Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Interview with Alternative/Folk band Strawman & the Jackdaws



Dublin- based Alternative/Folk band Strawman & the Jackdaws formed in the year 2017, founded by three Italian musicians who moved to Ireland to find opportunities in the music industry, and two Irish musicians. Their music has many different influences: from catchy pop atmospheres to heavier distorted riffs, with an always present element of melodic folky lines.

After completing their first Irish-U.K tour with 3 sold-out shows out of six, they undertook their first-ever Italian tour in some of the major cities of the country selling out two shows out of three. One of the straightness of the band is the engagement with the crowd.


Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

We all come from different genres and music background but we started playing together cause we all share the same idea on what we wanted from this project, we love seeing people dance and have fun and break the wall that sometimes divides crowd from artists. Since we love so much what we do when we're on stage we want you to enjoy as much as we do and switch off for a moment from all the everyday problems.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

It's hard to explain the exact process, it's always different. Sometimes it starts with an iPhone vocal memo recorded in a supermarket or sometimes it's about being inspired by a book or a particular experience. Most of the ideas start from the songwriter Riccardo and then developed in the rehearsal space through the different influences and approaches of the other members of the band.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

It's hard to balance and keep being creative with all the stuff going on in daily life; work, school, relationships and general problems. Since we moved to Dublin we found a very interesting art scene of bands, artists, street performers and museum that keeps you constantly inspired and keeps the creativity flowing.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

Nowadays it's really common to associate streams/followers/likes that a band has online to the engagement that they can create in a live performance.

We know it's easier to discover/listen new bands online, sitting on your couch with a cup of tea, but sometimes living a show can really make the difference especially for emerging bands with not too much budget for recording.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

We love producing music and seeing the crafting of a song in the studio recording. But we define ourselves as a live band, we love playing music together. There's a lot of interaction between us during the shows and the reaction of the crowd is priceless. After completing our first Irish and Italian tour we realised how much people want to join your experience on stage singing and dancing as much as you do.

We can't wait for this situation to be over, to hit the road again and to play new shows for our people.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Three out of five members are Italians. Last November we managed to organise a tour in our native hometowns back in Italy. We would never expect such a warm and insane response from people, we even sold out two shows.

Seeing old friends and families still support you after a lot of years and meeting many new people that discovered us after moving to Ireland was definitely the most memorable experience as a band.

What's on your current playlist?

As mentioned before we all listen to different styles of music, our current playlist is on our Spotify page and varies from Slowdive, Gazebo Penguins, Brunori Sas, Of Monsters and Men, Toto and Tedua

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

We have already recorded a full EP which supposed to be released early in May, but for obvious reasons, we had to postpone it to a future date. It will be followed by a European Tour.

Famous last words?

Never play a Football match the night before a show...


Follow Strawman & the Jackdaws online 
Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify
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Q&A with indie/dream-pop band Stay Lunar



Bristol-based five-piece Stay Lunar has had quite the impact in a short space of time with their bold indie/dream-pop sound.

Their two highly praised singles, ‘Brainshake’ and ‘Catch Up’ gained them wide recognition, helping them land support slots with the likes of Larkins, Little Comets, SPINN, CLEWS, Lottery Winners and more.


Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

Personally, I (Harry) was around 9 when my dad introduced me to Athlete's debut album, which I still love now - My dad is a fantastic guitarist and would take me to shows for the few years that followed that - This was all very inspiring. Production-wise, my first ventures were recording a few terrible home demos with a makeshift setup and using voice notes on my phone to record vocals haha.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

The songwriting process actually changes up quite a lot. A lot of the time I'll write and demo a song with some very basic bass and drums; send it to everyone and if they like it we'll jam it/re-work it together. Sometimes it's as simple as someone coming up with a part and we'll craft the song around that in a rehearsal room together. Recently I wrote a chorus that I thought was catchy, but couldn't figure out any verses at home, took it to the guys and within an hour we had a full song that is now one of our favourites to play live (coming this summer). We don't have any particular set of steps we follow for the writing process - we're trying to make writing more collaborative, as the early days of Stay Lunar consisted of bringing my bedroom demos to life. Our best stuff seems to come when we all work together, which I think is a testament to us as a group.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Each other! When we're jamming together or the studio together, we come up with all sorts that we definitely wouldn't if we were alone. I'm also very inspired by watching bands live, it's rare that I get home after a gig and don't immediately pick up my guitar and see what I come up with.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

