Translate

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2017. Siena Root - A Dream Of Lasting Peace.


Hey! Good to hear from you guys! How has 2017 been for the band?

Errka: You mean 1967? ;) It's been great! Some of our greatest achievements as a band happened this year.
Sam: Yeah I agree, a new album release that came out in a strong way and some really nice experiences on the road, is what I can recall at least!

Haha, that’s a great year musically to be living in! Sam mentioned nice experiences on the road; how has touring been? I know you spent some time with Deep Purple, that must’ve been incredible! 

Errka: Touring with Siena Root is always great! We've built a solid fanbase in Europe and it feels like home going there. However we're really eager to go other places too. The Deep Purple gigs turned out to be way above our childish expectations! There were good vibes all over, both on and off stage.
Sam: Yes, I enjoy life on the road a lot. You know what to do and you can focus on that but, on the other hand, you never know what will happen...as Erik said, DP was really great in so many ways. 1. Probably the all time high in gigs I enjoyed most. 2. We met our heroes and they were really nice. 3. They listened to our gig and liked it; they even asked who we were influenced by! They where not ironic :) they were actually curious. Maybe they didn't listen so closely to our gig after all haha! 4. the list could go on and on but I'll just sum it up as great in all regards!

Tell me a little bit about the processes you go through as a band when you're recording. 

Love: Apart from the practical issues of recording, there's also a lot of psychology involved in the process. Once the red light goes on you notice that it doesn't sound as in you head anymore. All in the band experience that once in a while and then the group dynamics have to be in tune.
Errka: We always try new ways of recording! On our latest album we went to a studio in the forest and were totally isolated for a week. The only thing that we never change is that we do everything 100% analog!
Sam: Yes, we've experimented with a lot of different ways of recording over the years. Usually we go "live" everybody in the same room playing at the same time, but we've also tried to record one instrument at the time occasionally. The later can be quite good sound wise but for a band like us, that likes to improvise and generally don't know how long the song is gonna be beforehand, it's not very common. One compromise of the two is that everybody goes live at the same time, but in different rooms.  It works ok, but you tend to lose a bit of the feel when you hear your bandmates in headphones, instead of loud tube amps...

Is going 100% analog a difficult thing to commit to, especially in a digital age where recording technology can recreate specific sounds if you want them? 

Love: Yes, it can be difficult sometimes, but it makes the process easier too. If you make no limits for your work, it tends to get out of hand. The analog way of working puts most of the effort into preparations, not the after effects.
Sam: I often get that question but, besides some small issues I actually think it's easier and a lot less time consuming than digital recording. And to this day I haven't heard any digital recording sounding as good, or even almost as good, as a well made state of the art all analog recording. Take any classic record from the analog heyday and compare to a modern one, you will be surprised and maybe also frightened!!!
Errka: As a producer, I'm experienced with both analog and digital, and I can say that analog has its clear benefits. As long as the musicians really know what they're doing, that is...


What were you listening to whilst you recorded the album? Does that ever influence your sound?

Sam: That's a very good question! And yes, I think it does but I can't remember what I was into when we prepared ourselves for the A dream of Lasting Peace sessions. Judging by the result would maybe call for a bit more of the earlier 1960s than the usual late 60s/early 70s thing but I don't think it's that simple in this case haha!
Errka: When we started preparing for the recording session, Sam and Love introduced me to the obscure Scottish band Tear Gas, and their self-titled album from 1971. They had been listening to it since founding Siena Root but I hadn't heard it before. I liked the album and started listening to it. I think it may have influenced the making of our album, particularly when it comes to the sound.

There’s nothing more satisfying than the discovery of something that passed you by that you can fall in love with decades after its release.  Are you one of those bands that argue about what goes on the tourbus stereo? 

Love: I love discovering lost old gems.
Errka: We don't really argue, haha! For the most part I think we're curious of each others' tastes and influences.
Sam: In the tourbus we also do lots of "ironic" music-listening, It's funny but sometimes it gets out of hand a bit hehe!

Now that the record has been released, do you start thinking about writing the next one?  How do look at writing music together as a band? 

Matte: Now we're planning to go somewhere else to write the songs for the next album, maybe the very north of Sweden or maybe India! I think it's a good idea because you have to push yourself in a creative way and maybe the whole album can get a more complete feeling... we'll see! We've never done something like that before.
Errka: Yes, we're already planning the next album. When writing music, we often jam on some riff or groove that somebody came up with, and then build out the songs from there. Sometimes, one of us can write an almost complete song and then we do the final touches together. We're all more or less equally involved as songwriters, it's a collective way rather than having a band leader/front person writing everything.
Sam: There is no right or wrong in song writing to me, it can obviously be done in lots of different ways but as Errka says we tend to come back to the writing while jamming type of style although it's not always the case for us either. It has happened that one of us just sits at home with the acoustic guitar or whatever and then shows up to rehearsal and there you have it - the song is complete!

I really love the cover art, I said in my review the LP is like one of those cool records you discover in an elder siblings record collection, there’s something beautifully vintage about it.  How did you come up with the concept? 

Errka: We had thousands of ideas for the cover art, but there was always at least one of us who didn't like it. I don't remember who came up with the airplane but as soon as it was mentioned everyone went: "Oh yeah, that's what we're gonna do!"
Love: It was an idea of ours to make a photo shoot by this plane, but then I came across this very skilled artist who was into our songs and it all went towards a more imaginary, almost surreal style. It was a lot of work, but it turned out very good in the end.
Sam: When the airplane idea came up I was talking to some people I know a bit, they take care of an old DC3 and we wanted to do a photo with it. It never really worked out but I hope we can fly it for the next tour instead!

Do you have any favourite albums of the year and are there any newer bands emerging now you’d recommend seeking out?

Sam: I'm afraid I tend to live in the past when it comes to albums. That said, I really think that there is a lot of fantastic stuff coming out nowadays and we often have the luxury to catch many of them live during our tours. I was recently impressed by the band "welcome inside the brain" and also the band "Belphi" that we crossed paths with earlier this year.
Errka: Yeah, I'm sorry to say that I'm terrible at keeping track of emerging bands! I'd recommend listening to The Sonic Dawn, a Danish psych trio. They do really cool stuff and I'm honored that they asked me to arrange and record keyboard tracks on both their albums.


