Frank Turner debuts brand new song, talks about new album and so much more

Earlier this evening, Frank Turner played his brand new single, due for release tomorrow, on a live stream on his YouTube channel. The Gathering, a brash, angry, punk rock song that makes us all want to be back in the mosh pit. Even more, this track features Dominic Howard (drummer from Muse), and Jason Isabel on lead guitar.

And to add to that, there’s a new album coming soon (date unconfirmed as of yet), AND tour dates being announced tomorrow, with tickets on sale Friday at 10am.

Keeping it going, another new song, titled The Resurrectionist. Inspired by Charles Dickens, this is a classic Turner Tongue Twister, a sing along hit I cannot wait to hopefully hear live.

You can catch the live stream here to listen to everything Frank has to say

We chatted to FLAKES about their new single KEEP GOING

Released today across all platforms, this French funk-pop newcomer is certainly one to look out for. Have a read of our conversation here:

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and how did you all meet?

We were all born in the south of France, where the sun warms hearts. We met in Toulouse during jam sessions or while crossing paths in music school. Toulouse musician network is quite small and helps to make great connections. We have all had a lot of experiences in various bands (jazz, rock, hip-hop, funk, electro) and it is the desire to make people feel good music to dance to, that brought us together.

If you had to sum the band up in three words, what would you say?

Dance, Disco Ball (two words I know, this is cheating…) and BoyBand

You released your new single KEEP GOING today, what does this song mean to you as a band? 

Keep going is an ode to the power of music. That of bringing together people and energies, to make it something transcendent and positive. In my opinion this is what people need just right now!

Is this a hint at more new music on the way? 

Of course, our first EP will be released in October 2021, stay tuned!

Who produced this? Have you worked with them before? How was it working with them? 

For the recording we decided to do the best, calling Daniel Yvinec as producer. A guy who has already played with Maceo Parker, Salif Keita, Mark Murphy… and had a lot of experience as a producer (he was notably nominated for the Grammy Awards in 2011 for his work with the ONJ, the national orchestra of Jazz in France). It was the first time that we worked with a producer. It was a very enriching experience and it is clear that our EP would have had a completely different color without him. He helps us to keep the best, change some lyrics or song structure and find some “hooks”.

We discussed a lot with him upstream to define our music and where we wanted to go together, shared playlists, and ended up spending a weekend in the bassist’s parents’ basement in the countryside near Toulouse, where we rehearsed. We are also grateful to Romain Clisson, the sound engineer at Durango Studio in Paris, who made up the second half of the dream team and helped us to have a sound, a touch, the Flakes touch!

Pre-pandemic, did you get the chance to play many live shows? What were some of your favorites?

Unfortunately, our first gig was the day before the first lockdown. So we did just a few concerts in France in 2020, and our gig as a support band for Maceo Parker which was scheduled for our release party in October 2020 was canceled. What a shame!

We therefore had to postpone everything to one year. But we had the chance to do five concerts in 2020 and the one which stays in our memory was on the main stage at the Carcassonne festival, where people could be standing! Do you realize?

Looking into a world post lockdowns, do you plan to get out on the road? 

Of course, it’s been our dream for a year! Our tour has been canceled and a lot of places where we were supposed to play have closed, we have to start all over again as soon as we are more clear on the health situation. We are still waiting for answers for this summer, it will be done at the last moment. The gigs all over the world have been postponed for a year and the places that remain are quite limited so it isn’t easy to be a band that is starting during this period.

How have you all been keeping yourself busy during lockdown? 

We continued to compose, thought about making costumes for the show, collaborating with photographer for our EP cover photo, finalized the Keep Going video which will be released on May 20, 2021, we didn’t give up.

What is next for the band? 

As I said earlier our music video will be released on May 20, 2021, our first EP in October 2021, and to come maybe a live show!

Where can we find out more about you?

You can follow us on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (Flakestheband), listen to our music on all the streaming platforms or buy it on Bandcamp when it is released of course.

Anything else you would like to tell us?

Yes, stay positive despite everything that happens, never give up, it will make us stronger and more united, believe in these wildest dreams and keep going!

I’d like to thank the band for taking the time to answer our questions and wish them the best of luck with the new single, and upcoming video and EP. Hopefully we’ll catch them on the road soon!

