INTERVIEW: Matt Beck & Tom Hopkins – This Is Tmrw

(l-r) Matt Beck, Tom Hopkins / This Is Tmrw - by Ed King

Words & pics by Ed King / Follow him @EdKing2210

“We got a load of old Birmingham bands together to do a show here, and it was packed,” Matt Beck remembers the Sunset Cinema Club/Tropical Hotdog reunion from August 2013, when This Is Tmrw hosted a one off revival of the three piece Punk band’s monthly club night. “That was what it should be like – everyone supported it, everyone got paid.”

We’re in the Hare & Hounds, the ‘here’ and suburban success story that This Is Tmrw now happily calls home. And in a few days time their second All Year’s Leaving Festival will back at the venue, taking over every space with a stage and even one without – as a smattering of bands (fourteen by my count) bring a weekend of Punk Rock, Shoegaze, Psych Rock and other genres I don’t feel equip to do justice. Promising stuff – but over the eight years Matt Beck and Tom Hopkins have been promoting music the road to Kings Heath was not always so sparkly.This Is Tmrw /

“We’re both from Solihull,” explains Matt, “and did a couple of pretty terrible shows there before we realised no one’s interested in live music in Solihull.” A defamatory, but arguably true reality. At least for promoters. “Then we did a gig at The Sunflower Lounge with Foals, which was probably our first proper gig. They were just on the cusp. I think they had one single out and were ‘hotly tipped’ at the time.”

An admirable catch; so after death there came glory? “Then we went to The Yardbird and did weekly night there for maybe a year, a year and a half, which was a Wednesday night thing – pre Snobs, local Indie bands plus bringing in some touring acts.” The last This Is Twrw gig Birmingham Review covered was peripatetic oddball Connan Mockasin, the next on their bill are ‘Ohio Punk upstarts’ Cloud Nothing. How was life at the Conservatoire canteen? “When it worked it really worked,” answers Tom Hopkins, “we hosted an all day local band event that was a great show there.”

“Hot Club De Paris, they played there too – that sold out” adds Matt. “Then there were other times when we’d put on a Low-Fi, noisy Punk band and you’d have ten regulars in there expecting Jazz. There were some conflicts.”

It doesn’t sound like a heaven made match, and although The Yardbird has respectably eclectic tastes the Hare & Hounds is arguably much more versatile – a useful backdrop when your bookings range from Norwegian Synth Pop to Psychedelic Soul.

“Plus we needed a better sound system,” explains Matt, with a faint flicker of more challenging memories,  “…we’ve had a lot of problems with sound engineers over the years, maybe not being able to communicate with bands as well as they should. But here you’ve got the best engineers that are out there – they’re really skilled at what they do.”

“We’ve built relationships with them as well,” adds Tom, “they know what we want from a night and we trust them that they’re going to deliver, which is important for our shows.”

“There’s a lot that can happen in that first half hour when a band arrives,” continues Matt, “they’re probably a bit miserable because they’re on a tour bus and they haven’t slept. It’s really important to have someone who knows how to greet them and softens the atmosphere straight away.” I imagine mini vans of Pan Atlantic angst turning up to The Yardbird with jet lag and specifics. “That’s why it works so well here (Hare & Hounds), it’s such a well established venue for touring bands. There’s showers back stage, well there’s one…”

“They have good, lounge feel green rooms too,” adds Tom. “It manages to have a real homely feel, but with all the professional support you want from a venue. It was perfect for us when we were upping the level of bands we were going for.”

And that back slapping synergy seems to have paid off, with This Is Tmrw promoting what could be seen as difficult line ups in a city “considered sixth on the pecking order” by some touring acts. “We’re behind Nottingham sometimes,” laments Matt. But he’s right; Hebden Bridge Trades Club gets acts that often jump over Birmingham.

All Years Leaving '14 - double flyer - medBut despite enough council mudslinging to keep the Manchester/Birmingham arm wrestle in European funding for the next two generations, “the Birmingham audience are out there,” declares Tom.

