The bizarrely named Death By Unga Bunga and their fifth studio album ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ is about as perfect a place as any to start though as having just wowed audiences across the UK in support of Irish rockers Ash we thought it was about time you also discovered why this 5 piece from Norway were handpicked by Tim Wheeler and Co out of relative obscurity to secure such a prestigious slot.
Originally released back in April of this year I first got to hear about the band when a Facebook mate of mine sent me a link to the total nerdgasm that is the video to their track ‘Into The Night ‘with a note that simply said “this is your new favourite band.”
Well that infectious slab of powerpop was certainly enough to grab my attention and the fact that the band also just happened to look like the bastard sons of Biff Malibu only helped to increase my interest. The real game changer happened just before ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ was finally due to hit the streets though when the guys dropped the second video from the record, the superb ‘Soldier’, a song so catchy I just had to get my shots at my local rock ‘n’ roll doctor and experience the full majesty of Death By Unga Bunga.
Having lived with this record (it’s also out on CD and download) for nearly six months there is rarely a day that goes by when ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ isn’t actually on my stereo, as the 11 tracker (note 2 tracks are quirky incidental interludes) is simply one of the best powerpop records you will hear anywhere this year.
With a particular penchant for writing instantly memorable 3:30 minute pop/rock tunes just like say Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, The Knack and yes, their UK touring buddies Ash what Death By Unga Bunga do ever so well is make their own particular brand of powerpop sound totally unique to them, something I haven’t really felt since the heady days of when Scandinavia was seducing my eardrums at an alarming rate with genre defining bands such as Gluecifer, Division of Laura Lee and Randy.
It’s simply impossible to pick a stand out track amongst the 9 equally brilliant tracks captured within the all killer no filler grooves of ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ but ‘Boys’ really is up there with the very best hard rock tracks released this year and in ‘So Cool’ the Bunga boys give Turbonegro a lesson in how to use synths without having to sound like Van Halen circa ‘1984’.
‘So Far So Good So Cool’ is quite simply essential listening for anyone who has albums by the likes of Fuzzbubble, Sugarbomb and The Semantics within their collection. I’m just gutted I didn’t get a chance hear this record played live.
After a wrapping up sell-out UK and US tours, IDLES have confirmed a 2019 world tour, headlining their biggest venues yet. The run will include two London headliners at The Electric Ballroom and their first ever run of dates in Australia. Tickets go on public sale this Friday, Nov 9th at 10 am local time, with tickets available at www.idlesband.com, full routing below.
IDLES’ new record ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ debuted at no.5 in the UK charts, breaking Rough Trade’s all-time record for most pre-orders and sales in a day. It is currently the no.1 best-reviewed record of 2018 (average rating of 88 across 25 reviews) at Album Of The Year and in the Top 10 on Metacritic. The band saw not only singles but the album itself A-listed at 6 Music and earned major features, amongst others, with the likes of Q, Mojo, The Guardian and covers with DIY, Loud & Quiet, So Young and NME. They’ve arrived internationally too with only last week NPR Music declaring “I am an IDLES addict. It’s like mainlining an uplifting and unifying assault on nationalism, racism, intolerance, and class inequality.”
The band won Best Breakthrough at the Q Awards last month following their Jools Holland debut which NME called “history in the making…incomparably brilliant,” likening it to Arctic Monkeys and Kanye West’s first appearances on the show. Watch here. La Blogothèque also just filmed the band performing a couple ‘Joy’ standouts, watch them do stripped down versions of “I’m Scum” and “Gram Rock”.
“Everything about Joy As An Act Of Resistance is just so perfectly realised. An instant classic, one that people will turn to in times of need for years to come.”
10/10 – NME
“This album is a heart-breaking but jubilant exploration of joy, honesty, fragility and expression as our most powerful means of human resistance.”
