The Curf – Death and Love, Album review & Interview with the band

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The Curf is a three piece band from Athens, Greece. Their new album ”Death and Love was released on the 21st of July through Fuzz Ink. Records. Produced, engineered, mixed & mastered by Chris A and The Curf at Oak Street Studio Productions, this album includes nine tracks. First of all, i’d like to say that i really dig the album’s front cover artwork. In fact, it’s one of the best cover artworks i’ve come across in months. But, let us waste no more time and press play. Let’s see what we’ve got here. My first impression is that this album does have the necessary groove that we all long for. I’m talking about tracks like ”Motor Curf”. This is what i’d like to call a really strong song and it’s songs like these that set the tone. I’m always down with tracks like ”Let Go”. Black Sabbath is strong inside this one. Be sure to check out ”Smoke Ring” as well. It’s seriously heavy and i think that fans are gonna love it. ”Lunar Lair” is definitely a badass song and it is also a really cool song title. The album’s ninth track ”Death and Love” is my favourite one from this album. Considerably heavy, this song gave me an early period Paradise Lost vibe. I’ll admit i enjoyed all nine tracks. In my opinion this is one solid album by The Curf. It is also highly recommended. Here’s a link where you can also listen to ”Death and Love”. Apart from checking out their new album we also asked the band some questions about their new full length, their future plans, e.t.c. Here’s what they had to say:

Please introduce your band. When was the band formed?

The Curf was formed around 2004 in Rafina. Chris and Spyros were already playing together in another band which didn’t work out, and so The Curf was born. Back then the lineup was different as were the overall aesthetics of the music and the artwork. Since then there have been alterations in the band’s composition, until it got settled in 2016. Introducing the current state of affairs, The Curf is:

Chris A – Vocals, Guitars

Spyros (LeSpyr) – Bass

Pepper Koll – Drums

Where do you draw inspiration from?

There is no definite subject or place that inspires us. The idea behind a song, a melody, a riff, or some lyrics can be the result of anything we experience. We tend to be sensitive to matters of high emotion, the hardships of life, situations of loss, love and lust, and of course cannabis.

What inspires you the most?

That is a very good question, but the answer maybe a little vague. We cannot predict the sources of inspiration that we may come across, however death and love have been recurring themes in our compositions. And of course cannabis.

Are you guys also playing in other bands? How has this influenced you?

All three of us have other projects one way or the other, whether that is another band, a personal project or even session work for other bands or artists. It goes without saying that The Curf is our ‘musical headquarters’, however being all-around musicians we often participate in other projects. There is not much influence in that aspect, just music.

How is music produced in The Curf?

Every Thursday with a full moon we go out in the woods and perform rituals…Well, normally one of us has an idea or a riff, so we play around with it and work it into a composition. Many of our songs are the result of such cooperation. In other instances one of us gets a concept of how a song should be from beginning to end, so we follow closer that outline. Chris A plays a huge role in all of our music, since he is also the proud owner of Oak Street Studio Productions, which is our preferred studio. Chris is the guy behind our awesome sound, the bassness and the heaviness. He is also our producer and overall sound engineer.

Your new album ‘’Death and Love’’ was released this July. How has the reception been so far?

It has been great! Since July there have been several positive and encouraging reviews from across the globe. Recently we got a review from Obelisk with very positive feedback. Further to that The Curf is being played in podcasts and also in the radio. The countries that are showing more interest are Portugal, England, USA (California) and Brazil. Overall people appear to be appreciating our sound and thematology, which in a way serves our purposes as musicians.

Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to discuss?

The concept is more than less direct. Our album is an ode to two of the most intense driving forces of the human paradigm. It was not intended to be this way, but our compositions naturally had this feel to them.

What are you listening to these days?

Megadeth, Sleep, Yob, Electric Wizard, Gojira, Animals as Leaders, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, Crowbar, Last Rizla. just to name a few.

Any live shows planned for the rest of this year or in the months to come?

We are planing a European tour that will kick off after December …. Besides that ,we are going to do a live presentation of the album in the 16 of December in Athens followed by a couple of dates around Greece as well.