Thanks for catching up today! Happy New Year Siena Root!







Tuesday, 12 December 2017

On This Weeks Atom Heart Mutha for Hard Rock Hell Radio... (15.12.17)

This week's show for Hard Rock Hell Radio Goes out at 13.00 on Friday December 15th, Tune in for 2 hours of the very best HeavyPsychedelic Stoned and Fuzzed Up Rock'N'Roll featuring Blood Of The Sun, Föllakzoid, Interstelar, Neon Warship, Sasquatch, Slow Season, Tau and The Heavy Eyes. On top of that, there's killer cuts from brand new and current releases by Helicon, Mississippi Bones, Planet Of The 8s, Pretty Lightning and Switchblade Jesus. so don't miss it! You can hear the Show via the HRHR Webpage HERE, or the dedicated app for iOS and android.
Feel free to contact me via AHM's FB, Twitter or email if you'd like to hear anything in particular; if you would like to be considered for airplay on the show message me for details. Each show is archived every week once it's gone out live, you can find them on the new HRH Atom Heart Mutha Mixcloud page HERE, check out the page and click follow to be kept up to date with each newly archived show.


Treat your brain to a new Atom Heart Mutha show every week on Hard Rock Hell Radio; if you missed last weeks show you can stream it now on the player below, go for it !




Monday, 11 December 2017

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2017. Gnoomes - Tschak!

Its great to catch up with you! How are you all? 

Hi John! Great to hear from you, and big thanks again for putting us into your top 10 albums of this year!
We're all good here, our line-up has changed slightly: no dismissals, but a reinforcement. Our vocalist swapped the bass for the guitar, while Masha, our tour-manager, took his place on the bass! We're really excited about this. Looking forward to showing people how it’s sounding.

How has 2017 been for Gnoomes? 

It’s been a great year for the band. We’d say it was the most productive year we’ve ever had yet. First of all, we released our second album ‘Tschak!’ via Rocket Recordings on the March 10th. Secondly, we’d been touring over Switzerland and the UK with this album. Thirdly, there were a few amazing collaborations with the great musicians such as Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, Julie’s Haircut etc. This finally led to a remix album where all tracks from ‘Tschak!’ have been reworked by extraordinary people. It has been released on the December 1st and you can buy a limited tape or the digital version via our Bandcamp page here



It's a great remix album!  It really works well as a companion piece, you have label mates Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation remix 'One Step'; you've also had contributions from Al Lover, Ulrich Schnauss and Landing, how did that come about? 

We didn’t think about it as a whole album. In the beginning we’ve been just asked by Julie’s Haircut and Kalli Ma for the stems to make remixes of Severokamsk and Cascais. After that we decided that it might be a great idea to get other musicians involved. We proposed the remixes to our friends - one to each band/musician and the response was so big that we understood; yeah something’s gonna happen. We asked our label-mates with whom we already collaborate and the bands/projects that we admire. For example, we did a remix of our favourite Landing’s song two years ago and we were so happy that they agreed to participate in this project. Interesting fact about this album that there is always a connection - MYKA is a project of Ivan Zoloto (ex-Love Cult) that once collaborated with GNOD, Camedor is a keyboard player of Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, while Andrea from Lay Llamas was a drummer of the Lorelle’s on their last UK tour etc. Everything is interconnected!

Tell me a little bit about the processes you go through as a band when you're recording. 

To be honest, there is nothing secret, we just want to be natural to ourselves and the music we want to create. When a far-fetched idea is coming we stop the process and wait for a spontaneous thing which wakes up the creativity. It doesn’t matter how long we wait because the key is to get rid of your ego and get out of your comfort zone. Let’s switch on the practical part. Simplicity is the key; this is the main thing we got to know from Kraftwerk. No matter how fast you are in playing melodies and chord progressions, the idea is to find a unique sound of an instrument and to resonate it with your state of being. It turned out that when we recorded ‘Tschak!’ we had a massive arsenal that consisted of the old analog soviet synths and we had a plenty of instruments to resonate with ;)



Compared to other releases in 2017, I think you've definitely succeeded in making something interesting and unique.  When do you know that a track is finished? Are you tempted as a group to keeping adding new touches?

Wow, thank you for that! Yes, we think that creating new touches is a dynamic process that is finished only when we are mixing a song. At this stage, we’re still able to add new touches but, once we get it mastered, it’s a completed sculpture and we can’t do anything more with it, except go and accept it! It could make a song more difficult to play and it may change everything from the start to the end in the composition completely, but we love to overcome challenges.

What were you listening to whilst you recorded the album? Does that ever influence your sound? 

Speaking of inspiration, music could be your enemy; sometimes it can make you roam, in not the right way. Sometimes during the mixing process, we must listen to a particular record just because we need to find the solution of how the mix should lay in the speakers; but for imagination I find that its  better to watch a movie or read a book.

I like asking that question! There are some bands that say they feed from outside influences. I do like the idea that you've invited interpretations from other artists.

I see what you mean…yeah we do think too that citation is not a crime; you’ll make it differently once you get the vibe, because in our opinion the real art is not about copying the melodies but it’s more about reflecting of the melody in your brain and reworking it into something unique.  Sometimes, it happens unconsciously and your hands do something in Ableton (software music sequencer) as if they’re controlled by someone else!

Now that the record has been released, do you start thinking about writing the next one?  How do look at writing music together as a band? 

We’ve already started the process of creating new material and we jam at every rehearsal. We’re still learning how to jam because it’s not as easy as some people think; but every rehearsal brings different pieces that hopefully will shape into a new songs one day. Every member could create a piece at home and later we’ll jam around that piece at the rehearsals, no matter if it’s a melody or a drum loop.

Do you have any favourite albums of the year and are there any newer bands emerging now you’d recommend seeking out? 

