US five piece, Candy Coffins, have released the second single off their forthcoming album, Once Do It With Feeling. The single is called “Seaside Girls” …… not the regular place to find night creatures but then these days, who can tell.

Photo by Lauren Ellis

Those beach babes with their long legs is a rock classic however in this song, it seems that only horror can be found with these pin-ups, as they drown you in their world. There is a taste of the vocal punk styling of Elvis Costello in the beginning and seemingly always the jangling whirlwind of guitars sweeping you up, and bearing you off, while the piano dutifully lights the way.

The vocals are great but the guitar work really seals the deal, layered, giving a rich texture to “Seaside Girls“. Maybe they are the human equivalent to the Greek mythos Sirens but you are safe listening to the dark attraction via the Candy Coffins.

https://candycoffins.bandcamp.com/track/every-day-a-fresh-atrocity

http://www.facebook.com/candycoffins

The album PASSIVE, is a gift that keeps on giving, with JE T’AIME releasing the single “Blood On Fire“, with a music video. The album is out on Manic Depression Records and Icy Cold Records, and it it always interesting to see what this French goth rock trio are doing.

The video depicts a girl in a never ending cycle of drinking and partying, though she doesn’t seem to enjoy it all that much, with the single as her theme track on a cassette walkman (oh my…. do people still use those?). A song about self destruction, all set to a fast pace rhythm, those bright synth lines and post punk, jangly guitars.

It is a slick looking video, beautifully shot in the streets of Paris at night and the story line fits in perfectly with the music. It is a really good little track, bouncy and lively musically, dark lyrically. Have a listen to “Blood On Fire” and get a bit of JE T’AIME in your life.

PASSIVE | JE T’AIME (bandcamp.com)

JE T’AIME (facebook.com)

Music | JE T’AIME – Music (jetaime-music.com)

JE T’AIME (@jetaime_music) • Instagram photos and videos

Manic Depression Records & Events | Facebook

Icy Cold Records | Facebook

The new EP, From The Sky, by Berlin’s Golden Apes, was a nice surprise for fans and a return to a band based sound, on the label, Icy Cold Records. Brothers, Peer Lebrecht and Christian Lebrecht are back with new band members in the fold. The group is known for both their gothic romanticism and mystical themes as well as Peer’s sonorous baritone singing, so From The Sky, indeed, has this in spades. Dark and rich landscapes are painted for you to explore, with historical touch stones and spiritual pools. All you need to do is give yourself over to the music. We were lucky enough to have the exquisite Peer, talk to us about the German music scene, new music from the Golden Apes and new members, as well as a little about his solo project Voyna.

Welcome to darkness within Onyx, Peer of Golden Apes. Get comfortable for we will be plumbing the inky depths of your gothic mind. Coffee might be a good choice of beverage on such journeys.

It´s here in my hand, bottomless and tasty but I have to be careful, cause the tracks seem quite battered…love the sound though. Sceneries are passing…fields and caves, skies and electricity…. Just a bit annoyed by the guy next to me who´s muttering weird sentences the whole time, nodding unwaveringly in the rhythm of the wheels. I don’t get it….but I´m glad that no one is here with me in the compartment…a reservoir dam…comfortable…

Golden Apes has been around for 24 years. When you first started the band, did you think that you would still be doing this more than 2 decades later?

Heaven…why should I have even done this! When we started the whole thing some handful of years ago, the last thing on our mind was a scheme, a concept, a plan…it was all about the now, the moment of being in the room and creating music together. I mean we were all in our twenties and idealism commonly fucks with strategic thinking…as a twenty-year-old boy with the idea of how it will be when you´re forty! No, we just made our way hand over hand along the next song, the next album, the next show. And somehow it seems that this enthusiasm has never left us.

GOLDEN APES has never been a big player in the game, no money-machine, no bold headline and let´s be honest – I´m quite glad about. No opportunism, just the realization that this might be the reason why we made it that long. We always nursed the freedom to do what we want whenever we felt for and this kept the muses attractive, kept the fire ablaze. Yes, I´m proud of all the things we did and faced over the last two decades, all the places and all the faces because it´s so much beyond anything those 3 boys could have visioned back then while torturing their amps….

Germany has been a fertile place for the gothic scene. Why do you think that is and what was the scene like when you first started the band?

