Published on January 26 2015

Thomas Allan: "I sing and play all my songs with passion and energy because this is how I feel music should be performed!"

A one man show, composing, playing, recording, mixing and mastering all single-handedly! Get acquainted with German musician Thomas Allan, and the overwhelming sensation of his britpop-tinged rock’n’roll. For his second album release Walks Like Chaplin on Jamendo, we listened from inside his small cellar music studio, as if we were a fly on the wall, and became witness to his unique and pleasant DIY universe!

  • Hi Thomas! It is a pleasure to have you on our blog! We had the opportunity to discover your universe back in 2012 when you were featured on our homepage for the release of your first album Commercial B-Sides. Our readers are thrilled to hear your artist story! When did you start making music and how did you come the Thomas Allan sound that we hear today?


Firstly, thanks for the interest from you! Jamendo is a great platform for unsigned artists like myself to get noticed. I started off playing the drums when I was 6 years old. Drums are the only instrument that I have learned to play classicly. At the age of 12 I bought my first bass guitar, closely followed by an electric guitar. I formed my first band at the age of 12. I soon got interested in recording my songs and I started buying cheapo microphones and a two track recorder.
Needless to say, over the years I improved my recording equipment and knowledge and built up my own home recording studio. All of this I have done by learning and doing. From the beginning I wrote my own songs. I never really was interested in playing covers. The most recent instrument I learnt was the harmonica. I took part in a two day harmonica-workshop and recorded my song "Sensation" (which is based on a harmonica melody) shortly after. "Sensation" was soon broadcasted by BBC-Radio and other national radio stations. I always liked a "live-sounding" recording. I am not a big fan of overproduced and fat productions.

 

  • You just released your second album Walks Like Chaplin on Jamendo. How would you describe the evolution from your first release to this one? What are the main differences between these two albums?


I am proud of both albums but I feel my songwriting has developed and become more personal on "Walks Like Chaplin". The songs on the new album deal with things I have experienced and seen on a daily basis.
I am inspired by all sorts of situations. On my first album I wrote the lyrics after I had the music. Now I write the music around the lyrics. Regardless, on "Walks Like Chaplin" I had to include two tracks from "Commercial B-Sides" for the simple reason they fitted in so well.

Thomas Allan: "I sing and play all my songs with passion and energy because this is how I feel music should be performed!"
  • On the description of Walks Like Chaplin on Jamendo, you’re mentioning that you found the album name while working in a drug help center. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the song? Do you think that experience had an impact on you as an artist or as a person?


I used to work in a drug help center and I had a client with a really deep voice like James Bond. He injected heroin into his groin and due to the pain he walked like Charlie Chaplin. I just had to write a song about him! (Words in the chorus: "And he walks like Chaplin. But he talks like Bond!")
On another song I describe a situation I experienced on the train coming from work.I sat opposite a business man in his clean suit who had fallen asleep with his head on the shoulder of a builder in mucky workman's clothes.Out came the song "Business Suits And Mucky Boots".

 

  • In your album, you are playing all the instruments (except violin). You’re also singing, writing, mixing, mastering your own songs: that’s truly impressive! How did you come to make music all by yourself? Have you ever thought of forming a band?


I had numerous sessions in professional recording studios, but the songs always ended up sounding overproduced and to clean for my liking.I decided the only way to really be happy with the result was to record the album in my cellar at home. There I was able to take as long as I wanted to get the sound right. This is why I play all the instruments on the album. (Who wants to sit with me at two o'clock in the morning to position a guitar microphone?!)
I am currently forming a band to perform the songs on "Walks Like Chaplin" live and loud, but I also enjoy playing them solo with my acoustic guitar.

 

Thomas Allan: "I sing and play all my songs with passion and energy because this is how I feel music should be performed!"
  • We hear the British sound influence in your music, drawing comparisons with the like of Oasis and such. A BBC radio host even called you “the new Billy Bragg”! Is being half-British impacting the way you write and record songs?