We’d highlight GAS - Narkopop, William Basinski - A Shadow In Time, Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol.2! In addition, we went to Le Guess Who - 2017 (festival in Utrecht) and we were blown away by the band Essaie pas (the project of Marie Davidson) a very powerful noir-electro. Also, the Kevin Morby’s band was absolutely great and professional! If these two bands are in your town make sure you’ll get your tickets ;)

Absolutely, I'll look out for them!
Thanks again for catching up; it was great to talk to you! You've also put together a mix to go out with this interview; thank you! Why did you choose these particular tracks?

Thank you! These are just our all time favourites. No matter where you are, these tracks are reminders that you’re not alone in this crazy life-circle!






Track List: 1. Broadcast - I Found F    2. Spacemen 3 - Big City (Demo)    3. Boris -Farewell    4. The Warlocks - So Paranoid    5. Stereolab - Jenny Ondioline   6. Become - Come See    7. Ashra - Sunrain    8. Aphex Twin - Untitled

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Listen To Atom Heart Mutha December 2017 Now On Mixcloud



Atom Heart Mutha December 2017 is now available to listen to anytime. This show was uploaded exclusively for BigJaf.net's Mixcloud; the show also went out on American Radio Station Grip Of Delusion Radio on  December 10th. Tune in for spaced out vibes and heavy psychedelic trips from TBWNIAS, Vespero, Mugstar, Vintage Cucumber and more. As always if you like what you hear please support the bands and labels by buying their music, there are direct tags on the AHM Facebook


Track List:
The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol - Earworm
Vintage Cucumber - Abschied Erdlinge
Monomyth - Surface Crawler
Causa Sui - The Drop
Sleeping Pandora - Icarus
Mugstar - My Babyskull Has Not Yet Flowered
Prince Rupert’s Drops - Rosy Red
Vespero - Shum Shir


Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2017. Youngblood Supercult - The Great American Death Rattle.


Hi Bailey! Its great to catch up with you; how’s things with Youngblood Supercult?

Hey guys! Things are a bit slow at the moment; we have been on hiatus for a while in anticipation of my next (and hopefully final) hand surgery.  After our break, we plan on coming back bigger and better than ever.

How has 2017 been for the band?

There have been both good and bad moments for us this year. The reception of The Great American Death Rattle; getting to play Psycho Las Vegas; tour the Southwest and meet some incredible people in the process; its has been surreal.  We had some amazing experiences on the road and can't wait to get out there again.  On the flip side of the coin, its pretty common knowledge by now that I accidentally shot a hole through my fretting hand, this past May, resulting in a broken metacarpal. I have had a lot of surgeries and physical therapy to try to get things back to normal. It has been pretty rough on me emotionally, not being able to play like I could before, but I'm getting better.  We also had some disagreements concerning the mixing/mastering of the album, and that dampened our spirits a little bit, but it has been mostly resolved at this point. We can only look towards the future and use these experiences as learning and writing tools.



Wow, that sounds like a really tough time!  Good to hear things with your hand are getting better. 
How do you get past disagreements when it comes to the production and sound of a record? It must be reassuring that whatever choices were made have worked, TGADR has been extremely well received pretty much universally, in fact for me the hit was instant; I was hooked on play one.

We take a democratic approach to everything, but certain things always tend to be fairly emotional, especially when working with friends. Three of us were unsure of how the direction the original mastering was going, so we decided to take a different route. To be fair, we probably over-thought things a bit too much, frankly because of the pressure of following up High Plains; the original sound production most likely could've worked just fine with time and tweaking. It's all a learning experience when you're DIY.

Tell me a little about the processes you go through as a band when you're recording. 

All of our albums have been recorded by sound engineer friends in different spaces, the last two were done by our good friend Jon Pederzani. We have always had the privilege of borrowing vintage mics and equipment from Vern White and Sonny Heller, renowned sound engineers in the Topeka area, so that's a good plus! In the past, we have just gotten our gear set up, found a good solid weekend where we can record the main tracks and guitar overdubs, and then vocals and any other guitar work come after that. On TGADR, some of David's scratch tracks were so good that we kept them. You can notice a slight difference in tone from the use of the scratch vocal mic vs the main vocal mic if you pay attention. Recording outside a studio gives us the freedom to experiment a bit, but it has its drawbacks. Jon has a full-time job, so it was a matter of when he was free to get over there to work on different things. Aside from that, Brad and I had plenty of alcohol in the studio, and Weston and David had certain smoke-able goodies to keep them occupied, haha!

Haha! Do recreational studio activities afford you room for improvisation, or you are focused about what it is that needs to be recorded? It’s always interesting hearing if bands know when a song is completed or whether there’s a temptation to add more layers and continue its development.   Sometimes it's extremely tempting to change/add things. 

We've done it in the past. However, as we begin to focus more on the compositional value of our new material, I think we will want to stick with things as they are instead of improvising in the studio. Time is money, unfortunately. But we never want that to negatively affect the creative flow of the music; in the end you have to go with your gut. I think we can all agree on our disgust of putting down something in a permanent media. There's no avoiding it, though!

What were you listening too whilst you recorded the album? Does that ever influence your sound?

We all listen to a plethora of music.  Brad listens to a lot of country western, rap, synth, different kinds of rock. Weston likes everything, but I mostly hear him listening to blues rock when we're together. David also listens to just about everything. And I'm pretty much the same, lots of classic rock, folk, heavy metal, and bands from our stoner/psych genre. We try to support a lot of those groups and spread the love. So as far as what we listened to during recording was the same old stuff we always listen to. I tried to listen to a lot of Fleetwood Mac to channel that vibe, and I think Weston was listening to some Ape Machine at times. Keef Mountain and BUS were also on the stereo. The music itself doesn't influence our sound per se, but the heavy atmospheric vibe of some of those musicians definitely creeps in there.


Now that the record has been released, do you start thinking 
about writing the next one? How do you look at writing music together as a band? 

We are definitely ready to start writing the next album. I think we have enough subconscious frustrations about the events of the past year (I know I do) to fill a couple albums. It's going to be heavier that our last albums, but we always want to stay true to ourselves and our "sound," which always seems to have a folk/blues element to it. I generally keep a Word doc full of lyrics and when we jam out tunes that we all seem to agree on and find lyrics that will fit nicely with a good melody, it usually evolves into a song, with some tweaking here and there. Although we are looking to do things in a more collaborative and organic way this time around.

