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Forever The Talk of The Town with The Speedways

The Speedway at Medley MAlmo 2022

 

Over the last two years The Speedways have continued to blaze a trail of power pop excellence.  On June 29, 2020 The Speedways shined a light through the darkness of the Covid 19 Pandemic by releasing Radio Sounds. Musically, Radio Sounds expanded upon The Speedways captivating pop sensibilities, catchy melodies and longing love songs. This is brilliantly done by reviving an attitude found in late 1970’s rock n’ roll but with a spirit of ’79 punk infused power pop sound. It’s the kind of music meant for the romanticism of youthful idealism and nostalgic yearnings.

Furthermore, while the previous album Just Another Regular Summer was the sole manifestation of Matt Julian, Radio Sounds introduced more collaborative approach from all the members of the band. Continuing on this note in 2021, The Speedways released of Borrowed and Blue. This 10” record celebrated their take on songs like Abba’s “SOS,” and the very sentimental Hanoi Rock’s “11th Street Kids.”

Continuing to show their versatility The Speedways hit the remainder of the year running. This was perfectly shown on September 25, 2021. The Speedways found themselves thrust into headlining Some Weird Sin’s Pump It Up Power Pop Weekender. This was unexpected, but ended up being a welcome performance. The Speedways took to the stage with a powerful energy that was in turn well received by their audience.

2022 has further seen The Speedways reach new heights. They recorded a new record Talk Of The Town and single “Shoulda Known”/”A Drop In The Ocean”that is due later this year.  The Speedways toured both Sweden and Spain in May 2022. This was followed by a quick jaunt over to Germany in June 2022. All of this is setting he stage for a much anticipated return to Some Weird Sins  Pump It Pump  Power Pop Weekender on July 2, 2022.

It’s clear The Speedways have remained ever vigilant.  To learn more about their developments during the last couple of years, I caught up with Adrian Alfonso, Mauro Venegas and Matt Julian. We chatted about their appreciation for Hanoi Rocks, touring Sweden fort the first time, Ronnie Specter, their new album Talk Of The Town and more…..

NixBeat: Last we spoke The Speedways had been in hibernation due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. However, in 2021 with the availability of vaccines and end to lockdowns, The Speedways were able to start performing again. How does it feel to be able to play gigs again?

Adrian Alfonso: Pretty great, we’re not alone in feeling like there’s a lot of time to make up for. Especially with our new songs it’s been great to play them live, though we didn’t really get much of a chance to play stuff off Radio Sounds. There’s a little anxiety as I know it can be overwhelming for people going to gigs with just the sheer volume of things happening. So far all the gigs we’ve played have been great and have had really good turnouts. I feel very grateful that people are supporting us.

Mauro Venegas: feels amazing!! Especially going abroad again, and especially playing the new material live.

NixBeat: In 2021 The Speedways released the Borrowed & Blue 10” via Snap Records. On this record you include of a cover of Hanoi Rock’s “11th Street Kids.” You also did a music video for it that was posted to youtube on May 12. 2021. What prompted you to cover this track?

Adrian Alfonso: They’re a band that at least Mauro, Matt and myself have all bonded over. I always felt like they were a band that often get dismissed for their image. When I first met Mauro a decade ago and saw him holding one of their records, I excitedly ran over and started chatting with him about them. I remember a couple years after that I was an extra in a video shoot for Mauro’s band at the time Jonny Cola and the A-Grades and was telling Mauro how I’d just started learning guitar and was finding it pretty tricky, then he spotted my Hanoi Rocks tattoo then started playing the intro to “11th Street Kids” to be a show off… They’re often a band we’ll play in the van when we’re on tour and I think it was after a gig in Spain, we were in the hotel without guitars and drunkenly suggested we covered “Until I get you.” We had a bit of a sing-song and figured nothing would come of that. But the pandemic happened and we couldn’t really get together. So, the covers EP came up and I think Mauro mentioned doing either one of those songs ,and I think we all agreed that “11th Street Kids” would be better for us as it’s a little more upbeat.

Mauro Venegas: Probably been covered by one of my bandmates, but Hanoi are a band that Matt and I (and Adrian and I) bonded over when we first got to know each other — only those who are really “in the know” appreciate them for what they were and know how significant they were. They don’t get the proper dues they deserve! So yeah, this was one we used to mess about with in hotel rooms on tour (we considered covering “Until I Get You” as well, but realised this would probably fit us better). I know he didn’t grow up with ’em like the rest of us did, so I was really chuffed when Kris was on board with the idea!

Matt Julian: As the guys say, we have a mutual love of Hanoi. “11th Street Kids” felt like the right choice. It’s got a punk rock nostalgia that resonates within us all!

NixBeat: Because it’s one of my favorites, and you did it so well, what prompted you to cover Abba’s “SOS?”

Adrian Alfonso: We like the song.

Matt Julian: I love how brooding and unsettling the verse is ,and how the chorus just explodes. I don’t remember what prompted it, but it had been a consideration for a little while. We all love ABBA. It was a popular choice.

NixBeat: Nambucca has recently closed it’s doors on May 14th 2022. As The Speedways have played this legendary club numerous times, how has it’s closure affected you and the music community in London?

Adrian Alfonso: It’s very sad news, it was always a great venue to play, and there are so few venues left in London already. In particular, Nambucca had a sense of home for us as it’s on Holloway Road which has always had a lot of significance for the band.

Mauro Venegas: Maybe affected me most actually, as I ran so many nights there for several years. Some of the best ‘Some Weird Sins’ were there. It had a great vibe and wasn’t like any of the other similar sized venues on the circuit. Things got a bit more out of control there at times! It’ll be sadly missed.

Matt Julian: I’ve met some of my best friends there so I’ll always remember it for that (among other things). We did our first headline gig there in 2018. It’s a shame to see it go. Holloway Road looms large in the Speedways legend. Eerily so.

NixBeat: On September 25, 2021 The Speedways played Some Weird Sin’s “Pump It Up Power Pop Weekender” at the Lexington in London, England. What was it like to perform for Pump It Up again?

Adrian Alfonso: We feel a bit like the house band at this point. The band was only ever supposed to play one gig at the first ever weekender in 2018. So it’s also felt a bit like our home. The atmosphere all weekend was great. There were some bands that unfortunately had to cancel due to the situation with Covid. Every band that did manage to come along were really excited to play ,and the crowds were great. We ended up headlining the Saturday, that had us all a bit nervous, but it was probably the best gig we’d ever played at that point, and it was fantastic that it was in our home city.

Mauro Venegas: Personally speaking, that was one of the (if not the) best Speedways show ever. It was very intense and it all poured out of us on the night. All the uncertainty and emotion that we’d been through over that summer (and probably over the whole lockdown period before that), and having such a hugely enthusiastic crowd response gave us a huge boost. Of course, we weren’t meant to headline at all, but ended up doing so, and it worked out pretty well for us atmosphere-wise!

Matt Julian: Yeah, we accidentally headlined the Saturday night due to a cancellation, so that was a bit stressful in the sense we hadn’t prepared a set list long enough to headline! But, we were all on our A-game that night and nailed the unrehearsed encores. Like Mauro says, there was something quite emotional about the weekend as a whole, but it turned out to be one of our best ever shows. One of those special ones where the audience and band are enjoying it as much as each other.

NixBeat: On November 10th 2021 it was announced on The Speedways Facebook page that you all would be up and running again in 2022. Was there some doubt about The Speedways continuing on as a group?

