Interview: George Rock of World Rock Countdown

George Rock runs a radio show called World Rock Countdown which aims to find and share the world’s up-and-coming hottest bands.

Can you describe what your goal is with World Rock Countdown?

Actually I’ve got a few I’d like to achieve. One would be to bring the feeling of discovering music back to the people. It used to be that you went down to the record store and took a chance on a new record, thats not the case anymore. Downloading music has changed the game for the better and for the worse. It may be harder for bands to spread the word about themselves now than ever before, but everything you do is visual, content is a must. Up until Facebook took the reigns from Myspace, things went to another level..you have to promote your band in ways that is different. Plus you better have a wad of cash to promote your posts, pay people of stature in the industry to maybe make things happen for you. The only good thing about the digitization of music is that it’s mobile, and bands can get the money directly through iTunes and other distributors..the only thing is selling the record.

I want people to realize rock isn’t dead, thats why instead of the conventional countdown like all other radio shows, I preferred to change things up in a “Top 10 Bands You need to hear this week” – style.  Keeping things fresh is key, people don’t want to hear the song more than once a day, if they do they can go on Youtube and put it on repeat.  We’re in the beginning stages, the content is pouring out for the World Rock Countdown. Eventually, would like to syndicate the show and even do a television reality show where we actually travel to different countries to speak with bands we’ve discovered.

You worked in the radio industry for a decade. What made you finally leave?

I can’t believe it’s been a decade actually, seems like just yesterday I began in the industry.  When I first started it was exciting, and like all my friends in the radio industry we all love checking out new bands – because it’s a break from that song that’s been on a reoccurring schedule for quite sometime.  I went from full-time radio work to part-time and still do hometown radio shows on a station back home from time to time.  I left because I had to pursue this opportunity. It was time to take the plunge.

Do you think you would have started World Rock Countdown if you hadn’t worked in the radio industry first?

Since I was 5 years old, I knew I wanted to be in radio. I had my boom box with the microphone and I always loved talking through the microphone. My whole life growing up I was told I never had what it took to be on the radio, even some of my school counsellors told me I couldn’t get into the course at the College for radio. After I pursued something else in College, I flunked out and the next year I returned, but this time in that radio program I was told I could never get into. Always follow your heart, don’t listen to anyone but yourself.

After working in the radio industry for almost 8 years, I had the pleasure of going to Los Angeles and finally meeting a colleague at the American Top 40. I’ve always been interested in the AT40, especially with Casey Kasem and meeting one of his producers changed everything for me. After we conversed for hours on end, it was clear that I had to do.  It all clicked.  It took a ton of work, secrecy, and struggle to get to this point. I honestly believe things happen for a reason, that was a life event.  Without that I don’t think it would have ever happened!

You obviously spend a lot of time listening to music to see what treasures you can find. Who are some of the best artists you’ve discovered?

Well lets start this off by saying all the artists are very good, but this is what I am currently spinning right now. It’s ever changing

I am currently listening to a band called Acres from the UK, Congression from Canada,  I am the Haunted from USA to name a few.

Do you make a concerted effort to find unusual or outlandish artists, to combat hearing the same thing on the radio all the time?

It’s no longer an effort to find new emerging artists, its become more of a habit. It goes well with a cup of coffee or two, and it usually lasts a few hours. Discovering new rock artists is kinda like christmas morning to be honest.

You say you want to uncover the “planet’s top emerging artists.” Do you think there isn’t enough geographical diversity in radio and the music world?

There’s not enough diversity in radio.  So many bands around the world that are just killer new bands for you to become fans of.  The music world has diversity, you just have to discover it..like really dig to find it. Thats why the World Rock Countdown should be your new home for finding new bands weekly. You may end up buying a record or two.

What are you looking forward to next with World Rock Countdown?

Bringing it to conventional radio, spreading the word, television show, and a music festival.

Check out the World Rock Countdown website here.

EP Review + Interview: Blank Parody’s “A Tension”

Listen to “A Tension” here.

There’s a long tradition of rock bands who cover dark subjects coming off as melodramatic and full of themselves. Thankfully, Blank Parody don’t fall into this trap. What makes the difference between over-the-top and solid, exciting material? For this West Midlands band, it’s all in the tone. Too dark and you risk alienating listeners, too light and you don’t get the point across the way you meant to. From vocals to guitar riffs, this is a band that figured out how to go straight down the middle, hitting the bulls-eye with their just-dark-enough sound.

