You may remember earlier in the month Yeovil Guitarist Jamie Witt started a fundraiser and guitar giveaway to celebrate his 10 year anniversary of teaching guitar. If you don’t remember, here’s the link.
Yesterday, Jamie revealed the winners of all 3 guitar packages, and we caught up with him to see who won, and how much was raised.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi Jamie, thanks for chatting to us again. So, tell us about the guitar giveaway, firstly, how much was money was raised?
Jamie Witt; Hey Frazer, the total amount raised was just under £700, with £500 of that going to the Lord’s Larder which was my chosen charity.
FM; That’s a great achievement, well done! Who were the winners of the 3 guitar packages?
Jamie; the first guitar, which was an Aria Pro II Fullerton went to Sam H who donated money to Christian Aid.
The second guitar, an Aria Nashville 615 Telecaster went to Amy B who donated their money to the Lord's Larder.
The third guitar package was nomination only - I had so many messages from family and friends of people who nominated people who have done some incredible things over the past 12 months, and it was really hard to pick one winner. However, the Nomination winner was Lucy McIntosh. Lucy has faced many challenges with her health and despite this has always tried to give her time to raising money for charities she holds close to her heart. When lockdown forced this to stop, rather than accept that she found ways to continue fundraising in other ways. Her positive attitude has led her to raise more than £500 for Asthma Uk. She is a very worthy recipient of the Fender Strat guitar and I hope it goes some way to repay the amazing work she has done for others.
FM; That’s great - it really sounds like the nomination guitar went to a very worthy winner indeed. Thanks for the quick update, and best of luck for your other ventures!
Jamie; Thanks Frazer!
Interested in getting guitar lessons this lockdown? #GetInvolved with Jamie Witt's Online Guitar Teaching School, and check out this video of Jamie in action below.
New music from artists in the Somerset area keep landing in our inbox, and we think it’s great to see. Especially in times like these, it’s brilliant to see people still being creative.
This week, we talk to Jack Saunders, a twenty-one year old singer / songwriter from Yeovil, who recently released his debut single Meet At The Light, an acoustic driven song written about his Grandad.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi Jack, thanks for chatting to us today, how are you getting on?
Jack Saunders; Hi Frazer! I'm doing very good thank you, Its great to be chatting to you again!
FM; So what have you been up to over the last year? I assume you’ve had very few gigs like the rest of us!
Jack; Yeah unfortunately with everything that's going on I've not really had too many gigs. However I had a very active December, gig wise, which was amazing. It was truly wonderful to get out there and be able to perform! But yeah, not many gigs unfortunately so I've just been writing new songs, rewriting old songs and just trying to improve as a musician in general!
FM; So you submitted a song called Meet At The Light, if I’m right in thinking, this song has quite a personal meaning to you?
Jack; Yes definitely! I wrote it after the passing of my Grandad in 2019 after a long battle with Dementia. I remember thinking, how strange it was after the funeral that we're just supposed to get on with life and just eventually forget about this once great man and all the feelings that he made us feel. So me being a songwriter, I decided to try and write a song about him and the memories he gave myself. What resulted was Meet At The Light, which is still after almost two years of existing, my favourite song that I have written. Now I can share those memories he gave me with the world and leave him a bit of a legacy.
FM; Where did you get the song recorded? What was the process behind the track to get it to where it is now?
Jack; The song was recorded in Dorset, with my friend Josh, who runs JGE studios. The song was finished after two sessions roughly, so it was a very quick process. We recorded the foundations of the track during the first session, when it was originally about five minutes long, had three verses and was just pretty much acoustic. Then, for the second session, we trimmed it down so it's the length it is now, and when performing the song live with a loop pedal, I would often experiment with backing vocals and trying to make it sound like a choir. So when it came to recording the second time, I knew it was something I wanted to add! I also had the idea of something like an orchestra so it made it feel like the song was being sung in a church, and I really feel like those two things combined really make the song as powerful as it is.
FM; So with the lack of gigs in 2020 and the early stages of 2021, have you been writing more music?
Jack; Yes definitely! Although 2020 in a whole was a quiet year, like I said I had a very active Christmas period! I was performing at least three times a week at one point all around Somerset, and then I had the two gigs with Antix in the Quedam which had to have been my favourite ones! It was a great way to close out what had been a very strange year with some sort of normality in playing gigs! As for the songwriting, I took a brief break throughout January, but just finished a song the other day called Behind Blue Eyes which is sounding really good and has left me with many ideas floating around in my head!
FM; How has lockdown been treating you? Has lockdown had an affect on you as a musician?
Jack; Absolutely! Throughout the first lockdown I was so motivated with writing music! However that wasn't the case for this second one. I'm not sure if it was all the starting and stopping with being able to perform, but I just felt burnt out and unmotivated with music as a whole. However in the past week I've really found my spark again and after writing my first song of 2021 I'm back ready to go again!
FM; So what’s the future for you, will we be seeing more releases from you soon?
Jack; The future is looking bright and busy! Once lockdown is over and travel is allowed, I'll be back in the studio and will be recording my next single called My Mistake. Its alot different than Meet At The Light, its very high tempo, high energy, and has a chorus that everyone can singalong with, so I'm itching to get back into the studio so I can get that recorded and then can hopefully switch my focus to the remaining two songs I have left to record before I can finally release my debut E.P!
