The new music comes just before the band’s first CA tour run in 30 years, playing club dates before their 2017 Stagecoach Festival appearance April 30. Shows include The Chapel/San Francisco (4/26), Constellation Room/Santa Ana (4/28) and The Roxy Theatre/West Hollywood (4/29).
Songwriter Tom Stevens offers the following about his new tune: “The message is complex. I wrote this song about a bear, a friendly one, approaching it like a children’s song. But what emerged under its surface was different. I likely had the state of politics on my mind. The bear in this song may not be the friendly, all-knowing guru that he appears. But in real life, it’s up to us to seek our best hopes and not our worst fears in our gurus. Lately I feel that too many have done the latter.”
Lead guitarist/vocalist Stephen McCarthy explains how the new music came about: “The band played a number of shows in 2016 and we felt it would be worthwhile to try and write/record some new material. Greg flew out to Virginia and we recorded a few new songs at Adrian Olsen’s Montrose Studio. Sid and Tom sent new tunes over and we recorded remotely for the first time.”
Tom continues the story: “Thirty years on and the band still sounds wonderful–mature, familiar yet new, and all very much The Long Ryders. It’s brand new musical scenery in our long ryde, and we’re all enjoying the view.”
Drummer Greg Sowders agrees: “Thirty years goes by in the spin of a wig hat. We wanted to give our fans something new for our spring tour. It’s so great to be back in the studio with my favorite rock ‘n’ roll band. We hope you like this new music as much as we do.”
The album, recorded at Reservoir Studios in North London under the watchful gaze of producers Chris Clarke (Danny And The Champions Of The World) and John Wheatley(Suburban Dirts), introduces the songs of Donald Byron Wheatley, each and every one reflecting on his life as a showman and that of his family who been ingrained into a way of life for over a century. Essentially a paean to his father, ‘Big Don’ Wheatley, Moondogs And Mad Dogs is unapologetically imbued with the spirit of Van Morrison, Dylan, The Band, Lennon et al, all musicians that have played a major part in both Donald’s and his father life. Driven by an honest heart and a pure desire to make an album his father would have loved, Wheatley has produced something very special indeed – an innocent, loving musical tribute that stands alone as a remarkable debut.
The band features various members of Danny And The Champions Of The World – Chris Clarke, Steve Brookes, Andy Fairclough – alongside Siobhan Parr and pedal steel legend BJ Cole.
Roya, the poetic persian name of a little girl means an ominous dream, a mind trip, a fantasy. Such was the vision lead singer Rahill Jamalifard first had when hatching the idea for the band. A moody and seductive tone set against a primitive and surreal soundscape. Lending its voice to somber echoes and jangles of post punk and psychedelia. How often we wander to the uncomfortable depths of our darker minds, where unanswered questions live, where they stay carefully tucked away, still existing, unaddressed. In Roya, the exploration begins, confronting the fears and realities we struggle with. The mediocrity of life, complacency, death and its undoings, life and its great fragility, Roya invades the minds and hearts of its listeners greeting them with unwavering emotion.
The bands early formation consisting of singer Rahill Jamalifard, guitarist Jay Heislemann and drummer Hamish Kilgour set the foundation for Roya’s deliberately minimal sound. Kilgour, notable as a founding member of New Zealand’s seminal post punk band The Clean, plays shambolic and primitive driving drumbeats that add layers of depth and texture to his boldness. Heislmann’s guitar spills over Kilgour’s rhythmic web with deconstructed eastern surf riffs dripping wet with noisy undertones. This melodically demented outfit cradle Jamalifard’s stark and naked vocals that paint over each chorus with grief-stricken and doleful lyrics that are raw but gentle in delivery.
Joined later by contributing song writer and guitarist Christian Sawyer, whose presence was brief but significant, the band began to record their self titled debut record at the now defunct Death By Audio recording studio. Joining them during this time was bassist Alix Brown, whose spirited gusto added attitude and swagger with her driving grooves. In its current formation Roya is a five piece ensemble with Tyler Love on rhythm guitar and mellotron and Lyla Vander on drums. Their debut record is set to be released by Burger Records in June 2017.