Do you have any favourite albums of the year and are there any newer bands emerging now you’d recommend seeking out? 

I can't speak for the guy's; they're not here. I know Weston is a fan of about every stoner rock band that comes through our area and goes to as many shows as he can. I think Sasquatch killed it with Manoeuvres, Ruby the Hatchet with Planetary Space Child, Kadavar with Rough Times, and The Midnight Ghost Train with Cypress Ave. And we will always make an effort to support our label mates on DHU Records and The Company, so if you haven't checked them out, please do. There are a lot of local bands in the Topeka, Lawrence, and KC area that are wildly underexposed; Keef Mountain, Merlin, Inner Altar, Custom Black, Hyborian, Godzillionaire, Gnarly Davidson, Stone Grower, and many, many more that are ALL worth checking out.

There’s a lot there to check out! I think it’s fair to say DHU Records have an eye/ear for great bands especially newer acts; It’s been interesting to hear their output this year. 

I agree! And I can't stress enough for everyone to keep an eye on The Company's next releases as well.

Yeah definitely! Thanks for speaking to me today Bailey, it’s been great to hear from you, happy new year good luck in 2018!

Thanks, John! I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. Wish all the best for you in 2018!




Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Atom Heart Mutha December 2017 goes out live...

... and directly online to Mixcloud on Saturday the 9th at 8pm as part of the Bigjaf.net RockShow's Mixcloud bundle. You can hear it at www.mixcloud.com/bigjaf As always the encore performance will go out on the awesome American Station Grip of Delusion Radio the next day on the 10th at 10amEST/4pmCET/3pmUK.
Sadly this will most likely be the final mix for G.O.D as the station will start the process of closing down in January. Atom Heart Mutha has been proud to be a part of the Station for the past two and a Half Years and wish all involved a happy future. The Mixes will continue via BigJaf.net for the foreseeable future.
This months Spaced- Out Psych Mix will feature brand new tracks from recently released and upcoming records by Mugstar, Vespero and TBWNIAS and some older favourites too; until then you can check out last months broadcast on the mixcloud player below.
Track List:
Barrows - Nebula
Quantum Fantay - Astral Projection
Motherbox - Meniscus
Øresund Space Collective - Viking Cleaner
Shamall - Companion of Fortune
Ozric Tentacles - Chewier
The Amorphous Androgynous - Elysian Feels ( Abbey Road Version)
Agusa - Sorgenfri
Musicformessier - Ursa Minor
CB3 - Meditation II





Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2017. Space Witch - Arcanum.


Hi Peter! Its great to catch up with you. How has 2017 been for the band?

Hi there! Yes, it’s been a good year for Space Witch. We released Arcanum in June to some humbling reviews and played some standout shows off the back of it. We got to play with great bands and we met wonderful and supportive people along the way. We’re also very pleased to be working with Planet of Doom on the forthcoming feature film. Thanks for picking the album as one of your top 10 of 2017 and thank you to everyone for your continued support.

My pleasure, its a brilliant record. Tell me a little about the processes you go through as a band when you're recording.

When we’re recording we try to use the time we have as best we can. Whether that means playing the same riff or phrase over and over till its bang on or changing something previously written, it’s all about getting it the best it can be. We’re pretty open to introducing new ideas in the studio as well. Some of the best moments, for me, have been the spontaneous additions or the happy accidents.

What were you listening to whilst you recorded the album? Does that ever influence your sound?

I don’t know if there was anything in particular that any of us we’re listening to which directly affected the output. I definitely think that some of our extra musical interests were brought into the writing process.  Daz and Dan had seen Magma play London not long before we started writing and I was spiralling down a prog hole, so we decided to introduce longer passages where we could experiment with the sound a lot more and let a new direction take its course.

I think thats what made the record stand out so much the first time I heard it; it's not afraid to evolve in unexpected ways.  Do you find it easy to agree as a band when a song is finished, or is there a temptation to keep adding new ideas?

We are quite good, as a band, at knowing when a track is finished, but that isn’t to say that it can’t change before, or during recording.  Sometimes, those previously mentioned “happy accidents” make their way into the finished article of their own accord.  So, it’s so much a temptation to add new ideas as making room for anything that might emerge naturally. 

Now that the record has been released, do you start thinking about writing the next one?  How do look at writing music together as a band?

It usually happens in one of two ways.  One of us will have a riff or phrase that they will bring to practice and then we jam it out to see where it leads.  Alternatively, we jam together and we’ll hit on something and try to reverse engineer that improvised section to recapture that moment and write it into something.  A lot tends to build on its own as we progress with a track but, I think it’s about being open to trying just about anything.






The cover art is really distinctive and well suited to the music.  In terms of the whole package, it lends itself well to vinyl and the experience of owning a whole piece of work.  Where did the idea for the design come from?

With the first record, Daz wanted to tell the story of Space Witch up to that point. The artwork done for the self-titled release by Alan O’Neil really captures that.  So, with Arcanum, we wanted to carry on that same process and explain where we were up to as a band.  The Witch at the centre of Sun has been through a lot over the decade of her existence so, we thought it was time for her Rebirth and it felt right with change in musical direction.  Adam Burke of Nightjar Illustrations created the piece and it was a pleasure to work with him.

You mentioned earlier you are working with Planet Of Doom on a feature film; what can you tell us about that?

We were contacted by David Paul Seymour and jumped at the opportunity when asked.  It’s an ambitious, animated, revenge tale featuring music by the likes of Elephant Tree, Summoner and Slomatics and a roster of incredible artists.  It is an honour, for us, to be working with everyone that’s involved in the project and it’s been a refreshing experience to write something for film.  There’s no release date but Tim Granda, the lead animator, is shooting for the end of 2018.  We wish him the best of luck and can’t wait to see the finished product.

Do you have any favourite albums of the year and are there any newer bands emerging now you’d recommend seeking out?