More female representation in all aspects of the music industry, and cutting down on pay-to-play style promo. I guess those things are fairly self-explanatory, but it upset us seeing a huge lack of female representation on festival lineups, etc. Being 5 white males we feel we should be talking about this as much as possible and doing whatever we can to help inequality in the music world.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
We'd all agree that performing live is the most fun, but we absolutely love our time in the studio with our producers at Sugar House - it's a like a little creative holiday, and the excitement of recording a new track that everyone will get to hear soon is a great feeling. Nothing quite beats the feeling of performing live, though.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I had an older man come up to me after a charity festival we played last year, and he said "I love your guitar-work, great stuff", then walked off. About 2 minutes later he came back over and said "the last person I complimented on their guitar-work was Robert Smith of The Cure in 1979", and just walked off before I could say anything.That was a surreal moment!

What's on your current playlist?

We're currently spinning some wonderful female artists: Snarls new album is amazing, as well as Soccer Mommy, pinkpirate, Molly Payton and Ratboys. I know that Charlie is addicted to the Tame Impala album too.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

After the release of the new single 'Dreaming That I'm Not In Love' we'll be focused on gigging as much as possible and getting ready for our next release, which should be in early June. We're not sure what to expect from 2020, but whatever happens, we'll be busy working hard and taking our music as far and wide as possible. Our biggest ever headline show is on 28th March to accompany the new track, we're really excited about that.

Famous last words?

Check us out, you might not regret it!


Follow  Stay Lunar online 
Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud
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Q&A with ‘With No Feeling’ indie-rock band Paradas


If you are a fan of acts such as Death Cab For Cutie, Kings Of Leon or Beach Bunny, then the new song ‘With No Feeling’ by the band Paradas will be up your alley. The Leeds based five-piece indie-rock group consists of university pals Liam Schwegmann (lead vocals), Danny Pash(drummer), Harry Scott(pianist), Matt Hanson(lead guitar) and Cameron Maxwell(bassist). Their latest track ‘With No Feeling’ features on their upcoming EP release titled After This(17 June 2020). To date, the group has played over 30 gigs in the UK, supporting acts including Red Rum Club and Max Bloom, of Yuck. They have received support from the BBC, with radio play from BBC Introducing Alan Raw and BBC Sussex & BBC Surrey’s Sylvie Blackmore.

We find out more about this promising band in our interview below.

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

When we all joined the same course at uni we started to take our music more seriously and wanted to develop a career in the arts. Once we had our first practice together, we knew it was something we wanted to take further.

In terms of production, our first single 'She' was an insight into the production side of things, we have learned a lot since.

What emotions were you trying to evoke through the vocals stylings of ‘With No Feeling’.

The vocal stylings in this tune portray themes of desperation and despair of someone trapped in a loveless relationship, however, executed in an upbeat fashion.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

The initial creative sparks come from a few guitars plugged in through a sound card on logic, and we kind of just lay it down with no boundaries. Then we take it to the rehearsal and dissect the track and discuss what needs to stay, and what needs to be changed- its a step by step process really.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

We find a crate of beers round at one of our houses with a home studio type set up works better for us than a rehearsal space, somewhere more laid back where we can fully relax and express ourselves.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

Obviously, competition is higher than ever with social media. Pretty much anyone can record, produce and release a record these days. We kinda liked the idea of bands coming onto the scene through hard work. and being seen live rather than how many likes they have on Facebook.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

That’s a tough one, the combination of creating music and then playing that material live to our fans is the most rewarding thing to us.

So, in a way we would say that both are equally as important to us.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Our most memorable moment is when we had our first gig in London and the crowd started to sing our songs back to us, which was amazing as we didn’t think we had a following in London yet.