9/10 – Classic Rock
“IDLES have released the most relevant and at times gut wrenching album of the year.” – Drowned In Sound
“IDLES make sense of modern chaos on the utterly essential Joy as an Act of Resistance.” – The Line Of Best Fit
“Idles take their rightful place as not Britain’s, nor Europe’s, but the world’s most vital band. It’s a fist-clenched celebration of the full spectrum of phenomena – inexplicable, crushing and totally joyous – that divides and unites us all.” – The Quietus
“IDLES deliver a thunderous and sharp state-of-the-nation address.” – The 405
“Across its 40-odd minutes, Joy As An Act of Resistance makes you want to laugh and cry and roar into the wind and cradle your nearest and dearest. It is a beautiful slice of humanity delivered by a group of men whose vulnerability and heart has become a guiding light in the fog for an increasing community of fans who don’t just want, but need this.”
5/5 – DIY
“The power of ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance.’ is how it shows society itself in a mirror. Sometimes it’s a bathroom mirror in the morning too bright and over exposed, another time it’s a makeup mirror in a car you struggle just to catch a glimpse of yourself and other times it’s a fairground mirror and everything is distorted and grotesque. But each time you have look yourself in the eye and take stock for your actions.
This is a band to get excited about. Very, VERY, excited about!”
9/10 – Clash
“This album announces IDLES as one of the most exhilarating and necessary punk bands of right now.” – Kerrang!
“…this isn’t good-time, aspirational, radio-friendly pop. But for anyone in need of music that articulates their concerns or helps them to work through their troubles–or anyone who simply appreciates blistering, intelligent punk – they might just be Britain’s most necessary band.” – The Guardian
“Over a visceral torrent of motorik punk-pop pummels recalling prime Pixies or mclusky, Joe hails his “beautiful immigrant” blood brother “Danny Nedelko” and celebrates his “mongrel” upbringing on “I’m Scum” – in a world run by bullish right-wing sex pests, his aggressive compassion is a potent antidote.” – The Independent
“This feels indispensable, as both bereavement therapy and Brexit-era protest.” – Q
“Britain’s most cult-worthy band have a raging vitality.” – GQ
“Joy as An Act of Resistance is a record that bristles with the political and emotional energy of punk’s very best.”
9/10 – CRACK
“One of the most vital albums of 2018.”
5/5 – Dork
“‘Joy…’ is a self-confessed parade. It’s a punch-up and it’s a bear hug.” – Loud & Quiet
“Their follow-up sees them crank everything up to the next level. No band is better equipped to document the here and now, warts and all.” – Mojo
“This must surely win the award for most intense album of the year. An exorcism of sadness and rage, with a burning commitment to honesty of expression throughout.” – The Times
“Bristolian punk – brutally loud, brutally honest.” – Uncut
“IDLES is the best 21st century punk-ish band I’ve heard.” – NPR Music (Bob Boilen)
“Visceral, joyous, and honest — lightning rods for collective rage, forged from love.” – Noisey
As the nights draw in and we speed towards Christmas and the mornings get darker and colder what better way to soundtrack the trip to work than with three of the best from three of our favourite bands.
Up first has to be a topical one from this past week as Generation Sex took the stage to perform some classic tunage it simply wouldn’t be fair to pass up this opportunity to play this classic from 79
Another classic from the vaults and topical seeing as a new movie hit the theatres this week the movie in question is Bad Reputation and that can only mean Joan Fuckin’ Jett!
Now settle down boys and girls because to finish off this awesome and uplifting trio of video smashes is Role Models and a song from their last album ‘Manette Street’ which also appears on Ginge Knevils charity album that can be purchased here
It seems like only yesterday that RPM top boy Dom Daley and myself were watching Glen Matlock, Earl Slick and Slim Jim Phantom deliver a very promising headlining set on one of the side stages at the annual Rebellion Festival in Blackpool. It was, however, four years ago…so that’s how long I’ve been waiting to finally get to hear what this trio actually sound like on record.
That live appearance was certainly a tough one to try to pigeonhole, largely because whilst it was an infectious blend of all three musicians’ previous bands along with elements of some of their key influences, it also included their take on Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’, an audacious curveball for any reviewer to try and get to grips with if ever there was one. Thankfully Glen Matlock decided well ahead of the release of ‘Good To Go’ to come out and badge the dozen tracks he’s recorded here with Slick and Phantom as “loud skiffle”, a genre he has apparently wanted to try since seeing Bob Dylan at the Albert Hall a few years back.
