A Chat With : Robbie G from Modern Whale

We caught up with producer, multi instrumentalist Robbie G from Modern Whale to chat about his career as a producer, his new project Modern Whale and the new infectious single ‘Dead Wrong’.

Tell us how Modern Whale came about?

Modern Whale came about kind of organically, I’ve been a record producer and musician for all my adult life and in early 2016 I sort of went back to basics. What I mean is I did some things that were reminiscent of why I got into music in the first place, with the electric guitar and just doing some things for myself. In the many years that I have been doing record production and songwriting with other people I have consistently been very good at compromising, always happy to change for the sake of the artist or songwriter or whoever I was with at the time. With Modern Whale it was really an experience to do what I wanted to do and to be honest it was something I thought wouldn’t be released. I was just in my studio and I was just creating and one thing led to another and here we are. We’ve released 6 songs at this point starting in June 2017 and I’m very thankful and excited that people have loved what I have released this far, so it’s all been very good.

As you said you are a record producer and published songwriter, you are also a seasoned lead guitarist and bass player. Do you feel that it’s important for a producer to be a musician of sorts to bring enough to the table and make the tracks come to life?

My first instinct is actually no and the reason why I say that is because as I get older I continue to realise that there is really no rules.I certainly think that the more skill sets or abilities that a producer has the more he or she might be able to bring to the table but I don’t know that there is necessarily a rulebook that says that you have to be well versed in something to be able to do something creative. Music is an art form in general, you know there is really no rules. You can just have ideas and be able to direct or be able to hum but there is no question about the fact that again the more of a skill set that you have the more you can bring to the party. But I don’t necessarily see that you have to be a virtuoso at a certain instrument to succeed or to do something creative. Another thing that I have also seen in myself over the years is when I started as a kid I was just a guitar player. I was interested in Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page and I was never thinking about singing songs.I was never thinking about writing songs really. I was just thinking about learning Led Zeppelin riffs and that sort of thing so even the idea of being a record producer and making music with other people you can’t help but learn and develop and that’s the thing about music you know, when you play with other people and you make music with other people you do end up learning just from the experience of it all.

It would also increase your experience with other genres of music and make your own music a bit more rich

Absolutely, it’s because of my experience that I am here on the phone with you right now. It’s because..of my heartfelt passion to make music and be creative,my many skill sets have been born because of my effort to make a living in music or continue doing what I’ve been passionate about and quite frankly it’s really what it comes down to.

You have released your new single ‘Dead Wrong’ talk us through how that song came into fruition?

Well ‘Dead Wrong’ is an interesting song I co-wrote with a good good friend of mine who I’ve known since about 2004.His name is Scott Harris.Scott has recently had great success as a songwriter, writing for people like The Chainsmokers and Shawn Mendes. Scott and I have been friends for many many years before one of us were really making a living in the music industry but we have written a lot over the years together and we still write together and Dead Wrong was a song that sort of happened naturally. The lyric itself is very much about something that was going on in my life where I have a relationship with someone, who like any other relationship, we are trying to figure it out and make sense of things. It really was organic and we wrote it on a little Casio keyboard and I had actually done the song in a couple of different versions after we wrote it. It was a little bit slower, in a higher key, I did more of a rock n’ roll version with a lot of drums and more guitars but I keep on coming back to that first version that Scott and I had done with the keyboard where the vocal was really the main point of it and I’m quite pleased with that song. I think it’s a really nice statement. I think it’s just very clear.

Yeah it’s a lot more electronic pop root compared to your previous releases ‘Kill the Flame’ ‘The Dirt’ ‘How Deep We Get’ and’ Brave Face’.