2017 has been an outstanding year for music and, honestly, I don’t know the last time my ears felt this spoilt. Best albums, so far, have to be Run The Jewels 3, Thundercat – Drunk, Bjork – Utopia, Godspeed you! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers, and Ufomammut 8.  New bands I would suggest would be Under from Stockport, England, who released an immense album on APF records called Slick and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets from Perth, Australia with High Visceral (Part 2).

Yeah there's some great recommendations there, thank you!  Do you have any tour dates booked for 2018?

We’ve got a couple of gigs on the horizon but nothing set in stone as of yet.  We’ve started to work on ideas for the next record and we’re currently jamming and playing around with them.  But there’ll definitely be much more riffs, grooves and witchery next year.


Thanks again for Catching up Peter, looking forward to hearing more from you and the band in 2018.









Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2017. Hotel Wrecking City Traders - Passage To Agartha

Hi Ben! It’s great to catch up with you; how’s things?

Hi John!  Good to hear from you too man.  Things are great! We're playing our last show of the year tomorrow night, with our Cardinal Fuzz label-mates - ZONG.  They had a show fall through and Zac got in touch to see if I could book something last-minute, so we did, and it'll be a sweaty, hot day here in Melbourne for it! Thunderstorms are predicted, so it might get quite tropical!

That's a great double bill!  From what I understand, there’s a great scene right now in Melbourne; do you share a bill with the same bands often or mix it up?

Melbourne is pretty crazy for the sheer number of bands and venues.  It’s a very active city in that regard. We try to mix it up as often as possible every time we play and try and mix genres and styles for each bill as well. Occasionally, we’ll do a small festival or all dayer, with a sort of focused, heavy genre vibe.   Mostly, we like our shows to represent our own tastes and just enjoy playing with interesting bands and artists from all walks of life and genres.  When we toured Japan, this was evident at every show; a real mish-mash of styles, and it makes for a fun time for those playing and attending in the audience.

How has 2017 been for the band?

It's been a good one.  We released our latest double album 'Passage to Agartha' in September and have had our good friend Josh (Spider Goat Canyon) playing bass with us since around June or so. It's been a good time and the feedback on the record has been super positive.  It was great working with Cardinal Fuzz for the first time and Evil Hoodoo for the second time.

Yeah, I was really pleased to see you were involved with  Cardinal Fuzz; they’re a great label to partner with Evil Hoodoo.
Tell me a little bit about the processes you go through as a band when you're recording.

We work quickly. This is mainly due to budget.  Most records are done in a single day and are improvised wholly in the studio on that day.  For 'Passage to Agartha' we did 2 days and a day of overdubs (bass and synth).  This is why it took a little longer.  We really enjoy the improvisational aspect of recording and allowing intuition and the nuances of interpretation between us to come to the fore. We've recorded at a bunch of different studios over the course of the bands history, as a change in environment from record to record seems to work well for us and creates a sense of adventure.  We record live together, no studio trickery or anything like that.  It's all very much a capturing of a moment in time for us each time we are in there.

It's incredible how tight that sound is, especially coming from intuitive jamming.  Does it take a lot of rehearsal or are you in place where you and Toby can read each others cues instinctively
Thanks. Yeah, people ask us at shows all the time what the song we played was and which album it’s on! Funny thing is for us, records and shows are often two separate endeavors. We do occasionally combine the two, but it really depends how many minutes we are allotted and judge it on a show to show basis as to whether or not we will play anything off a record. Our songs are traditionally very long so for us to play one song is sometimes an entire 30-minute set. We go back and usually pick a couple of songs of a record and learn them and then have those in the back pocket should we feel like playing them at a show where we have a longer amount of time to play with. In terms of rehearsal, we try to get together once a week with the sole reason being the catharsis and the sheer joy of it. Depending on what is ahead, we may dedicate some time to learning old songs again but really for us, the goal is forward progression and trying to create new and interesting ideas that sometimes we will visit at the live shows. It might be a tuning or a tempo or a beat. Occasionally riffs will morph into the set from previous jams but really, we take each show as its own moment and its own entity. It keeps it exciting for us that way, and for those who come see us live on the regular – each show is different. It’s more interesting for them, too.

What were you listening too whilst you recorded the album? Does that ever influence your sound?

Toby and I both have quite far-reaching and broad tastes. When we record, we don't really listen to anything and allow our ears a bit of a break after the inevitable ensuing onslaught. I do recall listening to stuff in the car to and from the studio, but I can't recall exactly what it was. I think any artist or musician is influenced by what they listen to somewhat. We are more influenced by how we feel on recording day and how much coffee we've had and how many beers get emptied and how much weed is torched. But predominantly our music is a reflection of ourselves as individuals and how we join together. It is a product of an internal and shared environment and is about feeling certain ways on certain days. Some positive, some negative. It’s a tapestry of different expressions and experiences and how they affect us. This time around felt for me personally, like it went by really quickly. We recorded 2 hours plus of music in a day or so.



Now that the record has been released, do you start thinking about writing the next one?  How do look at writing music together as a band?

Yeah for sure. We are talking about recording our first one with Josh as a trio in the new year,  probably February or March.  I think this one will continue in a heavily improvisational approach as that's what we do when we get in the jam room and play. We rehearsed two tracks of the latest record for our recent live shows which we sandwich in between long improvised chaos.

It must be interesting to see how the added dimension with Josh steers the new music; is he coming tonally from the same place as you and Toby?

Josh has his own thing going on for sure.  We have a project called Daggers Mid Flight, which has released two albums and played a bunch of shows.  It is essentially a no rehearsal, improvised collaboration between HWCT and Spider Goat Canyon. We’ve known Josh for a decade now and played shows together separately and a Daggers Mid Flight.  We’ve toured Japan and Australia together and get along great as friends.  So as far as how things are sounding right now, both Toby and Josh kind of just made some very minor adjustments to their tonal approaches, so as to create this mammoth wall of sound.  The reason we asked Josh to play with us was because of his very unique playing style, and an unconventional approach to tones.  He loves improvising and from day dot with him, it’s been so effortless and just a total blast. We’re very stoked to have him.

