Introducing Interview: Hana Piranha

Having performed at a number of prestigious venues including Wembley Arena, The O2, and Koko, as well as having supported the likes of Anna Calvi, goth-rockers Hana Piranha create a unique blend of dark, tantalising sounds.

With the release of their new album, Waiting To Burn, set for release next month, we caught up with front-woman Hana Maria to find out more…

Hi Hana Piranha, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hana Piranha is a four piece goth rock band with violin as a feature. We’re loud and very dark.

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
I was working on the project for a few years before I met Jim in a pub and he joined the band. I had just finished our first full-length album Cold Comfort and was working on our second album Fishing with Dynamite, while Jim and I got to know each other and got comfortable writing together. Waiting to Burn is the first songwriting collaboration between the two of us and it’s all the better for it. Dan and Andy joined the band about two years ago and we’ve all been working hard together ever since. After years of lineup changes, it’s wonderful to have a band that is growing together.

Your new album Waiting To Burn is out very soon – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the album?
Waiting to Burn follows themes of a witch being burned at the stake. My songs all serve to exorcise my personal demons and as such, explore my role as both victim and architect of my own destruction.

 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Juliette Lewis and Shirley Manson, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I have listened to a lot of Garbage actually, but my biggest influence is probably Nine Inch Nails – in sound, vibe and lyrics. I’m also really into Lana del Rey at the moment – I started playing the harp recently and began by arranging Lana del Rey covers before working on my own material.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
I also play violin for a band called Birdeatsbaby which is fronted by the queen that is Mishkin Fitzgerald. We spark off each other a lot and also tour together with the two bands. We meet a lot of great bands along the way. I’m based in Brighton and Watford, which both have thriving music scenes and a lot of talent.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
We bring an energetic and compelling set to the stage and have a good rapport as a band. Our live sound is less produced and more “punk” than the record, with a no-frills style that showcases our musicianship.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Some of the memorable artists we’ve played with recently include Emberhoney, Unwoman, Jason Achilles, Sit Kitty Sit, Oli Spleen, Ailen and Death Ingloria, to name a few. And of course Birdeatsbaby!

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
The internet provides an equal platform for anyone who wants to be heard, which is a great thing but also makes it difficult to stand out. We try to tour as much as possible to entice new fans to the dark side.

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Hana Piranha?
We are releasing Waiting to Burn next month which is hugely exciting as it’s been over three years in the making, so we’ll be supporting that with shows over the UK and hopefully Europe. We have two videos to release alongside it (‘Naked Flame’ and ‘Waiting to Burn’), and are working on two more. I also recently did a Kickstarter campaign for my solo harp album Wednesday’s Child, so I am finishing that at the moment, for exclusive release to my backers next month and then a wider release later in the year. We have also almost finished writing our fourth album, with the aim to record it later in the year.

Huge thanks to Hana Piranha for answering our questions! 

Waiting To Burn, the upcoming album from Hana Piranha, is out 22nd March via Fourglove Records.

 

FIVE FAVOURITES: Sarah P.

Sarah P. (former front-woman of Keep Shelly In Athens) has shared her new EP Maenads with the world, and it’s a record that openly explores the theme of female power in all its magic, strength and “imperfect perfection”. The record is a triumphant return for the artist, who has been busy championing public conversations about mental health through the creation of her monthly zine EraseRestart, which aims to wipe out the stigma that surrounds it. 

We caught up with Sarah P. to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting technique. Check out her responses below…

1. Sad Lovers & Giants – Les Années Vertes
This record is everything to me. Pure 80s sound, conscious-but-mysterious lyrics, eerie vocals. I’ve always loved the “hopeless romantic” vibe of the post punk-scene. Les Années Vertes is a classic, timeless piece of art. Even if the sound is now considered vintage, the lyric themes are easy to connect with. This album is a manifesto for the youth – I believe every generation can relate to it. I put on this record when I need a push in my life. It makes me feel powerful and confident. It takes me back to being a suburban teen with dirty converse shoes trying to grasp from the complexities of coming of age. And whenever I’m playing it, I think of this awkward child (that grew up to be an even more awkward adult), her tough years and how she overcame the hardships.

2. Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth
I guess I’m naturally attracted to haunting melodies, thought-provoking lyrics and quirky vocals. This is my favourite Nine Inch Nails album and one of my top records of all time. I remember listening to With Teeth for the first time and being genuinely impressed by the arrangements and how every sound is right where it belongs (pun intended). Also, it’s safe to say that NIN are the most amazing band I’ve seen performing live. The production of everything they do is so detailed-oriented and perfect, and always leaves me in their awe. ‘Right Where It Belongs’ is perhaps my most favourite song in the world. It’s so raw, authentic and honest – a truly inspiring composition. Most of the things I strive to be, I’ve learned courtesy of NIN and With Teeth.

3. Tim Buckley – Goodbye And Hello
When I was around 6 years old, my dad made me a mixtape and included ‘Phantasmagoria in Two’ on it. Boy, didn’t I fall in love? I asked him “who’s Tim Buckley?”, he showed me a picture and I was ready and committed to get married to him. Dad told me that Tim Buckley had died, but that didn’t matter, because he was set out to be my forever crush. An angel for me – a tortured soul, regardless. Goodbye And Hello is too pretty to be man-made. Vulnerability was Buckley’s strength. ‘Pleasant Street’ is a truly moving song about addiction, but there are far too many gems in this album. Buckley wrote from his heart – he never took a vocal lesson or cared for chords and song structures. To me, he’s one of the greatest artists to have ever walked on earth.

4. Anne Clark – Joined Up Writing/The Sitting Room
POETRY! Anne Clark, the ultimate siren – she’s so intense. ‘Our Darkness’ is obviously her most popular song to date, however the whole record is pure beauty. She’s one of the most fascinating artists, I’ve ever come across. I love how committed she’s always been to her artistry. I point that out knowing how tough the industry is with women who are not making what they like to call “mainstream music”. But Anne Clark is a true badass and never shied away from speaking truths on her songs. Beautiful arrangements, leaving room for majestic spoken words that make you shiver.

5. Dionysis Savvopoulos – Vromiko Psomi
‘Zeimpekiko’ is one of the songs that makes me very emotional. My parents played it every time they had their friends over – it brings back memories of their parties at home, the smell of cigarettes and whiskey, the breeze coming in from the open window, the muffled sound of philosophical conversations, music and the sounds of cars passing by. I’ve reconnected with this record while in Berlin – away from home. This record was released two years before the fall of Greece’s military junta. Savvopoulos was jailed twice during that time – the song ‘Dimosthenous Lexis’ is about him in jail thinking how life would be if he got out of jail (apparently, not too bright, because democracy seemed like a dream at the time). In times where fascism slips through even the tightest layers of our societies, it’s important to look back and learn from our recent history. Democracy shouldn’t be taken for granted and neither should artistry and talent that’s bold and brave to address topics
that our societies may not be ready to hear about.

Follow Sarah P. on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: George Geranios

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: White Ring – ‘Nothing’

Warped, watery vocals and thumping percussion combine in densely hypnotic style on WHITE RING‘s latest single, ‘Nothing’. Taken from their recent album Gate Of Grief, the track is accompanied by a video which shows the pair immersed in their own sound.

Despite being their debut album, Gate of Grief (released via Rocket Girl Records) arrived eight years after WHITE RING’s benchmark EP, Black Earth That Made Me, which earned them a cult underground following. With an opening drum beat reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails’ infamous single ‘Closer’, ‘Nothing’ is a dark gem set to please fans of “gothic beats and sinister synth bass-lines” as well as loyal followers of the “witch house” movement .

The single is the first collaboration with newcomer Adina Viarengo, who added her vocals in 2016 to the existing instrumental track that Bryan Kurkimilis created for the first set of WHITE RING demos in 2009. The band was originally formed by Bryan and Kendra Malia after meeting on Myspace in 2006, with Bryan and Adina currently touring as a duo.

Watch the video for ‘Nothing’ below and follow WHITE RING on Facebook for more updates.

WHITE RING’s debut album Gate Of Grief is available here.

Photo credit: Jason PD

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

INTERVIEW: Queen Kwong

I arrived at Rough Trade East on Friday 27th July a gross mess, dripping in sweat, hoping the thunderstorm I’d just walked through was a decent excuse for my sloppy appearance. I was there to interview Queen Kwong (aka Carré Callaway) and to see her perform live for the first time. After being introduced, we sat in a corner of the record store, and fortunately for me – when I asked Carré how her support slot with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club went at The Forum the night before – she seemed to understand the discomfort the temperature caused: “It was hot. Really, really, hot. I guess they don’t have any air-con or filtration or anything here?”