It´s an interesting question and worth a more scientific approach than my humble view on things to find a satisfying answer. There might be so many reasons…geopolitical ones, socio-cultural ones, historical ones….a maltreated continent, a muddy pud of origins, roots and culture, a conflict of generations, rebellion, a desire for a new identity and values, economic imbalances, iron curtains and existential fragilities…Central Europe and especially Germany has always been a hotspot for uproar and rebellion.

Let´s jump from 1968 to 1989, from the leftist activities of the late 70´s to the rightist disgrace in the mid 90´s. The common link is the rejection and questioning of values and morals of the parental generation and a youth´s desire to reshape and redefine an identity and a heritage-linked context (consequently in both directions in both parts of Germany). I think it was this uncoupling from the past and the realization of the future as a blank page that led to a lot of experimentation and alternative ways of life (or to the more nihilistic approach when it comes to punk). As with art and ways of expression. Look what happened to music when the ones like Neu! or Kraftwerk brought it near to magnetic coils! Or the whole Post-Punk (aka Neue Deutsche Welle) Petri dish in and around Düsseldorf. The avantgardistic melting pot West Berlin.

I mean Germany was the cradle of Romanticism, so it seems obvious that Goth found a proper habitat here… Heaven, so much theory. The guy next to me is humming concerningly… What was the scene like? Exciting. Berlin was a good place to be in the mid-nineties. The whole sub-culture/underground organism was growing, expanding, trans-mutating,..there were so many clubs, venues, events…official, illegal, elitist, debatable…but of course this is just an evaluation linked to a certain time and the perception and condition of the protagonist. Of course, most of the spots doesn’t exist anymore, most of the cast has moved on and genres had their ups and downs but that does not mean that I think the modern scene is boring. You’ve just changed your point of view. I’m quite sure that a lot of kids out there feel the same rush, rapture and stimulating input like we did back then…

Do you think the gothic/industrial scene has changed in those years?

Would be sad if not, or? I think it’s necessary and essential that an organism keeps developing. It has to grow, it has to expand, it has to deal with conditions and circumstances, it has to swallow things up and spit things out, occupy new areas and leave familiar ones… I´m not the most reliable mirror though cause my point of view was and is always at the edge of things but yes, I´d say the whole scene has changed a lot over the years. Definitions became more blurry and so created interesting stylistic intersections and I think the acceptance of external influences has grown a lot, what is essential imho (in my humble opinion). A state of mind is always a reflection of the position within the system of coordinates and so is art….

So how and why did Golden Apes become a band?

We have stopped. Half-way on an open field. Is there really no horizon or is just the sun dazzling? Decent headaches and the guy gets shaky. There is a noise out there…some kind of hissing or scratching….is it from the wires above? Or from the mouth of the woman starring through the door inside the compartment? There´s no seat vacant, go on! There´s no seat vacant, there´s no one here…but how and why? How and why?

How and why does a band becomes a band? I don´t know. I can´t even point on a certain moment in time and say: That´s the beginning of the timeline. Maybe something like a band appeared for the first time when Christian and I met our guitarist/founding-/longtime member Eric for the first time back in 1998? Or was it when we finished the first song together? Just the three of us, a vintage drum machine and a cheesy keyboard, sitting on the floor of my flat and playing our hearts out, with no idea about the fact that 24 years later Eric is long gone, we’ve made 10 albums so far, toured Russia and the US of A, met so many exciting bands and artists along the way and I´ll sit here now and answer a question asked on the other side of the globe? Yes, maybe that was the moment. No thunder from above and no whispered oath by candle light, no subterranean rush of fog, lights and alcohol, no palpable deflection on the historico-cultural measuring tool – just a song, first floor, somewhere in Berlin…

The first EP you self released in 1999 was “The Outside’s Inner Life”, notably with the cover of The Cure’s “The Figurehead” and in 2000 released your debut album “Stigma 3:am”. Looking back at those, how do you think your sound has changed or progressed over the years?

