Today we visit Birmingham Institute and the idyllic setting of an old school theatre. Upon approaching the main hall I'm greeted by Tom Searle (guitars). In between soundchecks we sat down with one of the 5-piece Brighton metalheads to talk about their tour, album, being vegan and skin cancer. 


  1. So Tom, how are you?

Good, Yeah. Exhausted.


  1. What was your introduction to metal and hardcore music?

I guess Killswitch Engage, Poison The Well, Johnny Truant,… who are like our home time heroes growing up. Probably Every Time I Die are in there as well. 


  1. What bands have you been listening to lately? Who should we be looking out for? 

Oh god…. I tell you what, this is probably a really clique thing for someone in a metal band. But, I ’t find myself listening to an awful lot of metal… It's not that I ’t like metal. It's just I ’t think there are many good metal bands. But I really like the last Tesseract album, which I just got into way after it came out. I really enjoyed listening to that! That's a UK band that’s doing something different in their own way. So, yeah, those guys I think. I like lots of other music but I wouldn’t say that I have my ear to the ground or anything like that. So I can’t really recommend anything else, that I think anyone else wouldn’t already know.


  1. On your current tour, what has been your favourite place to perform?

Well… I love playing in Germany and Cologne in particular, It's just a great place for us for some bizarre reason. Germany is just fantastic. We played a really fun show in Amsterdam as well that had no barrier, it’s just people being mental, stage diving and generally just behaving like bizarre dutch people. But I would have to say maybe Manchester was just the biggest show we’ve ever headlined. Manchester was really cool. 


  1. What was the strangest thing to have happened on the tour so far? 

I ’t think that anything strange has happened on this tour actually? You feel like strange things must happen all the time, even from my perspective, but when we get asked this question, and we do get asked this question a lot, you just cant think of anything, I'm sure weird things have happened. You get into a routine where, you know, you just have a daily routine like anyone does in any job, and sort of bizarre things ’t really happen. We ’t tend to go out an awful lot, we pack up, get in the bus and go to bed. Because we got to wake up in the morning and load in again. So there isn’t much room for bizarre stuff, you know. So I ’t know, tough question. Shouldn’t be but it is.


  1. What have been some of your high and low points being on the road?

Probably… low points it all happened in America. We dropped off a tour last year in America. It might have been the year before that actually. But, you would have to say that’s a low point. Dropping off a tour is rough. But then, actually no. The dropping off was fine, the bit before when we were like "Are we going to drop off….?” “Yeah, no, yeah, no….?” Everyone was burnt and we were like "Shit!" But, we have had a couple of times in America where our band bank balance had hit zero and no one gives a shit and it's just hard work you know. Highs? Probably any time we get to tour in the UK or Europe; I mean we are going to play Roundhouse. I mean if that isn’t a high then I would have done something seriously wrong. Because, I can’t believe we are playing there. It's amazing. 

  1. What are your hobbies outside of music?

I like exercising, I like cycling, but, really when I'm off the touring my hobby is to play guitar and write music. So, that actually takes up all my time. But, I ’t know maybe thats why we are still doing it after 10 years. Because it is our hobby. I'm a bit sad in that respect it's all music for me.


  1. What had the most impact on your decision to go vegan?

We were actually recording our album Daybreaker and we were living in a house all together just outside of Reading. In between we were just getting drunk every night and then we would all sit down and watch these documentaries. We watched ‘Food Inc’, theres another one ‘Food Matters’ and ‘Folks Over Knifes’, which is a fantastic documentary. And since then another documentary called ‘Cowspiracy’ which has just come out and is fantastic as well. We just watched that stuff, the information entered our consciousness, and we thought “well… we ’t really have a choice now”. You know, if you find out some things and ’t act on it then I ’t think I could look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day.


  1. Regarding Sam Simon, who sadly passed earlier in march 2015, what do you think his contribution was?

I would say this is almost certainly a question that Sam would be better off answering. He is the sea shepherd man. Not that I think they're pirates like some people, I absolutely back the organization, but, it's definitely a question for Sam.


  1. Let's talk about your current album ‘Lost Forever Lost Together’. Whats your favourite song of the record personally? What was the hardest song to write lyrically?

