Staff Cheryl


Senior Staff Writer


Cheryl's last content update – June 30, 2015, 2:17 p.m.

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Cheryl's most recent reviews
Frog - Kind Of Blah album cover


Kind Of Blah, 2015

7.5 / 10

Frog’s second LP Kind of Blah is one that swings from highs to lows, from poppy pep to slowed down sadness and it encompasses every other emotion within it’s short ...

Six Of Swords - Polar Vortex EP album cover

Six Of Swords

Polar Vortex EP, 2015

7.5 / 10
200 Words Or Less

Modern death metal often suffers under the weight of trying to emulate old school heroes while not doing very much of interest at all, so it’s a nice surprise when ...

Oruga - Blackened Souls album cover


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


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 ...

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Cheryl's most recent features

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 ...


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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Cheryl's most recent news stories
1QI: Soul Asylum, Jxckxlz, Serious Beak, Georgia Maq

Bands 1QI: Soul Asylum, Jxckxlz, Serious Beak, Georgia Maq

Posted June 30, 2015, 2:17 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 ...

Dave Pirnier (Soul Asylum – vocals)
SPB: Who is your favorite musician you’ve discovered in New Orleans?
Dave: Henry Butler first comes to mind.
I saw him for the first time at the Funky Butt and he was playing the midnight to 4am slot. Seeing that he is blind, I was able to sorta stick my head in his grand piano and listen without him even knowing I was there and made going to his gigs a ritual.
There are so many amazing musicians in New Orleans, but it was pretty much the street parades and Henry's piano playing that ultimately made move there.
We eventually became friends and he came out to LA to do some sessions with us. I haven't seen him in a while as he moved away after Katrina, but I really miss him being in New Orleans.
SPB: Which of your songs is hardest to play live?
Nathan (vocals): “Trophic Level,” ‘cause I just scream like a manic dog for 5 minutes plus.
Max (drums): “Solace,” as it’s technical, fast and we play it first quite often. Or “Alpha & Omega,” because I’m usually tired as fuck at that point.
Lachlan (guitar): “Distractions From You.” Stupid difficult riffs.
Serious Beak
SPB: When did you decide that you want to make music for a living? 
Andrew Mortensen (bass): When I finished high school. But then I discovered to “make a living” from music, you had to play shit covers, in shitty RSLs, out in the middle of nowhere to pissed arseholes.
So I got a day job and just did original music that I enjoyed. 
Lachlan R. Dale (guitar): Morts is on the money there. Making music for a living in Australia is a nightmare, especially if, like us, you play obscure or experimental music.
Every member of Serious Beak has a day job, and we all bleed a lot of money for this band.
The idea of covering pop songs in some drab RSL for the rest of my life just to scrape by makes me want to kill myself. 
Georgia Maq
SPB: What song would you want played at your funeral? 
Georgia: I'd like “Two Worlds” – Tiger’s Jaw played at my funeral. 

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1QI: Roman Cities, Lesstalk Records, Diploid, Adrift for Days

Bands 1QI: Roman Cities, Lesstalk Records, Diploid, Adrift for Days

Posted June 23, 2015, 1:49 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 ...

