Introducing: GANG

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Brighton via Canterbury fuzz peddlers, GANG, knocked our socks off with their screeching octofuzz prowess earlier this year, steaming past our peripherals with their electric new single ‘Silverback’. Upon delving deeper into their SoundCloud pages we found a treasure trove of mind bending noise, and managed to catch up with them to talk all things psych, and ask what’s next for this exciting new trio.

For those who haven’t heard your music before, how would you describe Gang in a sentence?

Gloomy tunes.

How, when and why did you three gentlemen come to be the Gang that you are?

We (Eric & Jimi) are brothers so we met when Eric was born. We met Joe two weeks before our first gig, and he stood in for another guy on bass who had drilled a hole through his hand. We kept Joe around for his perfect hands and his firm grip.

Is there one album/artist in particular that without, the band might never have come to be?

gang_featureTy Segall’s Twins was a big one for us because it opened us up to a lot of modern garage and psych music. Other than that we like a lot of different stuff – 60s psych/garage/pop (Gandalf, The Doors, King Crimson etc.), 70s Metal & punk (loads of Sabbath), 80s alternative rock (anything associated with Steve Albini like Slint and Pixies etc. and many others) leading into 80s/90s Seattle grunge.

There’s so much good underground music at the moment, probably because mainstream music is so dire right now. A band called Wand from California are tickling our pickles the most at the moment. We also listen to an unhealthy amount of stoner rock like Eyehategod, Electric Wizard and Melvins.

Your hometown has such a rich musical history, are there any particular Canterbury-scene bands you look to as influences?

Yeah, the way they all experimented with sonics was so sick. Joe’s dad was drinking buddies with Caravan, and Hugh Hopper from Soft Machine used to come round to Eric & Jimi’s dad’s little studio. We totally ripped Gong’s name by accident too.

So what made you up sticks from Canterbury and head south to Brighton?

Jimi had just finished his English Degree so the other two moved down after Joe got sacked for drinking too much tequila one night and rolling around on the floor. There wasn’t any music scene going on in Canterbury, though Margate in Kent started having some rad shows courtesy of Art’s Cool. We just moved down to be beside the seaside with our beloved drummer. That’s when we properly got our act together as a band because we were all in the same place, we hadn’t done much before that. That was exactly a year ago last month. Happy moving anniversary.

How would you describe Brighton’s music scene right now?

Everyone’s brothers in arms here, we all go to each other’s shows and have a jolly good time. Theo Verney, Fuoco, Tusks, Pink Lizards, Morning Smoke, Abattoir Blues, The Magic Gang, Demob Happy, Big Society, Kit Wharton, Munez and and probably loads of others who we can’t remember right now.
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How do you like to write? Is there a sole songwriter amongst you?

Jimi and Eric both write the songs and then we take them into the room and disfigure them. Jimi’s singing lead on the new tracks he’s written which is sweet but unfortunately they haven’t been released yet. Creamy dulcet tones.

Tell us about ‘Silverback’, what’s the track about, and how would you compare the ‘Silverback’ sessions to recording Sandscrape last year?

We’re all apes, man. I (Eric) actually record all of our stuff at my dad’s little studio, so it was pretty much the same process though I’d learned quite a lot since recording Sandscrape. We also recorded a version of Silverback with our buddy Theo Verney that’s on the cassette as well and it’s delightful. It’s actually the oldest song we still play but we thought we should put it out there before it died.

Your ‘Silverback’ video is a true mind-melter, what is the most mind melting experience Gang have had so far?

Making that video with our roomy Chris Wade of Dogbrain Videos was very intense and beautiful. Apart from that we’re pretty clean living, straight edge, polite young hermits.

Rad! So lastly, what can we expect from Gang next?

We’ve got a lot of pretty extreme stuff we’ve just recorded which we’re really pumped about that will be out sometime this year. No release plans yet, though we’ll be sorting that soon. We recently left the south for the first time at the beginning of this month to do shows in Leeds, Sheffield & Cardiff (Swn Festival) too, and we’ll be playing some lovely festivals over the summer. Also, one day we will all be dead.

Silverback is out now on Sexx Tapes.

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Photo Credit: Carolina Faruolo

Zig Zags

Scavenger 7″
Mexican Summer

zig_zags_scavengerIt’s Valentine’s Day as I type this and what more to my ears crave more than ever right now? A band that have the psychedelic charge of Hawkwind with the rawness of Black Sabbath. Combined, this could sound like a lot of bands but Los Angeles based Zig Zags have made the past and present clash with filthy panache on A-side track ‘Scavenger’, and just enough goodness for me to spread this love and bring it to you today.

This 7″ that is available in your local record store and for download today has a tale of two sides. The B-side ‘Wastin My Time’ is more reminiscent of the type of jam that you will find spread all over the tunes of Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Stripped back guitars and upbeats pushing a laid back Stooges style vocal that keeps driving you all the way home aurally.

This 3-piece band are meant to be pretty raw live, so get on this 7″ from Mexican Summer today and spread the love if you like it. There’s also a 5 track EP below here for free download an EP from their bandcamp if you want more.

Bill Ward issues contract beef with Black Sabbath

Oh dear. This was posted on the Sabbath’s drummer’s facebook page 2 hrs ago:

Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,

At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me.

Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.

Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’shappening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.”

The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, Ialso have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.

If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.

So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.

My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.

That’s the story so far.

Stay safe and stay strong.

I love every single one of you.

–Bill Ward