Favourite song…. I mean the great thing about the album is I’m pretty happy with quite a few of them, which hasn’t happened very often for us. But I really liked Colony Collapse because it's a bit different, and it was one that I wasn’t sure if we were going to pull off. I didn’t want it to… I ’t know, be tasteless? But yeah, so Colony and writingwise lyrically probably. C.A.N.C.E.R because I was writing about getting skin cancer. So, maybe I had to think a little bit more about the sort of direction and message that I wanted to put across. Because everyone knows someone that has been affected by cancer and I didn’t want it to be like hopeless or insensitive or make out that my life or situation was terrible and unmanageable because so many other people have it worse. So just in that sense I didn’t want to take out the honesty from the song, I wrote it over a period of time but some points I was just thinking about how I was going to die. So, I didn’t want it to be too morbid and you know Sam’s singing it! So it has to make sense. It can’t be all is me.


  1. What is the significance behind the title of ‘Lost Forever Lost Together’?

Kind of a couple of things, when we were in the studio we were all just working really hard, putting a lot of pressure on ourselves like we always do. We definitely felt like we did fuck this one up…., that was it! So everyone was really struggling a lot. Myself and some of the other guys in the band have a hard time with anxiety. But sort of the experience going through it didn’t feel lost or the future felt uncertain but we were sort of all in it together, as a band. But also it sort of reflected nicely for me on a larger scale with some of the themes on the record. We kind of live in scary times I'm sure people felt like that in the 1920's as well…. Although, they had two World Wars. So, I'm guessing it was full of hard times. I’m sure people have always felt like that, but with the damage we are doing to the environment. Even things like Fukushima leaking 7000 tonnes of radiation. No, the radiation increased 7000 times the other day. Anyway, there are all sorts of terrible things, fish stocks going in the sea, it's scary, but we all carry that together and I think that was the kind of direction we were thinking of.


  1. You have achieved a lot as a band for the past 11 years, what is your ultimate goal?

Thank you. I have no goals or ambitions in terms of success, ticket sales, album sales or any of that stuff. I just want to write records that me and the rest of the guys are proud of and believe in. I think if we have any goals I suppose they'd be more creative or artistic ones which are sort of intangible and impossible to describe. So yeah, I think it's to do it as long as we enjoy it and do it for as long as we believe the band can offer something that we believe in, and that is a hard challenge. You know, we've done six albums and that doesn’t happen every time sometimes you go in and think you've got it and you come out and it's not right and you think "Damn!" On to the next!


  1. If Architects could be remembered for one song, which would you choose?

You know what, maybe we haven’t written it yet? I should probably say the song I’m most proud of which was ‘Colony Collapse’. But, I was really happy when we released ‘Naysayer’, because it felt like it represented how the band was that we wanted it to be, to come out with something that is not completely uncompromising. But, its an embracive song that I think no one expected us to do. I was so stoked to get to put that out and for that to be the first thing, and obviously its a lot of fun to play live. Also it's not too hard to play. I fucking hate all the fucking hard shit. So yeah, ‘Naysayer’.


  1. What’s next after your current tour, what’s next for Architects?

Bits and bobs really we're at the end of the cycle. We're going to headline in Australia, doing a run in Russia, we're doing some festivals. Not to down play any of those things, especially going to Australia is great, but it is kind of odds and ends. We're just focusing on moving on to writing the next record and hopefully going on to record that at the end of the year which I'm sort of bracing myself for right now. The thing is, I want to say this is great, you look forward to doing it for so long, big headline tour, our biggest ever but then you're on it and actually I feel a bit of the weight of just it all. Even having a show like London, we play to 3000 people but that’s not like going skiing or something it’s not a holiday. It can be really exhilarating but it's also really scary actually. So, I'm almost looking forward to going home and going "Thank fuck nothing went wrong". That’s if nothing goes wrong.  


  1. Well thank you Tom for speaking to the readers of RMP and all the best.

No problem, thanks mate !    

– Carl Battams

Evil Invaders

With the foresight of an awesome release show later that evening, RMP took the time to talk to Joe (vocals/guitar), Sam (lead guitar) and Senne (drums) of the Belgian metal band Evil Invaders. We met in the record store a two-minute walk away from the venue and had a nice chat about their new album 'Pulses of Pleasure', their recording adventures and Japanese schoolgirls.

  1. I remember that a couple of years ago I frequently heard the name ‘Evil Invaders’ during shows in local youth clubs. How long are you guys already known as a band?

Joe: Our first gig must have been somewhere in the beginning of 2009, but with a totally different line-up. I am the only one left of the original line-up, they (Sam and Senne, rev.) joined later on.


  1. So how long have you been playing with this line-up?

Sam: Like this? Six months or so.

Senne: Yes, we recently got a new bass player so…

Joe: Indeed, but us three. We’ve been playing since 2012.

