Staff Cheryl

Cheryl

Senior Staff Writer

London

Cheryl's last content update – April 14, 2015, 5:51 a.m.

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Cheryl's most recent reviews
Oruga - Blackened Souls album cover

Oruga

Blackened Souls, 2014

7.0 / 10

Oruga’s sludged out sound is deep, dirty and disgusting and the French quintet move through massive pits of despair to crawl through the filth and head towards the inevitable end ...

Schammasch  - Contradiction album cover

Schammasch

Contradiction, 2014

9.0 / 10

Existence is a series of challenges – ones that force you to adapt, to change and to create sides of yourself that you show to the world, ones that are ...

Empty Yard Experiment - Kallisti album cover

Empty Yard Experiment

Kallisti, 2014

7.5 / 10

Music is wonderful and is one of the few things that echoes across the world and can bring people together in unity. Of course, that’s putting the most simplistic of ...

City States - Geography album cover

City States

Geography, 2014

7.5 / 10

They say that good things come to those that wait and for City States and their main member Joel Ebner, it's certainly true. Ebner has spent many years creating and ...

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Northumbria

One Question Interviews Northumbria

Posted April 6, 2015, 3:06 a.m.

Dorian Williamson (Northumbria) SPB: You recorded your first album in a church - what was it about the space that appealed to you and what kind of spaces would you like ...

Rome

One Question Interviews Rome

Posted April 6, 2015, 3:03 a.m.

Jerome Reuter (Rome) SPB: You're playing some anniversary shows this year and visiting some interesting places - How did you decide which countries to play in?  Reuter: I have to ...

AMSG 666

One Question Interviews AMSG 666

Posted Jan. 11, 2015, 11:29 p.m.

AngelFukk Witchhammer (AMSG 666) SPB: How important is Satan to you/the band and what does that belief mean to you? Witchhammer: Luciferianism for me is breathing /living each day ...

Pinkish Black

One Question Interviews Pinkish Black

Posted Dec. 25, 2014, 8:18 p.m.

Pinkish Black SPB: You had a curious sample from an obscure British comedy on your first record - how did you come across Snuff Box and why did you include it ...

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1QI: Drug Church, Port of Sound Records, Vexx, Malta

Bands 1QI: Drug Church, Port of Sound Records, Vexx, Malta

Posted April 14, 2015, 5:51 a.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Patrick Kindon (Drug Church)
SPB: What is the best pop song of the past 10 years?
Patrick: I typed up a whole thing about “Crazy In Love” by Beyoncé (feat. Jay-Z), then realized that song came out in 2003, more than 10 years ago. Which brought on a certain clarity about the fact I’m A) old as shit and B) I don’t care very much about pop. 
I’m going with “Pursuit Of Happiness (Extended Steve Aoki mix)” by Kid Cudi. Let’s talk about this beast of a teen house party anthem! You got Kid Cudi NEVER using a word over a 2nd grade reading level! Your nephew could’ve written this, except he probably doesn’t have the life experience to make his content as dark as Cudi who spends this dance remix talking about driving drunk and waking up in cold sweats. Fuck, bro! This makes me wish I drank, because I’d so hold a red Solo cup over my head while THE BEAT hits my body! Time to grind on that sophomore from that class I don’t attend! Fuck. I love this song. I’ve never heard another Kid Cudi song, but if all of them have these fun-as-shit WalMart beats and suicide talk, I’m in. 
Port of Sound Records
SPB: How important is it to set yourself apart from other stores on Record Store Day?
PoS: Most importantly, we work months ahead of the actual date, reaching out to all sorts of labels and distributors so that we can get every title in stock. We open up early at 5am, and make sure to abide by the RSD rules when it comes to no preorders, holds, purchasing multiple copies of coveted titles, and overpricing. Our staff works very hard to keep the records and the incoming crowd organized so that everyone involved has the best experience possible. We are also diligent about posting images of the titles we have available on our social media sites so that customers can keep up to date with what is going on at the shop all day long during Record Store Day.
www.portofsoundrecords.com
Instagram: @portofsoundrecords
Twitter: @portofsoundOC
Ian (Vexx)
SPB: How much does location and history (specifically Olympia, WA) influence you?
Ian: I grew up in Singapore but the majority of my extended family lives in Washington, so I would go to shows in Seattle when I came back to visit. Olympia was always in the ethers, kind of haunting literature and politics in my music scene back home and when I would go to shows in Washington.
My sister lives in Tacoma. When I moved from Idaho after college and was living with her I would visit my friends who lived in Olympia and go to shows. It's cheap, has a ton of places to play, and has a college so it is a perfect place to be to focus on self—which accounts for its concentration of hyper-competitive narcissistic whiners, but also nurtured artists. 
2011-2012 Olympia had a profound impact on me: Christian Mistress, HPP, Gun Outfit, White Wards, Gag, Bone Sickness, White Boss—Olympia was killing it! Of course past bands like Funerot and Sex/Vid had been things that I was way into, but being able to see those ’11-12 era bands (except White Boss) was exciting. I'm not too concerned with Olympia's ancient history. Bikini Kill was a good band. I don't listen to them anymore but they were there when I was a teen. I think Olympia has that pop-punk scene but that positivist youth group setting mixed with the cannibalistic nature of white, suburban "radical politics" negates my presence. Olympia's location is indicative of its culture, musical and social, water logged, rotting, and grey with moments of salient brilliance. 
Cameron (Malta)
SPB: As a songwriter, at what point does drawing influence from another subject become too close to mimicking?
Cameron: When we write, we take cues from subjects everywhere, real life and every aspect of media and art, but I'll try to talk specifically about how we deal when we feel like we're mimicking songwriters and players when we compose. One way we try to judge that one is to imagine ourselves in front of any influential artists we've been “ripping off” to any degree, and to imagine if we all listened to the track together and had to talk afterward, is it a conversation anybody would want to have? There has to be enough of ourselves in there to make the general feeling different somehow from the "original." If somebody's sounds make us respond in a personal way, and we get inspired to emulate something about an approach or sample a recording, if the sounds we make in this influenced/derivative/mimetic state feel like they don't personally add to or complicate the feelings that inspired us to get to work, we think they probably won't inspire much from anyone else either.
 

