We’re excited to be teaming up with The Jonesing Jams, a new live music concept in London where musicians are hand picked from different bands to form a ‘one night only supergroup’ for a heavy 70’s psych rock jam – guitarist from one band, drummer from another – that whole shebang, ya know?
The first Jonesing Jams will take place at London’s 93 Feet East this upcoming Thursday 20th of April, and features guitarist Matt Reynolds of ‘general extreme noise’ band HECK and rock ‘n’ roll two piece HCBP, bassist Ben Kenobi-Marflar of eastern inspired psych band GNOB and psychedelic doom band Sonic Mass, Jonny Halifax of greasy noise and distorted blues bands Honkeyfinger and Jonny Halifax and the Howling Truth on lapsteel and harmonica, and powerhouse drummer Marco Ninni of psychedelic experimental rock band Swedish Death Candy. Together they’ll bring a whole specter of genres and influences, which resulted in the night being called ‘Worlds Collide.’
The idea behind’ The Jonesing Jams’ came from late nights spent at friends rehearsal spaces where everyone would tune in and jam, and all this amazing music would come out of it – all this amazing music that no one ever got to hear, so now we’re taking the jams out of the studio and onto a stage in front of an audience, and who know’s what’ll happen? To get in the mood for the jam, each artist as well as support band Shaman Elephant picked ten of their favourite tunes which has resulted in a gooey and great mix of genres and generations;
So, if you’re in London and fancy coming down for a free gig, heavy riffs and psychedelic jamming, doors open at 7pm, and things kick off at 8 – see you there!
Norwegian band Shaman Elephant recently released their debut album ‘Crystals’, which the critics and music know-it-alls have been all over. Based in Bergen, one of the rainiest cities in Europe and the black metal capital of the world, I was intrigued to find out more about their trippy, feelgood psych-rock, so I decided to pin down guitarist Eirik before their release gig at Bergen’s legendary music venue Garage.
So, Eirik, fellow Norwegian viking, new record – tell us about it! We started recording it about a year ago and did almost all of it at Bergen Kjøtt (Translates to ‘Bergen Meat’, and old factory converted into music studios and rehearsal spaces), except for vocals and overdubs which we did at Solslottet. It’s been out just over a month now and people seem to really like it! Niché magazines and music blogs have been giving it pretty good reviews, and BT (Norwegian newspaper) gave us 5/6 which we’re pretty damned pleased with. The only one who didn’t like it was Gaffa, but they can go fuck themselves.
Fair dos – clearly Gaffa knows fuck all.
How long have you guys been playing together? The three other guys, Ole, Jard and Jonas have been in various bands together for years, but I’d say Shaman Elephant’s been going for about three.
…damn, I’m really fucking hungover. Went to a gig last night and was only meant to have one beer, but when’s one beer ever actually been ‘just one beer’? Before you know it it’s 6am and you’re still going strong. It’s all good though, I’ll get another few beers in me and then chill out for a while before I go on stage. I’m really stoked about tonight, our bassist’s got this old Orange guitar amp which he’s running his bass through, it sounds sick!
Speaking of Orange, you’re an Orange man yourself? Sure am! I’ve got a Rockerverb. I work in a guitar shop so I’ve tried pretty much all there is, and the Rockerverb’s just brilliant, same with Dual Terror and Tiny Terror, massive fan!
What got you into Orange in the first place? I was looking for a new amp but didn’t quite know what I wanted, all I knew was that I didn’t want Marshall because I think they can get too complicated, and I wasn’t too keen on getting a Fender. There I was watching a Prince show and he was using Orange, which kind of just settled it for me. I decided on a Rockerverb – I’d never tried one, but I knew I needed one. It’s been six years now, and I couldn’t be happier with it, you get that filthy and fuzzy tone that you can only find in an Orange. A lot of sustain, and simply just a great sound. Plus, they’re Orange so they look fucking cool. I’d love to get two 4×12 cabs, it’d be pricey but worth it. Build my own wall of sound, like Sleep’s Matt Pike and his rigs of doom.
Growing up in rainy Bergen, what music would you be listening to? I’m very much raised on my dad’s music. I went through a hip hop phase, which I still can appreciate today, but when my dad told me to check out Hendrix that changed everything. I remember finding ‘Purple Haze’ live from Woodstock, and it completely knocked me out. After that he’d just feed me whatever he’d be listening to, whether it was Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple or AC/DC, it was all thanks to my dad.
Bergen’s been mostly known for it’s black metal, how is the music scene when it comes to other genres? Is there room for variety? Absolutely! There’s been a fair bit of this prog-jazz as well as a wave of retro noise/psych. I dont think there’s too many other bands like ours in Bergen though, so there’s always room for more. That said, Bergen was either black metal or pop music for a long time, but the last couple of years I’ve seen that new genres have been popping up between the two, filling the gaps out a bit more. Norway has a lot of trap and hip hop, so it’s cool when people break the norm and do their own thing, we need more of that.
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.
‘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.
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»
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’.
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.
‘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.
«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.
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.
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.»