Ian Miller (Roman Cities)
SPB: How important to the band’s concept was playing “era-appropriate instrumentation”?
Ian: Man, what a great question. When I was imagining this project, I had visions of headless basses and chorus pedals. But the gear ended up not really mattering. Bradley plays a Tele into a Fender combo; Dan used his giant Early Graves metal kit; and I played a P bass. Ryan has some cool modeling keyboards including a Nord, but he played an old Wurlitzer electric piano on a number of songs. 
Ultimately it ended up being about the sounds and the songs. It's really easy to fetishize old gear -- I mean, look at any old Cars video and Ric Ocasek is likely playing a pink Dean Cadillac. It's outrageous and awesome. But the songs and performances are paramount -- those guys were all monster players. Hawkes and Easton had studied at Berklee, and all of those dudes could flat-out play. 
So I guess that's a long way of saying "not important at all." That said, I did end up buying a headless bass, and I'm not afraid to use it ...
Matt Vaughn (Lesstalk Records, Michael Crafter-vocals)
SPB: Do any of your musician friends have tinnitus?
Matt: Yeh, I think a lot of my friends have or will have tinnitus when the years go by. I have been playing in DIY bands for about 10 years now and going to gigs every weekend as well as playing and jamming every week too. And I definitely regret not protecting my ears more as I notice my hearing deteriorating over the years, but the constant ring is somewhat soothing.
Reece Prain (Diploid-bass/vocals)
SPB: How much space in your home is dedicated to music storage (records or instruments)?
Reece: I have a bandroom/equipment storage room. It’s pretty full, so lots of junk is just sort of hung around the room as well. But really, music equipment is scattered throughout the house. As for record/cds/tapes and such, I have two book shelves full of cds, another big shelf that has my 7’’ and LPs, then I have a box full of tapes and demo cds and just other junk I have accumulated. So that’s really it for all my music stuff in my (parents’) home.
Lachlan R. Dale (Adrift for Days, Art As Catharsis)
SPB: How has the increasing digitisation of music changed your listening habits?
Lachlan: A very good question, and one I often reflect on.
There is no doubt that the digitisation of music has dramatically increased access while also increasing supply through reduced production costs.
The effect for me, personally, is that I am flooded with a supply of new, unique, and varied music on a constant basis. Selfishly this is an awesome thing, as it provides me with constant stream of inspiration and allows me to discover new, niche artists easier than ever before.
Last year I began using Spotify, which I have mixed feelings about. While I don't agree with its unethical payment structure - and would happily pay much more for the service - the access it provides is unrivaled. As a tool it is incredible, and I see a streaming model such as Spotify as the likely future of digitised music.
Since I began using Spotify, I rarely download music (which, as a format has the disadvantage of needing to be transferred between devices), and have long stopped buying CDs. My stacks of thousands of compact discs gather dust in a corner of my room. While I spent many years and thousands of dollars building my collection, they seem now superfluous; a format superseded by its physical limitations.
Partially through guilt, I have turned to building a vinyl collection. At the moment I only listen to my records a few times a week, and almost see my purchases as a symbolic way to support an artist - which seems insane. Perhaps in my next home I will invest more heavily in a high-end sound system to enjoy my records.
There is no doubt that the digitisation of music has dramatically undermined its value - infinite reproducibility is bound to have that effect. 
As someone who plays in a number of bands, and runs a record label, the future of music sales is profoundly uncertain. I'd be curious to hear other's thoughts.

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1QI: Meek Is Murder, Spirits, Brian Campeau, Fashion Week

Bands 1QI: Meek Is Murder, Spirits, Brian Campeau, Fashion Week

Posted June 16, 2015, 2:19 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 ...

Frank Godla (Meek Is Murder)
SPB: What do you think of cassettes?
Frank: They will always have a special place in my heart. I started collecting music when cassettes were still the norm, and wound up with several hundred cassette and VHS tapes in my house. I’d even make my own mixtapes to carry around in my bag, equipped with a #2 pencil of course. Eventually I joined the tape trading scene which opened some doors to finding obscure bands I fell in love with from around the world. Some of my earliest memories in life also involved my dad playing cassettes from Metallica, Ozzy, Twisted Sister, Dokken, Scorpions, Skid Row, and many more. I guess you can say cassette tapes are the reason I found metal, and created the life I live today. That said, as someone who lived the experience of cassettes, I’ve been a little confused why they’re making a comeback. They truly were the most inconvenient and poorly made medium of music history, but ultimately if you’re rocking sweet tunes that’s all that matters.  
Robert Cheeseman (Spirits – bass)
SPB: What is the best hardcore song, ever?
Robert: The best hardcore song?  Hell if I know!  One of my favorite hardcore bands though is Faded Grey.  I remember downloading "The New Crusades" off of revhq sometime in late 2000 and it was definitely a gateway moment that led me to discover a lot of bands and labels I had not heard of at that point in my youth.  Punk is hands down my “first love” when it comes to music but the handful of hardcore bands that I found thanks to that Faded Grey song is pretty astounding and it opened my eyes to a whole new sub-genre that I've grown to love just as much. 
Brian Campeau
SPB: What is your favorite album cover of all time?
Brian: I'm a big fan of a photo which tells a story, whether or not you understand that story. By this I mean a photo that keeps you looking at it and the more you look at it the more you discover. 
Hipgnosis (the guys who did the Pink Floyd album covers) were really good at this. Jeez, the more I think about it the harder this question becomes. So, screw it, I'll go with Spiritualized - Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.
I bought this album when I was on a high school trip in Ireland. I had no idea who these guys were at the time, but the packaging made it so perfect. The cd came in a prescription medication box and you had to pop the cd out of a plastic thing with foil on it (like a Nurofen, but singular and way bigger). Also included was this paper which explained how the pill/CD should be consumed.
Why did I think this was so great? Because it totally explained what the music was about long before hearing it. After listening to the album and seeing how appropriate the cover and packaging were, I looked into who this band was. Fair enough, the singer, Jay Pierce, was previously in a band named Spacemen 3, who had released an album called Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To. 
Other notable mentions:
Louvin Brothers - Satan Is Real
Leonard Cohen - New Skin for the Old Ceremony
Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power
Rage Against the Machine - Self Titled
Joshua Lozano (Fashion Week – guitar/vocals)
SPB: Rank your preferred listening formats: cd, vinyl, cassette, digital, (other?)
at home:  vinyl
in the van : CD
running on the street: ipod. 
in the ‘90s: Cassettes (mixtapes)

