Voodoo Rays, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Empire’; what’s the meaning?

It’s a suite of songs about a woman called Chantal in a relationship that’s gradually falling apart. Partially but by no means totally drawn from observation, and experience. 

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

I greatly admire Kae Tempest, love Dry Cleaning, always get excited by what Kanye is up to (for all his faults) and really like the Sleaford Mods. Loads of others too, but those are the main ones at the moment. 

Voodoo Rays
Photo Credit: Voodoo Rays.

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2022?

The extraordinary range of technology. Recording songs on your phone. Mixing bands on your laptop. Buying vintage guitars on your desktop. Still seems like magic to me. The ability to reach hearts and minds anywhere in the world within a few seconds of uploading your new song. And hearing feedback from them instantly. Brilliant!

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment?

My living room; a Gibson firebird, Logic X, Rodes condenser mic and a Scarlett sound card. All you need to take a note for a walk. I never write on acoustic guitars or pianos. Instead I’m always on the look out for a texture or sound that grabs my attention. A bit like playing in a sandbox really. Keep messing around until something begins to take shape in your mind. 


Photo Credit: Voodoo Rays.

Voodoo Rays, ‘Empire’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Voodoo Rays smash it with the release of their album, ‘Empire’. The record, which is comprised of ten tracks, offers something that will appeal to almost everybody, and the quality that the band has up their sleeve is invigorating.

They draw inspiration from legendary figures in the game, yet they are able to combine this with a look and feel that is uniquely theirs in the present era. They stand out thanks to their capacity to maintain their individuality within the scene while at the same time adhering to the course that has been established for them.

The album is full of twists and turns, and the strength it possesses is exhilarating to witness. Additionally, every member of the band rises to the occasion with vigour, whether it be the drums, which strike with intensity, the bass lines, which leave the mouth watering, the guitar riffs, which grip, or the vocal delivery, which is indenting!


Photo Credit: Voodoo Rays.

Paraffin, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Paraffin, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘Mean’, what is the meaning? 

The song embodies the feelings of watching someone turn from somebody you recognise into a human you no longer want to associate with. Whether that’s as friends or in a relationship.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

As a collective currently, we enjoy artists such as Kid Kapichi, The 1975 and The Snuts, and traditionally we have always been most influenced also by Muse and the Arctic Monkeys. It is also very inspiring to us what Sam Fender has gone on to achieve, the way he has broken into the mainstream is amazing and he couldn’t be more deserving.

Paraffin
Photo Credit: Paraffin.

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2022?

In short, being able to play live again. The lockdown was hard on everyone, and it very nearly killed off the music industry – us included. We had real momentum prior to the pandemic and it was absolutely stopped dead. But all things happen for a reason, and we are now a better band than ever before! Playing live is what makes it all worth it.

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment?

We have always rehearsed in Portsmouth predominantly, however we all have our own environments and processes individually in which we feel most inspired – we all contribute to the creative and song writing process individually, before bringing ideas together in the room. Southsea Sound studios have always been amazing and very supportive with us, and that is our go to place to rehearse. But ideas can come to you anywhere at any time!

What is your first memory of music? 

My personal first memories of engaging with music go back to my very early childhood, where family friends would come round and my parents would play a massively diverse range of tracks, alot of the time on compilation albums. Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene and other britpop bands, Duran Duran, The Human League and 80’s, ranging also back to Black Sabbath and Motörhead with my dad. A very diverse range of early impressions. – Tom


Photo Credit: Paraffin.

Paraffin, ‘Mean’

Words By Joey Rochert.

This week’s New Music Friday hot pick is the indie band Paraffin, from Portsmouth, with their latest single, ‘Mean’. The song is out now, and it is not one that you will want to overlook!

Bringing the energizing force of indie rock to the forefront, the south coast band are not holding anything back in their pursuit to slake our desire. The voices stand out, making us want to press the replay button as soon as the song is finished. Also, the music is all-encompassing, with different styles and parts coming out at different times during the track.


Photo Credit: Paraffin.

Von Venn, ‘Constant Girl’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Von Venn take over New Music Friday with the release of their new single, ‘Constant Girl’.

The new release by the Gary Cox led group is everything we would have hoped for from the band who took us by surprise with their last single, ‘Ghost’. This new delivery further bolsters the band as a name to remember in the indie space, and they further explore their newfound style while keeping true to the world of music around them.

Edgy with plenty of stand-out moments, ‘Constant Girl’ reaches out of the box with a vibe akin to that of Radiohead but with a unique twist that enables it to shine on its own!


Photo Credit: Von Venn.

Vinyl Floor, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Vinyl Floor, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘Funhouse Mirror’, what is the meaning?

Thomas Charlie Pedersen: The lyric has different layers for sure. On the surface it´s about a circus coming to town, trying to push peoples´ limits and slowly changing their behavior and way of thinking. They do so by means of provocative songs and rude poetry. Before the town wakes up and realizes it, it has been taken over by the squad. This is something that came to me in a dream and the three verses were quickly written down in the morning. It´s also the title of our new record and it just seemed to kind of encapsulate what the album is about.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

Probably not very modern choices but Neil Young comes to mind. He´s always followed his own path and couldn´t care less if people like it or not. Also, he´s not afraid of failure. We are inspired by his approach to music and the business. Musically, Wilco also comes to mind. What a great band. Knights of the great songwriting preservation society. Not many left!

Vinyl Floor
Photo Credit: Vinyl Floor.

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2022?