Yeah there is actually a version that’s a little bit more like the Modern Whale that had been released earlier but I think you know in the grand scheme of things I’m a new artist and the music that I had made initially and I’m still making was fully for myself.But I’m reminded again about Led Zeppelin because if you think about Led Zeppelin I and how heavy that record was and then Led Zeppelin III and how it was very acoustic. Like growing up with mom and dad’s record collection and seeing an artist like that have multiple sides of them for me it’s completely ok and also, truth be told and this is not to throw myself under the bus but I think that Modern Whale is something that’s developing in many ways and over the last few years or so I have been finding my voice. I don’t mean that necessarily from the singing perspective but just becoming more comfortable as an artist…in many ways ‘Dead Wrong’ has opened up some doors for me that again I’m just struck by the fact that if you continue with something more doors open up. If you don’t give up and you just continue being creative and making music and being true to yourself the possibilities are endless. It’s quite nice to be talking to you about this and to be reminded why I’m doing this in the first place.

How does your work with other artists influence or aid your own material?

Ultimately I’m easily inspired, I’m the kind of person that if you came over with a piano part or you play the guitar or if you sang a melody its very easy for me to work with something and I think thats what makes me an ideal record producer. It just flows out of me. I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to answer that question, only because I think that inspiration comes from all different kinds of places – some of its subconscious so I never really set out and think well I’d like to write a song like this or I’d like to try to do this. I’m really doing it because I just can’t help myself and want to be creative and I want to do things and I’m sort of doing it regardless of anything. It’s in me to create and my passion has always been over welling. I think it’s a long career of being out on the road and being around a lot of talented people and you know whether it’s development of the different musical instruments or even developing my singing voice over the years, these are things I never saw coming, you just can’t predict how life is gonna go.Even with ‘Dead Wrong’  Scott came over that afternoon and we had this idea and in just a few hours we had the raw sketch of what ‘Dead Wrong’ was and it just was a very heartfelt melody and a heartfelt lyric and as much as I tried to produce it in some ways like the first batch of Modern Whale songs it just kept on calling to be this way. It’s a different side of me. I could see potentially moving forward releasing something acoustic I don’t see a reason when I’m able to make records by myself like this I find that I’m just being inspired and letting to not just let it happen.

You can tell that ‘Dead Wrong’ came from the heart the melody is very sweet and dreamy it doesn’t at all come across manufactured

Yes that’s true, I appreciate that, that’s a nice thing to hear. I’m just singing about things that are important to me or things that make me feel an emotion and being a human being. When you have to really try to do something it shows and it’s effortless and it comes out. That’s the thing about keeping the original Modern Whale songs I did them for myself. I didn’t even tell anybody I had done them for the first 6 or 7 months. In April 2016 I just started being creative and a few of the songs were born over a couple of days and then over the course of a few months I worked on them and I didn’t even tell anybody about it. It was really a thing that was special for me, I was just being creative and having a release. There were things happening in my life that were personal.I lost my father in 2015 to cancer, I had a bad break up in 2015 and by the time I started recovering in April 2016 it was a release and I never saw any of this coming. It’s nice to hear somebody be so real but I never thought I would be on the phone doing an interview with someone from Ireland. It wasn’t even a part of my equation. I didn’t even have an equation.

Do you have plans to release a video for the single?

Interestingly enough I’ve just watched the final video and some of my reason for being late was dealing with the final changes with the video.So the video will come out likely … I wanna say January it could be as late as February but it will be early next year. But the video is done, it’s very cool I wish I could share it with you right now because it makes me super happy and I think it’s very creative and I’m psyched about it.

What can we expect from your upcoming EP which is due out next year?

The EP is another thing that is pretty mind blowing to me.It’s almost like its the term paper of my life, It’s this thing where I’ve been on this road this whole time making music, being creative, finding my way, touring the world, making records with people, developing my own skill set and I think for the first time ever I have the opportunity now to focus on myself and it’s a gift that is indescribable.So to have December and January to do the EP and to work on this balance of four songs – basically it will be a five song EP so one of the songs is ‘Dead Wrong’ and then there will be four more songs which I’m working on right now.I’m just arriving at a place of being more confident and also being more comfortable with understanding my position as an artist and just being a little bit more self aware of who I wanna be and I just couldn’t be more happy about it. I feel like I’m on the precipice of doing the best work that I’ve ever done.

