May is now upon us, and it is less than 2 months until things reopen, with no restrictions.
It’s fair to say there is a buzz around the music scene about things reopening, and artists are beginning to release new music in readiness for (hopefully) a summer to remember.
We kickstart May’s new music month with South Coast based dance music producer and DJ, Connor Watling, with his new single out on 10th May called Higher (Amen). A track I’ve had in my armour for many years at festival gigs, nightclubs, even the occasional wedding. This really is something special. With an insanely catchy rhythm, a haunting spoken vocal; it really is a ‘wow’ track.
We speak to Connor Watling about his latest release.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi Connor, I must say it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen you, especially as we saw each other on the semi regular before! How have the last 12 months been for you?
Connor Watling; Frazer I must say the last 12 months of my life have been something of a rollercoaster - I’ve had lots of things change from my personal life to my professional work life… I’ve spent a long time around some great people in the lockdowns, I was fortunate enough to have influences like Jamie Hayes Jones - Founder of Launch Interactions (Seeing him build his Hybrid event app company into virtual events inspired me to take my DJing virtually) I’d like to think the virtual nightclub sets I’ve done with WW Events & Loud Audio & The Rave Bunker & Air 107.2 kept me sane in terms of playing music.
FM; So this track, Higher (Amen), I’ve had it literally for years. Why are you releasing it now after so long? And why did it take you so long?
Connor: The track has been ready since April last year however….There’s been no real time I’ve wanted to release it and what with getting festival bookings this year already I thought I’d jazz up the package for prospective promoters *wink wink*
FM; Obviously this has been a tough year for you, going from gigging at least twice every weekend, to virtually 0 gigs in the last 12 months, how has that been for you? What have you been doing to pass the time?
Connor; I’ve been working on my own businesses - most people think I’m a full time DJ however I’m also a UI/UX Software and Web Designer, this is what pays the bills...also I’ve been working with a few company’s that are planning events ahead of time which is giving me motivation to get up and not pay about all day.
FM; What does the future look like for you as a producer / DJ? I’ve noticed some people who used to gig a lot aren’t as interested in gigging as much, yet others are even more eager to get out there again; how do you feel about the near future?
Connor; I’m still very young I’d like to think so - I’m hoping I’ve got a good few years of pressing play left in me, I’ve still got some amazing projects with some very influential people in the music industry which are in need of finishing/developing. I’m hopeful for summer however when I receive a booking as “Provisional and unfortunately we can’t pay you a deposit” I start to think maybe this isn’t the year for DJs.
FM; Something I’ve been asking a fair few people in similar interviews is about their mental health - people in the music industry are often very social people, and to have that taken away from them for such a long time can definitely take it’s toll. Is this something that you’ve had to deal with over the last 12 months?
Connor; If Im completely open and honest - I was diagnosed with asperges syndrome when I was about 7 years old, this isn’t something that’s ever really effected me badly it’s just been my secret power I suppose, I was very fortunate to have great education and influential teachers and ‘grown ups’ which taught me the best way of communicating. Throughout lockdown and this crappy tier system my routine has been thrown all over the place and I don’t have much of a routine at all anymore. This has led me to some dark places however I’ve always had some form of normality to ground myself with whether that be activities such as set prep or production or going for a long old walk up a big hill.
FM; Thanks so much for chatting with me today Connor, and no doubt I’ll see you soon!
Connor; No problem! I wish this was more of a two way interview - I’d like to ask you all these questions back 😂 I miss playing with you *ooo errr* I’m sure we’ll have a spin this summer somewhere ❤️🙏🏼🔥
You can listen to Higher (Amen) by Connor Watling on 10th May.
In March 2021, there was a huge amount of new and amazing music being produced and released by artists across the South West.
The momentum hasn’t stopped as we head into April. This week, we shine a light on Second Run, a newly formed pop / punk band from Yeovil, who came to us to record their debut music video “Without You”. Since then, they’ve gone on to release their first EP “Beyond All Hope”.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi guys, hope you’re keeping well! Was great meeting you all at the video shoot too. Tell the readers a bit more about Second Run, who you are and what brought you 3 together.
Second Run; Well Steve and Ross have been in previous bands and decided through lockdown to create a new project
FM; So you guys just released your debut EP “Beyond All Hope” - how did that come about? Where was it recorded?
Second Run; The whole EP and idea came through lockdown where songs were created and written, bounced back and forth between members and James Herron who mixed and mastered the tracks.
FM; You guys have a great sound, it’s refreshing hearing a band releasing new original material, especially in this genre as it seems coronavirus has killed the band scene for the time being. What’s the next steps for Second Run once restrictions are lifted?