As I was a child my father introduced me to bands like Oasis, The Who, Sex Pistols, Joe Jackson etc. I grew up speaking English, listening to English music and English is the language I feel most comfortable writing and singing in.
 

  • If you had to choose one particular song that means something special for you on your new album Walks Like Chaplin, which one would it be?


I would have to say "Sensation" because it was the first track of mine to be played on national radio. I wrote it 3 or 4 years ago, which makes it the oldest song on the album but I still enjoy playing it live even though I have played it so often. It is a song that works without any band arrangement. That is why I recorded it live with just me, my guitar and my harmonica.
 

Thomas Allan: "I sing and play all my songs with passion and energy because this is how I feel music should be performed!"
  • We saw a picture of you on your Facebook after a huge gig. You really seem to pour your heart and soul on stage for your public! Is is important for you to communicate all this energy to your audience? Do you have any crispy anecdote of a live experience?


I sing and play all my songs with passion and energy because this is how I feel music should be performed. I prefer playing live because it is more fun to sing and to build up a connection to an audience than singing on my own in my studio whilst recording.
I played a festival where the crowd stood in torrential rain and were soaked through. The trouble was, so was I on stage and unfortunately the rain caused all the electrics to fuse and we had no electricity on stage for ten minutes.

 

  • What’s next for Thomas Allan? Any plans for the future?


I will send of "Walks Like Chaplin" to radio stations, magazines and record labels to reach as many people as possible. As with all musicians I hope "Walks Like Chaplin" will give me my breakthrough and a bit of recognition for all the energy and hard work that I put into this album. I am extremely proud of it!

Touring and playing live is the next step! I am constantly writing new material and this is just the beginning of my musical journey!

Cheers Thomas!

 

Thanks for your support!

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Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on #Interviews

Published on January 23 2015

OnClassical: Jamendo's finest classical piano masterpieces

An astonishing Piano Favourites compilation just landed on Jamendo! Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Schubert and many others are being revisited by renowned pianist Alessandro Deljavan under the label OnClassical. Already a must-have!

This double-album includes some of the most celebrated piano pieces of all time. The recording, 100% natural, was made in a very suggestive medieval church in Tuscany during a relaxing holiday.

 

The pianist, Alessandro Deljavan, is one of the most talked-about talents of our days. He has recorded for international labels such as Brilliant Classics, Naxos, Stradivarius and OnClassical. His recent participation at the Van Cliburn contest was widely acclaimed by the public and the press.

He does here a very refreshing version of the famous pages in a practically incredible sight-reading version! His style is very complex (but always very clear), full of nuances, details on secondary lines, and virtuosity, while having total control of the instrument.

OnClassical: Jamendo's finest classical piano masterpieces

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Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on January 22 2015

Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on #Videos

Published on January 14 2015

Now Endeavor: "We think we can capture the best of any genre and make anyone enjoy it!"

Long ago, there were two boys from Detroit. They looked so different from everyone, so they couldn’t figure out where they belonged. They tried Polka, Ceviche, Poutine, Hip Hop... stuff like that.

 

After trying every culture in the world, they said to one another, “Damn I’m hungry, and we don’t fit anywhere (sad face).” However, the boys came to the  realization that they ended up fitting in EVERYWHERE. That’s pretty much where Now Endeavor music is! 

  • Hi guys! We’re really happy to welcome you on Jamendo! How did you find our platform?

The music industry is really changing, so we decided to look for alternative ways to get our music to people. We’ve always been firm believers in doing what you love first, and the money will come later, so we decided to look for distribution opportunities where the users weren’t obligated to pay money to hear our tunes! Then we came across Jamendo!!

 

  • Could you tell our readers who Now Endeavor are and what brought you together as a band?

 

The engine of Now Endeavor is Just Pete and Thom the Disco Spider. We’re brothers from Detroit, MI who followed different musical paths for a while. We discovered it’s easier to work with family, so we decided to make Now Endeavor a project. We have supporting members for our live shows.