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1QI: Amoeba Records, War on Women, Kitten Crisis, Groovie Ghoulies

Bands 1QI: Amoeba Records, War on Women, Kitten Crisis, Groovie Ghoulies

Posted April 9, 2015, 4:17 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Marc Weinstein (Amoeba Records, co-owner)
SPB: What shift in listening format has been the most surprising in your run as a store?
Marc: The most surprising shift was back in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s when everybody was convinced they needed to buy their collection over again on this new "improved" format called a "CD..." CDs offered a degree of enhanced "portability,” yes, but the sound and experience seemed diminished to us record store folk, from Day One, NOT TO MENTION they cost less than half as much to make and cost twice as much to buy.
LPs still rule in terms of experience.
War on Women
SPB: Basements or bars (or both)?
War on Women: That's like asking “day or night,” “loud or quiet,” “happy or sad.”
You can't appreciate one without the other, regardless of preference. But no one has ever chipped their tooth moshing to us in a bar...but a guy did stick his head inside our kick drum in the Star Bar's basement in Atlanta, and then Brooks rode him like a horse for the rest of the song. So, ok, the answer is both!
Kyle Hall (Kitten Crisis)
SPB: What is the longest (in time) tour you’ve been on? Would you do it again?
Kyle: I've been on a few tours that have been over a month but so far, never much more than that. Yes, I would do it again! In a heartbeat. I love being on tour. My band Kitten Crisis is talking about doing a 60 day tour where we play all 48 of the continental U.S. states sometime in the future, and I am really looking forward to that. 
Kepi Ghoulie (Groovie Ghoulies, solo)
SPB: What is your favorite Christmas song?
Kepi: Anything from A Charlie Brown Christmas, anything from Bob Dylan - Christmas in the Heart, or "You Make It Feel Like Christmas" by Neil Diamond
OR
"The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" by Bowie/Crosby

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1QI: Bilinda Butchers, Wasted Wine, Rhino Records, My America