Vocalist Joby Fitzgerald delivers tortured lyrics alternately as snarls and shouts, with a healthy dose of Davey Havok-esque goth flair thrown into the mix. A seething mass of frenzied guitar riffs and rumbling basslines tangle with breakneck drums to make sure things never slow down over the course of the six-song EP. On the few occasions when Fitzgerald’s vocals are isolated, it’s a welcome respite from the franticly-paced  instrumentals. But by the time the drums kick back in, you’re ready for more.

“Dark Pretenders” sets a high bar for the rest of the EP, with hints of indie rock catchiness alongside heavy, driving riffs and growled vocals. It doesn’t ease you in, but rather throws you in the deep end of the pool, and hopes you’ll learn to swim by the end of the album. If goth-tinged alt-rock is an interest of yours, you should stay long enough to learn to do the backstroke. “Still Stuck Here” and “Marching Through The Smoke” are both grand and anthemic, the former with a monumental chorus and the latter with quirky guitar rhythms and pop vocals.

It would have been easy for the album to become bogged down in too much dark, heavy substance, but Blank Parody find a way around that with touches of pop and indie to lighten things up and provide a break from the constant tension. At times, the instrumentals on “A Tension” can be overwhelming, drowning out Fitzgerald’s vocals and leaving you to muddle around in a sea of interlocking rhythms. But aside from that, and a bit of unnecessary repetitiveness, the EP is a very impressive debut. “A Tension” proves that Blank Parody are a band to watch, and cements their place as one of the strongest up-and-comers in the alt-rock scene.

Favorites: “Marching Through The Smoke,” “Thickened Pulse,” “Underachiever”

Similar to: Throw The Fight, Bad Seed Rising, Rust Belt Lights

Interview with vocalist Joby Fitzgerald:

How did the band meet?
Liam and I have known each other since school but we barely spoke until a couple of years after we left and started college. Liam, Connor and I have always played in separate bands growing up but in summer 2014 we decided to form a band together after a few jams showed off everyone’s strengths combined. Liam and Connor are step brothers, they’ve always been in bands together, and mine and their families are pretty close so the chemistry was already present. The search to find a bassist who also shared that chemistry finally came to an end when Liam heard the strumming of a guitar coming from his neighbour’s house when he was at university. That’s when Freddie joined the band.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
We all have our own different influences, and that individually adds to the unique sound of the band when combined. When me and Liam are writing we look to Brit Pop bands like Pulp and James, they have a huge impact on the way we put melodies and lyrics together. In terms of the guitars Liam’s into really fuzzy fast paced rock and grunge bands like Nirvana and Muse. Connor’s quite into his prog rock bands like Dream Theatre and Toto, so this adds a highly technical element to the rhythms. A lot of the more textural aspects on the EP come from Freddie’s love of bands like Foals and Alt – J. We’re also collectively really into Bloc Party, The Smiths, Biffy Clyro, Tigercub, While She Sleeps, Billy Talent and Radiohead to name a few. We’ve always got these bands on playlist when in the studio to help us get inspired.
What’s the music scene like in Birmingham?