We chatted to DOG ON A SWING about his new EP On Love II: Love Harder

Dog On A Swing, also known as Ed Ritchie is set to release his new EP at the end of this month. We caught up with Ed about the new music:

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and where did music start for you?
Hi, my name is Ed and I play music under the name of Dog On A Swing. I was born and brought up in Edinburgh, and after a few adventures, I returned home ten years ago. My big bang moment was first hearing Green Day’s Dookie just before becoming a teenager. I dug out my brother’s old classical guitar from the back of a wardrobe, then had weekly lessons for a few years. I went to uni, joined the bands society and ended up running it til I graduated, but besides one co-written song, I didn’t get into songwriting til I was nearly 30! By that time, I finally had something to write about, so after six months I started playing open mics with the first Dog On A Swing songs.

Photo by Ryan McGoverne

If you had to sum yourself up in three words, what would you say?
After a lot of discussion with my fiancee, I would say: observant, introspective burrito-fan.

You’re set to release your new EP later this month. What does this EP mean to you?
It means a lot! Back in 2013, the original On Love was the very first official release I ever put out. I jokingly came up with this title after releasing the debut album Autonomy in 2017, but then realised I had a lot to say. On Love I is mostly about early, innocent, yearning love. On Love II moves onto mature love, the realities of deeper love, what it means to love harder/put more effort in, facing life’s difficulties. Technically, I’ve also learnt a lot since writing and recording the first one. The real pre-production work on this one happened in the last six months of 2020. This project has kept me sane during all this, and I’m really happy with how it’s turned out and the initial reception to the EP and single.

You can also find Ed’s music here.

What tracks stand out as favorites for you?
A good litmus test for every song on each release is ‘would I miss it if I took it out?’ so technically I’m partial to all of them! To actually answer your question though- Be My Widow is probably the most emotionally direct song I’ve ever written, bearing in mind Autonomy was all about my mental health journey! I’m also really looking forward to playing Exchanges live, as its very first performance (with my bandmate Martyn) was literally to a blank wall! The song was pretty fresh when we were invited to play a few sets across Falkirk for an all-dayer event, maybe a tad early in the day as even the staff were well out of our eyeline…

I personally really like Past Port. Can you tell us a bit more about where the inspiration came from for this track?
Funnily enough, it was the last song written for the EP! I was on a songwriting getaway in February 2020 with some friends when a hypothetical question popped into my mind- if there was a door to go back in time for a second attempt at a relationship, would you go through it? My immediate, gut reaction was ‘absolutely not’ but that would’ve made for a pretty bland tale! The other thing that really kicked the song off was the house we were all staying in had perfectly flat floors at ground level, but upstairs was another story. It is a very weird sensation to be walking towards the bathroom late at night and momentarily going down and back uphill! I had a first line about a house with sloping floors by the time I got on the train home, and about 90% of the lyrics were written on that journey.

What have been some of the biggest challenges making this EP, especially during lockdown?
For every previous DOAS release, I had always demoed and rehearsed the songs at home then recorded them in a studio (with producer Graeme Mearns- highly recommended if you’re in Edinburgh!) I knew I needed a new approach early on, but luckily during the first lockdown I finally got to grips with recording software (Reaper) so I could produce the EP myself at home. I’d worked with Jon Bews [violin] and Graham Coe [cello] on Autonomy, and with Alex Palmer [drums and percussion] they were all able to remotely record their parts and send them over to me. The aforementioned Martyn was also meant to be on the EP (he’s been on everything since After Work, and played over 70 gigs with DOAS) but his laptop broke and technology defeated our workarounds. Besides a lot of swearing at my laptop, I really enjoyed the production process. Afterwards I sent all the stems off to Ross Saunders, who mixed and mastered what you’re hearing today!

Can we expect any gigs, when it is safe to do so?
Definitely! Open mic is where I started so I’ll be playing them first to get my match fitness back (nothing replaces live performance, both in attending and actually playing) but happy to perform wherever anyone wants me!

Photo By Ryan McGoverne

What is next for you?
I’ve learnt very basic video editing in lockdown so in the immediate future, I’ll be finishing off videos for at least a few more songs from On Love- expect at least one more single in the coming months! On the songwriting front, I’m working on a second album all about friendship (a big topic surprisingly underexplored in song!). Outside of DOAS, I’m working on a score for a poetry performance piece my fiancee has written.