Matt Julian: For a time there was yeah. I had a setback and needed to hide away for a while. It was nothing to do with the Speedways, it was my own personal thing you know? Even at the level we play it can be tough to find the courage to get on stage or be creative if you’re doubting your value as a person. I know that sounds very deep haha, but we all have to deal with things in our own way at times. People say I take things to heart too much. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to write a song as pretty as “Empty Pages”— so I guess it’s swings and roundabouts. I’m glad I take things to heart. The band were really supportive and gave me the space to pull myself together (well, as pulled together as I ever get anyway). They were absolutely great. I listened to a lot of Lana Del Rey and took up smoking.

NixBeat: Matthew, I know The Ronnettes and Ronnie Spector are big influences for you. When Ronnie Spector passed away on January 12, 2022 you eulogized her via a Facebook post. Can you expand on how Ronnie Spector has influenced you and your music?

Matt Julian: I’ve just always loved her voice and the Phil Spector sound since I first heard “Be My Baby” She joins up the dots in my record collection. The first Speedways record in particular is hugely influenced by the romance of Ronnie Spector. “One Kiss Can Lead To Another” is built around the “Be My Baby” bass line and “Reunion In The Rain” was very much an attempt at a Ronettes style song. She’s now sadly missed like so many others.

NixBeat: So far 2022 has been busy for The Speedways. You all toured Sweden and Spain in May 2022. This was a first time playing in Sweden. What was your reception in Sweden like?

Adrian Alfonso: It’s always daunting to play somewhere new, but the people in Sweden were very welcoming and enthusiastic.

Matt Julian: It was really good. The hospitality and welcome we received in Malmo was amazing. We got to play a couple of cool shows and also check in with Trevor who runs Beluga Records—plus a little trip to the ABBA museum on a boat from Stockholm harbour. It’s a very beautiful place. Would love to go back.

NixBeat: How was it returning to play in Spain and what were some of the highlights?

Adrian Alfonso: Spain feels like our second home in many ways, so it felt like an overdue homecoming, though I wish it could have been a bit longer. The highlight for me is the people, they’re always really enthusiastic and really love power pop music and we always end up making new friends each time we go there.

Mauro Venegas: Playing the new stuff! Haha!

Matt Julian: Spain has always been very supportive of the Speedways. My usual highlights are the amount of people at the gigs who know the words, the variety of brilliant music we play in the Speedwaysmobile and eating pan con tomate for breakfast every morning with Kris. We’ll be back again in the autumn to play the Flamin’Go Beach Festival!

NixBeat: The Speedways are due to release a new album Talk Of The Town in November 2022. What can readers expect from your new album?

Adrian Alfonso: There’s a lot of familiar ground as we worked with Jez Leather again as he co-produced the album with us, but this time we went to Perry Vale Studios run by Pat Collier and had the luxury of playing together live. We all really had to push ourselves and really stepped up our playing. There’s more members of the band writing now. I’ve got a song on this one, and it’s the first time I’ve buckled down and written a full song by myself. I admittedly would often rely on whatever band I’m in to help beef up my ideas or get the singer to write the lyrics, so this is definitely a step up for me personally.

Mauro Venegas: Ooh yes! This album has some new twists and turns thrown in. There’s more variety, the performances are better and we’ve not been scared to draw from a much wider pool of influences. It’s harder, it’s poppier, it’s more soulful, it’s more adventurous, it’s the strongest one to date ,and I’m massively proud of it!

Matt Julian: It’s fun for all the family! We’ve collectively contributed songs, as well as arranging stuff more as a band. Mauro sings a couple of tunes this time as well. I was really struggling to write songs during the last two years so I mixed things up a bit and wrote a few songs on the keyboard or around drum machine beats. They didn’t all make the cut, but at least it meant I was writing again. We could have made a straight out “pop” record, and of course there are some power pop bangers on Talk Of The Town, but it was nice to try new things and show off on the guitar a bit. I’m really pleased with my vocals on this album too. Just for the record, I had a dream that the next Speedways album would be called Talk Of The Town. I made a note of it and around a year later I wrote the title song. It has nothing to do with the Pretenders and it has nothing to do with “oh we’re so great, we’re the talk of the town” It’s about paranoia and humiliation.

NixBeat: After getting a little preview from your new single “Shoulda Known”/”A Drop In The Ocean” to be released via Snap Records in September 2022. What are you drawing from for your new track “A Drop In The Ocean?”

Adrian Alfonso: It’s another ballad, and probably the best example of all three of our voices on record to date.

Matt Julian: Yep, another ballad! I originally wrote it in 2019. It’s quite an old one, but I knew it had potential. It’s the kind of thing we do really well and other bands don’t do at all. I’m drawing from all the same places and faces.

NixBeat: The A-side the new single is “Shoulda’ Known.” It seems to be a track about the follies of falling in love again and again. What inspired this song?

Mauro Venegas: I can’t speak for the lyrical side (though I gave Matt the title/chorus as a starting point). This was the first real co-write we’ve done in fact, where I had the music and he came up with lyrics for it, it was great working that way, hopefully we’ll do more of it next time, after all he’s a waaaay better lyricist than I am, haha!

Matt Julian: It was our first actual co-write. Mauro had a great riff and chorus, then I threw in the lyrics and vocal melody on the verse. I had a scrap of paper where I’d written “good things don’t come to those who wait, impatient hearts won’t hesitate to break in two tonight.” That was all I had, but I started singing it over Mauros riff and it fit really nice once I’d fleshed it out a bit. It’s inspired by The Speedways ..It’s a “love gone wrong” song. It’s our bread and butter!

NixBeat:The Speedways are due to perform Pump It UP Power Pop Weekender on July 2nd 2022. The Line up includes The Baby Shakes, The Yum Yums and more! What can readers expect from The Speedways at this festival?

 Adrian Alfonso: It will be a step up from our set at 2021’s weekender, we’re hoping to bring the same energy, but with a load of new songs to play for everyone.

Mauro Venegas: We’re on form right now. Watch out!!

Matt Julian: We’ve only played one UK show this year so hopefully people will come out and see us. Really looking forward to catching up with Baby Shakes again. We’ll aim to steal the show and win over as many new fans as we can.

NixBeat: Are there any plans for a Speedways U.S Tour?

Matt Julian: There are no plans, but it remains a goal for the band. If we get concrete offers and a realistic (geographically) run of shows then absolutely we’d love to! We sell plenty of records to America and have friends over there, so that’s a good place to start. ‘Speedways – Talk Of The USA Tour 2023’ does have a certain ring to it.

NixBeat: What does the future hold for The Speedways?

Adrian Alfonso: Hopefully a lot more touring, and maybe more new music too..

Mauro Venegas: The new record’s on another level to the previous ones. I’m excited to see what people make of it!

Matt Julian: A new album, a single or two, a new video at some point, new t-shirts, Japanese tour, a Jägermeister sponsorship deal. Lot’s of good stuff.

For more about The Speedways, check out their Bandcamp and Facebook!!

Chatting with Bad Sex About More Than The Same Old Song And Dance

Jerry Fowler, Charles Olsen Quinn Walls, and Nick Kruse,

Bad Sex are Portland, Oregon’s answer to power pop. They are Quinn Walls, Nick Kruse, Jerry Fowler and Charles Olsen. Since forming in 2016, Bad Sex have relentlessly jumped to the occasion to make music. They have shared the stage with numerous acts including Giuda, The Dickies, The Queers and Koffin Cats. Their tight catchy melodies nod toward the high energy of 1970s punk rock with the swagger of glam derived rock n’ roll. It’s is a style reminiscent of Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, Protex, or The Beat, all the while twisting to the contemporary flair found in The Exploding Hearts.

Most the world shut down in 2020. However, Bad Sex wasted little time by continuing to write and rehearse. They even made a music video for the track “Miranda.” This hard work paid off with the release of the Miranda/Devil Doll 7” on July 2, 2021. Bad Sex also performed the RKR MTN Rendezvous. This was an all dayer concert that was in conjunction with the RKR MTN Ripper Festival, in Denver, Colorado.