“There are a lot of familiar faces coming down to our shows that we’re very grateful for, and I think we’ve got to a point now where people trust what we’re putting on. Birmingham doesn’t necessarily deserve the bad rep it can have.”

But it takes tough skin, tenacity and graft (and some pretty sexy artwork, courtesy of Lewes Herriot) all of which This Is Tmrw will culminate for the second time in their now annual All Years Leaving Festival – taking place at the Hare & Hounds from Friday 24th to Sat 25th October.

“We put Eagulls on earlier this year and we loved them,” Matt says about the Friday night headliner. “They supported a band called Merchandise for us and were just a really great live band – post Punky, inspired by The Fall. Good lads from Leeds.”

“They were really humble too,” explains Tom, “we often cook for the bands we book and Eagulls were in the kitchen with us, washing up, having a beer. I remember asking one of them ‘what’s your plans?’ and he was like, ‘well, when this all dies down I’ll probably just go work on the (telephone) poles with my dad.’ Totally down to earth.”

But you must have had a few on the festival long list, were Eagulls an easy choice for the first night headliner? “We spoke to them about All Years Leaving when they did their gig in Venue Two, which they sold out,” answers Matt, “and the next day their agent contact us and said yeah, they’d really like to do that. And because they are quite dark, Punky, noisy and abrasive there are plenty of bands we can book around them.”

Matt walks through the Friday night who’s who, “Cheatahs are quite Shoegaze but with a Grunge element as well, God Damn are a great local band, Menace Beach are bit of a Leeds super group with members of Pulled Apart By Horses and a quite Low-Fi/Slacker type vibe, Bad Breeding are a very UK sounding Punk band from Stevenage, and Sunshine Frisbee Laser Beam are one of our favourite local bands.”

And how about Saturday, how easily did that fall into place? “We had more problems with the headliners on Saturday,” admits Matt, “we tried to get Hookworms for ages but they couldn’t commit as they were touring America,” it’s never easy spinning plates, “we were waiting and waiting and waiting, and about eight weeks ago got an email saying they’d (Hookworms) had just signed to Domino and wanted to do five dates in the UK; it was one of those divine interventions things.”(l-r) Matt Beck, Tom Hopkins / This Is Tmrw - by Ed King

Amen Brother, but that’s pretty close to the promotional wire. Are they worth the wait? “Hookworms were one of those bands that we always wanted to book,” explains Tom, “a very, very good live band. Great album too, one of our favourites.”

“They’ve got a real Kraut Rock influence but with loads of loop pedals and droney type things and effects on guitars,” adds Matt, “they’re one of these bands that everyone wants to play with. As soon as we said to Traams, another band we absolutely love, we’ve got Hookworms they were like ‘Yep, I’ll phone in sick but I want to play that show’. We wanted to give Victories at Sea a higher slot too after opening last year’s festival – they’re such a good live band and have just finished their album.”

With Echo Lake, The Voyeurs and Theo Verney also playing on Saturday it’s a strong line up. But with both headline acts coming from Leeds, didn’t you want to make the line up a little more local? “Across the two days there are five strong local bands,” says Tom, “but we wanted a good balance; eventually we want All Years Leaving to be a nationally recognised event.”

“We didn’t want it to be one of those Birmingham all day events with just one national band,” adds Matt, “we wanted to make it a more compelling line up with bands people read about but might not get to see.

And as far as Pscyh music goes, to us, Hookworms are the Holy Grail of bands that are around at the moment.”


All Years Leaving Festival comes to the Hare & Hounds on Fri 24th & Sat 25th October – presented by This Is Tmrw. Tickets are priced at £13.50 day ticket / £25 weekend. For more info and online bookings, visit:

Friday 24th Oct /

Saturday 25th Oct /


For more from This Is Tmrw, visit

For more from the Hare & Hounds (Kinsg Heath), visit

INTERVIEW: Sam Redmore – Freestyle

Sam Redmore - Freestyle / By Ed King

Words & pics by Ed King – follow him @EdKing2210

“You know when someone’s been doing something for a long time… you can tell they’ve mastered what they’re doing.”