Where can we find out more about you?
You’ll find everything I’ve released over at (Bandcamp), and the username on most social media places will be ‘dogonaswing’. If you just search for ‘dog on a swing’, you will mostly find a lot of dogs on swings- something that always brightens my day!

Anything else you would like to tell us?
Thanks for reading and look out for videos from a session I’ve recorded exclusively for TrueStyle. Thank you for the questions!

I’d like to thank Ed for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him the best of luck with the album release in the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye on our socials for an exclusive session, coming soon

We chatted to Pete from WINTERGREEN about their new album FRAMED

Released a couple of weeks ago, this new album absolutely kills! We thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up with the bass player, Pete, about all things music

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you all from and how did you all meet?

We’re from various places around Manchester. That’s our home city, where we grew up and where we’ve stayed close to, but we’ve moved around a lot – we call it “being in orbit”. We live in the countryside now, and we have links to London too. Mike and me met when we were kids and we were in a band together in the late 90’s; Grant was a
drummer who I knew from “the scene” who became a good mate. The three of us got together and started WinterGreen in 2013/2014.

If you had to sum up each band member in one word, what would you say?
Mike (singer/guitarist) Ginger
Grant (drummer) Rocker
Me (bass player) Dancer!

What is one thing that makes you stand out from all the others?

No other band anywhere in the world has got us three in it.

You recently released your new album, Framed. What does this album mean to you, as a band?

It’s really satisfying. We’ve been a band for 6 or 7 years and it’s our 4th album, which is pretty good going. We are quite productive. We always work REALLY hard on the songs, getting them as good as they can be, and we feel we’ve gone up a notch with each album we’ve made – especially this one. It’s our best one yet. We’re really proud of it and we haven’t finished – we can’t wait to hear the next one!

What tracks stand out as favourites, both to play and listen back to?

It’s hard to point to one track, or a handful of tracks. We’ve lived with them for 8 or 9 months writing & recording the album. They become ingrained within you. It’d be like trying to decide which are your favourite fingers or toes – they’re just “there”! It’s like having several kids – they are all different and you love them all differently, but equally!

Who produced Framed? Have you worked with them before? How was it working with them?

A guy called Peter EJ Lee produced it. Peter has had hits in the past under the name “Love to Infinity” and he’s produced or remixed Grace Jones, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, Coldplay…… loads of acts. Mike was working with him on a film soundtrack and got him interested in us. He was a godsend to be honest. We couldn’t record together because of Covid Lockdown and travel restrictions, so we had to play our parts individually at home and send them to Pete. Our previous albums have all been played live in the studio as a band, then mixed/over-dubbed etc. but this was a completely different way of making a record. Pete brough the whole lot together and sprinkled it with gold-dust!

What were some of the sources for inspiration?

We just love songs and songwriting. Anything that’s a great song, well constructed, well recorded….. that’ll do us. And we like to try and do the same, write great songs. Inspiration comes from loving music, loving loads of artists and wanting to emulate what they achieved whilst not copying them as such. All three of us have different influences – Mike is probably more of a classic guitar strumming songsmith; Grant likes to rock-out and bash his drums like a proper Rockstar drummer, while I’m more sort of robotic-dance orientated – well defined rhythms & bass….. it’s quite a mix that gives us what we think is a sound that’s familiar and can perhaps be referenced to other bands and artists, but ultimately sounds like us.

How does Framed differ from your previous three LPs?

Well, as per the answer above it’s massively different due to the way it’s been recorded in Lockdown. Also, it’s a progression from the other three (and each one has been a progression from the previous one). We don’t want to stand still. We don’t want to do the same thing over & over. We want to try different things, keep learning new ways of doing it. We’re always looking for new sounds, new ideas we can introduce to keep it fresh and keep it moving forward. We want to evolve, always.

Are there plans to play live, when it is safe to do so?

Yes definitely – We took a year off gigs…. Then when we were ready to go back to it, the pandemic hit us and we’ve lost another year! We can’t WAIT to get back on stage, as soon as it’s safe to do so. We’re already talking to venues and promoters, so we’ll hopefully start lining up some dates soon…….

What is next for Wintergreen?

