Interviews

Read on to check out our interviews.

 

Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Thursday, 21 January 2010 01:38
Features - Interviews
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Being Frank with GM the GM

We recently grabbed a few moments with Gary Moran, General Manager of the Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey organisation to put some fan's questions to him.  He was quite open and honest about alot of the subject areas that have been dividing opinion amongst the supporters such as the music, atmosphere and players.

Freeq:  What do you think of the negativity from some fans when it occurs and what impact does it have on the organisation?

GM:   Some of the harshest critics of the club never give you the benefit of the doubt that you might’ve already had those thoughts and you might be trying to do something.  No-one cares about the club any more than the people within the organisation and no-one in the organisation ever tries to do anything that’s designed to cause a problem for the fans or the club or the arena. 

It’s understandable what they’re saying because we’re often thinking the same things.  It’s easy to sit over a pint in a pub or behind a keyboard and say ‘sack so and so because he’s had a crap game’ but we might know that he’s been up for three nights with a kid suffering from croup or something.  You know, we might know a player’s carrying an injury that we don’t want Brad Voth to know about or something.

When we lose a game, the players are as miserable as sin, I’m mad, Corey’s mad, Bruce’s mad, Goody’s mad, Neil Black’s mad and we care passionately about the club.  But the vast majority of our fans are fantastic passionate people, that’s why they were queuing at three in the morning to get play-off tickets on the off chance that we’re going to be there – of course we’re going to be there and of course we’ll give our all.  The ticket says ‘versus’ not ‘beating’ but that doesn’t mean we never step on the ice hoping to win.

Freeq:  Can you clarify the situation with Nick Toneys – is he available to play and are we likely to see him play again this season?

GM:  Nick Toneys at this moment in time is one of 12 foreign players and one of 17 registered full time with the club.  The coach has the opportunity to pick from the 12 import players because of the restrictions about how many can ice at any one time and he’s very much a part of our organisation. He’s studying at Derby University and we thank them for their continued support. 

Corey has to put the best team on the ice he sees fit for each given situation, whether that continues through to the end of the season that remains to be seen, but Nick Toneys is very much one of our players, as are the other 11 imports at this moment in time.  That can change, someone might ask to leave, someone might get an offer from somewhere else.  If you listen to someone who claims to know what he’s talking about, half of our players are leaving all the time you know,  there’s a guy who’s just walked past [Galbraith] as I’m talking to you who’s apparently signed in Austria and left us three weeks ago.

Freeq:  Is there anything that can be done to improve the atmosphere in the Arena?

GM:  I would say we have games as good as any team, when you bear in mind we have a large arena.  We’ve done the most difficult thing any club in the history of ice hockey has done, in this country certainly, we’ve moved from a small old barn with a hardcore of supporters, into a big barn, more than double the crowd, more than treble the crowd on occasion and it’s very difficult to please everyone all the time. 

I have a standard answer when somebody asks me why we don’t allow drums, it’s not me that doesn’t allow it, it’s the former rink manager didn’t want drums because of the grief it creates for the people around them.  They’re wrong in accusing me, it’s not a club decision but I understand why the decision has been made, when they ask me why we don’t allow drums, I always ask where they sit, and when they say ‘why’, I say I’ve got 17 drums at home, I’m not averse to drums, I own a drum kit, congas, bongos, African drums, I’m quite happy to bring one of those down to have an experiment, but we’ll have the experiment in the seat directly behind where you sit.  Without fail, everyone has said to me ‘I don’t want it behind me’, so where do you put it?

We play music that others copy and follow. There’s a club that has been cited as having a better atmosphere than us, well, they’re in a much smaller building so that obviously helps the atmosphere, but if you listen to the music and the look at the crowd reaction to the music – their music is spot on, the words of some of the heavy metal they’re playing really applies to the situations on the ice – but no-ones heard of the music so in a 1,500 crowd 1,495 people are chatting or reading their programmes. 