FM; Thanks for chatting with us Jack, and best of luck with your single!
Jack; Thank you mate! See you soon.
#GetInvolved with Jack Saunders over on Facebook here; https://www.facebook.com/JackSaundersMusic/
With a surge of new music on the way this February, next on our radar is Lizzie Pawsey – a 17 year old singer/songwriter from Weymouth, whose been visiting our brand new studio in Weymouth between lockdowns, writing and recording her debut EP called Reality, which was released on the 15 February 2021 through Jurassic Coast Records. In recent months, she's also been filming covers of her favourite songs, such as Perfect by Ed Sheeran, and a unique dubstep take on Dua Lipa’s hit song New Rules.
We sent our apprentice Max to have a chat with Lizzie about her EP, and the future of her music.
Max: Hey Lizzie, hope you are keeping well in Lockdown 3 how have you been keeping?
Lizzie: I’ve been keeping fine thanks, hope you have been too.
Max: Lets start from the beginning – you are 17 now, when did you start singing and writing music?
Lizzie: I always been interested in music having done dancing at the Weymouth Pavilion and discovered a passion for music at that stage. At 12 years old I started to learn to sing, initially with a classical teacher and learned to sing in other languages such as Italian and passed a number of singing exams. At 15 I realised I wanted to sing more contemporary/pop music, having found an interest in a number of singers such as Demi Lovato and Arianna Grande to name but a few. I started doing open mic nights which is where I met Frazer and that led to a recording of a cover of Legends Never Dies by League of Legends. Following that I started to write my own songs and with Frazer we started to put this with music which ultimately led to my EP.
Max: So you have been writing and recording music at Jurassic Coast Studios, how has that been? What’s the writing process been?
Lizzie: So the writing and recording at Jurassic Coast Studios has been fine. Me and Frazer and my mum have been bubbling ideas around along with Paul Harmer allowing our combined creative writing abilities to come to life. Some times I will come up with random words or Frazer will play a random tune that I then come up with a melody and then it all flows from there.
Max: So you must be very excited about releasing your debut EP “Reality”. Is there a theme with the songs you have written about?
Lizzie: Unforgettable was the first song I wrote, which I wrote to celebrate my friendship, then I wrote Running which was about my Grandmother and her dementia and how we were losing her but she had her own reality. This lead to Anymore which came about to reflect the changes in my life at that stage of going off to college and being able to “be what I want to be” aimed to inspire people that they can be themselves and not to be shaped by others. Finally I wrote Reality which occurred pretty much through the Lockdowns and as such reflected what was going on around us.
Max: You have also been one of the first acts to use the new recording facilities we have in Weymouth, how have you found the experience working with the guys at the Jurassic Coast Studios?
Lizzie: I consider Frazer as a friend as he is so supportive and kind. Being a talented musician its great to work with him to bring my ideas to life. Frazer and the guys have been really helpful in the making of this EP and I am truly grateful.
Max: Your lead single “Anymore” has a really cool video, where was it filmed and how did it all come about?
Lizzie: My mum knew the guys at Cloudhill Production and approached them to see if they would be willing to do a music video for me. With Frazer’s contacts with Actors and having seen the amazing wall art it was clear early on that this would be an amazing place to do the video and its great that we were able to put this together to celebrate the EP.
Max: You did a fair amount of live performances before lockdown but obviously live music had to stop for 11 months. Do you have plans to get out there and perform?
Lizzie: Obviously I would like to be able to get out there and sing live in the future but as we all know with Covid at this time that is uncertain. I hope to be able to produce new music and certainly once day hope to be at Glastonbury. At the moment I have live shows for Open Mic UK talent competition coming up in March so that’s exciting and subject to Covid will be the first opportunity I will have to sing live since before the first Lockdown.
Max: Finally from me, is there a second EP on the way, or any new music? Or are you taking stock now, and moving on when the time is right?
Lizzie: I am planning to record several singles next before planning another EP but certainly I would hope there will be one in the next 12 months - Covid depending!.
Max: Thanks a lot for chatting with me Lizzie and I wish you success with your EP.
Lizzie: Thanks very much, it's been great chatting to you too.
You can stream Lizzie's EP Reality here and be sure to follow her Facebook, and YouTube.
INTERVIEW; We talk to Waterloo Music about the local support for the independent music shop throughout lockdown.
As the light at the end of this very long COVID tunnel seems to be creeping ever closer into sight, Antix Music Network shine a light on the local businesses that have continued to keep the Yeovil Music Scene well and truly alive.
Throughout the unforeseen Coronavirus Pandemic, it’s fair to say the music industry in all of its forms has been overshadowed, and one of the hardest hit industries throughout the past 11 months.
One business in particular which has proven to keep local music alive is Waterloo Music, an independent music shop based in the centre of Yeovil on West Hendford. Recently under new management, Ed Swinburn has seen the popular shop close for months at a time, yet the support from local musicians has been evident.
We spoke to Ed to get the run down on the last 11 months, and a look into the future for Waterloo Music.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi Ed, it’s been a while! First off, how are you getting on? How is Lockdown 3 treating you?
Ed Swinburn; Hi Frazer! It certainly has been a while! We're doing our best to stay busy, use this time to tie up loose ends & make sure we come back absolutely ready to pick up where we left off!