Dropping the CD into my player the opening 1-2 of ‘Won’t Put The Brakes On Me’ and ‘Wanderlust’ get an immediate thumbs up from me with the former a track that has a real 60s strut to it whilst the latter chugs along on a top-notch Slick lick chock full of lip curling attitude. However just as when I saw them live it’s Matlock’s vocal similarity to his Pistol-packing chum Steve Jones that really seals the deal for yours truly. Whilst we are talking of fat cockneys who like to sit around in swimming trunks ‘Sexy Beast’ is the first out and out rock and roller containing some trademark Slim Jim stick work and it’s a track that really wouldn’t look out of place on an Urban Voodoo Machine album with one hell of a catchy call and response chorus.
Elsewhere for your entry money, we get ‘Speak Too Soon’ which contains a wonderful Bowie-esque vibe whilst ‘Hook In You’ swaggers and sways on a dirty way past midnight 12 bar refrain. It’s at the midway point of the album though that I have to admit starting to feel a little bit of déjà vu creeping into ‘Good To Go’, but then up pops ‘Montague Terrace (In Blue)’ totally out of the blue (ouch) and yeah that’s the sound of me picking up my jaw back up off the floor. Tracks as sumptuous as this are exactly why the album format will always live long with serious music fans as this brooding bastard of a torch song is the main reason this record has been on constant loop on my stereo of the last few weeks. You really must listen to it all in sequence to get it though, okay?
As ‘Good To Go’ reaches the home straight ‘Strange Kinda Taste’ and album closer ‘Keep On Pushing’, both bring to mind the kind of thing Ian Hunter does these days, in so much that this is music that the musicians have grown into over their long and varied careers, and they sound very comfortable in their skin. Yes, it’s ultimately rock ‘n’ roll music (which I guess is what “loud skiffle really is anyway) but with ‘Good To Go’ Glen Matlock is certainly not trying to swindle you into thinking it’s anything else. Great stuff!
If you’re new here welcome. If you missed a thing or two then welcome back and if you’re a regular then what harm does a recap do? Right, this past week we brought you Live reviews from Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts as well as another show another town same old awesome show for The Urban Voodoo Machine and we also had The Dirty Strangers, The Brutalists and Rich Ragany & The Digressions live in London for your reading pleasure. We also introduced you to several debut albums and EP’s that have or are recently coming out like the driving Rock of Mike Christie formerly of The Black Marquee LA who really impressed with his debut mini album and there is more to come over the next few weeks from Mike as catch up with him for a new feature we’re cooking here at RPM Online. We also brought you reviews from Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, Germany and the UK
There was a live albums from Iggy and a very nice reissue of an album that could have been but has only recently seen the light of day for Primal Scream. Where we wondered if you the readers had an opinion of which version was better the one that saw the light of day several decades ago or this the Memphis sessions Please feel free to get into it over on the facebook page. there was also the comeback album from The Electric Boys reviewed and more. In the UK at the moment there are a few new bands making a noise that is going down really positively and one of those bands is The Speedways from Nottingham and the record was the brainwave of Matt formerly of the Breakdowns and making what could be argued as his debut solo album but instead he named it The speedways and we caught up with Matt for a few words about his fantastic album ‘just another regular summer’ thats just been released via Gods Candy Records and we think you should check it out and read Matts interview here.
there was also news of new records from Springsteen. Ginge Knevils charity CDs that shouldn’t be passed up and we couldn’t ignore the show of the week which happened in LA at the Roxy where Cook, Jones, James and Idol took the stage for a short but oh so sweet set under the banner Generation Sex. hopefully its the start of something very special to come in 2019 but who knows.
Anyway enough looking back here’s to the week ahead and RPM Online brings you more interviews from the likes of Jeff Dahl, Jack Jones (Trampolene) .and Reverend Backflash have already been covered We also have plenty of new albums from the Likes of Glen Matlock, Death By Unga Bunga, The Erotics, and Black Heart Breakers so global -a-go-go again for RPM and we leave no stone unturned around this Rockin’ and Rollin’ planet. There is also time for TV Smith in Vienna for you enjoy so keep it RPM for a music revolution and remember to Stay Sick folks! and keep it RPM!