Japan must’ve been a thrill?  Can you see yourselves travelling further in the future? It’d be brilliant to see you, here in the U.K. 

Japan was a great time. We played 12 shows all across the country. The last time we were in the UK was 2012. We played Deserfest and did one of favorite ever shows in Bristol, in a church with Hey Colossus; The Body and Arabrot.  It was a great experience.  We are really keen to make it back to the UK for shows with the Hey Colossus boys and back to Spain and hopefully some other European locations. We would absolutely love to get to France and Germany.  If anyone reading this is keen; drop us a line! We’re looking to play shows in New Zealand in the first half of 2018 and would very much love to get back to your side of the world, soon after.

Do you have any favourite albums of the year and are there any newer bands emerging now you’d recommend seeking out?

This year has seen some great releases. Tobz and I are both digging on the new Quicksand album 'Interiors'.  They were a favorite of ours in the early 90's when we first started getting into playing and learning our instruments. We're actually going to see them play in March and are super excited for that.  Newer bands-wise....we're into our friends, Mote, who we asked to play with us tomorrow night.  Mote are this sort of kraut-inspired, post-punk-ish sounding band, with great guitar lines and synth drones. We both dug on the latest Part Chimp record that came out this year, and of course the latest Hey Colossus record 'Guillotine'.  I literally just listened to a track off the forthcoming Carlton Melton LP, due out in Feb, and that was sounding great!  I know Toby has been thrashing 'War Moans' by Mutoid Man a lot when he picks me up in his car.  Also 'Every Country's Sun' - Mogwai is great. We'll be seeing them in March, too.  Always a great live show.  I just discovered Angel Olsen and have been enjoying listening to her songs, too.

Thanks again for catching up with me Ben, it’s been a pleasure. I’m really looking forward to seeing where the band go in 2018. I’ve asked some of the bands to put together a mixtape to be included with the interview; there’s some really interesting choices in yours.  What would you say these choices represent for you? 

It was my pleasure.  Thanks for your support of what we do and for asking us to participate in this interview.  I just put that together, in a sort of stream of consciousness type way.  Haha!  I looked at what had the most plays on my computer and just started putting the songs in there, in no particular order.  I tried to include a few of Toby's faves in there too.  Variety is the spice of life and the musical ocean is as deep as it is far and wide - dive in and go for a swim!  Look out for the sharks!
Cheers, John






On This Weeks Atom Heart Mutha for Hard Rock Hell Radio... (8.12.17)

This week's show for Hard Rock Hell Radio Goes out at 13.00 on Friday December 8th, Tune in for 2 hours of the very best HeavyPsychedelic Stoned and Fuzzed Up Rock'N'Roll featuring Church Of The Cosmic Skull, Earth Witch, Eternal Tapestry, Hills, Little Foot Long Foot, Prins Obi, Seven That Spells and War Cloud. On top of that, there's killer cuts from brand new and current releases by Dead Vibrations, Fuzz Evil, Mississippi Bones, Mugstar, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Vast Asteroid and Zuma Birds. so don't miss it! You can hear the Show via the HRHR Webpage HERE, or the dedicated app for iOS and android. Feel free to contact me via AHM's FB, Twitter or email if you'd like to hear anything in particular; if you would like to be considered for airplay on the show message me for details. Each show is archived every week once it's gone out live, you can find them on the new HRH Atom Heart Mutha Mixcloud page HERE, check out the page and click follow to be kept up to date with each newly archived show.


Treat your brain to a new Atom Heart Mutha show every week on Hard Rock Hell Radio; if you missed last weeks show you can stream it now on the player below, go for it !




Monday, 4 December 2017

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2017. As Chosen by Viva El Swain.


Find Viva El Swain on Twitter, HERE.

I've been very fortunate this year to have David 'Viva El' Swain join me  on the Atom Heart Mutha Blog as a reviewer and contributor. His ever expanding journey into Psych Rock and Stoner Vibes, as well as more recently the Australian desert rock scene is infectious, he's introduced me to some great music this year and it's very cool having him here at AHM.
I asked him recently what his favourite albums of the year were and this is his reply. He's also compiled an excellent mixtape of tracks from this year for you to hear, Dig It!
"I could compile a huge list of albums I’ve listened to this year but for an end of year top ten I have to go back to the ones I choose to play and play again. Starting with Siena Root and it’s jazz tinged journeys, King Gizzard sneaked in just recently with their fifth album in twelve months. I love the music from the desert wherever that might be so Endless Boogie nailed it with acid jams and a song about a kite fair in ‘74. Speaking of desert climates the recent influx of Australian psych rock bands caught my attention with superb albums from Psychedelic Porn Crumpets and Motherslug plus new band Planet of the 8s. Monstrous returns from Queens of the Stone Age and Monolord sure up the list that is topped by what I term as Stoner Jazz, the wonderful album by Colour Haze, who experiment with strings, brass and woodwind to create a huge sound.
Thanks 2017".



1. Colour Haze - In Her Garden
2. Planet of the 8s - Planet of the 8s
3. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - High Visceral vol 2
4. Queens of the Stone Age - Villains
5. Monolord - Rust
6. Geezer - Psychoriffadelia
7. Motherslug - The Electric Dunes Of Titan
8. Endless Boogie- Vibe Killer
9. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Polygondwanaland 1
10. Siena Root - A Dream of Lasting Peace




Track List: 1. Petyr - Old and Creepy   2. Fumed - Lucifer’s Cure   3. Siena Root - Imaginarium   4. Monolord - Rust   5. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet   6. Geezer - Red Hook   7. Motherslug - Stoned by the Light   8. Colour Haze - Skydancer   9. Here Lies Man - You Ain't Going' Nowhere   10. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - First Light in the Garden at Chipping   11. Planet of the 8s - Lucky #7   12. Endless Boogie - Back in ‘74   13. The Dues - What a Fool

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Atom Heart Mutha - 2017 Review...AHM's Favourite Albums of the Year: Top Ten.

