Monday, 29 March 2010

Catching Up with Grand Slam Opera

A while back YMC chatted to Grand Slam Opera, a new band yet to play their first gig, four months later we wondered how things are shaping up for them.

YMC: Last time we spoke you were about to play your first gig, have you managed to get a few since then?

Johnny: Yeah loads.

*Ethan & Thomas mumble incoherent profanities*

Johnny: What did you say?

Matt: Oh Jesus! Yes! We’ve had plenty, we’ve been gigging nearly every weekend I’m knackered.

Thomas/Johnny/Ethan: Whoah!

Johnny: How can you say knackered? That’s like…

Matt: Ok, I’m very tired.

Johnny: Alright.

Ethan: I like getting drunk at gigs. That means I’m drunk every weekend.

*Johnny mumbles incoherently*

Matt: Sssshhhhh! Second Question!

YMC: What do you think have been the best gigs you have played?

Johnny: Balanga Bar!

Ethan: Balanga Bar!

Johnny: I can’t remember any of it though.

Ethan: I can’t.

Matt: Personally, I…

Ethan: Leeds Met!

Matt: Yeah Leeds Met was fun…

Ethan: Yeah it was most fun. Only because you were hammered.

Johnny: Royal Oak, that was well good!

Matt: No that was hell.

Thomas: Ethan caused a riot.

Matt: They had to stop the gig.

Ethan: That was the best one ever!

Matt: Are we actually allowed to play there again?

Ethan: Yeah.

Matt: Oh that’s alright then.

Ethan: We’re banned from Zuu Bar! But we haven’t enjoyed any of them.

Matt: Zuu Bar’s not the best gig in the world. But you know, I don’t want to say anything negative.

Ethan: We’re banned.

YMC: Thomas, do you still have the best ideas for songs, or are the others catching up a bit?

Thomas: No they’re not. Done. Next Question.

*everybody giggles for about fifteen seconds to this response*

YMC: Johnny, has Matt bought you a van yet?

Johnny: No I’ve not passed my test yet, but I expect it in a couple of weeks.

Thomas: He does enjoy stealing his guitarists’ car though.

Matt: Yeah that caused a few problems.

*everybody laughs*

Ethan: Luckily we’re still going strong.

Matt: If you’ve not heard about that, it’s you know, a bit of Grand Slam Opera legacy for you there.

Ethan: It could of caused a few band hiccups but Tom just rose above it. Good lad he is.

Matt: He was surprisingly cool, I mean if Johnny stole my car I’d murder him!

Ethan: Tom’s a good guy.

Matt: And crashed it.

Johnny: I didn’t crash it! Did I crash it?

Ethan: No.

Johnny: Yes!

Matt: He told me he crashed it.

Ethan: He thought he did.

Johnny: Ethan said I had, then I thought I did, but I didn’t. I don’t know.

Thomas: Next question.

YMC: You mentioned last year that you thought you had a strong line-up that could get through the difficult early days, do you still see it that way?

Ethan: No because Johnny keeps stealing cars.

Johnny: I’ve got some other members, like back up. Well not back up but I intend on bringing them in.

Ethan: Do they all look the same as us?

Johnny: No, no.

Ethan: They should do. It’s the only way it’s going to work.

Matt: How strong are they physically?

Johnny: We’re still together so…

Ethan: No physically strong! God.

Johnny: Oh right, I don’t know.

Ethan: You’re a bit weak. You’re a bit slow as well. You don’t function right well.

YMC: Are you going to be recording anything any time soon?

Matt: Yes we’re done. We’re mixing.

Ethan: Yeah we are, we’re currently mixing with the lovely Tom Fox at Moorcroft Studios.

Matt: Yeah we’ve got a new recording it’s coming out soon boys and girls.

Ethan: We’ve got ten songs altogether.

Johnny: Girls can’t listen to it.

Matt: Girls can listen to it, they can shake their bum bum.

Thomas: Boys can listen to it too.

Ethan: Boys can’t listen to it, it’s illegal.

Matt: Have you noticed it’s the boys that like me at the gigs and not the girls?

Ethan: It’s because you give off that gay vibe. You know with your crotch?

Matt: I wouldn’t call it a gay vibe. I mean at the last gig, we were playing and there was some young boy at the front and he just asked for a cuddle.

Thomas: Aw bless.

Matt: And like at the end it was all young guys at the front.

Ethan: Do you know why?

Matt: Why?

Ethan: Because you’re gay.

Matt: Ah well.

YMC: Any big gigs coming up?

Everyone: Cockpit!

Matt: Yeah we’re supporting the wonderful Steven Barlow & friends otherwise known as Fight The Front Line.

Ethan: Hey Matt we’re going to do a video shoot we’ve decided for you.

Matt: We’re doing a video shoot?

