Get to know: Feline and Strange

Know Me Better were recently in conversation with Feline Lang, one half of Berlin based electro-wave cabaret act,  Feline and Strange, who are ready to unleash their out-there sounds to the world.

How did you get your initial start in music?

I was born into it… seriously. My parents are classical musicians, I was bred in a womb that supported a concert harp, played with bricks under a grand piano, and started to learn the violin within 4 years. Thus I am sorry to say that it is beyond even my abilities to remember the initial moment!

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I want to become a household name and fill the biggest arenas in the world, and have my music sent on the next gold disc that goes out into the universe to represent humanity – who doesn’t? Anything below that wouldn´t justify a musician´s life which is serious shit most of the time. But then there´s these magic moments when you play for hundred, fifty, maybe just  two people, and you REALLY touch them, and you know that´s why you do this. Happens rather frequently to me lately.

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

I have been writing the odd song or arrangement since school days, but it all became really serious in 2009 after learning my tools through arranging operas for pop and folk bands with my own troupe.

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

Do I really have to choose from a world full of music? OK, first three that pop to my mind. Mozart, because he wrote music everyone can enjoy but few can understand. Depeche Mode, because their top defined sound is what defines pop music for me, and they proved like no one else that you can be epic without an orchestra. Nina Hagen, because she, in turn, proved that you can be a punk on any instrument and in any language.

 

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

I wrote this album in only 2 weeks, away from home, while Germany was turning upside down, from welcoming refugees with soft toys and water bottles at train stations, to burning down camps and marching against the government who let people seek help. I watched the news, and didn´t find any ways to help. So I wrote the album and made it, together with the now-released CD artwork, a pathetic glimpse into the feeling of suddenly losing your home, your right to survive, without warning, or alternative. What happens when you are evicted from planet Earth? And somebody you never met decides over your fate? The album tries to put you into this perspective. But it´s just a game. A play.

 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

We´re from Berlin! Well, we´re extraterrestrials obviously, but I guess most of Berlin´s inhabitants are. I like ballroom dancing a lot, especially Sing, and Tango, and I love swimming, so my favourite location is a tiny lake in the city, the Weissensee, where in summer balls are held at the shore, sometimes with live performances – we played there too – and after dancing your heart out, you can jump into the lake and swim, have a cocktail, and feel like a VIP in Monaco. Only dirtier.

 

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

You should definitely check out The Jackaffair! They do Latin Fun Punk, and support us very often. And I only recently met Les Pleureuses, who are as wacky as we are.

 

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

If you want to know all that´s going on, join The Feline&Strange Spaceship Crew on www.facebook.com/groups/felineandstrange! I spend a lot of time there, and reveal a lot of what´s in my head. Even closer you can get if you become a patron on www.patreon.com/feline , of course, getting early access, exclusive releases, and can actually influence my work. When I need help, I call out there, and listen! But the best first steps into the Feline and Strange universe is, of course, via our webpage www.felineandstrange.com. And if you are like, leave me in peace with all that stuff, I just want the music – did you know you can stream (and buy for your own price) ALL our music on http://felineandstrange.bandcamp.com?!

 

Check out the video for ‘No Life On Mars’ here:

Get to know: Les Kirsh

Les Kirsh has been writing catchy soul-influenced tunes since the 60s/70s, but has suffered more than his fair share of set backs. Now he’s back with a few remastered and mixed versions of old songs, reworked for a modern audience. Know Me Better managed to get 5 minutes with the talented songwriter:

 

How did you get your initial start in music?

After being in quite a few bands since school, I answered an advert in the Melody Maker and met with George Young and Harry Vanda (of The Easybeats) which which led to my first record deal with Phillips.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To have my songs covered by other artists and to be known as much as a writer as I am a singer.

How long have you been writing your own music?

On and off since the 60s

Who are your top three influences and why?

