Staff Cheryl

Cheryl

Senior Staff Writer

London

Cheryl's last content update – June 11, 2017, 4:12 a.m.

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Cheryl's most recent reviews
Dimmu Borgir  - Forces of The Northern Night album cover

Dimmu Borgir

Forces of The Northern Night, 2017

7.5 / 10

There’s no denying that Dimmu Borgir come from a solid black metal background but what these Norwegian’s have done in the (nearly) twenty five years that they’ve been active is ...

Pallbearer - Heartless album cover

Pallbearer

Heartless, 2017

9.5 / 10

Pallbearer’s evolution over the last seven or so years has been one that seems natural and organic, with each record building on what came before and giving the Arkansas based ...

Woe - Hope Attrition album cover

Woe

Hope Attrition, 2017

8.5 / 10

After a promising start to a career that began in earnest with the release of debut A Spell for the Death of Man in 2008 and continued through to 2013s ...

Emptiness - Not For Music album cover

Emptiness

Not For Music, 2017

8.5 / 10

Belgium’s Emptiness have spent much of their career eschewing traditional approaches and with Not for Music they continue to imbue their singular take on black metal with wholly impure vibrations ...

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Cheryl's most recent features
Woe

Interviews Woe

Posted April 15, 2017, 1:28 a.m.

With the release of new record Hope Attrition and some major new touring on the horizon, we caught up with Woe's founding member Chris Grigg to talk about how ...

Alcest

Interviews Alcest

Posted Feb. 1, 2017, 2:32 p.m.

Alcest’s latest record, Kodama, is an album that wears its heart on its sleeve. It’s rich, textured and warm and is influenced by frontman Neige’s (Stéphane ...

City States

One Question Interviews City States

Posted Sept. 30, 2015, 12:16 a.m.

Joel (City States) SPB: How do you find the time to work on so many projects and do your regular day job (if you have one)?  Joel: At the risk ...

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 ...

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Cheryl's most recent news stories
1QI: Blessed, Okkyung Lee, Geometers

Bands 1QI: Blessed, Okkyung Lee, Geometers

Posted June 11, 2017, 4:12 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 three days each week, typically every Tuesday-Thursday ...

Drew Riekman (Blessed – guitar/vocals)
SPB: What is your favorite 1990s artist?
Drew: When I received the email, the first question I asked myself was “Is this the favourite 1990's artist in relation to myself, or in relation to our band?” I settled on selecting someone that relates more to the band than how I personally feel. Even though it's probably the easiest and most bland answer anyone under the umbrella of “Post-Hardcore” can give; the answer is Fugazi. I know I'm using a loophole because they also existed two years in the ‘80s and two years into the 2000's, but I hope it's justified as they spent the bulk of their existence in the ‘90s. The breadth of music that their discography touches on is inspiring. It's served as a reminder that when we're writing there's no wrong answers, and that songs are what we, as the artists/creators, determine them to be. It's easy to get caught up in asking yourself about flow – “does this part make sense here? Is this dynamic change too weird or abrupt?” It's great to have a band you can look to, who took risks and made interesting decisions -- always with amazing results in my opinion. It's subjective, but all the different dynamics, timing, and structures always made the song more interesting and enjoyable for me. They're also one of the first bands, besides local and Western Canadian bands, that helped us realize it was possible to make things happen on your own terms. As teenagers, two of our members were fortunate enough to have Edmonton (Northern Canadian city) band Cope (https://walkingthepath.bandcamp.com) take our first band on its first self-booked tour. The idea that you didn't have to wait around for booking agents to tour, for labels to release your music, or for managers to help connect you to like-minded people was one of the best lessons teenagers making weird hardcore music could learn. Because those opportunities almost certainly never would have come to us where we live, in Abbotsford, BC. But those ideals and work ethic, derived from Fugazi and bands of the same ilk, helped us persevere and work towards making things happen for ourselves, which lead us to the still growing, amazing DIY community we've been so lucky to inhabit. There are so many other bands and people that deserve the title of Favourite or Most Important, there really isn't just one. But as far as ‘90s artists, it's hard to ignore the building blocks that Fugazi gives to bands.
Okkyung Lee
SPB: You have a classical background in your musical upbringing, but moved further and further into the experimental scene when you moved to the US. What was it that pulled you towards this scene, and what is the allure of a freer musical form?
Okkyung: It was about finding the very personal voice within the instrument, cello in my case.
I never fully felt comfortable or connected playing only classical or jazz standards because it was not my very own...then, when I began to improvise and write more original pieces, I just felt this immense sense of freedom along with strong desire to go deeper and deeper... Meanwhile, I am constantly aware of how having that background in classical training from early on provided me a great foundation to build on.
The biggest allure in playing in freer form is that actually it's not free at all and rather you need to utilize every little piece of knowledge and experience you've gathered in order to make improvisation something meaningful... Also, playing with others who will challenge me to come up with musical responses that make sense to me is another big attraction...  but then of course sometimes it's just fun to play...
Kyle (Geometers)
SPB: What’s the most recent “grower” record you picked up that took a while to click?
Kyle: "Prey," the latest from Planes Mistaken for Stars. It's one of those records that feels so dense on the first play through but keeps rewarding over repeat listens. Sonically, the songs tend to bleed into each other (brilliantly so, as I've come to realize) which made it hard to sink the hooks. I remember being in a sort of trance the first time I got through it -- "Wait, that's it? But that was only,like 3 songs, right?" A real time-traveling record.
After a while though, the nuance starts to reveal itself. Tracks like "She Who Steps" and "Black Rabbit" have this almost Lynchian vibe about them that starts creeping in after a while. There's something so sinister about the record as a whole, really. It tells a different story each time. It sticks with you. I just wish it were longer!