Second Run; The EP has been done and dusted, a lot of positive feedback, currently creating the physical set list. We welcome our friend Mark on bass and we can't wait to perform our first live gig to you all where we will be touring new original punk rock material, keep real and we can't wait to perform for you all.
FM; Thanks a lot for chatting with us today, best of luck for the near future!
Second Run; we appreciate the time and all the effort Antix has put in to the promotion and recording of the video. We respect the time you guys put in to local and original music.
March of 2021 saw a rush of new music from local artists. As April develops, the stream of original music has been steady, and we have another brand new EP to showcase today.
This week, we shine a light on Yeovil producer and musician Jake Lotus (real name Jake Denney), with his newly released 7 track EP “Nelson”. We spoke to him earlier this week.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi Jake, hope you’re keeping well, and congratulations on your EP.
Jake Lotus; Aloha Frazer! Thank you kindly. It’s a relief to finally get it out there.
FM; I was quite excited when I heard you were releasing an EP. I’ve always been a fan of your work, and the diversity of your music. From Murmur, a house banger (if you haven’t heard it, you really must!) to some of your layered vocals, Bon Iver style. It feels this is yet another step away from one particular genre for you?
Jake; Yeah, I would say so. I don’t really think in terms of genres anymore to be honest; sometimes the contrarian in me likes to deliberately work in opposition to a trend - like a genre or what-have-you - but more often than not I’m just making songs I’d like to hear.
FM; So talk to us Nelson. First off, why did you pick that name? How did the EP come about?
Jake; Nelson is very autobiographical. Me and my cousin moved into a flat on Nelson Way (hence the name), with hopes of creating a music project together, but various things (like work, schedules, personal issues and so on) meant we never actually collaborated. It genuinely made me despondent and I felt very lost, but then I listened to the audiobook of ‘Perfect Sound Whatever’ by James Acaster, about all these little known albums of 2016. Hearing all these stories - big and small - about their creations made me realise that THIS was what the EP should be about. THIS was the real story. Hope becomes frustration becomes despair becomes hope again. It was a blessing in disguise.
FM; It’s fair to say that the EP goes in completely different directions, in terms of genre. I first heard this properly on a late night drive, and it’s perfect for that atmosphere. Who were your influences when producing the EP?
Jake; Björk and Kate Bush are always there helping in some way or another. Björk’s adventurousness and eclecticism, and Kate Bush’s storytelling and sensitivity. They inform pretty much all my music. But also people like Bon Iver, Mount Eerie, 100 Gecs, and JPEGMAFIA in particular was a big inspiration. Unlike me, he makes very abrasive hip-hop, but he writes, produces, mixes and masters his own stuff. Proper in-house and singular. For better or worse, I wanted to do the same.
FM; What was the process behind producing the EP? Did you start with lyrics, or build the production up and work from there?
Jake; Before I worked out the structure and details of Nelson, I had four of the songs half-written as instrumentals/textures. Once I’d worked out the story arc, there were 3 tracks I needed to write to connect the others up. The actual writing of the songs didn’t take too long, and those new tracks effectively being written to a brief made them easier to do. I tend to go with my first set of written lyrics for a song. I rarely re-write or finesse them, overthinking lyrics can zap them of character sometimes. Same with melodies actually. If a melody sounds a bit different or vaguely interesting at least, I just go with it and don’t alter it too much. Really, it was producing it (and all the post-production) that took me forever.
FM; So where did you produce the EP? What instruments or software did you turn to most to create these sounds?
Jake; So it was pretty much all written in Logic Pro. Two of the tracks started on GarageBand on my phone, and then migrated to Logic, where I finished them. Drive has a little bit of actual fuzzed bass guitar, Pearls has multi-tracked acoustic guitars, and for the first two tracks I recorded household noises (my car keys, brushing my teeth, hitting my clothes horse with drum sticks, flicking light switches on and off, etc) and sampled them into beats. But all the synths are sounds you can find in Logic that I’d modified and coated with effects and things. I was definitely trying to avoid it sounding MIDI-y. All the vocals were recorded in the flat that the EP’s about as well, in different rooms. I think it would’ve been perverse to do the vocals in a professional booth. And yeah, I also mixed and mastered it in Logic as well. That was the real lesson of the project. It’s always good to remind yourself how little you know.
FM; Great chatting to you Jake, hopefully I’ll be seeing you soon once restrictions are lifted!
Jake; Cheers, you too! And hopefully the next few projects don’t take as long as this one!
You can check out Jake’s latest EP “Nelson” here.
March is definitely turning into ‘new music month’ this year, and house music fans are treated to a surprise release from popular Yeovil based DJ Sheridan Knight.
Sheridan bounced on the scene in 2019 with DJ performances across the festival season, and a fully booked 2020 which has had to be postponed due to Covid, the 29 year old is bouncing back on the scene with a brand new single ‘One Shot’.