Well, Mike is making a film in Mexico at the moment – he’s been there nearly two months but is due home in the next week or so. When he gets back we’ll get rehearsing (as soon as we can) and get out playing live. In the meantime we’ve been pushing the album all over the place and we’ll keep doing that. The feedback has been great, and we wanna build on it.

Where can we find out more about you?

Twitter: @Wintergreenband

Anything else you would like to tell us?

Sure – there’s a song on the album entitled “Sad Strings” that will be in a forthcoming mod/road movie called “The Pebble and The Boy” Directed by Chris Green. It stars Patsy Kensit, Jesse Birdsall, Sacha Parkinson, Stuart Wolfenden, and Mani!!! (amongst many others, and a load of scooters!)

We chatted to Megan from MLR management about all things music

This might be a bit different from our normal interviews, but should still be just as interesting. Megan Riley spearheads MLR management, and we thought it would be cool to have a chat with her about everything music.

Can you tell us a bit about MLR Management? What do you do and where are you based?

Of course! So I am a student based in Preston, who established MLR management in her very little spare time – haha! Mlr management is “dedicated to championing new musicians and empowering them to achieve their dreams.”

What about a bit about yourself? Where did your journey into the world of music begin?

Lockdown! Lockdown takes all of the credit. I have always loved music but having extra
time on my hands has allowed me to start things I wouldn’t have normally been able to do. The M Word Music Blog was the start of all this, and then I was offered a radio show slot on Indie Rocks which I have had to halt temporarily. I also organized my own music festival but due to coronavirus guidelines, this has been postponed too! I do some part time work for a record label and then of course the birth of MLR management. My boyfriend pays in a band and initially, the company was birthed to help expand their fan base.

What have been some of your favourite artists to work with?

I’d say there has been a variety due to the blog and management, but:
Pseudo Cool, The Sherlocks, Red Rum Club, The Marsicians, Alpaca Factory, Red Shakes,
Greysha, Region, Taxi with Strangers and Rival Shadows! So so many to choose from, but those are just a few!

Without naming names, what do you dread when working with bands and musicians?

I have to say I don’t dread anything really, the only pet peeve I have is lack of manners. Drives me insane! I was always told to show respect / gratitude for everything, so when others don’t do the same, I find it very odd! A simple thankyou goes a long way!

What makes MLR management stand out from the rest?

I think, this is a tricky one! I have to say, not all obviously but some management companies will do the bare minimum, and hope things come from it. Whereas I give 110% always! I’ve had a lot of positive testimonies from my work which I am really proud of, so I know it’s not just me blowing my own trumpet and others agree too!

How has the pandemic affected the way you work? What have you done to overcome this?

The pandemic birthed my work so I don’t really know working any other way. I think the interesting thing will be when everything is re-open and how hectic that will be!

What is something 12 year old you would be proud of?

I love this question! Hmm, I’d like to hope everything I’m doing today. I certainly don’t think 12 year old me would have thought I’d have got this far!

Short term and long term, what is next? What are your goals?

Short term, graduate! Then hopefully progress MLR Management alongside a great job, attend a load of gigs and travel the world!

Do you have any funny stories from working in the music industry?

As boring as this sounds, I actually can’t think of any!

Where can we find out more about you?

Well, I guess I could say you can follow my socials? Haha! My personal Instagram and twitter are @meg_rileyx.

Anything else you would like to tell us?

There is alot of announcements coming very soon from MLR management so keep your eyes peeled! Also be sure to follow all the wonderful artists I am working with and give their music a listen. Taxi with Strangers, Greysha, San Francisco, Region, Rival Shadows and the almighty Red Shakes!

Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me Ted! Have a lovely week!

We chatted to Matt from THE WHITE LAKES about their new single THIS GENERATION

Released today across all streaming platforms, this new single from The White Lakes looks set to bang. We caught up with front man Matt Ellacott about all things music:

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and how did you all meet?
I am Matt Ellacott Rhythm Guitarist and singer for the The White Lakes.

