Monday, July 10, 2017

THE VERY END INTERVIEW:


The Very End,  Bootleg Metal


The Very End is:
Björn Goosses (voice),
René Bogdanski (guitars),
Alex Bartkowski (guitars),
Marc Beste (bass),
Lars Janosch (drums)


BOOTLEG METAL: So let’s get things started with the name. Who came up with the name and what’s behind it?
THE VERY END: Not quite sure, maybe it was me cause I've been responsible for all lyrics ever since. But it may have been a
bandmate just as well, can't remember to be honest. However, The Very End as a name is pretty obvious, I think. It
stands for death, nihilism, the utmost final aspect of everything and everyone.

BOOTLEG METAL: Where is the band from?
THE VERY END: Northwestern Germany. This region is called the Ruhr and has a great heritage of both coal/steel industry as well as metal music. Kreator, Sodom, Rage, Grave Digger and many more are literally our neighbors. BOOTLEG METAL:

BOOTLEG METAL: Is this the original line up and how did you guys find yourselves in the same band ?
THE VERY END: After a few line up changes we almost have the original line up as you read this, except for Alex Bartkowski on guitars, who stepped into the shoes of Volker Rummel. We knew each other for years from other local acts before, so we were all familiar with each other.

BOOTLEG METAL: How long has (the band) been around and how long after your first rehearsal was it before the
first show?
THE VERY END: We made our first musical steps together as The Very End in the early 2000s, but things weren't really serious until we recorded our first demo in 2005. Our first show took place in December the same year.

BOOTLEG METAL: Does everyone contribute to the writing process or does someone generally write the lyrics
and/or music?
THE VERY END: We are a creative collective if you will. Ideas for songs may come from one or another band member, but we usually arrange everything together with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. The lyrics on the other hand are solely my territory,
but no one did complain so far, so it probably will go on like this, haha!

BOOTLEG METAL: What are your songs about? Fact? Fiction? Personal experiences?
THE VERY END: They're both personal as well as philosophically abstract. They reflect on fictional scenarios as well as the real world. Be it contemporary issues or errors of the human mind that have been around since the dawn of time.

BOOTLEG METAL: I checked out and really enjoyed your “A Hole In The Sun” video. Any story behind the song?
THE VERY END: Sure! It's about a totalitarian system and the will to fight it, the urge for freedom and individual strength. I think the video perfectly captures this principle and it was absolutely awesome to take part in creating it! BOOTLEG METAL: Without a doubt. Yeah man, such an awesome job on both the song and video.

 BOOTLEG METAL: What genre do you feel (the band) fit’s in the best and what influenced your writing to get you
there?
THE VERY END: We just play metal. We don't limit ourselves and aren't interested in categories. If you need one, we probably play a melodic, contemporary mix of death, thrash and straightforward metal with groove, hooks and heart.

BOOTLEG METAL: What was your latest gig?
THE VERY END: Last month we played the Rage Against Racism festival close to our homewtown, which was awesome. A small local metal open air for free and for a good cause. We shared the stage with Disbelief, Rage and many others.

BOOTLEG METAL: Where have you played live this year?
THE VERY END: Actually by far not as much as we'd like to, cause we're concentrating on songwriting at the moment. Apart from the aforementioned festival we just had one other show, which took place in Southern Germany together with the great Undertow.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a favorite cover that always finds it’s way on your set list and is there a story behind it?
THE VERY END: Sometimes we play Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. We did a cover of this classic track on our second album Mercy & Misery, and because it's rather short you can quickly play that one as encore if you e.g. have 3 minutes stagetime
left but your shortest song is minimum 4 minutes ;-)

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a past show that stands out from the rest?
THE VERY END: We try to make every single show memorable, but festivals like Summer Breeze, Nord Open Air or awesome support gigs for bands like Exodus, Sepultura or the likes are surely carved in your memory a bit deeper than others. BOOTLEG METAL: Yeah man, love Exodus. Very cool.

BOOTLEG METAL: So what’s in the works for (the band)?
THE VERY END: Completing the songwriting for our fourth album and taking things from there.

BOOTLEG METAL: What are your thoughts on your local music scene?
THE VERY END: I think it's one of the best scenes ever as we have many bands ranging from small to legendary, many venues from small pubs to arenas, many magazines, labels, bookers etc. What else can you wish for? Sometimes it's even hard to get heard because there's so much going on around here, but that's complaining on a high level, so it's all cool.
BOOTLEG METAL: I see you have played in Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. Have you guys ever been to or plan on coming to the US?
THE VERY END: We haven't played the States yet but of course we'd love to. Of course it's easier said than done, but maybe with the next album and the right booker we might get the chance to come over. BOOTLEG METAL: Hopefully. I will keep my eyes open for that.