Personally, I’ve had this track for a while, and haven’t had chance to play it anywhere other than radio, yet I know this song will go down well in the clubs and festival circuit - One Shot is simply put a tech house banger - expertly mixed, beautifully mastered, and very, very bouncy, and is set for release 12th March.
We talk to Sheridan Knight, the guy behind the new track.
Frazer Mitchell; Sheridan, nice to speak to you, it’s certainly been a while!
Sheridan Knight; Yes Frazer! Great to speak to you too. We’ve been meaning to do this for sometime, thank you for having me.
FM; So where to begin - lets start off by talking Covid, how much of an affect has lockdown had on your gigs and performances you were booked for?
SK; Covid has had a huge affect on my gigs and performances, I had been booked in several countries at some top party destinations including Zante, Kavos, Aiya Napa and Albufeira which all had to be cancelled due to the pandemic along with several festivals and clubs along the way, fortunately it has allowed me to focus on production which I may not have had as much time to focus on if my 2020 booking had happened.
FM; Talk to me about One Shot, how did it come about?
SK; I’d finished a Facebook live stream on Facebook and felt I wanted something more of my own to play so I started playing around with different sounds and managed to come up with One Shot. Following creating the song thankfully I got signed to a record label Charlie Funk House.
FM; So let’s talk about production the production side of things - where did this one come from? What’s your set up like?
SK; I’ve always played around with music production from a young age but decided I wanted to really go for it now I haven’t got any gigs booked in which allowed me to dedicate most of my time on production. I started on logic with my laptop but have now invested in more and more equipment and have now just finished my own studio
FM; Thanks Sheridan for chatting with us today, keep up the good music, what’s next for you as a DJ / Producer?
SK; thanks for having me Frazer it’s been a pleasure! I have 5 songs now including One Shot so I’ve been a busy bee. New songs to come following One Shot so keep your eyes peeled!
Check out One Shot HERE****
INTERVIEW; We speak to YEOVIL Chamber of Commerce PRESIDENT Dave Woan about the future of the local music scene.
The Future of Live Music is still unclear in the first weeks of March, but it’s fair to say plans are being made for events later in the summer.
However, there have been many cancelled events already, including the likes of Glastonbury, Home Farm Fest and Abbey Hill Steam Rally.
We spoke to the Chamber of Commerce in Yeovil and regular Antix performer Dave Woan, about the current and future music scene.
Frazer Mitchell: Hi Dave, I hope you’ve been keeping well!
Dave Woan: Thanks Frazer; it’s good to hear from you again, as always. Although I’m incredibly busy in my day job, my gig opportunities have pretty much stalled; although I’m still putting in around an hour a day into practicing and pushing musical ideas around.
FM: That's great to hear. First of all, what have you been up to since the pandemic started? Has this time off inspired you to write more songs?
DW: I was fortune enough to squeeze a trip to New Zealand in January & February 2020. We visited relatives, travelled around, and managed to just get back to the UK before lockdown happened. The time in New Zealand, and the head space it offered, inspired me to write several sets of lyrics, two of which have turned into songs, which I’ve already played live at a couple of 2020 appearances between lockdowns. Despite the pandemic experience dominating most of our lives since March 2020, only one song inspired by lockdown materialised; the early lockdown experience was like living on the set of a weirdly real sci-fi movie, and inspired ‘You’re In This Movie’, a first-person tale of someone pleading with a less-than-conscientious friend, to stay safe.
FM: What I’d really like to talk to you about is the current state of the local music scene - obviously things were very active before all of this, and now they’re the complete opposite. What advice would you give to local musicians at a time like this?
DW: Take each day at a time; set realistic expectations, and don’t wish too hard. The good days will return – we just don’t know when. Adapt and explore the changed circumstances. It’s like I’m in a long, curved tunnel; the light behind me has disappeared from view, and I haven’t quite got to the point where the curve allows me to see the light in front of me. I keep practicing my art; even though opportunities for gigs are rare, I always need to stay on top of my game. If lockdown lifts tomorrow, I know I’ll be ‘gig-fit’.
FM; Some of the local festivals have already announced they will be postponing for yet another year, Home Farm Fest, Glastonbury Festival, Abbey Hill Steam Rally, yet some like Flashback are still planning to go ahead this year. What’s your thoughts on the festivals having to postpone for 2 years?
DW: As someone who organises corporate events, I understand the impact of lockdown. Try not to get upset with the organisers; they and festival stall-holders invest time, effort and usually a lot of money, only to see it all evaporate, due to something which is entirely out of anyone’s control. Apart from the loss of opportunity to create more happy memories, all the festival-goers lose is the cost of their ticket. As a regular attendee at Home Farm near Yeovil, I used to joke: “No year would be complete without Home Farm.” Here we are now looking at the second consecutive cancellation. Sure, I’m upset, but I'll just have to find something else to do on that first weekend in June.
