On Wednesday January 13th, CHAOS hosts a stage at Streamsonic, the alternative showcase festival in the slipstream of Eurosonic Noorderslag, by Pinguin Radio. On this virtual stage, you can watch shows of four bands that we think should be acquainted by an international audience. We present the rock singer-songwriter James Kennedy from Wales, the Swiss alternative rock band Annie Taylor, noise rock band Dripping Trees from the Netherlands and melancholic alt pop band Oakman from France. Each band introduces itself and tells you something about their musical influences and their special instruments. 

James Kennedy (UK)

James Kennedy is no longer a new kid on the block. Before his solo adventures he was the singer and guitar player in alternative rock band Kyshera. Last year he released a book about his whereabouts in the music industry: Noise Damage: My Life as a Rock’n’Roll Underdog. Kennedy has something to tell and he loves to do that in all kinds of manners. His songs have a political and a philosophical nature. The title of his last album (Make Anger Great Again) proves it all.

What defines your music?
‘Versatility. My music is diverse. Rock, experimental electronica, acoustic music, metal, prog, soft rock, punk – I have 7 albums and all of the above is in there somewhere!’

What are your musical influences?
‘Ah so many! But here’s the main ones – Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, Rage Against The Machine, Radiohead, Pantera, Steve Vai, Prince, Megadeth, Stravinsky, Squarepusher, Allan Holdsworth, Roger Waters, Smashing Pumpkins…and sooooo many more!’

Have you got a ‘special/ lucky’ instrument?
‘Yup! My trusty Fender HM Strat – my first ‘proper’ Guitar. A 24 fret, flying bridge, kill switched, Dimarzio having bringer of brutality.’

Any new music coming up next year?
‘Maybe. I’ve only just released my latest album ‘Make Anger Great Again’ but I’m definitely planning on releasing a ton of archive music next year (demo’s, covers, b-sides etc).’

Photo credit: Tom Damsell – Fragment Imagery

Annie Taylor (CH)

If you are a follower of the Chaotic Twenty, our weekly Spotify playlist then you have most likely heard of Annie Taylor. We are very excited that this four piece from Switzerland is willing to play the CHAOS stage at Stream Sonic. Unlike you may think, Annie Taylor is not a female singer-songwriter. Instead, it is a real, alternative rock band. Last year, Annie Taylor showed their capabilities on their impressive album Sweet Mortality. Annie Taylor supported L.A. Which, Sunflower Bean, and FEWS. 

What defines the music of Annie Taylor?
‘We are a female-fronted 4-piece band from Zurich. We love to work with a lot of harmonies in our songs, so you probably find a lot of “aah” and “ooh”‘s to sing along in our set. Our genre: Grunge, surf, rock, alternative rock, pop.’

What are your musical influences?
‘We all come from very diverse backgrounds, but I think we are very influenced by the 70s and also by the 90s. 
Gini: I listen to a lot of female fronted bands and I think that also influenced my way of songwriting a lot.’ 

What instrument should we pay extra attention to when watching your show at Streamsonic? 
‘Michael is playing a really LIT bass! It’s a “Dan Armstrong Lucite” from 1970 and the coolest part about it is: The bass is transparent!!! We joke sometimes that it would be really funny to put stickers on it, like a goldfish or something like that. But so far he wouldn’t let us…’

Can we expect any new music coming up this year?
‘Yes! There is a double single with a brand new song coming up in March. This song will show a very fragile side of “Annie Taylor” and we are very excited about it.’ 

Photo credit: Tatjana Rueegsegger

Dripping Trees (NL)

In these dark days and in the absurd circumstances we find ourselves we in, all we want to is to cuddle up in the music of Dripping Trees. Their music brings us to a dark, dynamic world. One moment it touches the deepest parts of our soul, and another we get invited to scream at everyone and everything. Last year the quartet from the Netherlands released their debut single and first full-length album, and next Friday we can expect a second taster of the bands’ musical palette. 

What defines the music of Dripping Trees?
Dripping Trees chooses a compelling sound filled with fiery dynamics, noise and telling imagination. Like eyes that are getting used to the dark the quartet from Eindhoven started getting used to their own dramatic tendencies, but not without a lot of experimenting! Drippings Trees’ post punk slowcore explores an environment of lawlessness where terms like “truth” and “order” are only part of a simulation. Despite exploring the darkest chapters of humankind, Dripping Trees embrace the creative process with both pleasure as well as healthy skepticism.

Who are your musical influences?
Iceage, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Red House Painters.’

What instrument should we pay extra attention to when watching your show at Streamsonic?
Drummer Stijn Luijk plays a Tonedrums-snare drum that was handmade by Toine van der Wielen. Toine is the father of guitarist and key player Stef van der Wielen.’

Can we expect any new music coming up this year?
‘Definitely! On the 15th of January we’ll be releasing our new single ‘Imaginary Order’. On the 26th of February the next single is due for release (title is still a secret) and on the 19th of March we will be releasing our debut album ‘Fuel Of Mankind’!’

Photo credit: Indy van Oss

Oakman (FR)

Oakman gets an increasing foothold in France and it is about time to broaden their horizon. So far, the band released two EPs: Waterscape (2016) and Plastic World (2018) and supported Enter Shikari, Basement et ZZ Top in France. The music is characterized not only by the energetic and tight rhythms, but also by the voice of leading woman Marine, for it tends to sound aggressive as well as delicate. 

What defines the music of Oakman?
‘We like the energy, the melancholy, the pop melodies with a bit of rage. We think that is what defines us. We are a three piece band and as a three piece band, it is a challenge to put all these elements inside our music.’

What are your musical influences?
‘There’s a lot of things that have influenced us. We all come from an Anglophone scene and we have listened to Anglophone bands. But we also listened to a lot of the Rock Japanese scene. We grew up listening to Blink-182 or OffSpring but also The Back Horn or Asian Kung Fu Generations which are Japanese bands. Today, we can listen to and discover so many different things that our influences often change. 
We have different influences within the band now but we basically love the same scene.
There are too many to mention just a few. But this year we listened to a lot of this new Alt-Rock scene and Indie Pop scene.’

What instrument should we pay extra attention to when watching your show? 
‘There’s no instrument which should get more attention than another during our show. We all play together for the music we write, so every element is important and has its place.
However, the singing has the most important place during a show or into a composition. 
It needs to be heard and all the elements around need to be in harmony with it.
And for a special story, at the beginning of the band, Gérémia played guitar and Marine just sang. We missed a bass player (while Gérémia played bass for a long time) and Marine played guitar as well. But she was too shy to play in front of anyone. We tried to convince her (and it was tough) and it worked. Now, as she says, it’s the best decision she took for the band and for her self-confidence.’

Is there any new music coming up next year?
‘As everyone knows, 2020 was a difficult year for developing as a band. As we couldn’t play shows anymore and tours were cancelled, we took advantage of this time to write and write. New things are expected to be released in 2021. So you definitely have to stay tuned.’

Photo credit: Aurelien Mariat

Find the complete line-up and schedule on www.streamsonic.nl

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