Johnny: We’re going to kidnap you.

Ethan: We’re going to play a gig in Manchester and do clips of the day before and in the night.

Matt: Have we got a gig in Manchester?

Ethan: No but we’ll book one.

Matt: That’s what I’ve been trying to do since…

Johnny: Yeah but now we’re making a video it’s going to make it so much easier to book a gig in Manchester. We’ll just do it in two seconds because we’ll say, we’re making a video so book us.

Ethan: It’ll just be us and a guy with a camera so we can all fit in one car.

Matt: Great stuff. Well we answered that question to the point!

Ethan: We’re staying in a Travelodge as well.

Matt: Goodnight Vienna.

Find out more on

Friday, 26 March 2010

Introducing...Martin Wainwright

YMC chats to Martin Wainwright from  York
YMC: You're a solo performer and have also been in a bands. Did you start out in a band or were you a solo performer first?
Bands. I started a band called 3DaysForward when I was about 17 with friends from school. That continued on for about three years or so but eventually split up whilst I was at uni. Once I finished university I was sitting on a whole load of material which I had written, but no band to play it with, so I got myself an acoustic guitar and started playing. That was how the solo project came to be!

YMC: What are the pros and cons of playing solo versus being in a band?


I can play whatever I want, and however I want to. I dont have to worry about being in time with anyone else. This means I can make mistakes from time to time and no one will notice, or I can add extra bits in if I feel like it. It basically allows me to be totally flexible

No heavy gear to drag around with me everywhere! When you're in a band you have big heavy amps and pedal boards, drums kits and the like which is all very heavy and can be a pain to transport around. Playing acoustic I just need my guitar and a lead! I can walk to a venue if I want, or get the train!


Much harder to have an impact on a crowd as I can't physically create the same amount of noise as a band! Having drums and bass brings a lot of power and pace which is very difficult to replicate on my own.
There is no one else to hide behind. What I play is what everyone is listening to. I can't say 'oh we'll put a lead guitar part there to make it more interesting' or use the usual tricks that you would do in a band to keep peoples attention, so I have to try just write the best songs that I can. I guess this is also a Pro to as hopefully it makes me write better songs!

YMC: You've had some gigs out of York this year, has it been hard to connect with venues?
Yes definitely! The recession and general situation with the economy means a lot of venues are either closing down or are become much more cautious about who they book, so its extremely hard to get shows out of towns at the bigger venues. That basically makes it difficult to get slots with rock bands. I have some great friends though in other bands and who are promoters and they've helped me no end in getting out of town shows. On the flip side however acoustic nights are actually becoming more popular as pubs seem to be putting on more acoustic musicians to try drum up a bit more business which does help.
YMC: Have you had a good reaction away from home?

The gigs I have played so far out of town have been a great success. Fairly regularly people will come up to me after I've played to ask about my CD or how they can find out when I'm playing again, which is extremely encouraging! I think people arn't used to seeing acoustic musicians who are trying to create such a fast paced sound and bring power to the songs. Hopefully its helping me and my music stick in people's mind a little more than other acoustic acts they might have seen.

YMC: Who are you listening to at the moment?
I have a very wide taste in music and I never really go off anything that I've liked before so my listening tends to be fairly broad, however I do love pop punk so I probably end up listen to that more than any other genre. With that in mind, at the moment I'm listening to the new Four Year Strong and Say Anything albums fairly religiously! On the more acoustic front Im a big fan of Dashboard Confessional and Newton Faulkner. I grew up listening to a lot of hair metal though so its never too long before I stick on some Motley Crue or Def Leppard!

YMC: Do you have any recorded material?
I have released two EPs of original material which you can buy for about £1 each at my gigs or at plus I have a whole host of demo recordings on my laptop which I'll e-mail out to anyone who wants them!
YMC: What are your main plans for this year?

Over this year with my acoustic project I'm just trying to keep playing away from home and branch out to play new places really. I work on new material constantly so the next EP is never too far away, but I dont have plans to do another one in the next few months so we'll see what happens.

Also though I'm starting up a new band which I've started practicing with called Kings of Wishful Thinking. Its in a very similar vein to my solo stuff, but bigger, faster and louder really! I'm hoping to get that off the ground relatively soon and push as hard with that as I am doing with my solo project so keep an eye out for that!

Find out more on

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Introducing...Secret Circuits

YMC chats to Gav, from Leeds band Secret Circuits

YMC: You formed last Autumn, have you been in bands before?