Sam: Didn’t you (Senne, rev.) join in 2011?

Senne: Yes indeed, at end of 2011.


  1. How did you come up with the band name ‘Evil Invaders’? Has it something to do with Razor’s second album with the same name?

Joe: Yes, that’s exactly what it is! We were looking for a good band name for over a year and one time I stumbled upon that album and I thought ‘that sounds pretty cool’. And of course it immediately fitted our music genre.


  1. During the last two years you became more popular as a band, especially after the release of your first EP “Evil Invaders”. Do you know how this could happen? Did you expect this?

Sam: We didn’t really expect it, but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we played a lot of gigs in the last two years. Since the EP came out, we were gigging almost constantly and that’s how you reach a lot of people.

Senne: And you need to continue working for it because nothing comes for nothing. We all have to give 100%.

Joe: We also had a lot of luck with countries abroad. At one moment the shows kept coming and of course we got a deal with Napalm Records. That all just happened to us and we know those were big opportunities.


  1. Was there a big difference between the making and recording of your new album ‘Pulse Of Pleasure’ and your first EP?

Joe: In the making and recording of both albums we ran the show, but we recorded for example the EP in a bedroom with our guitars plugged in directly in our computer. That really was a trial-and-error process. And now, for our full album, we knew more what we were doing. We also went to the studio of our sound engineer to record everything more decently and after that we did the mixing and mastering ourselves so we could determine our own sound even more.

Sam: Recording the album went indeed a lot smoother than with the EP. [laughing] This time the stupid laptop didn’t constantly break down.


  1. The artwork of our EP as well as that for the new album was made by Mario Lopez. Does the image on the album cover represent your song “Stairway to Insanity”?

Joe: It’s actually a combination of a lot of things. There are lots of references to the lyrics in the album cover so if you read the lyrics and you look at the cover you’ll be able to connect little pieces of text with parts of the image. We put a lot of different references in there on purpose and we tried to include mystery to it all also. You can’t clearly see what’s going on in the cover, but if you read the lyrics you’ll think “Of course, that’s what they intended with the artwork!”


  1. Today you’ll play the release party of your very first full album “Pulses of Pleasure”. What do you expect of the new album?

Sam: I think it’ll depend on the crowd. Of course we hope they’ll like it very much and that it’ll bring us even further because that’s the purpose of releasing an album: going forward and not standing still, isn’t it?

Joe: We’re really working to go further and we sincerely hope we will be able to grow as a band and I think this album is a step in the right direction. It’s of a much higher level than our EP if you ask me and we also try to work harder on our show. This album has definitely more depth to it and it sounds a little bit more mature.

Sam: ‘A little bit…’ [laughs]

Joe: Yes, indeed. We just try to reach as many people as we can while playing the same style of music.



  1. On March, 7 you’ve played at Up The Belgians! Fest in De Kreun (Kortijk, BE) as part of a double release show for on the one hand your new album “Pulses Of Pleasure” and on the other hand the new album “Last Tribe Standing” by the old bastards from Ghent, Ostrogoth. Did you have fun during this evening full of metal violence?

Sam: Yes, certainly!

Joe: Of course, without a doubt! We already knew the people of Ostrogoth because we already did a club tour with them two years ago when they had announced their reunion.

Sam: And at Graspop Metal Meeting we also performed together.

Joe: They’re really cool dudes and also their fans and our fans fit perfectly together! Old and young metal fans banging their heads like brothers.


  1. In the meantime you were signed by Napalm Records, known through bands likeAlestorm, Legion of the damned and The Cavalera Conspiracy. How do you experience the cooperation between you guys and the label?

Joe: It’s very laidback actually. In the beginning you expect that a label as famous as Napalm Records is going to push you in one direction or another but that didn’t seem the case! We’re really keen on our freedom, musically speaking, and they respect that without any doubt. They also don’t give us some sort of time limit, but they do give us advice for when to or not to release our music for example while a big promo stunt is about to happen and we also notice that the music video Napalm posted on their Youtube page got a lot of views and that of course is awesome too!


  1. You’ve played in a lot of countries like Japan, Spain and Lithuania. How was performing in those countries compared to playing Belgian shows? And which show did leave the biggest impression on you guys?

Joe: Japan was different, but mostly it’s more or less the same during shows: there are always some mosh pits and stage dives. But in Japan you have some weird situations like people with mouth masks in the crowd and that make you wonder “Where did I end up?”.

Sam: Our we had some girls in school outfits!