To round out the lineup for your  live performance you have added bassist Rocky Russo and drummer Kerel Lacy how did you choose who you would add to your line up?

Well, it was a timing thing it just happened. With Kerel I met him through a mutual friend at a bar in New York City he’d just moved from Texas. I was looking for a drummer and about a month later after we met that night at this particular bar he hit me up, he found my phone number through another friend and it was the day that I had a number of different drummers scheduled and the guys scheduled at 3 o’clock had canceled and Kerel hit me up literally in that window. It was like it was meant to be and the rest is history. He’s been a great teammate and he’s been a great inspiration to me.With Rocky it’s a similar story. I was trying to get this girl to be in the group as a bass player and I went to a venue in New York to check out this bass player. I actually had opened up the show, so her and I sort of became friendly and we were raising money for those being held by ICE for their legal fees, etc.. The girl I was trying to get as a bass player was playing the next set after me and I ended up hitting it off with the sound guy who is Rocky Russo and he just was really cool. I asked him for his card because I thought he was professional and about two or three days later I peeled his business card away from my phone case and recognized on the card it said audio design or sound guys or whatever and it also said bass player. I thought aww man! Maybe I should have a backup plan just in case this particular woman doesn’t work out and that’s it.

What is a live show with  Modern Whale like?

It’s definitely energetic. It’s very true to the way the stuff is recorded. Sometimes it gets a little bit heavier than the record just because of the way the electric guitar is but it is upbeat and it’s fun. At the end of the day I’m really just trying to entertain people.I want people to lose themselves in the moment and be happy. When I go to a concert and it’s great and it’s exciting I forget about my day and my problems, that’s the kind of thing I want to put in peoples lives. Make a really nice vibe and entertain people, get back to basics of just  being around a campfire and making people at peace or comfortable and enjoy the show


Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start a music career?

Don’t give up just keep on going. That’s the easiest way to put it. Like I said earlier I never saw any of this coming and I think it’s fully because of my sticking with something. I guess it’s easier to give up isn’t it? Sometimes the hardest part is just sticking with something but I think that a real parable about life in general whether its a relationship or if its a job sometimes things aren’t easy and if you continue to weather those storms good things can happen. I think it’s a matter of staying true to yourself and doing what you are passionate about – that’s my best advice.

What’s next for Modern Whale?

Right now I’m totally focused on the EP. Doing very little outside production work. It’s an absolute blessing that I have the opportunity to make an EP and to focus on the EP. So right now my head is totally in the studio game just wrapping up these four songs. I have them written so right now I’m in the production stage and I’m really just developing the material. My feeling is that I will have them all done by February 1st. I’ll likely release them throughout 2019 and they will ultimately be bundled as one EP which will include ‘Dead Wrong’.

Stream ‘Dead Wrong’ below


GORILLABRAIN ‘The Sliced Bread Conundrum’

London based solo artist GORILLABRAIN has released his new single ‘The Sliced Bread Conundrum’. This chilling number lurks in the shadows ready to pounce on you when you are alone and vulnerable. It’s filled with menace as the deranged head spinning electronics swirl around a slicing guitar massacre that lacerates through the hypnotic beat. The layers of vocals growling and wailing over whining dizzying electronics, clattering beats and blustering distortion will send shivers down your spine. Humorous lyrics are mangled between the dark, heavy mania making this track one creepy thrill. It fills you with that eerie fear ( like meeting an insane clown in a dark alley dancing frantically toward you ) while packing in enough meaty frenzy to make you want to dance along too. This is the brilliant stuff of crazed nightmares.

Watch the video for ‘The Sliced Bread Conundrum’ below

 


Darce ‘Enlightened’

 

After showcasing at Music Cork and Hardworking Class Heroes, playing support slots for major headline acts such as Le Boom and Sean Kingston and becoming the first artist ever to be streamed in Augmented reality. Irish alternative rap/pop artist, Darce returns with ‘Enlightened’ featuring vocals from up-and-coming Cork producer/artist Blakkheart.

