Josh Kumra

March 27, 2012


Josh Kumra played at King Tut’s in Glasgow on March 5. He’s the guy that sung with Wretch 32 on the track ‘Don’t Go’, which hit No. 1 in the charts. We chinwagged to find out a little bit more about upcoming plans…

How’s everything going with the tour?

It’s been really good actually. We played King Tut’s and have sort of worked our way down, to Newcastle, Manchester, and then played London. It’s been a really good crowd. And it’s just nice to get out the studio – I’ve been in the studio for two years now doing work on my album.

Two years?

Yeah, for the last two years I’ve been in and out of the studio working on the album, so I haven’t had much time to perform.

Are you forever indebted to Wretch 32 for taking you to number one?

I think there’s a really good mutual respect between us both, and he’s actually going to be featuring on my album as well. It’s all fun.

Are you bit annoyed that he got all the glory from it?

I’ve got a lot out of it too. I’ve got good publicity and a lot of people’s heard my voice and got into it, so that’s what matters to me. I didn’t expect to get anything out of it, so to get a number one is good. What was great about it…the urban side of music, like Wretch‘s fans and stuff – I wouldn’t necessarily appeal to them, but to get them on board and liking my music is great, and that’s why I can’t complain about Wretch getting more recognition.

Is there anyone else you’d like to collaborate with?

Yeah, I’m a big fan of Birdy. I think she’s got a wicked voice. I think we’d do something great together.

You were in a lot of tips for 2012.

I’m looking forward to 2012, I think it’s gonna be incredible. The aim is to get the album out and play as many shows as possible.

Do you feel the pressure of being the ‘next big thing’?

Not at all. It’s good to have people waiting to hear your music and it definitely spurs me on to get things done. But I think its all about taking your time and making sure you do it right.


March 12, 2012


How would you describe Zillah’s music to someone who has never heard you before?

(Tim Rasmussen and Rob Coverdale, guitars): I’d describe it as chaotic, progressive and brutally abrasive.

Where does your songwriting inspiration come from?

We have quite a lot of varied influences on our style. Our main influences are probably bands like Voivod, Neurosis, Burnt By The Sun, Botch, Mastodon and more recently Swarm of The Lotus. All pretty original bands that have their own sound and identity – I’d say we’re inspired by that kind of originality and also try and create a unique sound.

Do you think metal is a misunderstood genre? 

Not really. I guess a lot mainstream press and reviews tend not to understand it, patronise and mock it unfairly at times and just don’t get it or realise how big it is.  It can be frustrating but the way I see it you’re either into metal or you aren’t and we all don’t need to explain it to anyone that doesn’t get it.  There’s plenty of us metal fans and it’s such a strong genre with so much depth and variety that it never gets tired and it doesn’t matter if it’s not got a wider following than it already has.

How healthy do you reckon the Scottish metal scene is at the moment?

I think it’s been better – there’s not as many extreme and heavy bands as there were a few years ago or gigging as much but there are some really good bands still around.  Cancerous Womb and Scordatura are two death metal bands that are playing a lot and I’ve got really into Acatalepsy from Edinburgh recently. There’s probably quite a few newer bands I’ve not heard yet though.

How did you get into metal in the first place?

[Iron Maiden‘s] Live After Death!

You’re based in Edinburgh, which has been dogged by talk of venue closures recently. Do you think the city’s music scene is dying a death?

There’s definitely fewer good venues now, and some of the bigger ones and even the smaller ones have some frustrating curfews and so on, but I wouldn’t say its been a problem for local gigs.  It’s just a bit harder to get more of the established bands with a bigger pull to play here rather than Glasgow as a result.

And finally – what gets you up in the morning?

The constant noise in our heads in the form of riffs and melodies that is always there whether we like it or not. When you get up each morning and pick up your guitar and jam out a few ideas, it’s something that happens. It sounds cheesy but when you do this, when you write music, it chooses you – you don’t choose it. So whether you like it or not, when you get up in the morning, there is usually a riff there that is screaming to get out of your head and on to a fret board. Sometimes it’s a curse as you might get up and have something else that’s important to do, and all you can think of is that amazing riff in your head. In saying that, if those riffs weren’t there, you’d never get that feeling of satisfaction when you finally hear it in its completion with the entire band. And that makes it all worth it.