FM: So looking a couple of steps into the future, into a post covid world. What do you think we, as a music industry, should be doing now, to make sure the industry isn’t as badly affected when we’re all allowed out?
DW: Tough question. A lot of the responsibility lies with musicians and promoters; no one is to blame here, and the fans remain hungry to see the artists. For enthusiastic amateurs like myself, I just have to keep practicing, with the cushion of a day job to meet the bills. For musicians whose livelihood depends on their art, and the ability to perform in front of an audience, technology can be used. I’m aware of some very creative use of technology; such as performance on stage in a hall full of screens, with the audience paying to watch and interact via the Zoom link. Not ideal, but needs must. As humans we’re incredibly inventive and adaptive, musicians are also going live from home, charging people to watch, and bands have been recording from separate locations for several years. As you know, I’ve been involved in a handful of your Antix virtual open mic sessions, which were incredibly good fun – are there any more planned? If the commercial and logistical opportunities are given airspace, and we harness the technology, when the good days return, all we have to do is replace the screens with the people again, and the audience is back in the same room as the performers.
FM; There aren't any Antix Virtual Open Mic Sessions - interestingly, we found there was a real need for them, and then everyone seemed to be 'going live' and the market was very flooded very quickly.
There have been a lot of musicians who have turned to social media, live streaming since last March due to the lack of gigs. Is there anyone that has caught your eye? Someone, or a band you think we should be listening to?
DW: Check out the soulful guitarist/vocalist Michael Kiwanuka and Saint Vincent, the ‘Talking Heads for the twenty-first century’. These are just two of the artists I’ve gotten into since seeing them on TV during lockdown. Another artist who is inspiring my writing and playing is the young English folk-inspired songsmith (and actor) Johnny Flynn, seven albums under his belt, a great voice and guitar technique. Locally, I’ve been listening to Juniper Roots, Jack Saunders, Mel Muryn, and Bruce Soord’s prog band The Pineapple Thief. There’s plenty going on. Musicians are harnessing their ideas and inspirations; the different circumstances are unearthing some great music that I may have otherwise missed.
FM: Thanks a lot for chatting with us, hopefully see you in the very near future!
DW: Thanks Frazer, great to hear from you!
The amount of music to come from local artists has been incredible to watch and be involved with - we always said that the level of talent in the Weymouth and Yeovil area in particular are filled to the brim with talented musicians and creatives alike. If you have something you want to promote, #GetInvolved and Contact Us today.
Today, we shine a light on Vicky Limm - a singer / songwriter from Weymouth who's debut EP 'I'll Be Me' was released on 8th March. The EP was fully produced at our Antix; Studio down in Weymouth.
We sent Tim Fawkes to have a chat with Vicky about her release.
TF - Hi Vicky, great to speak to you, even if it's still online for now! How have you been doing through lockdown?
VL - Hi Tim, likewise! As good as I can be, be glad for things to go back to some sort of normality soon!
TF - For those who don't know you, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you first start making music?
VL - so I have been writing songs since I was 16, so 6 years now. I’d usually write my songs using a piano but I’ve recently started learning ukelele so I’m hoping to start writing some more on that.
TF - I'd love to know more about your process as an artist. How do you go about bringing a new song to life? Do you have a process or does each song come to you differently?
VL - I actually wrote a song about how I wrote music funnily enough! I’m hoping to record this and release it one day. My process normally includes finding some chords and then writing lyrics followed by a melody. I try to sing from the heart and often find that I am able to express myself through music in ways I could never do just through talking.
TF - You've been working on your EP ('I'll Be Me') since before lockdown, how does it feel to finally get it out there?
VL - I’m honestly so happy! I’ve been so excited to share it with all my friends and I’ve already received so much support. It’s so exciting to have my music out there!
TF - What was your inspiration behind the EP?
VL - there was a different inspiration behind each one. Rely on you was inspired by one of my best friends, I am yours was inspired by my partner and Hierarchy of Needs was a more heartfelt sad song based around my family. My inspiration to actually release an EP with several of my songs was inspired after spending some time at Jurassic Coast Studios which I really enjoy.
TF - Which artists do you feel have been your biggest influences in writing 'I'll Be Me'?
VL - there are several artists that come to mind when I think of my EP. The artists that most inspired me were Kelly Clarkson and Ben Platt, mainly because of the types of lyrics they write. They are so meaningful and that was the type of approach I took with my songs- I didn’t just want them to be catchy, but I also wanted them to have meaning.
TF - Now things look like they'll be opening up again, what does the future look like for you? Are you going to get out gigging or will you be focusing on writing more music or a bit of both?