Gav: I've been in a few Leeds bands, most notably Jack Afro and This Et Al, who I played a few festivals and released a few singles with. Jack Afro went over to Japan a few years back which was a really great experience and such a privilege. I joined a Wakey band called Mercia Drift and after we did a single the band split up, but three of us (John, Vikki and myself) decided to start something afresh with Secret Circuits. At our first gig we met Jack, who was with an electro duo called The Lucky Rainbow Club. He used to be in a band from Runcorn called Away From Home who did very well locally. So yeah, we've all had a fair bit of experience playing in different genres which I think serves us well when we all get together to write tunes.

YMC: You seem to have got off to a good start, what have been the highlights so far?

Gav: The first gig was great, mainly because we had no idea how people were gonna react to our set and were pleasantly surprised when the compliments started coming in. Since then it's just taken off really quickly; we signed a single deal before we'd even done a gig, and we now have a great booking agent and some exciting things planned for the rest of the year.

YMC: How would you describe your sound?

Gav: I usually say to people "Imagine Biffy Clyro doing a cover of 'Sandstorm' by Darude". We sound something like that. I like to call it 'trance rock'.

YMC: Who are your influences and who are you listening to at the moment?

Gav: I've mostly listened to 50's rock 'n' roll or classical. A lot of Eddie Cochran and Chopin. My favourite band is probably The Wildhearts. The riffs and song structures just blow your mind, and I would say they definitely play a big part in my songwriting. Recently I've been listening to The Faint a lot. They're a vastly underrated band and I really love some of the sounds they get out of those synths.

YMC: Who writes the songs?

Gav: I'll generally write a song, record it as a rough demo then take it into practice for everybody to work on. Each song ends up sounding different depending on the way each one of us interprets what we've heard on the demo, which I think allows each member to stamp their own 'style' on the tracks. Recently I've been writing with Jack and it's been a good partnership. People have been joking we're the new Lennon/McCartney. I'm not so sure!

YMC: You've had a couple of gigs out of Yorkshire, what's the reaction away from the local scene?

Gav: It's always been positive no matter where we've played, which we're all really pleased about. For example, usually when I've played in London the crowd are very cynical; they tend to either ignore you or just stand there, arms crossed, trying to decide if you're trendy enough for them to admit they like it. The first Secret Circuits gig down there was quite different, we had people dancing and clapping and coming up to us afterwards saying they loved it and wanting to buy our stuff. I think that proved to us in our minds that we have something at the moment which people seem to be able to connect with in some way.

YMC: Do you have any recording plans?

Gav: We did a 4-track EP with James Kenosha back in December but we're planning on doing two more EPs and then maybe putting them together and having an album. We're all incredibly excited about music at the moment and we're overjoyed with the way things have been going. Everyone's been very supportive and positive and we're really very grateful. To make a living playing music and entertaining people truly is the greatest thing I could ever ask for.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Introducing...Ben Peel

YMC chats to Ben Peel from Bradford

YMC: You've been in quite a few bands, can you give us a summary of your musical career?

I started off creating a band with a good friend and a great songwriter called Mark Hall... which was called "Weird Dream" and as line ups change so did the name... we went from been "Weird Dream" to "20-12" and from that to "Dead Rockers society"... the material was very upbeat gritty, scuzzy Northern Sounds, it was these early years/bands that I learnt my trade as a musician, honing and shaping my skill. Then I started a New band.. which was a bit of a side project  that turned into a full time thing... which was "Oxtoby's Rockers". This Project started out as a psychedelic Rock Band... a traditional power trio but eventually drifted towards a mixed sound of indie an rock. during in my time with this band i struggled and fought with different influences and flirted with different tastes... an after a hand full of years I eventually didn't know what I wanted musically...which I suppose put strain upon the band due to me becoming mentally and musically blank. Then From the back End of Oxtoby's Rockers, I started drumming with 2 friends (Thomas Binns and Joe Holdsworth) who were putting a band together...'The Young Loves" who were and still are an amazing songwriting band! I also did some writing and recording with "The Hot Crustacean band" and now I currently play Lead Guitar in an amazing band called "Thee Deadtime Philharmonics"... and I also write and record my own solo stuff "Northern Folk!"
YMC: What made you decide to go solo?

The fact I was writing these songs that didn't suite any band I was in... and because I had my hands in so many musical pies... the last thing I wanted to create was another full band. If its just me... I can keep it manageable and call on amazing guest musicians to help out... plus organising one person is a hell of a lot easier than organising 3 or 4 people...especially musicians! ha.

: Have you had to change the way you write songs?

It's not so much change... but more about Evolving as a songwriter... you go through moods in different shades and places of your life and they reflect onto your output of creativity and music. The way i see it is... if everything is peachy in your life... then you sing about the "the Sun is Shining...everythings Great..Blah Blah"... But to get to the
nitty Gritty you need to create a little chaos in your life because when that chaos hits hard thats when the real creativity comes. So i try live my life in an equal Doses of chaos and calmness. a little flirt with danger did no songwriter no harm!
YMC: Who are your influences and who are you listening to at the moment?