Joe: Yeah, those kind of anime costumes! [laughing]. Really strange things like during the soundcheck: generally speaking when you raise your thumb here in Europe to the sound guy he knows the sound is okay. And over there in Japan the sound guy thought a raised thumb meant he had to raise the volume so when we entered the stage and we started playing everything went “Boom!”.

Senne: But in general the crowd was very cool! It was really awesome!

Joe: And they couldn’t stop making pictures and asking for autographs.

Sam: They’re very respectful nonetheless.

Joe: But crazy!


  1. Next to gigs abroad you also played for the first time at Graspop and Pukkelpop. These are festivals at which you’ve probably wandered around yourselves as fans. What was it like to be there, at those festivals, as a performing band?

Sam: Awesome!

Joe: It was really cool, especially Graspop; so many people came to see us there! At Pukkelpop we had to play very early but all things considered the tent was pretty crowded. We didn’t expect so many people that early on the last day of a festival. Isn’t the last day the day where everyone sleeps of their debauch? [laughs]

Sam: I was secretly hoping for rain that day so the crowd had to come inside the tent for shelter so they had to see us.


  1. It’s kind of obvious that, musically speaking, you’re influenced by the early thrash metal bands. Which bands are the biggest influences on you guys?

Joe: We actually have a bunch of influences and they’re also differents between band members. Me for example, I listen a lot to Motörhead, Savatage, King Diamond and Merciful Fate.

Senne: And I’m very much intro Iron Maiden, so I’ve got a lot of heavy metal influences.Sam: And I’m really fond of Rush for example. I personally think it’s very important as a band to have lots of different influences.

Joe: You of course can’t deny that you’re influenced by bands like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. So we’re kind of a mix of all bands from the 80’s.


  1. Als your outfits reflect your preference for the eighties. Do you deliberately choose your outfit before a gig?

Senne: I just take what’s on top in my wardrobe! [laughs].

Joe: I always walk around like this. I don’t have anything else!


  1. So you don’t have special outfits for playing live?

Sam: Not really, but you have to make sure that you don’t wear shoes that could be slippery or it’ll be possible that you end up face down on the stage.

Joe: You just have to wear comfortable clothes. And of course it comes in handy that you can hang your guitar strap over your shoulder.

Sam: I’ll also never wear a tongue anymore!


  1. Not anymore?

Sam: Yeah well… No comment. [laughs]


  1. I really wish you the best of luck for the release of “Pulses Of Pleasure”. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Joe: That’s something Senne will do!

Senne: I’d to say that that have to check out our new album and maybe we’ll meet the next time during a show! That’ll be awesome because then we can all party together and drink a whole lot of beer!

– Frederik Geuvens

Cancer Bats

Cancer Bats have been a musical force of nature since its inception eleven years ago. With each new album, the band pushes the limits of its sound and and the members evolve as musicians. Now that their fifth studio album, "Searching For Zero", is being released, we sat down with the guys to discuss the making of the new record, working with Ross Robinson and their tour with While She Sleeps.


  1. Hey guys! Thanks for talking with me, are you looking forward to your upcoming tour with While she Sleeps?

We're so pumped for this Sleeps tour, it’s going to be the best ! 


  1. How would you describe Cancer Bats show to someone that’s not seen you guys before?

For someone who's never seen us before I would say our band is a giant ball of Canadian hair and beards just spitting and yelling and making all types of noise…., in a good way. 


  1. A few years ago you did the pentagram tour performing six times in one day all over London, any chance of a repeat performance on the next tour cycle or was once enough?

We had a blast doing the Pentagram rip for DSOL but I 't think we'll ever do that again. Everything worked out so perfectly that day I wouldn't want to try and attempt it again, I feel like we'd curse it. [laughs]


  1. How did the title of the new record come about and does “Searching for Zero” have any special meaning?

“Searching For Zero” is the idea of us finding a new common ground to move forward. After 10 years as a band this is our new starting point to move forward. We've dealt with everything and now moving forward, everything is positive for us. Good vibes only! 


  1. What made you decide to work with Ross Robinson as a producer on the record?

Ross’ name was presented to us and we looked back at all of his past work and it just made sense. Also speaking with him and realising he's the most stoked dude ever, it was just a match made in heaven. 


  1. Do you have any plans to play European festivals this year?

We've got some festivals lined up for this year, but we're hoping to come back next year and really crush anyone we miss out on this Summer. There's just too many amazing places we all want to go! 


