Interview with Bastard Sons

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The mad metal/punk trailblazers ‘The Bastard Sons’ from York have just released their superb ‘Roads’ EP – on March 10th – having just returned from an epic US Tour.

In the meantime, the band have released a stunning new video for the lead track from the EP – titled ‘O’ Brothel, Where Art Thou?’ – and produced by ‘Smoking HeartsBen Mills.

We caught up the The Bastard Sons at this year’s Hammerfest – to chat about the US trip, the EP and making the new video:

HOW WAS THE USA TRIP?

It was awesome … 10 days away … good reception and good crowds – and good shows every night.

We did a couple of dates in Cali then we went over to Vegas (we played the ‘Dive Bar’ just off the Strip) then down to just outside Phoenix Arizona – we went to the Mexican border at Sierra Vista. That was probably the best show we did – we have ever had – then we travelled to San Diego and finished in Idyllwild, California – up in the Mountains- about 6000 metres up (sic – that would make it the same elevation as Mount McKinley) – we could hardly breathe. The show was in a movie theatre … a good experience.

When you start playing music, you dream about playing over there. It fulfilled all our dreams. If ever we were invited back to the US to perform we would love to play Sierra Vista and Idyllwild again!

SO TELL US ABOUT THE NEW E.P. ‘ROADS’

Yep. It was released on the 10th March we just put it out there … in the US. It’s already had a great response. “O’ Brothel, Where Art Thou?” is like a single – a standalone track – from the EP. It’s probably our most ‘tame song’ and we have released a video to go with it.

Our buddy Ben from Smoking Hearts did the video  – he came up with an idea and shot it over to us. So that was quite an experience for us. The video has been going down really well.

The song was probably one of the last songs we wrote (that’s on the CD) – it came together really quickly – It’s one of the smoothest, grooviest tracks we’ve ever done. A really catchy song. The dynamics and the vocals are very strong. With some catchy licks. It’s got a good range of everything. It just worked really well.

bastard sons interview piece 1

WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD THAT TRACK PLAYED BACK TO YOU IN THE STUDIO – DID YOU KNOW IT WAS GOING TO BE YOUR FIRST SINGLE?

Yes, we think so, yes. We didn’t necessarily tame it down to be the single though. It was always a song that had singing in it. Rather than shouting or screaming or whatever you wanna call it. But it always seemed kinda the obvious choice to draw people in. And hopefully, our other songs aren’t too heavy … so they won’t push people away. We definitely think it’s one of the easier tracks to listen to. It’s got that accessibility to it – for people that are perhaps into other genres that are lighter than metal. But it’s still us … so it creates a kind of buttery curve into our other music.

SO TELL US ABOUT YOUR LINK WITH SMOKING HEARTS?

Yeah. We played with them and Idiom in York. in October. We all hit it off. And Ben (vocalist) and JJ took them out (we had mutual friends in tattooing) and when we saw Ben Mills video stuff we asked him if he had any ideas for us. And he said that he did. And we liked his way of videoing – it seemed new – and he had a good idea – us dressing up as women -( and we must say that drummer Rich made a beautiful woman. ) It was fun to do.

WHAT ABOUT WORKING ON THE EP IN THE STUDIO?

For us it was Rory Vallely at the Edge Studios  in Cheshire… Rory was the man. We brought the songs in and the whole thing just grew in the studio. He is a great engineer – a guitar player himself – and he was so involved and so ‘into it’ right from the start- it’s a big credit to him how some of the songs have turned out. He brought the best out of the guitars and virtually stripped JJ’s throat of any vocal chords. He wanted each track laid down about eight times – at various levels of scream!

It was mastered by Ray Staff [(Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Muse etc.] it got sent over to Ray — and it came back ten times [even] better!

[We feel] it was the most fun we could have had in a studio. This is the thing we are most proud of – it’s the best CD [we] have have ever worked on.

SO JJ [JACKSON] – TELL US ABOUT YOUR TATTOOS…

I have got a few tattoos. But the most spectacular is the ‘Bastard Sons’ logo written on the palm of my hand. It was probably the worst thing I have ever had done. My good friend Billy Hay from Custom Ink in Glasgow did it for me.

I had my other palm done a few years ago (The Tudor Rose) and that took about two hours. But the ‘Bastard Sons’ logo took just twenty-five minutes – but it was the worst thing imaginable. Luckily I’ve now got both palms done. So I need never get them done again. A word to your readers, “Don’t get your palms done – kids”

“ It’s not cool and it’s not clever … and more importantly … it hurts. It really, really hurts.”

Bastard sons interview piece 2

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW INDEPENDENT LABEL [ Kaiju Records ] – HOW IS THAT WORKING OUT FOR YOU?

Yes it’s been going fantastic. Basically one of us (Rich ) set up the label. We were shopping around, seeing what we could get and what could get done – and in the end we settled on doing it ourselves. We could cut out the middle man that way. We could have more control over the product. We set it up just for us really – but we have started looking at other bands to sign. But we’re still concentrating on us for a while.

With Kaiju we have had a lot of freedom. We have been able to do [things] exactly how we want to do things. It’s helpful in that sense. At this stage we thought that maybe it was the right time to give ourselves a bit more control.

Essentially, it’s fair to say, that we are a D.I.Y. band. It’s a term that’s massively over-used. But basically Rich sorts everything out for us …. Basically he’s our ‘carer’.

But we have seen him party – he might have an angelic face – but we have seen him party the night away. For example, he was the only band member who didn’t sleep in Vegas!

WHAT’S HAPPENING OVER THE REST OF THE YEAR FOR YOU GUYS?

We have a couple of dates lined up for April. We’ll keep pushing the EP as much as we can. We have a couple of dates lined up for the summer. There’s a lot of things in the pipeline. So stay tuned to social media to find out where we are going to be. And what we’re up to.