I’m asking about the recent The Jungle Brothers gig, Freestyle’s first event since moving from a regular Friday night at The Bull’s Head to more sporadic spaces on the Hare & Hounds calendar. The man I’m asking is DJ/Producer Sam Redmore, who began promoting Freestyle “to get some more DJ bookings” and is now bringing Hip Hop luminaries to perform live in Kings Heath. Freestyle’s next event is a “double headliner” with Hackney Colliery Band and DJ Format on Fri 17th October; perhaps not that sporadic then.

“They (The Jungle Brothers) hadn’t played in Birmingham for a long time,” continues Redmore, “so there were a lot of people who really wanted to see them, or who had missed the opportunity before.” And can they still pull it off? “I haven’t seen them before so I don’t know what they were previously like, but as far as a Hip Hop show goes they were on it.”

Freestyle / he’s seen a couple. Sam Redmore has been promoting Freestyle since 2009, and until recently “it’s always been at The Bull’s Head.” Beginning as a free entry plug for the Gregorian holes left in the venue’s event calendar, Freestyle would pick up spares left by the regular promoters; when an awkward 5th week of the month threatened an empty room, Freestyle would fill it.

“It started when I was working behind the bar, then I realised I quite liked running a night so started doing it monthly. And then… I don’t know. I enjoyed doing it so I carried on. ” I’ve heard worse raison d’être. Then when Freestyle went weekly and had the live music…” a look of almost nostalgia surmises four years in a sentence. “I wanted to support local artists and the music scene in general, and it (Freestyle) seemed to be helping – so that became a good reason to carry on.”

Sam Redmore came to Birmingham from Bury St Edmonds, a placetoo small for any music scene to really happen,” and found shelter at Leftfoot Venues. His Freestyle events were booked with “an active effort – to constantly be seeing and finding acts that were playing in Birmingham,” and proffered a healthy, regular mix of the familiar and unknown; line ups would showcase Birmingham favourites, or those bubbling under the obvious but certainly worth a platform, alongside out of town acts that might not otherwise play in the second city. And it worked, picking up a somewhat sudden profile for both Freestyle and the man behind it. I’m surprised to learn Sam Redmore landed in Birmingham only six years ago.Freestyle presents... Hackney Colliery Band + DJ Format @ Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), Fri 17th Oct

“The main thing I look for when putting a line up together is that I have to like their music,” Redmore releases with a laugh of good nature, “if there’s a band that I hear and think are good, that’s the main thing. Then, once you’ve got a list of bands that you’re looking to book, you can start to fit together line ups.”

And after four years of weekly events, an endevour any promoter would wince at, are there any acts he wanted but didn’t get?  “There must be some, whether the dates didn’t work or the fees were a bit beyond what I could manage…” I lose him in a brief Scrubs moment of reflection, “… but I can’t think of any that stand out. Most of the bands I wanted to put on we put on.”

We talk more about the local music scene, the constraints (or comforts) of capacity, loyalty, and the problems facing Birmingham based promoters; I fish for cautionary tales from the near half decade Freestyle was promoted weekly.

Then the focus turns to October 17th, when the second Freestyle event following its ‘summer hiatus’, and shift from weekly in Moseley to whenever in Kings Heath, will promote big brass ensemble, Hackney Colliery Band, alongside another member of the Hip Hop who’s who, DJ Format. It’s a big line up, with two credible city centre headliners performing at the suburban venue – an incongruity the Hare & Hounds has become deftly familiar with.

“I’ve of known Hackney Colliery Band for a few years,” explains Sam Redmore, “they sort of broke though a few years ago with a cover of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’ and before that did quite a cheeky cover of ’Africa’ by Toto.” The thought of power ballads in big brass makes me curious, “…they’ve got a Prodigy medley too, and I think it was through those kind of things they started to catch people’s attention.”