My ultimate influence is Otis Redding, later followed by Rod Stewart and Lionel Richie. These are artists I feel put a lot of soul and feeling into their music and lyrics.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

They are three completely different songs – two of which I feel tell a story and one is a fun, party song with a Four Tops Reggae feel. I enjoy writing all styles of music. 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

Im currently living In Essex – I don’t really have a favourite – each venue always has its own special feel.

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music

There is plenty more to come and some already out there. Feel free to check youtube where you will find some other of my songs including the original ‘Tell Me To My Face’. My newest tracks are on sound cloud too.

https://soundcloud.com/leskirsh

https://www.facebook.com/LesKirshMusic/

https://twitter.com/LesKirshMusic

 

Listen to ‘Tell Me To My Face’ here:

Get to know: Vispa

Know Me Better were lucky enough to get in touch with Iranian electronic artist, Vispa, whose retro-synth sounds are making waves in the modern world of electro music.

How did you get your initial start in music?

I’ve had a talent in composing since my childhood. But at the age of 19, I attended my first music class and perfected my skill on playing keyboards and synthesizers. After that, I self-studied harmony, counterpoint and orchestration amongst other things.

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

My ultimate goal in the industry is to attract attention as an electronic musician with different ideas and become famous. And money is also important to me 🙂

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

Since 5 or 6 years ago. But ‘Cosmic Force’ is my first professionally recorded song. I have a whole load of other songs that have not been recorded yet though.

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis and Hans Zimmer.

I think that these three people are unique in that they employ perfect ideas in their work because of their talent. Also, they have the best possible musical influences – you can see it in their arrangements and their style of music.

 

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

This is just the beginning of my work. These days I’m looking for a sponsor and I decided to record an EP with the same name (Cosmic Force) which contains three different remixes of the song.

 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favorite venues?

I live in Tehran, Iran. Actually there are not as many venues as you think there might be here. But there are some, like Azadi Tower which I think best suits an open-door concert. There are also two nice indoor venues here which I enjoy going to.

 

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

Actually I don’t listen to Iranian pop music, but simple or traditional Iranian music are among the best which I like and maybe in the future, I will employ a sense of this music in my work. Among Iranian musicians in the international scene of traditional music are Kayhan Kalhor, Homayoon Shajarian and Hossein Alizadeh.

 

Give our readers a roundup of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

My song is now available in 95+ online stores and streamers. But the most important ones are as follows:

Also, you can find me on social media here:

 

Listen to Vispa’s ‘Cosmic Force’ here:

 

GET TO KNOW: Tony Banks

How did you get your initial start in music?

I got my start as a young boy singing and performing in church. I can still visually remember my first solo. It was the bug that bit me and has stayed with me since then.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To continue be a voice for the voiceless, while extending my reach as far as possible and leaving my mark. This is important to me. Especially as a gay hip-hop artist. We don’t have a lot of artist to look up to in this overly-masculine and often homophobic community.

How long have you been writing your own music?

At the age of 15 I started writing my own songs and creating my own beats. I was always into creative writing and poetry so It was a natural progression.

Who are your top three influences and why?

I always say If Missy Elliot and LL Cool J had a baby it would be the Music Bear Tony Banks. With Heavy D as his uncle.

Missy Elliot: For her creative genius. While others go left so goes right and makes others follow her.

LL Cool J: He has the sex appeal that turned hip-hop upside down. Street to Sexy.

Heavy D: He made dancing around as a big guy acceptable and cool.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

As we just passed the 25th Anniversary of the LA Riots, it’s sad to see how much the climate of the country hasn’t changed as far as police brutality is concerned. This track is me using my voice as a black person living in America having to watch my every move knowing that at anytime I could be next. I’m sure EarthTone and JwlB, two other gay-black artist on the track, feel that same.

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I’m based in New York City in the borough of Brooklyn, but travel all over the city. You can just imagine the amount of talent flowing though that city. All types of people creating all types of art. Some of Hip-Hops most decorated artist come from Brooklyn.

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

In terms of lgbt hip-hop I recommend Mykki Blanco, Cakes Da Killa, EarthTone, JwlB, Will Sheridan, and Kamau Kenyatte. All amazing artist!!