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1QI: Meek Is Murder, Jess Locke, Tear Them Down, Upsilon Acrux

Bands 1QI: Meek Is Murder, Jess Locke, Tear Them Down, Upsilon Acrux

Posted June 9, 2015, 12:55 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 ...

Mike Keller (Meek Is Murder)
SPB: What do you think of cassettes?
Mike: Whenever people try to give us band demos on CD, I’m always like, “Sorry, we’re only set up for tapes.” Our van has a tape deck and for a while I had no way of playing CDs at home since my computer had the Aliens DVD stuck in the drive for like two years (not complaining). I have a walkman though. We put out a tape called “88 mph” once and I was pleasantly surprised that it sold out immediately. A couple of those songs we re-recorded for “Into the Sun” but I always liked the tape versions better. One day Aliens pooped out for no reason. I got scared and pushed it back in. 
Jess Locke
SPB: Where in your hometown do you always bring visitors?
Jess: I'm from Avoca Beach on the Central Coast of New South Wales, AUS. It's a beautiful area of the world but, there's not a whole lot to do there unless you like nature or Shopping Centres. Luckily, I like the former. When I visit, I try to go for beach swims and bush walks and generally just spend time with my family. My dad really likes scrabble and vegetable juice so usually they are incorporated into the activities somewhere.  
Viktor (Tear Them Down)
SPB: Do you take any precautions to stay healthy while on the road?
Viktor: Well I think any member of any band have a brief moment before going on tour like the scene in Backstage Passport where Fat Mike puts a ton of random pills in a toiletry bag. Whether it is only some pills for a sore throat, bad stomach, or whatever at least I will get some things together--although when you´re finally on the road on an underground punk rock tour common sense will get you far. 
But let´s be honest, maybe that is the one thing that is lacking when you had a good show and a nice party afterwards and end up falling asleep on the promoter´s floor without a sleeping bag and it´s freezing in the morning. And at the end of the day there is nothing to cure a cold like that rush of adrenaline on the show the next evening. Ginger is nice too. 
Paul Lai (Upsilon Acrux)
SPB: What is your favorite venue to play?
Paul: Without a doubt it's our home away from home, Los Angeles' infamous DIY venue The Smell. It's run by Jim Smith and some volunteers.
We have a long history with Jim and The Smell. It was our first LA show back in the late ‘90s at its original location and, honestly, I think we've played there at least once every year that we've been a band. The Smell is honestly where all the real, good and interesting bands start. It's booked primarily by the bands that have been there and so it's never really been taken over by a bunch of Hollywood shit or whatever. When The Smell got pretty famous from Abe Vigoda, Health, and No Age, whenever we had a show there I would get tons of emails from Hollywood managers and bands that swore if we let them play they could bring in 500 people...
Because Jim has always looked out for bands like us and other outsider musicians I think in return we have done the same and made a real effort to keep the shows real, with real bands and real music not just filling the place up with lame tourists. So in that vein, this place is about a lot more than attendance and what you get paid. There's always a Smell scene and it's always different and at the same time everyone that has played it and made an impact always comes back. On top of all that, Jim is unbelievably fair with the door. The shows are always $5 and he takes a very small percentage and despite working a 9-5 is still at well over 50% of all the shows, working from 8:30 pm to about 12:30 am each one of those nights. Jim has and will continue to be the most important person running a venue in all of Los Angeles and The Smell will always be keeping it real. Which makes us proud to be one of the bands that continue to play there year after year.

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Cheryl's most recent blogposts

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 ...

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. 

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Cheryl's SPB contributions

104 reviews 22 features 107 news posts 5 blogposts


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