Sam Redmore - Freestyle / By Ed KingIt’s an approach/homage that’s worked well for other acts – the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain jumps immediately to mind, but Hackney Colliery Band are predominantly brass. Overwhelmingly brass. Will that work at the Hare & Hounds?

“Here (at the Hare & Hounds) they’ve done really well with similar bands; they had Hot Eight Brass Band sell out earlier in the year, and they’ve had Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Young Blood Brass Band – all acts who would be inspiration for Hackney Colliery Band. They seem to do well here, there’s definitely a healthy thirst for it.”

And how about DJ Format, who’s sets manipulate music from Rock riffs to Jazz, and who arguably rose to prominence supporting Jurassic 5 and DJ Shadow – what does he feel about sharing a stage?

“When I spoke to Format about them (Hackney Colliery Band) he was like, ‘yeah wicked’. When he DJs he tends to play loads of funk, and you can tell from his productions that’s where a lot of his inspirations come from; Hackney Colliery Band are certainly on the funk spectrum.”

Will the audiences cross over, even in a venue known for an eclectic roster? “When I was putting the line up together I was pretty sure Format would be into what Hackney Colliery Band are doing, and vice versa. So to extend that, the fans of one would be into the other.” Freestyle may no longer be weekly, but it’s still a showcase.

What I’m hoping for is that people who are there for Hackney Colliery Band will stay to see DJ Format, and people who have come for DJ Format will get down early enough to see Hackney Colliery Band as well.”

And with the pre-promotion “doing well,” (promoter’s slang for selling tickets) Sam Redmore may well get his wish; as Freestyle continues its transition from regular low key line ups to bigger, one off events. But even as he downplays the evolution, “I don’t see one as moving up from the other one,” I sense the ticking clock of ideas at least somewhere in the car.

But I guess that’s the problem with creative people, they just keep creating. Four years promoting weekly music events in a city you’ve recently moved to, and doing it well, is no mean feat; what do you do for Acts II, III & IV?

Often it’s just a matter of tenacity and patience. Or money. Or luck. Then, as with the artists Freestyle is now bringing to the city, after you’ve been doing something for a long time…

Freestyle presents… Hackney Colliery Band + DJ Format @ Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) on Friday 17th October. For further info & tickets, visit


For more on Hackney Colliery Band, visit

For more on DJ Format, visit


For more on Freestyle, visit

For further listings form the Hare & Hounds, visit

INTERVIEW: Hannah Trigwell

hannah_trigwell_press_shot (1)

By Ed King

“There are just four of us, including me, but we make quite a big sound.”

Hannah Trigwell explains the full band baggage she’ll be taking with her on tour, “and we’ll be playing a lot of the new songs, so people who will be coming to the gigs will be getting the very first listen.”

And ‘first’ seems to be the word. Next Wednesday (Jan 15th) Hannah Trigwell kicks off her debut headline tour at the O2 Academy Birmingham, with her first release on 3 Peace Records also now out – the four track Pieces EP.

Playing five consecutive dates across the UK, starting in Birmingham, Hannah’s January road trip will be the first time it’s been all about her. “I’m ready for it – I’ve rehearsed a lot,” declares Hannah, “I’m prepared. I mean, I’m a little bit apprehensive; when you headline a tour more of the people coming to gigs are coming to see you, but I’m confident about the shows.” She sounds it too, “it’s been a dream to do my own headline tour.”

And one she’s arguably worked for. Cutting her teeth busking on the street of Leeds, Hannah Trigwell began performing whilst still in college. “The first time I went (busking) it was quite a daunting experience,” describes Hannah, “but you get so much live experience. Not everyone’s going to like the genre of music you’re playing, and you’re playing to people who might not have wanted to listen, who are just walking past; it helps you to get thicker skin.”

And what made you start at street level, as opposed to on stage? “I saw a guy busking in Leeds town centre and asked if I could use his equipment and have a go. It was scary the first few times but you kind of get used to it. I was working as a waitress and thought, if I can do something I love then why not.”