I really, really, really hope that it did. On my knees, hands folded…. Don’t get me wrong – it´s not about regrets or denying any kind of past or things we did then but about aspiration, motivation, balance and expectations…and most important: calm. The realization that things take time and that the bottom of the sea might be deeper than the surface pretends. I honestly enjoy walking down the memory lane to the early years. They were filled with so much excitement and naïve storminess, with so much enthusiasm and so less filters and I´m so happy about the fact that we were able to keep some of those things with us all along the way. But did the music really change? I even don´t know. Somehow I even think that “Stigma” is closer to “MALVS” or “Kasbek” than anything between. But who am I to judge…

2019 saw the album “Kasbek” released and then all went silent from the Golden Apes apart from the single “Satori”. Also, Peer, you had started your solo venture, Voyna and covid hit us. What was happening between 2020 and 2022?

A quite strange period indeed. For the first time since the moments I talked about above, there was a moment of doubt if the band was still alive after all. After leaving Kasbek ways parted and somehow I never even thought this could happen. It was a strange moment to be honest. Of course it was not the first time that opinions differed, directions turned, lives changed and people left but here it was completely without having a plan B…and the people were very special to me. So Christian and me decided to take a little time out, some moments to take a deep breath and let the waters calm. I mean this whole pandemic interlude was a quite perfect occasion for this. Inventory…table of content.

As early as the end of 2019 I was working on some ideas for something that would become “The Cinvat Bridge” a bit later and it was quite time- and thoughts-consuming, so the band causa was put a bit on hold for moment but of course it wasn´t meant to end like this. Having “Parting” as the last song ever recorded would have been a bit too much pathetic! And so we had the idea to send some sign of life out there, some sort of “We´re well, hope you too”. “Satori” was written quite quickly and with the help of Denis Ivanov (Brandenburg) and Thommy Hein we went into the studio and the both of us made that little video. And it all felt quite good. There wasn´t even anything missing for a second. Felt familiar. But of course it was just a placebo condition…and there were still some vacant chairs in the room… What was the next question about?

There are new member of the band. Could they be introduced to the readers please?

More than a pleasure! (For this is not about importance, hierarchy and sympathies I´ll introduce them chronologically!)

Frank was the first who joined us on guitars last autumn. Retro audition. A simple ad on a musician board. Fortunate coincidence….lucky us.

Gerrit is a musical old stager. He´s been around for a while already, with a lot of different outfits…most notably Frank The Baptist maybe. And this was also the segment where the ways were crossing. You know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone…Berlin is a clachan when it comes to this. Really glad that he´s with us now.

Joe on drums is the latest in the league. Strange situation – although he´s already with us for a moment (he knew someone, who knew someone, who knew Gerrit…) and takes credits for the drums on the “From the Sky” EP, we still wait for our common live debut, cause unfortunately he wasn´t available for our little US-tour. So we´re all excited about autumn…

And I have to confess that I really like this constellation. Feels comfortable…seems the chemistry is right…

So, now it is 2022, there are new members and the release of your new EP, “From the Sky” which is beautifully rich sounding. How did the EP come together?

It was a logical step in the end. After doing a few shows together (still with the drum machine) we all felt that we seemed to be in tune, on a personal level and on the musical one, of course. And so we wanted to find out how it will work and feel in a creative process. “Satori” felt like yesterday´s news meanwhile and I already had prepared some 20 or so demos for….all possible contingencies and so we chose the 4 that made up the EP in the end and decided to put them out. A sonic foundation stone so to say.

And I hope the proof is acoustically irrefutable – it also worked in a creative process.

Why was “Satori” included into the EP?

Cause it felt so lonely out there. It neither saw a physical release nor was it ever embedded in a musical context. It felt not even like a distinct, concluded chapter and so we removed some dust from its surface and gave a late home.

The single is also the title track, “From The Sky”. What prompted you to choose this track?

Although I remember that we even had a few words about it during the last moments of recording, there was never a real serious discussion about. We all just love it. It was the right tune to come up with after all this silence. Especially in the relation to the new cast. The energetic drumming, the rich and massive guitars…the perfect status quo.

The music video is extremely interesting with a mixture of what looks like alchemy and the natural world. How does this tie into the song?

If you´ve seen some of our videos (we´re quite lazy with that I have to confess) then you might have realized that I like to use the song more as soundtrack than creating an visual explanation. Its more an adding of meaning in both directions. The visuals can unveil possible new or alternate interpretations to the words, while the music feeds the pictures with atmosphere and clues. But it´s never separated then both share the same metaphorical location. Maybe the words are just a memory of one of the guys in the video? Or are the moving pictures the prequel to what the song is about? The things happened after?