BOOTLEG METAL: The US metal scene has taken a back seat in recent history. I’ve heard for years that the rock/metal scene over seas is so much better than here in the US. Any truth to that?
THE VERY END: Unfortunately I can't tell much about the US metal scene., It's always two cups of tea talking about a scene and being
part of it... From what I've read and heard the US scene has positive as well as negative aspects just like we do over
here. And even a rather small subcultural group like the metal scene depends on so many factors that it can
fundamentally change on a monthly basis... All I can say is the scene is what its “members” make it.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a recent album/EP release you’d like to tell us about and where can we get it?
THE VERY END: I am very much looking forward to the new Undertow record, which should be released this summer. Check them out at www.undertow.de

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have merchandise for sale?
THE VERY END: Definitely! Check out Bandcamp

BOOTLEG METAL: Where can you be found online?
THE VERY END: Here: Official SiteFacebook and Youtube, just to name a few...

BOOTLEG METAL: As far as videos, sites, merch, ect. Are you guys more of a DIY band or do you hire out?
THE VERY END: We're very much a DIY band. Of course we work with pros here and there to keep the quality level we strive for, but
at the end of the day we're deeply involved in everything.

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have or are you looking for a label/manager?
THE VERY END: Right now we're on Steamhammer/SPV, but we manage ourselves.

BOOTLEG METAL: One question I like to ask. What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you wrote?
THE VERY END: I could write down a list of hundreds of songs now... Music is one of THE joys of life, so choosing just one great song is virtually impossible. BOOTLEG METAL: Haha, fair enough.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there another artist or band that is totally not your genre that you listen to?
THE VERY END: Lots of! It's be boring to listen to metal all day. I even think you could just create generic boring metal music when you'd only listen to metal all the time. Creative minds need to look over the rim. Be it Dax Riggs, Murder, Julia Kent,
Conny Ochs, soundtracks, classic music or you name it, I just make a difference between music I like and listen to and music that I don't like and therefore don't listen to.

 BOOTLEG METAL: If you could pick, past or present, would there be a dream collaborator (artist/producer) you would like to work with?
THE VERY END: We already worked with Waldemar Soraychta, who produced loads of great albums by the likes of Samael, Sentenced, Tiamat and countless others. But surely there are other big names that could be quite interesting, like Max Norman, Colin Richardson, Rick Rubin, Andy Wallace...

BOOTLEG METAL: How do you think downloading music whether legal or illegal affected the music community?
THE VERY END: The music community and industry is constantly evolving and you gotta keep evolving, too – or you will be lost along
the road. I don't have anything against downloading, streaming etc, it just needs to be done right and people need to be aware of the value of music, no matter in what form they listen to it.

BOOTLEG METAL: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and answering the questions. Is there anything
you’d like to add?
THE VERY END: I have to thank you! If you haven't checked out The Very End just give it a try, it's damn sure worth it! And keep an eye on our fourth album. Cheers!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

REBEL RIOT INTERVIEW:



Bootleg Metal Interview


Rebel Riot is:
Bob Concrete (rhythm guitar / vocals)
Jānis Kažemaks (lead guitar / backvocals)
Kristīne Segliņa (drums)
Kaspars Pētersons (bass guitar)     


BOOTLEG METAL: So let’s get things started with the name. Who came up with the name and what’s behind it?
REBEL RIOT: We started out in 2007 as Rebel Yell. We had our first gig coming up and needed a name. Johnny’s idea was the best so we stuck with it. After a while we got fed up with the name because too many people where associating us with Billy Idol and we also wanted something more distinctive. We didn’t want to change the name completely so we changed only the second part, we ended up with Rebel Riot. We thought this name suits us better as it sounds punchier. BOOTLEG METAL: Cool man, yeah I agree.

BOOTLEG METAL:  Where is the band from?
REBEL RIOT: Originally we are all from Riga, Latvia. Some of the members currently have moved to other cities. But we still have the band rehearsals in Riga.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is this the original line up and how did you guys find yourselves in the same band?
REBEL RIOT: The current line-up has some slight changes, but the latest (third) album was recorded with the original line-up on board: Bob on vocals and guitar, Johnny on lead guitar, Kaspars on bass and Kristine on drums (the same as on the first album). Over the years we had two other bass guitarists, but in 2014 Kaspars returned to the band. We have a substitute drummer at the moment just to keep us going, because our original drummer Kristine (recorded on all three albums) is currently living and working as a dentist in the Netherlands.
Kaspars and Kristine were classmates in highschool. Bob and Johnny joined the band after responding to an internet advert.