On December 1st Atom Heart Mutha Started to look at some of the album highlights of the year, you can see the first 30 Here at

https://atomheartmutha.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/atom-heart-mutha-2017-reviewahms_30.html

Following on is a List of my favourite 10 albums, again in alphabetical order.
As before you'll find playable versions of them to hear by clicking the players. Over the coming weeks I'll be discussing some of the final 10 in more detail with many of the artists that recorded them.


Be sure to keep checking back for more on the albums that shaped 2017 and a few surprises too including the albums of the year according to Atom Heart Mutha Contributor Viva El Swain!


Gnoomes - Tschak! 
Released in March of this year, the Russian trio delivered an exceptional blend of psychedelic rock and kosmische styles. Released by Rocket Recordings 'Tschak!' is the sound of electronic madness and technical focus leading to one fantastic whole



Here Lies Man - Here Lies Man
April saw California stoner label Riding Easy Records release the answer to a question posed by Marcos Garcia of Antibalas, "What if Black Sabbath played acrobat?" The result was a fuzzy masterpiece of groove and rhythm, completely irresistible from the first listen.



Hotel Wrecking City Traders - Passage To Agartha
The Australian duo released an incredible album of heavy psychedelic jams, tightly recorded and performed at the end of this year.  'PTA' was a huge step forward, in terms of song writing, from 2016s superb 'Phantamonium'.  Utterly engaging from start to finish.



The Judge - Tell It To The Judge
Following last years brilliant debut on Ripple Music, the Illinois four-piece powered forward this summer with 9 tracks of heavy psychedelia and hard rock. Once more, the band have successfully unleashed an album of vintage style with contemporary attitude.



Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
Now in their tenth year, the Berlin trio released their most accomplished and absorbing album to date. Both addictive and compelling; this an album that continues to evolve and grow with every listen.



Space Witch - Arcanum
An unexpected treat from Stoke On Trent, in the UK, came via the band Space Witch in June of this year.  The four tracks on offer moved effortlessly through stoned out space prog to expansive doom and beyond; long experimental pieces unravel themselves over 40 minutes of captivating sounds.



Vuelveteloca - Sonora
Fuzz Club Records released the Chilean hard-psych outfits fifth release in October of this year to instant praise.  Full of dark, heavy, stoned rock vibes 'Sonora' is an album that will continue to deliver for years to come.  Without a doubt, this is one of those records I wish I could hear for the first time again.



Youngblood Supercult - The great American Death Rattle
Released by DHU Records in the summer of this year; 'The Great American Death Rattle' is a stunning album.  Each of the nine tracks standout as works of rock'n'roll art; deeply satisfying with every listen, this a record everybody should hear; immediately!



Spectral Haze - Turning Electric
For their third album, Spectral Haze released an excellent slab of dirty, heavy, psych rock'n'roll with a fantastic space rock vibe. Heavy as fck and better the louder it's played. Turning electric is the finest rock record you'll hear this year.





Siena Root - A Dream Of Lasting Peace.
Stockholm's Siena Root have been around a while, surviving a few lineup changes.  'A Dream of Lasting Peace' sees the band push the envelope, in terms of accomplished song writing and skill. Every track oozes charisma and style, in an album loaded with brilliant hooks.  Following it's release, the band also toured with Deep Purple, as part of their tour in Germany.




Thursday, 30 November 2017

Atom Heart Mutha - 2017 Review...AHM's Favourite Albums of the Year: The First Batch.


As 2017 draws to a close it's time to look back at some of the highlights of the year. Over the coming weeks I'll be looking at some of the albums that shaped 2017 for Atom Heart Mutha here on the blog and on the various radio shows. First off is a List of my favourite albums, listed  in alphabetical order, below You'll find playable versions of them to hear too.
On December 4th i'll be announcing my favourite 10 so be sure to come back for more!

Over the following weeks I'll be discussing some of the final 10 in more detail and interviewing many of the bands that recorded them.
Decembers Atom Heart Mutha on Hard Rock Hell Radio will feature some of my favourite tracks of the year too well as some brand new songs off albums due in the new year.

December 20th will see a special post, I won't be revealing what that is until the day but I can promise it's going to be superb. Towards the end of the month there'll be a review of some of my favourite reissues/live/Eps and split releases. Enjoy the list and if you like what you hear, please support the bands and artists.

This years Shows for Hard Rock Hell Radio can be heard on the archive HERE on the HRH Atom Heart Mutha Mixcloud Page.
Enjoy the List and check back for the Final ten and more brilliant music from 2017.


10 000 Russos - Distress Distress
Atomic Simao - Echo
Blues Funeral - Awakening
Buried Feather - Mind Of The Swarm
Cobra Family Picnic - Magnetic Anomaly
Dead Sea Apes - Sixth Side Of The Pentagon
Devil's Witches - Velvet Magic
Doublestone - Devils Own/Djaevlens Egn
Ecstatic Vision - Raw Rock Fury
Elder - Reflections Of A Floating World
Electric Moon - Stardust Rituals
Hibushibire - Freak Out Orgasm!
JuJu - Our Mother Was A Plant
Kabbalah - Spectral Ascent
Knall - Raubkatze Auf 12 Uhr
Kungens Män - Dag & Natt
Lamagaia - Lamagaia
Meteor Chasma - A Monkey Into Space
Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol.2
Mother Engine - Hangar
Mothership - High Strangeness
Øresund Space Collective - Hallucinations Inside The Oracle
Petyr - Petyr
R.I.P - Street Reaper
Sasquatch - Maneuvers
Snowy Dunes - Atlantis
The Spacelords - Water Planet
White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat
Young Hunter - Day Hiker
Zong - Zong































































Tuesday, 28 November 2017

On This Weeks Atom Heart Mutha for Hard Rock Hell Radio... (1.12.17)

This week's show for Hard Rock Hell Radio Goes out at 13.00 on Friday December 1st, Tune in for 2 hours of the very best HeavyPsychedelic Stoned and Fuzzed Up Rock'N'Roll featuring 1968, Chef Mentor, Flex Bison, Hookworms, Red Spektor and The Electric Shakes. On top of that, there's killer cuts from brand new and current releases by Electric Wizard, Here Lies Man, His Masters Voice, Jonathan Morgan, Planet Of The 8s, Snowy Dunes and Vespero so don't miss it!
You can hear the Show via the HRHR Webpage HERE, or the dedicated app for iOS and android. Feel free to contact me via AHM's FB, Twitter or email if you'd like to hear anything in particular; if you would like to be considered for airplay on the show message me for details. Each show is archived every week once it's gone out live, you can find them on the new HRH Atom Heart Mutha Mixcloud page HERE, check out the page and click follow to be kept up to date with each newly archived show.



