Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Interview, Mitch Green of RAD Press Publishing

I really truly am fortunate to be surrounded by all these amazing micro presses and poets which includes Mitch Green's house RAD Press Publishing. Do me a favour for a minute think of the word RAD and the feeling in which it evokes from your core. A derivative of the word RADICAL and RAD Press Publishing certainly is that. The content they curate is fresh, unique and innovative pieces whether it be art work or literature; both are exhibited via RAD Press Publishing.

Moreover, I'm finding the more Poets, Presses and Artists I interview we all seem to share the same goals. All we basically want to do is create, courtesy of our innate gifts which at times, even I've commented on how much of a curse it is over a blessing. I know, many think it garbage to say that “artists feel things deeply other human beings would not even begin to comprehend” But, it is true. An artist's will allow themselves to feel from the tips of their very toes the the last hair poking up in that awkward picture taken right after you awake. I found myself, completely relating to everything that Mitch had stated throughout his interview. It really is amazing how like minded we all are if we simply open our eyes to see.

Check it out for yourself you can follow RAD Press Publishing on social media via: Instagram.

RMMW: When I first met you, I thought you only created these beautiful graphic spaces – I had no idea that you were also a writer. What medium do you prefer to create with or do you write and design equally?

MG: As for the selective choice between designing and writing – It really is all based around
the mood or state of mine I am in that day. Depending on whether or not I find myself drawn into a more visual vibe, determines if I am driven to conjure up visuals, or stick to drafting words to encompass another field of expression. As a film lover, I am more than inspired by storytelling narrated through depictions. I guess this defines the parallels of writing and design for me.

RMMW: When did you discover first your love of writing & art design?

MG:I discovered my love for writing at an early age. The age of 10 if I can recall correctly – it was then that I started jotting down these outrageous stories more so than not, focused around the living dead, demons, and secret agents. My love for design had really been inside me all along – but I didn’t know how to express it. Throughout my entire life, as mentioned previously, I’ve been influenced by the visual art of movie making. Siphoning inspiration from the moving elements behind the screen, I found it more than hypnotizing how words outlined something so cinematic.

RMMW: What is RAD Press Publishing’s genesis story?

MG:RAD Publishing came into existence when I really had nothing left to give. I mean, this was before I had started wholeheartedly dedicating myself to my art. I had previously worked with a publishing house (I won’t mention names) and basically wanted to create a brand for myself. The title RAD is simply the common phrase, and I guess I didn’t put too much thought into a depth behind the press’s handle – I only wanted to establish a home for others to voice their talents.

RMMW: What is RAD Press Publishing all about, what kind of artists you query?

MG: So here is the big picture. I want RAD to grow into a household name – a brand that resonates with all forms of media. Literature, Art, Film, and Music. I aim to create an imprint in each of these, in due time of course. There are so many aspirations that I have for the company. So many routes and paths that are open to voyage. In regards to artists – we have acquired various forms of talent, all originating from diverse backgrounds, and I’m very proud of this. To have an artist reach out to us looking to tell their story, to unfold their art, share their heart is the true mission RAD stands behind.

RMMW: How would someone submit to RAD Press Publishing?

MG:Submissions can be either done through the site – radpublishing.biz or by email: radpresspublishing@gmail.com

RMMW: The competition out there is fierce, what does RAD Press Publishing offer its clients that no other small press does?

MG:You couldn’t be more right. There are a mixture of methods that Rad utilizes to encourage writers to house with us, not saying that these are different, although I do find myself trying to steer a uniqueness in the waves when it comes to designing a set of covers for clientele, or putting their title through distribution. Each press has their own style, taste, and artistic preference. If you stick to your brands image, then the demographic will be drawn into you.

RMMW: How do you feel social media has shaped the way in which you conduct your creative business?

MG:I find social media, especially on Instagram to be a prominent, and productive market
for business. I find that the community of artists, particularly writers live their more so than any other social media outlet I’ve come across. The magic in being able to share, support, and bond with fellow artisans is really something grand. Just like this interview – if it hadn’t been for social media, we would have never linked up.