What's on your current playlist?

Currently, we've been listening to a range of different genres from the rock of Kings of Leon, all the way to the more jazz influenced Tom Misch. We also have been listening to Australian Alternative Reggae fusion rock band Ocean Alley, who have a proper unique sound- we love it. Not to mention some classics, such as Talking Heads and the Rolling Stones.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

So, our debut EP is being released

Does ‘With No Feeling’ set the tone for your upcoming EP? 

'With No Feeling' gives a flavour of what's to come on the EP, however, each song is unique in its style and theme. We'd say, the next single 'Lost Cause' shows a different side to the band- we really look forward to sharing it.





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Monday, 20 April 2020

Interview with Indie Americana Folk singer/songwriter Jonny Morgan



Alternative Indie Americana Folk singer/songwriter Jonny Morgan struggles to have to describe what specific genre he falls into. Jonny aspires to make music that is vulnerable, incorporating the real, raw emotions of everyday life into his gritty acoustic singer/songwriter style.

Unsigned and fearlessly independent, Jonny endeavours to take his sound back to basics, reflecting on the reason he felt the pull to create music in the first place. His music combines his talent for vocalising the weight of relationships and life experiences with poetic lyrics and warm, layered, ambient sounds.

See our exclusive interview with him below.


Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

Music appreciation is a fairly easy one, I was more than likely bouncing around to the Stones in my high chair. Pretty sure my parents wanted me to be a rockstar from day one. (I'm still working on it). In terms of making music not until my early twenties, I would say (I'm 24) so only a few years. I never really fancied myself as a songwriter until one day a close friend of mine instructed me to start recording the songs I would casually play around the house.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I know there's an age-old debate between lyrics or melody first but for me, it's 9/10 the melody...and I mean like every single syllable from start to finish. If you went through my voice memos on my phone you'd find roughly 278 recordings of me singing utter gibberish over the chords. It then becomes a fairly painful process of finding lyrics that fit almost like putting together a puzzle.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Nothing will make you want to go home more and write something then going to see someone you admire life...just like in any other profession I suppose. For me, creativity comes and goes, sometimes you sit down and painfully try to find words that perfectly rhyme with your favourite cereal, and other times you sit down with something to stay, lift your head up and 5 mins later you have a complete song. Usually, these are your best work, well there for me anyway. Still waiting on that cheerios endorsement though.......

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

How long have you got? There's a lot I'd like to change but we'd be here all day. All I would say is I feel things are slightly changing. So many DIY musicians are absolutely killing it completely off their own backs. For someone like me, this is immensely encouraging. There is no longer the excuse that you can't make it without a label. Also, I'm pretty sure this has always been the case but people seem to also be reacting to artists authenticity. Think about Instagram, we're all slowly realising that everyone’s super glamorous/perfect life is BS and people would rather see you looking like shit in your pyjamas over breakfast rather than walking on a beach in the Bahamas.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

There's nothing better than performing and interacting with an audience. it's like no other buzz. However, when you manage to capture something in the studio that was once just a little melody in your head it's pretty surreal. Both, can I have both?

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I remember my first gig in America. I soon realised that the audience were getting just as much if not more joy of me talking between songs than the actual tunes themselves. I clocked this and it turned it to the audience shouting out words which I would then repeat in my finest Hugh Grant English accent. SAY ALUMINIUM! Remember that scene with Colin in Love Actually?

What's on your current playlist?

Funny you ask. I've literally just curated my own playlist on Spotify titled “Songs That I Dig”. My drummer makes hilarious memes and designs and I highly recommend anyone to check it out for the artwork alone.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

Last year was all about playing, this year is all about recording and releasing music. ‘Hurt Me’ was recorded over in Nashville with Joel Levi and I'm flying out again at the end of this month to record the next few singles.

Famous last words?

What drinking problem?