Protest The Hero

March 5, 2012

PROTEST THE HERO/ABC2, Glasgow/08.03.12

You’re playing Glasgow on March 8. Why should people come down and check you out?

(Arif Mirabdolbaghi, bass): Why not? Our live show is for fans of progressive rock who don’t like the cheesy showmanship of wanking guitars or a front man with his head up his ass pretending he’s Razor Ramone.

Why is your live show better than anyone else’s?

It’s not. We do our best but we’re not exactly Gwar, or GG Allin, or a stage production of Cats.

On the same night of your Glasgow gig, Cannibal Corpse will be playing upstairs in the same building. Who is going to put on the best gig?

I’ve never seen Cannibal Corpse but they’re immortalized in Ace Ventura so they’ve got to be doing something right.

They say there’s a time and place for everything, so when’s the best time to listen to Protest The Hero and where’s the best place?

I’m not sure because I don’t listen to Protest The Hero. Choose your own adventure!

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

New progressive rock with a side of thrash.

Who else is floating your boat in the music scene right now?

Outside of Propagandhi and occasionally Mastodon, there’s precious little in the world of rock/metal/etc that does anything for me. I love listening to The Eagles when I go down on my girlfriend though.

And finally, if you were threatened with death and the only way to escape was to either collaborate with Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus, who would you pick?

This is a stupid question. I would collaborate with either, collect my sack of money, then fuck off to an island to do drugs and play ukulele til I die at 27.

Win tickets to Carnivores/The Darien Venture/Cuddly Shark/No Island

February 28, 2012

We’re doing this on Monday:

It’s going to be amazing. Win a pair of tickets to it via our friends fierce rivals Aye Tunes here.

Competition closes on Friday at 6pm.

Not feeling lucky? Why not buy some tickets instead and do your bit for charity and be cool.


February 22, 2012

1. Everyone’s favourite gloom rockers The Twilight Sad are a generous bunch. As if releasing the finest misery fuelled album you’re likely to hear all year wasn’t enough, the Kilsyth trio have been kind enough to give us all a bonus track to wrap our ears around. Did someone say bleak power ballad? Whitney Houston would be spinni…too soon? Give ‘Tell Me When We’re Having Fun’ a spin here.

2. Friend of The Daily Dose and all round good egg Rachel Sermanni‘s video for ‘Song For a Fox’ hit the staggering 40,000 views mark yesterday. Her debut EP was released earlier this month and has been on heavy rotation on our stereo (We wish we had a stereo…) You can get a copy of ‘Black Currents’ here for just a fiver and she’ll even sign it for you if you ask her nicely (you don’t actually have to ask, they’re all signed)

3. Capitals have announced their new single will be released on 12 March. ‘Jealousy’ is the duo’s first proper single and it does not disappoint. Having caught them live we predict good things, even though we’re still trying to work out how the pair of them make such a din. We suspect a backing track…Have a listen here.

By Finlay Matheson

Top Five Friday – Ryan Drever, No Island

February 17, 2012

Who? Ryan Drever, No Island

Top five…bassists

1. Joe Lally, Fugazi

It took me so long to like Fugazi. Having been immersed in the poppier ‘punk’ environment of the early 00s, I found their music to be slow-burning, complex and difficult to absorb. But as I persevered, these were the things I grew to love about them. When I finally ‘got it’, I really fucking got it, and of all the things I love about that band, Joe Lally’s bass playing is easily in the upper echelons. His playing would incorporate elements of funk, reggae and dub, while sounding as aggressive and earth-shatteringly loud as anything else that spewed forth from the 80s hardcore scene. A slick, dedicated and dynamic player, Joe Lally has been one of the biggest influences on me as a bass player and is one of few four-stringers whose lines get stuck in my head more than the vocals.