FM; So I want to jump straight into the past 11 months - it must have been an absolute rollercoaster - when did you become manager of Waterloo Music, and how have you been dealing with the various lockdowns imposed in the area?
Ed; It's been a huge challenge for the whole team for sure! I became manager sometime in the first lockdown, I don't know it all melds into one at this point! For us, getting our website fully operational has been a huge asset to us during the lockdowns! It's allowed us to continue working from home & most importantly, assist customers with their queries!
FM; And what’s your position now?
Ed; Currently we're operating on a click & collect basis for any online orders, but we do also offer local delivery as well which we've done quite a bit of! On the workshop side of things, myself & our technician are in the shop on Thursdays dealing with any repairs, re-strings, setups etc that musicians need during the lockdowns period!
FM; It’s great to see what you’ve been doing with the shop - your social media has definitely taken a leap with your features like #LunchtimeLicks really taking off, have you got any more plans for social media and involving local acts when you’re able to reopen?
Ed; Oh gosh where to start! We've got so much planned it's hard to keep track of at times! We always love involving the local community in our social media as we've been doing with our #LunchtimeLicks where people send us in their favourite licks to play & features on our Facebook/Instagram pages, but we'd love to be able to have some local acts visit us in the shop, when we're able to, for a "Waterloo Sessions" type of thing! There were talks of a possible podcast as well but that's in it's infancy at the moment! Watch this space!
FM; That sounds great! It seems this year has been the year for “buying local”, especially around Christmas time. It almost became a new trend this year, to help support local independent businesses like yourself. How would you say the support has been for Waterloo Music?
Ed; The support we've seen over the past 8 months or so has been absolutely incredible! I think the first month back in the shop after the initial lockdown was record breaking for us, which is so so positive & it really gave us a huge motivation boost! The same can absolutely said for the Christmas period! With the second lockdown interrupting the entirety of November, it was the best feeling when we ended up having one of our busiest December's ever! We're always incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support from the community, it's because of that we can continue to do what we do best!
FM; So Waterloo Music provided a guitar and set up for Jamie Witt’s Charity Guitar Giveaway. You contributed with an original Fender Stratocaster. It looks a beautiful guitar, what is it like to play? It appears there will be a very lucky winner!
Ed; As I said before, we love getting involved with local acts, and who better to get involved with than one of the best guitar players in the country! Jamie has always been a huge supporter of the local music scene & we are always looking to get behind anything that continues to support the growth of music in this area! And what a fantastic chance for someone to own such a beautiful guitar that plays like an absolute dream!
FM; So outside of Waterloo Music, you’re also 1/5 of Microlight - how have you guys found the last 11 months? Have you managed to practice, or write any music, individually or together? What’s the future for the band?
Ed; It's been tough on all of us, we just want to get out & play more than anything! In terms of actually getting together, I think we had 1 practice outside during the summer for 1 outside gig & that's been about it really! We've been working on a lot of video content for our social media, as some of you may have seen on our Facebook & YouTube! Of course when we're able to, we want to get straight back into gigging, I miss it!
FM; I assume with the amount of free time with the lack of gigs and rehearsals, you’ve had chance to find new music. What’s on your playlist that you think readers need to hear? Or have you been digging out tracks from your younger years?
Ed; Currently I've been revisiting my roots with a lot of Slash & Velvet Revolver, getting back into that no nonsense hard rock! I'm a huge fan of instrumental guitar music as well with a lot of Plini, Nick Johnston, Polyphia, The Aristocrats, Cory Wong, the list goes on! I've also found myself listening to a lot of synth/retro/vapourwave music as well & loving how well it gels with guitar! The Midnight are currently one of my favourites from that vein of music!
FM; One last thing before I let you go; readers probably won’t know this but Ed and I were actually at the same school, sat next to each other in a few subjects, and we always got told off writing guitar tabs in the back of our maths books. It's interesting you mention Slash and Velvet Revolver because they were acts we admired back in the day! Now you’re the manager of a guitar shop, surely it’s a bit of a dream come true for you?
Ed; I think we planned a medley of Crazy Train, Master Of Puppets & Beat It once didn't we?! I'll have to see if I've still got it somewhere! Honestly it really is a bit of a dream come true for me! It always felt special visiting a guitar shop when I was younger & even more so when you walked out with something new! I'm now on the other side of the fence, getting to experience that feeling of excitement second hand, anytime a person visits the shop looking for their new guitar or maybe even their first guitar! I am so incredibly thankful that this is what I get to do nearly everyday!
FM; What a medley that is! We'll have to jam that one day! Thanks so much for your time, and I wish you the best with the shop and Microlight!
Ed; Thank you for having me! It's been fun!
For more information of current opening times and offers, follow Waterloo Music’s over on Facebook, or their website.
It’s fair to say one person that has been using lockdown to their advantage is 21 year old Antix Music Network DJ Rian Harvey.
You may remember Rian Harvey; Weymouth based DJ and Dance Music Producer who we’ve previously interviewed here on Antix. But with what he’s been up to in the last 12 months, we really thought we should catch up once more.
Rian Harvey, a teenage cancer survivor, has taken his spare time in lockdown and used it to help save lives, and raise awareness for teenage cancer, and Anthony Nolan, a blood donor register which helped save Rian’s life.