BOOTLEG METAL: How long has (the band) been around and how long after your first rehearsal was it before the first show?
REBEL RIOT: We’ve been playing since 2007, so this summer we’re celebrating our ten-year anniversary.
At the very beginning we were quite eager to get the thing rolling and it took about only two months after the first rehearsal before we played our first gig in our hometown Riga.

BOOTLEG METAL: Does everyone contribute to the writing process or does someone generally write the lyrics and/or music?
REBEL RIOT: Bob and Johnny write most of the music and lyrics, a couple of contributions have been made by Kaspars and a few by other members as well. But usually the final versions of the compositions are arranged all together with everyone involved.

BOOTLEG METAL: What are your songs about? Fact?  Fiction? Personal experiences?
REBEL RIOT: We write songs about our personal experiences, how we see the world. We try to bring to attention things that are wrong or broken in society. For example, sometimes it’s the struggle with relations among people, problem with greed, or the dark side of drugs. Questions of how to fit or not to fit in society, and how the culture of rock’n’roll sits in all that. But some grain of wishful thinking might find a spot here and there in our themes. We are not complete pessimists.


BOOTLEG METAL: What genre do you feel (the band) fits in the best and what influenced your writing to get you there?
REBEL RIOT: From the very start we wanted it to sound like oldschool hard and heavy. Each of us have our own musical preferences. Some equal, some a bit different, spanned by good ol’ rock‘n’roll, blues, classic rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, heavy metal, thrash and speed metal, doom metal, groove metal, industrial, punk, some oldschool hip-hop. The list could probably go on. So some bits of everything has inspired our music. We don’t intend to fit in any specific genre. Some experimentation might be involved. But keeping it ‘classic’ is also a natural way of ours. Sometimes we refer to it as ‘Some ass kickin’ oldschool heavy rock‘n’roll at its finest’.

BOOTLEG METAL: What was your latest gig? 
REBEL RIOT: The last one was a local gig in a bar called ‘Aptieka’. It’s like a pharmaceutical bar. A small place, but it was a great show. Couple weeks before that we had a gig opening for ex-Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley also in Riga.

BOOTLEG METAL: Where have you played live this year?
REBEL RIOT: We haven’t had many gigs this year yet. So far six gigs, most of them in Riga, one in other Latvian city – Liepaja. Some shows and tour dates are planned for the summer and autumn in Latvia and abroad.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a favorite cover that always finds it’s way on your set list and is there a story behind it?
REBEL RIOT: We have done a lot of covers over the years. Since our own musical material is expanding we tend to play less covers to make way for our own stuff on the set-lists. However we enjoy doing for example Black Sabbath’s War Pigs once in a while. Back in 2009 we participated in a band contest in a newly opened bar at that time called Rock‘n’Riga, where the organizers set some mandatory covers for each band to prepare in a five days’ time. We got the Pigs, which we found to be a healthy challenge that helped us a lot to improve our skills since it’s not the easiest song to cover. Some other rock classics like Stairway To Heaven, Sweet Child O’Mine, Hells Bells, Sad But True were on the list as well. In the end we won the whole contest. That gave us quite a boost. Heartbreaker (Led Zeppelin), Beating Around The Bush (AC/DC), Monkey Business (Skid Row) are also a few that happen to slip into our set-list from time to time. BOOTLEG METAL: Very cool.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a past show that stands out from the rest?
REBEL RIOT: We’ve done quite a lot of shows – hundreds. A lot of great, not so great, funny and lame shows all included. It’s always nice to play some big, crowded shows with a good sound, usually at some festival. In Liepaja city’s club ‘Fontaine Palace’ we’ve had some really good gigs. It’s a great place for the rock’n’roll spirit. The roomy stages (club and open-air) and accommodation there is outstanding.
It was an honor and quite exciting opening for Accept in Riga in 2012. But smaller club shows with the crowd in your face prove to be quite rewarding at times as well. This year we had a great show promoting our latest release “The Good The Bad and The Heavy” on 3rd of February at ‘Nabaklab’ in Riga. It was sold out and we had a blast. You can check out some footage from the show on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWXsfWTYaXE
It all depends on the mood and emotions of the audience and ourselves of course. Hell, we’ve even played next to a dump out side at the backyard of a school, or an open-air festival during the night when the temperature drops almost below zero and the mics are heavily discharging electricity that it’s hardly possible to sing, let alone dangerous. Some fun times to remember.


