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Sacri Monti at The Jonesing Jams – by Emily Power.

Since we last spoke you’ve released one album with Radio Moscow, 2017’s ‘New Beginnings’, and more recently, 2019’s ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’ with Sacri Monti – can you tell us a bit about them both?
Anthony:
The ‘New Beginnings’ album was recorded in 2017 at an amazing studio by Mike Butler in San Diego that was called Lost Ark, which sadly is no longer there. Parker wrote the majority of the songs and I was able to help co write two of them. We tracked the drums, bass, and rhythm guitar live together in a few days and then took it from there. We toured all over the world on that album, America, Europe a few times, Australia, and South America. A lot of cool festivals and gigs. ‘Twas a good hectic run.

Sacri Monti’s ‘Waiting Room For The Magic Hour’ was recorded in two parts, both by Jordan Andreen at Audio Design in San Diego. 100% analog sessions all the way through. We recorded side one in December 2018, and side two in February 2019 I think. We all came together to write the entire album when needed, and Brenden our vocalist/guitar handled the lyrical duty. It was a lot of fun to work on this one and very special. I did all of the bass stuff and then also played mellotron/synth on the title track and synths along with Evan our keyboard on the improv track ‘Wading in Malcisine’. Was glad to have done that album because it had been 4 whole years since out self titled album. Somewhere in between we had done a 7″. But we went to Europe and played a lot of festivals right when the album came out, also did a USA west coast tour with our buds in Monarch and and east coast tour with Earthless and Maggot Heart afterwards, showcasing most of the new album on all those tours.

Some might only know you from Radio Moscow, can we get get the Sacri Monti lowdown?
Anthony:
Sacri Monti is a band that I started along with Brenden Dellar (vocal/guitar), Thomas DiBennedetto (drums), Dylan Donovan (guitar) and Evan Wenskay (organ/synth), the name means Sacred Mountains. The bands first show was the tail end of Dec 2012 in San Diego. Tee Pee records from New York picked us up and have helped us bring our music to the world. We all spent years hanging out and jamming a bunch before even starting the band so there was always that chemistry there. We were and are all into a bunch of rock from the decades, psychedelic, progressive, krautrock, and other forms of music and had an idea of where we wanted to take the music. Our first record was a bit more loose and jammy, but also structured. The second being a bit more focused on the song writing and structure, with it’s loose moments. Only time and inspiration will tell where the third record will go, but I can imagine a new hybrid of both records. Looking forward to the next one. 

Sacri Monti at The Jonesing Jams – by Emily Power.

On the subjects of records, what’s your current top ten?
Anthony:
I have so many top records, but these are some that I can always listen to no matter where I am or what i’m doing and not get sick of.:

Captain Beyond – S/T
Neil Merryweather – Space Rangers
King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King
Gene Clark – No Other
T2 – It’ll All Work Out In Boomland
Amon Duul II – Wolf City
Dust – Hard Attack & S/T
Masters Apprentices – Choice Cuts
Nektar – Remember The Future 
Love – Forever Changes

Another few honourable mention record compilations:
Iron Claw – Dismorphophobia
Pentagram – First Daze Here (VC/Too)

You’re always busy touring and we’re stoked to see you back in the UK for Desertfest London in May. How do you feel about returning?
Anthony:
I am very excited to be returning to the UK in May. I have played Desertfest twice before with Radio Moscow, so I know what it’s like and the vibe and all that. Looking forward to seeing old friends and partying with some new ones as well. I like London a lot, it’s got a special place in my heart. So many bands I love come from UK. Also curious to see the rest of the line up fill out and to which venue we play and who with. We’ve just announced the rest of the tour which includes European dates and a few other UK dates, including a secret London show on the 6th of June. You can check them out here.

What’s your best story from the road?
Anthony?
So many stories to choose from, but here’s one that sticks out and is funny. So, on our second Europe tour with Sacri Monti we played a show in Milan with Nebula and stayed at the same hotel after. Some were up late and partying, and when we woke up we were all in the lobby in the morning. The hotel clerk called our driver over, and then showed him a naked photo of himself sleeping in the hallway on his back, with a pillow over his crotch. Apparently he got wasted and slept walk his way out of the bedroom and decided to just post up in the hotel hallway. There were people and kids who passed him, and someone eventually took a photo of him. The hotel tried to charge us $200 for it and called the show promoter who got our rooms about it and he just told them to fuck off and we left.