When I asked if the heat affected her performance, she provided an unusual insight: “It gives more desperation I guess. There were definitely some points in the set where I was like “I’m gonna pass out right now” – but I’ve played a lot of shows like that, so I should be used to it. I’m used to misery”. We laughed at the quotability of her last sentence, before I changed the subject to her recent support slots with Nine Inch Nails in Las Vegas. She played three consecutive nights with them, and I asked how the shows went, and how they compared to the time she played with the band in 2005 & 2009:

“Well to be honest, I thought that it couldn’t get worse than when I opened for them in 2005. I played by myself with a guitar I borrowed from Trent. I didn’t really even have songs, so it was really stressful, really hard, and people were throwing stuff at me. It was crazy. I was only a teenager at the time, and I was like “Okay, if I can live through this, I can live through anything…” and then it got worse in Vegas…

The drummer I’d been using for a year basically went crazy and had some kind of mental break down. He ended up having to be removed by security because he was on the floor of the dressing room face down, crying. That was the second show in, then he disappeared and I didn’t know if he would even come for the third show. I thought I was gonna have to play the third show as an acoustic set because I thought he’d actually left town. Then he showed up, played the show, and it was really rough – I don’t think he played one song correctly – but we pulled it off. I fired him as soon as we got off stage, and he just laid on my floor and cried. It was a very, very bizarre situation.

So…that was pretty stressful! But in terms of how the actual shows went and how it was received, it was better than ever. I was surprised actually. It’s crazy because I’ve been lucky enough to open for NINs so many times, but they’re always the most stressful types of shows. When I opened for them as a teenager, it was first show they’d played in years – many, many years. And then, I opened for them for the last shows of their Wave Goodbye Tour, so these shows were both very exclusive, limited ticket shows with the most hardcore NINs fans ever. So, in Vegas I wasn’t expecting anything good, but we ended up making some new fans, so that was great”.

Her musical baptisms of fire are pretty full on, so I voiced my own awe at her ability to push through despite these setbacks. I asked her about her anticipations for the headline show she was set to play at Rough Trade in a few hours: “I’m just trying to keep an open mind because I’ve never done an in-store gig that’s actually, literally in the store. I’m curious to see how it goes because our set is pretty loud and aggressive, and it’s kind of funny when it’s in this setting. You feel like you should tone it down, but we might as well turn it up. Go from one extreme to the other”.

I broached the subject of her latest album, Love Me To Death, which she was in town to promote, and asked what she was most proud of on this record: “It’s actually one of the only records I’ve really been proud of because it was a challenge for me. I wanted to make a record that pushed me in terms of my own personal goals. My first record Get A Witness was all improvised and a concept record. Nothing was pre-written or edited, it was just like – record, release – which made it very hard to listen to. For a debut EP, I think I drew a pretty hard line in the sand. I wanted to take more time on this new record and make sure it was a bit more polished. People were like “Can you even write a chorus? Do you even know how to write a song?” – I never really cared about that stuff – but I was kind of curious to see what I could do as a songwriter, and to see what I was capable of. I think all the goals I set for myself, I reached, so this record is definitely the most well-rounded record I could’ve made. It represents every facet of who I am and what my interests are”.

I briefly interrupted to ask what her favourite track was, and why: “My favourite song is probably ‘Sun of Life’ which we aren’t playing tonight. It’s the least listener-friendly song, and it was the last song I recorded on the final day in the studio. It took about thirty minutes, and it was like my first record because it was improvised and heavy, but we’re not playing that tonight because our drummer that we’ve only just met (Sara from The Pearl Harts) only knows so many songs because we literally just met her, and ‘Sun Of Life’ is a really hard song to play if you’ve never played with us before.”

I asked about her new video for single ‘Raptures’ which features Carré running through a dimly-lit corn field. She explained the process that brought the footage to life: “I wanted to do a video of just one continuous shot of me running, with the camera tracking me. We needed to find a place where there was enough space for that in New York, so we went up-state and found this place that was a Halloween maze. I come up with concepts that really test people’s patience. I was like “this is gonna be great!” and everyone was like “No-one is going to be able to sit through this”. But I thought it was really cool, so we tried it, but the Director couldn’t keep up with me when I was running and it was really cold, and I had this whole contraption strapped to my chest which was shining light in front of me. The whole “one shot” thing didn’t really work, it ended up being a real disaster and it took me months to edit it. I had to be really creative with it because there was actually not enough footage, so I used a lot of tricks. I really do like the video, but it definitely strayed from what I wanted it to be. I think for the song it’s really appropriate and fitting. But as per usual, it didn’t go as planned”