What does the future hold for The Curf?

Greatness and glory! We would like to see ourselves traveling to all sorts of places and countries and participating in huge festivals. We want to be able to play music for life, and live to play music. As long as there is people out there, we will be producing riffs that remind you to check under the bed before you sleep. So you better roll a fat one before bedtime!

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Interview with Dark Habits

Please introduce your band. When was the band formed?

Our band was formed between Matt Adamson our drummer and myself Lewis Glass our guitarist in January of this year (2017). For a brief period Matthew Blanchett performed vocals for us (he is the vocalist on Cave Paintings) but we have since parted ways with him.
The band now consists of Matt Adamson(drums), Ross Livingstone (bass), Lewis Glass (guitar) and Steven Murray (vocals).

Can you tell us about your main influences?

The main premise for our music is anything fast and heavy with some industrial influence although it’s not restricted to this. The bands that probably influence us the most are the likes of Converge, Darkthrone and Nine Inch Nails.

What inspires you the most?

Pretty much anything that is ‘not nice’ in life. I think it’s important to be a nice person in life but not deny the fact that horrible things happen around the world every day. We try to deal with this in our music, be it through the lyrics or through the mood/intensity of the instruments.

How is music produced in Dark Habits?

In terms of writing we are a very democratic band. A member will usually come to practice with an idea on their instrument and we’ll write around that and see where it goes. Lewis records, mixes and masters all of our music. He runs a studio (www.glassworksstudiorecording.com) where we write and rehearse. This, tied in with the fact that Ross is a videographer (www.yearonemusic.com) in his spare time means that we can do absolutely everything ourselves and keep the running costs of our band really low.

This May you released your debut ep ‘’Cave Paintings’’. How has the reception been so far?

We’ve been overwhelmed by the reception to it. We didn’t expect anyone outside of Glasgow to ever hear it but we’ve ended up sending tapes (which are now sold out!) to places all over the world, from Canada to Japan.

What about a full length album?

A full length album will happen although most likely not until next year. We have an EP due out before the end of the year though!

What are you listening to these days?

Between us we’ve been listening to Vein, Street Sects, Lord Mantis, Viva Belgrado. We do listen to non loud music too though. I think a band we all agree we love is Interpol!

Which is your favourite way of enjoying music? What would you choose between digital and physical format?

Whilst we all collect cassettes and vinyl when we can we definitely consume music digitally more often. Right now we all have extremely busy schedules and prefer the convenience of an MP3. That being said, the collectibility and sentimentality of cassettes and vinyl is unbeatable.

Any live shows planned for the rest of this year?

Yeah we have a few:

7th October @ The Flying Duck, Glasgow: Nihility, Underdark, Razorbite and us.
24th October @ The Garage Attic, Glasgow: Svalbard, The Tidal Sleep, Bosporus and us.
5th November @ Audio, Glasgow: Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Leng T’che, Boak, Endless Swarm, Gendo Ikari and us.

What does the future hold for Dark Habits?

We don’t have any goals other than to keep making music and playing shows together.

Interview with Procrastinate

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Please introduce your band. When was the band formed?

Procrastinate was formed in 2013 at Karditsa, Greece. At first, it was a project of two people in need to express themselves through extreme music and put out their ideas and beliefs. Later things got more serious and we became a five-piece and highly active group. We place ourselves among the DIY hardcore punk scene and perform only in autonomous spaces and squats which promote an anti-authoritarian, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-fascist and self-organized way of life.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Our lyrics draw inspiration from everyday life issues, the social & political crisis, personal situations and ethics.

Can you tell us about your main influences?

The only sure thing is that we listen to a LOT of music. I think that some bands that we can all agree on in the band are Tragedy, His Hero Is Gone, Fall of Efrafa, Wolfbrigade etc. for basics, but mostly we enjoy the contemporary DIY Greek scene in which we saw ourselves flourish. However, to diminish influence only to music would be a huge mistake. Art in general is and will be a major part of our lives forever.