Bands 1QI: Bilinda Butchers, Wasted Wine, Rhino Records, My America

Posted March 31, 2015, 8:24 a.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Michal Palmer (Bilinda Butchers)
SPB: Was there a historical or real-life inspiration behind the concept for Heaven?
Michael: Yes, both. The album's concept was inspired by various works of Lafcadio Hearn as well as some travel diaries written between the 15th and 20th Century in Japan, researched and written about by Donald Keene. I became very interested in one story in particular called "The Lovers' Suicide" in which two young lovers who are unable to be together decide to commit suicide in order to be together in the afterlife. 
The idea of such a grand commitment to love fascinates me. And although I think it is extreme, it reminds me how precious the love you share with your friends, family, or a partner is: a feeling that that can give you faith, meaning and purpose to your life; something to live and die by, similar to religion. 
I created this idea and story for my girlfriend with the intent to illustrate the intensity of my feelings. Heaven continues to remind me of how lucky I am to love and be loved. 
My friend Michelle Yoon and myself pieced together several elements of various women from these tales and diaries to create the story of Ume Nakajima, the woman who drowned herself to be with her lover in the afterlife from which our album is based off. She is loyal and caring, someone I can always depend on. Occasionally I think of what would happen if something bad happened to one of us and how devastating it would be to not be able to see each other. I created the concept of Heaven to help illustrate the complexity and gravity of my feelings for her. 
Robert Gowan (Wasted Wine) 
SPB: Who is your favorite 1990s artist? 
Robert: Probably an obvious choice, but perhaps not for us: Tupac Shakur. As far as characters and universes, I get into Tupac the same way I do Zappa or Tom Waits. He has an extremely dynamic and defined character that constantly evolves, very rapidly, through the breadth of his career almost effortlessly. He incorporates personal and theatrical elements so well that I think even he lost track of who he really was. Eventually, closer to his death, it had all grown into this elaborate, illuminati-type mythos that predicts the future and leaves a huge controversy to this day about the circumstances. Much like Tom Waits, who released 'Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards' - basically giving away his formula - you can kind of categorize Tupac's music in the same way. Whether it's the amped-up party and diss tracks, or the more subdued, "keep your head up"/social justice, or mom-loving tracks, they're largely shocking or sappy and sentimental. Even still, his tracks manage to fit into the world he's shaped and not turn you off in the same way Eminem's 'Recovery' might have spoiled even his early stuff that you'd loved before. The best part about all of this is that it all happens in a very understandable arch that follows his life, making it resonate but never cross the line between artsy and cheesy.   
Dennis Callaci (Rhino Records/Mad Platter/Video Paradiso-General Manager)
SPB: When do you start planning for Record Store Day on a given year?
Dennis: Record Store Day falls on Saturday April 18th this year, and for this year's event we have been working since late last year to get things in line.  Besides all of the nifty releases for the day that take a good amount of time to order and get in line, we have set up some great events at both stores. Dengue Fever will be playing a live set at Rhino at 3pm, and we will be hosting a screening of the film "Records Collecting Dust" (Jello Biafra, Mike Watt, and others on their record collections) at 7:30 at both stores as well as more to be announced. Logistically, we work on making the experience as fair and easy for our customers as we can, as there are hundreds of folks lined up outside of our doors before we open. This means forecasting deep on titles and trying to cover the bases so there are as few disappointments as feasible. We want the day to be a celebration of record stores, and the artists that have made brick and mortar as important as water and air to us music freaks.
Matthew Turner (My America – guitar/vocals)
SPB: What is the strangest trend you see in modern music (or in the industry)?
Matthew: This actually came up very recently when we were in the studio recording our new album with Kevin Bernsten. We were pretty aligned in terms of musical taste with Kevin. We liked a lot of the same stuff. So naturally we would get into a lot of stuff we both DIDN'T like and the recording technique that goes into making those bands sound the way they do. I just don't understand when, I guess what you would now call "pop-punk" bands, became so far off base from anything punk at all. You know, all the fake drum sounds, triggers, auto tune, whatever else. Kevin actually told us a gem of a story where he was in another studio and heard a guy in there tracking and jokingly told whoever it was behind the board to turn off the auto-tune. The guy was like "uhh... there is no auto-tune?" The guy was just emulating what he hears on the records he likes. So much that it's basically warping his brain and has him thinking this actually sounds good. It was an incredible story that, to me, is like the pinnacle of this not-so-great trend.

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1QI: Jon McKiel, Botanist, Rat Storm, Strawberry Runners