RMMW: What do you feel is one of the biggest challenges facing poets and visual artists alike?

MG:The challenges are always there. In my opinion, the creative block happens the same way in either spectrum. Writer’s block, designer’s block – it is all the same. I find that if I cannot write, I design, if I cannot design, I write. If I’m unable to bring myself to do either, I watch Netflix.

RMMW: Do you have any artists rituals before creating a new piece?

MG:This is a good one. Really, I’m not quite sure. I do like to channel my mind and attention into a different mental plain. Especially when writing – I have found myself sinking so deep into thought it feels like being submersed in water. The high that is found from finalizing a lyrical piece, or polishing off a design that spawns from someplace within me that I didn’t know I had. It is an addiction, one that I’ve been forever hooked on. As for a ritual, I guess music would be mine – shut everything and everyone out for hours.


RMMW: Music seems to always seep into the creative process... do you listen to music while you design or write? And, if yes what do you listen to?

MG:I guess this would go with my last answer. Music absolutely does enhance the creative process. The genre of music I listen to is more so on the heavy side to punk rock. Depending on the temperament of the design, or rhythm of the piece defines the severity of sound. I must say that lately, I have found myself listening to more ambient music when writing. I would refer this to anyone who runs into writer’s block. Getting inside your head is easier done with atmospheric tempos swishing between your ears.

RMMW: All artists have to contend with a creative block, how do you contend with yours?

MG:Creative block is the devil. It will break your spirit. There is something about a metaphysical release when it comes to delivering words, and when you are unable to process your art, it can most certainly take a toll. I find my breaking writers block is to stay at it. Forcing myself to break the restrictions, even if this only works half of the time. Once again, I think the best method, for me, is through the routine of music.

RMMW: Do you have an inner critic? How do you silence it?

MG:Oh hell yeah. Every time I sit down to write or design, there is that continuous voice debating with me on how bad I’m doing, or if this needs to be altered in some way. There really is a roller-coaster of thoughts and personalities rolling around behind my eyes during the process. The best way I know how to silence it is by finishing what I started.

RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be?

MG:This is an easy one. If I could have a super power, it would be to freeze time. 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Interview, Jon Peach.

A couple of years ago -- I heard of this duo called The Junk Shop Poets -- I've asked both of members Jon & Justin Peach as I thought it would be fun to get differing perspectives.  Part one below is my interview with Jon Peach -- who also started his own musical path called Love Songs for Losers.  (But still maintains as a Junk Shop Poet) Either way, his creative melody and passionate lyrics always suck me into its musical orbit.  You can follow Jon's musical journey on Instagram & Facebook.



RMMW: What are you listening to right now?

JP: I'm having a bit of a nostalgia moment for some reason & listening to bands like Smashing Pumpkins, The Eels & Radiohead. 

RMMW: Why the title Junk Shop Poets?

JP: I had an image in my mind of 2 old robot toys in a junk shop...Junk Shop Robots!!! Then Justin came up with the Poet idea and it just worked better for the bands sound.

RMMW:What is the origin story of The Junk Shop Poets?

JP: We happened to go through relationship breakdowns the same christmas...by new years eve we were the poets. We had a new sound, a whole set of original songs & gigs being booked!

RMMW: Do you write music together or separately?

JP: We tend to write separately and then arrange together.

RMMW: You must have an insane schedule; how do you balance your work, music and home life?

JP The way I balance writing, work & life is easy...My kids always comes first, then writing. Work is just a way to pay the bills lol

RMMW: Festival season has kicked off in the UK, are there any specific festivals that you will be playing at or frequenting?

JP: No real big fests this year, I've just started a new musical project called Love Songs for Losers, & I've been recording an EP so its been keeping me pretty busy.

RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before beginning a new piece?

JP: I don't really have any rituals before writing...I used to like to get a little buzzed before, but now I write all the time its harder to sustain that lol 

RMMW: Which Songwriters inspire your muse?