It’s a very difficult thing to do, you know Darren came in for a game, who does the announcing for the masters football, our sister company and he said afterwards ‘boy that’s tough’. We are successful on the commercial front, which is why we’re so successful on the ice because that all plays a part, the size of the audience plays a part in our income, the amount of sponsorship plays a part and that leads to the quality of ice hockey we can put on.  Because of the sponsorship there are an awful lot of sponsorship announcements to get out there, people don’t come and give you x-thousand pounds to not hear their product be mentioned during the game so there’s so many different aspects to be borne in mind. 

I don’t pick the music, people suggest music, players suggest music.  It’s like one person used to write to me saying ‘why on earth are you facing off at 4pm on a Sunday’ well the players like it, the coach likes it, away teams like it, the arena love it and the crowd went up by several hundred by bringing it forward because kids can now come on a Sunday and the parents can get them home and they’re not buzzing on Coca Cola when they should be sleeping ready for school the next day. 

We’re always open to suggestions, sensible suggestions and everyone’s working hard.  In the last few matches I think the DJs are buying into things.   Like I say, we’ve done the difficult thing of moving from a old barn into a new barn and you can get caught up with the fact that when we first started doing things in the old barn like ‘let’s make some noise’ half the audience were shouting ‘don’t tell me when to shout’ so I radioed and said ‘play Rocking All Over The World’ and the same person who was saying ‘don’t tell me when to shout’ would start clapping along.  So we’re trying to get the balance right and I think we’ve moved on a little bit, we’ve realised now we’ve got a lot of new fans, it’s not a sudden revelation but the size of the new fan base has been increasing and increasing and we’re at the stage now where the announcers can call for more noise and change the approach. 

I had a complaint last year that we should be playing Black & Gold – we played it for six games running at the end of last year and no-one noticed.  Everyone’s trying to do the best for the majority but we know we’re never going to please everybody and there’ll always be people that when we win 5-0 moan we didn’t win 10-0 and when we win 10-0 start moaning about the music or the fact we haven’t got drums or the hotdogs aren’t hot enough or the queue at the bar’s too big.  All we can do is our best and if you compare us to other teams, I’m very proud of our record – we’ve never gone bust winning the league.

Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Saturday, 09 January 2010 01:48
Features - Interviews
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jonburgermanWe decided it was time to touch base with one of the best creative artists resident in Nottingham so we shoved the world famous Jon Burgerman down the Lee Rosy stairs and kept him there until all our questions were answered. He’s drawn on everything from cars, tents, shoes Freeq magazines and cloth…
Written by Kevin Angel Monday, 05 October 2009 13:49
Features - Interviews
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Over the past 12 months music has found itself re-emerging from the elitism and pretentiousness that plagued it for so long and all of a sudden started to get less about what you wear or what genre you listen to and more about just having a good time. Enter Yes Giantess a Boston-based 4 piece that are all about having fun. Soaked in 80’s dance nostalgia with a twinkling hint of mid 90’s pop, the band’s obvious appeal is that they don’t take themselves seriously and simply want to have a good time. Live the band is a tour-de-force of energy, catchy hooks and a whole load of synths/keyboards (3 in fact). The band have been making big steps in the U.K lately thanks to them gaining the much coveted opening slot on this Autumn’s NME Radar Tour, a tour showcasing the best of new talent that in the past has seen bands like White Lies and La Roux take to the stage and then go on to bigger and better things.
Freeq recently caught up with the band’s lead vocalist Jan whilst on the Radar tour and here’s  what he had to say.
How did the band form?
We first met in Boston while at school, we'd been playing in various other bands together and while Karl and I were casually producing some of the first Yes Giantess tracks, then we had a sudden realization that we should form a band around these songs.
How would you describe your sound?
I suppose we're just electro-tinted pop music. We're influenced by the big pop acts of the last three decades, but it's not like we're going out and intentionally writing arena synth songs. There's a part of our sound that's owes a big debt to John Vanderslice, St. Vincent, Aloha and people like that.
Who has influenced you musically?
So many people have influenced us, people like Michael Jackson, Prince, New Order but also tons of Japanese and Korean Pop. On the other hand, I'm massively influenced as a songwriter by indie rock and folk artists such as John Vanderslice, Aloha and Annie Clark, the list goes on.
You have had quite an underground following for some time now, is mainstream success something you strive for?
Absolutely because Inclusiveness is one of the mainstays of pop music, this isn't for us, this is for everyone. It's about being together and having fun, so it only makes sense to include as many people as possible.
What type of response have you received from fans from U.K gigs you have played so far?
Everyone in the UK has been so welcoming, we feel extremely thankful and flattered every time we visit. It's not like in the US where people come to the shows to lose their shit, It's a bit more considerate here. If we can make one person in the crowd have some fun, it's worth it to us. We have fun no matter what; It's one of the best things about being in this band.
In the U.K at the moment, people have a real appetite for new music and discovering the next big thing, is it currently like that in America?
It is, People are so excited right now and that makes us excited. We're not out there trying to change the world. We just want to have an amazing time with all of our friends and fans. Simply the fact we're being allowed to do so is so mind blowing for us. Everyone is really receptive right now to just enjoying music and letting it be what it is. Some pop music is so incredibly vain, and we want to be totally the opposite of that.
Your sound is very complex and electro heavy, how does that translate into live shows?
We approach the live shows from the angle of a glam rock band. We want to be as loud and as stomping as possible, Fists in the air, that sort of thing. We've broken many a keyboard that way.
What kind of things do you write about and what influences the song-writing?
We write about being young and experiencing happiness, but we write it from the angle which we've experienced it, so we talk about amazing nights out, naive hopefulness, unspoken moments between friends, those kinds of things. If you ever hear us write a song about an ancient love long forgotten, we're probably lying. I mean, when you think about it, what the hell do I know about anything?
Are there any artists around at the moment you guys really like?
We’ve just finished a tour with Little Boots and I must say now that I'm a massive fan. Her live show blew me away.
Why do you think there has been a sudden influx of unashamed dance-pop like La Roux, you guys and Little Boots?
I don't think it ever particularly went away. People are always going to want to have fun, be unpretentious, and dance, I guess maybe people stopped noticing for a little while.
What can we expect from Yes Giantess next? is an album in the planning?
We've got another release on Neon Gold coming in December, and we've got some secrets planned for early next year. Definitely expect an album, or at least an EP. We've made such amazing friends and met some incredible people while on tour, so if the future is anything like that, I don’t think we could be happier.
Yes Giantess are touring the U.K with the NME Radar Tour until October  14th
Over the past 12 months music has found itself re-emerging from the elitism and pretentiousness that plagued it for so long and all of a sudden started to get less about what you wear or what genre you listen to and more about just having a good time. Enter Yes Giantess a Boston-based 4 piece that are all about having fun. Soaked in 80’s dance nostalgia with a twinkling hint of mid 90’s pop, the band’s obvious appeal is that they don’t take themselves seriously and simply want to have a good time. Live the band is a tour-de-force of energy, catchy hooks and a whole load of synths/keyboards (3 in fact). The band have been making big steps in the U.K lately thanks to them gaining the much coveted opening slot on this Autumn’s NME Radar Tour, a tour showcasing the best of new talent that in the past has seen bands like White Lies and La Roux take to the stage and then go on to bigger and better things.
Freeq recently caught up with the band’s lead vocalist Jan whilst on the Radar tour and here’s  what he had to say.
How did the band form?
We first met in Boston while at school, we'd been playing in various other bands together and while Karl and I were casually producing some of the first Yes Giantess tracks, then we had a sudden realization that we should form a band around these songs.
How would you describe your sound?