BOOTLEG METAL: So what’s in the works for (the band)?
REBEL RIOT: We released our third album “The Good, The Bad And The Heavy” last November which took quite some time to compose, record and produce, a couple of years give or take. We have a few shows in summer at some local festivals (Playground, Laba Daba). A few more videos are on the way.
Tour dates are being planned for the second part of the year to Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Eastern Europe. Some new music is slowly on the way as well.
BOOTLEG METAL: Yeah I checked that album out. Great effort. Big Fat City, When the Stars Align, very cool tunes. Well written and well produced.
                                           
BOOTLEG METAL: What are your thoughts on your local music scene?
REBEL RIOT: There are some old pop, rock and heavier bands still around here who started in the 70’s or 80’s and are considered as classic Latvian music acts. Those were Soviet times back then here. It was especially harder for the more extreme bands at those times, because the regime wasn’t that supportive, even against it. It was almost risky to be a part of a heavy or otherwise controversial band back then. But that was the game.
Surely things have changed quite a bit now. Latvia is a small country and the scene has become quite diverse lately. There are a lot of new bands around nowadays. Some keep it up for a while and are really good and can gather a loyal following, like the guys from folk metal band Skyforfger who are performing shows worldwide almost two decades now.
However many bands unfortunately disband after some time. The fan base just isn’t that big, because we simply are a small nation with not so many clubs for live gigs around the whole country. Just a few cities, to be blunt. The most activity is in Riga. But of course it all depends. If you work hard enough, you can fill up a club easily and make a name for yourself.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a recent album/EP release you’d like to tell us about and where can we get it?
REBEL RIOT: Our latest release is our third full album “The Good The Bad and The Heavy” released last November. You can listen to it on all major streaming platforms. Check out our Youtube channel for some action: https://www.youtube.com/user/REBELRIOTvideo/videos.
Get the album on our Bandcamp page:
https://rebel-riot.bandcamp.com/

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have merchandise for sale?
REBEL RIOT: Yes, besides CD’s we have some T-shirts and patches. It’s also available on our BANDCAMP page!  We ship worldwide.



BOOTLEG METAL: Where can you be found online?
REBEL RIOT: You can listen and buy our music on the largest streaming platforms like Spotify, Itunes, Deezer, Google Play. We have a HOMEPAGE. We have profiles on Facebook and other sites:
www.facebook.com/rebelriotmusic
https://twitter.com/Rebel_Riot
https://www.instagram.com/rebelriotmusic
http://rebel-riot.bandcamp.com
www.youtube.com/user/REBELRIOTvideo
https://soundcloud.com/rebel-riot

BOOTLEG METAL: As far as videos, sites, merch, ect. Are you guys more of a DIY band or do you hire out?
REBEL RIOT: We manage most of the things ourselves, except in cases where we need to hire a cameraman for videos or a printing company for merch.

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have or are you looking for a label/manager?
REBEL RIOT: First two albums were self-released. The third album was released on a small local label called Thunderforge Records. We don’t have a permanent manager. That would be helpful because organizing things takes time and we need that time to write music. But we have some friends and colleagues who also help out with managing some shows. In a sense “I scratch your back, you scratch mine”.

BOOTLEG METAL: One question I like to ask. What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you wrote?
REBEL RIOT: Too many to mention, haha! But to be honest we’ve never looked at any song in such way.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there another artist or band that is totally not your genre that you listen to?
REBEL RIOT: Yes, we listen to a lot of different kinds of music. For example N.W.A., Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Ministry, The Doors, The Beatles, Down, Pantera, Enigma, Enya, Burzum, Bathory, some world music, folk, celtic...  Again just to name a few.


BOOTLEG METAL: If you could pick, past or present, would there be a dream collaborator (artist/producer) you would like to work with?
REBEL RIOT: Hard question! It depends on how the personalities go together. If the chemistry is there, it might work. If not, forget it! If you don’t know him/her personally then you have no chance of guessing how things could work out.
Chuck Berry probably would have been the best to learn from if you wanted some rock’n’roll in your music.

REBEL RIOT: We had a good communication in the studio while recording and mixing our latest album. We knew what we wanted to do and achieve. The sound engineer just guided us. We recorded the rhythm tracks live. Drums, bass and both rhythm guitars simultaneously. Vocals and solos where added later.