I’m from a town just outside of Oxford called Wantage, myself and the drummer Kyle met each other at Oxford College, both studying music. I’m pretty sure Kyle didn’t like me at the start when I met him, I joined the course a month late and everyone seem to have there little groups so I was the odd one out. I think it was about a month later I was sat in a practice room listening to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers new album “The Getaway”, Kyle came into listen as well, then we started chatting about music and really hit it off from there. We both wanted to start a band so decided to form an early version of The White Lakes at college. A year later we decided to move to the same university in Guildford to further our music education and continue the band as we had had so decent momentum from our shows in Oxford supporting Yves and The Night Cafe as we’ll as our sold out headline show at The Cellar and supporting Razorlight at the O2 Indigo, the other old members went off to a different uni. We were quite lucky when we were looking for new members as our uni had a musicians page, so we put a little ad up on Facebook and hoped for the best. We already had an idea of the kind of guy we were looking for as our lead guitarist, we met around 20-30 people and nobody seemed to fit, we wanted someone who would come in, play the song how we recorded it and then leave. We had so many people who would come in and do threading solos, sometimes not even in key. Yet the final person, comes through the door, we are all tired and angry, he plugs in his guitar plays the song how it was meant to be played and we felt straight away that it was meant to be. That person is our lead guitarist Mr Finlay Carson from Preston. Myself and the boys spent a lot of time practicing the songs and making them as tight as possible as we had a plan to release a song then head off on tour in January of 2020. We still needed a bass player. So we followed the same tactic as before, this time we only had two responses. One of them was  Logan McQuirk from Matlock, Derbyshire he arrived with a couple of beers and a beautiful bass. We decided he was in the band straight away.  The Next day we had a call about a last minute gig, we called him, and said “hey man, we would love you to join our band, we have a gig tomorrow wanna learn the set and play it?” He said yes and thats how we all met and the band was formed! 

If you had to sum up each band member with one word, what would you say?

Matt – Loud
Fin – Greggs 
Logan – Lanky 
Kyle – Hairy 
Better names than the spice girls 😉

You released today your new single This Generation. What does this song mean to you, as a band?

It means a lot, it has been a while since we have released any new music, it was one of the first songs written during first lockdown. I guess it shows our progression as a band more than anything. We are so excited to see how our fans and new people finding our music, react to it. At the same time I don’t want to delve into the meaning of the song that I have, as I like fans connecting with it in different ways and interpreting the lyrics in their own ways!

Is this a hint at more new music on the way?

We are due to release a single in July and another single October this year.

Who produced this? Have you worked with them before? How was it, working with them?

So the song was written by myself and Luke Juby (a super cool guy and amazing songwriter/producer) with Fin adding some great guitar parts to it! It was recorded and co-produced by the lovely blokes at Numen Studios, Max and Jordan, we have worked with them before so have a great relationship already. Its always a fun experience recording there.

Where do you look, to help find inspiration for your music? 

I think it’s anything I’m listening to, I don’t like to box myself into one genre when I’m listening to music, one day ill listen to Catfish and the Bottlemen, the next day ill be listening to Krept and Konan, it really helps lyrically and melodically, as there are some amazing melodies in rap, dance, classical and indie, the beats they use etc. It’s all interesting stuff, and it’s all inspiration. 

Releasing new music is difficult at the best of times, how are you managing to do this while also being in lockdown?

I think releasing music during this time is the best, having part time jobs and getting put on furlough allows you to have the time to work on the band even harder, dedicating time like a full time musician. I think I have written about 40/50 songs this lockdown and we have released 2 songs. Its all about how you view situations, I know many of my friends who just played Warzone constantly and didn’t work on their projects and now the projects don’t exist.

Other than making music, how has the band been keeping busy during lockdown?

Because we have moved in to a house together and stayed as a bubble throughout all the lockdowns, we have been able to drink a fair amount of beer and become addicted to F1 2020 on Xbox. That’s pretty much all we do if we are not working on new music. 

What tips would you give to those in bands, looking to get their music out there?

Keep writing, even if you don’t want to, you can really find your sound if you keep writing. Experiment with new sounds, Synths, drums, loops etc. I have written many songs that wouldn’t fit our band, however always finish those projects as you may use them later down the road for a second or third album. Never delete any projects you are working on! That’s my advice.

What’s next for the band?

I would say festival season, we aim to be playing a lot of these festivals, release another two singles and go on tour! Nothing is set in stone obviously because you never know what will go on with the Covid situation we are in, but our aim is a UK tour for autumn 2021.

Where can we find out more about you?

