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Music

HAWXX – Interview with Hannah Staphnill!

We had the pleasure of interviewing Hannah Staphnill, guitarist of HAWXX – an amazing all-female up and coming band!

Named after the bird of prey, with the double XX symbolising the double XX female chromosome. HAWXX write songs that reflect the lies of our current political climate, about self empowerment and how love’s a bitch.

Read the interview below and make sure you check out their new single ‘Deadlands‘!

 

How are you? How are you dealing with isolation and social distancing?

We’re missing each other! Getting very jealous of bands where members live together. We want to play and eat and drink together again!
Other than that, a mixture of fine and terrible.

 

When quarantine is over, who’s the first person you want to hug, first place you want to visit and first band you want to see live?

We want to hug each other, IN A PUB, and then get on stage!

 

How did it feel to win the PRS Women Make Music Award?

Genuinely screamed when we found out – it’s such an honour and amazing to think they see that potential in us – their support means a lot.

 

You’ve recently released your latest single ‘Deadlands’, what has the response to it been like so far?

It’s been great! It’s probably had the biggest number of streams within the first couple of weeks than any other track. Seems to have really resonated with our Israeli fanbase as the last I checked we had 1k listeners in Israel alone! It’s been great to see people connecting with the track.

 

Which of your latest singles is your favourite and why?

I guess we shouldn’t really have favourites as good song parents!

 

Does the band have any musical influences?

The band has so many influences! We are all lovers of all things heavy like Gojira, Deftones, Meshuggah and Tool but there is also a big influence from singer songwriters/poets in terms of lyrics and melody like Kate Tempest, PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi and Patti Smith.

We also all come from very different musical backgrounds – I come from a classical music background, Anna comes from a Greek folk/ classical music background and Jess and Iman come from a jazz background.

 

What bands/artists have you been listening to the most while in isolation?

Karnivool, Bjork, Kate Tempest, Code Orange, Deftones, Meshuggah, PJ Harvey, Angel Olsen, King Crimson

 

If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you be and what would you do?

I mean..if we didnt do something about Corona, we’d be dicks. Anti-viral Girls?

 

Do you have any favourite TV series that you could recommend to us?

I’m watching John Oliver‘s Last Week Tonight weekly, catching up on Walking Dead. Not a TV Series but I’ve just completed Lifers podcast with Ed Gamble on Spotify – he talks to musicians about their lives in the metal world and would def recommend that- really interesting.

 

Are any of you gamers? If so, which games do you play?

I’m in to my retro games on my Raspberry Pi – did a whole evening of drinking and Street Fighter recently. I’m from the school of mashing the buttons until something happens.

 

What can we expect from Hawxx in 2020?

A lot of social media action! We’ve been coming up with creative ways of getting HAWXX out there now that we’re not gigging so do follow us! (@hawxxmusic)

You can also expect a few more singles and hopefully an EP launch on October 8th at The Black Heart, Camden.

Music

Marilyn Manson – “Heaven Upside Down” Reviewed

Everyone’s favourite shock-rocker is back, with a clutch of new songs that will neither surprise nor disappoint long-term fans. Marilyn Manson’s latest album, Heaven Upside Down, was originally scheduled for release on Valentine’s Day earlier this year, so it’s been a long wait for those of us hungry for a new slice of industrially-tinged sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.

After close to three decades of shocking parents and teachers, Marilyn (real name Brian Warner) shows no signs of settling down with a pair of slippers and a cup of tea quite yet. With his usual smudged eyeliner and oiled-back hair firmly in place, Manson snarls and hisses with the same mixture of sneering detachment and distaste for the mainstream throughout the ten new tracks. The good (or bad) news, depending on how you see it, is that not much has changed here. Manson still combines whispers, harsh and clean vocals more seamlessly than the countless copycats he’s spawned during his reign. The subject matter still encompasses sex, drugs, murder and anti-conventionalism, and the music still pulses with the bassline of an underground club and the riffs of a band that know how to meld metal and electronic music in their sleep.