The last years we’ve seen many diy bands come out of Greece. Is diy more of a political statement or is it more about freedom of artistic creativity?

Being free and creating on your own terms IS a political statement. People trying to refuse DIY its politicization to easily exploit its rise is something sadly often and really dangerous. We’re glad that the DIY scene in Greece is at its best with many different bands coming out day by day and we look forward it to be the threat to modern culture we dream it to be.

You are about to release your first, full length album. How did the recording sessions go? Will it be a concept album?

The recording sessions were split between Karditsa and Livadeia (both in Greece) where most of the work took place. We easily managed to get done everything the way it was supposed to be and we’re really happy with the end result. We consider the LP to be the best sounding work we’ve ever released. For that, we would like to thank George Stournaras over at Infected Studios in Livadeia for recording, mixing and mastering the record and Achilleas Kaminiotis over at Huge4 Studios in Karditsa for recording the vocals. There was no concept in mind while creating it, but after closely listening to it after its birth and if we had to name one, it would be: “The tale of a modern human’s daily struggle to cope with life’s absurdity and to make all dreams of rebellion reality”.

When will the album be released?

The album is going to be officially released by us and sweetohm recordings at September the 25th. For all those interested, you can stream the whole LP now exclusively over at IDIOTEQ.com or listen some tracks uploaded at our YouTube channel.

I loved the album’s cover artwork. Can you give us some info on that?

The peacock is something very characteristic of our hometown. If you visit Karditsa, there’s no way to ignore its central park “Pausilypo” where many of them have their stroll. These birds are connected to many childhood memories of this park and all the fun we had and are still having there. The obvious choice because of his love of drawing animals and our respect to him as a musician and artist was Alex CF (Fall of Efrafa, Light Bearer, Carnist, Momentum, Archivist, Morrow, etc.) who translated our vision into art in the best possible way and also took care of the layout.

Any live shows planned for the rest of this year?

We’ll be touring Europe in November for two weeks in support of the LP and have also planned two Greek dates for October in Patras and Athens. More Greek dates after Europe will follow for sure. Stay tuned for more information on the shows.

What are you listening to these days?

I sure can’t talk for everyone, but I (T.-vocals) am really into Brockhampton’s (an L.A. based hip-hop collective) new album “Saturation II”, Wolfbrigade’s latest album “Run with the Hunted” and Converge’s “I Can Tell You about Pain” EP.

What does the future hold for Procrastinate?

We’ll try to get the new album as far as we can, play as many gigs as we can and fight daily for what’s not earned yet. Beware the time of change.

Interview with Dead Like Me

Hi there! How are you guys? Congratulations on your first Lp.

Hi there, everything goes well, we received your interview during our rehearsal, prefect timing!
This album is very precious to us, it represents the end of bad lucks.

Please introduce your band. When was the band formed?

The band was formed in 2010. We recorded a demo in 2011, then a split with the amazing Gerda (Italy) and now we’re releasing our first album “A terre, amas de rêves”. As we said above, this album is very important to us cause, after our tour in 2013, we had to overcome hard times with the devastation of our rehearsal local (and Alain’s studio) and gear by a big flood. That was followed by heavy work and two consecutive changes of line-up (Lionel and Laurent joined the band on drums and vocals respectively). After this episode, we were motivated as ever to work on writing new material. But sometimes out of bad comes good and these hard times certainly pushed us to go further in the process of composition of these new songs.

What does the name Dead Like Me represent?

It’s relatively simple, it means that we’re all already dead, dead like me, dead like you, through our failures, disillusionments, etc. and in the literal sense of course because we’re all gonna die (sorry to have to tell you this, man !!).

What inspires you the most?

Everything around us is a part of our influences, music we listen to, books we read, movies we watch, our experiences in lives, people we meet and the ones we spend our time with, etc. We’re not able to tell you details of what gives our music its face because those ones are absorbed without thinking of. What we’re putting inside it is our deep bad feelings, like pessimistic way of thinking, coming from news and everything we said above. By this way, that’s what it allows us to “smile”

Can you tell us about your main influences?