Pretty live! There’s a pretty big heavy scene, bands like Failure Is An Option, Light The Skies, Dead Hands and Crime And Punishment 2011 are out there constantly playing shows just absolutely killing it. Then there’s some ace indie and psychedelic bands around, Veda, Yung Jimmy’s Big Ideas and The Pagans are all pretty wicked, really lovely guys too. Everyone’s really cool and appreciative of what everyone’s doing, there’s a big feeling of support and community for bands starting up in Birmingham and there’s a hell of a lot of talent about. My advice to the locals – get out and go see a show. Like, now!
You’ve recorded ten tracks already, how did you narrow it down to six for the EP, and why?
I think we already knew what songs we wanted to release before we recorded them, or at least as we were recording them. We wanted the EP to showcase our sound. Its very easy to stick a load of very different sounding tracks together and show the musical diversity of the band but as a first EP the aim has always been to nail our sound. Especially with Jim Pinder’s incredible abilities as a producer on board I think we’ve hit that nail on the head, so we’ll now feel more comfortable branching out on the next release. Which, fyi, is already demoed and sounding tight as shit.
One of the main themes on the album seems to be trying to get away from something. Could you speak to that?
Yeah, a lot of the EP is about getting through all the hard stuff life throws at you. It’s quite an optimistic record in a sense though as the lyrics are really all about pulling through and moving on, learning from your mistakes. ‘Keep Marching through the Smoke’ and all that jazz.
There’s also an interest in masks and pretending. Where did that come from?
To me the masks symbolise trying to be someone or something else. I think they’re quite relatable. We’re also just really big fans of cabaret and concept records, Liam and I are really into Sergeant Pepper era Beatles and Stardust era Bowie, so we don’t mind finding excuses to dress up. The lyrics to our past single ‘Locket Picture’ really payed homage to quite a theatrical video so we went out there and shot it. The masks actually ended up symbolising far more than what we imagined they would at face value and became quite strong representatives for the messages and meanings the song holds. You guys ain’t seen nothing yet – our next video features a magician!
“A Tension” has a lot of dark undertones. Was it a difficult process writing and recording?

Most of the songs were written and demoed over a few weeks. I’d say at that time I was probably at the lowest point I’d been at in my life, I know Liam was going through a pretty heavy phase too. I think writing the songs really got me through it all. It wasn’t difficult to write, it actually made things a lot easier. I love being in the studio especially with Jim who I’ve worked with for years. It’s gonna be interesting getting back into the studio as we’re both in much better places now. This record was about fighting your demons, I think the next one is going to be about learning to live with them.
What is the most important thing you think listeners should take away from “A Tension”?
The record is about fighting your demons, whatever form they come in. It’s a six track narrative about hope and positivity and sticking two fingers up to anything trying to drag you under. I want listeners to take away a lot of optimism and security, and instill faith in the idea that whatever you’re going through, it’s going to be okay, because you’re going to find a way of making it okay because you’re solid and you’re gonna pull through.

Where did the band name Blank Parody come from?
 
Liam heard it in a university lecture. From what he’s explained to me the phrase ‘Blank Parody’ means a humourless pastiche of what has gone before. So it’s the point where society stops attempting to be original and realises that anything new is in some way going to be nothing more than an amalgamation of what’s gone on before. Liam’s got a pretty funky sense of humour so he saw that as being a great way of branding an up and coming rock band. It also looks fantastic on T-shirts.
What are your plans for the near future?
We’re gonna be gigging as much as we can and getting back in the studio to record EP number 2. We always think really far ahead in terms of what songs we want to get out. We’ve had the tracklist for the next EP for about 6 months and I think it’s gonna blow this release out the water. Other than that, who knows what’s round the corner.

EP Review + Interview: Marina City’s “Terminal”

Marina City began writing for “Terminal” in 2015, and ended up writing a total of 60 songs. Lead guitarist Todor Birindjiev explains that the band didn’t hit their stride until they’d written over 30 songs, and found the writing style that would lead to “Terminal.” From there, the band were determined to narrow it down to 5 fantastic songs, knowing that this EP is their potential last hurrah. “One of the hardest parts was narrowing down that number to only five songs, and as a matter of fact we had to fight hard to have ‘Better Weather’ make the EP. The process of eliminating songs was both stressful and difficult, but in the end what we truly wanted on the EP was five singles,” says Birindjiev.

The five singles that did make the final cut certainly showcase the band’s talent and range. One of the recurring themes of “Terminal” is the idea of duality. The record could be the end of Marina City or the beginning of a new era for them, and the band encapsulated this idea with the word “Terminal.” In keeping with this idea, the EP fluctuates between all sorts of genres, lyrical ideas, and moods.

One of the high points on the EP comes on the central song “Better Weather,” which embodies the sort of duality the band are striving for. Lead singer Ryan Argast’s trembling, emotional vocals are almost painfully delicate, until they build into a cathartic chorus. “Something we take pride in is our dynamics. That word could be used describing our personalities, our song writing, our live show, or even our track listing. We put ‘Better Weather’ in the middle because it breaks up the two Soul/R&B tracks and furthers the two songs in the same key. It felt like it flowed better. You’re on a roller coaster when listening to ‘Terminal,'” explains Argast.