Bands 1QI: Jon McKiel, Botanist, Rat Storm, Strawberry Runners

Posted March 24, 2015, 5:25 a.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Jon McKiel
SPB: Do you get nervous before you play a show?
Jon: Yes, but it really depends on whether I've played the room before, how much practice the band has had leading up, whether or not the sound check was ok, or the PA even exists!  Sometimes we sing through our amps and improvise a whole lot, so that keeps things pretty light. We can't do anything but go out and play and if we're making it up as we go there's no expectations, at least from a playing perspective.
Botanist
SPB: In the recent years you have included musicians in order to perform live as Botanist. I wonder if that change has also affected your songwriting in any way? Do you compose now having a more clear idea that these songs will be played live?
Botanist: The backlog of material written and recorded as a 1-man outfit is still being cleared out. Most of that stuff is EPs, but of course there is the skipped-over, unreleased Botanist V. Much of the EP material should be released over the course of the next year or two and some other stuff will be held secret. There is no definite plan as to when V will be released.
Since one of the aims of Botanist is to re-invent itself within the strict guidelines laid out for the project, material written and performed by all members of the live outfit are also in the works. The material we are working on now will be of EP length and should be ready for potential release this year. 
There is so much Botanist material that we compose and record, and pick what we think will be best live out of that. Some records work better live than others. VI is unquestionably the project's biggest commercial success to date, but we play as many songs live from I as we do VIbecause those songs kick ass live. Playing much material from III is a challenge, obviously, because of the tracks' individual running times, so we have to pick extra carefully, and sometimes we don't have time to play any material from III at all. 
The next planned Botanist full-length (VII) will be its most thematic and conceptual yet, and will not be written with playing live in mind whatsoever. Maybe look to the one after that for some ripping live cuts. See you on tour!
Nathalie Haurberg (Rat Storm/Closet Burner/Reality is a Cult Records)
SPB: Do you wear earplugs when you play? Why/why not?
Nathalie: I don't wear earplugs. I sometimes think I should, because my hearing is important. However, I just think it makes things sound different. If I'm playing it totally distorts how I hear the guitar tone and if I'm not playing I feel like it effects how I hear the band. I just rock out and then cross my fingers that in the long run I don't do any long-term damage!
Emi Knight (Strawberry Runners)
SPB: What was the inspiration to start the band?
Emi: The inspiration to start the band really began with living in Bloomington, Indiana, where most of my friends were in bands whose music would keep me up at night thinking of all the possibilities of my life as an artist and would wake me in the morning with this burning desire to go ahead and do whatever it was that I was dreaming about the night before. I've played and written music since I was a kid, but I can be very serious and very critical about my writing, so I didn't always feel confidant to ask other people to play with me.
In Bloomington I was surrounded by people who lived and breathed music and community and I started to put the two together for myself. I learned that music, at its best, will bring people together and lift us up. There is this deep empathy that we feel when we hear a story or a song. That empathy can shift our perspectives and our lives like almost nothing else. There was a point when my understanding of the value of music switched from something personal to something both personal and collective, and this was when I knew I wanted to put something I cared about into the world. So it didn't matter anymore how stupid my song sounded inside my head, or what I wished it could be. What became more important was that I share it with my friends anyway. 
It's important to give whatever you can to build up your community, family, and friends. As artists, sometimes all we've got is what we can make out of our experience. Some rad people, who do what they love, helped me to see my experience and what I make from it as valuable, or at least to have the grace and humility not to write it off. What we create always has the potential to be greater than us alone. But if we don't share it, it'll never do anything for us or for anyone. So that's why I started this band.
If you want to hear some of the bands who always remind me of the importance of doing what you love, check out: Mega Gem (Denver), Selfish Whales (Bloomington), Nana Grizol (Athens GA), Busman's Holiday (Bloomington), Defiance, Ohio (Bloomington), Erin Tobey (Bloomington), Lion Eater (Bloomington), Good Luck (Bloomington), Papa Bear (Denver).
And obviously tons more, but check out your own friends too. They're cooler than you even know.

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Cheryl's most recent blogposts

Show Review: Caïna @ The Unicorn

Posted Sept. 8, 2013, 3:25 p.m. by Cheryl

Caïna, Hordes, Barshasketh The Unicorn London, UK September 6 2013 We've been talking a lot about the rebirth of Caïna of late and we'll soon have a review of the new ...

Show Review: Winterfylleth @ The Black Heart

Posted Jan. 29, 2013, 7:50 a.m. by Cheryl

The tiny Black Heart in Camden holds court to an evening of droned out sludge, traditional heavy doom, and more English black metal than you can shake a stick at ...

Show Review: The Great Old Ones w/Terzij de Horde and Oblivionized @ The Unicorn, London (January 5th 2013)

Posted Jan. 9, 2013, 12:17 a.m. by Cheryl

The Unicorn is suffering from a severe lack of air con tonight, the tension in the air made all the palpable by the insane levels of heat and the anticipation ...

Show Review: Neurosis and Godflesh @ Kentish Town Forum, London (December 2nd 2012)

Posted Dec. 8, 2012, 8:39 p.m. by Cheryl

The view that Scene Point Blank has been afforded for tonight’s performance is beautiful, and the sea of heads below on the floor is all the more astonishing seen from ...

Cheryl's bio

"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Writer. SPB Social Media Contributor. 

I also like coffee and film and cats. 

Cheryl's personal URL

http://twitter.com/Cheryl_Prime

Cheryl's SPB contributions

102 reviews 22 features 97 news posts 5 blogposts
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