2. Mike Watt, Minutemen/Stooges/countless others

Mike Watt’s ethics and punk rock philosophy in regards to how to make a band work has had a huge effect on me. Notoriously excitable and generally just a bit of a dude, his playing was, and still is, wild, diverse and incredibly ambitious. In the Minutemen and fIREHOSE, Watt subverted the usual punk rock approach to bass playing, informed by his love for jazz, soul and Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was the one area where he was never economical and has never compromised on. Now in his 50s and still playing for any fucker that’ll have him on stage (a mammoth list which includes the fucking Stooges), he deserves some heavy respect!

3. Steve Harris, Iron Maiden

Whatever you think of Iron Maiden, I will flat out try you for blasphemy if you tell me he’s a shit bass player. Influenced by copious amounts of hard rock and prog throughout the 70s, Harris’s style was punchy yet technical, snarling yet melodic and he even pioneered the infamous ‘gallop’ which formed the backbone for metal’s almighty boom throughout the 80s. The master gunner of the main stage, and single-handed creator of one of the biggest musical empires in history, Steve Harris is of a dying breed of musical stalwarts whose style is still being ripped off something fierce to this day.

4. Geddy Lee, Rush

Again, Rush are a band who have churned out their fair share of, let’s say, ‘divisive’ material over their near 40 years together. But scrape away the 80s synth rock disasters and you’ll still be left with a back catalogue so fucking huge, dense and mindblowingly inventive that you can surely forgive a few ill decisions. I grew up hearing them blasted on every school run, every drive by the beach (in Orkney I might add) and after I got past his voice, I found myself focusing on Geddy Lee’s bass playing. Every member of Rush is a certified musical freak. Neil Peart’s 4000 piece drumkit that he abuses at every second, Alex Lifeson’s extraterrestrial leads… it’s all good but the frantic pops, gruelling melodic runs and franky baffling one-fingered proficiency of Lee’s playing is the cornerstone of one of the most intelligent and boundary-pushing groups of our time. Plus, he always looks so happy – how can you not dig it?

5. Les Claypool, Primus

Les Claypool is one of few technically freakish bass players who doesn’t just spend all his seconds wanking on you with his low end steez. Famously failing his audition with Metallica because he was ‘too good’, Claypool’s music – with Primus and otherwise – utilises bizarre themes, stories and characters, and always pairs itself with unsettling and sometimes even disgusting imagery. It’s something he’s fully committed to but by employing every rhythmic trick and machine-gun-like slap in his arsenal, he can turn stoned, half-cocked jams into pieces of intense musical mastery. Insane, unlistenable at times but always pounds your brain to mush. Check out ‘Lacquer Head’ or ‘My Name is Mud’. Crazy bastard.

Honorary mentions to Dee Dee Ramone (Ramones), Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag) and countless others.

No Island play a The Daily Dose presents… gig at Stereo, Glasgow on 5 March alongside Carnivores, The Darien Venture and Cuddly Shark, with proceeds going towards Action For Children. Get tickets here.

Kith & Kin

February 16, 2012

KITH & KIN/Glasgow

If you like _ and _ then you will like Kith & Kin. Fill in the blanks.

(Liam Cairns, vocals/guitar): If you like Fleet Foxes and Midlake then you will like Kith & Kin.

How would you describe your sound in at least one sentence without saying the words ‘and’, ‘is’ and ‘it’?

Non-scottish accented, Scottish folk/pop…

What has 2012 got in store for Kith & Kin?

 Hopefully some EPs, new songs and bigger shows.

They say there’s a time and place for everything. So when’s the best time and where’s the best place to listen to Kith & Kin?

The best place to see and hear us is live! We’re playing on Saturday 18th February at The Captain’s Rest supporting Randolph’s Leap for their album launch.

Who else in the Scottish music scene is floating your boat at the moment?

Well we’ve been listening to a lot of James Yorkston and King Creosote, and in regards to newer bands, we really like Open Swimmer, Song of Return and Admiral Fallow.

And finally, who is the most important member of Kith & Kin?