VL - the thing I have missed most throughout this pandemic is performing at open mic nights and entering local competitions. I have never actually done a live gig before but it’s definitely something I’d love to work towards.
TF - Thank you so much for talking to us. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next for you and I wish you all the best with 'I'll Be Me'. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from you very soon.
VL - thank you so much, it was great talking to you.
Check out Vicky's lead single 'I'll Be Me' below.
With the latest roadmap out of the coronavirus crisis being released to the public, it’s safe to say we at Antix Music Network are beginning to get a bit excited about returning to ‘normal’.
Since March last year, we have been working with a select few upcoming music artists in the Weymouth area, and helping them produce their own music, as well as help with branding, creating music videos and building their social media platforms.
We have also opened up a brand new, fully functioning creative studio in Weymouth, which has quickly become a central hub for all things Antix Music Network and is a 90 second walk to the famous sandy beach.
As things open up in a safe way, we would like to offer our services to the wider music community, and help musicians across the South West with whatever they feel they need.
Here is a list of what we can offer;
COVID restrictions have meant music videos have been harder to produce, however, we have invested in some of the latest camera technology, lighting, and have amazing locations in and around Weymouth, including our recording studio.
Check out some of our videos;
In March 2020, we were given the keys to 2 secure rooms within the Actors Nightclub. We turned these rooms into a fully functioning recording studio, with the latest technology. With over 12 years experience in music production, we’re able to mix and master your tracks, ready for radio and streaming.
Social Media & Marketing;
Since 2020, we have taken an active role in the social media accounts for some of our artists, including Lizzie Pawsey. We have given her a complete brand, created a stand out logo, and produced a music and video strategy which keeps Lizzie, the artist, motivated and creative, but also keeps her growing listener base engaged, and supportive.
We also run social media accounts for Keith Baddams Glass Artist, Actors Nightclub, and Anonymous Festival.
'Antix Music Network have helped my daughter, Lizzie Pawsey, progress as an artist and been extremely supportive along the way. Antix have produced music and videos, and helped with social media and marketing. I wouldn't go anywhere else'
At Antix Music Network, a key feature of our brand is our ability to create stunning graphics for live events, artist profiles and album covers. With a turnaround of 24 hours, and extremely reasonable rates, we have everything you need for your visual requirements.
'From Start to Finish, Antix were professional and reliable. They delivered a top quality creative product that we are very proud to have as our 1st EP's Artwork. We will use them again.'
Craig & Alex Priddice
Any artist who is serious about their music should have, or at least be looking into, hosting their own website, which includes new music releases, gigs, photos, contact details, perhaps a blog about what it is you’ve been up to as an artist.
We are able to produce, host, and update websites with ease, taking the weight off your shoulders at very reasonable rates.
Support & Advice;
In the 6 years Antix has been running, we have worked with over 100 musicians across the South West, and have extensive knowledge in the workings of the underground music scene. We are able to give support and guidance to anyone who feels they may need it, and help provide real term solutions to problems that you may be facing.
Disclaimer; We are proud at Antix Music Network to have a lot of creative, and industry friends. Our motto is simple; if we can’t help you, we will know someone who can.
#GetInvolved today, and Contact Us for more information.
It's hardly surprising that with the ease of COVID restrictions on the horizon, new music has started to make it ways to the ears of the listening public. So far, we've seen Flow State, Riley's Cove, Lizzie Pawsey and Flic Keirle releasing music in the space of just over 2 weeks, and today, we bring you another local act releasing their debut EP.
Elliott Saloman, a Weymouth based Drum & Bass Producer, released his debut EP 'Jungle Minimalist' on Austrian label IN;DEEP on the 5th of March this year. We spoke to him about his release, and talked in depth about his production style.
Frazer Mitchell; Elliott, nice to E-meet you! I hope you’re keeping well through lockdown?
Elliott Saloman-Carter; Hey! Yeah I'm good, just finishing off my degree at the moment, plenty of work to keep me busy.
FM; So tell us a bit about yourself, what got you into producing Drum and Bass music, and how long have you been producing?
Elliott; I've been producing Drum and Bass for about 4 years now, it all started as a bit of a joke really. I wanted to make a meme with a quote from Peepshow and turn into a sort of Drum and Bass parody (It was awful). After that though I started playing around with breakbeat samples and fast forward a few years now I spend pretty much all my free time producing Jungle
FM; One thing I did notice when listening to the promo you sent over is the clarity in your work - it’s very well produced, in the sense each instrument is crisp and clear. Tell us about your set production set up, what equipment do you have? Where is your set up?
I produce at the dinner table in my flat, so nothing special or out of the ordinary. I have a pair of Yamaha HS7s (speakers) and some Beyerdynamic dt 880 pro headphones. To be honest I think I rely on the headphones more than anything, they give the most accurate sound in my opinion.