JP: I'm really inspired by writers like Billy Bragg, Tom Waits, Roy Orbison. I really love emotional lyrics & voices! 

RMMW: How do you find social media has shaped how you share your work?

JP: Social media has really changed the music industry,  as a band you had to play gigs usually for free, for exposure. Now you can be seen by a hugely diverse audience,  without leaving the house. You can live stream,  Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blog...it's endless. The industry as a whole where worried about the internet and illegal downloads etc. But it turns out that this is fast becoming the greatest generation for artists. so many people where undiscovered gems in past generations, but now you have an audience on your Android! 

RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, what do you do to get those creative juices flowing?

JP: I haven't had writer's block in years.  I went a bit crazy in my late teens & since then I've written every day, in one way or another. It helps me keep grounded.

RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critics constantly judging us, how do you contend with yours?

JP: I try too write really fast & totally disregard my inner critic...& only let it out in the studio when I'm working on sound.

RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be? 

JP: Immortality...I want to see what happens in the end!!!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Interview, Grant Jolly



Do you know what today is? It's the day Manic Raven Press Publishing is officially launched into the world!!! The founder Grant Jolly has roots heavily steeped in Scotland but has done something quite smart and universal -- he is the founder of Manic Raven a global press that seeks to publish not only local writers but also those who also reside abroad.  And, today, July 16, 2017 is the day that he's seen fit to introduce his baby into the world.  Grant in his own right is also a published poet, his book Feed Him to the Bears: A collection of Poetry is available on Amazon. His next book The Typewriter Tales will be released later this year.  Grant would like to bring quality horror work to the masses not only through his press but also emotive body of work.  For any information on submissions, please contact Grant directly.

RMMW: Do you both have any artist rituals before beginning a new piece?

GJ: I don’t really have any rituals but I do have a lucky sweater that I wear when I write. I’ve had it for 12 years, it’s ugly and full of holes.

RMMW: Which writers inspire your muse?

GJ: I am inspired by a vast number of writers, including: Edgar Allan Poe, James Herbert, and Charles Bukowski. The list goes on and on though. I’m a big fan of the late Scottish poet, Edwin Morgan. His words are very inspirational to me.

RMMW: Do you remember what your first poem was?

GJ: I’ve been writing poetry from as far back as I can remember. I had my first poem published when I was twelve, it was called My Friend the Sparrow. I still remember it by heart. Here’s a few lines:

Oh sparrow up there
In the sky
So mysterious and wonderful
How can you bare such small wings
And fly?
Can you bring me back
Wasted time
And all the things
I’d love to try?

RMMW: How long have you been writing?

GJ: I’ve been writing from a very young age. I started taking it more seriously when I was eighteen; that’s when I decided I wanted to make a career from writing. I finally quit my day job and started writing full-time back in 2013.

RMMW: How do you find social media has shaped how you share your work?

GJ: I think social media has had a big impact on how I share my work. Back in the day, I spent a lot of time printing my work in the library and sending it places with the hope that someone would read it. Using Instagram and Facebook has made it much easier to get work out there and to build a solid fan base. And on sites such as Instagram, you get a lot of valuable feedback from actual readers.

RMMW: Please tell us a little bit about Manic Raven's mandate?

GJ: As a writer, I know how hard it can be to get your work published. I also know how easy it is to get sucked in by scams that rip you off. I like to think of Manic Raven as a small press for writers, by writers. The aim is to create a foundation in which writers can believe in, and help them from manuscript to publication, creating an end product they are proud of. A percentage of the revenue generated through sales will be donated to mental health charities, including SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), which is a charity that is close to my heart.

RMMW: What kind of books would you be querying at Manic Raven Press?

GJ: I want to bring back novellas and make them popular once again, primarily in the horror genre, including subgenres. I’ll also be looking for poetry and short story submissions. The first Manic Raven publication is my own book, Typewriter Tales. The second book we will be publishing is by a very talented poet from Florida, which is exciting! I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but the book is scheduled to be published just before Christmas this year.

