, White Flashes II is a solid EP, it’s worth listening to and it’ll probably be pretty intense live. But White Flashes II is also a record that stands slightly to prominently in the shade of its influences.
Written by Aaron Jolly
The album is available for free download here