I like to have those unanswered questions. Think about the video´s opening sequence…it is all in the same head, it´s all under the same sky… …the woman is still there. She´s pressing her forehead against the windowpane. No noise in her eyes although the birds get nervous in their treetops. It is autumn all of sudden…winter, spring…easter fires in the passing hills…ridges of reptiles. There are just a few stars in the sky tonight. Tiny, inverted punctures…zodiacs on her skin. I shouldn´t have talked about her! I shouldn´t even think about her! Autumn again…

The Voyna remix was a really interesting contrast in style using only electronics? What was the inspiration?

Having this VOYNA identity is a very satisfying luxury. All parameters are in your own hands only. Time, angle, point of view, scenery and costumes…I think I wanted to know how this song would sound if I would have made it on my own. No band, no additional input, just me and my limited instrumental skills. It is like one story retold by two different persons…it differs in details, in perspective, in things perceived as important. What would the woman tell about me now?

My favourite track is “Hole (In My Head)” as I love that fusion of noise with something rather otherworldly. Do you have a favourite track off the EP or one you are excited to play live?

I´m quite sure that everyone has his own favorite among the tracks. And I´m quite sure that the reasons for this are as different as the same story retold by two different persons. For me it really depends on the season in my head and the way the rain falls but the few shows so far revealed that it´s exciting to play any of them…collectively spoken…

When I hear the lyrics, it reminds me a little of those early post-punk/gothic bands but also descriptive like a book. Where do you get your inspiration for your music?

Lyrics or music? No matter because it has all the same origins. How does it find us? It comes by cellular division, comes with the erythrocytes and leucocytes. It occupies with every lung expanding, with every molecule passing your pharynx. It finds you by the neurons twitching, synapses twinkling…. circuits. Electricity again….

As I have previously said, your music can sound otherworldly? What is it about the mystical and shadowy worlds that attracts you to write about them?

Again I just can answer this from a personal point of view only, although I think that there might be some parallels. The first band of this “genre” that found me lost in its music was The Cure. I was twelve when “Disintegration” was released and it´s fatal what this kind of melancholy and weltschmerz can do to a 12-year-old boy! And from there the roads got serpentines. There was lot of Joy Division, there were the Fields Of The Nephilim, Mister Nick Cave passed by with “Henry´s Dream” and “Let Love In”, Cocteau Twins and the other 4AD Perseids and I finally gave my heart to The Psychedelic Furs. Wild and passionate romances…and then came David Bowie…

What is it that makes things so attractive which act as the perfect Yang to that rational Ying we call reality? Those corridors, stairwells and false floors in our mind we learned to deny for not feeling guilty while blinded by the blazing light of ratio and common sense? Why are we so irritated but attracted by the laws and logics in our dreams, by the language in which our subconscious is whispering to us? I don’t know. I have to think about…

Was Covid a help or a hindrance in recording the EP?

That pandemic didn´t play any essential role in the recordings to be honest. When we went into the studio in early February it felt gracefully normal to wear a mask while sitting in the control room. Clean hands, clean heads…after that long time a lot of things became routine.

Peer you have such a deep lush baritone vocal range, so does singing in such a low register, sometimes become an issue when recording or playing live?

Even when trying to answer with a bit more syllables than just a “no” – the only reasonable answer to this is that “no”. It´s my voice. I got used to it.

Going to have to ask, being brothers in a band, is that easy or do you have monumental grumpy moments? Obviously you both have a strong family tie though but does that sometimes make decisions difficult?

Somehow it´s strange but while entering the rehearsal room we completely cast off any blood ties, so if there are moments of troubles, they´re not caused by a genetic relationship. We are friends then, like anyone else in the room. It´s more the fact that we both navigate this ship for more than twenty years together now, which binds us together on certain elitist level but that´s just a mental bond, no hierarchic preponderance…

Golden Apes are touring again. How excited are you to be back out there again?

Endlessly. I think we all are still drawing on those days across the ocean we had in May. Although it was quite helpful on the one hand to have some time off for focusing on new music and things, on the other hand it is really time. Ready to hit the road in 3, 2, 1…

The music we listen to in our formative years molds our tastes in a way. Which bands or individuals did you listen to or fall in love that got you into this genre?

Do you listen to modern music? I ask because many say they do not stray from their first loves. If you do, who inspires you now?