RMMW: What was the process you went through to get the press up and running?

GJ: The first thing I done was write a business plan to figure out if I had a viable business idea. The next step I took was applying for funding from my local arts council. After I secured the funding I required, I started going through the steps of registering a limited company, creating a website and Facebook page, printing business cards and flyers. I am currently organising a business launch night in Glasgow which will be a lot of fun as there is going to be live poetry readings and live music. The whole process has been a huge learning curve for me as I’ve never done anything like this before, but it has been an exciting journey so far.

RMMW: What advice would you have for anyone looking to begin their own press?

GJ: I think finding a gap in the market or a specific niche is a good place to start. But most of all, I think you have to believe in your idea for it to be successful. If you don’t believe in yourself and your vision, then nobody else will either. Determination is key. Work hard and don’t give up!

RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, what do you do to get those creative juices flowing?

GJ: I have never been creatively blocked before. I seem to get the opposite of blocked and end up with too many ideas floating around in my head at once! I think you need to write every single day to avoid getting blocked. I guess it’s like training your mind.

RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critics constantly judging us, how do you contend
with yours?

GJ: I have a lot of inner demons constantly telling me that I’m not good enough, and to give up. Meditation helps me remain positive, but I think sometimes you just need to take a break, drink a coffee, smoke a cigarette, and breathe.

RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be?

GJ:That’s a tough question! I’m going to say teleportation. How cool would that be?