In between lockdowns, Rian has been visiting our new recording studio in Weymouth recording podcasts talking about his experience, and how to turn negative experiences into positive experiences, and after lockdown 3, plans to go back into the studio to record series 2 and 3 of his podcast ‘The Journey’.
Frazer Mitchell; Hey Rian, nice to speak to you. You’ve been very busy!
Rian; Hey Frazer, cheers for getting me in again! Yeah super busy, lockdowns been going that bit quicker because of it.
FM; As a DJ who was gigging a fair bit before lockdown, you must be tearing your hair out with the way things have turned out in 2020!
Rian; It’s so frustrating. I had just got a new residency when all this kicked off. But in hindsight’s it’s been a blessing in disguise as I’ve had some time to focus on myself and some other important parts of my life. Also open new doors and explore those avenues a bit! I do look forward to the first night DJing again though!
FM; So talk me through what you’ve been up to since I saw you last - last time you visited the studio, you were recording series 1 of your podcast called ‘That Fitness Journey’, including one particular episode where you spoke in depth about your teenage cancer experience. What’s changed since then?
Rian; Yeah, it’s been really busy. So I’ve started a new job. But in between that I’ve been cracking in with my book ‘The L Card’. It’s all about my journey and how we can push ourselves through positive mindset and choices to achieve amazing things! This has all really started from that episode in the first series, there’s so much more to come and it’s been picking up pace very quickly I’ve had people asking me to be guests on their podcasts and trying to get involved in more talks. Hopefully at live venues!
FM; Wow, very, very busy indeed - great to see! Your podcast was listened to by a lot of people, and I got a lot of positive feedback especially about episode 2. You’ve got plans for a second series, and a slight name change to ‘The Journey’. Talk us through what’s to come.
Rian; I was so thankful for all the support on the last podcast. The interest was definitely in my journey though, so I think it’s important to give the people what they want haha! This new series is all about life lessons from cancer really. And how I can help people be more positive and proactively chase dreams they never thought possible through mindset and attitude. I don’t want to reveal to much, you’ll have to give it a listen but I’ve been writing some of my best content for it!
FM; Let’s talk about Anthony Nolan - for those who don’t know, can you explain a little more about it and what you’ve been doing to raise awareness for the charity?
Rian; so the charity itself is for the bone marrow register. Which specialise in saving lives essentially. They save predominantly Leukaemia patients like myself who have one chance left. But there’s so much more now being discovered that stem cells can help! I’d highly recommend googling them and reading the website they explain the history and how you can help. For me, I’m looking ahead to this book being finished. But also the three peaks challenge. I’ll discuss this more in the podcast!
FM; It’s fair to say what you’ve been doing is brilliant - you’re really opening up conversation about a very important cause, and one that, especially now, is being overshadowed. Has COVID had an impact on campaigns like yours?
Rian; covid I think has had a positive impact on the campaigns in some ways. Yes, it has thrown a lot of the normal ways out the window. But it’s advanced our understanding of using social media as a platform for charity. For me, we have thrown ourselves into where the future was heading anyway. It’s also given me a common ground to relate hardship to people with. It’s something we have all experienced and there’s many aspects of this pandemic that relate to my cancer journey.
FM; Let’s go back to music now; what’s the plans? Will you be hunting for as many gigs as possible? Or will you be focusing more on the public speaking and campaigning?
Rian; I definitely will be gigging again, perhaps not as much but DJing is still a love of mine. I’ll fit it in when I can!
FM; Thanks a lot for chatting to us today Rian, and hope to see you at a rave soon!
Rian; Thankyou so much for having me again! Looking forward to the podcast!
#GetInvolved and check out Rian’s Journey here.
The surge of new music from local artists this February keeps coming, and trust me when I say, there’s plenty more in the pipeline! Today, 5th February sees the release of Mel Muryn’s debut 3 track EP “One More Night” through Howl Records.
You may remember Mel; 11 months ago when live music was allowed to go ahead, Mel was a regular at various Open Mic Nights, including our very own Antix Open Mic at the Globe Inn, Somerton. With her powerful vocals matched with unique synths and keys, putting her own twist on popular covers, and the occasional original thrown in for good measure, Mel is certainly one to watch in the local scene.
We caught up with Mel to talk all things “One More Night”, and the future in a post COVID world.
Frazer Mitchell; Hey Mel, long time no see! How have you been since March last year?
Mel Muryn; Hi Frazer, pretty stressful year for all of us. I’ve been very Fortunate as I’ve continued to work through lockdown.
FM; As someone who liked to get out and about at weekends, and someone who never declined a gig, you must be pulling your hair out currently!
Mel; I have none left!! 😂I really miss gigging and the open mic scene. I’ve made some beautifully talented friends I really miss them so much. Sending love to them all xx
FM; What caught our eye today was the release of your debut EP, “One More Night” which came out today (5th February) - this must be an exciting moment for you. What was the process behind it? When and where were these songs written and recorded?
Mel; I’m very excited to be releasing my debut EP and it’s my mums 75th today “Happy Birthday mum” I wrote “One more night” in the first lockdown “Life” and “You” are a few years old now. I had the privilege to record with Elijah Wolf who also plays guitars and bass on two of the tracks. Ryan which is Elijah’s right hand-man produced, mixed and played drums also on the tracks
FM; It’s a cool sounding EP; seeing you live several times I sort of knew what to expect, but for those who haven’t seen you live, how would you describe the style of music on the EP? Does it have a theme running through the songs? Who were your influences?