Now Endeavor: "We think we can capture the best of any genre and make anyone enjoy it!"
  • Do you guys write all of the lyrics and music yourselves or do you have other people involved?

 

We write the majority of the music and all of the lyrics. There are two songs we didn’t write on our EP’s, but we heavily edited them to fit our musical vision. A fellow named Mick Maslowski did help us a lot with production and tracking instruments, so we have to shout him out! He runs a studio in Royal Oak, MI.

 

  • Going through your two EPs Waiting on Waffles and Macaques on Fire on Jamendo, we can hear a whole lot of music genres such as rock, R&B, pop, dance… How would you exactly define yourselves musically?

 

The best way to define our music is just Pop. We think we can capture the best of any genre and make anyone enjoy it. A lot of bands mix different genres within a song, but we prefer to stay in one lane for each song, however the lanes can change drastically from song to song! We’ll be writing in even more genres soon!

Now Endeavor: "We think we can capture the best of any genre and make anyone enjoy it!"
  • We’d be curious to hear what are your main influences and favorite tunes at the moment!

 

We know that a lot of bands give a cliché answer about their music being unique, but I think it would be a disfavor to name any one (or two) band(s). Also, we don’t want people to associate any other groups with Now Endeavor! We will say the majority of our influences come from the years 1980-2000. The last song Thom the Disco Spider listened to today was “Mexico” by James Taylor.

 

  • When seeing you perform live, people can’t complain about a lack of variety! Do you like to interact with the public? Any crispy anecdote from a past show you’d like to share?

 

We love to interact! Crowd participation is probably one of the best feelings in the world. We like to play things people can relate to live. Sometimes we like to play the theme song for “King of the Hill” and we invite someone to play cowbell for us! Cowbell is important you know……only those who are fearless and up to the task are chosen….hahaha.

Now Endeavor: "We think we can capture the best of any genre and make anyone enjoy it!"
  • We really have to mention how cool your video clips are on Youtube. A Cover is definitely our favorite! Is originality essential in the message you’re trying to convey through your music?

 

Originality fuels all of our music, but it is important to realize we are standing on the shoulders of many pioneers.

“A Cover” is a poke at how seriously 90’s bands took themselves….which is fine, but it’s also really funny. If you watch a few of our videos, you’ll notice our first goal is to make you laugh. Sometimes the video is an allegory….but not always!

 

  • What’s next for Now Endeavor? Do you have any plans for the future?

 

We hope to make a music video for every song that we release! We’ll also be releasing another EP in 2015. Stay tuned for more music and videos. You’ll be able to catch us live too! Our website nowendeavor.com will always have updates!

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Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on #Interviews

Published on January 9 2015

Kolony: "We look at every cymbal hit, hi-hat, guitar strum, slide, you know… that’s serious shit!"

Best described as melodic rock metal, Montreal outfit Kolony believes in doing things a little differently.

 

Boldly combining elements of old school metal, modern metal and rock, the band loves fast tempos, melodic vocals and all-around high-octane music with each track coming from the heart and reflecting the way its members think about the world.

 

With their first Jamendo album Sledge, heavy metal fans along with the new generation of metalheads and mainstream rock fans will all be able to find themselves quite surely!

 

 

  • Welcome to Jamendo guys! Our readers wanna know more about your band’s story. Could you introduce yourselves and tell us how you all met?


It began around 2009  when I (Max) and Antony met in a previous band near Quebec City. The band name was  ''Noisy Souls'' but we broke up a few months later. When it happened, Antony and I had a long conversation over the phone and we decided that we simply could not give up our dream so we started over again. This is when we met Reno and that was the birth of  Kolony. 

Quickly, we recorded our first album Warning and played a lot of shows around the province with different bass players. In the mean time, the band activities had moved toward Montreal. That is when we met Myk. He is a great bassist, he works hard, learns quickly, has a heavy sound so we instantly accepted him as a permanent band member.