Follow us on any social media, we go live quite a lot on Instagram so that might be the one to follow, but we post on all of them! Hopefully see some of you readers there!
Facebook – The White Lakes
Instagram – @thewhitelakesband
Twitter – @thewhitelakes
Youtube @thewhitelakes
Website –

And, because they are always left out of interviews, any final words from the drummer?

Kyle (Drummer) “Stream our new single this generation so you can make us famous !! Thank you, bye, like and subscribe love you guys”

Matt – This is why drummers don’t say much 😉

GIG ALERT: Chris Webb with Funky Nature at Exchange Bristol, 24th September

TrueStyleMusic are excited to announce another gig coming up later this year (fingers crossed!).

Bristol folk artist Chris Webb (known for both his solo work, playing lead guitar for Gaz Brookfield and Lonely Tourist, and co-writer and performer with Plume Of Feathers) comes to Exchange Bristol basement on the 24th September 2021.

Chris is being supported by London based Funky Nature, a dynamic group who bring their mix of melodies, raps and harmonies together to create their Funky Nature.

Chris’s new album Clown For Sale is set for release on the 2nd April, you can pre-order it here.

Funky Nature are due to be putting up their debut EP later this year, watch this space for more information as it comes through.

Back in August last year, TrueStyleMusic had the oppertunity to go and see Chris play a socially distanced show with Lonely Tourist. Have a read of our live review here.

Tickets are available here, and the Facebook event can be found here.

We chatted to Alessandro Ciminata about his new single FEELS LIKE HEAVEN

Released at the end of last week, Alessandro’s (Alex) new single is an instant indie smooth wave banger. We caught up with Alex about his new song and all things music

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and where did music start for you?

Hello! I’m a singer-songwriter, I’m from Italy but I lived in London for almost 9 years! I can’t dance, I suck at football, so I write songs. Music started in my room, when I was a teenager suffering anxiety. My guitar was my safe place.

If you were to sum yourself up in three words, what would you say?

CEO of sad songs (it’s actually 4 lol)

You released your new single today – Feels Like Heaven. What does this song mean to you? 

I wrote this song during lockdown, I know you hear this a lot from artists these days but with everything that was going on I felt the urge of wanting to tell people that this lockdown(s) can also bring to positive things and is not that bad overall. For example, during this time, I had the chance to look inside myself like I never did before. I’ve asked my girlfriend to marry me, I finally found myself as an artist, for the first time ever I think I know who Alessandro Ciminata is.

Did you have any help with the writing, recording and producing process? 

I wrote the song in my bedroom, with a midi keyboard, a mic and a laptop. Then, my partner in crime Jack Gourlay, did his magic on the production.

Is this a hint at more new music on the way?

Mate, you’re gonna have enough of me dropping music this year!

What advice would you give to those looking to make music?

Go for it! Stop worrying about the industry, focus on yourself and be true to yourself. Make music that resonates with you in the first place.

What is one challenge you didn’t think you would encounter while making music? Was it difficult to overcome this?

The music industry and all the rejections! It’s hard. To make music in 2021 you got to learn to let go a lot of things. However, I believe there’s always a right time for everything, all the challenges artists encounter whilst trying to make it, at the end of the day will just make them stronger and ready when opportunities arise!

Are there plans to play live, when it is safe to do so?

Yes! I’m playing a headline show in London, at The Grace on October 26th . It’s
gonna be one to remember you have my word!
Tickets here:

How have you been keeping yourself busy during lockdown?

Indeed! I started doing tiktoks, live streams, wrote songs, watched every
possible Netflix series!!

Where can we find out more about you?

All over the internet!
tiktok: @alessandrociminatamusic
insta: @alessandrociminatamusic
Join my discord server:

Anything else you would like to tell us?


I would like to thank Alex for taking the time to answer my questions and wish him all the best with his new musical adventures.

We chatted to LIKE A HAWK about their EP RELEASE THE HAWK

Although this was released back in December last year, Like A Hawk reached out to me on twitter, so we thought we would have a chat with lead singer/guitarist archie:

Can you tell us a bit about the band? Where are you from and how did you all meet?