With enough singles to keep any jukebox fully stocked with the latest and greatest RPM brings you a mixed bunch of Rock n Roll, Punk, Garage, and God knows what for your dereliction this month. As we move into November and the Christmas shopping there are more than a few stocking fillers on display here for the discernable hipster to shave off the beard put some socks on and get into some real rock and roll before it’s too late and your old and wondering what you’ve done with your life. So read – watch and listen the 45 RPM roundup is in session…
Scumbag Millionaire -Under The Spell (Suburban Records)
Gothenburg scumbags release the third single of the most excellent album ‘Speed’ (Reviewed Here) As it thunders along this is as good as fucked up rock and fucking roll gets. It sounds huge! and the seven inch also has non-album track ‘Get Out’ on the flip side of this slab of orange wax. Get involved folks these boys are blowing up and offering a thrilling mix of garage rock n roll and punk attitude and making some of the best music this year.
The Hijackers – The Hijackers (Beluga Records)
So Beluga in Sweden knows a thing or two about putting out fine Garage Rock n Roll singles and The Hijackers just joined the family with a high energy slab of sleazy garage rock and roll. Having been a part of the scene back in the 80’s its only taken the band some thirty-two years between releases that’s either some writers block or Axl Rose style recording process, either way, it’s here and Beluga has it and by the sounds of it, it’s well worth the wait. The lead track ‘I Don’t Like You’ is like the Hives sludging it out with the Mc5’s and the guitar solo is howling feedback that Brian James would be proud of. Cramming four tracks on to this seven inch makes it a record worth owning and real value for money. ‘Day and Night’ is a real toe-tapper with its feet firmly planted in the late 60’s as they really have this down to a fine art. Side two is off like a rocket as ‘My Little Girl’ is barely in tune but that doesn’t matter because this is flying by the seat of its pants hi-energy rock and roll and we totally endorse that. Let’s hope its not another thirty years for the next release
The Briefs – Kids Laugh At You (Taken By Surprise Records)
It’s the Briefs and after their show-stopping performance at this year’s Rebellion festival, This was always going to get a rave review from RPM because we love the likes of The Briefs. The lead track is off like a hurricane as it devastates with its pace and melody. sure you know what to expect and you aren’t about to be disappointed either because Nix and the gang deliver again and again and its a most welcome entrant into the singles club love the Damned-esk breakdown and then the chanting gang vocals that take this home. the Briefs are back kids and their laughing as well. the B Side of ‘She’s The Rat’ is another top-notch belter go on fill yer boots and click the link Buy Here
Demons – Was Here…(Ghost Highway Records)
Demons have sure been busy these past few months what with their new mini album with punk rock legend Jeff Dahl (RPM review shortly) and this here single on Ghost Highway Records. This chunk of good old Rock and Roll is just about hitting the bullseye of our heart as ‘Street Corner Of No Return’ is the lead track that just oozes class, it’s no frills yob rock with a bruising tempo and sing along chorus that you and your gang can join in on as the organ lends the harmony a helping hand. The B Side is a more laid back rocker in the shape of ‘Satellite Town’ by the end you’ll be singing along and dropping the needle back at the start to go back for some more and the solo just burns! Great single.
Fezz – Number Two (Beluga Records)
He’s got a Fezzbox and he’s not afraid to use it. Like the bastard sibling of Jon Spenser, These four tracks deliver a sonic fuzzed out slab of Garage rock and roll. You know what you’re going to get the second the music kicks in its a needle in the red and plenty of swing on those drum licks. The heat gets turned up as the EP plays out. I love ‘Ladyland Batswingers’ whatever that means or wherever it is I want in. It’s getting hot in here and as the solo wails on ‘You Do Not Belong’ its like a trip on the tongue of someone else as the melody and sha-la-las shouldn’t fit but they bloody well do. after you’ve shaken off the tinnitus the police sirens howl as the tempo raises through the roof ‘Rhesus Christ’ kicks over the speakers and sets fire to the console as they leave the room. quality!