My influences have changed over time so I have much respect and a lot of appreciation for a lot of artists and bands.

The most recent visitors to my stereo over the past week have been Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Neil Young, Donovan, The Band (Songs from the Big Pink),Fleetwood mac, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Robert Johnson. But then i don't just get my influences from other musicians, moments in time influence me.. could be something someone says... or a feeling I have... or a situation I'm living... could be a wise word from a father or harsh word from a lover... I think for influences...its all about romanticising with your surroundings and happenings... and living it ... by this i don't mean going out getting wrecked every night is living it... when I say LIVE IT... I mean romanticise and flirt with your passionate about your thoughts and u start seeing things differently... you start seeing things your own way, which I think helps to put words on paper!

: Do you like the producing side of things?
I love The Producing just as much as writing the song, when I write a song I am constantly thinking how am I going to portray this on tape... to give it it's full potential and to bring out the songs inner Character! I'm really Passionate About Producing.

YMC: Your first single is called Panstick, where is it available?

Panstick is available in all your good online Record shops...I-Tunes, LimeWire and a couple other online stores too.... so what you waiting for?....Get Downloading!!!
Find out more about Ben Peel on 

DeadRockers Society -
Oxtobys Rockers -
The Young Loves -
The Hot Crustacean Band -
Thee Deadtime Philharmonics -

Friday, 19 March 2010

Introducing...Everyone an Army

YMC chats to Everyone an Army from Scarborough.

YMC: Who are the band members and how long have you been playing together?

We have Iain Hunter on drums/Percussion, Lee Simpson on Bass and Martyn on guitar and vocal duties.

YMC: Do you have any other musical projects?

Lee has a solo electronica/glitch project called Citizen Tank (
And Martyn and Iain piss around in a two-piece noise band making stupid music they can't even play properly.

YMC: Who are your main influences, who are you listening to at the moment?

Lee is listening to a lot of Glitchy, experimental stuff and Iain is listening to band like This will Destroy you and stuff from the US instrumental scene and Martyn is listening to Leeds bands like Wild Beasts and Grammatics.
We're all influenced by tons of stuff! However, i think it's hard to point them out when listening to our music.

YMC: You have just released an EP, have you enjoyed making it?

It was hard. Reaaaally hard. There were the three of us playing live in a sweaty, greenhouse style room. The problem with recording it live was that we all had to be happy with the take and playing through the same song 10 times over can get quite tedious.
We didn't speak much straight after recording.

YMC: Where is it available?

The tracks from the EP are streaming on our myspace(.com/everyoneanarmy)
and a physical release is planned for sometime in April.

YMC: Do you have any plans for this year? Any gigs coming up?

Were gonna get out there is much as possible this year, we're already working on new material and were talking to various people about possible festival appearances.
You'll be hearing a lot from us in '10!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Introducing...Cut Out Shapes

YMC: Who's in the band, how long have you been playing together?

The live line up was completed in Nov 2009 so we've only been playing together for 3 and a bit months as a band. Me (Chris that plays Guitar) and Chris the singer have known each other since Feb 2008 and wrote quite a few songs together from that time which we will use on our first album.

YMC: Some of the band members have other projects too, can you tell me a little about those?

Our synth/guitar player Toni has his own solo project called Tsars where he does his electro dance stuff. Singer Chris has his own alt/dance/rock mash up thing going on called thaipar. All the links are on our top friends on myspace. I have a solo project called Permafrost, I did some gigs under the name in 2005. Its lying dormant at the moment and if i get more time I'll put more experimental synth pieces/cover songs up there as and when they are recorded.

YMC: Who writes the songs for Cut Out Shapes?

Usually I'll write/arrange a song at home and do demos in cubase and email them to the other guys before practice. We'll then bring the song into the band situation where the guys will add there own parts. Sometimes ill write the music and Chris the singer will have an ideas for lyrics. Executive Decision and Desert Song were done in this way. We have a new song where all the members are contributing and thats the direction we want to follow as four heads are better than one ideas wise.

YMC: Who are you main influences and what are you listening to at the moment?

I would say my main influences are mansun, manics, magazine, psychedelic dance music, I like everything though and try to be original as much as possible. I went through a phase of listening to bat for lashes' second album recently in the car, its brilliant and dark. Because its now getting warmer im getting into "chosen lords" by Aphex Twin, a compilation of his dance instrumentals.

YMC: Have you recorded any material?

We have six tracks on last fm in various stages of completion. Im doing an MA at the moment so that takes a large chunk of my time up. From September we hope to have the other half of our album recorded. It'll then take time to mix and produce. We record everything ourselves minus drums. We like to have total control over our own sound so it represents what we sound like in the rehearsal room.