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

www.musicbearonline.com

Twitter/IG: @Musicbeartonyb

GET TO KNOW: The Outside Illusion

How did you get your initial start in music?

It happened through my dad. When I was 4 years old he introduced me to Dire Straits, Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson. I used to be completely frozen in front of the TV watching these amazing artists. Some years later, when I was 10, he brought home a Laser Disc from “Freddie Mercury Tribute”. I was totally shocked watching the bands who performed at such an important concert, including Metallica, Extreme, George Michael, Elton John, Guns n Roses and of course, Queen (without Freddie already, but, still Queen). One year after that, at the age of 11, I asked my dad to teach me some guitar chords and riffs from these bands, as he was a guitar player also. That was the day I  became completely addicted to music. 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

My main goal is start doing world tours, from North America, Central and South America to the whole Europe, Australia and Asia. The possibility to take my music live to the whole world is what keeps myself inspired every minute of my day. That´s what I’m working for today. 

How long have you been writing your own music?

I´m passionate about writing my own music. Since I was 14, every band I formed was started with me writing my own songs. 

Who are your top three influences and why?

a) Iron Maiden: from their music to the way they do business, everything inspires me when it comes to Maiden. 

b) Yngwie Malmsteen: Listening to him, I learnt what Bend and Vibrato really means for a guitar player.

c) Brian May: He can play one note… and you will know: “This is Brian May!”. It shows the importance of developing your own identity as guitar player.  

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

I can´t wait to perform these songs live for you, wherever you are. 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

São Paulo, Brazil. When it comes to music, here you will find everything… from Samba to Reggae and Hip Hop, just as examples. But if you know how to manage your career, you will also find lots of people interested in the guitar as the front line element of a band. A place where I like and respect a lot here is called “TonTon”. It´s a very good place with a very good stage, equipments and everything I need. I have performed here from time to time and will be performing there on April, 28th with The Outside Illusion. 

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

Bad Luck Train.

Give our readers a roundup of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

You can find me on 

facebook.com/theoutsideillusion 

youtube.com/theoutsideillusion 

Spotify: The Outside Illusion

www.theoutsideillusion.com

GET TO KNOW: J Keys

How did you get your initial start in music?

I have lots of friend in the music industry , we always used to make music in our spare time.

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

My ultimate aim would be to get my record label as big as SONY or UNIVERSAL.

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

I have been writing my own music all my life.

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

My top 3 influences are : Frank Sinatra, Eminem and bob Marley.

The reason for this is because they all speak from there heart, and they all make great music.

 

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

The main thing i want people to know about my new release is…

everything i do is for my fans, without them me or any other artist is nothing.

And also i wrote this song while i was staying at the MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS.

 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

 

I’m originally from Essex.

After living in Essex and London my whole life, I have now moved to Bournemouth.

I have a huge line of videos that i have released over the last 5 years.

If you aint already seen them.. Go check them out!

 

Give our readers a roundup of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

www.MoneyMusicGroup.com Is where you can find ALL my songs , Videos plus merchandise .

Get to know: My Heart is a Metronome

We were lucky enough to have an extended interview with Swedish Indie-pop up-and-comers, My Heart is a Metronome. Here’s what they had to say:

 

How did you get you initial start in music?

We started out as a band about 4 years ago. Well, actually, it all started with Mattis Malinen (vocals and guitar) who wrote a whole lot of music on his own and then busked the streets throughout Europe. When he came back home to Sweden he felt the songs lacked a rhythm section. This is where Gustaf Simonsson (bass) and Felix Carlsten (drums) joined the band.

Mattis used to collect live videos on his hard-drive when he was around 15. One day he found a video of the band System of a Down playing a show at Big day out festival. The guitarist Daron Malakian was acting crazy, running around stage, spinning around, throwing himself on the ground to play a solo. This is what got Mattis into playing guitar. The rest is history.