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Interview, Karina Bush

Karina Bush is a bold writer with brass balls who is quite methodological when it comes her work.  Whether she be writing about: self love, sex or john's the body of work genuinely speaks for itself.  I have to admit, I love artists who are ok with a little bit of discomfort when it comes to the world of art and staying true to artistic integrity.  That is how Karina Bush writes -- with a sense of self and exploration -- she likes to push boundaries and comfort zones.  And, I have to admit, as someone who has spent the majority of her life pushing boundaries -- I'm quite fond of other like minded individuals.  I mean, come on, think about it for a minute -- would you like to remain stagnant or would you rather spelunk issues and subjects so worthy of research that are constantly overlooked?
To purchase Karina's books: Maiden (which I've read and reviewed on this blog -- so bloody brilliant!) published through 48th street press and her latest ground breaking work 50 Euro by BareBackPress (which is on my hit list)  please check out Karina's website for more information. This is one Poet/Writer you should keep an eye on... 
... and, now for the show... 
RMMW: Good morning Karina... Do you have any artist rituals before beginning a new piece?
KB: Hi Rania! Not in particular. Every piece is different and requires a different entry point. I don't have a formula for writing, sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's a pained extraction. But there is something sacred about the flow experience of creativity, something shamanic or alchemic about accessing different states, conjuring something from the deep and manifesting it.
RMMW: Do you remember the first time you started writing seriously? What was the catalyst?
KB: Probably 48th Street Press asking me for a manuscript in 2013. They published my first book “Maiden” last year, it's a fantastic press, committed to the printed word and authentic poetry. They've published some incredible poets including Douglas Blazek - a pioneer in the small press and an early publisher of Bukowski, W.D. Ehrhart - the leading Vietnam War poet, and Paul Harrison, my favourite poet, he has a tender brutality and almost saintly presence in his poetry. Anyway, I was very flattered by the request for a manuscript and from then on I took writing much more seriously. The editor at 48th Street Press has mentored me and helped me develop my work a lot. BareBackPress, who have just published my second book “50 EURO”, was also an important presence, they've published me since 2013 and have been very supportive. They're brilliant to work with, the process of making “50 EURO” was very creative and productive. Having people believe in my writing enough to publish it is a big motivator.
RMMW: What social issues do you think influence your work the most?
KB:I don't think social issues have been a big part of my first two books. They're focused on emotional states and power struggles, in a sexual setting. The inner world more than the outer. In “50 EURO” there are some creeps, I guess meeting creeps in real life has influenced that, but it isn't the focus of the book. My next book is a move away from that, it's set in Belfast, and very different to both “Maiden” and “50 EURO”. Full prose, no poetry at all, with long stories. It deals with issues like conflict (I grew up at the end of a war), social deprivation, culture and identity, although I'm not directly addressing those issues, the characters are often a reflection of their environment.
RMMW: How do you find social media has shaped how you share your work?
KB: I guess it allows me to document progress a bit. Social media is an odd thing to figure out, so full of ego. I think it's kind of essential to have some online presence but not to take it too seriously, hope that the work will speak for itself.
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, what do you do to get those creative juices flowing?
KB: God yes, I've had long periods of block. The thrill and addiction comes from output, and struggling with that is demoralising. I write better when I've lots of solitude and less clutter in my head, so prioritising that helps. I work almost every day on something and that helps maintain the process as a continuous thread.
RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critics constantly judging us, how do you contend with yours?
KB: Better than I used to but it can be challenging. I'm rarely happy with what I write, but not so unsatisfied I feel like giving up. I try to differentiate between a constructive or realistic critic, and the enemy of my own happiness. Intuition over paranoia.
RMMW: Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect to see from your latest book 50 EURO?
KB: It's set in Amsterdam's Red Light District. The narrator is a sexworker in one of the famous windows, she's a bad Barbie. The reader goes in and out of her window - into the streets, back into the sex. It's pretty grubby in places, she does some very nasty things, like eats Haribo from a paedophile's crotch. It's quite seductive too, the neon lights beckoning, the lure of secret sex, the innocent getting sucked in. It's a kind of poetry/prose hybrid - some stories, some poems. I've lived in Amsterdam and spent a lot of time in the Red Light District. I adore the city, I was hooked on my first visit. One of my favourite things to do is watch johns, john-spotting I call it, it's a great hobby, I listen in on their conversations, follow them around a bit, be a creep myself. And the result is this book.
RMMW: The definition of modern feminism has changed over the years, what do you think are valuable lessons we should be teaching the younger generation with regards to fighting for ones rights?
KB: I honestly don't know enough about feminism to speak confidently about it. But children need to understand the bombardment of manipulation they face, and learn to recognise propaganda.
RMMW: Any time one does something that has to do with nudes, nudity or sex it always evokes a different reaction from each audience member. What do you want readers to take with them after reading Maiden & 50 EURO?
KB: I hope readers will read beyond the initial sexuality to the emotions behind it. I'm aware my writing isn't to everyone's taste, it can be uncomfortable to read, but I personally like being made to feel uncomfortable by art. What I write isn't titillation. It's important to explore sexuality in a way that challenges the dominance of porn. I'd like readers to feel the books, for the books to elicit a response. The books are quite different to each other. “Maiden” is emotionally charged and “50 EURO” is more entertaining, but both with dark undercurrents.
RMMW: Are you familiar with the work of Marina Abramovic? Her work is very evocative as is yours. Do you find you get a lot of judgmental reviews when others read your work?
KB: Yeah I am familiar with her work. I quite like what I have seen, a lot of contemporary art feels gimmicky and hers seems to be a genuine exploration.
I have had judgmental reviews. If you explore extreme emotions and situations it's inevitable to provoke reactions, a lot of people prefer comfort zones, and that's fine. But don't pretend to understand then get it wrong, people like that should stick with material suited to their reading age.
RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be?

KB: Tough question. It's not a superpower but I'd quite like a magic carpet, something opulent I could fly around on at night. Or the ability to time travel. It'd be cool to experience every century, be a wench with massive tits causing trouble in a tavern.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Ryan Hennessy

raw... expression... genuine...profound... worth the read.. check out Ryan Hennessy...

I'm standing on the edge of the Universe, or maybe I've fallen
already – I can't tell anymore. Prometheus brought fire to the
party, I bring whiskey. Fancying myself something I'm not, this
dance over the line in the sand turns into a sluggish sway. I',
crashing now, the wind is burning my eyes and I don't think I can
brace myself for this kind of hit. With the emptying of this brown
mash bottle in hand, there's almost something to say about it
being some kind of effigy.
I wouldn't be me if I hadn't been him first. Maybe that's the
justification in this, maybe it;s the end of this infinite
sadness.... A kind of serendipity.