We both laughed, and I asked her if this was a common theme when it came to her ideas and how they materialized: “Yeah, It’s a thing. I’m used to things never working out. I’m very accepting of it now”

I moved away from questions about her own music and asked who she was currently listening to: “Everything I listen to is the super opposite of the music I make. I’ve realised I really love Billie Eilish. She’s a 15 year old pop-singer who is amazing. I feel like I’m kind of a creep because I’m way older than her and super obsessed with her music. I’m like her biggest fan, so if she ever comes and plays in town, I’m not sure if I can go to her show… there’s gonna be a bunch of kids with their parents there, and then there’s just me…” Carré laughed at the prospect of this. “She’s super talented, and she seems to have a great attitude. She’s gorgeous, but she dresses in clothes 20 sizes too big. I’m in to that! I listen to The Weeknd a lot too, but aside from that all the stuff I listen to is pretty old. Swans are my favourite band – Oh wait – I’m really looking forward to the new Spiritualized record actually”.

Before she left to begin sound-check, I asked what the rest of 2018 held for Queen Kwong. Carré said she had “no idea”, which prompted me to ask if that was code for “I have an idea, but it’s not going to work out the way I want it to”. She laughed and replied “Why even talk about plans when they’re clearly never going to happen? Hopefully something good will happen though. I was thinking about releasing an EP next year”. I jokingly asked if she’d have time for a holiday: “Maybe? Do you know what, that’s great for press – “Hey, I’m quitting for a while to go on holiday, thanks for the interview, I have no plans to continue this bullshit!” she laughed before setting off to tear up Rough Trade’s stage as the inimitable Queen Kwong.

Huge thanks to Carré for answering my questions.

Love Me To Death is available to order here.

Follow Queen Kwong on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: June 2018

We’re mid-way through 2018, and we’re ready to share another playlist packed with fresh new sounds for your very eager ears! Take some time to scroll through our track selections, hit play on the Spotify link below, and let your ears fill up with the glorious new sounds of June…

Fever Ray – ‘If I Had A Heart’
Fever Ray were one of the headliners of Field Day this year and it could not have been a better end to the festival, hypnotic beats, terrifyingly warped vocals and an explosive stage performance. Gender bending outfits, with reverberating sound all whipped up together by the psychedelic and endorphin inducing visuals. When this track started I lost my mind – wow wow wow. (Tash Walker)

Catgod – ‘Keep My Promises’
Lead by sibling duo Robin and Catherine, Catgod’s new single interweaves swirling folk-tinged melodies with trip-hop inspired beats. As Robin’s soaring vocals are perfectly complemented by Cat’s exquisite harmonies, it showcases the band’s unique musicality in a cinematic soundscape that’ll captivate on first listen. Heartbeat In My Hand, the debut EP from Catgod, is out 22nd June. (Mari Lane)

Dott – ‘Bleached Blonde’
Galway’s Dott have released the perfect single for girls who love sunshine, surfing, and super-catchy garage pop anthems. The track is taken from their upcoming album Heart Swell, which is set to be released via Graveface Records on 8th June. It’s not on Spotify yet, but you can watch the video for it below. (Kate Crudgington)

S4U – ‘Heart’
‘Heart’ is the latest single London-based duo S4U (Something For You) taken from their upcoming Mixtape Heart 2 Say, which will be released via Different Recordings on 6th July. Looking forward to that a lot… I’m loving S4U’s new low-slung R&B experimental electro with some heavy 90s influences. Of the track S4U says “Curved, Parallel conscious, sub conscious, the synergy of heart and mind generates wise choices that benefit all. In other words as you appreciate that which is appreciating you. It is a wonderful thing to hold someone as your object of attention while you feel that G force Roses in Britain” Lovely. (TW)

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘Make Girls Feel Good’
Combining activism with musical prowess, The Menstrual Cramps provide a captivating force that we all need now more than ever.  With their fist-clenching ferocity, racing catchy hooks and a tongue in cheek wit, they create truly infectious punk-rock anthems. And this track is no exception – an epic dose of empowering energy, with lyrics like “you always look like such perfection that you don’t even need to try”, it’ll leave you feeling good and ready to take on the world. And we CANNOT WAIT to see The Menstrual Cramps headline for us at The Finsbury on Friday(ML) 

