Recently, I’ve started writing for Native Monster, the new West Midland’s entertainment website. After pitching a few ideas, I’m happy to say that I’ll be promoting Unsigned bands around the area as well as doing my usual interviews with passing touring bands.

Here’s a link to my first article and the transcript below:

http://nativemonster.com/music/birmingham-based-band-set-for-big-things

Inspired by the likes of nineties legends Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age and Weezer, Since Monroe having been remodelling alternative grunge ever since their formation in 2011.

Consisting of members Andy Clifford, James Bradley and brothers, Rich and Matt Tregortha; the Birmingham based, four piece’s debut E.P ‘Lost Generation’ attracted the attention of many, including Amazing Radio’s Rock Show. Now, with a tour only days away, Since Monroe’s latest release ‘Dropped on My Head as an Adult’ has got even higher expectations.

“It’s a lot heavier and a lot more song writing based than the last, E.P” says guitarist, Matt.

The band’s music combines distorted breakdowns with catchy riffs and melodic vocals, to give a diverse range of today’s alternative music. Heavier songs such as ‘Caged’ and ‘Jugular’ demand attention with fast paced guitars, whilst pop infused classics ‘The World is Out to Get Me’ shows the bands lighter side and give audiences something to sing along to.

Since Monroe are keeping the Birmingham music scene going strong. With rumours of an album next year, these guys are definitely one to watch out for in the future.

Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/sincemonroe

Watch the video for ‘Everyone’s a Statue’ at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McqiJjgv0rY

And get their latest E.P ‘Dropped on My Head as an Adult’ free from http://sincemonroe.bandcamp.com/

And here’s my last interview with Letlive! http://nativemonster.com/music/letlive-let-loose-in-birmingham

This weekend, post hardcore L.A stars, Letlive, headlined the infamous Birmingham rock venue, The Asylum, as part of their U.K tour.

Although the band have visited England before, when playing Download and the Kerrang Tour in 2012, this trip is extremely significant for them.  ‘This is our first big headliner tour in the U.K,’ says lead singer, Jason Butler, ‘we did one a few years back, but it was much, much smaller and so this is a lot different.   It’s certainly a significant change and development in the band.’

The band began their tour the previous evening in Bristol and were shocked by the reaction from fans.  ‘Bristol was crazy!’ the singer laughs humbly, ‘ I guess it’s just that when we play a show, we don’t expect much, because we don’t feel entitled to expect anything, so we’ve just been out to try to do the best we can and the response that we’ve received has been really, really wild.’

This may be due to the raving reviews for Letlive’s latest album ‘The Blackest Beautiful’, which was released earlier in the year. Following on from ‘Fake History’ in 2011, Butler purposely chose to do little production work to gain a rawer sound.  ‘There’s a disparity from the last record to this one, I think the point with this album was to abandon the superficial elements of music, recording and a band’s persona and put together a record that was honest.’

As well as aiming for a more organic sound, ‘The Blackest Beautiful’ also deals with some deep issues. ‘The album is about the imperfections that make us human beings. We’re the most emotive creatures on this Earth and although it hinders us at times, the duality serves quite well as it helps us understand ourselves and it also helps us learn.’

‘Messing up is how you learn,’ he adds, ‘you can read and study as much as you want but experiencing the perils and the trails of life is where I’ve found my most cherished lessons. So the message with the ‘Blackest Beautiful’ is that it’s ok to be an erroneous human being , it’s part of who we are, it’s what makes us special, it’s what makes us quite beautiful I think.’

It’s clear that this new record draws upon a lot of the singer’s new experiences as Butler, himself, has learnt a lot the past few years. ‘I’ve released things about myself that I had supressed and things that I needed to deal with. Ironically, after excavating all my issues, I’ve found a way to feel better as opposed to feeling depressed and sad about it. Although it does elicit feelings in me that can be angry, sad, confused and frustrated the end result is very, very positive.’

Interestingly, despite his hardcore background, the singer has also been experimenting with a different genre for his own solo project, ‘I’ve been writing a lot on my own with my guitar.  I’m very much inclined towards rhythm and blues hip-hop, like this new age of idiosyncratic dark, dark R n B and I’ve just been writing things like that and sharing my ideas with other artists so we’ll see, it’s definitely on the horizon.’

So, with the rest of U.K to travel and a U.S coming up with ‘Everytime I Die’ it’s clear that Letlive have a busy winter ahead of them.

 

 

 

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