2022 appears to a promising year for Bad Sex. In March, they did a brief west coast tour which included Salt Lake City, Utah on March 13. After the tour, Bad Sex landed in the studio to record an EP set to release later in 2022. In July they will open for TSOL on July 28, and in September embark on 20-day tour, including playing the RKR MTN Ripper Festival. Finally in November, they will open for The Dead Boys, The Briefs and Suzi Moon.  

On the way to Denver for RKR MTN Ripper Festival, Bad Sex will grace Salt Lake City at The International on September 7th. Salt Lake City locals Shecock and The Pseudos are set to open.  To learn I caught up with Bad Sex and they were kind enough to fill me in on their plans for the remainder of 2022.

Quinn Walls and Jerry Fowler

NixBeat: Bad Sex formed in 2016. What prompted you to form Bad Sex?

Walls: Everyone I knew was in a band, I wanted to start one too.

Kruse: My band had a space and I figured I could figure out how to play drums so my best friend could be in a band.

Olsen: I saw them play with my band at a house show and thought the songs were good, and if all my friends were in a band, I want in.

Fowler: Quinn and Nick had a new band going, and needed a bassist. So, I learned how to play bass.

NixBeat: Described as a raunchy power pop and degenerate party punk, what influences do draw from for Bad Sex’s sound?

Walls: well that’s an older description, I’d say we’re much more 70’s power pop & rock ‘n’ roll nowadays. Or influences range greatly from person to person. I draw influence from The Exploding Hearts, Rubinoos, Elvis Costello, and The Ramones mostly.

Kruse: I love Ramones, Cheap Trick, The Who (especially the 60’s stuff). My favorite drummers are Tommy Ramone, Marky Ramone, Ritchie Ramone, and Elvis Ramone.

Fowler: I grew up listening to a lot of Alkaline Trio and Rancid. Like mall-punk type stuff. I honestly learned about power-pop upon joining Bad Sex. Dan Andriano from Alkaline is definitely my main influence as far a bass playing goes.

Olsen: Blink-182 is probably my favorite band ever ,along with AC/DC and KISS. The first album I ever bought was Ever Passing Moment by MxPx, and I still listen to that record today.

NixBeat: In January 2019, Bad Sex flew out to Atlanta, Georgia to record your debut album Waste Of Time with Joe Queer and Tuk Smith. What was that process like?

Bad Sex: The first big show we played was with The Dickies and The Queers. After the show, Joe Queer pulled us aside and asked if we wanted to come to Atlanta and record with him at Scabby Road Studio. Quinn had mentioned liking the band Biters, so Joe asked if we wanted Tuk Smith to come into the studio. Tuk had brought along producer Dan Dixon, who helped write harmonies and sing on the ‘Waste of Time’ record.

NixBeat: On September 17th and 18th 2019, Bad Sex opened for Giuda along with The Sadists (in PDX) and with Die Nasty (in Seattle).  What was it like to open for Giuda during their North West portion of their tour?

Bad Sex: In two words: Absolutely thrilling. They are so nice, so talented and really fun. We hit it off, talked gear, talked music and played pinball.

Quinn Walls and Charles Olsen

NixBeat: On February 28, 2020 Bad Sex opened for The Hollywood Stars alongside The Crazy Squeeze and Nico Bones, with DJ Power Pop Jeff. How did you get involved with this show and what was it like to open for The Hollywood Stars?

Bad Sex: Our friend Nico Bones hit us up out of the blue, and we jumped at the opportunity. We’re more of a west coast band, than a Portland band, so we went for it. Then a month later everything shut down.

NixBeat: In March of 2020, Bad Sex (along with numerous groups around the world) were affected by onset of the Coronavirus. This included gig postponed and job loss. How did you get through the Pandemic?

Bad Sex: We wrote, recorded and made a video. A venue in town, The Goodfoot, let us rehearse in their basement. We kept meeting up several times a week and just didn’t stop.

NixBeat: On July 2, 2021 Bad Sex released the Miranda/Devil Doll 7” visa Crash Assailant Records. What were you drawing from for the track “Miranda?”

Olsen: “Miranda” is all about my first love. we were together for three years and broke up right around the time Bad Sex was taking things more seriously. I’m a big fan of Pete Shelley and love how a lot of his songs were autobiographical. Needless to say, I was pretty hurt at the time. “Miranda” was really the first time I was able to put my feelings into words ,and was in a band that played music that made sense to how I felt at that time.

NixBeat: What inspired the track “Devil Doll?”

Walls: “Devil Doll” was written at the end of a relationship, reflecting on how different feelings are at the beginning and end of relationships. Inspired mostly by The Nerves and Paul Collins Beat.

NixBeat: On September 10th, 2021 Bad Sex played the RKR MTN Rendezvous— which is apart of the RKR MTN Ripper Festival, in Denver, Colorado. How did you get involved with this festival and what was it like to perform again after the Covid hiatus?

Walls: I had talked to Micah from Fast Eddy about us wanting to play that fest and he put us on the bill right away.

Fowler: It was nice to be back playing music, especially in a new city with some of our favorite bands. The whole fest was just what we all needed after a year of fuckin’ nothing.

NixBeat:  In March 2022, Bad Sex embarked on a tour that started off in Salt Lake City, Utah. There you played at Quarters DLC with Slick Velveteens with DJ Retrograde and I behind the decks. What was it like for you to play Salt Lake City?

Walls: SLC was so much more beautiful than I had imagined and the venue was so fun, reminded me of when I worked at an arcade.

Olsen: I had a blast. Jerry, Nick and I’s old band GUN used to come to SLC all the time, and play Beehive Social and Dis House. Shout out to Sam and Conrad. Getting to go to Raunch was also super cool and selling some singles there was a dream come true.

NixBeat: This tour also saw Bad Sex support Koffin Kats during several dates in Washington and Oregon. This isn’t the first time Bad Sex has played with Koffin Kats. However, what was it like to pay with them during this tour?

Fowler: It was a goddamn blast. They’re incredible musicians and just all-around nice guys.

Olsen: I feel like we’re cut from the same cloth. Getting to tour with a band like Koffin Kats ,who have done it for so long, taught us so much; I really can’t say enough nice things about those guys. You can expect to see us together more in the future.

NixBeat: During the weekend of September 9th through 11th, Bad Sex will be playing the RKR MTN RIPPER III festival in Denver, Colorado. Other acts include RMBLR, Ravagers, Fast Eddy and more.  How did you get involved with this festival and what can readers expect from your performance?

Walls: When we played last year, Micah saw us and immediately wanted us to play the main stage the next year.

Fowler: you can expect a lot of new stuff. We’ve been utilizing our down time with really honing our craft and expanding our horizons.

NixBeat: On the way to Denver Bad Sex will be playing the International Bar in Salt Lake City on September 7th. This time with Shecock and The Pseudos opening. What can Salt Lake City look forward from Bad Sex gracing this city again?

Bad Sex: A damn good time with us, The Pseudos and Shecock.

NixBeat: What does the future hold for Bad Sex?

Olsen: New songs, new merch and more shows. July 28th we’re playing in Portland with T.S.O.L. and playing a couple shows with Dead Boys and The Briefs shortly after that.

Walls: We’ve got a 20-day tour in September that will be announced shortly and there’s another tour in January hitting parts of the country we haven’t played yet. We’ve got lots of stuff on the horizon. It’s hard to keep up!

Fowler: We just finished up the studio. We recorded an EP, and another song for a comp. Both should be out before the end of the year.

For more about Bad Sex check out their Facebook and Bandcamp!