We started in the small Northern Irish town of Limavady in Northern Ireland. There’s a population of only around 12,000-13,000 people there, but there are a lot of cool musicians in the area. I’d been in various bands for years including a punk rock band called where I was the drummer and a few rock bands playing guitar/singing. My younger brother Ryan, who plays drums in Like A Hawk, actually started out as a guitar player and I was the drummer, and someways along the line we swapped. We each played in different bands and never together for a few years, and then we started jamming one day in our house and thought, “Why aren’t we doing something together.” So we wrote a few songs and played a few gigs with various bass players as a 3-piece and the show was on the road. A few years later we moved to Belfast for work/university and our old mate from Limavady, Johnny (aka Cheddar) joined us on 2nd guitar. We then met Ciaran (bass) through an online ad and we all clicked immediately and got straight to playing gigs at open mic nights and battle of the band competitions, and eventually we were supporting some amazing bands in and around Northern Ireland.

How did you decide on the name Like A Hawk?

The name was actually a phrase that I remember from school. I wasn’t the best or most well-behaved student, and I remember distinctly my primary 4 teacher saying, “I need to watch you like a hawk!” God knows what I was up to, but when Ryan and I were thinking about names it just popped into my head. It’s a pretty cool name I think, it’s rock and roll and evokes the imagination.

If you had to use one word to sum up each band member, what would you say?

This is a difficult one! I would say:
Archie (Lead Vox/Guitar): Pessimist
Ryan (Drums): Solid
Ciaran (Bass): Vagabond
Johnny (Guitar): Sarcastic

Back in December last year, you released your debut EP, Release The Hawk. What does this EP mean to you, as a band?

This E.P was such hard work to put together, and it’s our first ever proper release, so it means a whole lot to us! We did the entire thing ourselves, and had very little experience or knowledge of how it all worked, so putting it together was a challenge, but also incredibly rewarding. Most of the songs on Release The Hawk have been rolling around for a few years at gigs/practice/demos, but we never had the money to go to a studio, or the equipment to do it ourselves. We finally felt we had the proper kit to put something together ourselves and it turned out not half bad! The songs are fun, hopefully catchy and just good-time rock music, and that’s really what we’re all about. It felt so good to finally get a proper release out, and now we’ve done it we’re hopefully on the right track!

What song stands out as a favorite? 

For me, the opener My Disgrace would be a personal favourite. I wrote that song a few years ago about when I started going bald. It’s a worrying time for a man, but when you finally get the courage to bite the bullet and shave the head, it’s so liberating! The song’s really about the initial anxiety and embarrassment some men face when the hair starts to go south, but it’s essentially an anthem to all the baldy’s out there that it’s ok, and some people even find it sexy (or so I’m told). We always dedicate that one live to any chrome dome’s in the audience. I’m not sure about the other guys but I imagine we probably all have different favourites. We’ve all definitely got very differing and eclectic tastes! Ciaran’s more a funk kinda guy, Ryan more modern/alternative rock, Cheddar’s a straight metalhead, and I’m a blues/classic rock chap!

Did you have any help with the writing and producing process for the EP?

No, the whole thing was recorded literally in Ryan’s living room, and the songs were written by Ryan and myself. He lives with his girlfriend in a small flat in Belfast, so her head was absolutely tortured! We recorded drums, guitars, bass, vocals and did all the mixing/mastering right there in his living room. It was hard work at times, and me and Ryan nearly had a few bust ups (brotherly love…) but in the end we were happy with the finished product. I wouldn’t even dare attempt to count how many cans of beer were consumed during the whole process. It would be in the hundreds.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced making your new music? How did you overcome them?

The gear we had was the biggest challenge. I’m not too bad at using digital audio software like Logic Pro or Pro-Tools, so that was pretty smooth most of the time, but we really were on a tight budget. One of the audio interfaces we were using at the start is so old, I think I might have had it for 10-12 years. We used mostly cheap microphones and often found some strange noises in the background when we were listening back to the drum tracks and had to do the entire thing again. Those were the times when Ryan wanted to throw me out the window. Eventually we got into a kind of rhythm (pardon the pun…) and things started going smoother and smoother. We learned mic placement, noise suppression techniques and tricks along the way that helped us get there in the end.

Are there any plans to play live, when it is safe to do so?