Next, “Thieves” is an R&B-inflected dance anthem, propelled along by carefree basslines and drums. “I would have to say I’m the most proud of ‘Thieves’ personally,” says basisst Aaron Heiy. “I definitely went out of my comfort zone when writing my bass lines for this song. My bandmates pushed me in the right direction during the writing process. Also, very fun to play live and the most groovy song on the EP.”

The EP ends with “Dreamers Never Die,” the strongest track on the record. It’s an ode to dreamers, both a rallying cry and a promise: ‘we are coming, the future is ours.’ It’s an interesting choice of closing song for a band that isn’t sure if this will be their last chapter or not. Or perhaps not. The songs seems intended towards fans, a promise that even if Marina City ends here, dreams and dreamers will continue long after. “‘Dreamers Never Die’ is about pushing forward and taking over the world regardless of what the world throws back at you,” says Argast.

Overall, “Terminal” is a solid twenty minutes of sentimental pop-rock, emphasis on the pop. There’s a distinct shift on this record to a lighter, poppier medium, which was both a natural and conscious decision for the band. “We’ve always skimmed the lines of being more “poppy” so when we were writing we felt like we opened a whole new door of possibilities with electronic sounds, synthesizers, and production. In the end it helped convey the message and mood lyrically of all these songs,” says drummer Eric Somers-Urrea.

If you hear hints of mainstream pop on “Terminal,” that’s not an accident. “I tapped into a lot of top 40 hits for production noises, and vocally I channeled the likes of Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Ed Sheeran, and other great singers of our time. I wanted to have a infectious soul/R&B tone to all vocals on the EP,” explains keyboardist/vocalist Matthew Gaudiano.

Those mainstream pop themes run side by side with rocking guitar riffs and combative vocals. In keeping with “Terminal”‘s theme of being a dualistic record, Marina City make sure that they can’t easily be slotted into one genre. “You can argue it’s a rock record or a Pop/R&B record,” Argast says. “The genres are all over the place on this record and that’s fine with us. We didn’t set a genre in mind when writing Terminal.”

The thread that ties the EP together is the subject matter. “You have to be in an environment that you may need help picking yourself up in,” says vocalist/rhythm guitarist Brian Johnson, describing the perfect environment for listening to “Terminal.” “For instance, just coming out of a bad break up or needing a lift from something that mentally drained you. This EP can give people confidence to get through the hard times and enjoy the great ones when they come.” There’s a strong feeling of now-or-never on this record, of Marina City putting everything they’ve got into it, no matter how unexpected or risky. With this idea comes a host of inspiring lyrics and combative instrumentals, delivering Marina City’s possible final message.

In the end, whether “Terminal” is a last hurrah or a fresh start, it is refreshing in its optimism, spirit, and freedom. It is clear that this EP was created without boundaries. “What I want people to take away from this EP is that Marina City can not be defined as one genre. I want people to believe that Marina City is a lifestyle, something that can be listened to every day, while at the same time have special meaning to each person that listens to it,” declares Gaudiano. From R&B hits to pop-rock anthems, “Terminal” goes where it wants. It’s power comes from feeling both old and new, somehow simultaneously world-weary and fresh-eyed.

Favorites: “Dreamers Never Die,” “Thieves,” “Better Weather”

Similar to: The Gospel Youth, Fall Out Boy, Boston Manor

Listen to “Terminal” here:

Interview: Glass House Point

Photo by Amanda Laferriere, @ajpgphoto on Twitter and Instagram

Glass House Point bring the indie. Plaintive vocals, strummed guitars, gentle drums, cryptic lyrics, you name it, these Central Florida-based indie rockers have it. Yet, surprisingly, their style isn’t one that’s heard often. Bands are often too focused on being different and original to allow themselves to fall into a trope so wholeheartedly. But Glass House Point are all indie, and it suits them well. Primarily, the band’s material consists of acoustic songs that build into delicate, pretty choruses , emanating emotion at every turn. Their tracks are simple but beautiful, soothing and thoughtful. On their newest upcoming single “Creatures,” out August 4th, Glass House Point use rambling guitar riffs and ambient swells to accentuate the pensive vocals and provide a fantastic preview of their upcoming EP.