To be honest I´m temporarily not really into contemporary music, especially when it comes to this particular genre. I even don’t know why precisely. I´m still a fervent admirer of Russia’s musical underground/sub-culture, cause there´s a lot of exciting, progressive and maverick music to find ( – that´s why it was additionally special to tour there and meet lots of brilliant bands and artists), but recently music became more and more a tool for triggering and adjusting atmospheres and sceneries in my head. I´m addicted to the music of the late Harold Budd, couldn´t live without the sonic soundscapes of Brock Van Wey, Moon ate The Dark, John Foxx, Eraldo Bernocchi, Robin Guthrie…it´s the depth of the water I´m into these days, not the height of the waves…

If someone asked you to record 10 cover songs what would they be?!

I was quickly channeling the other guys and the ouija board told that we´d like to reinterpret 10 songs from the latest VOYNA album…

We hear there is basically a new album already written. When might this be unleashed on the world and what else in the future for Golden Apes?

It´s a fetus so far with about 15 demos hand-picked and one by one we´re dealing with it now. There´s even the chance to hear some of them at the upcoming shows but maybe this is more than I’m allowed to tell. The idea was to enter the studio anytime next year and then we will see. Would be nice to have it out in 2023.

…now I remember her face! It was her the whole time! The fire, the noise in the walls, the solar spots, the read rope in the window, the injections…the crazed promises back then in Delphi…How could I forget……?

Thank you dear Peer for your time, an EP that is epic and I bid you safe travels.

Thanks for the coffee and your words. It was more than a pleasure…

From The Sky | Golden Apes (bandcamp.com)

Golden Apes | Facebook

http://www.goldenapes.com/

You might think that a song title like “Oh My God My Chemical“, might be from, say, Alien Sex Fiend but no! It is the title of Portland group, Hovering Shrikes new single released on the 26th of August.

They are consumed by a women whom wore a different perfume on every body part. Vocally, there is a Bowie like resemblance, though maybe a little off kilter at first and it builds from the meeting and gallops full force in to the affair prompted by the wiff of the chemicals on a lady or is the scent of love?

It is storytelling within a song, quirky with a sense of humour and I appreciate that. The Hovering Shrikes obviously write tracks that they find interesting and have fun with because that really comes through. They remind me a bit of S.P.O.C.K. and that is never a bad thing, so I say “Oh My God My Chemicals“.

Hovering Shrikes (bandcamp.com)

Hovering Shrikes

Melbourne’s Roles, are about to release their debut album, There’s A Space, as of the 1st of September. In the lead up, they had a sign up induction and people were able to access the tracks for free, with exclusive content including videos for five days. Louise Love and Luis Gutierrez make up this lovely duo, and their style is abrasive guitar, married to 80s styled synths and Love’s sweet vocals, that creates a post-punk/art rock explosion. We wanted to know what makes Roles tick, so of course we asked them.


Dear Lou and Luis of the band Roles, welcome to the up side of down and reverse is yet another way to continue on a journey.

Hey Adele! Thank you for interviewing us. Lou here, I am going to answer these questions in first person on behalf of Roles.

How did Roles come into being?

My previous music project was a solo electronic pop-thing called Louise Love. I put this on ice in 2016. Looking back, I can see how personal demons played into this. Pursuing music is a tough road even in the best circumstances. I kept trying to push through, but I burnt myself out with all the trying.

After a while, I needed to be creative again. At first, I told myself I was developing an art-project, not another music thing. But it ended-up becoming a bunch of songs.

Coming from Melbourne, what musical projects were you involved in before Roles?

Luis is originally from Caracas and we met in my home town of Fremantle. We have been in Melbourne for about 7 years, before that we were in Hobart for a while. Louise Love (solo) performed in Melbourne from 2015 to 2016. The act also played in Hobart from 2013. Roles is the first music project for Luis. He did however do visual artwork for Louise Love.

Back in WA, I did all kinds of different original music projects. I started singing in a punk band during my last year of high school and kept going from there. I was never really punk. I used to hang around with a group of punks and goths at high school, but I didn’t know how I fitted in with them. It was the same with music. I spent longer than most trying to find my own voice in my song-writing. It wasn’t until I started electronic music production, that I started to feel even close.

Melbourne is a pretty cosmopolitan place and was hit hard by the Covid lockdowns, this especially so for the entertainment industry. What was this like for you both?

