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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: 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: Pimlican

How did you get your initial start in music?

Just mixing with other musicians and friends, some in the industry. I started to write songs and moved on to producing tracks as well whilst developing my songwriting.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To write and produce hits a songwriter and artist, also to perform live whenever possible.

How long have you been writing your own music?

Seriously about two years now, but it has moved up a gear or two in the last twelve months which has been reflected in radio plays.

Who are your top three influences and why?

Harris and Ford would be one of my greatest influences as they know how to produce great pop / dance music, play live and create a party atmosphere. Also produce brilliant videos for their hits.

Klankarussell where the inspiration that got me writing tracks and in particular the tracks ‘sonnentanz’ and ‘Netzwerk’ again great videos.

Finally has to be Chris Brown and tracks that feature Rich Gang and assorted rappers such as Tyga and Young Thug, just great street music.

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

It’s an original track with strong tribal beats and a real crossover of styles. We love it.

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

We are based in the north with members of the collective coming from Leeds, Manchester and the M62 corridor.

Locally the music scene is very guitar based and leans towards the indie scene, obviously I have a London sound influence which gives us a different vibe up here.

A favourite venue for me is the O2 Academy in Leeds, I have seen and had some great nights there. Also the G-Mex in Manchester is a cool venue.

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

There are so many guitar based bands around the scene in Leeds and west Yorkshire, I wouldn’t to compare us to any of these really and wouldn’t really like to single any out. As far as other styles of music go, there are some Electronica bands but again I wouldn’t like single one out in particular as they are all pretty competent.

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

Links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puczuTIE4nA

https://www.facebook.com/belgraveroadrecords

http://www.belgraveroadrecords.com/

https://pimlican.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/pimlican-97234536

https://twitter.com/belgraveroadrec

GET TO KNOW: Kid Cupid

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  1.  How did you get your initial start in music?

Laura: For me, I started playing instruments/songwriting in primary school (I actually played the cornet for a while! As well as guitar and singing lessons) I would perform at any opportunity and that slowly progressed into regular gigs and being noticed.

John: I started songwriting, and then I got into recording in a big way when I went to uni.  I actually found a love for piano a few years ago, I think it was prompted by getting into production.

Ian: I grew up always wanting to play saxophone. My Grandad was a big collector of jazz records. I actually didn’t start playing guitar until I was 18 and I got an electric for my birthday. I started playing bass when all my friends’ bands had plenty of guitar options but no one wanted to play bass, hence I now keep tabs on the low end!

James: I started on pots and pans from my parent’s kitchen, and drove them insane enough to buy me a real kit. I tried a couple of lessons but never did the homework, so in the end I just learned by playing along to CD’s.

 

  1. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To be able to call music our ‘job’ would be very cool and I think we would all love to perform on a big stage at Glastonbury. Honestly, to know that people genuinely like and want to buy/download/stream our music is such a buzz!

 

  1. How long have you been writing your own music?

Laura: I have been writing since I was about 5/6 years old. I have stacks of notebooks full of lyrics and song ideas.

Ian: I started writing my own stuff about 4/5 years ago and even had a brief foray into solo acoustic shows. I just didn’t like the pressure of performing by myself and I like bouncing ideas off people when you’re in a band and the sense of seeing things through to the best outcome via committee.

James: I’ve always been into creative writing from an early age, but didn’t turn my attention to lyrics until I was a teenager.

  1. Who are your top three influences and why?

Hard question! As band it helps us out a lot that we all have such different influences, it helps us be more experimental when writing!

Laura: For me personally I would say Stevie Nicks for her uniqueness and my many nights belting out ‘Edge of Seventeen’, Portishead for their experimental trip-hop vibe and Little Dragon who can do no wrong, just amazing!

Ian: Mine would have to be Ryan Adams, Josh Homme is an absolute hero and Thom Yorke

 

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

We had such a great time recording and producing this track (we do all production ourselves in John’s studio).  It took a long time and we kept returning to it, we really wanted to create something cinematic. It came alive when our friend Amy Squirrel added her beautiful cello part.

 

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

We’re based in London and as you can imagine the music scene is buzzing. At times it feels a little daunting as there are SO many bands, but it actually makes us more determined to stand out. We played The Water Rats which was great fun and we had a blast at Zigfried Von Underbelly recently

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

‘Brontë’ https://www.facebook.com/bronteofficialuk are definitely a duo to check out and we recently shared a bill with a band called ‘Posters’ who were really great!