Bit of a shit question there. I write the songs but everyone helps to arrange all the parts and create the final sound that distinguishes the band. Ultimately everybody is the most important member.

Check out Kith & Kin on Facebook

The Daily Dose presents…Carnivores, The Darien Venture, Cuddly Shark, No Island @ Stereo, March 5

February 15, 2012

We’ve decided to put on another gig. This time round, proceeds will be going towards the charity Action For Children. We might be a tiny bit biased, but…it’s going to be great. The line-up sees Carnivores, The Darien Venture, Cuddly Shark and No Island take to Stereo, Glasgow on March 5. Tickets can be bought here or on the door on the night. Why not check out the Facebook event page whilst you’re at it?

We want to give you a taste of the people behind the music, so say hello to Carnivores


If you like _ and _ then you will like Carnivores. Fill in the blanks.

(Kenny Leckie, guitar/vocals): If you like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Weezer then you will like Carnivores.

You’re playing the Daily Dose presents…gig at Stereo, Glasgow on March 5. Why should people come down and check out your live show?

We know our music can be quite serious, so live we always try to have as much fun as possible. We hate bands that look po-faced or bored onstage. Grant, our bassist always calls it a release. We go out to hammer ourselves around the stage and get all our anger out. Christ, that makes us sound like Slipknot or Korn! It’s actually a good laugh, and we try and get the crowd involved. Basically treating 100 capacity clubs like Wembley stadium.

There’s another Carnivores, from Atlanta in the US. Who got the name first?

Here’s the thing, we both formed so soon after each other that I emailed their label saying ‘Look, when you guys are in the UK you be Carnivores (US) and we’ll be Carnivores (UK) if we ever play in the States’ – sort of nice and polite. Never got the decency of a reply. Apparently they played Stereo last year and about 15 kids turned up to see us and gave them a power of abuse. So fuck ’em.

What’s the best time of the day to listen to Carnivores?

All the time! It’s definitely ‘getting stuff done’ music, not ‘chilling out with a babe and a drink’ music. We get a lot of tweets saying that we’re great gym music. I’ve always liked to write music that represents us as people and we’re all totally hyper and have no attention span and can’t sit still. So it’s probably best to listen to us if you need to do something very quickly!

What does the rest of 2012 have in store for the band?

We’re finishing our album which I think we have a title for, but I’m not telling you yet! We hope to get a shit tonne more touring this year. Plus, us and a few friends are filming a documentary about how to be a DIY band. So lots, hopefully.

On average how long does it until a Carnivores gets stuck in your head?

Ask the fans! I dunno, I usually write everything at home on an acoustic and if it’s good, it’s usually in my head till I get to teach it to the boys. It’s a blessing and a curse really cause sometimes I write really late at night and all I think about is the riff. I’m a total pest when I’ve ideas to get down! Our songs are weird though, the ones we think are the weirdest end up being the fans favourites.

What’s your most favourite thing and least favourite thing about the Scottish music scene?

I really like the fact that it’s a scene that isn’t based on one type of music. Like Seattle was all grungy rock, Manchester was all indie – Scotland is so varied. Just look at the bills we end up on, it’s great. You learn so much more from other types of music. Like we played a fest in Paisley that was us, Lafontaines, Fatherson, Lightguides, All The Queens Bovine and otherpeople. All different music, but all with the same attitude of just getting out and playing shows without an ego.

My two least favourite things are a) the bitchiness towards bands who get marginally bigger. Like when T-Break got announced last year and everyone who didn’t get picked had theories about who was shagging who to get in the door. I don’t think anyone slagged us though, because they know we work hard and are totally DIY, no management/labels/press etc. And cause we’re all mental.

And b) There’s been a few cases in Scotlandof late of bands who get signed to major record companies after like three shows. They get loads of money pumped into them, pushed all over the press, sent out on tour, make records with big name producers but are fucking themselves up with drugs. These people don’t realise they’re in a position that 9/10 bands would kill for and will never get. I think anyone who reads this will know the two or three bands I mean. It’s disgusting to see that in times when the music industry is struggling, these idiots are wasting the opportunity they have to totally live the dream but instead they become sick prima donna rock star parodies. I mean, we’ve all seen Trainspotting – why would you mess about with smack?

