We’re from a town called Taunton in Somerset. We used to have a few venues here many years ago. Me and our guitarist used to work at The Perfect 5th when we were 18 which was a great little 200 cap basement venue. Sadly it closed down about 10 years ago and since there's been no music venue or scene as such in Taunton.
This meant as a band we have toured and travelled a hell of a lot out of necessity. Our first manager in an early incarnation of our band was a promoter at a venue called The Leopard in Doncaster and we basically used that as our musical hub. Our second manager with whom we launched October Drift was a promoter in Sheffield and around that time we considered Sheffield our musical home and built from there.
We’ve always been really well received in the north - Manchester has really got behind us too and there's some amazing venues there - Deaf Institute being a favourite. We’re situated between Exeter (Exeter Cavern’s a great venue) and Bristol and we’ve played amazing gigs in both cities which basically feel like hometown shows. Having said that we’ve spent much more time in and know loads more people in Bristol.
We’ve had amazing gigs at Thekla which is another favourite venue of ours but its The Louisiana that we basically consider our local venue and is the one closest to our hearts. It’s a tiny family run venue with great sound and an amazing history of artists that have played there. Since no gigs have been able to happen they’ve been doing live streams and takeaway pizzas (recommend). They’ve hit their #SaveOurVenues target so I’d suggest donating to Red Alert Campaign to save the 30 most at risk grassroots venues if you can. We’ve played amazing memorable gigs at some of these venues - The Railway in Winchester, The Venue in Derby, The Lexington in London and Hootenanny Music Bar in Inverness.
These venues are hugely important for the development of artists and also as cultural hubs for the people of these towns and cities https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mvtredalert
My favourite music venue is Cambridge Junction. Have been there twice with my nan & her wife. It’s a small little venue which makes it extremely creative with it's space, between the musician & audience.
Each time I have been always left smiling & feeling happy, humble. Watching ‘Beth Ditto’ from the band “The Gossip” back in 2018! Super loud & such an experience. Sound in the venue stands out from everything. Along with the set up when musicians perform & give it there all. Beth Ditto’s whole set was just another level for her genre of music.
Also saw “The Savages” way before ‘Jenny Beth’ become solo during her music career. Savages whole set was rocking perfect sound everybody’s having such fun watching them in their element. Junction is a fantastic venue as a whole I find that there’s a whole of freedom in that place. Near the stage to hanging with your family or friends at gigs. Each time I have been there every experience has always captured me in many positive ways.
It is such a crazy, and frankly scary time in the music industry for independent venues, and as I hire venues for my main job I can see first hand the struggle a lot of these venues are having. One venue that I hire for my choirs and love as an amazing community base, that also gets incredible live acts is The Cheese and Grain in Frome, Somerset.
You may recognise the venue, as the Foo Fighters performed a surprise gig there in 2017, I unfortunately wasn’t there for that event!! The Cheese and Grain considers itself a not-for-profit social enterprise, and does so much for the community as well as having loads of variety with the live music acts they have on. Everything has been on pause for them, and financially it’s been a worry but they are hoping to be able to have rescheduled and new acts performing again at the venue soon! And hopefully I can get back there and organise some events myself soon too!
1) Firstly give us a bit of history to your band Das Kapitans?
Steve used the name Das Kapitans for releasing solo material and old songs over the last year or so. At the start of 2021 with lockdown starting to cause severe misery I (Simon) wriggled my way into the Das Kapitans name and we started pulling together some ideas that hadn’t made it onto our band ‘Fuzz and The Felts’ future release list. It’s just the two of us putting the songs together remotely so far this year. If we ever come out of lockdown we might recruit some other middle aged blokes and jump on a stage.
The first "Official" Das Kapitans release was a 4 track demo, in March 2020. Steve was writing songs that would never have suited what we were doing in 'Fuzz and The Felts', and liked the the idea of releasing them, initially without letting anyone know (other than the FATF band members) who Das Kapitans actually was. He was sending songs to local radio stations and BBC, and when the songs got played, they were always preceded with "The mysterious.... Das Kapitans", or "I Know very little about this band... Das Kapitans". He quite liked it, but soon realised, that can only go so far.
2) So you have a really interesting project this year a band, tell us a bit about the project?
12 full albums in a year. One a month at the start of every month. The more we say it out the loud the more ridiculous it becomes. It sounded simple in January! We are both quick songwriters we don’t spend hours, days, weeks on songs. We both have a need for songs to be created quick and in the moment. Whether that’s a deep psychological reason and a need for instant gratification or we are just lazy I’m not too sure!!! Either way it works for us. We create our best songs when we just go for it without any thought process and no agenda. Some of our favourite songs on the albums have been written and the basic structure recorded in well under an hour.
The first three albums we just went for it and didn’t really think about styles or genres. Now we are looking at album 4 we are writing with a particular sound in mind, but that doesn’t mean the process gets longer. It just heads us in a slightly different direction. This will probably be how things go for the rest of the year and December 2021 will be some hideous jazz fusion with a funk twist. I feel sick saying that.
3) The January, February and March albums have already been released how are they different from each other?