There are so many times throughout the course of our lives where we have no idea if up is down or down is up. But to explore those feelings, I believe to be a great gift regardless of how our moods may contain our spitfire hearts. The imagery in the piece above is quite innovative and thoughtful. We are all surrounded from time to time with infinite sorrow – now here is the clincher – we require the moments of extreme torment to be able to appreciate moments which bring us much joy. Can you imagine having a party with Prometheus – hmmmm, I wonder what I would bring to the party? Perhaps some Romeo & Juliette's or perhaps a delightfully profound flavour of a Cohiba. Mind you, what could we possibly say to the bringer of light besides -- “ thank you for the gift of fire... but why did you feel the need to give it to us, we are nothing but lowly pathetic human beings in dire need of help?” My imagination, could linger all day long.


I never stood a chance, bright white
lights snare me down with mummification
in design. I choke on lithium and LED, she
runs her hands through my hair. There's a
wink, a devilish grin, a lip to bite, a
furrowed brow, I'm enamored and she knows
it. We're loaded into a cannon, my darling
companion fits snug. We'll be a spectacle
for all to see, an inferno across the sky. A
cosmic overload of epic proportions, a
glorious death to ache. The fuse is
lit, but I'm already in the stratosphere...

Her lips find mine.

We explode.

A myriad of images truly came to mind throughout, I started to imagine being squeezed into a small bullet with my love as we are fired up into the sky with a firecracker that truly knows no bounds. Making love in the cosmos while snug inside of each other in a tight space at the ready to genuinely explode. This is a fire light show spectacular – one worth a third and fourth read.


Grasping at straw as I burn the midnight oil; whether
it's people, substance or the thought that I might not be
what I think I am. Network connectivity problems of the
human soul, that's what I'd call it. The endless
disconnect that keeps me unplugged from you. I hate you
for it. I hate me for it. This is my praying you wake up
one morning in a motel bathroom, doped up and missing a
kidney in a tub full of ice.

Yikes, as a writer there are immensely beautiful things about life, glorious subjects that we can scribe about. Things that lighten our hearts but there are also images that come to mind, where we not only want to crush those who have maimed us but destroy them. The imagery truly is limitless when you look at issues of light and dark. The first time I read this piece, I had to do a double take, I've heard of revenge writings but

I hate you
for it. I hate me for it. This is my praying you wake up
one morning in a motel bathroom, doped up and missing a
kidney in a tub full of ice.”

No one ever wants to admit it because they feel someone how it makes the pitch heart an even darker one. But the truth of the matter is light or dark both can expose tremendous evil depending upon your perspective. This end piece, reminds me so much of Edgar Allan Poe

twisted pieces... 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Interview, Ottis Blades

A unique style √
Passion √
Enthusiasm √
Honesty √
Creative √

My next interview exhibits all of the traits checked above, a poet so focused on his craft -- many a time he speaks his mind and can at times be quite controversial. This writer is so intent on changing the world of poetry one poem at a time. Of course, I speak of prolific writer Ottis Blades (Blad3s).
I've not read either: Hate Me Like Lovers Do or Of Love & Other Dirty Business but, judging by Ottis' writing I would love both of them -- they are on my list of books to purchase.  

RMMW: As an indie writer what tools do you find essential to be able to properly market yourself?

OB: As an indie writer, you have to take advantage of everything that's out there at your disposal. Be it Social Media, going down to your local poetry spot to read a piece of two, submitting to literary mags, this very forum in which this interview is taking place on. You gotta be fearless, you gotta be genuine and speak your mind. People dig that shit. Get out there and let the writing speak for itself

RMMW: What was the first thing you've ever written?