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1QI: Breakin' Even Fest, The Bombpops, EORÐESLAJYR

Bands 1QI: Breakin' Even Fest, The Bombpops, EORÐESLAJYR

Posted May 24, 2017, 3:21 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 three days each week, typically every Tuesday-Thursday ...

Steve & Bryan (Breakin’ Even Fest)
SPB: How are you approaching Fest #2 differently than #1?
Steve & Bryan: We definitely focused on making Breakin' Even Fest All Ages this year. Last year, all ages were admitted, but needed a chaperone.  
We also expanded our lineup beyond just East Coast bands, including Sidekicks from Ohio and Pkew Pkew Pkew from Toronto. Last year we learning how to do a fest (and still are). Sometimes bringing people from far can be more complex – like trying to fit our fest into a tour route, or just making it financially viable for both parties.
Other than that, our approach remains the same: to book people we like who make music we love. Having a single stage and time for only 13 bands makes this a difficult task – we can't book everyone we'd like each year. So that means we'll have to keep booking it!
Thanks!
Poli (The Bombpops)
SPB: What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Poli: Worst job we've ever had... well, Jen and I are both servers at restaurants in Los Angeles, so that's an obvious one. But I actually have a story of us working together.
Jen and I did catering here in LA quite a few times and, even though, you get to see some cool houses and sneak some fancy food, it mostly sucks. We ended up both working a Halloween party in Hollywood for George Clooney's tequila company "Casamigos." It was baller, there was high security, tons of celebs in intense costumes and wehad to tray pass. It was a nightmare. There's nothing worse than trying to squeeze by Paris Hilton with a tray and getting smooshed into a bush, smashed in the face by a Victoria Secret Model Angel's wing, and run down by Leonardo DiCaprio's mob of babes. It was way too crowded, we felt like pieces of shit and we seriously wished we hid Halloween costumes in our bags and changed inside to join the party. We had to get out of there, so we snuck a couple of airplane bottles of tequila into our pockets and bailed saying we were sick from food poisoning, never catering again. 
Tom (EORÐESLAJYR)
SPB: What is the most thankless job in the music industry?
Tom: We think one of the most thankless jobs in the industry is putting on DIY gigs and organizing DIY venues. Having a vibrant, encouraging DIY venue in your hometown is such a great asset for young bands. In Ireland there's such a strong drinking culture that unless you're gonna draw a large crowd that buys a lot of pints, it can be expensive to put on shows in bars and traditional music clubs.
We have a lot of respect for people who go out of their way to put on gigs and performances in different spaces and break away from the pub/alcohol culture. These alternative venues often serve as great incubators for musical projects and underground culture. Unfortunately the reality is that these spaces are often expensive and stressful to maintain. With a policy of low cover charge and BYOB, they usually don't last very long. I don't know if it's fair to say it's all thankless though, people can have a lot of love for these places and the memories they have there. It's just a sad truth that they are mostly a labour of love for the people organizing them.

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1QI: Badlands, Extinction A.D., Cayetana

Bands 1QI: Badlands, Extinction A.D., Cayetana

Posted April 10, 2017, 5:43 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 three days each week, typically every Tuesday-Thursday ...