We had changed a lot since ''Warning'' so around that time, we decided to write new songs and recorded our latest album ''Sledge''. Our sound and our style had changed drastically so we wanted people to hear it on a new record as soon as possible.

 

  • About the creative process behind your music: who writes the lyrics, composes, produces the music etc.? Is the work divided between the members of the band?


Yeah !  We share the creative process together.  Antony and I (Max) wrote fifteen songs in three months. Then Reno wrote the lyrics. We recorded all the songs at my home studio as a «pre-production» and we choose ten of them to create Sledge.

 

Kolony: "We look at every cymbal hit, hi-hat, guitar strum, slide, you know… that’s serious shit!"
  • Is Sledge your first album together as a band? 


We could say it is because ''Warning'' was more like a ''pre-band'' album but in fact, this record is great and was a real album too. We should summarize it as : ''Sledge'' is our second album but our first Kolony-defined-tone one. 

 

  • When you guys play together, is the music just popping out naturally or do you always go through a long writing process? 


Oh god… we are really concerned about every little detail ! We look at every cymbal hit, hi-hat, guitar strum, slide, you know… that’s serious shit ! (laughs)
The creative process is fast, we compose our songs in a few days and learn it in a few weeks, but it sometimes take a lot of work (and time) to play them live. We want to get sure, with every aspects (even our moves) that everything has been checked and is right. That’s what makes the difference between professionnals and amateurs.

 

Kolony: "We look at every cymbal hit, hi-hat, guitar strum, slide, you know… that’s serious shit!"
  • Your music seems to be a perfect mix between old school and modern metal, taking on heavy music like great bands such as Trivium or Bullet for My Valentine do. How did such influences affect your songwriting?


Honestly, it can become a pain in the ass (laughs) ! Everyone of us like different bands and have different influences. Sometimes our influences don't pull the same way... BUT we’re adults, intelligent and respectful so we try as much as possible to write songs everyone in the band like.

We always have great discussions about our main direction and constantly want to go in an area where no other bands have been before. I think ''Sledge'' is a great accomplishment in that way.

 

  • Sledge’s album cover opens our imagination to a desolate planet Earth in the future, or an unknown planet where humans choose to live. What was your idea behind that artwork? Is that somehow linked to your band name Kolony and the message you’re trying to convey?


First of all, I personnaly am an anti-capitalist for technical/logical, human and environmental reasons. This system sucks on every aspects and will kill us all if we don’t wake-up ! That’s one of the most SERIOUS issues humanity ever faced ! So yeah… Sledge is about the dream of every conscious man to see that suicide-society being aborted and people building a new society based on natural laws instead of oppression, slavery and destruction of our environment. Every song on this album talks about revolution and/or spirituality.

About the artwork, Antony had the idea of a pyramid (representing our current social organization) being destroyed by a man with a Sledgehammer. We discussed and choose that concept, we brought a lot of ideas on the table to complement the concept. Then we did a few drafts and hired a friend of mine named Alex O’Dowd who did the job very well!

 

Kolony: "We look at every cymbal hit, hi-hat, guitar strum, slide, you know… that’s serious shit!"
  • We know it could be a tough question but do you have a favorite tune on your album? One that really stands out from the others?


That’s a hard one, you’re right (laughs). Honestly… I think we all like every songs but maybe we could pick Echoes only because it’s the song that made our identity. It’s the first song I composed for this record and it has been kind of a revelation for us. We understood that this was the ''Kolony signature style'' we wanted to have.

 

  • Let’s end on a funky note: if one day, for any reason you all wake up in the future, a millenium later: how would it look like and what would your life be?

Damn… I don’t know ! This question is even harder than the previous one (laughs) ! I think it would vary a lot depending on how the society elvolved. If we are still alive and better than today, I would personnaly build a time machine to tell the truth of life to 2014 people. Actually, maybe this is what we're experiencing right now ☺

 

Cheers guys!

 

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Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on #Interviews