BOOTLEG METAL: How do you think downloading music whether legal or illegal affected the music community?
REBEL RIOT: It has changed the whole community. It’s hard to say for the worse or for the better. It is definitely harder for rock musicians to live off rock’n’roll. We hope that will change in the near future. As technology advances there might be other ways for getting attention and royalties. That is the change we have to accept and try to adapt to it as much as we can. People now are more connected than ever and that is a great benefit. The virtual domain helps that. We hope that there will always be fans that enjoy live shows. Playing live is our best trick.

BOOTLEG METAL: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and answering the questions. Is there anything you’d like to add?
REBEL RIOT: Thanks for reaching out and showing interest in our music. Best wishes to promoters and fans! See you in da pit!

Friday, June 2, 2017

STEREOSHIFTER INTERVIEW:

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument and on stage


Stereoshifter is:
Josh Cal - Guitar/vocals
Peter Higgins - Drums


BOOTLEG METAL: So let’s get things started with the name. Who came up with the name and what’s behind it?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh came up with name in 2014 by shifting some words around he liked and to be honest it was the only band name in a list of about 10 or so that wasn’t truly taken anywhere in the world. Stereoshifter was that band name. There’s no real meaning behind it. Kind of funny now that the band is duo because the name makes more sense now than ever. Stereo=2 channel, ya know duo = 2 members and we are kind of shifting back and forth feeding off one another energy wise. The name kind of fit later on when we became a duo even though it never was really meant to be one. BOOTLEG METAL: (haha) Nice when it all works out.

BOOTLEG METAL:  Where is the band from?
STEREOSHIFTER: We are from Denver, Colorado. Josh is originally from New Jersey. He moved to the Denver area in 2010. Peter is a Denver native.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is this the original line up and how did you guys find yourselves in the same band ?
STEREOSHIFTER: No, the lineup experienced several changes in the band since starting in 2014 and we won’t get into that but the band finally felt solidified since Peter Higgins joined in April 2016. Peter responded to Josh’s Craigslist ad looking for a replacement drummer as the old drummer relocated and left the band.
Josh Cal: Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Peter Higgins: Drums, Backing Vocals


BOOTLEG METAL: How long has Stereoshifter been around and how long after your first rehearsal was it before the first show?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh: The band was originally for a 4-piece in the spring/summer of 2014 and our first show was at Herman’s Hideaway in October of that year. It was a great night, even though we were really nervous. We brought out 30 or so friends and the venue stiffed us on getting our cut of the door money. So we didn’t get paid.


BOOTLEG METAL: Does everyone contribute to the writing process or does someone generally write the lyrics and/or music?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh will basically write a tune with guitar chords, melody and lyrics, then bring it to practice. Then, Peter will write the drum parts and we work out the structure together. Sometimes we will spontaneously start a new song at practice and Josh will go home and finish writing lyrics for it. 


BOOTLEG METAL: What are your songs about? Fact?  Fiction? Personal experiences?
STEREOSHIFTER:  Fact and personal experiences. They could be my own personal perspective or my feeling of being in someone else’s perspective. Love, death, society, regret, relationships etc.
They are heartfelt rock songs. Motions through life I suppose.


BOOTLEG METAL: What genre do you feel Stereoshifter fit’s in the best and what influenced your writing to get you there?
STEREOSHIFTER: In a general sense: Alternative Rock
More subgenre sense you can say: Grungepop, Mix of punk rock meets grunge and pop rock.  Any 90’s alt rock and indie bands with the whole loud/quite dynamic always got our attention (Nirvana, Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur Jr.) and 80’s Brit-Pop with their moody hooks and catchy beats (The Cure, Smiths, New Order).
I think that’s what got us here.


BOOTLEG METAL: Although "All I can Stand" is a great song and more current for you guys, I really enjoyed your "Nothing left To Give" video. Any story behind the song?
Sure, no problem.
STEREOSHIFTER: The song is about a broken society and just feeling hopeless in being unable to doing anything about it. Feeling empty has you have nothing left to give. 

I wrote it in 2014 and I had it sitting in my back pocket with a great drum part with a lot tom work in mind but none of the previous drummers could really nail it. Peter came along, just hit it on the head with his unique style without a problem.  

As far as the video, we just let our friend Italo Ganni roll with it. We love sci-fi stuff and we left this creativity roll on this one. The idea is we fled the planet this ship and create this beautiful robot who ends up turning on us and everything else goes wrong and the whole thing turns to shit. So It was just a fun little sci-fi thing. 


