Staff Cheryl

Cheryl

Senior Staff Writer

London

Cheryl's last content update – Aug. 14, 2017, 5:42 p.m.

Cheryl's most recent reviews
Poseidon  - Prologue album cover

Poseidon

Prologue, 2017

8.5 / 10

Concept albums aren’t a new trick but for Poseidon and their epic, sludged-out doom, the concept forms more than one story and instead will be stretched across a multitude of ...

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 ...

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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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1QI: The Ejector Seats, Brain Tentacles, Amirtha Kidambi

Bands 1QI: The Ejector Seats, Brain Tentacles, Amirtha Kidambi

Posted Aug. 8, 2017, 12:47 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 ...

Fluffy (The Ejector Seats/The By-Products – bass/vocals)
SPB: How has the increasing digitalization of music changed how you listen to or consume music?
Fluffy: Well...this is a sensitive subject for me!
Mostly...I hate the digitization of music! I'm not a "purist" or anything...I just love records and the whole process/religious experience of listening to them. Don't get me wrong, I think the technology is incredible: recording band practices on your phone and emailing them to everyone before they even get home from practice is great; being able to pop your stuff up online and instantly be connected to the 4 corners of the planet is a game changer and a time saver...But as far as listening, I like my records and the whole selection process! Yes...a strange ritual to most...understandable to some.
Portability?!?? you ask...Well, I'm fine with CDs. CDs are pretty great in comparison to tapes! Although tapes definitely helped humanity to take their tunes on the road in the ancient past, I personally have lost sssssssssooooooooooooo much good music from my tapes being eaten, that the simple sight of a cassette makes my blood pressure rise!
So, to simply answer your question, the way digitzation has most changed how I consume music, is that I will go to a band's site, listen to a couple of tracks, and if I dig them, I'll buy the vinyl!
Bruce Lamont (Brain Tentacles)
SPB: You have a dense and complex sound, heavily featuring jazz influences and an extreme metal basis. Since you are all heavily involved in the more experimental edge of the heavy spectrum, what do you feel like is the next step for the sound of Brain Tentacles?
Bruce: 2017 is the year that we are gonna go for broke. Taking more risks, more chances. We have nothing to lose.
How bout you? 
Amirtha Kidambi
SPB: Your new album features a fair deal of spiritual themes, for instance the themes of creation, destruction, rebirth and repetition. Do you feel that themes from your own background, such as Hinduism, bring a more personal and unique tone to your concepts, and act as an aid in the construction of your music?Amirtha Kidambi: Absolutely. The entire construction of the Holy Science suite is based around the ideas contained within Hindu scripture regarding time cycles. The suite follows these time cycles by name starting with first era of "creation" or the Sathya-Yuga followed by the Treta-Yuga, Dvapara-Yuga and finally the current era of chaos and destruction, the Kali-Yuga. The conception of time as cycles of birth, death and rebirth is a central idea in Hindu philosophy. I grew up Tamil Brahmin and it had a huge impact on me for better or worse. Hinduism as it is practiced today here in the US and in India, is a fairly conservative ideology even though the philosophy is actually incredibly radical and open. I was and still am negotiating that dichotomy and pushed back against the more conservative aspects as I was growing up. At the same time, the spiritual and philosophical ideas largely shape how I view the world and inevitably influence my thinking when it comes to music and creativity, especially improvisation. In Hinduism we have this idea of ego-destruction as a path to truth and I find improvising is one of the few activities where I've felt like I can get close to this idea of transcendence. These Hindu ideas also had a profound impact on artists including John and Alice Coltrane, who are some of my biggest musical influences, so it sort of comes full circle for me. I think the influence of these ideas in my music is not unique in that the influence exists, rather the filter that these ideas flow through. My own identity, personality, musical background and other musical influences transform these ideas into something I think is unique and to be honest pretty weird!

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1QI: Fast Break! Records, Bobby Kapp,  Jason Navarro

Bands 1QI: Fast Break! Records, Bobby Kapp, Jason Navarro

Posted Aug. 1, 2017, 1:57 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 ...