Slowcoaches – ‘Found Down’
Having previously captured our hearts with the totally epic, anti-toxic-masculinity anthem ‘Complex’, Slowcoaches are back with a new single. Racing with a seething energy, ‘Found Down’ hits your ears with its scuzzy riffs and the raw, angst-driven vocals of Heather Perkins. Oozing an immense, punk-fuelled power, it’s a perfect blast of raging honesty that we need now more than ever. (ML)

Placebo – ‘Scared Of Girls’
I scored tickets to Placebo’s Meltdown gig at Southbank Centre (curated by Robert Smith) and although this will be the fourth time I’ve seen them (quit bragging Kate), my heart is still beating double time with joy at the prospect of potentially hearing this track live. I imagine this song title accurately describes how most men feel when they see me dancing to it on a night out… (KC)

The Joy Formidable – ‘Dance Of The Lotus’
This is the band responsible for getting me in to alternative music a decade ago, so when I heard new single ‘Dance Of The Lotus’, my inner 18 year old imploded. They’re playing Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival on the same day as NIN, and they’ll be playing at one of my favourite venues, The Lexington, in August. I missed out on tickets for both, so if anyone wants to help a girl out…I write good reviews… (KC)

Hilary Woods – ‘Inhaler’
‘Inhaler’ is the first single from Hilary Woods’ upcoming debut solo album Colt, which is set to be released via my favourite label Sacred Bones Records on 8th June. It’s a pensive, delicate, melancholy track about her struggles with homesickness, and it’s going to sound beautiful live when ringing out against the walls of St Pancras Old Church on 11th June. (KC)

VTR – ‘Soul To Skin’
‘Soul To Skin’ is taken from Brixton duo VTR’s recently released EP of the same name via Dream Diary. So sultry, so smooth, so seductive. This track reverberates around my ears giving me so much audible pleasure, very excited to hear more from these two in the future. (TW)

Barrie – ‘Tal Uno’
The new single from Brooklyn’s Barrie, ‘Tal Uno’ is filled with jangly hooks and swooning vocals, creating a totally dreamy, twinkling soundscape. As glistening synth-filled melodies glide alongside glitchy beats, it’s impossible not to float away in the shimmering, psychedelic haze that Barrie create. (ML)

ELA Lindsey – ‘Healing Me Slow’
This is the debut track from Nashville’s singer-songwriter ELA Lindsey who found her musical passion later in life starting at the age of 29. She says that by releasing this single she hopes to inspire other women to start their artistic journeys later than the typical industry standard usually allows. ‘Healing Me Slow’ has been firmly stuck in my head over the last couple of weeks, starting with her sweet and gentle vocals, then breaking down into this dark electro synth laden TUNE. With all the hooks and loops I could ever want. INTO IT. (TW)

Tigercats – ‘Candy’s Tailor’
Tigercats’ new single ‘Candy’s Tailor’ is filled with twinkling, jangly melodies and uptempo, calypso-like beats. Flowing with raw vocals and rich layers of sound, it’s an utterly uplifting summer anthem, and I’m already getting pretty excited about seeing these guys at Indietracks Festival next month! Pig City, the new album from Tigercats, is out now. (ML)

Nine Inch Nails – ‘Ringfinger’
I only discovered the true glory of NINs last year (always late to the party, when will I learn?) but I’m seeing Trent Reznor & co twice this month – at Meltdown Festival & The Royal Albert Hall – and I am nerve-shreddingly excited. ‘Ringfinger’ is one of my favourite tracks on 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine, and although they’re unlikely to play it live – I’ll still be bouncing off the walls in anticipation leading up to the gigs. (KC)

Photo Credit: Slowcaoches shot by Priti Shikotra

Track Of The Day: Black Needle Noise – ‘System Bi’ (Feat. Fakeba)

Black Needle Noise is the latest project from producer and musician John Fryer, who has previous production credits with the likes of Depeche Mode, Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Nine Inch Nails, Love and Rockets and HIM.

His most recent release ‘SyStem Bi’ is a collaboration with Senegalese vocalist FAKEBA, and it brims with atmospheric, sharply-produced electronics, and powerful vocals which make the hairs on the back of listener’s necks rise up in awe.

Dakar-based FAKEBA sings in her native Wolof language, creating a fusion between genres and continents, “merging tradition with futurism”. This single is accompanied by a video by Gina Czarnecki, derived from her film Spintex, which encapsulates the multiple, interconnected daily rhythms of physicality and mortality.

Listen to the incredible ‘System Bi’ below and follow Black Needle Noise & FAKEBA on Facebook for more updates.

‘System Bi’ is available to download from Bandcamp now.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut