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King Cobra - Interview

  by Olga Sladeckova

published: 30 / 1 / 2004

King Cobra - Interview


Rising indie guitar band All Else Failed reformed a year ago out of the ashes of another band, Stigma. The group talk to Olga Sladeckova about their forthcoming new single and increasing gig schedule

When all else fails there is always a way out of things. in the case of one time group Stigma, this is particulary true. When Stigma didn’t work out , its members didn’t want to stop making music and so reformed in new band called All Else Failed. The beginning of formation of the band dates back to 1999 when Nat Cantor, Nick Evans and Al Thorpe, started playing together in Stigma. At the time they weren’t very ambitious which lead to their split 2 years later, but a year later they got back together at the end of 2002 for a one off gig. The gig resulted in the formation of All Else Failed with Tom Christensen joining the band on guitar. A year after their formation Pennyblackmusic met up with All Else Failed just after they had played a gig at the London music venue, the Telegraph in Brixton. The band will be soon releasing their debut single and have recently played a mini tour around Britain. Their fan base is growing steadily and they have also recently recorded their first video which they promise to be highly entertaining. To find our more we talked to Nick, Al and Nat... PB: When and where did you meet each other for the first time and how did you get into music at the very beginning? NE: I used to go to nursery school with Nat and Tom. We have known each other were 3 years old. We all kept in touch. Later Nat started playing a guitar and so did Tom and then we decided to form a band. At the time I played drums. So that’s how it kind of started but that’s ages ago and we just did covers back then. AT: I have done music since ever. My mum plays a lot of instruments like the clarinet, the piano and stuff like that. And I wanted to play drums and be in a band. We were also into Nirvana and Soundgarden, who were our major influence back then NE: We also like Metallica and stuff like that ,but I think our music nowadays is influenced more by British bands like Radiohead. I lived in Australia for three years from the age of 14. There are a lot of bands and music around and that influenced me a lot. My dad would try getting me into playing music. So my dad was a big influence as well. He plays a lot of instruments himself. PB: So when you first started playing it wasn’t anything serious. How did you get together and form All Else Failed? NE: I was playing with Nat and Tom but we met up like once every few weeks. We were called Peach at one point I think. (Laughs) I was in this band before then but I got kicked out for not playing the guitar well enough. I then spent about 6 months learning how to play the guitar and to sing properly and then we sort of restarted the band together. We got Al on drums and then this guy Dan. We called ourselves Stigma at the beginning but we weren’t very ambitious. We were just mucking about for about 2 years and then split up. Then we did this one off gig at Christmas in 2002 at Dublin Castle and we hooked up with Will, who is our manager, and started up again. We take things more seriously now. PB: Why did you decide to call yourself All Else Failed? AT: I had a dream about our band and we weren’t called Stigma but All Else Failed. That was at the point when we were deciding on a new name. I told the rest of the band and they were like “F*** off!” but later we all liked it. NE: We also always have a huge problem with naming songs. It’s just hard. When you write a song and then when you need a title you need something that relates to the song, but which also doesn’t sound s**t because otherwise people won’t like it and even listen to it. PB: How does it actually work in the band when you are working on a new song? Do you all collaborate together or do you write separately? NE: Our best songs come from kind of organic situations when we just sit in a room and one of us will come up with something and then we all jam on it. I always write lyrics but the music comes first. Because we all contribute to song writing we also manage to come up with relatively varied sounds. You can definitely tell the difference between when I write and Nat writes because we each have a different style. I would also say that music that we like can’t be really counted as our influences. I was brought up on Metalliica and Megadeth and all those kind of metal bands and also Roxette and Michael Jackson. The music we play is kind of characteristically in the middle of that. We mix it together in our own style. PB: You will be releasing your debut single soon. Could you tell me more about it? NE: Yeah, it’s going to be released on the 22nd of March on Gallus records which is supported by our manager and Mark Spencer who runs Music media. Mark is one of those guys who has lived his life in music and he is a really great guy. NC: There is also bit of each track on our web site which people can download and listen to. We are not quite sure which track will be the first yet. For a long time it was going to be ‘Surprise Me’ and then ‘Afterthought’. But they are quite different. The second one is a bit more poppy. The track listing will probably be now 'Afterthought’, Surprise Me’ and ‘Why Are You Still Here’. We used to sell demos but this time we want to go for a proper release thing and get it into shops and I think it looks better. AT: One of the problems we have is that London is so big and you can spend life time just touring London. You only get your mates to come along. So it’s good to have some music on the web sites. People can listen to it and if they like it they can come and see us live. PB: You have also recently recorded your first video. NC: Yeah, it’s for the song called ‘Why Are You Still Here’. My girlfriend studies media and video. She and her friend were doing some work at their college and suggested they would do the video for us as a part of their work. We recorded some of it in Lake District but there is also live stuff as well from when we played at the Hope and Anchor here in London on the 13th December 2003. Some of it will definitely be available on the web site. We haven’t seen it yet but are really looking forward to it. PB: What are your plans for the near future? NE: A lot of gigs. It’s pretty hectic because we are all still at university and our manager has a job and playing gigs is very expensive especially if we want to play outside London as well. And we still need to rehearse as well. Financially, it’s a problem because I’m now £ 6,000 in debt and we are all in debt just by being students. AT: We do have a great time as well just seeing people and the reaction from the audience is really good as well. It would be great to be like the biggest band in the world but the real reason why we started playing is just because we all really enjoy it. NE: Even at the darkest hour we still like doing it. A lot of things went wrong at tonight's gig. My guitar strap fell off, the lead kept popping out of the guitar and on stage the sound was so bad that it was difficult to play. Even though I was really pissed off on the stage I was kind of enjoying it as well (Laughs) because it’s just an excuse to kind of let go. No matter what happens there is always a lot of adrenalin and that’s the really good thing about it. At every gig we have people coming up to us and saying that they like our music. We also noticed that a lot of the times we also manage to steal the audience of the other bands we play with.. (Laughs) PB: Is there anything you would like to add? NC: Nick and Tom also do acoustic gigs. Our bassist, Tom, always wanted to be a guitarist so we let him do acoustic gigs. (Laughs) NE: It’s great because with the band we have more songs in a moreu p-tempo and rocky style and then more melodic and kind of emotional slower songs, but acoustic songs are lot different. It’s really good to dot that for change as well. We have specific acoustic songs that are really good acoustically but won’t work for the band. We just go in and do what comes naturally but with the band I have to be more conscious. AT: We put everything into the band. As Mike Spencer from Total Rock and Radio Caroline had said about us “The best unsigned band that I play on my show and I only play the best.” PB: Thank you.

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King Cobra - Interview

King Cobra - Interview

King Cobra - Interview

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