FM; How do you go about making a track? Is there a set way of making something, or does it change each time for you?
Elliott; It really depends each time I guess. Sometimes I might get an idea from another song and think I really want to recreate a certain sound or element, so I will just download that song and open it up in Ableton and just try and work out what's going on. Sometimes I just find a sample I really like and manipulate it until it sounds like something new and then I start writing the drums. If I'm honest, a lot of the time I start with the drums, with Jungle music (more so the old-school stuff) the drums are often the lead element and they often deliver the narrative so it's best to get those right from the get go.
FM; There are quite a few producers who are also DJs, under normal circumstances, would you be out and about gigging?
Elliott; I like to think I'm more of a producer than a DJ, although I have played a few gigs and supported big acts like Wilkinson and DJ Q, I think there's a few others I'm probably forgetting. I do enjoy DJing, but for me it's all about producing. These days anyone can blend a couple tunes together, especially in the digital age where pretty much everyone is a DJ. It's good fun don't get me wrong, and I probably wouldn't turn down a gig either -I just don't find it as rewarding as production.
FM; Who would you say you are influenced by? Is there anyone you think we should be listening to?
Elliott; I'd say my biggest influences at the moment are Deadman's Chest, Sully, Coco Bryce and Tim Reaper. There's a few others, but in my opinion these guys are top tier when it comes to Jungle music.
FM; Lastly, what does the future hold for you as a producer? What would you like to see happen over the coming months?
Elliott; It would be nice to see a few more tunes released, I've got a couple bits that are pretty much confirmed so looking forward to being able to share those release dates at some point. I'm also launching my own Jungle label too (Choppy Waters) further in the year, which is really exciting, but again more details about that will be confirmed later in the year.
FM; Thanks a lot for getting in touch with Antix and letting us chat to you today, all the best for the EP, and I’m sure I’ll see you around!
Elliott; Thanks for having me!
#GetInvolved with Elliott’s New EP Jungle Minimalist over on Spotify, and check out his Instagram.
2021 has definitely seen an influx of new music from local musicians, and has given us all chance to discover new talent coming through the ranks. Today, Antix Music Network shine a light on a group of 10 local musicians who have come together to produce an excellent showcase of talent.
Flic Keirle, a renowned singer from Yeovil, has put together a video featuring 5 other singers, and an entire band with musicians from across the South West, all recorded individually in their homes during the third national lockdown.
We spoke to Flic Keirle about her latest cover.
Frazer Mitchell; Hey Flic, hope you’ve been keeping well over the last 12 months. Tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to recently.
Flic Keirle; Hey! Well, this last lockdown has really been the hardest one for me. I think we’ve all been feeling the strain and just so desperate to get some ‘normality’ back. The one benefit of being furloughed really has been the time I’ve had to spend working on musical projects. I’ve worked hard on some original music that I’m hoping to release later this year. But mostly we’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented local singers and musicians to put together a series is lockdown covers which I’m so grateful for.
FM; The song and video I want to talk about is a cover of Fooled Around and Fell In Love. Why did you pick that song, and who was involved?
Flic; The song is originally by Elvin Bishop, some people may recognise it from ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ but recently it was covered by one of my country idols - Miranda Lambert. She put together a group of six female country artists to sing it whilst on tour and I just loved the song and the idea of a huge collaboration! I contacted some of my band mates and best friends, then reached out to a couple of people I’d worked with remotely over the first lockdown like Bella and Meg. This was actually the first time I’ve ‘met’ (via messenger) Noah so it was great to have someone new to me on the scene too!
FM; Over lockdown I’ve definitely found it’s more difficult to work remotely with other musicians when you’re not physically in the same room, whereas you guys have all smashed it, from production to video, and general musicianship. How did you guys get around the problem of not being in the same room?
Flic; We generally set up group chats, we have one with the six girls in the video and it actually turned into a place we’d all talk generally and seeing the girls build each other up when some haven’t even met was incredible! I would say though the credit for the quality and production of the music is down to Larry Turner and Bill Osborn. They worked really hard to put together, mix and edit the track.
FM; I think the best thing about this video is the musicians you’ve involved in the track. In normal circumstances, I doubt you’d have had the chance to perform with the likes of Noah on the drums, or Bella on vocals, because what you 3 for example do is quite different under normal circumstances. Would you say lockdown has allowed you to work with more talented friends than perhaps you would have done in normal circumstances?
Flic; Yes absolutely! I’m a huge fan of Bella, and Megan Smith and have seen their gigs/listened to their music. But during ‘normal’ busy life we never got around to working together and I think that’s one huge positive to come out of these lockdowns for sure. Noah is the only person in this project I’ve never physically met and I’m super excited to actually have something we’re working on with him to announce later this year, really excited for that! Watch this space 😉
FM; With the amount of extra time, and many acts turning to social media, has there been anyone in the local scene who you think we should be keeping an eye on?