The Parkinsons – Dog Collar (Rastilho Records)
Can they ever make a bad song? Nah didn’t think so either. After releasing a brand new album they left these two songs off the LP to release as a single quite why they’d leave these two off God only knows. With ‘Dog Collar’ coming on like the bastard child of a Clash song its a slab of coll as fuck punk rock and what every office party should have on at the Christmas do whilst you’re spiking the punch. But they saved the best til last as the B side ‘Talk To Us’ is a stone cold could only be The Parkinsons classic. From the laid-back gang vocals on the chorus and the funky rhythm that jars your head while the organ tickles your fancy if you don’t like this then as Alfonso says “You ain’t got no soul” and the best bongo playing since T Rex! Buy it Now!
Brad Marino – Four Track Attack (Beluga Records)
FOUR TRACK ATTACK is the debut solo release from veteran rocker Brad Marino, best known as the singer/songwriter/guitarist for The CONNECTION. Brad has to be credited for been named as “Coolest Song in the World” on Sirius XM’s Little Steven’s Underground Garage on more than the once. On its own, that merits a huge amount of Kudos in my book Well taking time away from The Connection Brad had decided to really show off by playing everything on his new EP and singing. the first couple are solid power pop then Brad turns up the tempo and starts cooking some cool licks on the six string. ‘On The Brink’ rips and just oozes rock n roll. the final track ‘Special Friend’ was written especially for this project by New Trocaderos’ songwriter, Michael Chaney. Check out Brad and then check out his band you won’t be dissapointed.
St.Jimi Sebastian Cricket Club – I Still Get The Calls (Beluga Records)
The first single out of three from St. Jimi Sebastian Cricket Club and Beluga Records. I Still Get the Calls and the b-side A Smile Within is recorded and mixed at Vibe Studios Manchester (the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Badly Drawn boy etc) and mastered by Pete Maher, London (U2, Jack White, The Rolling Stones etc ).
A bit of a slow burner especially the B Side but ‘I Still Get The Calls’ has something of a nod to 80’s Britpop With a good old sing-a-long on the chorus this is good stuff. Good old storytelling rock n roll.
Tommy And The Rockets / Bikini Wipeouts (Kotj Records & Rocktopus Tea Party Records)
“Split The Waves” sees Tommy And The Rockets and Bikini Wipeouts knock out Two songs each, one original and one cover. Tommy And The Rockets did a cover of “Summer Means Fun” by The Fantastic Baggies, and Bikini Wipeouts did a cover of “Hawaii” by Brian Wilson and as winter comes rushing in why not pour one last cocktail and get the grass skirts out for one last party hey why not hold a party and play some tunes and why not play this slice of pop n roll .
How these Northern Europeans aren’t really from more tropical shores God only knows and Los Bikini Wipeouts aren’t too shabby either. Give it blast if you want to know what summer sounds like.
Watts – Queens (Rum Bar Records)
Quite simply Watts kick ass that should be all I really need to say on this one. I tip the hat once again to Rum Bar for flying the flag of good honest rock and roll music and its bands like Watts that are like moths to a flame as they converge on the label and then they feed off each other ‘Queens’ is a no-nonsense rocker with a solid beat and great full production to drive the song on. this single is backed by the balsy ‘The Night The Lights Went Down’ which is from the same gene pool as Bon era DC and that’s always going to be a good thing Right? Right! The good news doesn’t end there because there’s a long player coming early next year again on Rum Bar records these guys just keep giving.
V8 Wankers – the Last Rock ‘N’ Rollah (Ghost Highway Records)
It got one big biker boot firmly stuck in the Four Horsemen camp and the other on the monitor wedge. This bad boy has some bottleneck and is fairly generic in style and the flip side sees the band turn in a fairly honest take on the classic ‘Travellin’ Band’ they speed it up (of course they do) and thus loses some of the spark and lacking in some muscle which would have made this more of a bruising cover.