Mel; Thank you for your comment. I would best describe my music as anthemic and passionate I don’t have any influences but I’ve been brought up listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin. My favourite music is rock and I love QOTSA, RHCP also I love old-skool dance and electronic music especially the Prodigy.
FM; So with lockdown, and not being able to socialise, I assume you’ve had a lot more downtime - have you been putting this to good use and writing lots of music? Can we expect EP #2 anytime soon?
Mel; I will definitely be recording later in the year hopefully with Elijah. I will be releasing “Cry” which I sang on Come Dine With Me I’ve had many requests for this song. I’ve written many songs through lockdown a couple have a country and western fill to them.
FM; Another question I’ve been asking people recently is what music have you been listening to in the last 11 months? Personally I’ve been going back to my teenage / emo stage, but others have found new undiscovered music; what artists have you been listening to, and who do you think we should be listening to?
Mel; I listen to local musicians and I think we all need to support our local musicians there is such great talent out there
FM; I couldn't agree more actually! At some stage, the UK will come out of lockdown and things will go back to some sort of “normality”; have you got a plan for after lockdown? Will you be hunting for lots of gigs, or being selective and spending more time in the studio releasing music?
Mel; Would love to get gigging again just before 2nd lockdown I joined a dummer and Guitarist so hopefully team up with them. Also I will be spending more time on originals and promoting myself and releasing new material
FM; Thanks Mel for chatting with us today, and I wish you the best for the EP!
Mel; Thank you Frazer lovely chatting to you!
You can #GetInvolved and listen here to Mel’s debut EP “One More Night”, and follow her on Facebook.
INTERVIEW: PURPLE DINOSAUR MUSIC; the new label promoting Copyright Free Music for lockdown streamers.
In the last 11 months, it’s fair to say the music industry has been turned on its head; with pubs, bars, music venues, festivals and even radio stations being out of bounds due to COVID-19, many musicians and DJs have turned to online streaming, using sites like Mixcloud, Twitch, and of course Facebook Live.
One huge stumbling block for DJs in particular is the Copyright regulations, whereby streamers have had their streams stopped, cancelled, and even their accounts suspended.
One of the most clever business ideas we’ve seen in recent months comes from Christian Jones AKA Decimal 5, a producer / DJ from Dorset UK, and more recently founder of Purple Dinosaur Music (PDM). With a huge catalogue of brand new music releases coming through their label from all genres across the spectrum, their only rule is that it must be in the public domain and copyright free; meaning DJs who use PDM cataloged music won’t have their streams cut short, and their profiles suspended.
We speak to Christian Jones about the idea behind PDM, and how he’s still keeping involved in music, even during a worldwide pandemic.
Frazer Mitchell; Hey Christian, I hope you’re keeping well! How have you been these past 11 or so months?
Christian Jones; Hi Frazer, good to speak to you. All good on this end thanks. The past 11 months have been quite interesting as you can imagine. The last year I've been finishing my master's degree in broadcast journalism.
FM; Before COVID, you played as a DJ at several festivals, including Anonymous Festival in Dorchester, Home Farm Fest in Yeovil, headlining Hewishstock in Crewkerne, and Yeovil Beer Fest; how are you finding life without a live gig?
CJ; Hewishstock was by far one of my favourites to play. Everyone there embraced the music well so I was fortunate to be able to go a bit harder on the music side. Life without live music or festivals is tough. I miss not only the performing aspect but also all the major festivals and getting to see new trends in music that are developing.
FM; Absolutely - even with everyone being so connected via the internet, it’s difficult to see new trends beginning. So let’s move onto the current situation and Purple Dinosaur Music - first off, what is PDM? How long have you been operating?
CJ; - Purple Dinosaur Music is a record label designed to release music that content creators and streamers can use without receiving copyright strikes. We had an idea to make a label back in 2016 so it's been a long time in the works with so many things getting in the way of finally being able to set it up properly. Purple Dinosaur Music launched with its first release on 1 January so it's very new still. Purple Dinosaur doesn't look for specific genres but rather matches my own musical tastes - if it sounds good, it's in. Similarly, so many artists get swamped by all these different elements of making an industry standard sounding record so if I hear a demo that has awesome production and compositional ideas but is really lacking on the technical side, we'll do it for them - I don't feel it should restrict an artists potential because they're not as experienced with the more technical aspects that normally make or break a record.
FM; So you’ve been releasing music for artists across the globe; how are you finding these talented individuals, or are they finding you?
CJ; Well a lot of the time, it's word of mouth. We ping out on social media that we're looking for demos and then I'll come back to a full inbox. That doesn't mean we don't go looking for artists too - probably one of the more exciting parts of running a label is being able to look for artists that you're excited about and then work with them. It's not difficult to find a demo submission for Purple Dinosaur if you head to the website.
FM; Do you take submissions from anyone? What’s your criteria? Have you got any particular genres which you specialise in?