Favorites: “Heaven,” “Creatures,” “Hungry Eyes”

Similar to: Finish Ticket, Babyblu, The Infinite Eights

Tickets are available here to see Glass House Point on tour in the US this summer.

Interview:

Who are the members of the band and what instruments do they play?

Glass House Point is collectively: Dylan Graham (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Ian Campbell (Bass, Keys), Jansen Valk (Drums), and Dylan Methot (Guitar, Mandolin)

How did you guys meet?

We all met in highschool, and most of us spent a lot of time together as friends before ever forming the band. When we began playing music together, it was originally pretty innocent. We didn’t have high hopes of success, and we were novice players. But after our first few shows, people really started to notice us, and we began to recognize that our music had an enormous potential. That was almost 5 years ago.

Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?

A lot of bands have influenced us, some of which are Local Natives, Bombay Bicycle Club, Mumford & Sons, and Copeland. Ultimately, we’ve always been drawn to artists with a strong sense of musicianship and thematic clarity.

Your newest single “Creatures” is wonderfully atmospheric with that awesome riff, what was the process and the idea behind this track?

“Creatures” is the track that introduces the theme of our new EP (which will debut in October). The approach with this song was to really reflect our record as a whole. Everything from the lead riff, to the lyrics, to the massive ending is a great reflection of our band in its most raw and straight-forward form, whereas the rest of our record is a bit more cryptic. The feel of this song is really close to how we play live.

What do you think is the perfect environment for listening to your music?

That’s an interesting question. Our music is probably most enjoyable in conjunction with a Peyote induced spiritual journey, but I guess that it is just as good to listen to Glass House Point in your car.

You’ve got quite a bit of music out, but no videos. Is there a visual concept or idea that goes along with your music?

Yes, we definitely have a visual aesthetic that corresponds with our music. That is something that is very apparent at our live shows. However, we’ve yet to create a lot of visual content due to us focusing on developing our sound. Now that we’ve almost wrapped up recording our new record we will begin expanding.

Your music is very calm and laid-back, how do you translate this to an exciting live show?

Our recorded music doesn’t necessarily reflect our live sound. When we play live, we absolutely rip it. I mean, we literally pour every ounce of adrenaline and emotion into the stage. It translates, but there is ultimately a gap between the uncontained feel of our performances and the polished feel of our last record, ‘Love Lives in Dark Places’ (2016). I think our new song, “Creatures,” and upcoming record captures a bit more of that untameable live feel.

Has living in Florida had an impact on your music?

I would say so. We’ve made so many friends and fans down here, and it has undeniably had an impact on us. We owe our sound to all of those who have supported us in our home court.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, either on being in a band or in general?

The best advice we were ever given was to tour and never look back. I think that’s what really opened our eyes to the importance of playing music. After spending time on the road, it becomes very clear how powerful music can be. Especially when we see your music affect a new face first hand.

Where did the band name Glass House Point come from?

The name came about through some desperate measures: on the day of our first gig, we had yet to decide on a band name. So, we decided that we would just hit “random article” on Wikipedia until we found something that fit. Eventually, we stumbled upon Glass House Point, and it just stuck.

What are your plans for the near future?

In the near future, we will be releasing 2 singles and a new EP. In support of those releases, we will be doing a lot of touring, and we will be creating new content for our fans.

Interview: VISTA

The newest releases from VISTA are all grand musical gestures and relentlessly in-your-face lyrics. There is nothing half-hearted or doubtful about their new singles “Allegiance” or “Henchmen.” Everything is evidently carefully thought-out, but each choice is pushed to its fullest, from the extravagant, enveloping synth melodies to the assertive, fierce vocals. This isn’t entirely a new development, VISTA’s music has always sounded confident and bold; but this newer, more electronic sound is also intriguing and fresh. Their sophomore EP “Long Live,” to be released July 21, is centered around the concept of finding an oasis in a dystopian society, and the storyline and music tie together perfectly. “Long Live” allows VISTA the chance to fully realize their new sound and show off more of their exploratory anthem rock, and it’s certainly worth a listen.