Puppy & The Handjob – I Eat Abortions (Slovenly Records)
of course, they do. They also play catchy punk rock that’s recorded in the blink of an eye and on a budget. It’s fair to say these cats aren’t from the Bob Rock school of big sound and they’ve never taken a leaf out of Def Leppard’s book (thankfully). So they do have a melody and a guitar solo but you should look away now if you don’t appreciate a wicked solo played from the heart (yeah right) good tune though to be fair. Spread out over five songs it gets a bit tired after a while must be that Arizona heat.
The Dirtiest – Cento Shot (Slovenly Records)
I love The Ramones and so does The Dirtiest and why wouldn’t they – why wouldn’t anybody. The Dirtiest play buzzsaw punk rock and roll just like Johnny and Joey used to and I love it. The first tune is like the second and funnily enough the third is much like the second and the first but the fourth is like the first second and third. 1-2-3-4 hey ho, let’s go.
Jake Starr & The Delicious Fullness (Ghost Highway Records)
Former Adam West frontman releases this spooky three-track single through Ghost Highway in Spain with its wicked cover artwork and blood red wax how could we not cover this bad boy. With three stomping rock and roll tracks ‘A Ghoul Like You’ is outstanding with that spoooooky keyboard rattling round behind the curtains and some great scooby doo effects we give this a howling thumbs up. The horns on ‘Torso Song’ are fantastic and playing these would go down a storm with the likes of the Urban Voodoo Machine and their blues bop n stroll – honkingly good single.
Eight Days – Stray (Self Release)
Following on from their last EP, More To Life, which got attention from the likes of Kerrang! Radio, Pure Grain Audio, and Alt Corner. after eighteen months in the long grass, EIGHT DAYS are back with new members. The newly invigorated quartet have released their new single, Stray, in October; they plan to tour as well so keep an eye on their pages to find out when and where.
Rising stars Trampolene are forever on tour it would seem after finishing one support tour they head off in the old tradition of doing the rounds themselves and with a live show that is a fantastic showcase for their talent and always a sweaty heaving mess, there is something special in the air. Not content with being on the road the band also managed to record a debut album ‘Swansea To Hornsey’ to much critical acclaim only to quickly follow it up with a double album of singles and other cuts in a bold move the band is certainly doing things on their own terms. If that’s not enough to put most bands to shame frontman Jack Jones also found time to record his debut solo single which he released recently via the pledge platform. RPM thought it was about time we let you lot in our this exciting band from South Wales so we caught up with Jack for a few quick words before he was out the door for another round of live shows.
How pleased are you with the reception ‘Pick a Pocket or Two’ has had?
Very pleased to be honest – I suppose it is quite amazing to be able to look back at all the songs you’ve put out and realise they weren’t half bad.
What about the reception the solo single has had?
Couldn’t have asked for more…I was so glad that people took it to their hearts for what it is…just moving forward and expressing myself for the good of Trampolene and not the end of the band!
How do you decide what you put on a solo release rather than using it for the band? Seeing as your material is quite eclectic anyway with Poetry, the loud guitar songs, and the gentler ballads? Are they songs the other two didn’t fancy?
I usually write all the solo stuff in a different way…in a bedroom studio with my friend Mike Moore…so it’s easy to know what fits where…
Joking aside, are we to expect a full solo album? How do you approach the recordings? Do you write the songs complete then present them to the boys or is it a more collaborative approach?
I think there will be a solo album…I’ll just keep on writing…
Trampolene works in all sorts of different ways…sometimes I’ll have a song completely done and sometimes I’ll just have a riff…or sometimes Wayne will have a tune he wants to work…but it usually ends up with the three of us bashing our heads together in a rehearsal room to agree on the final structure….
Coming from the same town what is it about moving away in your teens that we all have done but the city shapes us in so many ways it is an ugly lovely town and there is always a pride when writing about the place. What is it that since the begging of time people seem to not be immensely proud of our own like Manchester, Liverpool or Sheffield seems to champion their own.