BOOTLEG METAL: What was your latest gig? 
STEREOSHIFTER: We supported the Reno Divorce & The Henchmen tour while on their stop in Denver at Lost Lake this past 5/13. We also just supported the OverUnder album release show at the Marquis Theatre in Denver this past 4/27.



BOOTLEG METAL: Where have you played live this year?STEREOSHIFTER: Moon Room @ Summit Music Hall (Denver), Surfside 7 (Fort Collins), Marquis Theatre (Denver), Lost Lake (Denver), Syntax Physic Opera (Denver), Moe’s BBQ (Denver)

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a favorite cover that always finds it’s way on your set list and is there a story behind it?STEREOSHIFTER: Not usually, but we have covered “Where Is My Mind?” by Pixies, “Song 2” by Blur and “Sucked Out” by Superdrag several times. The Superdrag cover is the most recent.


BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a past show that stands out from the rest?
STEREOSHIFTER: We headlined Moe’s BBQ (Denver) on 1/28 of this year which was really fun. We got to book the whole bill with friend’s bands and had a really awesome turn out.  A lot of people came out to support. We played pretty well too. We felt good going home that night. BOOTLEG METAL: Very cool.

BOOTLEG METAL: So what’s in the works for Stereoshifter?
STEREOSHIFTER: We are finishing up a new EP that we will be releasing this summer. It’s the follow up to our last EP ‘Dumb Luck’ last we released last November. We don’t have a title for it yet, but it will have 3 new songs on it. We are pretty excited about it as the songs are slightly in a stronger direction than the last EP. We just finished the artwork for it, which it really going to be cool. BOOTLEG METAL: Yeah man, nice. Keep us in the loop.


BOOTLEG METAL: What are your thoughts on your local music scene?
STEREOSHIFTER: Oversaturated. Don’t get me wrong. Tons of talent, lots of great venues, but not enough music fans. However, there are plenty of musicians.  Denver has a lot of really cool bands. Even north of Denver in Fort Collins there’s even more, possibly better. However, Denver is such a cool city with so many cool things to do that I don’t think many people are interested in the local music scene. They’d rather enjoy the great outdoors.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a recent album/EP release you’d like to tell us about and where can we get it?
STEREOSHIFTER: Yes, our current EP ‘Dumb Luck’ features 6 songs we wrote and you can find it on Spotify, Apply Music, Google Music, Amazon, Bandcamp etc.

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have merchandise for sale?
STEREOSHIFTER: www.stereoshifter.threadless.com

BOOTLEG METAL: Where can you be found online?
STEREOSHIFTER: Official Site and Facebook

BOOTLEG METAL: As far as videos, sites, merch, ect. Are you guys more of a DIY band or do you hire out?
STEREOSHIFTER: We are definitely DIY. We do most of our recordings in house as Josh is also an engineer. We do our own web design, printing (Peter) and merch. We have a couple friends who help us at very low costs with graphic designs and video production.

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have or are you looking for a label/manager?STEREOSHIFTER: A manager would be nice if it was the right fit but we aren't actively looking. The “dream” of signing to a label left a long time ago.


BOOTLEG METAL: One question I like to ask. What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you wrote?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh: Oh wow, what a tough question. It’s easy to pick one of my favorite personal songs but you’d want to pick a song that struck a chord with millions of people that I also like. I think I’d say U2’s “With or Without You” or R.E.M.’s “The One I Love”.
Peter: Any good song is a song that you wish you had written, really. The stuff that really makes me go, "Damn, I wish I'd thought of that first," though, is stuff with profound, truth-speaking lyrics. "Don't Give Up on Me Now" by Ben Harper is a recent example that comes to mind.
Oh ... and "Battlescars" by Ozma. That's a song that has always made me jealous for some reason. The chorus is a stroke of genius that I wish I'd thought of.


BOOTLEG METAL: Is there another artist or band that is totally not your genre that you listen to?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh: I rarely listen outside my genre. I’m not very good at that but if I do, it’s sometimes Imogen Heap, Frank Sinatra, some old swing music or classical.
Peter: I've always had a thing for folk music, but folk and punk are pretty closely tied at their core. Their purpose is the same: honesty. Totally out of my genre? Probably Bob Marley. He's one of my favorite artists of all time ... but he's the only reggae artist I can even tolerate. Reggae is strange like that.