Musically, we are influenced by a lot of things. To sum up, 90’s/early 2000’s metalcore scene with bands like Botch, Rubbish Heap, Converge, Anodyne… Post-hardcore/Post-metal bands such as Breach, Neurosis and others have been very important for us too. And extreme metal bands like Gaza or Plebeian Grandstand… And without forgetting some “non-metal” bands… And the list goes on and on but we’ll stop here this name-dropping !

Your first Lp ‘’À Terre, Amas De Rêves” comes out on October. Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to discuss?

This is not an concept album about the Greek myth of Persephone, although some topics concerned in lyrics can resonate with the myth : self-deception, selfishness, sorrow, disillusionments of life, manipulation, etc. So for us, the artwork is just another way to illustrate these feelings, as well as lyrics of a song.

How long did it take you to record this album?

We recorded at Celestine Records (Alain’s studio), a few days here and there, in several sessions between his other projects, for a total of three weeks for record and mix.

Any live shows planned for this year?

We’ll take the road from October 4th to 11th, some gigs in France, Belgium, Germany and Netherlands. And then certainly a few gigs here and there, closer to home…

What are you listening to these days?

Well, go around the table :
Seb : Yob, Deathspell Omega, Pyrrhon, Primitive Man, Chelsea Wolfe, Regina Spektor…
Alain : As we draw, Rubbish Heap, Radiohead…
Lionel : Bagarre Générale, Converge…
Laurent : Moinho, Geraniüm, Ulcerate, Mgla, Lord Esperanza (French rap), Sadistik…

What does the future hold for Dead Like Me?

We’re working on new tracks, maybe for a split, and on another tour in February 2018.

Interview with Herem

Please introduce your band. When was the band formed?

Herem was formed during the summer of 2005 by Tommi, Jani and Juho after their previous band broke up.Valedis joined to do vocals and I (Patrick) joined soon after to complete the roster.

What does the name Herem represent?

It’s just something our bass player Tommi thought up to use as a name for the band.I think he found it from a bible he had lying around. As of why he was reading the bible frankly I don’t know, I guess he was just looking for weird stuff in there. It’s not a statement of any kind. I think Herem was one of two options on the table and we chose to go with it. It was easy to remember and different.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Mainly from jamming with each other. We usually start our practice session with a long jam where Jani, Juho and Tommistart by making up a massive crushing riff and I then start soloing and playing harmonies on top of that. It’s a great way to loosen up and clear your head from all distractions. Sometimes that and up as a base to a new song that we start working on later but more often it’s just a ritualistic mind cleanser. When working on songs someone usually has an initial part to start with and then we play it over and over to see if evolves naturally into a full song. Sometimes it works like that and sometimes it’s required to go through practice tapes and individually think of compositions and arrangements for  new parts. But I think the songs usually work out better if it all comes together as a happy accident while just jamming for a while. After we have a semi-complete version of a new song then usually Valendis comes up with the lyrics and starts to work with her vocal arrangements.

Can you tell us about your main influences?

One major inspiration in the beginning was to take a deep wiff of the esthetics present in Autopsy’s slower tunes like “Dead” from Mental Funeral and use that as a base to create sludgy doom. Of course Reverend Bizarre was very big in Finland at the time so they were also strong influence. Naturally Black Sabbath and their use of the devil’s interval can be heard all over in this genre were a part of.

Last October you released your latest album ‘’III’’. How has the reception been so far?

I think it’s been very good for us. Generally the reviews have been very favorable. As a whole we are very happy and proud of how the album turned out and how well it has been received.

Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to talk about?

Lyrically there’s not really a single themed arch or concept across the whole album. The songs are mostly about occultism, horror fantasies and sheer desperation.For example Scars to summon is about summoning stories and secrets of the dead by using the markings of another persons skin, Snakes of the third moon tells the story of sex, death and rebirth involved an occult ceremonyand Slumber is a nod to H.P.Lovecraft featuring the horrors of ancient nameless monsters and pure madness .  Dark songs for the dark times we live in.