I suppose we're just electro-tinted pop music. We're influenced by the big pop acts of the last three decades, but it's not like we're going out and intentionally writing arena synth songs. There's a part of our sound that's owes a big debt to John Vanderslice, St. Vincent, Aloha and people like that.
Who has influenced you musically?
So many people have influenced us, people like Michael Jackson, Prince, New Order but also tons of Japanese and Korean Pop. On the other hand, I'm massively influenced as a songwriter by indie rock and folk artists such as John Vanderslice, Aloha and Annie Clark, the list goes on.
You have had quite an underground following for some time now, is mainstream success something you strive for?
Absolutely because Inclusiveness is one of the mainstays of pop music, this isn't for us, this is for everyone. It's about being together and having fun, so it only makes sense to include as many people as possible.
What type of response have you received from fans from U.K gigs you have played so far?
Everyone in the UK has been so welcoming, we feel extremely thankful and flattered every time we visit. It's not like in the US where people come to the shows to lose their shit, It's a bit more considerate here. If we can make one person in the crowd have some fun, it's worth it to us. We have fun no matter what; It's one of the best things about being in this band.
In the U.K at the moment, people have a real appetite for new music and discovering the next big thing, is it currently like that in America?
It is, People are so excited right now and that makes us excited. We're not out there trying to change the world. We just want to have an amazing time with all of our friends and fans. Simply the fact we're being allowed to do so is so mind blowing for us. Everyone is really receptive right now to just enjoying music and letting it be what it is. Some pop music is so incredibly vain, and we want to be totally the opposite of that.
Your sound is very complex and electro heavy, how does that translate into live shows?
We approach the live shows from the angle of a glam rock band. We want to be as loud and as stomping as possible, Fists in the air, that sort of thing. We've broken many a keyboard that way.
What kind of things do you write about and what influences the song-writing?
We write about being young and experiencing happiness, but we write it from the angle which we've experienced it, so we talk about amazing nights out, naive hopefulness, unspoken moments between friends, those kinds of things. If you ever hear us write a song about an ancient love long forgotten, we're probably lying. I mean, when you think about it, what the hell do I know about anything?
Are there any artists around at the moment you guys really like?
We’ve just finished a tour with Little Boots and I must say now that I'm a massive fan. Her live show blew me away.
Why do you think there has been a sudden influx of unashamed dance-pop like La Roux, you guys and Little Boots?
I don't think it ever particularly went away. People are always going to want to have fun, be unpretentious, and dance, I guess maybe people stopped noticing for a little while.
What can we expect from Yes Giantess next? is an album in the planning?
We've got another release on Neon Gold coming in December, and we've got some secrets planned for early next year. Definitely expect an album, or at least an EP. We've made such amazing friends and met some incredible people while on tour, so if the future is anything like that, I don’t think we could be happier.
Yes Giantess are touring the U.K with the NME Radar Tour until October  14th
Written by Kevin Angel Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:23
Features - Interviews
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Emmy the Great, otherwise known as Emma Lee Moss is London based singer songwriter and is an emerging talent from the popular anti-folk scene.
She released her debut album ‘First Love’ this year to much critical acclaim and since then has secured slots at Glastonbury, Summer Sundae Weekender and The Big Chill.
FQ: Do you prefer festivals or gigs?
EG: I love playing festivals so much because of the spirit you know, it’s like you show up, you use what you can and you know you just have to do the best with what you have. Also everyone usually enjoys it because that’s what they are there for, to watch lots and lots of music. But, at the same time I also love touring because you get to really think about every set and you can make it perfect, so they are both good.
FQ: Do you have a favourite track you love to perform live?
EG: No it’s different at different times, but I like playing any song that we didn’t play last time, so there always has to be at least one change of set. We are doing the upbeat songs for festivals and we have a small pool of those, so I like to drop one out and then bring it back.
FQ: You have just released the new E.P of some of your early tracks, is that what you are really into at the moment and like to play live?
EG: Not really we have a song called ‘Lost in Austin’ that will never make it onto a record, it’s a lot of fun to play it’s kind of like a rock and roll song, so maybe that is the song we like best.
FQ: If you could pick one song by another arist that you could have written yourself, what would it be and why?
EG: umm...different stuff at different times, if I like a song by another person I will try and mimic in my own way.
EG: So your tastes are constantly changing?
FQ: Yeah, pretty much.
FQ: What kinds of things influence your song-writing?
EG: Things like the countryside, travelling, walking, basically anytime when I am not specifically thinking about song writing. I will sit at a computer sometimes to write a song and not come up with anything and I think I will go and live my life, and that night I will always have something that I want to write about.
FQ: What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
EG: The moment I could choose my own music it what grunge, it was probably around the time that Curt Cobain died and I was just getting into Nirvana, and then I got quite into college rock, Wheezer, Cake, a whole load of Ironic slacker bands from the 90’s.
EQ: Any artists you really like at the moment?
EG: I really like Wild Beasts at the moment, I’ve been listening to them over and over, and I’ve also been listening to a lot of Tom Waits stuff that I didn’t know existed, a lot of albums with concepts I am listening to at the moment, especially the ones that are hysterical and a little bit theatrical.
FQ: So if you could pick one moment of your career out what would it be?
EG: It’s always stuff to do with the BBC, I always feel like you’ve done well if you happen to be in a BBC building. I grew up listening to Radio 4 so it’s like you’re a British band...go to the BBC.
Emmy the Great, otherwise known as Emma Lee Moss is London based singer songwriter and is an emerging talent from the popular anti-folk scene.
She released her debut album ‘First Love’ this year to much critical acclaim and since then has secured slots at Glastonbury, Summer Sundae Weekender and The Big Chill.
FQ: Do you prefer festivals or gigs?