Flic; I think one of my favourite local artists has to be Jorden Lindsay. I’m always blown away by his talent and over the last couple of years he’s just grown and grown in popularity. He’s also an all round fantastic person, I had the pleasure of doing a remote cover with him way back in the first lockdown - our first one actually! He’s just a great guy. Bella is also one to watch, I’m obsessed with her vocal style, her original music is just beautiful!
FM; What’s the future for you after lockdown? Will you, like me, taking every gig opportunity to make up for lost time, or will you be taking a step back and releasing more music and involving musicians? Or a mixture of both?
Flic; I’m with you! I cannot WAIT to get back on stage. A few things will be massively changing for me later this year - anyone who knows me knows I come attached at the hip to Miss Grace Fahy, we’ve done every band, project and song together for a few years now, but she’s off to uni this year and for me that means a lot of change in terms of bands and original music. I can’t wait to hopefully have the end of summer gigs with her! I’m also hoping to release a solo EP but I definitely wanted to have some time after lockdown in the studio to really get stuck into that, so time will tell!
FM; It’s fair to say that the mental health of musicians has taken a bit of a kicking in the last year; everyone seems to be saying they’ve been unmotivated and “stuck in a rut”. Is there anything you would like to say that might help musicians get out of the “rut” they find themselves in?
Flic; I think we’ve all felt like this in different ways. I had a blip last year with my writing where I just felt like I had nothing to say. I would say, let that negativity wash over you like a wave and just make/listen to/sing/play music, whatever kind of music, as often and loud as you can! Doing what you love in any capacity is never a bad thing, even if that’s dancing around the kitchen to some old school 90s R&B jams! We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be productive, announcing things, working and creating constantly. Sometimes its okay to just relax and enjoy music ‘back to basics’
FM; Thank you for chatting with us today, keep up the good work and the collab videos!
Flic; Thank you so much! It’s been awesome and I hope we’ll see each other at some gigs later this year! ❤️
Check out Flic Keirle on Facebook and check the video out below.
There appears to be a boost in brand new original music from artists across the South West recently; with the likes of 16 year old Weymouth based Lizzie Pawsey releasing her debut EP on 15th Feb, and the debut single from Sheridan Knight on the way.
As we enter our second March without live music, there’s a brand new single from Flow State (formally known as Jemima) on the block.
“Avon Giants” immediately caught our eye with its first promotional video on social media about a month ago, which appears to be a music video, and puppet show all rolled into one - something you don’t often see, especially from independent artists. The single and video, produced at Mill Farm Studios in Bradford Abbas by engineer Tom Jobling, still carries that “old Jemima” sound - fronted by vocalist and drummer Jemma Marshall, and multi talented Jordan Digby covering the rest of the instrumentation.
We spoke to Flow State earlier this month to talk about their new single “Avon Giants”.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi Guys! Hope you’re keeping well in 2021! How have you guys been dealing without gigging over the last year or so?
Flow State; As you can imagine we’re missing gigging live so much! We rebranded at the beginning of the year so we’ve steadily been creating content to put out into the world - trying out arrangements for covers with our loop pedal set up which is always fun to do! In the first lockdown and into the summer months we were doing live stream gigs every couple of weeks which kept us ticking over but since then we’ve basically just been getting our ducks in a row - finishing off some recordings and writing some new bits. We’ve also begun to explore other sounds and collaborating with other artists - we’ve featured on a couple of liquid drum and bass tracks which were released onto Soundcloud. But by far what’s taken up the majority of our time in lockdown is attempting to master the art of marionette puppets - we completely underestimated how much of a task that one would be and we have a new found respect for anyone that has a clue how to use them.
FM; You guys were always out and about gigging before COVID-19 was a thing - Antix Music Network booked you to play various festivals including Home Farm Fest and Anonymous Festival, and you also had a term on a cruise ship - these restrictions must be torture for you!
FS; it really is! We were gearing up for our first 6 month med cruise as resident musicians with P&O in April which was something we were working towards since graduating from BIMM Bristol 8 months before. So we were completely gutted about that not going ahead due to COVID-19 and it took us some time to find our feet again with what we were doing. Whilst we’re settled in Poole now, we still have everything crossed that the ships will be back in 2021 - it’s torturous that every time we go for a walk on the beach we can see the ghost cruise ships floating around the bay, just taunting us. We loved playing home farm fest and anonymous festival - for us playing festival gigs is the BEST type of gigs so there’s a big muddy tent shaped hole without them; we love the atmosphere, the people, the outfits and we love tinnies.