Tim Martinkøvixxx (Fast Break! Records – label manager)
SPB: What is the best pop song of the last 10 years?
Tim: I'm going to cite a track that I found wholly by accident but not, not entirely by design.. Independent music is where my heart lies, so an argument can be made for many tracks form many labels / artists / genres but I'm going to throw a pair of loaded dice and call your decade card at the X. 
Artist: DANGER O's
Album: Little Machines © 2007
Track: Wolf In Sheeps Clothing
https://thedangeros.bandcamp.com/album/little-machines
This track is the epitome of indie power pop, with a simple melodic guitar and bass driven open soaked in electric icing, all marching with a beat that drives us to a cliff where intertwined vocal melodies carry us as we fall through the sky into an chorus that drowns us in cascading and refracting neon light. It's a fun ride from beginning to end, and a brilliant execution of everything pop. 
Bobby Kapp
You (and Matthew Shipp) come from two different eras of the NY free jazz scene. What did you discover in your recording sessions, about either the past and the present of the scene?
Although there is twenty years between us and each era is different, there are very similar aspects. One is the level of commitment which was life or death back then and is the same now in Matthew. I feel two is that the need to adjust the system of the ‘60s was urgent. Personal freedom was on the line and young people were " dropping out," no matter what the risk, to express themselves and protest oppression of any kind. This is beginning to happen again now because of "45" etc, and as a result, conventional art (which can be beautiful and valid) is still too limited for these new urgent times.
Third, I could find the sound of the people I played with in the sixties in my drums! With the people I've recorded with lately, some are Ivo Perleman, Ras Moshe, Tyler Mitchell, and especially Matthew Shipp. I get their core sound deep in my drums...This is powerful, spiritual, vibrational therapy heading out into the planet. It seems to fill  me with new restorative life energy: practical immortality, if you will.
Jason Navarro  (Hellmouth, Suicide Machines)
SPB: You’ve released a trilogy of records. How has your original vision changed over the years it took for the releases to come to fruition?
Jason: Well, I never thought the trilogy would end on a more positive note. Which partially through the record it became personal and became a positive change in the way I look at myself and the world. Granted we do always tie in oroborus with most of our concept of the trilogy -- as applied every new beginning has to have and the final ending -- I just didn't know that we would see what the change should become with the third installment., I just figured it would be a complete negative end but, in all actuality, it became a positive thing.
The album cover which our sun dwarfing in becoming a black hole which will be the final say in the end of mankind because even after an apocalypse or war to end all wars man would more than like be doomed to repeat its mistakes. And do I repeat my mistakes myself personally, which is more what this album’s oblivion was about. This band and music has calmed me to the point I don’t need it anymore.
New beginnings. 

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1QI: Collision Course Records, Street Sects, Hakan

Bands 1QI: Collision Course Records, Street Sects, Hakan

Posted July 7, 2017, 7:34 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 ...

Raymondo (Collision Course Records)
SPB: What is your dayjob and how does it affect/influence/interfere with your label operations?
Raymondo: Well....I'd like to say I sit around in my sunglasses drinking lattes and looking at my phone all day...but running an indie punk label isn't that lucrative!!!! Soooo...I get up at the crack of dawn with my faithful partner, Daisy and we get our lattes to-go and get into the daily routine of running a window cleaning business.
The good parts??? In & out, fast, 80% of clients pay the same day, so... that helps...and the hours are whatever you make 'em. I like to wrap it up by noon. I'm happy if I'm done by 2pm & try to always be back to the base by 3pm!
That gives me time to chill, make lunch, pack orders and check emails & still get to the post office!!!
When you add in recording & playing in bands and going to see friends bands etc....it's a pretty full week!! 'cept when it rains. That's when I get to sleep in & listen to records!!!
Leo Ashline (Street Sects)
SPB: There is a fair amount of your new album that was written focusing on the subject of addiction, which stemmed also from personal experiences. Do you feel that Street Sects has aided you, in that it acts as an outlet for your emotions?
Leo: Definitely. For my end, Street Sects was created specifically to be an outlet for that negative, self-destructive energy. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol hasn't eliminated those feelings, it just helps to keep me alive and out of jail. Street Sects gives me a reason to get out of bed, to do something with my life, with that energy. I'm still a mess even without those addictions, but if I didn't have Street Sects I would probably be dead, or worse. 
For the record, SS isn't a straight edge band and we aren't trying to push some kind of sobriety agenda. I get why people want to get fucked up. It feels good. But, if people who are struggling with addiction or just a general lack of self worth hear our music or read the lyrics and get something from it that maybe inspires or comforts them in some way, then that would be priceless to me. I remember towards the end of my days as an addict, when I was still drinking every day and smoking crack as often as I could get my hands on it, I read this Vice interview with Tina from How I Quit Crack where she talked about how music was the sole thing that helped her get away from using. I was at an absolute low when I read that, and it even though it took me another 6 to 8 months before I went to rehab and started getting my shit together, I never forgot that. It was inspiring. For all the negativity and self-disillusionment Shaun and I pour into this project, I hope that maybe someday, something positive can come out of it. 
Andrea (Hakan)
SPB: How did you come to work with Jeff Burke on II?
Andrea: Not a very special story. We love Marked Men and Radioactivity and when we find out he was touring Europe we simply asked him if he would like to come record us, and he said "Yes."

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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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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

121 reviews 25 features 152 news posts 7 blogposts
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