BOOTLEG METAL: If you could pick, past or present, would there be a dream collaborator (artist/producer) you would like to work with?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh: Even though he’s kind of a prick I’d still like to try him out...Steve Albini. I still love the way Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ and the Breeders’ ‘Pod’ sound. Heck even Bush’s Razorblade Suitcase has that signature Albini sound that’s raw and organic that nobody else can seem to do.
Peter: Probably not. I don't like meeting new people.  ;-)
Actually, there are tons of artists I'd jump at the chance to work with. Making a record with Steve Albini seems like the most realistic goal, though. I'll go with that.


BOOTLEG METAL: How do you think downloading music whether legal or illegal affected the music community?
STEREOSHIFTER: Good and bad. It’s great for the musician to get their music out there and accessible but at the same time it’s made everyone lazy and once again the market oversaturated. The days of discovering a band more organically are over. You must be found through a stream and catch someone’s ear in under 20 seconds on a playlist or internet radio if you are lucky. No longer are the days of someone hearing your music live for the first time and buying your cd at the merch table.


BOOTLEG METAL: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and answering the questions. Is there anything you’d like to add?
STEREOSHIFTER: Thanks for having us and checking us out. We really appreciate people taking the time to support independent music. Be sure to check out our wacky space music video for “Nothing Left to GIve” HERE 
Cheers!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

DARKNESS INSIDE INTERVIEW:

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Darkness Inside is:

Ben Harl - vocals
Matt Huckstep - bass
John Esparza - drums
Corey Dickson - guitar
Adam Thompson - guitar 


BOOTLEG METAL: So let’s get things started with the name. Who came up with the name and what’s behind it?
DARKNESS INSIDE: I don’t remember which one of us came up with the name. We threw around several ideas, and Darkness Inside was the one that we felt represented our message the best.

BOOTLEG METAL:  Where is the band from?
DARKNESS INSIDE: We are from Central IL.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is this the original line up and how did you guys find yourselves in the same band ?
DARKNESS INSIDE: We actually started out as a 4 piece, with our vocalist (Ben Harl) also playing guitar. But after a year or so we decided to find another guitar player (Adam Thompson) to lighten the load for him. It also helped us gain more energy on stage.
Our original drummer (Chris Morrison) left after about two years with us, but on really good terms. We’re still really good friends with him. And that’s when John Esparza joined in.

BOOTLEG METAL: How long has (the band) been around and how long after your first rehearsal was it before the first show?
DARKNESS INSIDE: We’ve been playing together for a little over three years. It took about 3 months of rehearsal and writing before we played our first show.

BOOTLEG METAL: Does everyone contribute to the writing process or does someone generally write the lyrics and/or music?
DARKNESS INSIDE: The writing process is pretty open. Everyone in the band will bring ideas and riffs in and we write together. We feel that this “Democratic” writing process helps us come up with some really interesting songs and it also helps all of us to feel like we have a hand in the creation of the music.
Most of the lyrics are written by Ben, but Matt Huckstep (Bassist) has assisted in the lyric writing on a couple of songs.

BOOTLEG METAL: What are your songs about? Fact?  Fiction? Personal experiences?
DARKNESS INSIDE: A lot of the music we write has a darker tone to it. We write from the heart and from a lot of life experiences, and we really ty to concentrate on sharing this with anyone and everyone who may be interested. Just because life may get you down from time to time doesn’t mean that you can’t find a way to turn the negative into a positive. We hope that our message will help others who struggle with the same issues we do.

BOOTLEG METAL: What genre do you feel (the band) fit’s in the best and what influenced your writing to get you there?

DARKNESS INSIDE: That’s a really difficult question to answer! We’re kind of all over the map with our writing style. If I had to put us into a single category, I’d probably select straight up Hard Rock. But we do have some pretty heavy songs, as well as almost exclusively acoustic, so we do dip into other genres quite often.
We have 3 albums, all with varying genres, which allows us to kind of tailor make our live sets to match almost any other band we play with. If we’re playing with lighter bands we can play mostly our lighter songs. If we’re playing with metal bands we can play a heavier set. It makes it kind of nice to have those options available.

BOOTLEG METAL: I checked out your videos and "Darkness Inside You" stood out for me. Great tune. Any story behind the song?
DARKNESS INSIDE: This song was inspired by a book our vocalist Ben read, called “You” by Caroline Kepnes. It’s about a serial killer that falls in love with a woman who frequents his bookstore, and he eventually dates her, traps her, and kills her. It’s all about obsession, and what kinds of dark roads that obsession will lead you down.
Since the song was inspired by that, we thought may as well shoot a music video in the same vein!
We shot the video ourselves, and had our friends at Heroic Age Studios edit it for us.
We had a blast making this video! It’s all shot in first person, similar to a first person shooter style video game. BOOTLEG METAL:  No happy ending to that one huh? Very cool, yeah man, nice job.