Did you make any money? “I made the same amount I would have made being a waitress, so it seemed like a brilliant little Saturday job whilst I was in college. I haven’t been able to do it in the past year as I’ve been too busy.”

But it was online that Hannah Trigwell built her wider audience, posting covers and original material onto YouTube. Her website reports ‘over 6 million views and (gains) over 10,000 hits per day.’

And it didn’t stop at us proles. After a couple of years publishing performances online, Hannah Trigwell got noticed by Boyce Avenue – the Puerto Rican/American rock band of brothers, who had recently split from Universal Republic to form their own label, 3 Peace Records. Invited to support Boyce Avenue on several UK tour dates, Hannah developed a solid relationship with the US three piece, culminating in a record deal with their independent imprint.

They (Boyce Avenue) had been online for a few years and I’ve been subscribed to them from the off,” tells Hannah; “the videos they put online inspired me to post my own. I’d already started busking and I just thought, what’s the worst that can happen?”

“So I did that for a couple of years; then Boyce Avenue saw my cover off ‘Teenage Dream’ (Katy Perry) and sent an email to my manager asking if I’d want to support them on tour. It’s was mental; they were my favourite band, I’d had their album on repeat, it was just crazy. Obviously I said yes.”

Was the reality as sweet? After all, creative temperaments can run cold as well as hot – and many great minds find they actually don’t think alike. Especially on the road.

 “They (Boyce Avenue) give a lot of constructive criticism,” responds Hannah, “but I learnt a lot touring with them. And having a label run by musicians, so they actually care about the music you make as well as being your record label, has been fantastic. It’s given me a lot more than maybe other labels could have.”

But every investor still seeks a return, and for record labels a big part of that is through releases and sales. Hannah Trigwell signed with 3 Peace Records in 2012, with her first EP, Pieces, coming out in October 2013. Now into 2014, is there pressure for an album?

“I’m still learning my craft,” admits Hannah, “and some of the tracks on the Pieces EP I wrote when I was 18, so it’s been a long time coming for me getting some new material out.” Is there a change in your new material, a shift from the acoustic approach that you first promulgated online?

 “I’m writing with a lot of songwriters and producers, especially Ollie Green,” the Scarborough born, Leeds based artist & producer who has worked with Rebecca Ferguson, Olly B and Jake Gosling – the latter eventually signing Green to a publishing deal.

“I feel this EP is representative of the sound I’m going to be making from now on. So a lot of this year is going to be writing, more live performances, and making sure the album is going to be the best it can be.”

Peice EP - cover

And any pressures, coming from on or off stage, which might expedite your endevours?

“The worst thing would be to rush something just because people want an album,” explains Hannah, “they want a good one.

You can never do your first album again.”


Hannah Trigwell plays the O2 Academy 3 on Weds 15th Jan. For further information and tickets, visit

For more on Hannah Trigwell, including links to digital purchases of her Pieces EP and other material, visit

INTERVIEW: Harley Davies – founder of Beta Birmingham

beta-birmingham-banner-master - sm

One of the good things about music journalism is being sent new music for free.

From bootlegs and demos, to albums and EPs; raw home spun productions that you may otherwise never hear.

One of the better things is when these independent releases turn out to be good. Or really good. So good that you listen to it twice, then again, then again the next day – eventually laying it to rest in your iTunes account next to polished purchases from the majors.

Beta Birmingham’s latest album, ‘Council Pop’, was one of the latter; I think the response I penned was ‘spanked’. But ‘really good’ will do just as well.

A ten track mash up melange of Roots, Dub and Hip Hop, featuring a range of Birmingham based artists, including Automaton, Feva, Sam Redmore, DJ Switch and Redi Knightz – to cite but a few.


So, enthused by production values and a B fronted postcode, Birmingham Review went on the hunt – tracking down Beta Birmingham’s founder, Harley Davies (aka Terrorbyte), in his Hockley studio.

“I always want it to be a Birmingham thing,” says Davies, explaining the ‘Council Pop’ album. “A lot of people were getting exposure through producing bootlegs, or remixes in general, and I knew so many people in Birmingham who were doing that, it just seemed right to make it into a release.”