Favorites: “Allegiance,” “Henchmen,” “The Departed”

Similar to: Crown The Empire, Our Last Night, We Are The In Crowd

 

Interview:

Who are the members of the band and what instruments do they play?

Hope: Hi! I’m Hope Vista. I’m the lead vocalist of VISTA 🙂

Greg: I’m Greg. I play guitar in VISTA. I also try to play some other instruments occasionally.

How did you guys meet?

Hope: I knew of Greg because he’s in another band on Long Island, we had a ton of mutual friends. He messaged me on Facebook almost a year ago asking a ton of questions about VISTA, he was super curious. We jammed a week later and that was it!

Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?

Greg: Hmmm, this is a bit hard, but to choose a few; Carly Rae Jepsen, The Fall of Troy, Paramore, Donald Glover.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure song?

Hope: I am the biggest 90’s bubblegum pop guru, so I don’t really have any guilty pleasures! I’m more than proud to say I listen to the Backstreet Boys every single day, and still jam Aqua, BBMak, 98 Degrees, and Mandy Moore on the regular.

Greg: I try not to be guilty about songs that I listen to ever. But you’ll catch me jamming to Carly Rae Jepsen on the daily.

Your upcoming EP “Long Live” is about finding an oasis among a dystopian society. Where did that concept come from?

Hope: “Henchmen.” It all stemmed from that song, I had started writing it last summer and brought the idea to Greg the day he joined the band. I thought it was super risky, and I still think it is. But if you’re not pushing boundaries and taking risks, you aren’t growing.It was either make a bold statement, or fade in the background.

Has the current political climate influenced this storyline at all?

Greg: Yes it has actually. It’s pretty damn frustrating to see this and that on a daily on social media. Even before Hope brought the idea to me I was getting super frustrated with politics and stuff.

Hope: 100%. That’s what “Henchmen” was originally inspired by, it’s an anthem of anti-oppression. And that’s how we built everything for “Long Live.” It’s very important to identify your brand and not just be a band. I’ve been saying that a bunch lately, and it’s just kind of the motto I’ve been working off of.

Should we expect some visual elements to flesh out this concept?

Hope: We’ve been posting many visual elements for the last month or so. This record cycle is going to be predominantly black and blue, just like the EP cover. Our tour poster, header graphics, the EP cover, all of our new upcoming merch, it’s all going to correlate together. We’ve been building this concept for about 8 months.

Greg: Hopefully we can do a music video furthering this concept.

What’s your favorite song to perform live?

Hope: Honestly, I still really like “Dominance,” but now I love “Henchmen.” I feed off of energy and those songs spark back with the most energy for me. I am very, very stoked to add in our new tracks to the set though and see how those fare over. I’m thinking that “Long Live” is going to feel special onstage.

Greg: “Long Live” is gonna be super cool live. Can’t wait for that actually.

There are a lot more electronic elements present in your new music. Do you feel like that corresponds to the mood of the new songs?

Greg: Yes! I’m so glad you noticed! When I joined this band and talked Hope about the vision more, I knew I had to start getting better at synth design. I started working on my skills more and I’m glad you noticed them. A lot of the sounds are me messing around in FM8 and trying to get the weird noises I hear in my head out.

If you could describe the band in one word, what would it be?

Greg: Memes.

Hope: Ugh. I hate memes.

What are your plans for the near future?

Greg: Tour tour tour tour!

Hope: We’re touring in August to promote the EP, it’s our first headlining tour, “The Long Live Tour”! I’m mega stoked about that and also half terrified that no one’s gonna come out. But I think the rest of this year is just going to be about touring!

 

Interview: Dirty Laces

Dirty Laces have two singles out currently, “The Hypnotist” and “Contagious.” Both songs combine relentlessly catchy indie rhythms with a darker rock style. Dance-ready chord progressions slide seamlessy into ominous basslines and confrontational lyrics, as Dirty Laces begin to create their own niche somewhere within the genre of indie rock.

 

Interview:

Who are the members of the band and what instruments do they play?

Charlie Jordan -Vocals

Luke Dec -Lead Guitar

Tom Edwards -Bass Guitar

Jacob Simpson -Rhythm Guitar

Jack Walmsley -Drums

How did the band meet and how long have you been together?