Faz Waltz — On The Ball

Faz Waltz

On The Ball

Spaghetty Town Records

Release: 04/18/2022

Faz Waltz’s new record proves that rock n’ roll is thriving. In contrast to their previous material  Faz Waltz step out of the junk shop and into the hop.  Their new album On The Ball is a work of homage that devotes it’s energy  to tunes harkening on the days of old.  It’s a record that brilliantly channels the spirits of the pioneers of rock n’ roll. Particularly that of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Eddie Cochran — with some help from The Beatles with Tony Sheridan.  The result is the experience of conjuring the closest thing to the soundtrack of American Graffiti for the ears of the 21st century. 

On The Ball wastes no time is serenading it’s listeners with the infectious rock n’ roll. Starting off this record is “Hot Cold Fever.” For this tune Faz Waltz channel the glam n’ roll energy of the late Richard. It’s fast, fun and with unbridled passion. “Hot Cold Fever” is a tune to be played loud. If applied correctly through the speakers, this sound will electrify it’s listener to twist and shout.

In a similar vein is “Shame On You.” This track captures the feeling of Cochran and dare I say a bit of Jerry Lee Lewis. Although a simple tune about a heart scorned, “Shame On You” has a definitive swagger. This song is a favorite from On The Ball. It boasts riffs that Berry invented, played loud enough ought to have it’s listeners shaking, rattling and rolling. So dig this, it’s the devils music and it’s good.

 Other tracks like this are “Fool For Your Love” and “Soon I’m gone.” The former track, “Fool For Your Love” shows off definitive Berry characteristics. It’s a track Invoking nods to “School Days” and of course “Johnny B. Goode.” The latter “Soon I’m Gone” carries on with Richards’ wild piano playing style. Both ought to be put on the jukebox to get any party moving.

“Hungry Man” blends the untamed nature of Cochran with the desperation of Presley’s crooning. This tune has a strong build up, but remains in a mid tempo range. That said, this track shapes itself with a raw inflection. The outcome being a song inspiring an uncontrollable urge to start shaking with gyrations.

In true form, Faz Waltz deliver tracks blending T-Rex with a late Beatles-esque styles. These tracks are “Empty Hands” and “Shining Teeth.” Both songs bring forth a groovy yet heavy sound. This is music that begs for invocations of feelings weighted by a certain longing. It’s a method that Faz Waltz has perfected over the years and is reminiscent of “Sleepy Head” from their album Double Decker.

Much of On The Ball celebrates an unyielding feeling of youthful urgency. Not surprising then since that’s what rock n’ roll is. While On The Ball invites nostalgia for the sock hops, hot rods, strawberry milkshakes and poodle skirts, it’s still a sound boasting relevancy. Even in this day and age this genre reveres the idea that there will always be rebels without a cause.  It’s a philosophy which Faz Waltz are certainly devotees.  

This is an album that demands rock n’ roll is here to stay and it is clear it will never die. It’s a record that fits perfectly in Faz Waltz’s storied catalogue. On The Ball blends sounds that invoke yearning for the vintage and refined. That said, this record should not be overlooked. Faz Waltz deliver the a good time. This album is contiguously fun. It’s music made for cruising around with no particular place to go. Now, go pick this up, and get down and with it.

For more Faz Waltz check them out at their bandcamp and website.

Talking about Forsaken Forgotten with Shadowhouse’s Shane McCauley

Shadowhouse

Since 2012 Shadowhouse has played music that traverses the void between despairing darkness and the undying nature of post-punk. It is a style that is aptly self-described as meant to “Play Loud, “Dance Slow.” This profound sense of performance is best witnessed in their stunning live shows and via a solid catalogue of music. To this end, Shadowhouse have released four singles and two full length records. Celebrating this display of talent is a cast meant for this gothic renascence. They are Shane McCauley (guitar/vox), Carl Simpson (guitar), Tapani Paul Sernesky (bass) Thomas Michael (drums) and Noel Silhan (keys).

On October 31, 2021 Shadowhouse released their second full length record Forsaken Forgotten. This time is was put out through the renowned French post-punk label Icy Cold Records. This new record proclaims a certain passion for the macabre. In doing so, Forsaken Forgotten is immerses itself in themes describing a changing world breaking down into ruin. Which is demonstrated by Shadowhouse’s definitive goth-punk sound that blends with a kind of sorrowful desperation. This is beautifully highlighted by McCauley’s haunting vocals.

Shadowhouse are embarking on a tour that will see dates along the Western United States and into British Columbia, Canada. During this tour Shadowhouse will be playing in Salt Lake City, Utah at The Loading Dock on June 22, 2022. Also playing this show are Dwarfus, Amnesia and Cemetery Siren. To learn more, I sat down with McCauley and chatted about Shadowhouse’s origins, their new album and their plans for the future.

Shane McCauley

NixBeat: Shane McCauley (guitar/vox) started Shadowhouse started in 2012. This was after years of frequenting punk clubs in SE Portland. What prompted you to start Shadowhouse.

McCauley:  As for what prompted me to start this was like this.  I grew up in punk rock. When I saw that all the punks that I grew up with became stale and stagnant I found it enjoyable to antagonize them with playing power pop music.  From there I realized power pop music was pretty sad and pathetic—like something of a 1960s dinner murder mystery party which was embarrassing and sad to me as well. I always loved goth and post-punk and all that crap. I realized that as the years went by that I was having a fun time playing that kind of music. I started playing that with my friends and realized I was succeeding at it ,and proceeded with it.

NixBeat: On your website shadowhousepdx-blog,tumblr.com, Shadowhouse celebrates the motto “Play Loud, Dance Slow” to describe your sound. With this in mind, what are you drawing from to create your music?

McCauley: I guess what I’m drawing from is the stuff of my childhood.  And what I mean by that is, I love 80s goth music. Don’t get me wrong, but I also love all sorts of other crap such as Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Crowded House, Adam Ant, ’70s punk and so on. I try to take my influences and ball them up and throw it against the wall and find something that I enjoy.  If I find something that I enjoy maybe other people enjoy it too?

NixBeat: On October 31, 2021 Shadowhouse release the full length Forsaken Forgotten on Icy Cold Records. It was recorded over the course of four years and mixed at five different studios. What was the process like to create Forsaken Forgotten?

McCauley:  The process was saving up money and getting people to show up. Which most of the people that showed up were who I listed. Except a different keyboardist, Andrea Morgan.

Most of the time Felix Fung was there to help us hone the sound in. The songs “Tonight” and “A Year Today” were done by Mike Lastra of Smegma studios in North Portland who worked with Wipers, Poison Idea and so on. It was long it was hard but it was worth it!

NixBeat: Shadowhouse has previously worked with Mass Media Records and Gone Home Records. However, Forsaken Forgotten was released via the French post punk, coldwave and goth rock label Icy Cold Records.  How did you get involved with Icy Cold Records?

McCauley:  So, when the first album Hand in Hand came out a French label called Manic Depression released the CD version. This label also had a subsidiary label Icy Cold so I reached out and they said that they would do the vinyl and CD version this time of it on their subsidiary label Icy cold.

NixBeat: To accompany the release of Forsaken Forgotten, a music video was made for the track “Already Know.” It was filmed by Wayne Moreheart who has worked with groups like Actors and Spectres. What inspired this video and what was it like to work with Wayne Moreheart?

McCauley: Wayne is awesome and easy to work with! In fact, as we speak he’s knocking out the second music video that we filmed with him during the time that we filmed “Already Know.” The second music video is for the song “Bleed.”

NixBeat: What inspired the song “Bleed?”

McCauley:  Watching the fuckery and selfishness of this world.

NixBeat: What are you drawing from for the track “Nowhere To Run?”

McCauley: I wrote that during the time I was about to become homeless and lose my house that I had for 10 years in Southeast Portland. That song is heavily influenced by all the cranes that knocked this city.

NixBeat: Going over Shadowhouse’s Facebook page I see that there are quite a few broadcasts from Mixcloud are shared. How have platforms like Mixcloud helped in promoting your music?

McCauley: I’m not sure how it helped but I do know that we are played on all sorts of mixed clouds and whatnot throughout the world—from South America to the Middle East. I am astonished that my music made it that far and reached other people in a way for them to share it for others across the planet.

NixBeat: Who are some of your favorite groups to play with in Portland, Oregon?

McCauley:  Major Hex, Vacant Stares

NixBeat: On June 22nd, Shadowhouse will play with The Loading Dock in Salt Lake City, Utah. This show will have Cemetery Siren, Amnesia and Dwarfeus in support. What can readers look forward from your performance on June 22nd?

McCauley: A good time and an escape from a Wednesday night.

 NixBeat: On June 25, Shadowhose will play Cathedral, a night put on by Danse Macbre & Mentalize Productions.  Other groups playing include Terminal A, It Spoke In Tongues with DJ Eser spinning records. How did you get involved in Cathedral?

McCauley: I was sent Apples way through southern California friends who suggested him as a great promoter and friend.

NixBeat: What does the future hold for Shadowhouse?

McCauley: At least two more albums

For more about Shadowhouse check out their Facebook and Bandcamp!

Feel The Noize with Slick Velveteens

Kenzie Waldo, Devi Strill, Georgetown “Grimm” and Danny Cringe

Since their inception in 2015, Slick Velveteens have been on the forefront of a glam revolution in Salt Lake City. They are Devi Strill, Kenzie Waldo, Danny Cringe and Georgetown “Grimm.” Their influences range from the artists including New York Dolls, The Cramps and Betty Davis. Stylistically they blend bluesy funk and junk shop sleaze rock n’ roll with the visual damnation of 1970’s exploitation films. The result is a unique sound that will melt the faces of non-believers and inspire the next generation of trash city glam rockers.  

Slick Velveteens have been active regulars in the Salt Lake City music circuit. Their performances are tight and they provide an experience not to be missed. They have performed with local groups such The Poppees, Shecock & the Rock Princess, Rebel Rebel and many others.  For touring acts, they are ever ready to represent Salt Lake’s glam community. Among touring groups Slick Velveteens have even opened for are Bad Sex, Giuda and the metal queen and former Runaway Lita Ford.

Other than playing shows, the last few years have seen Slick Velveteens busy with putting out material. They have released a self-titled album in 2017, along with two singles, Double Trouble Singles (2019) and Sweet Victim (2020). In addition, they have made several music videos to accompany their releases. A feat that inspired submitting the video for “Ditch” in the Desertscape International Film Festival in 2021.

 The future looks bright for Slick Velveteens. On Saturday, May 21, 2022 they will be opening up for Thelma & The Sleaze. They also plan to release a new album titled Shock Values later 2022. To learn more I tracked them down to learn about how they formed, what it was like opening up for Lita Ford, participating in the Desertscape International Film Festival and their future plans……

Devi Strill, Kenzie Waldo, Danny Cringe and Georgetown “Grimm.”

NixBeat: Slick Velveteens initially formed in 2015 when Devi Strill and Kenzie Waldo started to collaborate. Then in 2016, the band fully organized with Danny Cringe (drums) and Brandon Richter (bass), with Georgetown “Grimm” later replacing Richter in 2019 as bassist.  What prompted starting Slick Velveteens and how has it grown over the last few years?  

Waldo: Slick Velveteens’ start is kind of a long story. Devi and I are siblings, so we’ve been playing music together in various forms since we were kids. But Slick Velveteens started at a time where Devi had mysteriously lost his ability to walk (we found out later that it was caused by a form of arthritis). So, I would go over to the house he was living in at the time to keep him company while he was recovering. We were sharing songs that we were writing separately to get another pair of ears on them. It was a few months of that until we decided that we would officially start a band together. I believe the exact words out of Devi’s mouth at that time were, “We should start a band and call it Slick Velveteens.” I’m pretty sure I just said, “okay.” Brandon was living in the basement of the same house and agreed to be the bassist. Around the same time I asked Dan to drum for only one show—even though we had ulterior motives to keep him as our full time drummer. The rest, as they say, is history.

NixBeat: Georgetown “Grimm” joined Slick Velveteens in 2019. How did he get involved?

Grimm: I’ve known these cats since they were kittens yah mean?  Seriously though, me and Brandon performed together in Mister Richter and he suggested me as a replacement and it just worked out.  I was getting into engineering as they started writing so it turned into a collaborative effort.

Waldo: Georgetown has been around from the beginning. He recorded our first demo and has been our main engineer since!

NixBeat: Self-described as a glam band, what influences do you draw from for your sound and style?

All of Slicks: It’s safe to say that we are a product of anything we find cool. We’re pretty nerdy like that. Sound-wise, our influences span from New York Dolls (+the entirety of the late ‘70s New York music scene) to The Runaways (+ the entirety of the ‘70s Los Angeles music scene) to Richie Valens to funk-legend Betty Davis; Alice Cooper to Sonic Youth to The Cramps to The Shangri-La’s etc. This list never really ends. Stylistically, we pull a lot of inspiration from exploitation films such as Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! to musicals like Chicago. All of these influences overlap so much that our product actually sounds original.

NixBeat: In 2016, Slick Velveteens opened for Lita Ford. How did you get involved with that show and what was it like to open for Lita Ford?

Waldo: I actually just wrote a satirical essay about this story that I’ll be publishing on our website sometime this summer. It’s titled: “MIRAGES: THE HOW-TO GUIDE TO GET YOUR D.I.Y. ROCK ’N’ ROLL BAND TO OPEN FOR ONE OF YOUR CHILDHOOD HEROES.” Long story short, I berated a former booker of a local venue so many times asking to play shows (always met with “NO”) that once this booker started working at The Depot and needed a local rock n’ roll band to open for Lita Ford, we were finally a first choice (or, at least, I hope). I think the booker asked us to play this show a week beforehand, so there was a lot of last minute chaos that ensued to make this happen.

All of Slicks: After we got to watch soundcheck and meet her in person it was worth it.  The Runaways is a band we obsess over, it was the biggest show we’ve played yet, it is definitely one of the highlights of our lives.

NixBeat: Slick Velveteens have also opened up for Italian glam rockers Giuda and Portland, Oregon’s power pop quartet Bad Sex. How was it playing with these groups?

All of Slicks: It was awesome! Not only are we big fans of both bands, but we were recommended to play these shows by some of the coolest SLC locals (hint hint).

NixBeat: What have been some of your favorite groups to perform with in Salt Lake City?

Waldo:  We’re big fans and friends with The Poppees and love anytime we get to play a show with them. We’ve had some great gigs with other locals such as Shecock & the Rock Princess, Brain Bagz and Rebel Rebel. A recent show we played that has become one of my favorites was with Daytime Lover and Msking.

NixBeat: Slick Velveteens utilizes impressive filmography for their music videos. Common themes include horror, slasher films and 1970s exploitation.  What do you look for when creating a music video and how important are music videos in telling the stories of your music?

Strill: I think we’re a lot more than just music. Combining stylistic visuals with our sounds adds a complexion to who we are overall. I’m a big fan of cinema, so it feels like a natural extension adding these kinds of mediums to our music.

NixBeat: In 2020, Slick Velveteens released the video for “Blood Clot” on August 14, 2020.  In it you draw from iconic horror films and occult themes. What inspired this song and video?

Strill: “Blood Clots are not fun. So, let’s watch horror movies instead.” It was a music video that highlighted not only our individual interests but also helped in the formation of how Slick Velveteens’ aesthetic was about to take shape.

NixBeat: In 2021, you released your music video for the song “Ditch.” Stylistically it plays out like watching a 1970’s slasher, exploitation film in line with Switchblade Sisters (1975). What are you drawing from for the creation of this song and video?

Strill: Switchblade Sisters, actually, was the main inspiration for this video. I wrote it with that movie in mind along with Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!, The Town that Dreaded Sundown, and Girlboss: Guerrilla.

Waldo: The song is more about touring. But a ditch seemed like a nice visual setting for a music video.

NixBeat: The “Ditch” music video was also accepted in the Desertscape International Film Festival in 2021. How did you get involved with Desertscape and what was it like to participate in the final selections of this festival?

Strill: Our collaborators Blade Sabovick and Maddie Shaw at Silent Jester Media made the submission. It was great to hear the response from a live audience while watching alongside them. Awesome to see our music video on the big screen and big thanks to the Electric Theater for showcasing it!

NixBeat: On May 22, 2022 Slick Velveteens will open for Thelma & The Sleaze at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City. How did you get on this show and what can readers look forward to for your performance?

Waldo: We met Mo from Daytime Lover during a recent show we played together. She recently became the new local booker for Kilby Court and asked if we wanted to play it. I’m a huge Thelma & the Sleaze fan so getting the chance to open for them is going to be epic! We’ll get the party going with our high-energy performance to give Thelma & the Sleaze a warm SLC welcome.

NixBeat: Slick Velveteen’s last release was the Sweet Victim single in 2020. Do you have plans for another single or album?

Slicks: We’ve been working on a full-length album for the last two years. It’s become a longer process than originally thought because we keep pulling new inspiration into it, making it evolve into the exact artistic expression we want it to be. The album is called “SHOCK VALUES” and it will be released by the end of the year.

 NixBeat: Where would you like to see Slick Velveteens go from here?

All of Slicks: It would be amazing to have Slick Velveteens become as big as The Beatles (yeah, I said it!) but, overall, I love where Slick Velveteens is right now. It’s become such a collaborative project that is bigger than any of us separately. All ideas are welcome and nothing is too weird to suggest. In a group that is very much grounded in the D.I.Y. mentality, the sky’s the limit for what we can accomplish together. I hope we can continue making shit we think is really cool. But, of course, we would love to focus on Slick Velveteens full-time— touring, making videos and albums until our hearts are content. The coolest thing of all would be to have a cult following. One day!

For more about Slick Velveteens check out their website!

Fast  Eddy — Take A Look

Fast  Eddy
Take A Look
Spaghetty Town Records
Released:01/21/ 2022

At long last Denver’s notorious rockers Fast Eddy have released their sophomore LP, Take A Look. Within it’s grooves are soul studded sounds of power pop driven rock n’ roll. It’s their debut LP on Spaghetty Town Records and was produced by Tuk Smith (Biters). Admittingly, there are familiar themes of the music for rebels without a cause. However, Take A Look represents an evolution into a refreshed approach to this ageless genre. Not surprising then that this is perfect for the longings of the hopeless leather jacketed romantic of today’s desperate age.

This record starts off strong with the signature track “Take A Look.” This song is groovy to the ears. It kind of reminds of something that The Booze could boast, but with a style distinctly enmeshed in punk twisting with roguish power pop notions. This song sets the tone for the record by playing a sound that fills the room with illuminating brilliance. If one needed something to kick off the day with, “Take A Look” is that track.

Those who got their hands on the Toofer One 7” in 2018, will already be familiar with “Milwaukee.” It’s the kind of tune to eat your heart out with. This song tells the tale of the trappings of a lifestyle of the iconically decadent ,and will resonate with those succumbing to the affections of rock n’ roll. So open a cold one and sing along to the easy to follow chorus. For those still plugging away at three chords with long lost hope, its for you.

Another track following in this vein is “Frankie Died.” Although upbeat, It’s a tragic song about the demise of Frankie. The subject of this song has unfortunately died, and while a tragedy, it doesn’t seem to be a surprise. Those hoisting the banner of rock n’ roll have all known a “Frankie.” Be sure to listen carefully.

On the other “Help Me” displays Fast Eddy’s superb swagger. It’s a kind of soulful song that gives of the feel goods. Listen to this one to conclude the evening on a high note.

Those more comfortable with Fast Eddy’s punk roots need not fear. Tracks like “Hurricane Alley” and “Lost” perfectly capture their signature approach to unabashed punk n’ roll. They are loud and fast. Play these with impunity.

The magic on Take A Look are with tracks “Game of Love” and “Sunflower Bank.” These two tunes demonstrate Fast Eddy’s ability to blend elements of glam, rock n’ roll and punk into something more than typical projections of head numbing sensations. They are songs that project definitive passion by taking playful rock n’ roll and stretching it toward operatic sensibilities. As such, they should not suffer the limitations of low volume. Rather, they must be given the chance to fill the halls of any dive bar or punk flat.

Fast Eddy know how to deliver stunning rock n’ roll tunes. Their previous material is a testament to is fact. While this record plays on the recognizable and it also shows remarkable range. To miss out on Take A Look would be poor choice to say the least. It’s well worth the listen and should be played on repeat until the needle wears out. After all, its music like this that remind us that rock n’ roll is still breathing, and it seems this is in part due to Fast Eddy. Now, pick this up.

For more Fast Eddy visit their website or at Spaghetty Town Records!

The Sloks — A Knife In Your Hand

The Sloks
A Knife In Your Hand
Voodoo Rhythm Records
Street: 09/21/2022

Wailing from the depths of the damned in Turin, Italy are The Sloks. They are Ivy Claudy, Tony Machete and Buddy Fuzz. In September 2021, they released their new album A Knife In Your Hand on an unsuspecting world. Within it’s grooves are the deranged trash of garage punk from hell. Listening to this album is akin to being lured by sirens from the crypts of depravity. The result being succumbing to wretched madness of a spiraling mental decline. Not surprisingly, this record has been released via the infamous Voodoo Rhythm Records.

A Knife In Your Hand starts out with the track “Dillinger.” The result of hearing this tune is like being dragged unto the depths of the unhinged. It’s a track that blasts out with heavy distortion and combines a stomping beat to match. In comparison, the second song “No Make Up” boasts primitive garage punk at it’s near finest.

A similar regard can be made for “Burn Baby Burn” and the title tack “A Knife In Your Hand.” The former is a rabid tune. While the latter sounds as though the possessed child from the Exorcist is serenading the listener with a certain malevolence. Both a perfect for a band that toes the line for uncompromising music found amongst a rock n’ roll massacre.

“Bad To The Bone” and “Last Grave” stand out in the album. They both celebrate an overwhelming noise backed by The Sloks garage punk method. This is due to slow build up around a chaotic distortion and harsh haunting vocals. The main distinction between the two is “Last Grave” prominent doom blues leanings.

 “Crank It Up” also shares some unique qualities in A Knife In Your Hands. While other tracks take on a gradual build up approach, “Crank It Up” raises dramatically the tempo. This track betrays a style both fast, raw while offering a desperate notion of eagerly circling in for a kill.  Like-minded songs are “Ruin It All” and “Exotic Store.”

Overall, A Knife In Your Hand lives up to menacing potential of noise driven garage punk. This is not a record for the faint hearted. Rather, within it’s grooves is music for demented and cursed. If that doesn’t deter you, when playing this record don’t hesitate have the volume dangerously high. Afterall, A Knife In Your Hand might as a well be a degenerate séance, and it demands to be heard. So, drop the needle at your risk.

