1) Harker tell us about your band and where your based?
Hey Kess! We are Harker, a fuzz / punk / indie band from Brighton, UK – we like to call the kind of music we play 'EMOGAZE'. For us the music we play is a blend of all the melodic Punk bands we love such as Jawbreaker, Superchunk etc – combined with a strong lean into the sound of the Dischord records roster. Music with bite!
2) Your new album AXIOM is our album of the Month for May, tell our readers what they can expect from the album?
Thank you so much for supporting the new LP, album of the month is something we're pretty excited about!
When it came to writing the new album, we knew that we wanted to develop our sound from beyond what we did with our first record 'No Discordance'. A lot of the first record was written in-between member changes, and are lyrically on a more personal level in relation to my bouts of depression. I think about half the albums songs were finished before Matt (drummer) and Phoebe (bassist / vocalist) joined up.
So this time round, 'Axiom' is a much more collective effort – and we feel it captures our sound more so than ever before. We're all very diverse music listeners in the band, and we wanted to throw in some more 'outside' influences you'd not catch on a Punk Rock album.. This album we really focused on change – so that was our main drive, not to rewrite the same album again and again in a little Pop Punk bubble. We're a bit tired of algorithm fed pop-music that is feeding the industry and charts currently, so expect to be SCARED and get your ears hurt at points!!
It's also a lot more politically driven. It's probably not a surprise to some readers that we are very outspoken against the current UK government, and a lot of the tracks are aimed at tackling the problems they have created. There's also some stabs at the cult of personality, police oppression and environmental change.. issues that currently aren't being addressed enough in music.
3) Can you name the top 2 tracks for us to look out for on this album?
Moriah – A real heavy riff laden rocker that's over in under 2 minutes 30. I wanted this to be the first single, but I was told it was too scary to be one, ha!
The Grey Lady – Just one of those tracks where the execution just came out sounding so great. The track that achieves our self proclaimed 'EMOGAZE' moniker the most. Choruses have some great MBV style washy guitars.
4) What was the writing and production process for this album?
As with a lot of musicians, we were totally done in by COVID19 restrictions when it came to the writing / production process. The album was originally planned for late 2020, with us heading to the studio March / April armed with a full set of demo recordings. Once lockdowns started hitting us, we made a decision to take a step back – and to demo the tracks a second time.
It's the most preparation time i've ever been involved in with music, but I think it was worth every extra step. There were parts that as soon as we put them down on the second demo we couldn't believe we had missed – vocal techniques and overdubs really shone through on this too, helping us breathe more life into them before we went in for the studio versions.
Recording had to be staggered into three separate sessions, with all of us heading up the first round to get guide tracks, drums and bass done – Guitars, vocals and extras followed in the next two sessions, with each of us dipping in and out. It was the safest way for us all to do it around restrictions. Luckily the producer for the album Bob Cooper was incredibly accommodating, easy to work with and knew how to push us to get these tracks sounding killer. One of the tracks I remember having to sing over and over again, which he almost made me crack – but listening back now, I can see why he was trying to send us over the edge ha!
5) Have you got live gigs lined up later this year, so your fans can hear these new tracks live?
We've got a couple of pencilled dates for later in the year, but this is all down to restrictions being lifted, passports being accepted etc etc... Currently, only one of us has been vaccinated with the rest of us hopefully following soon! We're still waiting to hear in regards to a rescheduled tour in November, now we also have the new problem of Brexit... not a fun time to be a musician in the UK at all. All we can say is keep your eyes out, and we're going to try work out some 'digital' shows to appease anyone with the itch right now.
I do think some bigger organisers should be looking at what is best right now – I personally don't think big festivals are in the right frame of mind to be going ahead with the risk of them turning into 'super spreader' events – but I also understand that these well loved festival circuits are on the verge of collapse too. I just hope that musicians are also keeping the vulnerable in mind too, and finding the best and safest way to perform without later problems.
6) Where can our readers get their hands on this album or download it?
Many places! The album is available to stream through Spotify/iTunes etc, and is also downloadable in high quality lossless from BandCamp..
It's also out on CD & Vinyl through our labels, Disconnect Disconnect Records, Wiretap Records, Shield Recordings & Fixing A Hole Records!