Gustaf had been interested in music for his whole life. Growing up in a family with his mother who was an opera singer and grandpa who was a cantor, it was no coincidence Gustaf started to play music at a young age. He did his first live performance as a newborn baby, representing “the new year” at a big gala party. He used to perform on every big family occasion singing funny songs alone on stage. When he was 9 years old he began learning how to play the guitar. He was really focused to learn how to play a clean barre chord. He tried and tried, but did not succeed. He got so disappointed and sad that he climbed into a closet, held the door shut from the inside and refused to get out. That is what you call a real musician! Legend says he still walks into his closet when he can’t figure out the right chord for a song.

When it comes to Felix he literally started playing the drums on ice cream boxes, saucepan lids and plastic toys when he was 14 years old. He also liked to go to the kitchen, open the pantry and oven and hit everything that would make a sound. At last, his parents got so annoyed (impressed?) that they finally bought him a drum kit. However, we like to believe that they bought him the drum kit as they thought he had talent. Funny thing is that it is the same drum kit as he plays on the song ‘Feel Think’.

As a band, My Heart is a Metronome takes inspiration from almost everything. Might sound like a cliché, but that’s the truth. We listen to all kinds of music and if the music is good, it’s something to be inspired by.

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

The ultimate goal for My Heart is a Metronome would be touring worldwide, making a living off of our music. We all LOVE to play live, so to get the chance to tour all year long would be awesome.

We’re probably expected to say something like “our aim is world domination” or “we want to be the next big thing!”. But basically, for us it’s all about touring and playing our music live in front of our fans, on whatever “level” this might be.

 

How long have you been writing you own music?

Since the start, as we said earlier, My Heart is a Metronome started as a solo project, hence Mattis wrote the music himself. Now as a band we are writing all the music together in our rehearsal space. We feel that when we write everything together we bring out the best out of each other and that the synergy works best that way. However, Mattis writes all the lyrics on his own.

 

Who are you top three influences and why?

We all listen to different kinds of music and therefore also have different backgrounds, but we feel that it gives us a flexibility and creativity that makes us write cool stuff. We try not to get restricted to what we SHOULD sound like – but how we WANT to sound like. One day we might want to be sound frantic and noisy, another day we might want to sound more chill.

But to answer the question, here’s a few artists we’re listening to at the moment:

Wintersleep

Bon Iver

Hey Rosetta!

 

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

Well of course there is! First of all, you can find all of our songs on Spotify, SoundCloud and Youtube.

The release is named ‘Tierp’ after the small town that Mattis and Gustaf grew up in (and Felix visited to play football matches). It is said that the jackdaws are flying up and down because they don’t want to see the ugly town. This is why the artwork for the EP ‘Tierp’ consists of a jackdaw flying up and down. We can say that this is a tribute to Tierp, the town that has been named ‘the ugliest town in Sweden’.

 

Where are you based and what’s you local scene like? Any favourite venues?

We’re based in a city called Uppsala, close to Stockholm. The local scene in Uppsala is quite all right. You see, Uppsala is a student city which means that there’s a lot of things going on all the time. So when we play in Uppsala, our main target group is students who love to party! But the favourite venue in Uppsala must be either Katalin or the basement stage down in our rehearsal space complex.

 

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

Well we must say ‘Acidiun’! Really heavy stuff. The drummer in Acidiun used to perform as a percussionist at our shows, so we support each other.

Besides that we have ‘Struts’ which is Gustaf and Mattis’ second band. Felix says that it is his favourite band in Uppsala!

 

Give our readers a round up where they can find you online and hear more of your music

Oops already dropped a few places online… But what the heck, we can do it again.

To find us online and to get to know us even better you can visit us on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myheartisametronome/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myheartisametronome

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhiamband

Snapchat: @mhiamband

Web page: http://www.myheartisametronome.com

 

Find our music here:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4aaBqtuCgkgQce4h3lZKDc

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFncrO21DCA

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/myheartisametronome-1

 

Thank you for showing interest in our music!