YMC: Do you have any gigs coming up?

Yep we have two confirmed 20th March Carpe Diem 7.30pm and 9th April at Elbow Rooms both in Leeds. Were aiming to do some festivals if we can maybe in Greece or UK.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Introducing...Radio Gypsy

YMC chats to Olly from York/Leeds band Radio Gypsy

YMC: Who are the band members and how long have you been playing together?

Olly: The band members are myself on guitar duties, Tommi on Drums, Simon on Synths, Jonny on Bass and James on Lead Vox. After a slight line up change Radio Gypsy have been together for two years this April. The original premise of being a Rock N Roll Dance group is still there but the songs have definitely matured with a greater emphasis on Pop.    

YMC: Who writes the songs?

Olly: I'm the song writer of the band, I like to have the whole thing written in my head before I show the rest of the lads, the string arrangements, the harmonies the lot! I'll either make a quick demo of the song using logic recording software or alternatively show them it on an acoustic. I'm really fortunate to be in a band with wicked musicians whom can make these ideas come to life. 

YMC: How would you describe your music?

Olly: Songs to tap your feet and have a boogy too. But if your the philosophical type the songs all have meanings behind them, all the lyrics have a emotion, there not simply just melody fitting words!
YMC: Who are your main influences?

Olly: I'm sure if you were to ask the lads this question we'd get a list of bands from Jimi Hendrix to Kate Bush, but my main influences are The Beatles, Jack White, The Doors and Radiohead. Thats such a tough question to answer! 

YMC: You have played all over Yorkshire, has there been a particularly memorable gig for you?

Olly: I think my favourite gig has been a show at the Stone Roses Bar in York last December 09. The place was absolutely packed out, the crowd were jumping singing all the words back to us throughout the set. I thinks its fair to say Radio Gypsy perhaps don't get as much recognition as I'd like but that night the warm reception and genuine enthusiasm from the crowd really made me feel that Radio Gypsy were loved! It was mega and I'm looking forward to playing there again in May.

YMC: Do you have any recording plans for this year?

Olly: Yes, we're currently in the final stages of mixing our new EP with the lead track, entitled 'FightBack', which is all about standing up for yourself, or as Jack Black would put it 'sticking it to the man'! We've a super massive single launch night at Fibbers in York on Friday 23rd April. I'm happy to say we've the fantastic 'The talks' from Hull as main support for the evening along with funk band 'Hot Fudge' and Rock N Roll trio 'The Buccaneers' also supporting. I'm very excited about the new release, myself and singer James have been working really hard on getting a product together that we are proud of and so will be available on download everywhere with a music video to follow. exciting times! Hopefully this new recording will be the path way for bigger things for Radio Gypsy. We are actively seeking help from anybody who can help us and our music circulate towards the people. Thanks for reading, peace and love Olly/Radio Gypsy x

Friday, 12 March 2010

Introducing...Mike Quimby

YMC chats to Mike Quimby from Leeds

YMC: How long have you been writing and playing music?

Ive been playing guitar for a good 6 years now, and writing music for a good three of those. I always played around with lyrics, particularly at school when I couldnt concentrate or had something on my mind - It was nice to finally be able put music to them, and i like to think ive never looked back!

YMC: Who are your main influences and who are you listening to at the moment?

Its easy to name drop huge musicians like john lennon, paul mcartney, paul weller etc, but im just as influenced by the likes of Richard Ashcroft, Noel Gallagher, and Grant Nicholas of feeder. Im always listening to varied types of music, though at the moment, Renegades, Nickelback, and the new bon jovi record seem to come up alot!

YMC: Do you see yourself ever fronting a band, or do you prefer to be a solo artist?

Fronting a band is a huge deal to me. Ive got some very cool friends who are all into music, but the timing has never quite been right for us to make something of it. I also wrote a record with Joe Kerry, who moved on to do some great things with a great leeds based band called Book of Job. Around that time I decided to concentrate on solo stuff, and at least for the most part, thats where my future lies.

YMC: Have you played live?

Playing live as an acoustic act is daunting and difficult to sort. Theres not a lot of support for acoustic acts out there, but its building and growing. Admittedly we dont have the energy or complexity of a full blown band nailing a setlist down your local, but I think acoustic music has a certain intricacy that gets me through live shows and helps me connectto who im playing to. Add to that the odd well known cover and occasionally we can get a really good singalong going too! I hope that entrigues readers enough to get them down to my next live show and check out the expirience.

YMC: You have an Acoustic EP available, do you have any recording plans?

This year will hopefully be a really interesting one on the recording front. I have the four acoustic tracks, but im looking to get at least one EP done this year, each about four tracks in length and filled with more than just a guitar and vocals. Like i've said, it'll still be my name behind it all, as a solo artist, but its going to be lots of fun to stretch my creativity.