1) How would you describe your music and your past releases?
I would say our music is heavy alternative rock. But with our latest single Mirror we’ve tried to capture our grunge 90s influence through the track.
2) Tell us about yourself and about your music journey so far ?
Our band started around 4 years ago, originally as a cover band until deciding we wanted to perform original songs. This is when I (Angus Scott, lead guitarist) wrote Seal and People In My Head which started our journey off. Since then the balls just kept rolling and we’ve collected fans along the way!
3) Moving into 2021, have you got any new music releases for this year?
We are planning our biggest year yet with releases so stay tuned! Mirror is just the start of it.
4) What are you looking forward to the most in 2021?
Looking forward to being on stage and actually being able to perform in front of a crowd, we had so much cancelled in 2020 so we want to make sure as many of the gigs we should’ve played will be back.
5) Which Oceans on Mars track would you suggest everyone should check out today?
I would suggest everyone should check out Mirror, our latest release! It’s been a step into the right direction for us. It’s showing influences from Queens Of The Stone Age, Nirvana and Sound Garden and we are happy with how this track has turned out.
6) Where can our readers find out more about you ?
Here’s our socials.
You can be forgiven in thinking live music never happened in 2020, but it did and we here at Off the Hook Music witnessed Editors provide a flawless performance of there career spanning tour of Black Gold.
One of the worlds most amazing must see bands live, Editors sent us down memory lane to all of their wonderful breath taking record, proving their a band that will never get old.
It's unbelievable that In Waiting is Pillow Queens debut album, so accomplished with every element having a polished and mature sense of belonging, A perfect record to escape the crazy year of 2020, we can't tell you how much we love the raw and powerful song Liffey perfect in everyway.
All Smiles In Wonderland have a lot going for them. Their disarming and emotionally honest lyrics are delivered with great vocals and expertly delivered musicianship.
Haunting, disturbing but at the same time beautiful with heartfelt meaning. A modern classic and our best sound of 2020, if you haven’t listened to this track yet you need too. Your year is not complete till you have fallen in love with this track.
With a rich history Moles Club is a Icon in the UK music scene, this year the venue has had an amazing year. Artist's have come far and wide to entertain the good people of the south west, they've all preformed for a very reasonable price.
For anyone who has been able to step inside Moles Club they get confronted with a Wall of Fame, this year artists like The Pale Whites, October Drift, Red Rum Club, Annabel Allum and Soeur have stated their claim to have their names inked on the walls next to Radiohead, Blur and Idles.
We can't wait for next year to see what new bands make their way to Bath and show us their musical talents.
If there was ever a better time for people to give a message of hope, gratitude to our fellow humans some call them foreigners, the importance of the NHS and the need for openly talking about mental health and addiction then I don't know when better will be. But the beauty of the Idles is the way they deliver this message through a identifiable emotion which everyone can understand, as the language is in context with what we can all feel during our lives. So thank you
Artist: King Nun
The Track: Black Tree
So unbelievably amazing. A track which is equality haunting, full of energy, thumping sound and lyrics which draws you in.
Black Tree is the best track you will hear all year.
An unbelievable gig was delivered by October Drift in early May as part of the Thekla's birthday bash.
The atmosphere was electric in The Thekla as October Drift sold out the venue, October Drift delivers a full energy experience each and every time they step on stage. But on this night the energy was at a different level and it rippled through the crowd.
Watch out in January as this exciting band releases their debut Album Forever Whatever, if you haven't pre ordered the album yet we recommend you treat yourself.
The Mute Group met and live in Nashville, Tennessee, the band are made up of John Westberry, Ryan LaFave, Zachary Gresham, and Amy Gill. They have produced a sound which is so unusual and obscure, thats is nothing short of brilliant. They describe their sound as ‘music that skews less vintage than ancient, medieval geologic. These are songs that might just as easily ward off the evil eye as entertain.’ This is a band which you can share with your friends and they will marvel in your well rounded musical appreciation while thanking you in the process.
The Mute Group has done what many bands have failed to do, they have maintained their unique sound from the first track to the last and that is what makes you happy that you have been engulfed into the abstract world of The Mute Group and their album Sinister Hand