And finally who is the most carnivorous in the band?

Grant is a bit of a salad freak, he likes a bit of everything. Goody was Mr Chicken Nuggets 1997 until his girlfriend started getting him into veg. So that leaves me…I’ll eat anything dead. My best friend is a veggie though, that balances it up I suppose. All our merch is suitable for vegans, I must add. I tried to get vegan trainers once, they were pish.

Rams’ Pocket Radio

February 14, 2012

RAMS’ POCKET RADIO/Nice and Sleazy, Glasgow/15.2.12

You’re playing Nice and Sleazy in Glasgow on Wednesday. Why should people come down to check you out?

We do things differently I think. If people like the recordings they seem to love the live thing.

Why is your live show better than anyone else’s?

I can’t comment on other people’s shows. Ours is unique, expect drums, piano and soundscapes and a slightly deconstructive take on pop music.

You’re just coming off the back of supporting Snow Patrol. How do you think your music goes down in big arenas?

We’re comfortable on that stage and the feedback has been great. It’s a totally different type of room to play but the songs and arrangements, by their nature, suit that environment really well.

How far do you think Rams’ Pocket Radio will go in the music industry?

You don’t need the music industry to be a musician.

What do you reckon is the best food accompaniment to Rams’ Pocket Radio and why?

Fressh cafe is our go to spot in Glasgow when we’re playing. Works pretty well!

The Grammy Awards were held at the weekend, but what would mean more to you – a Grammy or knowing that your collective mothers are proud of your musical career?

Our families and friends are more important than any award.

And finally, product designer Dieter Rams’ pocket radios look pretty utilitarian. Is that reflected in your music?

I sometimes have a bit of an ethical approach to writing and sometimes I’ll develop my ideas using processes similar to those I learned in my architecture days. At the end of the day it’s art, so the program is very loose. It’s for the listeners to hear, explore and take pleasure in. I think music shouldn’t need contextualising, despite how weird or wonderful the writer’s process is.

Top Five Friday – Richy Muirhead

February 3, 2012

Who? Richy Muirhead, founder of the Scottish Alternative Music Awards

Top five…songs that inspire me

“Here are a list of some tracks that inspire me. They are completely memorable, and not Scottish.

Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You

Every time I hear this track I just feel relaxed. It might be old in some people’s ears (1998), but it has inspired so many musicians in terms of the sound they create, and the simplicity of how music can be created. This track is an anthem – crank it up and get stuck in about it!

Dead Man’s Bones – Pa Pa Power

You maybe haven’t heard of Dead Man’s Bones? But you’ve probably heard of Ryan Gosling, yeah? Well, this is his band. I completely adore this track. This song completely chills me out and makes me relax. You should try it, beautiful effort.

M83 – Midnight City

Again this track is completely euphoric and sounds massive. The saxophone licks at 3.05 are untouchable and uncontrollable. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this record. If you don’t feel the energy I honestly think there is something wrong with you!

Slipknot – Wait And Bleed

This song has stuck with me ever since I was 13. It’s raw, yet well structured, and completely abusive. I used to, and still am, a massive Slipknot fan (fuck the haters!). They are one of the best live bands in world. I want to book them before I die (P.S How incredible would that be?) I can’t actually sit straight and listen to this song, and not many songs have effect. The outro is incredible too. Respect, and RIP Paul Gray #2!

Sigur Ros – Svefn-g-englar

Sigur Ros are one in a million. Words can’t describe this. I honestly cannot describe the term beautiful, so I’ll let the music do the talking and I hope you all agree and understand where I’m coming from. Listen to this song – relax, be blessed and enjoy the sound. Everything will be okay.

To conclude – this is only five songs that make me feel inspired and give me the buzz to pursue my future. Perhaps this energy will feed onto you – I really hope so.

Keep up to date with me on Twitter @richymuirhead or follow my business @OfficialSAMA.”