YMC: What are your plans for 2010?

Gigging, more gigging, and hopefully, if it all works out... more gigging. I need to be reaching out to as many people as possible, and gigging is the way forward with that. Add to it the EP I want released, and this year should be filled with some really good moments for my musical plans. If all goes super well, I want to do something that may make some money for a charity or two, so I'll just keep my fingers crossed that things continue to go aswell as they have been doing...

Find out more on

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Introducing...Claire Cameron Band

YMC chats to Claire from Claire Cameron Band
YMC: Have you always fronted a band or have you been a solo performer too?

Yes, I have been a solo performer for 12 years now really.  I started writing songs when I was 13 and have been performing them to whoever wants to listen ever since!  Claire Cameron Band started up a couple of years ago and was originally just me and a drummer, to which we added an acoustic guitar and bass.  This was an experimental period which evolved into a rockier outfit when my guitarist Pete Nash came on the scene and the CCB concept of tight guitar riffs complimenting the piano hooks was born.  I started my performing on the Leeds Circuit playing the Chemic Tavern piano and singing as a duo with my friend Charlie on acoustic guitar before I began to channel my energies into the full band musical offering.

YMC: Have you had to change the way you write for a band as opposed to solo songs?

When I write songs I tend to let my mood harness the piano lines as a starting point and then the melody picks itself out and the lyrics follow.  I still write songs in this order, but I think I am pushing myself as a composer since I've been playing with this band, as I can imagine the song with guitars and drums expanding it earlier on in the process.  It is also like rising to a challenge when I introduce new material to the guys as while I'm writing it I'm hearing where I would like them to have their moments, whereas before I had to fill the sound space on my own as an acoustic artist. It's much more exciting with a band to launch each song; it really feels like the material takes on a life of its own!

YMC: Who are your main influences, who are you listening to at the moment?

I listen to so many different artists and styles of music that it is difficult to pin point influences as I think the element of originality that we have as a band is there because we all bring so many influences to the table. I don't directly compare ourselves to particular artists myself; I tend to let our listeners make up their own minds on that one- but I can say that from the listeners' camp we've been compared to Alanis Morisette, A Perfect Circle, Third Eye Blind, Tori Amos, Led Zeppelin elements and Bic Runga to name a few!

At them moment I'm listening to Bat For Lashes, Lacuna Coil, Ani Di Franco,Tori Amos, Porcupine Tree, Joe Perry and I'm addicted to the soundtrack from a brilliant film called 'Once' which a hauntingly beautiful album.

YMC: You have been taking part in the Bikini Kill events at Elbow Rooms, is this a music night?

Yes Bikini Kill is a new monthly music night run by the lovely Lauren Moss which is all about combining the creative arts under one roof and results in a Thursday night with a difference featuring 3 red hot feature live music acts, each showcasing a fiery female musician, and the **Festival of Creativity** including:- Body painting
- Juggling
- Burlesque
- Poetry Art
- Artists and designer portfolio exhibits
the last one was fantastic fun and had a great atmosphere with all the Artists who played enjoying each other's sets and everyone having a really good time.  Next one is the 4th March at The Elbow Rooms.  This is the facebook event link if you would like to check it out!/event.php?eid=332054201554

YMC: What can people expect from a Claire Cameron Band gig?

When Claire Cameron Band perform you can expect a set that is tightly rehearsed and passionately delivered.  We put on a show which draws the audience right into the music and gets people dancing and enjoying themselves, which is really what live music is all about- we are entertainers and showpeople and that is what we do best! We interact with the audience, get them involved in the performance, singing along to the choruses and having a brilliant night- come and see us live and I'm sure you will agree!

YMC: Do you have any recording plans for this year?

We are in fact (at the time of writing this) recording tomorrow at a brand new studio in Halifax - Swing Kid Studios.  Really looking forward to recording some fresh material and spending time in the Studio again- I'm at my happiest recording and love to work at achieving the best sound possible from the band for the songs.  I'll be sure to ask for your opinion on the new recordings when they are ready for distribution!
Thanks so much for your time, and your interest in the band.  I'd like to take this opportunity to say how much we enjoy contributing to the Yorkshire Music Collective and are big supporters of the work you do.  See you at our next gigs hopefully- Jabez Clegg, Manchester 10th March then Pulse Bar, Barnsley 25th March.
Find out more about Claire Cameron Band on

Monday, 8 March 2010

Introducing...Liz Reynolds

YMC: How long have you been writing music?