We’re definitely a live band. We’d been playing gigs for years before we put anything out, so that’s really where we cut our teeth. As soon as possible, we’ll be out there playing as often and as loud as we can! I’m literally itching to get back on stage again and I know the boys are the same! That first chord will be an all encompassing joy!

What is next for the band? 

When the restrictions eased a bit last year before Christmas, we actually managed to get drums recorded for 5 brand new songs, so we were very lucky! So that will be a new E.P that we’ll put out this year! How we’re gonna record it is reliant on the Northern Irish restrictions as we can’t get together, but hopefully we’ll find a work around and get it out sooner rather than later. The songs sounded awesome when we played them in rehearsal last year and Ryan’s drumming has stepped up a level. It should be a good’n!

How have you all been keeping busy during lockdown?

I’ve been studying for an undergraduate degree in Belfast, and musically just writing and putting down demos to work on with the lads as soon as we can get together. The other lads work full-time and play games. Ryan’s been writing a lot of great material too that we’ll work on in the near future. Apart from that there hasn’t been much to get up to apart from drink beer and listen to rock and roll for me. 

Where can we find out more about you?

You can find us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and you can hear the full E.P on Spotify, Apple Music and most other streaming platforms worldwide! We’d really appreciate if folks would check it out and give us a like or follow! 

Anything else you would like to tell us?

Thank you Ted for taking the time to listen to us, and I hope you enjoyed our stuff! We really appreciate the support from you guys! Keep an eye on our socials everyone for news about our upcoming E.P. It’s gonna be a beast! See you at a gig soon!

We hope to see you at a gigs soon as well. In the meantime, why not check out Like A Hawk on your preferred music service. I’d like to thank Archie for taking the time to chat to us and wish him all the best for the next EP, when it is released.

We spoke to MORNING CRUSH about their new single PEACEFUL MIND

With the new single released yesterday across all streaming platforms, we took the opportunity to chat to Tim (AKA Morning Crush) about his musical adventure

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and where did music start for you? 

My names Tim, I write songs and talk about mental health alot. I’m from Kingston Upon Thames and I started playing music after being obsessed with The Libertines and Oasis when I was 12. My music sounds nothing like them now though.

If you had to sum yourself up in three words, what would you say?

I don’t think I could! 

You released today your new single Peaceful Mind. What does this song mean to you, as an artist?

Peaceful Mind is a song I wrote about my experience with depression and anxiety. I wanted to be honest and to the point and not try to glamourise it at all. 

Musically it’s heavily inspired by Neil Young’s rockier tracks. 

Where did the inspiration for this song come from?

I’ve spent years trying to get to the bottom of my illness, the inspiration came from the overwhelming frustration I feel with myself for feeling the way I do. 

Did you have any help with the writing or producing process? How did you find this process, do you think it was successful?

I wrote all the chords and words by myself. The musical arrangement was done with Myself, Chris Hope (producer), Thom Worth (Guitar and bvs), Tom Buxton (bass) and Ivan Montesano(drums)

They’re amazing to work with. Thom’s guitar really makes this track in a lot of ways, I never would have had the guts to approach it in the way he did. 

Is this a hint at more new music on the way? 

I tend to release a new single every month, so yes.  

Pre – world-gone-mad, did you get a chance to play many gigs? Are there plans to play any, when it is safe to do so?

Yes, and no. Back in the day I toured the UK and EU fairly regularly in a very DIY fashion, under a different name, but I stopped for a few years and got a job at banquet records in Kingston. This project has only technically been public for a few months so there isn’t much to talk about in the way of past gigs. My last gig was supporting Chris Farren at the fighting cocks, right before Covid started to kick in. 

Yes I plan to gig as much as humanly possible when I can. I can’t wait. 

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to make music?

Give everything. Expect nothing. Love what you do. 

How have you been keeping busy during lockdown?

Nothing too interesting to be honest. I work, I write, I eat, I sleep. 

Where can we find out more information about you?

I’m very active on Tik Tok (@morningcrushmusic). I talk about mental health a lot there, and post “work in progress” songs. 

I’m also in all the other normal places. Facebook, Insta, twitter. Though I barely tweet because I hate twitter. 

Anything else you would like to tell us?

Thanks for having me Ted, glad you enjoyed the single! 

And with that, I would like to wish Tim the best of luck with his new music and I hope to catch him at a show, as soon as it is safe to do so!