BOOTLEG METAL: What was your latest gig? 
DARKNESS INSIDE: We just played a biker rally in Decatur, IL. A lot of fun, that one!!

BOOTLEG METAL: Where have you played live this year?
DARKNESS INSIDE: We haven’t played much this year. We wrote 3 albums in three years, and have played too many shows to count in the last few years. So, we decided to take the first 4 months of 2017 off to catch up on our personal lives.
However, we’ve recently started to rehearse again, and we’ll be back out hitting it hard in the last half of 2017!

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a favorite cover that always finds it’s way on your set list and is there a story behind it?
DARKNESS INSIDE: We haven’t played any covers to date. We’ve talked about it on several occasions, but we can’t ever decide what to do!
And we write extremely fast, so we usually just end up working on our own stuff and any potential covers get pushed to the back burner.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a past show that stands out from the rest?
DARKNESS INSIDE: That’s hard to say. We’ve had some really good opportunities to open for some great national acts. But we’ve also played some intimate local shows for our friends and family.
I think every show we’ve played had some really good memories associated with it, so it’s hard to put one above another.

BOOTLEG METAL: So what’s in the works for (the band)?
DARKNESS INSIDE: We’ll be working on our next music video during the summer months, and we plan to release it around late July. Besides that it’ll just me shows and more shows! We really love playing live! BOOTLEG METAL: Nice, "Live The Lie"? Keep me posted.


BOOTLEG METAL: What are your thoughts on your local music scene?
DARKNESS INSIDE: Our local scene was pretty dead for the last several years. It’s tough out there for original rockers.
But, recently that has changed. There have been some really good bands like Ashland and Mammoth Cannon that have gotten some notice in our area, and the original music scene is really starting to revive itself. It’s great to see!
DARKNESS INSIDE: Our most recent album dropped in December of 2016. It’s called indoctriNATION, and you can pick it up on Amazon, i-Tunes, CD Baby, and pretty much everywhere else. Or come out to a show and we’ll get you a hard copy!!

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have merchandise for sale?
DARKNESS INSIDE: Absolutely! T-shirts, stickers, etc….

BOOTLEG METAL: Where can you be found online?
DARKNESS INSIDE: You can find us at www.darknessinsidemusic.com
That is our official site. And you’ll find links there to our official FB page, our music videos, and our music!

BOOTLEG METAL: As far as videos, sites, merch, ect. Are you guys more of a DIY band or do you hire out?
DARKNESS INSIDE: We pretty much have our hands in every aspect of our band. Our ex drummer does all of our merch for us at his print shop, and we have a local film studio we worked with on our first two music videos.
Our vocalist Ben owns his own music studio (Dark Soul Studios) and he and the guitarist Adam also run Dark Soul Entertainment, which is a film and music entertainment company.
We try to be as self sufficient as we can….

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have or are you looking for a label/manager?
DARKNESS INSIDE: Right now most of what we do is through Dark Soul Entertainment, but we’d love to work with any labels or management that could help us achieve our dreams!

BOOTLEG METAL: One question I like to ask. What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you wrote?
DARKNESS INSIDE: I don’t know if I have a good answer for that one. I can tell you a few musicians I wish I had a chance to work with:
Corey Taylor, Dimebag Darrell, Mike Portnoy. Of course there are many others, but these are a few that stand out presently

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there another artist or band that is totally not your genre that you listen to?
Adele. That chick can sing…


BOOTLEG METAL: If you could pick, past or present, would there be a dream collaborator (artist/producer) you would like to work with?
DARKNESS INSIDE: Another tough one.
I’d probably have to say Ross Robinson and/or Rick Rubin. What these guys did with Slipknot……damn…..
I’d also love to work with Avenged Sevenfold. These guys are constantly pushing the envelope on creativity.

BOOTLEG METAL: How do you think downloading music whether legal or illegal affected the music community?
DARKNESS INSIDE: Times change. It’s definitely hurt the artists. But music isn’t going anywhere. We’ll always find a way….

BOOTLEG METAL: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and answering the questions. Is there anything you’d like to add?
DARKNESS INSIDE: Don’t forget to give us a like on FB!  click here