EG: I love playing festivals so much because of the spirit you know, it’s like you show up, you use what you can and you know you just have to do the best with what you have. Also everyone usually enjoys it because that’s what they are there for, to watch lots and lots of music. But, at the same time I also love touring because you get to really think about every set and you can make it perfect, so they are both good.
FQ: Do you have a favourite track you love to perform live?

EG: No it’s different at different times, but I like playing any song that we didn’t play last time, so there always has to be at least one change of set. We are doing the upbeat songs for festivals and we have a small pool of those, so I like to drop one out and then bring it back.
FQ: You have just released the new E.P of some of your early tracks, is that what you are really into at the moment and like to play live?

EG: Not really we have a song called ‘Lost in Austin’ that will never make it onto a record, it’s a lot of fun to play it’s kind of like a rock and roll song, so maybe that is the song we like best.
FQ: If you could pick one song by another arist that you could have written yourself, what would it be and why?

EG: umm...different stuff at different times, if I like a song by another person I will try and mimic in my own way.
EG: So your tastes are constantly changing?

FQ: Yeah, pretty much.
FQ: What kinds of things influence your song-writing?

EG: Things like the countryside, travelling, walking, basically anytime when I am not specifically thinking about song writing. I will sit at a computer sometimes to write a song and not come up with anything and I think I will go and live my life, and that night I will always have something that I want to write about.
FQ: What kind of music did you grow up listening to?

EG: The moment I could choose my own music it what grunge, it was probably around the time that Curt Cobain died and I was just getting into Nirvana, and then I got quite into college rock, Wheezer, Cake, a whole load of Ironic slacker bands from the 90’s.
FQ: Any artists you really like at the moment?

EG: I really like Wild Beasts at the moment, I’ve been listening to them over and over, and I’ve also been listening to a lot of Tom Waits stuff that I didn’t know existed, a lot of albums with concepts I am listening to at the moment, especially the ones that are hysterical and a little bit theatrical.
FQ: So if you could pick one moment of your career out what would it be?

EG: It’s always stuff to do with the BBC, I always feel like you’ve done well if you happen to be in a BBC building. I grew up listening to Radio 4 so it’s like you’re a British band...go to the BBC.

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