I don’t know really, we had to leave and challenge ourselves, If I had stayed in Swansea I would be a very different person maybe for the worse maybe for the better. I heard someone say that the older you get the more you mellow and I enjoy being in Swansea more now than I did 5 years ago…but it’s still not good for my health
Considering Trampolene is one album in do you see it as a brave step putting out a double album with a big varied track list?
I just see us a great band – and all great bands do a double album at some stage…don’t they? We just had the songs to do it now, so we did it now…no messing. This was also a way of showing that we are already past the difficult second album and also ending the first chapter of the band.
Your heading out on a support tour then straight out the door headlining that’s a fantastic old-school work ethic that many bands won’t take the chance on these days is playing live what its all about for you?
I think so, playing live is your bread and butter these days (although we tend to live off the crusts) but playing live is everything we are about a band…
You’ve done the toilet circuit and played the big arenas and taken to it like ducks to water is the plan to keep playing headline tours as well as support shows and grow it certainly makes the band sound tight yet natural and the smaller shows more intimate shows are something else. I was at the Clwb Ifor Show and it was a hot sweaty experience and the performance was memorable for all the right reasons. It was exciting and the setlist had an audience leaving knowing they’d seen something special happen not something I can say leaving many shows. What have other memorable shows there been for you do you feel it from the stage?
That Clwb show was SPECIAL…god we’ve had so many now…Scala…supporting Liam at Finsbury was class…playing with Peter Doherty at the reopening of the Bataclan…I love them all…and give everything no matter where we are – if it’s in a toilet or if it’s in a big field it makes no difference to me…
What plans for 2019?
Stay alive. New album. New dreams. Have a haircut.
There are a few covers on the new album what is it about The Cure and The Smiths you are drawn to? Any other bands or writers you admire? What about listening at home what bands started this journey off for you?
I just love those songs the guitar and pop of “Friday I’m In Love” and the lyrics for “Please Please…”…I was listening to Elliott Smith and John Grant when I started the band…
Finally, you fancy yourself as a bit of a baller what position do you play and have you got any Trundle like skills?
I used to have the skills to pay the bills…but now I can’t run without needing an oxygen mask!
But yeah I still love a kick about any day.
Pictures courtesy of Daniel Quesada.
Reverend Backflash entered my world earlier this year after someone said they might appeal to Hanoi Rocks fans. I dove into their back catalog and discovered that their latest album ‘Too Little Too Late’ was on its way. It’s an amazing album packed with hooks, riffs, joy, attitude, and has that intangible quality that makes some albums all that more special. This album could appeal to everyone who enjoys the Wildhearts to the Hellacopters to the Backyard Babies to the Ramones to Cheap Trick. The melodies are huge but packed with plenty of RAWK. Jack Nasty (vocals/ guitar) was kind enough to answer some questions for us here at RPM Online.
It seems you guys are hitting the world stage a little more than you have previously but have been playing together for a long time now. Tell our readers who you guys are and what brought you together.
Hey man, thanks for asking 😉
We’re 4 guys from Vienna, Austria. We grew up in the outskirts of the City. Being into rock music, having nothing to do and receiving no attention from girls, founding a band was the only reasonable way to go. I think this is probably the most heard answer to this question, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s also the most accurate…Since then 15 years have passed and we have grown older but not an inch smarter. Stevo and me are still in the band. At the same time, we had some changes on bass and drums, but that’s normal when you’re going hard. On Bass, Luke has been part of the Band for 5 years and Max is playing the Drums for 3 years now… So we have been playing in this lineup for quite a while…
In our teenage years we listened, on one hand, a lot to those classic big Rock’n’Roll bands like AC/DC, Motörhead, Kiss, Guns ‘n’ Roses etc. and on the other hand to 77 Punk rock like the Dictators, the Ramones, the Dead Boys, MC5 and so on. And bands from Scandinavia like the Hellacopters, Backyard Babies, Turbonegro, etc. taught us how to listen to these bands, how to interpret them, and how to keep going what these guys started. If you wanna be a Rock ‘n’ Roller that’s your duty …
Growing up we found more bands to consider when it comes to our Rock ‘n’ Roll, Powerpop bands when it comes to songwriting, and some Country singers when it comes to lyrics.