Follow Jonny Morgan online 
Facebook | soundcloud | Spotify | Instagram | Twitter

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Q&A with Rock band Raglans



Ireland-based rock band Raglans is back with the release of their highly anticipated new single ‘One More Drop’.The past few years have seen them blaze a trail to cult status. Highlights include releasing their self titled Top 5 charting debut album which to date has over 5 million plays on Spotify, the single ‘Who Knows’.

Being nominated for RTÉ Choice Music Prize ‘Irish Song of the Year’ and a host of European tour appearances with acts including The Fray, The Libertines, Lifehouse as well as performing at festivals including Electric Picnic, Soundwave Australia, British Summer Festival and Rock am Ring Germany.

See our exclusive interview with the band below


Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

We all appreciate different music and reach a common understanding of Raglans. Playing sold-out shows early on meant we had to build fun and interesting live shows. It's disciplined us to always try new things to improve our work.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I write songs or Rhos write songs and then we create a Raglans version, sometimes it can divert entirely from what you had in your mind’s eye and that can be wild and exciting. Conn is instrumental in helping us produce the Raglans sound.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Strong informed and passionate viewpoints. Good cinema, great writing.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

There's an army of 'middle men' who place themselves between artist and consumer. One pound of flesh at a time if you wanna run the gauntlet. Even now, you have to secure Spotify playlist with money, the days of organic growth are almost non-existent.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

They are both enormously gratifying in different ways but performing to your full potential consistently is more draining and the art of the studio takes a long time to master but it's an enjoyable process. I'd stick in the studio and bolt out for big shows if I could!

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Too many to mention but Electric Picnic 2015 the third time we played was a turning point personally, for a moment I could feel what the audience was feeling and it changed my whole approach thereafter. Never got jitters again

What's on your current playlist?

Sorcha Richardson, Buena Vista Social Club & Tom Petty, always Tom Petty.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

We are planning on putting out as much music in 2020 as possible. Including our second album “Heavy Medicine” which we are currently finishing. Then take this beautiful beast on the road and start the party all over again.

Famous last words?

Fake it till you make it

Follow Raglans online
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Bandcamp

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Q&A with ‘Green Eyes’ band Milo Gore

Credit:Josh Collins



UK band Milo Gore have released their single ‘Green Eyes’, off of their debut album ‘How Do You Cope While Grieving For The Living?’(20 August 2020). Music blog Relish Rock comments on the track, “You can hear the sincerity in lead singer  Milo’s vocals and lyrics, and you feel emotionally connected to the world of the song…”. The band consists of university pals including founder Milo the lead singer. Credits on the album include producer Pete Prokopiw (Mumford & Sons, Florence & The Machine), Mixing Engineer Andy Savours (Sigur Ros, The Horrors, Arctic Monkeys) and Mastering Engineer Guy Davie (Jamie T, The Streets, King Krule).

We find out more about the promising band in the interview below. 

The lyrics of ‘Green Eyes’ made me feel sympathy for the singer as they were bold and beautifully bitter. Who writes the lyrics of the songs in the band? 
Our lead singer Milo writes most of the lyrics. This song, in particular, is about a broken relationship with an ex-girlfriend. It’s all about learning to dance on your own again, learning to love yourself again, and ultimately learning to be content on your own. He’s never shied away from putting everything on the table, he’s very honest and open with his lyrics. 
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

That's a hard question to answer as a band, I feel like it certainly differs for everyone. But, what I can say, is that music is well and truly ingrained in all of us. We are a bunch of creatives, from day one we've all loved music. I don't think any of us would know what to do without it. 

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

This album was predominately written on an acoustic guitar. Initially, the songs were written solo, on an acoustic, in more of a singer-songwriter style. Then, the songs would be brought to the band, and we'd jam out and see what came to us. It was all very natural and organic. Nothing was forced, which is the nicest thing about the whole album. As a band, I feel we really have a skill of just being able to play something and put something together, with no talking at all. We let our instruments do the talking. However, I think for album 2 we're definitely going to play around a lot more with concepts. We'll make the actual song-writing section of the process a lot more collaborative too.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Experiences. Our upcoming album is all about experiences. It's about love, loss, drug addiction, mental health, and more. I think going through experiences is really important when it comes to creating music, or any kind of art for that matter. It really brings what you're trying to create to life, it makes it real. I think that has been vital to our creative process, especially with this album.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