Let’s get technical – slightly. Gear rundown, what’s your set up?
Anthony:
My current Orange setup is on AD200 MK III with OBC 4×10 and 1×15 at home. I play a Rickenbacker 4003 bass and also with an Ibanez ST9 Super Tubescreamer and Ibanez CP-835 Compressor a bit too. 
 
Have you got any other musical projects going?
Anthony:
At the moment no. Well, there was a project I was involved with in Portugal when I was kind of living there on and off. It was a studio session with two drummers and a guitarist that was recorded all live and on the spot, improvised. Carlos the guitar played got the audio and got it recorded onto Tapes. I have a stack of em in a cabinet. The group was called Agadir. Almost set up a gig when I came back through Portugal but it kinda fell through. Also just got word of another studio session that will come to be. It was a two day jam session with a bunch of San Diego friends at Brian Ellis’ studio along with Jonas Munk (Casa Sui/El Paraiso Records) in 2016. Jonas just recently finished mixing the sessions and wants to possibly put some of it out through his label, El Paraiso Records. I’ve somewhat got a mini setup and a bunch of stuff in my room and have been toying with things. Solo stuff is on the horizon and along with working on new record stuff. Always up for collaborating if i’m into it. Would be cool to do some stuff a little outside of the genres of my bands too. We will see…

Photo via Radio Moscow's Facebook page

Photo via Radio Moscow’s Facebook page

You’ve been playing with Radio Moscow for quite some time now, how did you end up in the band in the first place?
It goes back to 2012 when I was playing with my other band Sacri Monti, and I briefly got to know Paul (Radio Moscow drummer) as he was living in San Diego and playing in a few other bands as well that we’d occasionally play with. When Parker (Radio Moscow singer/guitarist) moved to San Diego early 2013, he was looking for a new bass player, so Paul suggested me. Parker came along to one of the Sacri Monti shows and invited me to come jam with them. After that jam session he asked if I wanted to go on tour with them in the fall, and basically join the band. It’s been three and a half years, and here I am!

You released a live album earlier this year, ‘Live! In California!’, is there any plans of a new studio album any time soon?
Yeah, we’re currently in a period between shows and touring trying to work on a new album, which we’ll hopefully have out before next summer so we can start touring that, and repeat the cycle.

I know as a kid you picked up the guitar before bass, what made you swap?
A lot of the people I grew up jamming with is really fucking good at the guitar, so I decided to look into playing the bass as I’m influenced a lot by it rhythmically and I’ve always appreciated good bass players. I started playing it more myself and realized how much fun it was and stuck with it. We used to have jam sessions three or four times a week when I was younger, and when we started Sacri Monti I bass was what I wanted to play.

Do you find it difficult to combine the two bands?
Ehm, yeah, sort of. The past three years I’ve spent a lot of time on Radio Moscow as we’ve been touring like crazy, I think we may have done thirteen or fourteen tours over the last three years, so it’s been a lot of my time dedicated to that, but it’s all good as it’s a lot of fun. Both bands are working on new albums right now, and we’ll start touring again next year.

How long have you been using Orange?
I bought an Orange amp myself in 2014, so I’ve had my own for about two and a half years, but a few of my friends have been using Orange for a long time so I’ve used theirs prior to that when we’ve been jamming and stuff. After starting using Orange I dont really need another bass amp, it’s perfect for me.

What’s this perfect set up of yours then?
I’ve got an Orange AD200 MKIII with OBC 4×10 and 1×15 cabinets, and for pedals I just use a vintage Ibanez super tube screamer.

When off the road and not touring, is it mostly jamming with both bands that takes up your time?
Yeah, I dont have another job so it’s a lot of jamming with friends, playing pool, and just hanging out. It get’s pretty crazy on tour so it’s pretty nice to take it easy when I can. Or just keep partying at home.. But right now I do actually need to focus on writing songs for both bands new albums, this is kind of my calm before the storm.

great-eight

There are oh-so many awesome bands out there and nothing pleases me more than finding new ones. Here I’ve shared some of my current favourites, eight great bands that might be tucked away in smaller or DIY venues, dingy dive bars, dead end towns or whatever. Hidden gems that shouldn’t be hidden, as they’re all en route to greatness in my opinion. Heavy rock / psych rock / hillbilly blues and stoner rock, here’s a bit of guitar goodness for everyone in their right mind, and for those out of theirs.


