KM Green Room at the Alternative Escape: Day 3
It’s that time — the pen-penultimate, the day when you can’t quite call of work on logistical principal of preparation quite yet, but boy is your body ready. You get up for a cigarette break and suddenly you find yourself in a one-on-one dance party, a happy fool with in-ear buds and the fiery ember of your third smoke. Though I can say we’ll help excite, I can’t say we’ll help your office relationships — today’s Green Room launches you to your feet with daft energetic jumping, by simply clicking the hyperlink your sedentary affect is kaput. Get ready for some rave-by-the-coffeepot action, and don’t hesitate to reign it in — we’re only two days away from this skyrocketing gig, folks.
CASSIA – EXOTIC, POSITIVE, ENERGETIC
Math rocky licks woven into jovial pop concoctions…what spurred the toe-tapping cauldron of Cassia’s sound? Though Macclesfield has an apparently “awesome music scene,” the band’s fortitude developed independently to the town’s sonic architecture. Rob (guitar/vocals) began songwriting and self-producing tunes reminiscent of his childhood amidst Dad-cued Zambian tunes; Lou (bass) cut his natural-groovin’ teeth on previous bands amidst R&B, blues, and rock; Jake (drums) emerged from the rising and quelling of traditional jazz to D’Angelo’s Neo-soul. Stir this all together and what do ya got? Afro-inspired bumpin’ pop music, tracks that are not only heart-hitting but also ever evolving in their acoustic to crispy clean production to drum-circle-inspired incarnations.
“We’re all massive lovers of western and southern african music,” says Cassia. “We did find that being a three piece limited us in certain ways and pushed us to play our instruments differently and the afro-inspired stuff is what seems to come out. We’ve always wanted to make music that makes people feel good and the themes that are often explored in Afrobeat music kind of reflect that. When it comes to the more chilled out acoustic stuff, we love taking something we’ve done a while ago and reinventing what it is, change the feel of it. It’s kind of cool because it encourages people to think of it differently.”
This “thinking differently” has caught the ears of fans and promoters faster by the minute… loads of shows under Cassia’s belt, and an awesomely alarming number of festivals on the Horizon. Says Cassia, “Yeah, we’ve been crazy fortunate over the last year or so. We’ve toured the UK and Europe about 3 times now and the festivals have been nuts. You never know which way they’ll go but the amount of people who come to see us always is amazing. Reading & Leeds last year was probably one of the highlights as it’s a festival that we’ve been to so many times when we were younger. The weather was sick, and the crowd was awesome. We toured in Germany as well with a band called Giant Rooks, the size of the shows were massive so was just insane. We’re always learning about how to make shows better as the venues get bigger. One of the biggest things though was just getting using to chilling out, when you love what you’re doing on stage it seems reflect on to the crowd. Yeah we’ll practise like hell before but when it comes to the actual show we just have fun, it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes or anything. People know that they’re watching something that is slightly different every time and that’s cool.”
A nomadic group, these sonic-social butterflies pick up bits of inspiration amidst their own tours and shows, wherever they may be. Cassia’s jet into Germany with Giant Rooks conjured up a “serious show” with much to learn from Luca’s (bass) singling out of “scared looking locals” whilst singing during their “absolut[ely] pro” live set. Vampire Weekend’s Baio (bass) is also a huge drive to excel, as well as Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, both of whom the band sidekicks during past and future live endeavors, respectively.
Swimming deeper into the waters of African-influenced music, the band has “stuck a couple of videos out” for most of their tunes, but is vastly excited for more exploration and experimentation with their own interpretation of these Afro-inspired melodies and rhythms. After putting out Movers and Shapers earlier this year along with myriad accompanying videos, the band is in no state to stop yet. “We may do [another video] soon for ‘Out of Her Mind,’ which’d be cool, we went to Gran Canaria to do our last vido so we’re thinking of how to better that at the minute,” says Cassia on their audiovis’s. “It’d be proper cool to have out stuff on vinyl. Probably whip up some new tees and maybe a cap too.”