CJ; Yes, anyone can send a demo. As long as the song sounds good and we believe in it and it's the sort of thing I'd add to my personal playlist then we'll sign it. We don't specialise in any one genre in particular - at the moment we're signing more electronic music simply because there's more artists making electronic music. Bands take significantly longer to put together a track whereas a lot of dance music is made entirely on a computer, but bands and less electronic music is something we're really looking to sign.
FM; So let’s talk more about the future, after COVID is a thing of the past. What’s your plans? Will you be looking for gigs? Have you got any big plans for PDM which you can’t do during lockdown? What’s the future for PDM?
CJ; It's almost weird to think forward to a time when Covid-19 is a thing of the past. It's taken control of everyone's lives for so long and dictated what we can and can't do that I'm not sure anyone will know what to do when we're given free reign again. I'll definitely be excited to go to music festivals again - I particularly want to go to Oktoberfest in Germany. I have loads of plans for what I'd like to do with Purple Dinosaur Music but I don't want to give away too much - it's still in the very early stages so finding exciting new artists across all genres is at the top of the list.
FM; And what do you think about the future of the music industry in general? What do you think artists have to do in these times to get noticed, and how should artists prepare for the post COVID world?
CJ; The future of the industry could look different for some time. Hospitality industries being hit hard as Covid-19 continues to evolve even after the pandemic has cleared up, it may be some time before you'll see a band in your local pub. However, artists should keep making and releasing fantastic music, that's what it comes down to at the end of the day. Even though people say it's the 'music biz' and everything is centred around money, the music still has to be top notch and continually break new ground to stand out of the crowd. My main advice would be to keep mastering your craft because if you can use this time to build a portfolio, there's really no limit to what you can do when everything goes back to normal.
FM; Being a record label, you must get a lot of submissions from budding producers and artists. Some for you must stand out, and some might not get your attention so much. What advice do you have for producers and artists who are thinking of submitting to a record label in 2021?
CJ; A lot of artists don't appreciate how many demos that come through. My main advice is to make it as easy as possible for us to listen to your music and make a decision. Attaching an audio file takes time for us to download it, scan it, then listen to it - if you ping a link that I can listen to it right now without downloading it, that's always the best.
Make life as easy for the label as possible, and in turn, we'll do the same.
FM; Solid advice there. One of your recent singles on PDM was a track from you and Jorden Lindsay, called Currents - Jorden being a notable talent around the South West, especially Yeovil. I remember you playing me this track several years ago. I’m very glad it’s out there, and it’s gone straight into my personal playlist. How did that collaboration come about?
CJ; Haha yes, it's been unreleased for quite some time and has actually gone through several different versions for it to be where it is now. I made the instrumental in approximately two hours one afternoon in between a lecture. I'd seen Jorden play live and his voice is impeccable so he wrote for it, then five versions later, it is what you hear now. Jorden is such a nice person and I have a great deal of respect for him.
FM; That will just about wrap things up for now, thank you for taking the time out to talk to Antix Music Network. I hope you do really well with Purple Dinosaur Music, and hope to see you at a gig, or indeed the pub, very soon!
CJ; Thanks a lot, and the same goes, see you soon!
For more information on Purple Dinosaur Music, including where to submit your music, check out their Facebook, Instagram and website.
You can also check out Christian’s productions under the name Decimal 5 here.
NEW MUSIC; 'THICK BLOOD' by JUNIPER ROOTS - WE TALK TO AN OPEN MIC FAVOURITE TURNED PRODUCER ABOUT HIS LATEST EP.
With a new month upon us in 2021, February is already panning out to be a slightly different month in comparison to the last 11 months of lockdown, with what seems to be a surge in new music from local acts making its way through the system.
First up this month is Ben Sullivan, better known in the scene as Juniper Roots - a singer / songwriter and now producer from Essex, now residing in Yeovil.
A regular at the Antix Music Network’s Open Mic events at the Globe Inn, Somerton, Juniper Roots became a quick favourite, and a talent that really caught our eye.
His brand new EP, called Thick Blood, fully self produced, is out now on all platforms. We spoke to Ben about what went into the EP, and what he’s been up to in recent months.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi Ben, how are you getting on?
Juniper Roots; Yeah I’m good man, struggling with the lack of live music but supercharged to hit the scene again when we are able. I think that it is going to be a significantly vibrant comeback.
FM; I completely agree - it will be very busy when things open up again. I ask a lot of people the same question at the beginning of interviews, but what have you been up to since last March when we were all locked down? By the looks of your Spotify account, you’ve been making the most of the downtime!
JR; I’ve been working a lot, and channeling my frustrations into music. Like many people, this last year has been challenging. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve lost my mind at times. Music is universal, and for me it serves a purpose to channel the mental health issues I have in a positive way. That may be why it’s sporadic, and doesn’t follow a commercial pattern. What happens, happens. And then I just send it out in the world and hope some people get something from it.
FM; So talk to me about your Spotify page; there’s actually quite a few EPs and singles on there that have been released in 2020. How are these songs being produced? Are you doing them yourself? Have you got a home studio set up?
JR; Some of the earlier tracks on ‘You Want Working on Boy’ span back at least ten years ago. I started writing music when I was 13, and I’m 32 now. I revisit ideas I have and sometimes they work! When I was recording certain earlier tracks, I was literally using an old computer microphone (like Packard bell style shit) and using a free sequencing programme called Krystal. I’m not sure if they are available on Spotify but sometimes people can get wrapped up in the production over the song quality itself or the content. However I have used cubase and protools, I love working with 414 microphones and SM7 Shure microphones for when I make hardcore tracks and have a good shout because the bass response is phenomenal. Currently I use a pretty simple set up with Logic X, a Focusrite external, and an m audio keyboard. Along with a collection of guitars.