Raising The Vibration with Wanita Music’s DJ Jawa Jones

DJ Jawa Jones

DJ Jawa Jones is vinyl DJ, radio host ,and founder of Wanita Music. Originally from the island of Java (or Jawa as it’s known in Indonesian) she moved to London in 2002. There she began immersing herself in London’s legendary nightlife. Jawa Jones frequented clubs like Rhythm Factory and The Lady Luck Club. These experiences helped influence her growing affinity to diverse styles of music. Things changed in 2017 when she was invited to spin records for a holiday party in Munich, Germany. This performance hooked Jawa Jones on being behind the decks and spinning the music she loved.

In 2018, Jawa Jones established her own night called Wanita (which means woman in Indonesian). She began building a platform for supporting female artists, musicians and DJs. After Jawa Jones moved from Munich to London she expanded the club night into the Wanita’s radio program on BarrelHouse Radio. There she welcomed the collaboration of female DJs from across the world. On her program her guests play and celebrate all female fronted artists while drawing upon music from the 1950’s throughout the 1980’s. Genres included in the broadcast are rock n’ roll, country, garage rock, yeye, soul, rhythm and blues, punk, post punk and new wave.

Now with a successful broadcast, Jawa Jones has set her sights to more ways to promote women in music. These ideas includes the Gold Digger Series, upcoming DJ nights and Raise The Vibration, which will be live-streamed via Mixcloud on February 13, 2022. To learn more, I caught up with Jawa Jones and asked her about Wanita, djing, and her future endeavors.

NixBeat: First a little about yourself. Where are you from and what got you into record collecting?

Jawa Jones: I am Jawa Jones, a vinyl DJ based in London, UK, radio host and founder of Wanita. I am half English & half Indonesian, born on the island of Java (Jawa in Indonesian) and moved to London in 2002. I started seriously record collecting when I began djing in 2017. 

NixBeat: In an interview on All To Back To Mine (published on January 25, 2022) you featured 7” records that held a special place for you. These included Kim and Grim’s “Lonely Weekend” and Ervinna & The Stylers “Get Ready.”  What other records do you hold dear and why are they important to you?

Jawa Jones: The records that are special to me are those that are gifted by friends. Keb Darge (BBE music) gave a stack of records of female Motown artists for my birthday last year. These included The Marvelettes “Here I am Baby” and “Keep Him” by Barbara Mason. Another friend Loggy gifted me a Czech version of “These Boots Are Made For Walking” ,by Nancy Sinatra, covered by 60s Czech pop singer Yvonne Prenosilová  — which I love! I often play these records at Wanita events and the Wanita Music radio show. 

NixBeat: Prior to moving to London in 2002, you grew up in Jakarta and then studied at University in Melbourne, Australia. After moving to London in 2002, you began frequenting DJ nights. What DJ nights did you attend and how did they influence your interest in music?

Jawa Jones: Moving to London in my early twenties was an exciting experience as back then there were so many great clubs and different culture groups running nights in small bars. It was nothing I had experienced before living in Jakarta and Melbourne. I was into techno and drum ’n’ bass in 2002. So I would go to Rhythm Factory in Whitechapel, Fabric on Thursday nights, and the Cross in King’s Cross. I would also go to indie and electro nights. I loved the Kill Em All sessions at Bar Fly with DJ sets by Olly Dixon and Tim Lawton of Eat Your Own Ears on Sundays at the Lock Tavern ,and Trash run by DJ and Producer Erol Alkan on Monday nights. I loved the mish mash of indie to electro and post-punk, no wave to garage rock at these events. I then stumbled into The Lady Luck Club which was a ’40s and ’50s vintage vinyl night and that blew my mind. I was dancing to jazz, rhythm and blues ,and rockabilly for the first time ,and that led to me discovering music I’ve never heard before.       
 

NixBeat:  In 2017 you got behind the decks with your first DJ set with Dr. Dr. Robert, and were hooked on the experience. What about DJing attracted you to this medium and how did it inspire you to start your own nights?

Jawa Jones: I’ve always loved dancing ,and love how the music played by DJs can take you on a journey. So to be behind the decks and immediately see how the music you play can affect a person’s mood and vibe of the room was a thrilling experience! The records I play are always the ones that I would enjoy dancing to myself, so I would apply this approach to the nights I run. I was listening to DJ Honey’s radio shows; Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang! and Girls in the Groove and she inspired me to start my own night: Wanita in Munich in March 2018. I was already collecting female- fronted soul, ’60s RnB and ’80s pop so I would play these records on the night.  


             
NixBeat: Having performed and sponsored numerous nights as a DJ, you have brought out all kinds of records for your sets. What kind of music do you spin for your nights and do you have a preferred style that you spin?

Jawa Jones: At Wanita I would play female- fronted ’60s soul and rhythm and blues, girl groups, yeye, ’60s garage. As the night progressed to the wee hours I would drop some no wave and ’80s pop like Madonna, B52s, Delta 5, Kate Bush, the Bangles…seeing people dancing and singing along to the music I play makes me smile. I am also a massive fan of garage punk and rock n’ roll. So on Queens of Fuzz night —which is another night I run— and other events I get invited to spin, I would play 60s garage, psych and early 70s rock.
           

NixBeat: How important are DJ’s to your local music scene and within worldwide music community—and why do you think that is?

Jawa Jones:  DJs are important in entertaining and educating people through their music selections and also for building a community of like-minded people locally and internationally. I have always admired how Lady Kamikaze and DJ Nino would attract such a wide range of people to their night Lady Luck Club  — there you’ll see rockers, mods, transvestites and fetish folks all hanging out and dancing. It was a friendly atmosphere, there was no snobbery and everyone was there to enjoy the music.    

NixBeat: Now based in London, England what kind of challenges and successes have you found compared to when you were in Munich, Germany?

Jawa Jones: Finding the right venue with a decent sound system is the biggest challenge in London. A lot of bars and clubs have shut due to rent increase and culture groups dispersing. I was really lucky in Munich as I ran my monthly night at a great local dive bar round the corner from where I lived. The owners of the bar were supportive of me and the DJs that played at their nights. They also invested in a good sound system because they care about the sound quality.
  

NixBeat:  Wanita— which Is Indonesian for woman—started as a club night in Munich, Germany in early 2018—and then later moved to London, England. In November 2020 Wanita branched out as a radio broadcast via Barrelhouse Radio. What influenced you to start Wanita and how has it grown over the last several years?

Jawa Jones:  I founded Wanita because I wasn’t seeing many female DJs in the vintage vinyl music scene and I wanted to offer a safe space for DJs to spin their favourite records. As I mentioned before, DJ Honey also played a large role in focusing my night to playing female-fronted music. Her radio shows are about empowering women and celebrating female artists. So I thought playing music by female artists would be a great fit with the concept behind Wanita. The idea of getting female DJs across the globe involved in Wanita came about in 2019. I started asking friends and vinyl DJs I met through the Wanita community to make a 60 minute mix of music by their favourite female artists across different genres. I wanted to use the Wanita platform to promote local and international female DJs and to expand the community and my knowledge of music by female artists. Then in March 2020 I was asked by my friend Ricky to host his Mono Loco Mix Tape radio show at Soho Radio and that started my foray into radio and led me to hosting the Wanita Music Show at Barrelhouse Radio in November 2020.     
            

NixBeat:  Wanita features female DJ’s from across the world. Who have been some of your favorite guests and why?

Jawa Jones: All the DJs and guests I invite to contribute to Wanita are my favourite kind of people! They are people I admire and respect for their work, may it be through the music they create, mixes they put out, festivals and/or club nights they run or the radio shows they host.      

NixBeat: You also sponsor The Gold Digger series on Instagram which features female record collectors from around the world. What prompted this series and what criteria are you looking for with collectors you feature? 