“Yeah, we’re well excited about TGE, and then we’ve quite a lot more festivals this year which will be so much fun. We’re doing a lot of writing at the minute, which is awesome as we’ve toured so much over the last couple of months. The amount of phone recordings of jams we’ve done in soundcheck is nuts. We’re touring the UK and Europe in September/October and the shows are bigger than we ever thought we’d do so we’re buzzing about that. Heading to some new places we’ve never played before like Amsterdam and Paris which is going to be groovy.”
Cassia — never the same, always twisting and turning and finding some other angle or style or mechanism of new approach. Check out their invigoratingly acrobatic live set this Friday, kicking things off at 12:15pm.
FIZZY BLOOD – HAVING, IT, DAFT
From ‘ADHD”s visionary 360 approach to ‘Pink Magic”s leather-reminiscent reinvigoration of previous eras, Fizzy Blood are truly furthering the boundaries of their own creativity. FB talked us through some of this past year’s feats. “To put it simply, we want to stand out from the crowd and pushing ourselves creatively through our music and our music videos has been our way of channelling this idea. When we wrote ‘Pink Magic’ it was very refreshing for all of us, it’s a real step away from the sound of our previous records so this gave us a ton of ideas when it came to putting songs together for the ‘Pink Magic EP’ which is slowly trickling its way out this year, CHECK IT OUT!!!!!”
Speaking of ‘Pink Magic’, let’s talk about the track. “It was a super simple song, the music came together in the space of an hour,” say Fizzy. The magical ringmod-esque guitar lick comes from none other than Paul’s time at a call center, a recording of the Hull area code. Intermingle it with some feathery synth arpeggios and you have a pristine musical bed for Paul’s top line and lyrics, and “the rest is history.”
Delving into their history-making music videos, we start with the show-stopping ADHD — director Joylon White took a liking to the track, and offered to throw it in a cutting-edge virtual reality — “to which [the boys] responded by biting his hand of with a resounding yes.” The user-driven video (vantage point controlled by clicks and drags) features a 360-degree extravaganza full of hospital gowned infomercial-laden red-green dystopia. Their latest release Pink Magic is also soon to be up for release, and the boys are tight-lipped but starry-eyed about it. “I don’t want to say too much,” says FB. Though — “I think as a band we’re lucky because we don’t like taking ourselves too seriously, so coming up with ideas for videos normally starts of with an idea we all find hilarious which then transforms into something else by the end as the ball keeps rolling and different people add their ideas here and there.”
Yet, of course, such a hard-hitting rock band mustn’t be relegated solely to the studio… Nay, FB enjoys going between the physicality of the live and the frigility of the studio-perfected, polishing away at über-clean-yet-raucous multimedia content one day and inciting rumbling mosh pits the next. After working on slews of new material, the band shuts the studio door to face a plethora of live gigs. Speaking to this diathlonic method, the band states, “after playing our headline tour we had to look at our material and prepare for a longer set and none of us realised how many songs we’ve actually put out! It was a nice feeling to be able to tailor the show a bit more with peaks and troughs and play the tracks we wanted to play as well as what (we thought) people wanted to hear.” At TGE and beyond, the band promises to hit you with their newest unreleased high-energy tracks. Says Fizzy on playing new material, “that first EP came out over four years ago now, and we ain’t those scrappy kids no more.”
This all-or-nothing mentality doesn’t stop at the live sets themselves, but also to living a FB lifestyle — if one sees, hears, lives, and breathes Fizzy Blood, why mustn’t one also wear the fizz? Says FB’s Jake on their fiery spiral-glasses merch design, “Paul takes the biscuit for this one, before we chose that design both me and him had probably knocked up over twenty different designs so it was definitely a relief when he came through with something we we’re buzzing off. Ey, we’re perfectionists, what can I say?”