FM; So in 2019, the last chance to gig, you were performing and releasing music under the name Jemima, and released a single called Ska Train, which I still love by the way! Why the change in direction; why the change in name, and what is different to Jemima?
FS; we changed it up for a couple of reasons - the first being that Jemima was the name Jemma would go by as a solo artist and as she’d already built up that following we stuck with that for a while, but as we evolved we wanted something that represented us both. We also wanted to start with a clean slate as we became actual professional working musicians. We played around with a few names and we were leaning toward things that resonated with water - living on the south coast and working on boats, so we came up with Flow State. The Flow State is the “mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity” which basically means being in the zone, which is right where we want to be. It’s also the name of the first full length album by our biggest influence Tash Sultana.
FM; So your new single “Avon Giants” was produced in Mill Farm Studios recently; what really caught my eye was the use of puppets - seeing your Instagram stories, I wasn’t sure what you were up to, but it’s now obvious the puppets play quite an important role in the music video for the single; who’s idea was it to include puppets? What’s the story behind the song?
FS; To be honest we weren’t sure what we were up to either buying an entire cast of vintage marionette puppets on Ebay for a vision that we had no idea how to bring to life. Whilst the actual premise of the story is quite sincere (with one unsuccessful giant ending up drowned in the river Severn) we wanted to tell it in a light-hearted way, almost like a children’s story book or a fairytale - so we wanted a really playful video to tell the story. The idea actually stemmed from Tom (this man has all the ideas) when he suggested using shadow puppets. We snowballed some stuff on top of this and then when we found a marionette puppet dressed in giants attire we took it and ran with the idea and had one eye everywhere we could to find a suitable puppet for the rest of the characters in the story. Once we had a puppet for each main character (the 2 giants - goram and Vincent, and princess Avona) we collected a few puppet extras to be in the video, we contacted a local Bristol artist named Hannah Bunn to ask if we could use her beautiful Bristol backdrop, we then reinforced that to a big old piece of cardboard, added some snazzy red velvet curtains and voila we had a stage for our puppet show! We then had Bradley Bowers from BCB media to come and film some shots and bring it to life. The track itself is based on the ancient Bristol folklore tale “Bristol giants” that depicts two giants - brothers Goram and Vincent who fought against each other for the heart of princess Avona. Now Avona isn’t overly fussy and says well alright then whichever of you can drain the chew valley lake gets to go out with me... whilst Vincent cracks straight on with the task in hand his brother Goram doesn’t share the same work ethic and instead decides to kick back with a cold one. The result of their efforts was a deep trench running from Bradford on Avon to the Severn, also known as the Avon Gorge which sits beneath the famous suspension bridge. Vincent won Avona’s hand in marriage and named the gorge after her whilst a distraught goram who had fallen asleep in his chair after a few too many hurled himself into the river Severn, where his head and shoulders can still be seen poking out of the estuary mud. You can hear the full story here as told by John Derrick -
FM; At this stage, it’s still too soon to tell what restrictions will be in place for live music over the next few months, but have you guys started thinking about post COVID in terms of music? Will you guys be pushing for gigs? Is there more new music on the way?
FS; we have got 2 follow up singles planned for release following Avon Giants which are recorded and ready to go thanks to the fab Tom Jobling! One of which is a re-release of “Ska Train” which we’ve recorded at mill farm studios and is a big step up from the Ska Train we recorded 2 years ago in our spare room. The second is a track about our love for pancakes which those who have ever seen us play live will recognise as we just love to pull that one out the bag at gigs. So these 3 releases all follow the same sound and then following that we’ve written some stuff that has a completely different vibe so we would love to get them recorded and released toward the second half of 2021.
FM; I assume that with the lack of gigs, you’ve had more time to discover new music, or like me, go back to music you loved several years ago (I’m reliving the Blink182 Emo stage!); have you guys found anything that you think our readers should be listening to? Any old classics you’ve dusted off?
FS; Alexa gets asked to play “Fleetwood Mac radio” whenever I (Jemma) do the washing up, which feels like about 15 times a day at the minute with the amount of hot drinks on the go. Tash Sultana, always, who has a new track out called Sweet and Dandy which we love! And most of the time we have chill out music on in the background - I’m loving this playlist I found called Lofi Fruits by Strange Fruit which is like lofi hip hop tracks which is super easy listening and perfect for just creating a nice mood throughout the house.
FM; Thank you so much for taking the time out to chat with Antix Music Network today, and I wish you the very best for your new single “Avon Giants”, and more importantly, I hope to see you at a gig very soon!
FS; Thank you for chatting to us!! We hope you love the track half as much as we do 😊💜
Flowstate’s new single “Avon Giants” available on Spotify; make sure you check out the official video below.
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network