Album 1, Joulukuu (December in Finnish) was very much us throwing together a compilation of separate ideas and demos which then quickly moved onto to throwing new ideas back and forwards with the modern magic of iCloud sharing! Album #2 really was our first collaborative effort. Its a real mixed bag of genres but all pulled together with some ridiculously catchy hooks and choruses. We are both suckers for a catchy chorus. Album 3, Blah Blah Blah, continues with the collaborative writing and as a result, it has more of that consistency to it.
4) What can we expect from the April album to come and when will it be released?
Album 4 we are possibly bowing down to Steve's roots and going all out in your face punk. We had lulled people into a false sense of security on the first 3 albums….now we can just piss them off and have to start apologising on album 5! Within 24 hours we might head in a totally different direction though! The plan is always a 1st of the month release on Bandcamp and all the streaming services.
5) What does the writing process look like for so much material to be produced over such a sort period of time?
Blink and you miss it! We both sit in our own homes….guitar in hand….open up logic on the Mac….lay down a drum track….about an hour later its getting sent across to be added to, messed about with, synth added. JOB DONE!
I (Simon) do occasionally have night terrors about us committing to 12 albums in one year. Sadly we can’t live off the zero income from these releases and we both work more than full time jobs, so its a few late nights each week and thank goodness for lockdown! We have definitely learnt more about recording and mixing etc through this process.
6) Go on out of the 12 albums which month would you say has the best album?
Well considering we’ve only actually written four of them so far...I’d say album 9 is going to be a highlight!!
Errrrr I think album two so far. Might not have the best songs but I think it will always be the one where we will remember the moment of “shit we can actually do this and people are going to listen and like it”, we don’t write songs in a way that ensures people will like them but if anyone ever does you can’t ignore that warm fuzzy satisfied feeling.
7) Which song has the lyrics your most proud of writing?
I think lyrics are something we’ve probably struggled with over the years as it’s something you believe needs overthinking. The older you get the more you realise that’s bollocks. The best lyrics are the ones that come out of your mouth when you are laying down melody ideas or testing recording levels. They can be the most honest, creative and sometimes quite funny (see Big Fat Poo on the first album!).
I think track one on album two is the favourite - Rabbit. The song is under a minute, probably about 20 words in total and the lyrics are just ridiculous....which obviously makes them good in our minds!
8) Where can our readers get there hands on the albums?
All albums have been released on BandCamp, search for Das Kapitans, or Fuzz and the Felts Presents. All albums are also heading onto the streaming sites each month as well.
9) Thank you for taking the time out to talk to us, but before you go where can are readers find out more about Das Kapitans?
We have a handy little link tree account here which will take you into out magical online world……..https://linktr.ee/Daskapitans
1) Sam, you're here to tell us about this fantastic charity album Whorl Clock, but first tell us why you felt the time was right to set up a charity album?
I've seen a lot of charity work happening during this pandemic, I think one of the few positives to come out of it is that it's really highlighted how much people in a community care for each other, especially here where I live in Cornwall.
The music community is no different and I'm impressed with how many people jumped at the chance to help.
Another positive from lockdown has been the time it's given people to work on electronic music. I've seen a lot of new artists posting debut albums and asking advice in various online groups, I think a compilation album like this one gives them a platform to make new contacts and give their music an audience they might struggle to reach when first starting out.
I myself only started Humm Bugg in 2020 and it feels really good to be part of a project like this and join forces with other musicians, coming together through a love of music. It's hard for everyone at the moment and I've really enjoyed focusing on something that does some good.
2) What can we expect from the charity album Whorl Clock?
Whorl Clock is a time travel themed album. Every artist on it has made an original song based on this theme and subjects include primordial ooze, childhood dreams, time traveling adventurers, the perils of time travel, utopian ideas, time travel jet lag and lots of other imaginative interpretations.
Genres range from synthwave, chiptune and breakcore to daz-core, apathy jazz and metal so there's a great range of different music. As different as it is however, it still holds together as an album beautifully.
3) You've invited so many different bands from so many different countries to be part of this project, has this given the album a lot of different styles and culture?
Massively. The album features artists from Siberia (SpaceMan 1981), Sweden (Riddlis), Hungary (Bitrotator) and Arizona (Creepy Pizza); many from all over the UK; and even one from a parallel dimension in the year 2080 (S A Z E R).
Every song is very different from the last, I think this is due to the different music they grew up with geographically but also because there is so much variation in electronic music now. The electronic music community is a global one and it's so great to be able to discover different genres, styles and ways of making music so easily and it's great to be a part of this ever changing and exciting culture.
4) Out of the 12 tracks on the album, which one is your standout record?
Oof! That is a tricky question but the two I've listened to the most are probably Strawberry Galaxy by Riddlis and The 61st Second by S A Z E R. 'Strawberry Galaxy' is a dreamy, spaced out lullaby with a touch of melancholy and I just love it. 'The 61st Second' on the other hand is like being stuck in a nightmarish trip to the future and has that 80's horror movie vibe. The album is full of gems though.