Do you have any live shows planned for the second half of this year?

We’re taking a bit time off with each of us working on different projects right now. However, as lazy as we are arranging shows, we are happy to consider any offers for a few one offs. It’s always a pleasure to play live and I think thats where we are at our best.

What are you listening to these days?

I’ve been visiting Roadburn festival for many years now and usually crawling through the playlist while trying to decide which bands to see is one of my major sources of new music for the year. It’s a truly fantastic festival and I’d recommend it to anyone. Lately I’ve been listening to the new Elder album which I think is much better than the previous one.  The Slomatics album from last year is very good, I just got into it. I also just got the new Monkey 3 live album, also good stuff. I guess I tend to go for heavy music leaning towards psychedelics and progressive elements.  I must give a special mention to a relatively new Finnish punk band named Huora. Their debut album came out a couple of months ago and it’s awesome! You must check it out.

What does the future hold for Herem?

As I previously mentioned we are taking some inspirational time off from Herem right now. We may play some shows if the opportunity comes, though.

Interview with Thomas from Kollapse

Hi guys! How have you been? What news from Aalborg?
Thomas: Aalborg is a blackhole.

Please introduce us to your band. When was the band formed?
Thomas: That depends on what you want to know? We formed roughly 5 years ago. We started out as a threepiece, with Troels being the lone guitar player. We all had previous bands. Frederik attended a few live shows and later joined us as a percussionist for a couple of shows. He then joined as a permanent guitar player later. We recorded the Fathertrack for a 7” with him and things started to pick up at that point. We are all passionate music fans and this interest branched out into wanting to record and release music for ourselves. This band is somewhat different from what everyone has done before. Kollapse exists for us.We have no great aspirations or commercial interest. kollapse is greater than the sum of its parts and we would not sound like we did, had any member been replaced. This is us.

What inspires you the most?
Thomas: I can only answer for myself, but for kollapse I hardly get inspired by music at this point. Life feels so intense sometimes, and I get inspired by all the feelings of shortcomings, loathing, alienation and stress of everyday life. If I do find inspiration outside of my own state of being, it mostly comes from art and literature. States of mind that I feel connected to on some more or less abstract or intuitive level. In general the one thing that inspire sme most in my life is being a father.

Can you tell us about you rmain influences?
Thomas: As in musical influences? I listen to a million things but as far as kollapsegoes I am influenced by bands that feel to me, like they mean, what they do: Breach, midperiod Neurosis, Weakling, Amrepera, Today is the Day, Union of Uranus. Emo, hardcore, metal, indie…whatever.

How would you define your sound?
Thomas: I wouldn’t want to, because we spend an insane amount of time clawing at our songs, making sure that they end up feeling like kollapse songs – it is pretty tiring but we have to do it. I really dislike hyperbolic catchphraseytripe so: “heavy and emotional” is how I would describe it.

This May you released your debut album ‘’Angst’’. How did the recording sessions go?
Thomas: They went great, we had a reall ygood time with Jacob Bredahl who is a funny, honest and loveable dude. He is really into martial arts and hardcore – which helped me immensely during the few hours we didn’t work in the studio. We recorded the entire album in roughly two days, which is insane.

Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to discuss?
Thomas: The album title and lyrics tells it all I think.

What are you listening to these days?
Thomas: a lot of Danish bands for some reason: Orm, Slægt, Nyt Liv and other stuff like Yellow Eyes, Ash Borer, The Weeknd, Oxbow, City Keys, Ultha and so on. I listen to and buy a lot of records.

Do you have any live shows planned for this year?
Thomas: Yes, we are playing a lot of shows this year, including Copenhagen, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Check our bandcamp for more info.

What does the future hold for Kollapse?
Thomas: probably writing a lot of music oncetouring for this album is done. I’d like kollapse to branch out into other forms of art, but we will see. I paint and write and Peter our drummer is a photographer so maybe something will manifest, we never know when it comes to kollapse though – we might implode next week.