And how was that coordinated, was it difficult to pull in so many collaborators? “I started off thinking ‘I’ll make an EP – with four tracks’. Then I ended up with six tracks. Then eight tracks. Then I thought, ‘now I’ve got to get ten tracks and make a full album’. It became a question of where to stop.”

Birmingham Review was impressed by the production value of ‘Council Pop’. And although each track is underpinned by samples, including The Specials, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Ludacris, Royce Da 5’ 9” and even The Beatles, it felt each contributor maintains an identity, whilst feeding into the overall feel of the album.

Was it hard to compile something old, new and borrowed (the cover is a light blue)?

“There were times where I had to go back and say ‘that doesn’t fit into the style of the release’, but once you start to pull the tunes together you get an idea of what the whole album will sound like.”

So did anything not make the final cut?

“No… well, I remember one tune was a bit too Gangster Rap.  Not that it was a bad tune, it just didn’t fit in with the Roots and Hip Hop feel of the rest of the album. So that didn’t get included.”

Roots, Hip Hop, Dub, Gangster Rap. And now Glitch Hop. Which Davies and his label are proud purveyors of, having recently come back from a UK Glitch Hop Tour. A tour which took them the several cities, but not Birmingham.

“I think maybe I’ve got home town blues,” admits Davies, “but I’ve put so many parties on in Birmingham where they can be really hit or miss; sometimes they’re brilliant, sometime they’re utterly terrible. And it’s not just our own events; if it’s not easily commercial I think you can struggle as a promoter in Birmingham.”

But you run a label with Birmingham in the name? “I wanted to galvanise what I saw as a fractured scene in Birmingham,” explains Davies, “and I hoped by setting up the label, and calling it Beta Birmingham, that people from Birmingham would present it. That it could only be positive.”

Has that happened? “In some ways it has, and then… in a lot of ways it’s put the people who are on the label…” I sense creative, entrepreneurial, or civic, frustration, “how to explain it.

None of our artists are ‘up and coming’, they’re all established in Birmingham – in their own right, but I feel they’re now better known outside of Birmingham because of it (Beta Birmingham), which is interesting. But I think in Birmingham it hasn’t changed much at all.”

I’ve heard this before. And I remember Davies telling me about two punters at their Bristol gig, proudly explaining to him and Tom Dunstan (aka Automaton) how they had travelled from Edinburgh to see them. Maybe its “home town blues’” as Davies reiterates, but there’s no denying Birmingham can expose a provincial mentality.

So what’s next? ‘Council Pop’ is gathering momentum, Beta Birmingham are hosting a stage at the Drop Beats Not Bombs 10th Anniversary; what’s the next move for Davies?

“We’re getting much more into the Glitch Hop scene, so that’s led me to the next stage of the label – Beta Test.”


“Beta Birmingham is just Midlands based producers, and through doing the mash ups (Council Pop) I’ve realised the scope of genres we can put out in that label can be anything really, and I like that. Whereas the new label, Beta Test, will be just Glitch Hop releases”.

And why Glitch Hop?

“There’s a freedom with it that I’m excited to work with. And from putting various events we’ve got to know some solid producers from all over the country, and are now we’re affiliated with UK Glitch Hop (the widely regarded pioneers of the subgenre). So now that ‘Council Pop’ has been released, my attention is on the new label – Beta Test.”

And Glitch Hop. Which is what, exactly?

Davies grins, “…I would hate to define what it is,” Try? “Well, to me its stuttered edits, accidental glitches, wobbly basslines, all on a Hip Hop tempo. But it can be anything. It can encompass so many genres, from straight out Hip Hop, scratching, to more funky inspired stuff.

It gives you the freedom to make anything. That’s what I love about Glitch Hop.”

beta-test---chemical-coercion - sm

Beta Test broadcast a monthly show on Glitch.FM, the online radio station devoted to the subgenre, so you can describe it yourself.