I have been writing since I was very small...I was actually three when I picked up a keyboard and started writing and recording a bunch of songs and soundtracks for stories that I made up.  I find it hard to explain where it began though, it certainly changed when I picked up a guitar for the first time.  As soon as I learnt to play a few basic chords at twelve I started writing little songs with them.  One of the songs I wrote when I was twelve is one of the most popular ones that I still play now, the 'Cup of Tea Song', which you'll probably hear me say at gigs wasn't its original name, but fans remembered it as 'Cup of Tea Song' so I just went along with it.  After all, in my view, songwriting isn't really about what I wrote, its more about how the audience relates to it.

YMC: How do you build up the confidence to play solo?

Building up the confidence to play solo has to have been the hardest thing for me and I know of many other solo acoustic acts that have struggled too.  I have always been shy and nervous but I have to say it was the encouragement of my friends that eventually got me through it.  I even used to be ill before I played in front of two or three people at open mic nights.  They call your name and you almost wish the floor would eat you up, my heart would be pounding, I'd miss my fingering on my guitar alot and my voice would be very small and quiet. It sounds silly, but if you've never 
done it before it's very difficult.  I've even had really confident friends suggest that they might get up and play a song and chickened out because it really can be that hard if you're not used to it.  I think the best thing to do is practice at doing gigs and the best way to do that is to do open mic nights, just kind of grin and bare it until it becomes easier.  That's how I got to the stage I'm at now, otherwise I think I would still be doing 1 gig a year and playing at Dr wuu's once a week because it was comfortable and easy going. 
It definitely is the hardest thing about being a solo artist if you are shy or nervous, but I suppose everyone has different ways of dealing with stage fright.  One thing that helped a lot though, was some kind words from my friend Richard Canavan who is one of the producers for my album and again incredibly talented.  He told me that fear is a
similar emotion to excitement so if I convinced myself i was excited I would eventualy feel know what... it worked.

YMC: Would you every consider fronting a band, or are you happly to play solo?

I do play with other musicians and have played with bands before, it certainly takes all the preasure of you because as a solo artist you are responsible for the vocals the guitar and the songwriting, so if a gig goes badly it's easy to put yourself down about it.  I love playing with other musicians though, there is so much other people can add to your music and put their own little piece of personality into the song, especialy when its a cover you all like or something you wrote together that you have real faith in.  At the moment though I really couldn't see myself playing with a band, I have supporting musicians and were I to play bigger venue's you'd definitely see a few more instruments but I'm happy playing solo for the time being and I enjoy the intimacy.   

: What music are you listening to at the moment?

If I was to tell you all the music currently on my ipod I think you might be shocked at some of them.  I try to listen to as much contrasting stuff as possible because I don't like to be influenced too much by other things.  I love listening to local artists too.  I am currently listening to Khuda, Jon Gomm and Matt Bentley who's album launch I'm 
performing at. but I also have Crystal Castles, Immortal, Imogen Heap, Jose Gonzalez, Newton Faulkner and William Shatner.  So a bit of a mix there!!

YMC: Have you recorded any material?

I have been in the studio for a few months now with Ade Castronovo who is really talented at what he does, I'm really lucky to have him working with me on this project and am hoping to get my album out really soon, it should feature around twelve tracks so I'm really excited about it.  I am using three different producers who are all really amazing at different things while staying true to the real stripped to the bone meaning of what makes people like me play.  They are all great friends too so they will be using some of their own ideas.  There are three tracks on my myspace to listen to though which will be featured on the new album, so a bit of a pre-mastered taster for you there.

YMC: You've done a lot of gigs in Leeds, are you considering playing further away too?

I love playing in Leeds and will take up pretty much everything I'm offered because I love to gig.  I have actually played further away, I was in London last month and have been to Barnsley and Harrogate.  I am doing a student live radio session in Manchester, other up and coming gigs are in York, Sheffield and Surrey so there's lots going on at the moment and I'm branching out a bit, but I think I'll always come home to Leeds and do as much as I can for the moment because there is always somebody new to meet and new venue's to play.

Find out more on

Friday, 5 March 2010

Introducing...Eyes of March

YMC chats to Eyes of March from Wakefield

YMC: Who are the band members and how long have you been playing together?

The band consists of Rob, Cake, Jim and Matty. We're just 4 best friends from college basically. EOM started out with Rob, Cake and Matty just jamming together playing covers, we played about 3 gigs and decided we needed a bassist so we drafted Jim in, who plays multiple instruments, and thats basicly where we are today! so I guess you could say EOM have been together, fully for just over 1 year!

YMC: Who are your main influences?

Individually we all bring different influences to the table but we are mainly influenced by a mixture of old and modern rock bands such as Guns N Roses, Rage Against The Machine, Them Crooked Vultures, AC/DC, Queens Of The Stoneage, Arctic Monkeys and Biffy Clyro. We're also partial to abit of drum and bass, with bands such as Squarepusher having a big influence on Matty (Drums) inparticular.

YMC: Do your write your songs together?