Hopefully we’re gonna record a new video. I won’t be for a while yet, but a lot of people are desiring a new video for ‘Winter’ – the last track on the CD. Obviously that track has got a strong link with ‘Game of Thrones’ – so everyone wants to see us battling with wolves and skinning a bear. Dressed as real men this time.

That’s what it’s all about for us. Keeping the music serious. But everything else – well – we just have a good time.

Most of the time, really, we’re just having a laugh!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH BASTARD SONS. AND CONGRATULATIONS ON PRODUCING A SPLENDID E.P.

The Bastard Sons were talking to: @neilmach © 2014

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/thebastardsonsuk

 

 

 

 

HAMMERFEST More Picks

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Hammerfest 6 (Book of the Dead) on 13th/16th March 2014 at Hafan Y Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd,North Wales boasts an immense line-up including KreatorOver KillSoilwork and Grand Magus.

I have now added MORE PICKS to my earlier piece.

idiom short

1: IDIOM

HF Riffage Stage Friday 7:55

New album ‘Movement’ to be released on ‘Dirt Track Records’ on 10 March 2014 by the righteous Exeter four-piece rock-rap revivalists ‘Idiom’ present new songs like the title track, with its spinning, stinging tentacles of pure, beautiful, pungent power – and silvery vocals that spin around your head like a bursting motherload of stars.

The past 3 years have seen the band play Hard Rock Hell Ibiza and Hammerfest, and tour UK with Skindred, DevilDriver & 36 fists as well as performing stand out headline shows across the realm. This is their year. This is their future.

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/IDIOM/12224761257

 

 

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2: DEFY ALL REASON

Ball Of the Dead Thursday 6:40

These Wrexham Southern Rock buckaroos have been stampeding around our parched earth during this last year, wrangling a hard-earned living from their heartfelt and powerful songs.

Songs  like ‘Behind those Eyes’ from their monumental ‘Every Second Counts’ EP.

Bristled and ash-laden, the vocals from Gavin Jones rub  along smoothly and magnificently with a bursting of sparkling guitars from Darren Jones. It’s all a treat.

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/DefyAllReason

 

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3: CYPHER16

HF Riffage Stage Friday 1:50

Organic epic-metal fusiliers Cypher16 create their own mysterious spicy, mystical concoction of sounds.

Since their ‘The Man Of The Black Abyss’ beginnings in 2008, the London based group have been taking their slightly industrial/slightly gothic imaginings yonder to many new pastures green … they were the first British metal band to tour in INDIA and have now completed five successful tours in the most populous democracy in the world.

Songs like their rapid ‘Lonely Road’ (filmed at London’s Battersea Power Station) is a fast and hectic sermon to the daunting misery of loneliness.

The song incorporates groaning sadness (in the masterful guitars) and vast swathes of percussion … and the listener has the nagging feeling that the protagonist in this sorry affair is seeing the world through the eyes of his ex.

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/Cypher16

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4: THE BASTARD SONS

HF Riffage Stage Friday 12:55

The BS sit somewhere between stoner rock and classic rock. But with an addictive punk ethic that runs deep within their veins. Their groove-based sounds have been causing a definite prickle in our spinal columns since we first heard them last year.

Songs like the monster ‘Hot Town’ make you sweat with astonished glee… with its spiking white-hot guitars and shouty vocals – the sounds seem to steam at you like froth from a lava-pit.

Or take the more lyrically effervescent ‘Soul Fur Coat’ with streams of liquid guitars and a rapid percussion that hurtles at you like an out-of-control express train. It is all provocative and shamelessly exciting stuff!

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/thebastardsonsuk

 

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5: TO THE BONES

HF Riffage Stage Friday 3:00 pm

These knights from Bolton have been distinguishing themselves all over the fusty realm with their ferocious concoction of meaty hooks, fresh melody and dusty feedback.

According to METAL HAMMER their sound is: “Part Motorhead, Part Queens Of The Stone Age.”

Their recent ‘Emperor’s Ride’ is a heady, buzzy mix of sordid guitars, grizzled vocals and a ceaseless  fusillade of fierce percussion.

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/tothebones

 

 

 Photo By Josh Horwood

Photo By Josh Horwood

 

6: DESERT STORM

NWOBHM Stage Saturday 5:40

Desert Storm are the heaviest blues metal band that you are likely to hear this year.

Their extravagantly powerful grooves have been knocking the dust from the tank-tracks of mediocrity since early 2010.

They have been taking their sludge ‘n’ blues out from their Oxford spires – and spreading their grit into the huge outside world.  Their sounds can be summarized by the howitzer that is ‘Shadow Of An Eagle’ – a sparkling, lumbering, lank song with smoke in its eyes and poison in its shadows.

The luminous guitars shimmer and Matt’s guttural voice invokes rage and passion … all at once!

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk

 

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7: IMICUS

NWOBHM Stage Saturday 2:45 pm

We have been following IMICUS since way back.  We saw them at  Hammerfest I.  That’s how far back we go.

We loved the band’s debut album ‘Animal Factory’ released in 2010 and we had high hopes. But we were gutted when the band seemed to flounder in 2013 – almost running into the rocks.

But since then a new line-up has been busily writing, preparing and practicing for a new metal-onslaught. And a highly anticipated second album release – set for 2014 – will hopefully take the band back to where they ought to be.

Their songs – like ‘The Marionette’ can be characterized by clever arrangements, vast guitars and impassioned vocals (from Miller) that twist around the dark parchment soul of their impressive song-structures.

Link:

 https://www.facebook.com/IMICUS

 

Words: © Neil Mach 2014 https://neilmach.me/

Desert Storm – Shadow Of An Eagle (Official Music Video)