The track which was mixed and mastered at Wavefield Studios is a chilled back number that floods with effortless charm and swagger while submerging you in a dreamy soothing state of ecstasy. Blakkheart’s immaculate vocals are a perfect fit for this track- she coos and lulls over flickering beats and ethereal soundscapes while Darce hops his rhymes over this tranquilizing backdrop. It’s mellow and smooth as silken electronics caress the rippling beat as the track unfolds into its calming state while Darce’s rap keeps it energetic and panache soaked.  Well crafted and polished to perfection this glistening gem is a mature, refined number from the ever surprising talents of Darce.

Stream ‘Enlightened’ below

 


Adam French ‘Wanna Be Here’

Singer-songwriter Adam French has released his new single ‘Wanna Be Here’. Adam French is  a self-taught multi-instrumentalist from Cheshire who creates songs of depth, and honesty. Following two EP releases – the past 18 months has seen French embark on a new UK headline tour, including selling out London’s Omeara in May and playing shows with some of the most exciting talent coming out of the country – Nilüfer Yanya, Jade Bird, Jacob Banks and Freya Ridings – as well as an accelerated introduction to the festival circuit playing Reading & Leeds, The Great Escape, Latitude, Festival #6 and Reeperbahn to name a few.

‘Wanna Be Here’ is the first release from his debut album, scheduled for release in 2019. This delicate and emotive number softly matures from its raw icy verses, flowing beautifully into its catchy chorus and subtly powerful crescendo. Biting guitars create a breezy ethereal soundscape as they float and soar over the punchy gripping drum beat while French’s raspy warm vocals flood the track with tender passion. Both warm and cold this track is presented with a fluidity that seeps sweetly into the ears and soothes as backing vocals lull behind the absorbing soundscape. With a delicate interior the song swirls beneath its bitter exterior of acute guitars and intense almost cinematic soundscapes.  It’s a powerful track filled with oodles of tear jerking emotion as French displays his mature organic musicianship that is destined to touch the hearts of all who listen.

Speaking on the track, French states: “‘Wanna Be Here’ is a song about the difference between happiness and comfort. As people we often mistake a comfortable habitat for love and settle for the now. It’s important to share life with somebody that makes you happy and brings out the best in you… and it’s never too late to cut loose from those who don’t.”

Watch the video for ‘Wanna Be Here’ below

 


Tribal Dance ‘And Then All That Was Left Was A Physician And A Silhouette’ Video Premier

Dublin-based experimental/post-punk band Tribal Dance are set to release their video for ‘And Then All That Was Left Was A Physician And A Silhouette’ tomorrow December 5th. Tribal Dance consists of bassist and vocalist Adam Smyth, guitarist Stephen Dowling and percussionist Leo Clarke. Their debut single “Flongo” released in August 2017, sent out waves of excitement and received extremely positive reviews from music blogs and nationwide newspapers as well as national and international radio play, which contributed to a sold out single release show. The band have been showcased in Whelan’s Ones to Watch along with headlining a special Nialler9 showcase The Button Factory as well an unforgettable performance to a packed tent at KnockanStockan 2018.The band’s sophomore release ‘And Then All That Was Left Was A Physician And A Silhouette’ is set to be the first release on Bad Soup Records in December 2018, accompanied with an intense and dramatic music video, a limited edition physical release.