Jawa Jones: I started the photo series to highlight the passionate and knowledgeable DJs I have met through the Wanita community. It was also another opportunity to promote the fantastic ladies involved in the music scene so people can learn more about them and the work they do. I am working my way to asking all the women who have contributed to Wanita either through making Wanita mixes or were guests on the Wanita Music Show. That’s the criteria at the moment, but I am planning to open it up to other DJs and female record collectors in the future. 
     

NixBeat: In an interview with All Back To Mine you pointed out some challenges facing female DJ’s include being harassed by creepy men, discounted as an artist, or in other instances being shorted on intentions and compensation. In the same interview you’ve also stated how male counterparts, like DJ’s Diddy Wah and Fritz Buzzsaw, have been able to do their part in supporting female DJs in the music community. What are some specific ways you would like men in the music community to show support to their fellow female artists?

Jawa Jones: By actively being allies to women who are working in the music industry and supporting their work either by buying their music, attending their events or gigs. Don’t be a bystander — if you see a guy harassing a woman in a venue or behaving in a manner that is making a woman feel uncomfortable, approach the woman and ask if they are ok or inform the security staff.   
   

NixBeat: Are there other female DJ groups/collectives you have collaborated with and if so, why do you support them?

Jawa Jones: I have collaborated with Toronto Soul Club (Toronto, Canada) and Los Rulos Vinyl Club a vinyl DJs collective based in Bogota, Colombia  — both of these collectives are run by women who support female DJs in their local community. I tend to work with DJs and collectives who share similar values as Wanita and that is to support women and raise each other up while sharing joy through music and having fun!    


NixBeat: On February 13, 2022 you are promoting the Raise The Vibration event. It’s a live-stream fundraising event to end gender-based violence. How did you get involved with this fundraiser, who is involved and how can readers contribute to it?

Jawa Jones: I first became involved with Raise the Vibration in 2021 through discovering V-Day, which is a global activist movement founded by V (formerly Eve Ensler) who is an activist and author of the The Vagina Monologues. The purpose of the movement is to raise awareness and end violence against all women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender-based violence), girls and the planet by combining art and activism to transform systems and change culture. This year we have 18 female DJs from 8 countries doing 30-minute sets playing female-fronted music on mixcloud.com/wanitamusic from 12:15 – 21:30 GMT. Collectively we are raising awareness and money for local charities/groups who are doing work to tackle gender-based violence. Each DJ taking part will select a charity or group in their local community who are doing anti-violence work. Readers can contribute by donating to the charities. Information about the charities and the DJs can be found in the Wanita Raise the Vibration 2022 Facebook event page, the Wanita instagram account and will be posted on Mixcloud.com/wanitamusic on the day of the event.
 

NixBeat: What are some other charitable events you have or would like to support?

Jawa Jones: So far, Raise the Vibration is the only charitable event I have organised and taken part in. However, I would support charities who actively do work in ending gender-based violence.
  

NixBeat: What does the future hold for Wanita and where do you want to see it go from here?

Jawa Jones:  I would love to start running Wanita club night in London again ,and this will happen when I find a suitable venue with a good sound system! I would also love to have live bands (female-fronted of course) at the Wanita night…and who knows perhaps a Wanita Weekender! 🙂   

The Beatersband — “Love I Can B W You”/ My Mother Plays Rock N’ Roll” 7”

The Beatersband

“Love I Can B W You”/ My Mother Plays Rock N’ Roll” 7”

Self-Released

Street: 11/03/2021

The Beatersband hail from Italy. They are Donatlla Guida ( lead vocals/guitar), Leonardo Serrini (bass) and Enrico Vanni (Drums). Since their formation in September 2018, they have been on a mission to celebrate the vocal music of ’50 and ’60s rock n’ roll music. To do this the seek to modernize it, while retaining it’s classic soulful essence. The result is their signature approach of infusing their songs with the infectious and sentimental sounds of punk infused rock n’ roll. With the release of their latest 7”, it is evident that they manage to do this quite well.

Musically, the Beatersband play with a style that nods toward groups like The Russians and Pale Lips. It is an approach that can be particularly heard in “Love I Can B W You.” This track blends punk sensibilities by adding rock n’ roll with a definitive power pop flair. The magic is with Guida’s vocals. In this song they emerge as a soulful power house from behind the wall of sound instrumentals.

“My Mother Plays Rock N’ Roll” is a slightly mellower and nostalgic tune. The theme covers remembering times growing up listening to the vocalist’s mother playing the likes of Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger or The Ronnetes. Overall, it’s a fun listen that grows on your with a gradual charm. Like the A-side of this 7″, it’s Guida’s soulful range that stands out and defines this track. “My Mother Plays Rock N’ Roll”is fun and simple, but short and sweet. It edges nearer toward a groove that captures a more ’60s girls in the garage angle, but with an indie twist.

In terms of modernization of vintage rock n’ roll styles, The Beatersband can play covers like “Hang On Sloopy” and absolutely show off some retro glamour.  That said, it’s with their original material that allows The Beatersband to shine on their own. Musically they blend rock n’ roll with power pop sensibilities that produce a distinct soulful flavor.  After releasing this 7″, The Beatersband certainly proved have the ability to play tight, energetic tunes. I’m looking forward to what comes next. Now, go give this ditty a spin.

For more about The Beatersband check out their Bandcamp!

Brad Marino — Looking For Trouble

Brad Marino

Looking For Trouble

07/29/2021

Spaghetty Town Records

Brad Marino certainly has a lot of swagger. Previously known for his work with The Connection, Marino’s solo material stands on it’s own. It’s perfectly displayed in his latest LP Looking For Trouble. This record was released by Spaghetty Town Records. Not surprising then that it’s an LP that shows off Marino’s affinity to blend the power pop style of The Nerves with an infusion of Rolling Stones-esque rock n’ roll. Looking For Trouble is the kind of listen that grows on you after each spin. It has it’s gems and they ought to be heard.

Looking For Trouble starts out with “ Even The Score.” A kind of feel good, southern rock n’ roll meets power pop tune. Think of The Booze twisting with Jordan Jones. It’s am approach that sets the musical tone for this record. Following in this line, albeit a bit faster, is “Taillights Fade” and title track “Looking For Trouble.”

For me, the track that comes across as remarkably clever is “Local Show.” If anyone has ever tried to woo their friends in vain to support their performances, this is your new anthem.  It’s a catchy tune that takes on a music scenes ever so relevant self-deprecating view of the hurdle’s groups try to make it on their local circuit. May it be folks wanting guest list status or discounted merch, it’s absurdity is mentioned in “Local Show.”

Another stand out track is “Tripwire.” This song breaks out as rock n’ roll tune that could be found in a spaghetti western. Cool and calm, this track superbly demonstrating Marino’s diversified musical talent.

On the B-side of Looking For Trouble is “False Alarm.” This track sounds like it could have come out of Paul Collins’ book of tricks. This theme is true for the rest of this records b-side. It’s particularly evident with like tracks like “Take Your Time” and “Fell In Love Again.” Both of which perfectly capture the power of Marino’s pop driven harmonies.  

“What Do You Know” stands out as a more pop driven punk number. This track is decidedly upbeat and easy to sing along to. In addition, this songs sound has a kind of a Beat-like flair. If this one doesn’t inspire some pogoing, then rinse and repeat by playing it again until you start to feel some life again.

Overall Looking For Trouble is a fun listen. The prevailing theme for this LP is it’s infectious charm. Marino knocks it out of the park with a distinct style punk rock n’ roll infused power pop. Top tracks for immediate consideration are “Local Show,” “Tripwire” and “What Do You Know.” For a good time check this one out.  This is a record meant to be played. So,  drop the needle on Looking For Trouble and boost your receiver.  

For more from Brad Marino check out his Bandcamp!