It's weirdly coincidental that we've been given this question...! Just today, as we're answering these questions, new stats have been released about streaming platforms, and the payments they give to their artists.. and it's actually quite sickening. For instance, with Spotify, probably one of, if not THE most used streaming platform by artists and listeners, their average payout per stream amounts to £0.0028. This means the number of streams you need to earn one pound comes to 357. Therefore, the number of streams to earn one hour's UK Minimum Wage is 3114. Now, to put this into even more perspective, we're a band of 5. So we need 15,570 streams to earn one hour's UK Minimum Wage for everyone.
To be honest, it's just heartbreaking. As an unsigned band, we put all our own money into making our records, and we get absolutely nothing back for it. It's really sad. A world without music would be horrible, but I often feel bands, musicians and their art, are simply taken for granted. I think streaming, streaming platforms, and the way they treat artists, seriously needs to be addressed. Especially with no live music on at the moment, which is the biggest form of income for a lot of bands, artists really need support.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Ooh that's a really hard question! I feel at the moment we haven't had enough studio work to fully appreciate it properly just yet. Whereas we've always kind of see ourselves as a live band! Don't get me wrong, we absolutely loved the 3 weeks we spent recording the album, that was a truly amazing experience. However, I don't think anything can beat that feeling of playing something you've created to a whole room of fans and music lovers. There is nothing better than the high you get from people connecting with your music, and from people dancing with you. Being on stage is everything.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I think it has got to be when we were recording the album. Pete Prokopiw, who recorded and produced our record, would often do, what he liked to call, 'the goosebump' test. We wouldn't move on from recording a particular song, or section, until he felt we had nailed it.. Or until he got goosebumps. It was actually an awesome way to work, it made sure we were putting real feeling into our work. The most memorable response was when he actually cried after we finished a take in recording.. From that moment, as a band, I think we knew we were creating something truly special. It was a beautiful moment, that really confirmed what we were doing, and really solidified everything.

What's on your current playlist?

Oooh we're listening to some awesome music at the moment! We love Penelope Isles, Wolf, Kid Kapichi, Lola Young, Junodream, VC Pines, Bamily & The Velvet Hands. They're all in our current playlist on Spotify. As a band, we find we listen to a lot of the up and coming artists. Definitely check this lot out if you have the time!

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

Sadly our recent tour, which was meant to be starting at the end of April, has been cancelled! However, we are at least trying to rearrange some of the dates for later this year. It's just a really hard time for a band like us. We really relied on live music to bring in some money for us. It's how we were able to function! BUT! We can't really complain! We're all safe and healthy, with roofs over our heads. So what more could we ask for at this time! 

For now, we're just trying to stay creative and innovative. Even more now, the world is based online, so we are working on our online presence as much as we can. You can expect live streams, more Q&As, and fun stuff like that, to keep our fans entertained. 

I think the biggest thing we have upcoming at the moment though, is our debut album How Do You Cope While Grieving For The Living? Coming out on the 20th August! We are SO PUMPED to release this project into the world. It's been super fun working on it. It's a really precious piece of work to us, so we really hope people like it. In the meantime, we have a few more singles on the way!

Does ‘Green Eyes’ set the tone for your upcoming album? 
I think in many ways it does...  But in others, it doesn’t. The album has a lot of variety on it, it’s one of the reasons we’re so excited to get it out. Musically we have a lot of variety, and I guess that’s where ‘Green Eyes’ maybe differs from other songs. However, talking in terms of theme, this song then definitely sets the tone. This album is about love, loss, Milo’s battle with mental health, drug addiction and much more. ‘Green Eyes’ and one of his many broken relationships, whether that be with friends, family, or loved ones, is just the tip of the iceberg on this album. It really does delve deep into Milo’s life, and the pain he has felt during his early 20s.

Famous last words?

How do you cope while grieving for the living?






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