We always put together songs when we're all present at practice but most of the time we each work on individual ideas to bring forward. A typical EOM song is built around Rob writing the lyrics and maybe a guitar part and Cake making up melodies and riffs, we bring them to practice, jam it then tweak until its finished. However a couple of gigs and practices down the line we've changed parts in different songs to make them sound more intresting, mostly by improvising in live situations.

YMC: What can people expect from your live shows?

A lot of energy and passion. So much in fact on some occasions its ended in head injuries, flooded stages, breaking of equipiment (sometimes not even our own), people being injured by microphones and even a standing up drummer. We give all we've got.

YMC: What venues do you like to play at?

Any venue where the crowd gets involved. Theres nothing worse than playing a gig, giving it your all, only to see people sitting down and being boring, I mean if they wanted to do that surely they could go to the theatre or something!? We love it when people just get up and start headbanging, shaking their fists and starting pits, mainly because its funny to watch.

YMC: You had quite a busy year in 2009, what were the highlights for you?

You can say that again! Where do we start!? We got our demo EP recorded within 2 months of being together, recording in the same bedroom where The Cribs recorded their first ever material which was surreal! Playing with Templeton Pek who featured in Kerrang magazine, playing with local sleazerockers Steroid Freak Pussy, who have become our close friends, getting through to the semi finals of Battle Of The Bands in December against some extremely tough competition. You could say every gig and practice we have together is a highlight for us, we just f**king love what we do!

YMC: Do you have any plans for this year?

Many! we're currently writing material for our first properly produced EP and recording it ourselves so we get the sound we exactly want, so that should be out hopefully by the summer. We're also gonna up our game in every possible way just gonna keep striving for perfection. Hopefully get through and win Battle Of The Bands in March as well as get support slots playing bigger venues with more well known bands, that would be so awesome! Also to play this years Wakefield Rock Festival because that'd be a massive opportunity for us, we've never played outside before either. Hopefully we can go places this year!

Check them our further on

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


YMC chats to Riotbox from Sheffield

YMC: Who are the band members and how long have you been playing together?

Jimmy and daryl have been playing togther for a while, Matt and Josh joined in the last few months, and weve been writing and gigging hard ever since.

YMC: Who are your main influences?

Main influences are trying to create a messy punky sound with melodic pop twists, much like the early 90s grunge scene, but trying to give it a more modern spin. in our latest demo we aimed for Mudhoney meets the White Stripes.

: Who writes the songs?

Songs are written together as a band, from ideas developed by each member and then brought to practice

: Have you recorded any material?

Yeah weve just recorded a new demo, it's on our myspace.

: What can people expect from a live show?
People can expect an energetic fun live show, we aim to entertain most of all

: Do you have any plans, competitions, big gigs, etc.

We're in the regional finals of live and unsigned 2010, and are gigging once or twice a week up until arpil now around Sheffield, Wakefield, London and Manchester. We are also promoting a night for local bands at the Howard Sheffield on the 1st Wed of every month. First one is today, Wednesday 3rd, bands playing are  Naked Potato, Failing Grace and of course Riotbox

You can find out more about Riotbox on

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Introducing...Mutiny for Hire

YMC: Who are the band members and how long have you been playing together?

MFH: Joel Crosland - Vocals/Guitar, Dave Pool - Bass,Steve Holmes - Drums, been together since July 09 after the demise of our respective previous bands.

YMC: Who are your main influences?

MFH: Anything with some guts, Dave and Joels biggest influence is definately the 90's grunge they grew up listening to,Metal has its place in there too and you can hear it in Holmes drumming. If you think 'queens of the stone age' 'nirvana' and a melodic version of 'deftones' all mashed up together that is pretty close to our particular brand of alt rock

YMC: Who writes the songs?

MFH: Joel takes main songwriting duties but we all have our input, if someone comes up with a sweet riff then it'll get made into a song and then Joel will write some lyrics to wail over the top hahaha

YMC: What venues do you like to play at? Have you found it easy to get gigs?

MFH:Since we recorded our EP 'stop the generals' we are finding it easier to get gigs, as far as the venues we like then Carpe Diem in Leeds is always a pleasure as the crowd is always receptive. its still early days for us and we just want to try different venues all over Yorkshire to see where we go down well, at the end of the day taking our music to play to a crowd who appreciates it is what its all about for us.

YMC: You've just recorded your debut EP, was that a positive experience?

MFH:Yeah it really was, we went to see Ross at Ghosttown recording and he did us proud, we're really happy with the sound he created for us after the mixing and mastering and all that guff. We dont go in for over produced sterile sounds, we like it to sound nice and raw and loud just like we are live hahaha

YMC: Where and in what formats is the EP available?

MFH:only on CD at the moment available at gigs or if you contact us at