‘And Then All That Was Left Was A Physician And A Silhouette’ is Tribal Dance’s fierce way of dissolving your mind in their thick murky concoction of math punk with sweet little bubbles of psychedelic rock gasping beneath this suffocating brew. The tense atmosphere builds right from the start as these guys unfold each segment gently with eerie soundscapes twinkling through distorted guitars and punchy drum attacks. This acid saturated gem lures and entices with soft lulling vocals, sweet little guitar injections and a meaty rhythmic foundation. Just as the track seeps into its dreamiest delusional state Tribal Dance electrocute you back to life with a pulverising heavy finale. The fluctuation between Math mania and soothing psychedelia is masterful as Adam Smyth switches from animated screams to soft coos seamlessly while wobbly desert guitar whines between a deep groove and laid back melody. Well crafted this track consumes you entirely in the dizzying world of Tribal Dance and with musicianship this refined and messy all at once – these guys are definitely ones to keep an eye on.


Watch the video for ‘And Then All That Was Left Was A Physician And A Silhouette’ below


No Alarms ‘Find Me’ Video Premiere

No Alarms have released the video for their new single ‘Find Me’. No Alarms was born in Texas as the solo passion project of multi-instrumentalist Andrew Boles, and has since bloomed into a Detroit-based, fully-fledged, five-piece. No Alarms is blending the lines between modern indie pop and new wave revival, and building an engrossing live show from the ground up. Their debut single “Right is What’s Left” was featured in an episode of ABC’s “Kevin Probably Saves the World” originally airing on February 6th, 2018. ‘No Alarms’ EP was the 13th most added record on NACC college charts its debut week, and has since peaked at #132 on the NACC 200.

‘Find Me’ is an entrancing smooth indie pop track that swirls and floats elegantly upon No Alarms’ infectious melty melody. It’s a sleek glossy number as their rooted grooves set a fluctuant foundation for the flashing electronics to rebound and playfully ricochet off while velvety vocals coo and caress the tasty melody. With a sticky summer sun vibe this dance-filled song is uplifting and ethereal as it bounces along energetic drums and dazzling synths making for a wholly satisfying listening experience. With rich textures wrapped delicately in a multi coloured prism ‘Find Me’ showcases No Alarms ability to create  a full bodied delightful tune that tantalizes all the senses.

Watch the video for ‘Find Me’ below

 

 

 


Runaway Hounds ‘Nightlight’

Wolverhampton’s Runaway Hounds have released their new single ‘Nightlight’. Driven by a passion to create and a love for music, twin brothers Owen (vocals/guitar) and Kent (lead guitar) Stavenuiter spent many of their school years experimenting with genres, sounds and instruments alongside classmate and close friend Dan Glover (bass). However, it was not until late 2016, with the arrival of Callum Ford (drums), that the group found their own distinguished sound and Runaway Hounds was born.In just over a year, the band have played several headline sets in venues in the West Midlands and have taken their sound across the UK, performing to crowds as far as London.Their debut single ‘Rattlesnake’,gained airplay and support from the likes of BBC Introducing along with their second single ‘Sophie’.

‘Nightlight’ is an unblemished clean track that smoulders and burns gradually into a blistering indie number. There is an intense energy behind this tack as in all of Runaway Hounds’ songs however, this number simmers steadily to its crescendo with the backdrop creating a little more space allowing each element to shine. The rumble on bass and drum tap creates a suspenseful intro before the track flourishes into its wonderful flurrying verses. Zesty guitar melodies lament and jingle above this anthemic number creating the perfect tone and ethereal experience. These glorious guitar melodies are the pinnacle of the track, they add such vibrancy and emotion that makes the song come to life in a graceful and beautiful manner while still sliding in a healthy dose of indie rawness. The chorus explodes with punchy drums, sing along ready lyrics and a fantastic bass line weaving between the crashing guitars. Runaway Hounds have clearly taken time to refine their sound. Focusing on their musicianship, they have provided a gripping wholly satisfying track that packs a mighty punch. This four piece are thriving and blossoming in their musical surroundings.

Stream ‘Nightlight’ below

 

 

 


Derek Martin ‘Dreaming Out Loud’

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UK Singer/Songwriter Derek Martin has released his new alternative album ‘Dreaming Out Loud’. The 10 track album is what he describes as ‘the soundtrack to the life we are all living in’, with lyrics focusing on love, friendship, joy and nostalgia. His passion for music was ignited by his love of guitar, spurring him on to write from the comfort of his Scotland home.

Derek Martin unfolds his bright cheery and wholesome tunes through ‘Dreaming Out Loud’. These tracks stride along a golden ray of optimism and positivity as warm guitar melodies weave through punchy drums.‘Calm Before the Storm’ ,’Superglue’, and ‘Kindred Spirit’ douse the album in cosy,lustrous tones while ‘Life in the Minor Key’ and ‘Fleeting Mind’ add a dash of alternative gritty rock into the mix with darker tones, jagged guitars and rumble on drums. The solo’s shred their way through the tracks maintaining the snappy pace of the album as well as providing some swagger. Martin’s vocals venture from smooth and velvety to powerful and raspy, he coos through the emotional ‘Ghost Town’ and ‘While I’m Away’ which features a sublime bittersweet guitar feature and he dynamically blasts out the power chorus in ‘Dreaming Out Loud’. Each track packs in oodles of passion as the album overflows with energy and meaning from every note. Martin explores a variety of tones from vibrant, soothing and tender to swagger-inducing anthemic bangers like  ‘Graffiti on the Wall’– where the chorus has you dancing around the room without a care. His most delicate and emotional track comes in the form of the soft sweet ‘Nightingale’ which brings the album to a beautiful end.

‘Dreaming Out Loud’ is one heck of a passionate display from Derek Martin. Its honest, true and down to earth which makes it extremely relatable. The warm vibrant instruments makes these glorious tracks and come to life.

Stream  ‘Dreaming Out Loud’ the title track below

 


Worth A Listen

Our Worth A Listen Track This Week Comes From isaac gracie

isaac gracie has launched an extended version of his debut album. The record, ‘Isaac Gracie’, is now available to purchase with three extra tracks including his recent single ‘Show Me Love’, ‘No, Nothing At All’ and this weeks worth a listen track ‘Broken Wheel’.

‘Broken Wheel’ is filled with the heartwarming musicianship we have come to love from Isaac Gracie. It’s cosy and comforting as his powerful vocals caress the beautiful melody with a confidence and reassurance that frees the mind and soothes the soul. Its passionate lyrics complement the warm acoustic guitar and spongy beat making for an ethereal ”throw caution to the wind” sense of freedom. This track is a  tightly bound gem that glistens with sun kissed delicacy while oozing tender tones. Ready for a road trip summer sing along Gracie has delivered another fresh slice of what he does remarkably well – crafted glorious wholesome tunes to wrap our delicate ears in.

Watch the video for ‘ Broken Wheel’ below

 


SOCIAL STATE ‘Never Gonna Get It’

Birmingham based duo SOCIAL STATE have released their new single ‘Never Gonna Get It’. The two piece comprised of Andy and Brad blend Indie, Hip-Hop, Punk and Emo to establish an unprecedented sonic identity. They are heavily inspired by growing up in the Midlands, not doing well in education and the antics of teenage youth. Their debut ‘Never Gonna Get It’ is a statement piece which talks about the constraints and misrepresentation of the millennial generation. The song is the first release in the cycle, with numerous releases to come within the following months.

‘Never Gonna Get It’ is a catchy spurt of indie punk filled with adrenaline surging vitality. This duo whack out a buoyant rugged pop-smacked number with a meaty texture and hook filled gang-chant chorus that is sure to ignite a live audience. Their rap flows fluidly as the duo spit out the lyrics with attitude and an air of revolt while jaunty guitars playfully rebound off a snappy beat. This track is infectious – that chorus will have to be peeled and prised out of your head. SOCIAL STATE are a fiery duo providing vibrant light numbers with a meaty substance. Keep an eye out for these brash anti-establishment chappies.

Watch the video for  ‘Never Gonna Get It’ below

 

 


Indie: (n) an obscure form of rock which you only learn about from someone slightly more hip than yourself.

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