On the whole I take on most of the songwriting, production and instrumental duties. But I have been very lucky to work with some incredible friends and great musicians who feature on tracks. Andy Greening, Auris Grismanauskis, Greg Johnson, to name a few, have all played a part in the musical journey I have tried to undertake.
FM; One in particular EP which I’d like to talk about is Thick Blood; I only became aware of the EP after you DMd me a link to it - instantly I loved the style and the quality of the EP. A stand out track for me was “Early” - I’m massive fan of funk and soul, and hearing someone on the local scene producing music like this is very exciting! Which of the 7 songs on the EP are you most proud of, and why?
JR; Thick Blood is a collection of tracks almost solely written and produced whilst living alone, struggling with addiction and life in general. The themes in the EP are personal to me and it was ready for me to share. I spend my time trying to perfect things, that don’t always need perfecting. Production wise, there are certain issues, there are mistakes in those songs. I like to think that it just creates a sense of realism. I spend my life listening to polished music, which is great and I love some of it. But my style holds roots in folk and that rough feel. The same authenticity that you’ll find in Nirvana’s music for example. A great song doesn’t have to always be a gloss template. Sometimes it needs to be real.
FM; Do you have a set way of making music? Is there a pattern to how you write? Do you come up with guitar patterns and vocals first and then work around it?
JR; Honestly on most occasions, it’s guitar based. I’ll come up with ideas on guitar, sometimes piano and I’ll build around it, layer it and work on lyrics later on. That isn’t always my method. I will write lyrics and wait, sometimes years, for something to fit. And when it does if it works for me, then I’ll know its the right time. Sometimes a song can be written in 30 mins. Other times it can be a process that takes years. And I love harmonies. So I tend to abuse the hell out of that!
FM; As I mentioned earlier, you were a regular at our Antix; Open Mic events and came to Air107.2 for a live set on the Lounge a while back, was live music a big part of your act before lockdown? Where else were you performing?
JR; I've played live music since I was 10 years old, in bands playing originals since 14. Been in several bands, and loved every part of it. I’ve played and toured around the UK, around Europe. Been lucky enough to tour with Feeder, Pigeon Detectives, Pulled Apart By Horses. I was a vocalist in a hardcore band, guitarist in an alternative rock band, I have another release of a project coming out this Friday on Spotify of a band called TUDORS of which I am incredibly proud of. I live for music, and always have. So to get back out and do what I love can’t come soon enough.
FM; So looking forward to the future and a post COVID world, what are your plans as Juniper Roots? Is there anything in the pipeline we should be getting excited about?
JR; More releases! There is so many tracks just waiting to be put out at the right time. And if just one person can relate to any of it, then that means I’ve made an impact, And hopefully a positive one.
FM; Thank you so much for taking the time out to chat with us today; it’s great to hear you’ve been keeping busy through lockdown, and all the best for the future - hope to see you at Open Mic soon!
JR; My pleasure dude. Catch you on the other side!
To listen to Juniper Roots’ original music, including Thick Blood, go and check out his Spotify here.
Win a guitar package and raise funds for charity - a new scheme from Jamie Witt to motivate you in Lockdown January.
If you follow Antix Music Network, or have any knowledge of the extensive Yeovil Music Scene, you will know of the awesome talent that is 33 year old Jamie Witt - two time Top 10 Guitarist of the year, guitar teacher, and all round nice guy.
Often in music, timing is absolutely essential, and Jamie has smashed the timing of his latest scheme out the ground and into the neighbours back gardens; in what appears to be the bleakest of January’s, Jamie has come up with yet another charitable venture which not only raises money for an incredible cause, but shines the light on local businesses, with the chance for 3 lucky people to win a brand new guitar each, and full set up. This truly is something for everyone to #GetInvolved with!
This week, we took this opportunity to catch up with Jamie about his new venture, his guitar tuition business, and how he sees the next few months in a potentially post COVID world.
Frazer Mitchell; Jamie - it’s been a while - firstly, let’s start with an easy question; how are you? And how have you been the past 10 months?
Jamie Witt; I've been good really. Obviously we've all been struggling in our own ways but there's a lot of positives I can draw from last year.
FM; Now I want to get straight into your guitar giveaway scheme - first off, what’s it all about? Why are you giving away guitars?
JW; - I was hoping to do something to mark my ten year anniversary - a decade of teaching guitar full time which is a job I absolutely adore. But additionally, for small businesses like mine the Covid pandemic represented a real question mark as to whether I would even have a business once it had blown over. But the ongoing, overwhelming support of my students, the community and my family and friends have seen me through. So this is a way of giving back, and hopefully spreading some positivity at the same time.
FM; So you’ve got 3 brand new guitars including amps to give away. Where did they come from? Do you have any more details on each guitar?