None of that’s to say that things are getting boring, though. If you’re a Manson fan, there’s plenty to get your teeth into. ‘Say 10’ (the original title of the album) channels Nine Inch Nails for a whispery industrial track that creeps along at a slow and menacing pace towards a typically irreverent chorus that riffs off his image as a kind of tongue-in-cheek antichrist for the modern era. ‘Revelation 12’ brings in some faster and more aggressive guitars that leave you wondering whether to dance or smash things, whilst Manson’s trademark drawl receives a distorted overlay that threatens to bring the tune into EBM territory. My personal pick from the album.

As fans of classic Manson know, the band does danceable grooves just as well as it does buzzing, distorted riffs, as evidenced more than satisfactorily by ‘Tattooed in Reverse’ and the melodic yet creepy ‘Kill4Me’, slower yet no less catchy. Some of these songs will be stuck in your head by the time you’ve finished listening, just to warn you.

In his own words, Manson intended the album to ‘f*** sh** up’ rather than change the world, and this is pretty much the effect he has achieved. Over a long career, Manson has already said everything he needs to say, kicked over as many cultural icons as he possibly can and shocked everyone who needs to be shocked. Now it’s time not to sit back and relax but to bring together all the best bits of the band’s sound and enjoy the madness. A lot of the swearing, subversion and Satanic imagery are still there, but they’re more like a part of the scenery for one really f***ed up party. Marilyn Manson won’t ever go back to the heady heights of Antichrist Superstar or Mechanical Animals, but that’s no reason not to crank this one up and enjoy!

Marilyn Manson are supporting the album with an extensive Europe-wide tour, ending up in the UK in December despite Manson’s close encounter with a gun-shaped prop in a recent show, which he is said to be recovering well from.Check out the album, pick up some merch and we’ll see you at one of his shows in the near future!

Music

Heavy Music Awards 2017 – Winners, Backstage Photos and More…

We’d be lying if we said there wasn’t the odd hangover in the EMP London office after an incredible night at the first ever Heavy Music Awards at House of Vans, London last night (August 24).

The Heavy Music Awards were set up as a completely independent awards ceremony to honour the best in rock and metal – with fans voting for their favourite contenders for each award. EMP was proud to be the headline sponsor for the event, which featured a number of awards for everything from best breakthrough band – recognising the most talented new faces on the scene – to best album artwork and best international band.

The event kicked off with a high-energy set from up-and-coming punksters Dead!, followed up by Vukovi and Venom Prison.

Venom Prison are my personal tip for a band to look out for, with an unexpectedly fresh take on classic death metal, and an absolutely kick-ass female vocalist who could probably beat even Arch Enemy’s (ex vocalist) Angela Gossow in a screaming competition.

Cloven Hoof were on hand to get everyone in the mood with a healthy dose of spiced rum, and expectations were high for the mix of music and awards to come. The entire EMP London office came down to enjoy the evening at the iconic venue, which sits underneath the railway arches in Waterloo, and plays host to everything from an indoor skate-park to a cinema. Check it out, Vans fans!

Thanks to everyone who came to browse our merch and say hi.

On to the awards themselves. Ghost scooped the Best Album Artwork award for their ‘Popestar’ EP – If the Ghost-hype has somehow passed you by, you seriously need to get out there and see them live, as they put on a stellar live show. Best UK Band was picked up the by the one and only Black Sabbath. Whilst there are some other great homegrown bands out there, Sabbath are the undisputed kings of heavy metal, and credited for the birth of genres from stoner rock to doom. A very well-deserved Best International Band went to the mighty Gojira, who have gone from strength to strength in recent years, including being announced as headliners for next year’s (incredible-sounding) Bloodstock Festival. We can’t wait!

Finally EMP’s Mark and Elena had their five minutes of fame on stage as they got up to announce the winner of the EMP-sponsored Best Album award together with Enter Shikari.

Although I personally was rooting for Gojira, it was awesome to see the trophy handed over to Architects for their quite frankly marvellous 2015 release, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. The band dedicated their success to the sadly-missed Tom Searle. The guys are straight off from the HMAs to smash the main stage at Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend, so be sure to check them out if you’re going.