This third full length “Too Little Too Late” is a monster of an album. How did these songs come together?
Thanks man! Glad you liked it! This time I wrote most of the material at home with the acoustic guitar, and then we give it a try together in the rehearsal room. When we are writing songs, we spend a lot of time rehearsing, trying out different beats and shifting parts etc. sometimes, in the end, the song sounds totally different than it did at home. But its also really important to find the moment when it’s enough! Don’t do too much songwriting! Keep it spontaneous! If you played it that way when you played it the first time, it might be the right way. Changing doesn’t always make it better … don’t over think …
Who came up with the idea for the intro to the guitar solo on ‘Never Turn Over?’
We played the song a couple of times live before we recorded it. We used to do a break down right before the solo. I would say something to the audience, ask a question, tell a story, just to have some dynamics in the show. I liked the feeling of it and suggested to do it the same way on the record …. you know just to fuck with their minds hahaha
I have enjoyed the first two videos (‘I Do Not Get You’ and ‘Never Turn Over’) as they clearly present some different sides to the band. Jack, you seem to enjoy making videos and are incredibly expressive in them. Tell us a bit about how they came together.
I listen to the song! If you wanna do a Cover for a record: listen to the record! If you wanna do a video for a song: listen to the song! If you have a great idea and it doesn’t fit the song, it isn’t a great idea.
You have to be aware of the feeling of the song. The video should have the same feeling and by so putting this certain feeling, mood, even more in focus. It could be about: feeling alone, winning, feeling, being disappointed by someone, having hope for the future, feeling hurt or hoping to die. You don’t have to say something smart, but you have to say something … and you have to say it with your fucking heart!
‘Spinning Records’ has become one of my favorites. Well, one of my 12 favorites would be more accurate. Any thoughts of making a video for that one?
Is the title a reverse nod to the New York Dolls?
No, we didn’t have that in mind when we came up with it. Actually, we had it as a song title first. And later on we decided to use it as the album title as well. I think it fits the record well…
What is the musical climate like in Vienna?
Oh it’s okay. We have some nice venues. Smaller ones that can be booked pretty easily and also bigger ones that make the city a regular tour stop for bigger bands on European tours. There are quite a lot of people interested in Rock/ Punk Music- a very dedicated, still growing Rock scene…
What would your dream tour be for supporting this album?
We are going to tour Austria, Germany, Czech, Hungary, Switzerland and Italy with the new album.
Spain, UK and of course the States are on the top of the Bucket list for us. Those are probably the places where people would get our sound the most. And if we’re talking dreaming: being on the road for 6 months in a row with a big headliner 😉
What are some of you guys’ favorite albums?
Puh! Tricky Question! Cause there are so many that have meant a lot over the years.
But some records I will never forget, not necessarily cause they are the “best” but because they really had an impact on me might be:
Total 13 – Backyard Babies
Appetite for Destruction – Guns ‘n’ Roses
Exile on Main Street – Rolling Stones
Rocket To Russia – Ramones
Full Moon Fever – Tom Petty
Scream, Dracula, Scream! – Rocket From the Crypt
Demolition 23 – Demolition 23
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Sounds like I’m just trying to promote, but I have to say the new album. I think it’s by far the best we have ever done. The recording, the release, the videos for the singles, a really great Release-Show in Vienna, best project so far! Being out there on Tour with great friends playing a record live, I love it.
Are there any embarrassing onstage moments you would like to share?
Well, if you play live things can happen. Things will happen. Broken strings, forgotten lyrics, blackouts on stage… Stevo even got electroshocked once; he went down and passed out but luckily enough he was okay!
When things go wrong on stage, you should be happy because it’s a great opportunity to show the audience your showmanship by handling the situation spontaneously with calmness and maybe some humor. If you do it well, it will lift your performance, and people will remember it. In the circus, they always screw up some trick on purpose, so the audience understands how hard and dangerous the trick is… hehehe
What comes next for Reverend Backflash, outside of hopefully world domination?
Touring with the album will be our main occupation for the next 12 months. And that’s good, cause playing in a band should always be about playing your music live.