The only good thing about the world going crazy is that there’s plenty of stuff to write about. Running our own label also allows us the freedom we need to write what we want. Also, communication is easier than it used to be. You got all these social platforms and ways of conveying your message. It also frightens me, though.

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment?

It depends. I almost always prefer to write at home at the piano or with a guitar in hand. All my melodies and chord progressions tend to appear this way when I´m just noodling about. I also carry a lyric book at all times because lyrical ideas seem to come anytime and at random places. But no matter where I do the writing, one thing is certain. I need to be alone. I´m not great to collaborate with because I prefer to at least start out working on basic ideas on my own. I don´t know. It´s kind of a safe haven for me, I guess. And I get to shut out the outside world and allow myself to enter a different state of mind where anything is possible.

What is your first memory of music? 

That´s a Bob Dylan record. ‘Infidels’. I was 3 years old when it came out in 1983. My dad bought it and I thought the singer had a funny voice. Also I liked to dance to the great beat from the song ‘Jokerman’. I really dug the chorus so that one song was probably my first love regarding catchy choruses.


Photo Credit: Vinyl Floor.

Vinyl Floor, ‘Funhouse Mirror’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Denmark-based indie two-piece, Vinyl Floor welcome us into their creative realm with the release of ‘Funhouse Mirror’. The new single is from the band’s latest album of the same title.

The brothers unleash a compelling quality that we cannot deny and the new single sheds light on the brilliance emerging through the ranks in Denmark. Furthermore, ‘Funhouse Mirror’ creates a captivating sound in this day and age by taking cues from the most successful artists in the game while incorporating new components. The vocals are illuminating, and the underlying music has a hefty feel that pulls us back in for more once it ends.

http://vinylfloormusic.com/


Photo Credit: Vinyl Floor.

AJ Whyte, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, AJ, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘You Won’t Hear Me’, what is the meaning? 

The inspiration for the track was thinking about those places that make us happy and when we go there, the world seems a better place and we forget the annoyances in life. For me it’s the wild places of the UK where, as the song says, I can walk, climb and camp, away from hustle of everyday life.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

I love the music of Laura Marling and the places that it take the listener. I really admire George Ezra for his unpretentious approach to music and melody. Saskia Griffiths-Moore has been hugely inspirational as a mentor.

AJ Whyte
Photo Credit: AJ Whyte

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2022?

The ability to easily connect and share with other musicians from all over the world. And of course that in 2022 live venues are open again!

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment? 

I have a small room at home where I do the serious writing but I can find myself landing on melodies or lyrics almost anywhere – in the car or train – which I’ll record straight onto my phone.

What is your first memory of music?

I was given a very basic second hand record player on my 5th birthday. I was so excited that I played my Dad’s Beatles LP on it continuously for days on end. Unfortunately I wasn’t too careful with it and scratched it beyond use in that time. 


Photo Credit: AJ Whyte.

Rofi James, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Rofi James, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘Who Am I To You?’, what is the meaning?

This song is written about a scenario where you’re out with a group of friends and the person you’ve been dating is flirting with someone else. You desperately want them to stay with you but at the same time you want to know what your relationship status is.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

We’re influenced by several artists at the moment including One Republic, Imagine Dragons, Stereophonics and many more.

Rofi James
Rofi James

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2022?

After two years without the ability to perform live, the best thing about being a musician in 2022 is definitely the fact that we can play shows. It’s an amazing feeling hearing your song being sung in a crowd at a show, or on the radio. Playing live is extremely rewarding, and one of the most enjoyable parts about being a musician. It’s also extremely fulfilling putting pen to paper and writing a song that means a lot to you, and even more so when you hear how it has affected or even inspired\helped a stranger during a difficult time in their lives. There can be a certain ‘magic’ in the room sometimes when a group of musicians get together and perform, everything clicking in place, an audience connecting with the band on stage, and energy exchange going from the band to the crowd and vice versa.

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment? 

It varies, Ronan usually comes up with a hook or a chorus which could come to him at any moment and we all usually go out to our producer Dave Skelton’s studio and piece the song together with the larger production in mind for the track.

What is your first memory of music? 

Ronan’s family are all musicians and have always had music in his home since he was a child, his Dad took him to his first gig when he was 10 to see U2 in Croke Park. Jamie’s earliest memory before learning the drums was hearing ‘Money For Nothing’ by Dire Straits and ‘Run To You’’ Bryan Adams and instantly wanting to learn an instrument. Joe is a massive RHCP fan and was instantly drawn to the bass guitar after hearing their music. 


Photo Credit: Rofi James.

Hank Quillen, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Hank, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘Treading Water’, what is the meaning?

Treading Water came about from the feeling I hope most people can relate to at sometimes being overwhelmed with things that might be going on in one’s own life. Whether that be personal(relationship, career, finances, and such) or what’s going on all around us as we watch the news. Pandemic and all the struggles we as a global community have had to deal with to get past it.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

Chris Stapleton, Foo Fighters, Bob Dylan(he’s still going strong)

Hank Quillen
Hank Quillen

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2022?

So many opportunities for independent artists in this day and age. Great time to be creative and have options to get that work out into the world.

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment? 

Not particularly, I’m constantly writing whenever the moment hits no matter where I’m at. I do have a music room I like to rewrite and refine to finish songs up.

What is your first memory of music? 

Listening to KISS, having pictures of them in their makeup on my walls, drove my parents crazy. Also Eric Clapton’s song Promises, remembering making my older sister play that over and over on her turntable.


Photo Credit: Hank Quillen.