Treat your brain to a new Atom Heart Mutha show every week on Hard Rock Hell Radio; if you missed last weeks show you can stream it now on the player below, go for it !




Monday, 27 November 2017

Planet Of The 8s - Planet Of The 8s


Words by Viva El Swain
Over the past few months, most of the music catching my attention, as I browse through the new releases,   seems to be coming from the Southern Hemisphere.  Here is another example that was passed in my direction by Atom Heart Mutha himself.

Planet Of The 8s hail from Newcastle NSW but are now based in Melbourne; they describe themselves as "heavy in parts but ass shakingly groovy". The trio consist of Michael Sullivan on bass & vocals, Justin Cruickshank on guitar and Peter Carter on drums. The self titled album was conceived from the off to be a 12" vinyl release, with the concept of the two sides being Space & Time, which incidentally was going to be the the album title (the first run of CD’s still bear this title) before the self title change.

Space: 'You Are Here' opens the album with the lyrics “space in another dimension, time that’s twisted lies” echoing the album title and concept; it’s built on a solid guitar hook, as it progresses it deviates and changes keeping you attached, before moving into an instrumental solo guitar, oozing unison bends and other such techniques. Ultimately, there's no point avoiding it, or skirting around the huge cactus in the room (ouch) these guys do sound like the evolution of Kyuss into early Queens of the Stone Age over most of the first side of the album. That said there are some really great songs here, superb vocals over solid stoner vibes that sound huge, third track 'Hands On' shows off that ass shaking vibe they speak about and is a worthy single.

Time: Swirling feedback introduces 'Transcending on the Golden Plains' followed with a fast paced riff with a rather other worldly motif and something about naked pixies prancing.  Lucky #7 builds on this template crushingly heavy but not venturing into metal but is definitely darker with a stoner vibe and shakes off the stereotypes that side one opened with. For me, The Alchemist is an album highlight with its distorted opening riff and mid song guitar break that doesn't linger, lasting only 4.07 gives a sense of get in, do your job and get out. I think this is the appeal of this band and album, it contains many of the requirements of this genre,

Plantet Of The 8s is heavy; it has a growing menace throughput but it doesn't fall into the trap of long jams or trips into psychedelia; it's tight, concise almost having a pop sensibility of the song comes first rather than over indulgence.

Something is happening in the Australian desert scene and I like it.

Planet Of The 8s Bandcamp.

Planet Of The 8s Facebook



Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Atom Heart Mutha's 2017 Review Starts on December 1st


Atom Heart Mutha's end of year review kicks off on December 1st. Check in to find out Atom Heart Mutha's albums of the year and much more.
December 1st - Atom Heart Muthas's Favourite Albums of 2017 : The First Batch.
December 4th - Atom Heart Mutha's Favourite Albums Of 2017:The Top 10.
Throughout the following 2 weeks we'll look at some of the albums in more detail by talking about them with the people that made them, there'll be some surprises in there too!
December 20th - A secret gift to be announced on the day, trust us, you won't want to miss it.
Until then enjoy a playback of last years Transmissions From The Psychedelic Basement Prog Special which was put together with the warped geniuses and good friends of Atom Heart Mutha from Thee Psychedelicatessen especially for the season. Enjoy !


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

On This Weeks Atom Heart Mutha for Hard Rock Hell Radio... (24.11.17)

This week's show for Hard Rock Hell Radio Goes out at 13.00 on Friday November 24th, Tune in for 2 hours of the very best HeavyPsychedelic Stoned and Fuzzed Up Rock'N'Roll featuring Age Of Man, Hibushibire, Kabbalah, Mothership, Summoner, The Necromancers and Turbobobcat. On top of that, there's killer cuts from brand new and current releases by Here Lies Man, Mother Mars, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Son Of The Morning, The Grizzled Mighty, Youngblood Supercult and Zong  so don't miss it! You can hear the Show via the HRHR Webpage HERE, or the dedicated app for iOS and android. Feel free to contact me via AHM's FB, Twitter or email if you'd like to hear anything in particular; if you would like to be considered for airplay on the show message me for details. Each show is archived every week once it's gone out live, you can find them on the new HRH Atom Heart Mutha Mixcloud page HERE, check out the page and click follow to be kept up to date with each newly archived show.


Treat your brain to a new Atom Heart Mutha show every week on Hard Rock Hell Radio; if you missed last weeks show you can stream it now on the player below, go for it !

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

On This Weeks Atom Heart Mutha for Hard Rock Hell Radio... (17.11.17)

This week's show for Hard Rock Hell Radio Goes out at 13.00 on Friday November 17th, Tune in for 2 hours of the very best HeavyPsychedelic Stoned and Fuzzed Up Rock'N'Roll featuring Atomic Simao, Blues Funeral, Doublestone, Monolord, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Siena Root and Space Witch. On top of that, there's killer cuts from brand new and current releases by Angus Black, Black Road, Cause Sui, GorillaPulp House Of Broken Promises, Sumokem, Three Seasons so don't miss it! You can hear the Show via the HRHR Webpage HERE, or the dedicated app for iOS and android. Feel free to contact me via AHM's FB, Twitter or email if you'd like to hear anything in particular; if you would like to be considered for airplay on the show message me for details. Each show is archived every week once it's gone out live, you can find them on the new HRH Atom Heart Mutha Mixcloud page HERE, check out the page and click follow to be kept up to date with each newly archived show.


Treat your brain to a new Atom Heart Mutha show every week on Hard Rock Hell Radio; if you missed last weeks show you can stream it now on the player below, go for it !