Not being able to play or go to gigs sucked. We are yet to make a profit from music, so we weren’t affected like people who make a living from the Arts. Melbourne has the best live music scene in the country, It was really tough on the venues and they are still trying to recover.

Apart from that, we were fine. Luis was able to keep working from home and he was allowed to go see his horse, so he got through it okay. I got job keeper, which was a welcomed paid staycation. I feel sadness that other people suffered and that lives were lost, but I was lucky and made the most of the experience. Having the world slow down, gave the time I needed to work out a lot of my personal shit.

What is the premise behind the name Roles?

We all play different roles in life. It’s good to be aware of that. It’s also a good practice to ask who or what it is that is playing those roles.

Also, the song writing method means that each song is telling someone’s story, so we are playing that role for a few minutes.

Most of your music is based on audio recordings of interviews and conversations. What is it about this style of medium that inspires you?

Every song lyric (so far) has been created from audio transcribed into text. This is cut-up and whittled down into simple lyrics. Each lyric aims to maintain the original meaning and/or story of the speaker.

This was somewhat inspired by PJ Harvey’s work on ‘Let England Shake’ which explores English history and war-time experiences. I loved the idea of not writing about your own personal experiences. It opens up creative possibilities and can evolve your worldview in the process. This approach also harks back to more traditional song writing; as it was used to convey shared stories and teachings.

Who is the main writer or is it a shared exercise?

I write and arrange the songs, but Luis is a big part of Roles.

Luis is a production consultant on each song, nothing gets to the final stage without his approval. He just gets the sound and I trust his judgement on the music more than anyone else. While I often get cranky when he criticises something, I usually end up agreeing with him and fixing it. He has a good ear and very refined taste.

He is a talented visual artist and contributes to Roles in that way. He also created the VolcaFM synth programs I used for the final arrangements. Learning to play the live synth parts was his first experience as a musician and at performing in front of people. He’s really committed to the project.   

I noted that Luis’ playing style reminded me very much of Gary Numan…. does Luis have a small crush on the Numan?

We like Gary Numan, especially his early solo work! Was never a deliberate influence, but we are very happy to sound like him.

How would you describe Roles musical sound?

We describe the sound as post-punk and post-pop. Neither of us are very good musicians, but the song structure is strong. Our minimal approach to the arrangements helps to keep all our earnestness in check.

There’s A Space is the debut album. How excited are you both to get this out into the world?

Very excited. But we are also looking forward to finishing this process so we can focus on the second album release. The songs on the ‘There’s A Space’ are old to us now, but we have to remember that most people haven’t heard them yet. Maybe we should have pretended we just wrote them!

How long did you take in the creation and did covid play a part in this?

The album took about a year to write. But it was about two years until it was recorded, mixed and mastered.

The album was ready at the end of 2019 and scheduled for release in 2020; but life had other plans. Before we strayed from our original release schedule, we did drop a couple of singles from the album. The first of these was Empty Room. That single launch was the last gig we played before lockdowns swept in.

Do you have a favourite child off the album and if so, why?

For Luis it’s a draw between She Was No Acid Head and If I Meditate Enough.

I honestly don’t have a favourite. Sometimes when I’m playing one of the songs from the album, I’ll suddenly hear or understand it in a new way and I’ll fall in love with it all over again.

My favourite song is always the song I’ve just written. So right now, it’s something from the second album. 

For you guys, it is fairly obvious that art is just as important as the music as exemplified by your special pre release Roleout. Why is this and what was it like doing the prerelease?

We wanted to give the album opportunity to connect with people before launching it into the void. We made a 5 day experience of bonus material. Those who signed-up got 5 daily emails linking them to a hidden webpage, which revolved around two songs from the album. Each song came with audio, a music video, a vlog and graphics. There was other art and behind-the -scenes video. It was in the theme of an online ‘retreat’.

It was an ambitious attempt at marketing the album in a different way. We thought we might reach more people by offering them an experience rather than just the album. The modest number of loyal fans who actually viewed the webpages, really seemed to enjoy it.

It was a huge amount of work making all the videos and art, but the pandemic gave us lots of time. Putting the webpages and tech stack together also took a while. We don’t regret doing it and can probably use the videos and art in other ways. We also developed a lot of new skills and confidence which we can take with us.

How have you incorporated your art into the music?