What a show will be TGE, starting off this whopper of a next live chapter! Says FB on their boundless excitement, “Personally, I just love festival season, you get to play some amazing places to crowds who are always up for it… There’s also something very nostalgic about music festivals that stems from going to them as a kids for years before we were awarded the right to play them, this gives festivals shows a very different feel for me, it makes them special.” Closing thoughts include a push for Leeds pals Forever Cult and Marsicans, a “hope to catch” for Goat Girl & Husky Loops, and an “ode to free/cheap beer wanderings.”
Catch Fizzy Blood’s high-capillary-capacitance-driving live show, this Friday at 4:45pm at our Alternative Escape.
DRAPER – JUMPING FUN PARTY
What a year for Draper! Reigniting CHIMES with killer track ‘Trust’, throwing a slew of hot new takes… In CHIMES, Draper’s alter-ego duo, Paul Aiden (second half) and Draper were simply “ready to get some music out again,” backed by previous success and current clarity, having “a much more focused view of where CHIMES is going.”
Draper’s production is that like no other. Like an apple whose successive bite is crispier than the last, Draper’s sculpted textures and cutting kick drums are sure to get your body bumpin’. Recently released EP ‘Socha’ switches things up with atmospheric immersion — chirping birds, riverbed’s running water, earthy synths. Draper’s ‘Socha’ brings the life of the party through the sunshine of the morning, ringing in soulful basslines and in-the-clouds romance in the midst of dawn.
Ramping up the stick shift yet again, Draper released single ‘They Know’ along with a saucy CHIMES remix earlier this spring. Owning the realm of hip-hop as well, Draper collages piano twitches with Matty Rico’s chant-inducing vocals and pop-it-off synth lines. On working with Matty, Draper says, “I loved his flow, no ‘extravagant lifestyle’ rapping but good clean wordsmithing.” Just in time for Ray Ban’d beach parties, ‘They Know’ x 2 will bring sand-duned raves and head-banged college parties to a level unthinkable.
A ceaseless project-pursuer, Draper is undoubtedly kickin’ up a whole bandwagon of new tracks as we speak. Working with a multitude of artists from an equally as multitudinous array of styles, Draper is constantly spinning gold, and then sifting through its extravagance to find only the shiniest and purest for us listeners. Sure enough, Draper confirms “Right now I’m finishing my EP and I’ve worked with some awesome artists, I couldn’t even choose a favourite as they’ve all been 10/10, we’ll see what ends up on the EP basically but I love all the tracks.”
And who’s picked up on this gasoline on the embers but the DSP Gods! Plethoras of New Music Fridays and a Kopfkino to add to the already-cramped trophy case. A whoppin’ 4 mil and counting plays for (la classique) Laura Brehm featured ‘Pressure as well. In his own words as to where these tunes might be swooping in, Draper is undoubtedly lining the ears and vibes of “sunny environments, parties, and good vibes.”
So what’s Draper kickin’ up for his own fronting of the party? What’s his vibe-inciting live set got in store? “Lighting is a big part of the show that’s forever improving,” says Draper. His ferocious bass beats electrified by 4 LED bars, Draper’s live set brings multisensory virtuosity into the heart of the party.
Be sure to catch Draper’s live set at TGE and beyond — with a co-headline tour booked for this fall, Draper’s notoriously driving live set may even be sprinkled with a couple collaborations with Ryan of Man Without Country. Get to the gig, “it’s going to be a lot of fun!”
But don’t fret, eager fans — the purpose behind this post is aligned with an even nearer show, that which is this Friday. Draper’s so too excited for the one-of-a-kind festival that is The Great Escape — “Lot of great talent, I first heard the Big Moon there and thought they were awesome.” If you want to snag a chat or a soundbite of sonic wisdom, catch Draper whilst he’s “checking out my buddy Kaylee Johnston and hanging out on the beach!”
Party with Draper at our Alternative Stage, this Friday at 8:00pm, and stay tuned for more arena-driving bangers.