  1. The new songs (“True Zero” and “Satellites”) sound more doomy than most of your previous recordings. Was this deliberate and what music were you listening to during the writing process?

I think this has just become a natural progression of the band. We all love stoner rock and doom and sludge so I'm sure all of that creeps into what we're writing. We all were listening to a lot of Black Angels, Witch, Graveyard, Neurosis, Church Of Misery, Nebula, Kyuss, Fu Manchu and tons of stuff like that. Just getting stoked on great records ! 


  1. How do you try to capture the energy of your live shows on record?

That's Ross’ specialty of channeling those vibes and I think it really takes someone who has been working with so many aggressive bands for so long to really understand all the little tricks that it takes to capture that raw live sound. He is truly the king of the vibe. 


  1. Most critics are in agreement on the high quality of your previous albums, do you feel any pressure to make an album that lives up to expectations?

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to really outdo the last albums and to create something different. With DSOL I feel like it was us really nailing a lot of ideas we'd been working on since we started the band, so from there it was really important for us to move things forward and build from there and to not just write DSOL part 2. 


  1. Are there any songs on the record that will surprise longtime fans?

I think there are a lot of surprises, but for longtime fans, I think they'll be really stoked to hear some fresh new ideas coming from the same sound and four dudes they've been hanging out with for the last 10 years.


  1. Thanks again for taking the time to talk to me, do you have any final words for your fans?

Thanks so much for doing the interview and I can't wait for everyone to hear the new album and to come party with us in April! 

– David Gilmore

Western Addiction

On the day that Amsterdam experienced a blackout, Western Addiction was in town on its first European tour. Luckily that power shortage was swiftly solved so the show could go on. RMP Magazine took some time to sit down with Jason Hall, the vocalist and guitar player of Western Addiction. In between the sound check and the show we checked if a second blackout was to be expected tonight, one caused by the hardcore madness of Western Addiction. Find out below about Jason's experiences in the Old Continent of Europe and their newest EP “I’m Not The Man I Thought I'd Be”.


  1. Hello Jason, this is the first European tour for Western Addiction and also your first visit to Europe. How has it been so far?

I love it! All the other guys have been before, so they've known what to expect a little bit. So far I loved every country. We went to Spain, went to France, I loved France, then the UK and now here.


  1. Have you noticed the cultural differences between those countries?

Mostly for the good, things make sense here. Getting around on the public transportation makes sense. The size of the food makes sense. They give you just enough to eat and to be full. That makes total sense to me. It's not like a big giant burrito or something. So far everybody has been wonderful.


  1. And Amsterdam?

I looked a little bit and it's so beautiful. It's as beautiful as some of the small towns in France we went to. Not small but relatively small like Lyon, Cognac and Toulouse. Toulouse was pretty wonderful, but this one is like a postcard everywhere you look. I love it. 


  1. Lagwagon asked you to play this tour with the support of The Flatliners. How psyched were you for this tour?

Really excited actually, I've known Joey for quite a long time and I've known The Flatliners guys. I used to work at the record label that we're on, so right when I was leaving, they got signed. They're wonderful dudes and Joey is wonderful too. He wanted to do a tour with all of his friends. It's so great, I have a fulltime job and I don't get to tour all the time. So this is like a dream for me. I'm loving it.


  1. “I’m Not The Man I Thought I'd Be” is the band’s newest EP that was recently released. Have you played any songs live yet and how was the response?

We've played that song, the title track song. And we played this other song called “Clatter And Hiss”, it's a demo on there. Pretty good. I think we're kind of the odd band on the bill. People are looking at us and they're kind of confused; interested, but confused. I'm screaming at them the whole time and Lagwagon and Flatliners are so fun and happy. I think they're going “What am I seeing?!”. That first song “I'm Not The Man…” is like a rock song, so people’s bodies automaticly kind of move with rock. It's really like AC/DC style rock, that's like our only song like that. You can kind of see people moving and react to music but they're still kind of confused of what we're doing.


  1. The new track “Clatter and Hiss” is the first track where bass player Tony contributed during recording. How does a new member affect the group and the recording?

Each new member brings something different. I love having Tony in the band, he's really positive. He's a great guitar player, he plays bass in our band. But he's an awesome guitar player, he's an awesome singer. I can't really sing, I can  do a little bit, but I have in my mind what I want a song to do. When I can't do it physically, he can do it. So I'm like “Hey Tony, there's a part that needs to be sung” and then he can really do it. He's been in other bands like Cobra Skulls. He has been around the world so he's like a veteran. I'd rather have good, cool friends in the band and I'm so glad he's playing with us.