Adrian Tenney (Badlands, ex-Spokenest)
SPB: How did you get started in Badlands?
Adrian: Badlands (as a solo project) started when playing my music with other people ended.
I had been writing music in numerous other bands with my friends, and although it was super fun, it was always very hard to coordinate! Gradually it became more difficult, or impossible to collaborate with people (friends moved away, people got new jobs etc.) and as that happened, it became more of a necessity to record and perform on my own.
I've never felt the same kind of energy playing on my own as I do playing in a band, and I do miss that, but everything is so much more under my control now. At this point in my old (not a teenager anymore) age, it's worth it to not feel totally exhausted by all the elements of performing. 
Rick Jiminez (Extinction A.D./This Is Hell – guitar/vocals)
SPB: After music, what other arts interest you?
Rick: Although music has been the focus of my life for as long as I can remember, it hasn't been the only "art" I've been interested and even consumed by. Art is such a fluid term, but to me, the only thing that I've ever really cared about that didn't fall under the umbrella was baseball.
Since I was little(er) I always loved to draw. Of course that started with cartoons which then became comic books and then went into full on illustration which then became graphic design. Around my early 20s, though I was faced with following graphic design or music full-time, and I easily chose music.
Graphic design was fun and fulfilling to me when based around my bands but as a career seemed too bullshitty and... well, I guess too "adult career." I think if I would have stuck with comic book penciling I could have very well made the decision to pursue that as a career but at some point I decided regular graphic design was more stable then comics, even though the stability of that wound up being a strike against it while the instability but much more satiating feeling of playing music was a pro. 
Another art that piqued my interest in the late ‘80s and continues to enthrall me is professional wrestling. And many would argue that's not an art, and they are welcome to think that, but I am welcome to acknowledge that I care not for the judgments of the employee of the month at Duane ass Reade. Talk about something that is never the same twice: a story, an athletic display...it’s like surfing, where the wave is always different, but instead of conquering the wave, you have to work together with it, or like a movie or a play where, yes everyone knows it’s a complete fabrication of real life and staged, but you have to entertain thousands at once and make them believe for 10-30 minutes that what they're viewing is somehow plausible.
It’s also extremely hard to give the illusion you're physically decimating someone while trying to have them feel as little as possible in reality... which doesn't make something art per se, but man that shit is difficult as fuck. It’s much easier to make a punch look real if it’s actually real, but you ever see grown men punch each other in real life outside of a MMA or boxing match? Believe me, it usually looks like creamed crap... and I'll also take the underwear/kneepads/boots motif over the marked out guido look or flat brim with teal sweater from the smith haven mall outfit. I'll also take a punch being followed by a steel cage match for the world title as opposed to it being followed by 3 dudes yelling "don't you dare touch Gina again, I'll end you bro!!" at each other while being separated by a few really nice cars that their parents bought them that have brakes that work and no check engine light on.
Is fixing cars that are complete jokes an art? I know some mechanics but have yet to find one that can ever make any of my shit boxes work or pass inspection. If that’s an art I'd be interested in that too.
Maybe I should have stuck with graphic design.
Kelly (Cayetana)
SPB: If you could universally (and magically) fix one item at venues around the world, what would you upgrade or change? 
Kelly: If I'm being very honest, I would want to wave a magical wand and make all venue bathrooms private, single use, clean, beautiful, great smelling with ample amounts of toilet paper! I think we can all relate to venue bathrooms being some of the absolute worst we've ever been in. And having an inclusive, gender-neutral toilet situation would be amazing. 

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1QI: Four Lights, Known Cowboy, Just Friends

Bands 1QI: Four Lights, Known Cowboy, Just Friends

Posted March 10, 2017, 4:21 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 three days each week, typically every Tuesday-Thursday ...

Dan Gardner (Four Lights)
SPB: What is your favorite 1980s artist?
Dan: The Replacements. Westerberg is one of the greatest American songwriters. My parents were big fans of theirs and I grew with Let It Be and Tim playing in the house, in the car, everywhere. Those records were a big part of my growing up and continue to be just as important to me to this day. Every teenager should be given a copy of Let It Be. 
Known Cowboy
SPB: What is your favorite 1970s artist?
Known Cowboy: My favourite 1970s artist without question has to be no other than David Bowie! God, I love Hunky Dory.
The fun fact is that I didn’t discover Bowie´s work until last year after he died. When I found out about him it was a revelation. 
I would say Pink Floyd, but I think the power of expression of Bowie did a powerful job in me, more than the mesmerizing tunes of DSOTM or WYWH,
I will end this reply by saying that I actually love a record from 1978 called Visions of the Country by Robbie Basho.
Sam, Brandon and Avi (Just Friends)
SPB: What’s the secret to a successful tour?
Just Friends: Cut the dead weight. Chillers only. You gotta be down for the cause, 100% without doubt. You have to believe in the people around you and they got believe in you. Have their back. Embody the spirit of the road dawg. 

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Cheryl's most recent blogposts

Katatonia @ Shepherd's Bush Empire

Posted Oct. 28, 2016, 5:48 a.m. by Cheryl

Katatonia @ Shepherd's Bush Empire w/ VOLA, Agent Fresco Emotion is the name of the game tonight, with Sweden’s Katatonia bringing their resonant doom to the London masses not once, but ...

Paradise Lost @ KOKO

Posted Oct. 11, 2015, 5:26 a.m. by Cheryl

Paradise Lost w/Tribulation and Lucifer October 4th @ KOKO, London Hype surrounding a band is either indicative of said band being incredibly talented and worth your time, or, on the ...

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 ...

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

120 reviews 25 features 149 news posts 7 blogposts
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