5) Please feel free and go ahead and tell us about the charity involved with the album and how the money from this album will help them?
The chosen charity for this album is Doctors Without Borders. They bring medical care to those who need it most to over 70 countries around the world.
They've been helping those affected by conflict, natural disaster and epidemic since 1968 and with a global pandemic stretching medical services everywhere, they're needed now more than ever.
I also wanted to pick a charity that helps globally to reflect the fact the album is also multinational. You can find out more about Doctors Without Borders here: https://msf.org.uk/
6) Producing an album during lockdown must have been challenging, how did you get around this challenge?
It was actually pretty painless. I started making electronic music myself at the start of lockdown last March and have just dived right into the whole thing.
Under Humm Bugg I had already released a solo album and a few singles in 2020 but I found promoting these and getting more people listening to be quite tricky, especially when you don't have your heart set on one particular style or type of music. I posted my woes on some online groups and found many others had the same problem.
It was then that the idea for themed compilation albums came to me- it gives the artist an opportunity to try something different, provides a unique and interesting listening experience and is really fun too! Working as a group who are all promoting and sharing the album also helps more people listen to your music and the most exciting thing for me has been the introduction to lots of musicians I wouldn't normally have discovered.
The whole exprience has been just brillaint. There are already plans in place for another themed charity album later in the year- this time 'Robots'!
7) The name of Three Eyed Cat Records is a great name for a record label, tell us what their involvement with the album has been?
I came up with the name after trying to think of something that didn't just lend itself to one genre and would also draw people in. I'm a big Sci Fi and horror fan so I also wanted a name that had an air of the curious and mysterious about it. I also love cats! The logo that was made for Three Eyed Cat Records by Animalsoup Art also helps encapsulate what the label is about- it's neon and simple and is reminiscent of neon and club lights, she's managed to get it looking retro and futuristic at the same time and it reminds me of graffiti painted with light. I love how this project turned out and everyone has been so helpful and encouraging.
8) Lastly where can our readers get their hands on this album and help out the charity?
The album is available to download on Bandcamp and is 'pay what you want' to download so you can give as little or as much as you like. All money made on the Bandcamp site will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. Thank you!
1) Paul firstly tell us about The Craufurd Arms venue and where we can find you?
We are a 270 capacity (+14 admitted) live music venue, based in Milton Keynes, we have built ourselves up big enough now to say we are one of the top venues of that size in the UK now, doing warm up shows for the likes of Idles, Fontaines DC, Slowthia, Reef, Wedding Present, Boston Manor and many more as well as supporting and nurturing young newcomers, you can find us at – www.thecraufurdarms.com
2) Which bands have given the best live performances at your venue in the past?
For me I absolutely loved Sleaford Mods, The Low Anthem, DMAS & Wolf Alice.
3) If you could have any live band or singer to play on opening night after COVID 19 lockdown who would it be?
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, doing a cheeky intimate show!
4) It’s been a hard year for our amazing live music venues, tell us what the impact of COVID 19 has had on The Craufurd Arms?
Giant impact, basically if we hadn’t gotten the crowdfunder, some help and the
government funding, we wouldn’t be a venue anymore, and we’re used to battling
everything, being fully independent and so close to London, And what's even
sadder is we had a really strong programme of events, a lot of sold out shows.. and
they all had to be cancelled, fingers crossed it starts to ease over next few months..
I believe the people are itching to get back out and get loose, so as with
everything, it all comes down to the awesome people!
5) So you’re here to chat with us because you’ve put together a 16 track benefit
album? Which we believe is being launched on18th December on bandcamp.
Yes, We have, This 16 track compilation album is a benefit for the venue, to keep
the venue name alive and us fighting the good fight and to really showcase just
how breath taking some of the up coming acts are from around our area, which is
MK, Northampton, Bedford, Luton and all the little towns and villages in between,
so it’s the acts that have come through the venue over the last year or so, that
have truly blow us away, so much so, we were compelled to gather them up, put
them onto a compilation and show them off to as many people as we can.. its been
so very bleak this year, we just wanted to do something positive and prove we still
6) Is there a chance our readers can get their hands on a CD version of the
Yes we have have some hard copy CDs available online for sale now (once
everything has eased we will sell it all around our area in various shops and
obviously at the venue… you can pop online and order a copy at
7) Milton Keynes has been developing lots of local artists in the area, can
we expect any of these artists to be showcased in the album?
Absolutely, this album is really in the spirit of Record Label Samplers or the CD’s
you get on the front of music magazines back in the day. Some of the acts are
already being played on Radio One, Radio X, 6 Music, some have management,
industry interest and a couple are already signed to indie labels… And the bands
underneath them are the ones coming through.. so it really is a full showcase and
all 16 acts have stuff going on for them and looking forward to 2021!
8) Lastly where can we find this album?
At the moment with the restrictions, the album is available on bandcamp and
to buy as a CD online, we will get it put around the areas once the apocalypse
has eased and for online it will be exclusively available through bandcamp only
as we want to keep it a DIY release and not over spread it round every
streaming site possible, and you can message any of the bands as well and
they can help you out!