  1. When recording the new EP it was recorded to 2” tape in the studio. In this era of digital technology being the standard, what do you believe to be the benefits of tape?

Chad, our drummer, he's really into that. He likes the sound that the drums make with it. I'm not really that great at that stuff. But Chad is really good about this; he recorded our demo that went on our record. He has got an ear for that. He has a really huge knowledge about when things were recorded, history of music. He really knows a lot of punk, hardcore and metal. And that's the sound he likes, he kind of helps us out with that kind of stuff.


  1. The title track of the EP “I’m Not The Man I Thought I'd Be” has a rather pessimistic feel to it. Can you let us in on what message you were trying to get across?

Every song isn't necessarily super true, but my wife read the lyrics to that. And then my mom was at our house and she picked up my lyrics book and was reading it. She was like “I don't know about that song, I'm worried about you”. First of all I was like “You put that down, why are you reading that?!” [laughs]. It's a little pessimistic. You think about how life should go, how things should turn out. They don't ever, they never turn out the way you thought they would. I mean it is pessimistic, but I don't know, sometimes I'm filled with anxiety and that was just one song about how things go. I never thought I would be playing in a hardcore band and touring Europe at this time of my life. That's kind of a good thing that I wouldn't have anticipated. There are good things and bad things; that one is about the bad things. Everybody always feels those things and a lot of our lyrics are really cryptic and you can't really connect with them. I have some friends in bands and they make good lyrics that really connect with people. I think Against Me! does a really good job at connecting with people but their lyrics are understandable. I'm trying to do that a little bit more versus all those crazy words and things that no one can relate too. I think people may be able to relate to that song by thinking about how your life is going to be and it just doesn't happen and you feel disappointed in a way. Maybe the comfort is that I can feel the same way you feel and things will be okay.


  1. You mentioned you worked at Fat Wreck Chords in the past. How has this influenced the band? 

Definitely connections. I mean, I have all these great friends from long ago so you just know lots of band people and it does help. We would never be on all of this if it wasn't for Joey. I'm not going to hide any of that. He's a great friend and he asked us to play and we're thankful. And Chad works at the label now. There's this cool thing that has been happening at Fat Wreck Chords, people splintered off a bit and went their separate ways. And now we're a little bit older and getting back together like a family in a way. I'm seeing all these people and the person that runs our label Erin, she's awesome. She was my boss basically for years and now it's like old friends coming together. She's really supportive, she even texted us on this tour. It does feel like a family in an odd way. We're kind of a different band for Fat, but I don't care. I've seen all the other labels, I’ve seen bands not get paid. Fat always pays bands. They always treat them right, they give them whatever they need. Even it hurts the label a bit. That's pretty cool.



  1. I love the way they work with one record deals.

Yeah, because they're not trying to lock anybody in there. There are no tricks. Even if you don't make money from royalties you always get a statement. It's not like labels like Lookout records who were in the past accused of not paying people. Fat always pays even if you don't like them or make fun of the bands. They always pay.


  1. After the start of Western Addiction and the first release in 2006, “Cognicide”, you all went on a hiatus, due to the usual routine of kids, work, life or other interests. How does it feel to be playing and recording again?

It feels kind of nice. The break was my fault. Because I have a family and my little daughter was young and I didn't want to be away or gone too much. She's a little bit older now and I'm able to get away and I also have a job. Leaving the label I came to respect music so much more and like music more. I always liked it. Even when I talk to the guys of the label they don't always know exactly what's going on because they're in it all day. I love music. I listen to it all the time, I look forwarding seeing it on TV. I got a bit older where I'm not complaining about music as much. So if you're watching a big television show like the Grammy's or the Superbowl. What's this band doing? These guys suck. I don't think like that anymore. I'm just so thankful, check it out, there's rock 'n’ roll on TV. I'm more appreciative, I lightened up a little bit.


  1. Jason, you also keep a tour diary published on New Noise. For instance, you visited the Guggenheim museum in Bilboa.  In the blog you mentioned Niki de Saint Phalle and her sculptures, what attracts you to her work?

Yeah, I have to do that. I turned in the other one Wednesday. They had a video of her speaking about her work. It was so powerful. I life with all ladies: I live with two daughters and a wife and they are all strong, powerful women. She was a really strong, powerful woman and what she was saying was really interesting. She was basically saying “Only men can make destructive things, so only women can make beautiful art out of these things.” She had this giant skull and this golden bat with the machineguns. Also when you’re looking at some people's art you can see them falling apart or their madness. You can see their madness in what's happening. The whole thing, I think she was an incredible woman.