JW; I have an Aria Pro II 615 Tele which is a gorgeous semi-hollow guitar, and a Aria Pro II Fullerton strat which is just stunning. Both of these are serious guitars with loads of features any guitarists would love to have. I picked these both up from Martin at Yeovil Guitars who did me a great deal, as he always does for anyone who shops from him. The Nomination guitar is a genuine Fender Stratocaster from the Player series. It's a truly pro level guitar. I got this from the guys at Waterloo Music who have also thrown in a service and accessory pack too. Both of these shops have supported me hugely over the years and continue to serve the local community amazingly.
FM; To be in with a chance of winning one of these guitar packages, what do you have to do? Is there a certain criteria before you enter?
JW; with the two Arias it's simple. You just need to donate to a charity. It can be one of your choosing or there's a Just Giving link for the Lord's Larder on my page which is a great local charity helping provide food and essential items to people unable to afford it. The Nomination guitar is just that - if you think you know someone who deserves to win that for any reason - for example if they've done something good in the community, supported others in some way, had a positive impact or maybe they've had a tough time of things and are still going - let me know and I'll choose a worthy winner!
FM; It’s got to be said that what you’re doing is exactly what the local music scene needs right now - unity, supporting one another, supporting those businesses we perhaps took for granted before COVID that haven’t been able to operate as usual, and generally a bit of motivation in a musical way. You’re a big believer in the local music scene, and I think everyone reading this understands how tight the Yeovil Music Scene is, how do you see our music scene panning out in the near future?
JW; I don't have any worries beyond the same that musicians are feeling all over the country. I worry for our venues and festivals, so any support we can offer them at this time will be helping to ensure the future of the music scene.
FM; So obviously the last 10 months have been very strange, have you been able to continue your guitar lessons with your students since March?
JW; I have been very fortunate that I've been able to switch over to Skype and Zoom and video call services like that, and I've been very fortunate that my students have been very patient in making that switch.i currently have just over 70 students and the majority have been able to continue in some way which has been great.
FM; 70+ students?! When do you get time to sleep?! In that case, I have to ask, are there any students of yours you think we should be keeping an eye on in the future?
JW; yep - I'm lucky to be teaching a lot of very talented guitarists and I could list a couple dozen here but one to definitely keep an eye on who is working on new music right now is Lauren Helyar. You can find her on Instagram and YouTube.
FM; So even though you’ve still been teaching your 70+ students in the last 10 or so months, the lack of gigs, or the ability to see family and friends, I assume you’ve had a bit more spare time - is there a follow up to your album Only Decades on the way?
JW; yes there is 😉
FM; Oh, how exciting. Perhaps we'll have another catch up when things develop there! But for now, Jamie, thanks a lot for your time, best of luck with your guitar giveaway, and I really hope to see you at a gig as soon as possible!
JW; thank you very much and likewise!
Make sure you follow Jamie Witt, and #GetInvolved with the big guitar giveaway over at his page here.
Message from Antix Music Network RE; Coronavirus
The past week has been very challenging for Antix; with the likes of Abbey Hill and Yeovil Beer Fest postponing their events in the same week, we have been in big discussions about future Antix Events.
After discussing the outbreak situation with venues, managers, artists and supporters, we have decided go ahead as planned with most Antix events, until we get to a point we have to stop; e.g. the Government banning live music events, lockdowns etc.
We will continue to monitor the situation and government advice on how best to keep our artists and the public safe. Please be aware that events may have to be cancelled at the last minute. Any changes will be posted to the Antix Facebook, Instagram and website.
Multi Artist Events - we advise artists to cancel, even if at short notice, and stay at home if they have a persistent cough, a high temperature, or have been in contact with anyone with Coronavirus in the past week.
Open Mics - we ask musicians if they want to perform, but don’t want to use our equipment (especially microphones which are used by multiple artists per night), you are welcome to bring anything you wish - we will not take offence, and we actively encourage artists to bring their own equipment, especially microphones, where possible, and bring hand sanitizer and wash their hands regularly.
At every Antix event; equipment, especially microphones, will be cleaned with antibacterial wipes between every artists performance. Hand Sanitiser will also be available if you have forgotten your own, but due to national shortages, please bring your own where possible.
We urge you to stay up to date with Antix Events via our Facebook and Instagram pages with any changes or cancellations, and if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Antix via Facebook or email@example.com
For now, stay safe, and self isolate if you have either of the following symptoms:
A high temperature OR
A persistent cough
LIST OF UPCOMING EVENTS;
OPEN MIC - The Globe Inn, Somerton - Friday 27th March
OPEN MIC - Quedam Shopping Centre - Saturday 28th March
FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL - The Globe Inn, Somerton - Good Friday 10th April
SAMARITANS CHARITY EVENT - COFFEE #1 - Yeovil - Friday 1st May
FLASHBACK FESTIVAL; Throwback Friday & Silent Discos - Yeovil Showground - Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May
HOME FARM FEST; Summer Antix; Home Farm, Ilchester - 12th-14th June
HEWISHSTOCK - Antix Dance Friday - Outside Crewkerne - 21st August
LIST OF CANCELLED EVENTS;
YEOVIL BEER FEST; Mini Antix Stage - Westlands Complex, 25th April
ABBEY HILL; Antix Summer Parties, and Chill Out Sunday - Yeovil Showground, 1-3 May
THE LOUNGE - Air107.2 - Tuesdays Weekly 8-10pm.
Thank you for your understanding. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries.
Frazer Mitchell & Tim Fawkes
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network