Roles began as an art-project. I brain stormed and researched the themes I wanted to explore, which led me to the audio recordings idea. I eventually realised I wanted to write songs again, but I wanted to do it as an art-project.

I decided to use pre-defined artistic constraints as a way to open up my creativity. It sounds counter intuitive, but it works! Only using transcribed audio for lyrics was one constraint. I then made ten song sketches, using only bass, kick and vocals. For the final songs arrangements, I chose a limited number of instruments/sound and stuck to those.

Both of us also do a lot of video art for Roles. And as I mentioned, Luis does lots of visual art for the project. 

Roles is playing live to support the release of the album. How much fun is it to get back to live performance?

We are very happy to be playing live again! We did do a lot of livestreams during lockdown, which kept the flame alive, but it’s not the same. We also love going to gigs as punters, it’s great to be back out at our favourite live music venues.

This is the obligatory, what music or bands got you into the scene?

If we ever get let into a scene we’ll let you know!

But this is more likely a question about our influences. I’m really bad at this stuff. I’ll try, but It’s hard to narrow it down:
Siouxsie and the Banshees, Total Control, Sleaford Mods, New Order, Leonard Cohen, Radio Head, Chicks on Speed, Björk, Brian Eno, The Cure, CC Dust, Talking Heads, Anne Clark, PJ Harvey, YACHT, LCD Soundsystem, Bush Tetras, Peaches, Sonic Youth, Adult, Fleetwood Mac, Erase Errata, The Native Cats, Chook Race…I could go on, but I think that’s enough.   

Who do you listen to now?

We are really into the local scene at the moment, getting out to watch gigs. So lately, it’s been acts such as Plaster of Paris, Miles Brown, The Techno Biddies, Party Pest, Hot Dog, V, Astral Skulls … tonight I’m going to the single launch for Pretty In Pink. 

You find an old suitcase, with a tape reel inside of an interview. Who do you wish it was and why?

My maternal Great Grandmother. She died very young under mysterious circumstances. No one talked about it much, so I’ve always wondered what happened to her. That was back before there was so much awareness about mental health. I think hearing her story could help me understand my own experiences with that side of the family. 

What is in the future for Roles?

Roles are currently working on our second collection of songs; the theme of this collection is death. This work mainly involves interviews we have conducted with various people, each song a conversation about death. I even interviewed myself for one of the songs, it’s a banger!

Thank you Lou for being an willing participant in this interview as well!

Roles | Facebook

Roles – the band (rolesband.com)

Short Attention | Christopher Thomas Richardson featuring Roles | Roles (bandcamp.com)

There is some “Silent Love” coming at you from Montreal, in the form of a single by The Ember Glows. Richard Bunze (guitar), Kevin Hills (bass), Martin Saint (voice, guitar) and Dan Stefik (drums), make up this indie/new wave band, that came into being in 2019.

It is definitely a guitar driven sound, strong bass, rhythm and lead, jangling in a heady fusion, while the vocals sits above them, never lost in the string’s pealing notes and chords.

I can definitely hear why this group is compared to Echo And The Bunnymen, with similar guitar arrangements and the vocals having that soaring quality, though not the same timbre as Ian McCulloch. It is a track full of sweet sentiment, of being there in another’s darkest moments, even if it just to help hold back the invasive dreams by holding their hand through the night.

SILENT LOVE | The Ember Glows (bandcamp.com)

The Ember Glows | Facebook

emberglows (@emberglowsband) • Instagram photos and videos

From the depths of Narrm land (Melbourne), a noise was heard on June the 30th, for it was the band Sudden Debt with their single, “DD“. They are a three piece alt band with a dark, no wave appeal.

The bass is the prominent instrument, with its rhythmic notes plucking away hypnotically. The vocals are words, echoing across the surface in stark defiance. The reverb jumps in between like a chaotic mass breaking up the segments, dramatically giving you a shake.

This reminds me a little of something Daniel Ash and David J (Bauhaus/Love & Rockets) might have done. It has remnants of the early 80s, angry disinterest at a world lacking visible passion or compassion and the way they express themselves brings me a pang of joy. Each time I played “DD“, the more it drew me in. Check out Sudden Debt on Bancamp for name your price, as you have nothing to lose and a band to gain!