  1. You also seem to be fascinated by black metal like the Gaudi sculptures you described on the tour blog as ‘black metal’. What do you like in it and what bands can you recommend?

That's only recent. I like all the classics. I'm really new to listening to it. I only recently started listening to it. Like all the classics as Bathory and Burzum, the ones you're supposed to listen to. There's something so fascinating about that lifestyle to where you paint your face, you only do certain things and you run into the forest. I guess there's more to it. I don't know. I get into genres of music and I go in and out of things.  For a while I was into Sam Cooke a lot, a while I was into The Pixies. Now I'm into black metal. For some reason I don't know why, it's so fascinating. There's this band from San Francisco, they're called Mastery. They have a black metal record and the cover looks different than any black metal cover. It's not the undecipherable writing, really cool, just like primary colours. I listen to that and like this music, it’s maddening. It makes me feel nervous and anxious and wonder “Why am I listening to this?”. In a bizarre twist of faith I met the guy who made the record at the record store. I referred his record to him. I'm in the black metal section and I go “Have you check this band out?”. He said “Yeah, I made it.” And I was like “Get the hell out of here!” I think it's interesting. It's like another world, like in a play. It seems crazy. Just seems so fascinating. Have you seen that documentary about the Norwegian scene “Untill The Light Takes Us” or something. The whole thing is like a fascinating chapter in history. It wasn't really about being satanic. It was about people coming into their country and appropriating their things. You always think it's all about the devil. 


  1. So in 2013 the three-song EP “Pines” was released and this year the new EP. Any plans for a full album soon?

We have a lot of new songs. We were going to make a new record but we got offered this. I’ve never been here, so I was like “We're doing that.” But we have tons of new songs. When we play in Germany in a few days we will play more because we have a thirty-minute set. We will play one new one tonight that is not on any album. I pretty much used up all my vacation from work so I don't know when we are going to record. Maybe on Christmas day or something.


  1. What is the ambition of Western Addiction next to world domination?

I want to do one more record. I'd like to. The songs we have now are really interesting. I like the line-up, it feels really positive and fun. I have to share the members with other bands. Those guys will be doing their thing. I've been here now, we've been to Japan. Of course I'd like to go to other countries, I feel kind of spoiled. This is great.  At least I got to come here and see some of the best countries of Europe. I'm pretty good actually.


  1. Any last words for our readers?

Just thanks so much and maybe check out our new EP, it's on Fat. We'll have a new record out soon!

– David Marote

Don blake & Andrew Cream

Andrew Cream and Don Blake recently embarked on their first joint European tour, also known as the ACDB tour. Hailing from the UK, both bands loaded up the van and crossed the channel to play some select European places of the continental persuasion. We at RMP Magazine welcomed them at their last show of the tour in Belgium for a small chat on the tour, the new Don Blake record “Pocket Universe” and how Andrew Cream is now a full band thanks to Don Blake.


  1. Welcome to Belgium, can you please introduce yourselves?

Nige : I'm Nige, I play drums.

Joe: I'm Joe, guitar for Don Blake

Kieron: I'm Kieron, I play bass in Don Blake and Andrew Cream.

Rob: I play guitar in Don Blake

Andrew: I'm Andrew and I play guitar as Andrew Cream


  1. So this is the first European tour for Don Blake and you're joined by Euro-veteran Andrew Cream. How has it been?

Joe: It's been really cool. We've been in a few different countries in a short period of time. It's been cool to play lots of different kinds of show in such a short period. When we get to a venue you never quite know how the show will go down. Some shows you thought were going to be okay turn out amazing and then other show that might be amazing turn out to just be okay.


  1. You've played France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and many other countries. Have you noticed any cultural differences?

Rob: We ate more pasta when we were in Italy.

Andrew: There's a trend amongst every time I've been to Europe about how well the hospitality and how we get treated is ten times better than in the UK. We get fed so well, we always get a good place to sleep. That is a trend that runs through every country that we played.

Rob: I think that's been the main difference. Playing new places is cool anyway but the main difference has been the hospitality and everyone who helped us out on these shows.


  1. Andrew, Don Blake plays a pop punk sound, your work is more folk punk. How does the crowd react to the different styles?