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

Hey readers! The best place to find our music is www.soundcloud.com/kidcupidmusic (we have 3 singles out so far and a couple of great remixes)

For reviews, articles and to see what we’re up to gig wise www.facebook.com/kidcupidmusic

For pictures and randomness go to www.instagram.com/wearekidcupid and www.twitter.com/kidcupidmusic

Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis goes solo

After finding alternative success with Massachusetts based band, Speedy Ortiz, lead singer Sadie Dupuis is embarking on her own musical journey with aims of combating the way sexual consent in represented in contemporary music.

Her decision to go solo from the band was not due to a break up, it was justified. Sadie says: ‘most of these songs come from voice memo ideas that had been sitting on my phone since 2013, but they were all things that didn’t really fit for Speedy Ortiz’. 

Sadie is also a very productive songwriter, not mulling over compositions for months on end but instead, she makes demo versions that are then improved upon at a later date: ‘I was able to take the shells of these demos, re-do the vocals and add some live drums a little later. So whenever I had some free time for the rest of the year, I was putting in nicer vocals, or better guitars, or mixing and mastering it’.

Sadie’s single, ‘Get a Yes’ quite clearly addresses the issue of sexual consent and she noted that ‘there’s a lot of mystery and conflict inherent in mainstream depictions of sex, and less of a focus on healthy sexuality. So that was part of wanting to write a song like ‘Get A Yes’, where there’s no question of what it’s about. I don’t know that there many songs that are so explicitly about consent, which seems crazy to me!’

The debut album, Slugger, was written, recorded and produced by Sadie and whilst many are surprised by such self-sufficient female artists, Sadie stood up for women everywhere noting: ‘It baffles me, I guess, that people are still surprised that women are capable people with vast interests. I never understand that – people who immediately want to discredit women who work in technical areas of music, but it’s not surprising, I suppose.’

 

 

Know Me Better: Glitch Code

 

1. How did you get your initial start in music? I got a scholarship to a performing arts school when I was young, Sylvia Young’s. I really came out of my shell there. When I left I joined a rock band and started gigging. I met Paul when we were both playing in different bands at a local gig and Glitch Code gradually came together from that point. We both love the buzz of creating something new and a bit different so we gelled well together and began to evolve our sound over a couple of years to where we are today. Paul has played in bands since he was a teenager and also written for film and TV both in the UK and US.
2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

Ultimately we would like to be full time in the industry touring and releasing more albums in the future. We enjoy the artistic side of things as well so we are always keen to try and do something different with our releases such as the special book that accompanied the “Gifted_Damaged” album. The industry has changed a lot in recent years making it harder for artists to make a living but I think if you have a quality product and the right attitude there is still an opportunity to progress.

3. How long have you been writing your own music?

We’ve both been writing as Glitch Code for the last 4 years and individually since we were both teenagers. We’ve both been in bands playing covers over the years but it’s the thrill of creating something new that drives us on and really excites us.

4. Who are your top three influences and why? I think between us I would say a combination of the energy of Motorhead, the artistic creativity of David Bowie and the unique genius of Kate Bush. We’ve both actually got loads of influences from all sorts of genres but I think those three sum up the combined effect their output has had on us as writers and artists.

5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release? Paul came up with the concept of the album ‘Gifted_Damaged’ but it really struck a chord with where I was at the time. I was recovering after a 7 month stay in a rehab for addiction. I was piecing my life back together and many of the songs resonated with me. When I was singing in the studio, I was singing about having been broken, but also about feeling hope and strength, having survived.
I’m sure ever reader can immediately bring someone to mind who they would consider gifted and damaged. For Paul the inspiration was Syd Barrett.  We shot the cover art to resemble a room in an abandoned asylum and added in a few other clues
as to some of the story behind making the album and the four years it actually took from when we set off, to when we eventually completed the work. The whole making of the album has been a cathartic process for both of us and we are so pleased that the critical acclaim it has received since its release has made the whole process and the journey we made worth all the effort.

6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues? I am based in South London and Paul is in Northamptonshire. Being in London there’s always so much going on and the city is vibrant with music and bands from the local pub gigs to the big venues across the city. The Roundhouse is one of my favourite places to see bands and also the O2 Academy Brixton. For Paul, one of his favourite venues to play and see bands is Rock City in Nottingham. His ultimate venue to play would be the Albert Hall!

7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?
There are a lots of good bands who have come from Corby and around Northamptonshire which is where we are both originally from. Depending on your musical taste check out acts like Acoda, Luna Rosa and Corinna Jane.
Give our readers a roundup of where they can find you online and hear more of your music. You can see the video for our first single “Glimmer” here: https://youtu.be/iwsAU9qgkiY
Our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/glitchcode
Our Instagram @glitchcode
Our Twitter @glitchcode
Or our Website where you can hear tracks from the album : www.glitch-code.com