To listen in, visit

For more on Beta Birmingham, visit


Itch -promo image

Itch, is ‘releasing free tracks and videos over the coming months’.

First up is ‘Spooky Kids’ – a Daily Mail baiting attack on the preconceptions about today’s youth. Tough, raw and perhaps and aggressively self defeating – check it out here:

‘Spooky Kids’ – Itch (click here)

itch-spooky-kids - sm & crop

Recently signed to Red Bull Records, Itch was previously front man of Punk Rockers – The King Blues. Now solo, ‘Spooky Kids’ is from Itch’s current EP – ‘Manifesto Pt.1: How to Fucking Rule at Life’.

And after having recently supported AWOLNATION across the UK, Itch is back working on his debut album – rumoured for a Spring/Summer release.

Richard Wright caught up with Itch for a polite Birmingham Review Q&A.


BR: Hi Itch, you’re debut EP ‘Manifesto PT 1’ came out in December last year, how was that for you?

ITCH: it was amazing for me because I’d been working on music for the past 2 years and this was the first release. I was so excited to get it out there and have people hear what I’ve been working on

BR: How would you describe your new sound? Maybe, compared to what you have done in the past?

ITCH: I’m not sure yet, I’m weary of labeling it because I want to be able to do anything. I’m a punk rock kid attacking hip hop, I guess kind of like what the beastie boys did, but I’m pushing myself to keep moving forward.

BR: Do you think you’ll still appeal to fans of The King Blues?

ITCH: I have no idea, to be honest, appealing to anyone wasn’t even in our minds; if no one liked my shit I’d still make it just because I love vibing to it. I’ve done one support tour so far and there were definitely kids in King Blues t shirts bouncing around so I hope so.

BR: And do you believe the messages sent through your lyrics with The King Blues, such as the state of jobs in this country, will still come across in the same manner with this new project?

ITCH: The core of the philosophies behind The King Blues are the same things I still believe in – love mainly. It’s the motivation for everything.

BR: You released ‘Manifesto’ as a free download, what’s your thinking behind this? Do you think more artists should make their music more readily available to potential fans?

ITCH: I personally just wanted to get music out there so people could hear it. What other artists do is up to them, there’s probably too much free music about nowadays, it can be a bombardment but I was in a lucky enough position that the label were down with me releasing 2 EPs for free so I thought it’d be cool.

BR: The songs on ‘Manifesto’ feel quite dub influenced; what, music or otherwise, would you say influenced you while writing this record?

ITCH: Hip hop, punk rock and reggae are really at the core of what I love, as a lyricist, anything that makes me feel any emotion I grab with both hands. We wrote and recorded 3-4 songs a day when we were in the studio so we just went at it hard, we didn’t give ourselves time to sit around and talk ourselves out of doing anything weird so we just saw everything through to the end. It was really liberating for me, now I feel I can write about anything and put my stamp on it.

BR: Your first Single ‘Spooky Kids’ feels much darker than The King Blues, what spurred on this change?

ITCH: The whole reason for me doing this was that I wanted to do something different to The King Blues. I’ve always loved darker music; and I love positive, life affirming music too. I just wanted to try out everything and not limit myself.

BR: Your tracks, such as ‘London Is Burning’ contain a lot of expletives, how do you think the radio stations will take this? Or people in general?

ITCH: I don’t give a fuck.

BR: You have an extensive tour coming up, including the Vans Warped Tour in America; how are you feeling about getting on the road? Where are you most looking forward to playing?

ITCH: I’m really excited to get back on the road, it’d been a year since I’d been on tour and I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to do it anymore, if I just wanted to stay in the studio but on the first night when I got the mic in my hand and felt the power and the rush again I knew where I wanted to be. I’ve never toured America soIi’m looking forward to that a lot.

BR: And any other plans for the future we should look out for?

ITCH: My album’s dropping in May, it’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait for people to hear it.


Itch’s EP, ‘Manifesto Pt.1: How to Fucking Rule at Life’ is out now on Red Bull Records.

 For more on Itch visit /