Andrew: I think a lot of the time people that are into punk music will listen to anything from acoustic singer-songwriter to punk up until hardcore. A lot of the crowds just enjoyed that punky sound. I think some of the gigs had people that were more inclined, like in Italy they have quite a big pop punk scene so Don Blake went down really well on those shows. As on some of the other gigs we played with some more acoustic folk punk artists in Germany. People are more inclined to like that sound. But then both sides appreciated each other.

Rob: I think with the two bands, there is a difference but it's not a world apart.

Andrew: A lot of my songs are just pop punk with an acoustic guitar to it.


  1. Today you’ve played in Belgium which is the final show of the tour, but you’ve got big plans ahead: you're playing with Masked Intruder in the UK soon. Are you psyched about playing with them?

Nige: We played with them on a big festival at Manchester. There were ten bands on at the time and we were the first one on. We also played with The Murderburgers, they're friends of ours.


  1. Congratulations with the new Don Blake album “Pocket Universe”. It has already been released a month ago. How has the response been so far?

Rob: It's been pretty good. There's a lot more focus in writing an album for the first time. On the whole, people take it well and seem to like it.


  1. “Pocket Universe” was released on Round Dog Records which is run by Fraser of The Murderburgers. How did this come by?

Kieron: We put on gigs in Manchester ever too often and met Fraser and The Murderburgers through that. We went on tour with them. He mentioned he had a distro but then turned into a record label.

Rob: We pretty much asked him to be on.

Andrew: I heard it involved a gun.


  1. There might be a vinyl release this summer, any updates on that front?

Joe: That's partially to be done by Round Dog Records and the US release is being done by Bloated Kat. We're looking forward to getting the record out but part of me is just so excited to be associated with the other bands on the label like The Kimberly Steaks and so on.


  1. Last year Andrew Cream and Don Blake released a split EP together, now the split tour and Nige and Kieron play as Andrew's full band on the tour. What's the attraction between both bands?

Kieron: I really struggle to understand…

Nige: Andrew doubles up as a tour manager/tour organiser so you know…

Andrew: I've known these guys for like coming up to ten years. Rob and Joe especially and I met Keiron and Nige like two years later. I don't really know where the conversation started but I wanted to start playing my songs with a band and Nige and Keiron seemed to be the obvious people to ask. And they were more than happy to do it. Deciding to do the split seemed quite natural. I really wanted to do a European tour with a full band and the only I'm getting to do it with a full band is getting them along. It's been really fun.

Joe: Andrew has always been active playing shows and we've been in bands before Don Blake where we weren't doing anything. In Don Blake we've been all more active.


  1. Andrew, both you and Don Blake both played The Fest 13 this year. How was that experience? And are there any plans on returning soon?

Joe: It's been amazing. This tour is really great. That and The Fest show, that's been the highlight of us being in the band. I'd love to go back and play. I'm going to go next time. I don't know the rest of the band can do it this year.

Rob: It was really cool and an awesome experience. In a way it's been a learning curve in terms of knowing what to do. Most of the foreign bands go without taking any of the gear with them. It's a learning experience. Next time we will be more prepared. Still, it was an amazing experience.


  1. Andrew, you're from Leeds and Don Blake is based around Manchester, how is the scene over there in the UK?

Kieron: I think in Manchester it’s very varied. We've got a lot of promoters like Under The Bridge who put on more acoustic punk stuff. They're getting big bands now like The Flatliners. He's putting up The Masked Intruder show.

Andrew: I find Leeds a little bit more of a hit and miss than Manchester. Sometimes we can have really great turnouts and other days not so good. Manchester feels more of a community. I think Leeds has the potential to become a community. It had a really great community about five or ten years ago but all those people are getting older. There's not really young blood coming in, it's about creating something new again. I've only lived there for 18 months and I want to try and help that happen.

Rob: We're not in the band for that long, just since 2012 so we're quite lucky getting to play in the Manchester scene in a time with shows like Masked Intruder. We also played with Chumped some time ago.


  1. So what's next with Don Blake and Andrew Cream? New joint ventures or releases planned?

Rob: We've got a new album and we want to put on shows in the UK this year and promote that.

Joe: We got a new record that we worked pretty hard on to get so now it's about getting it out there.


  1. Any last words for our readers?

Andrew: This tour has been fantastic. It's been really great for me to be able to play my songs with a band. I feel like every place that we played we took some positives from every gig. It was really great fun.

Rob: It's our first European tour. The hospitality’s been amazing. Just as the shows themselves. Having people listen to us, like last night when we played in France, it's so cool to play a new place. We saw some crowd surfing and human pyramids. It's been great fun.

– David Marote