DD | Sudden Debt (bandcamp.com)

Sudden Debt | Facebook

Berlin band, Golden Apes, have returned with a new EP, From The Sky, released on July the 29th, out on Icy Cold Records. You know anything recorded at places called Blackstone Studios & The House of Zarathustra have got to be good. Peer Lebrecht (music, words, synths, vocals) and Christian Lebrecht (bass) are the founding members, joined by Gerrit Haasler (guitars), Frank Flenz (guitars) and Joe Tyburn (drums) making up the Golden Apes, and we might soon be graced by a new album in the future, because even though there has been a little bit of a break since the last full length release, Kasbek in 2019, does not mean music has not been in the collation……

Title track and first single lifted is of course “From The Sky“, and the first notes roll into a torrent of wondrous sound, taking flight. It is glorious to hear the guitars and Peer’s sonorous vocalisation with a tale of falling from grace due to secrets held. “Hold Me” isn’t quite the ballad you might think from the name, full of fear and pain but also hope that another’s touch will anchor your soul. A sentiment echoed by many who desire contact.. There is something very sensual about “A New Day’s Dawn” but also driving as the guitars push this along with the mammoth drumming. I would happily dance away to this and I have a feeling the track is going to amazing live.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, then there is the whirling “Hole (In My Head)“. A wall of angelic sound and it is mesmerising. The track ebbs and rushes you making this feel as old as magic. “Satori” was a single released originally in 2021, but for the EP it has been given a make-over called the 2022 Mix. It is a beautiful track, a ballad of love and passion in limbo. The last track is the Gravitas mix for “From The Sky“, by Voyna. Those familiar with Voyna, will know this is the name of Peer Lebrecht’s solo project. The mix is devoid of guitars in preference for synths, which of course brings a new facet to the track, surreal and mirrored, seemingly otherworldly.

Errmm….God damn, I love those deep rich vocals from Peer Lebrecht. They are like sweet syrup pouring into your ears. The music itself is equally as satisfying, forbidden dark wine given to you to savour and become drunk on with the gothic headiness and textures. Golden Apes are in fine form with “From The Sky“, which points to the fact that the next album might just have us intoxicated..

From The Sky | Golden Apes (bandcamp.com)

GOLDEN APES

Music | Icy Cold Records (bandcamp.com)

Icy Cold Records | Facebook

Brisbane’s The Blackwater Fever, describe themselves as dark & moody rock n roll and that is a title well earned. July the 28th was the release for their ballad, “The Hurt“. Mmmm, ballads that hurt, so you know this could be a little wrong and yet a whole lot right, with the trio Shane Hicks (guitar, vocals), Trevor Gee (drums) and Jed Walters (bass).

The smooth, heavy bass weighs the track down and the lead guitar cries out it’s pain, ever the while, the drums hold sway, urging on the players of this affair, bursting into speed once in a while like a heart going into tachycardia and then just….stopping. Hick’s vocals are just the icing on top.

The blues and heartbreak ooze like blood from a thousand cuts. An abusive relationship they want to leave but yet they know mentally, they shall never recover from. It is the dirty rock’n’roll that moves your feet to the beat and your soul feels the misery but wants to rise with the winding notes. So tell us where The Blackwater Fever touched “The Hurt” on you?

The Hurt | The Blackwater Fever (bandcamp.com)

The Blackwater Fever | Facebook

The Blackwater Fever (@theblackwaterfever) • Instagram photos and videos

Melbourne is one of the dark and mysterious cities of Australia, which is a place well known for it’s alt rock bands. Society Of Beggars are one of these such bands and their single, “Lick“, by the four piece, came out on the 28th of July. Yianni Michalopoulos (lead vocals), Jim Michalopoulos (guitar), Dibi (drums) and Nicoli Foulstone (bass) are the members making up Society Of Beggars.

The video for the track has band members and others wearing masks, as if they are in some otherworldly Greek tragedy, except for lead singer Yianni Michalopoulos, who is the story teller, leading you through this tale that Julie Leung, has wandered into. There is a deep melancholy to match the rich vocals and simple piano and guitar, as the music gradually builds and swells.

I think this is definitely one of those tracks that grows on you every listen. It is also going to mean different things to individuals, such as loss, lies, overcoming the seemingly impossible. The track is insistent that you listen carefully and soak up the ambiance bubbling up through the cracks. And remember folks…..once you lick it, it is yours.

Society of Beggars (bandcamp.com)

Society of Beggars | Facebook