You can see a full list of the nominees and winners -> HERE.

The evening was rounded off by the headliners, newbie punk rockers Creeper, who have rocketed to fame since their inception in 2014 thanks to their vibrant and catchy songs and pretty much endless succession of hits.

For those for whom rocking out for a solid four hours wasn’t enough, there was of course the afterparty. It’s been an amazing night, so thanks to everyone who turned up.
Watch out for next year’s event, and be sure to vote for your favourite band to get the recognition they deserve!

Fashion

Festival Fashion – Rock Outfit Ideas Summer 2017: What to wear this year!

Festival season is around the corner!
It’s time to think about the perfect outfit for this summer’s rock festivals.

 

We know how tricky it can be to find the perfect outfit for a summer festival.
You want to look good but be comfy at the same time, stylish but not over the top… plus you can’t forget that we are in England! So you need to be ready for every situation as the weather is unpredictable: you’ll never know whether it’s going to be sunny or you’ll need a boat to move from one side of the festival to the other.

Don’t trust the weatherman.

We’ve put together 3 outfits with the coolest and hottest bits and pieces available to purchase from EMP.co.uk to give you some ideas and help you create your perfect festival look! You won’t find flower accessories for your hair or heeled sandals in here! Rock festivals aren’t Coachella! 😉

I am going to few festivals myself this summer, first in line Hellfest 16-17-18 June, Clisson (France) and these are the outfits I’m going to wear during the 3 days of the festival:

– DAY 1:

Band t-shirt are a must at a rock festival. It’s the perfect occasion to show off your favourite band tee, jumper or accessories in an environment full of people that, like you, love live music and to proudly show the love for their fav band.

For the first outfit I picked between the over 1200 band t-shirts available from EMP.co.uk.
I decided to go for this EMP exclusive Metallica – “Ouija Guitar” top (I love the fit + the material is 100% cotton!) to match with this super comfy Black Premium – “Overlay Cardigan” (long fit, light knitted material, light bat sleeves), these cool but basic Dr. Denim “Jenn” shorts (100% cotton, extremely comfortable and not too tight on the thigh, leaving you free to move, dance and mosh \m/) and these beautiful Alcatraz “Skull & Roses” Gumboots.

 

To complete the outfit, add these Wildcat “Dreamcatcher” earrings (light, stainless steel and suitable for allergy sufferers) and the classic “Lennon” sunglasses (100% UV protection, mirrored, blue shades).

Hundreds of bags available HERE! Select your favourite to add the final touch to your look!

 

–  DAY 2:

For the second outfit, the word is CLASSIC. I opted for a basic Guns N Roses t-shirt that I’m going to knot into a crop top, a Urban Surface – Jeans Jacket with a beautiful floral print at the back (more pics in the link), these Urban Classics – Bandana leggings (great fit, extremely soft and comfortable, it’s going to be hard to wear jeans ever again after trying these bad boys on) and a pair of evergreen black Converse – All Star. Final touch: Blackheart – Silver Spikes bracelet set!

 

 

– DAY 3:


For the 3rd outfit I picked something comfy and practical but still stylish and punk/rockish;
I’m going to wear these Black Premium – Studded Vest (love the fit, careful the studs are pretty sharp J) and Black Premium – Skull Pearl top (love the little skull beads in the straps), this comfy and fresh Bench – Mesh long shirt and a classic pair of Dr. Martens to stay comfy and dry.

Final touch: Sex Pistol – Classic Logo cap & Cupcake Cult – Susan handbag.

 


You can find all the above and more at EMP.co.uk. Create your festival look from thousands of band merch & fashion items, trendy accessories and jewellery.

Don’t forget to take with you:

Big backpack
Umbrella
Gumboots
Raincoat
A hoodie
–  A hat
Sunglasses

Can’t wait for our 4th EMP Hellfest Roadtrip and to share loads of exclusive content from the Hellfest backstage and VIP area. Follow our Instagram page to see our Hellfest adventure and check all the updates (bands playing, exclusive images from the backstage and VIP area, best festival looks and more).