Sacri Monti

Photo via the bands Facebook page / Dana Trippe

Photo via the bands Facebook page / Dana Trippe

Sensational’ isn’t a word I use lightly, but while describing ‘Sacri Monti‘ I feel it’s pretty damn spot on. Based in San Diego, which seems to be the mekka for music within this genre, the 70’s psychedelic rock five piece are signed to Tee Pee records alongside fellow San Diegans and psych rock connoisseurs ‘Earthless‘ (among others), and released their self titled debut album in 2015. The album is, needless to say, an absolute killer – sensational, even.

Facebook / Bandcamp


The Devil and the Almighty Blues

Photo via the bands Facebook page / Julia Marie Naglestad

Photo via the bands Facebook page / Julia Marie Naglestad

The Devil and the Almighty Blues‘ is living proof that Norway is a hell of a lot more than black metal and church burnings. With a profound love for the good ol’ heroes of blues combined with a passion for punk, rock, country and metal, ‘The Devil and the Almighty Blues‘ recorded their debut album live in studio to preserve that raw, natural energy, and they’ve created, as they say it themselves, «A new take on blues-based rock, heavy without becoming metal, slow without being doom, bluesy without being straight up and boring, and all this without losing the almighty blues without of sight»

Facebook / Bandcamp

 


Jonny Halifax and the Howling Truth

Photo via the artists Facebook page

Photo via the artists Facebook page

While at it on the blues, here’s another one for you – ‘Jonny Halifax and the Howling Truth‘, heavy hillbilly blues with distorted vocals and a lot of lap steel. That said, some of the Howling Truth songs becomes so heavy that they almost stop by stoner or doom town, a perfect example of this is ‘In the realms of noble savagery’ from 2013’s ‘The Bestial Floor’.

Faceboook / Bandcamp

 


Shaman Elephant

Photo by Peter Tubaas / @visualsofsound

Photo by Peter Tubaas / @visualsofsound

A dark and gloomy Saturday night in 2015, I was lucky enough to stumble upon Norwegian band ‘Shaman Elephant‘, as I caught the last of their set at legendary Bergen venue Garage while spending the weekend in Norway. At the time they barely had any online presence and no music to be found either online or on record, but the name stuck, and by summer 2015 they graced us with the presence of an EP, ’More’, and I’m stoked to say they’ll be releasing their debut album next month, which I’m sure will be absolutely killer if the EP is anything to go by; Progressive psychedelic rock with elements of jazz and heavy riffs.

Facebook / Soundcloud

 


Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters

Photo via the bands Facebook page

Photo via the bands Facebook page

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters‘ – rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? I’ll admit it took a while before I actually managed to learn this name by heart, but my god it’s a good one – 10/10. Dressed in tie dye t-shirts, black metal corpse paint and bandanas, you dont really know what to expect when these guys takes the stage in a cloud of smoke and bubbles, but they’ll hit you in the face with a wall of stoner fuzz, beefy bass and the occasional cowbell.

Facebook / Bandcamp

 


GNOB

Photo via the bands Facebook page

Photo via the bands Facebook page

«Why GNOB
«Because it’s bong backwards.»
«Fair enough.»
Another psychedelic one, this time it’s London based trio GNOB which sounds like an eastern acid trip gone great. During their intense live performances they play heavy psych rock you can kinda dance to.

Facebook / Bandcamp

 


HCBP / Haggard Cat Bothday Present

Photo via the bands Facebook page

Photo via the bands Facebook page

HCBP consists of singer/screamer/guitarist Matt Reynolds and drummer Tom Marsh (both of HECK), and may or may not have been a result of the rest of the band being late for practice, I don’t know, but whatever it is, I’m glad it happened. While moving away from the road of ‘general noise’ they’re on with HECK, they’re still sticking to their guns of loud and energetic live performances, with their dirty blues and hillbilly hardcore. Their second album is due to launch early next year, and having had a few cheeky listens I can assure you it’ll be a banger.

Facebook / Bandcamp


Oak

Photo via the bands Facebook page

Photo via the bands Facebook page

Oak‘s another case of me randomly stumbling across a band in a bar as I found them nearly naked at East London venue The Birds Nest, and I dont know if it was the smell of sweat and beer, the shirtless, longhaired, hairy men, the heavy riffs, the energetic live performance or all of the above, but they pretty much had me straight away. As they say it themselves, they «Take retro blues rock riffs influenced by the likes of Cream, make it filthy and down tuned and then get an actual mad man to yell over the top of it. For fans of: Cream, Mountain, Kyuss, Black Sabbath, and being shouted at.»

Facebook / Bandcamp


 

That’s all for now, kids. Play ’em loads and play ’em loud.