Me (Tom) and Charlie met through a drummer we both knew and spent some time together working on music so we were already familiar with our different styles and strengths. Same thing with Luke and Jacob, they were in a band together for a brief period. Me and Jacob contacted eachother and kind of came together and just started searching for a drummer and luckily met Jack through a mutual friend. The solid lineup was set about late January this year so we’re all happy with the progress we’re making, things are moving pretty quickly.

Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?

I think we all like a lot of the same stuff and have mutual influences in the likes of The Beatles, Oasis, The Stones and Led Zeppelin. We’re all into our big Rock ‘n’ Roll bands. But we’re all into our own stuff and have personal favourites, like I’m really into my 70’s Punk and New York bands like The Stooges, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and the New York Dolls. Whereas Jacob’s into his more contemporary bands like Hidden Charms and Jack White. Charlie loves his Manc and Britpop music, Luke’s into his bands with big lead players like RHCP and Pink Floyd and Jack favours his British Punk bands from the 70’s. So we’ve got a big mix going on and influences coming from everywhere but we all share our favourite stuff and listen to a bit of everything, so it’s hard to pin our biggest influences because there’s such large variety so we try to blend everything. But overall we’re just gong for a big Rock ‘n’ Roll sound that’s full of energy because we think it’s really important to sound good live and put on gigs that people want to come back to.

What’s the last album you listened to?

Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy a Compilation album by The Who

You’ve only got two songs released, but you’re already doing a headline gig this August. How’s that going?

Yeah we’ve released The Hypnotist and Contagious but we’ve got 4 recorded and plan on announcing the release date of the other 2 shortly, they’re sounding pretty good and will show more diversity and another side to us because they’re a lot less dark in terms of the lyrics and overall sound. Gullivers on the 18th of August will be a big one being our first headline gig we plan on selling a lot of tickets and having a good night with a couple of decent bands opening for us as well. It’ll be a gold opportunity to display what we can do with an hour set and show everyone all of our material so they can get their teeth into our sound and what we’re about.

Both “The Hypnotist” and “Contagious” seem to be about being stuck on someone who you can’t get out of your head. Is this a theme you’re going to keep exploring in your music?

I started writing Contagious a long time ago and the meaning of it evolved it’s not exclusively about having someone stuck in your head but getting yourself into bad situations in general. Whereas I think The Hypnotist, from speaking to Jacob who wrote it, followed that theme of a bad relationship with another person in the past but I think both the songs just wrote themselves really and neither of us thought “We’re going to write about such a thing” and it’s was quite natural.

What do you think sets you apart from other indie rock bands out there?

I think our image and sound is slightly different from most bands that seem to blend into one thing with nothing unique about them. But I don’t think we’re trying to sound deliberately “Different” or do anything completely out there because that’s not natural we’re just about writing good songs that will be popular and hopefully appeal to a lot of people when we take all our influences and form something new that stands out.  We’re about being raw and creating our own sounds that we can produce in the studio and live whereas a lot of the popular bands at the moment seem very processed and artificial which is something we want to stray away from.

What is your songwriting process like?

All of us have a song in us and we can all write but I did 3 of the 4 that we’re releasing so if we’re speaking about the usual process on how we write, I usually come up with an idea and a foundation for a song with something to base some lyrics and a melody on. Then I’ll bring it to the rest of the band and we’ll all have input if that’s Luke adding a lead part or Jacob adding a breakdown which was the case with Contagious, Charlie can always have his own twist on the melody of the song and usually Jack sets the tempo with his drum beats so we’re all involved. There’s no one dictating every aspect of the creation of the songs because we’re all very critical and usually the best things come out with more than one mind working on it.

Where did the band name Dirty Laces come from?

We were all taking about a name pretty early on and it’s was decided fairly easily because we just wanted something raw and pretty basic. I got the idea from John Lennon’s one off project ‘The Dirty Mac’ with Eric Clapton,  Kieth Richards and Mitch Mitchell.

What are your plans for the near future?

We just want to carry on writing and getting some gigging at the moment. We’ve already been in contact with a couple of fairly big promotion companies based on the North West so things are looking good considering that we only formed late January and have been active on social media for a really short period of time. Writing and recording was a priority for us but now it’s gigs we need to focus on to build a fan base and see where it goes from there.