OB: My books of Neruda and Garcia Marquez inspired me to write poems about my 7th grade crush. I don't recall what was the first thing I wrote because the notes back then where not something I took seriously until later in life. I wish I had those poems now. 

RMMW: What do you think about the current state of modern poetry on a whole?

OB: I wouldn't call it poetry. It's actually insulting to what poetry's supposed to be about. There's no metric, no rhyme or reason, no poetic inclination. These writers are not challenging themselves and that's a real shame because they reach so many people they could influence to actually fucking read more than three sentences. But they'd take the easy way out with the cliches we're all familiar with. You know them. "She, chaos, madness, moons, stars, demons, whiskey" etc and not an ounce of creativity to spare, because they have no love for poetry or writing in general, and this is why I have no qualms about speaking my mind on the subject and calling them out. Give me an hour and I'll write you a 500 page book full of the "poetry" people are reading today and have a best seller. It's that easy. 

RMMW: There's been a lot of plagiarism going on lately, has your work ever been plagiarized? How did you deal with it?

OB: No, never. But this one time some dude reposted a few of my pieces on Instagram and cut off my name. I'm too hard to plagiarize anyways. And that's the one thing we should all strive for, to have a voice so unique and powerful, that it'd leave no doubt as to who the writer is, even when uncredited.

RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before beginning a new piece?

OB: I hate to sound like the cliche writer, but good fucking music, heartache and plenty of booze do the trick. 
RMMW: Which writers inspire your muse?

OB: The music that I listen to when I'm writing needs to be lyrically sound to get me going. I'd often hear a word or a phrase that would take me back to a point in my life and give birth to a million words in an instant. Also, fellow writers also inspired me, people that I love and admire, people like: Christy Aldridge, Christopher Andrews, Anthony Desmond,  Patricia Mogavero, Thom Young and Christina Hart. Reading them gets my juices flowing. 


RMMW: How do you find social media has shaped how you share your work?

OB: It's interesting, how because of Instagram I became obsessed with fitting as much story  as I could into a small square. I developed a stream of consciousness style because of it, and that's a bad habit I can't break. I like referring to my pieces as "miniature short stories". I'm not really concerned with writing less words to get more eyeballs on my stuff. I write for me, period. The people that can relate will gravitate and find me, and those are the people meant for me to reach. And I love them so much, every time I get a book selfie from halfway across the world, I'm infinitely thankful. 

RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, what do you do to get those creative juices flowing?

OB: When I'm creatively blocked I'm very, very upset. Because it feels love like a part of who I am is missing. The way I get myself going is not thinking about it, to not even try. Nothing ever good comes out if you force it. Now, what you do is stimulate the mind, go for a drive, watch a movie, read a book. It'll come back when you least expect it, better than ever, and you'll be glad you didn't go crazy.

RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critics constantly judging us, how do you contend with yours?

OB: I'm actually not too hard on myself when it comes to writing, because if I'm writing, trust me that I'm having fun. This is why I wait and don't pressure myself. I'm always in a good mood when the juices are flowing even if my world's falling apart, I'm my biggest fan, and that's how I live.

RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be? 


OB: I'd love to understand, speak and write every language on the planet. Not only will I be able to reach more people through words and help those in need, but I'd also get twice as many numbers on the dating scene. And you can't possibly beat that. Unless, you write them a She poem.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Interview with Tony Moore, Part II


About three years ago, I had the good fortune of interviewing a tremendous human being who without fail has got to be one of my all time favourite Singer/Songwriters.   Now, I have the opportunity for a follow up interview.... I would just like to extend my gratitude to Tony Moore for sharing a snippet of his world with us!! 

RMMW: Who have you been listening to lately?

TM: Ryan McMullan - he's going to be huge !

RMMW: Your single “Perfect & Beautiful” is such a powerful piece riddled with such honest lyrics and a haunting melody to ensconce the entire song with an air of vulnerability and strength. Now, that being said with the release of “Perfect & Beautiful” and now "So Many Ways (Of Missing You)" pending are there any plans in the works for a full length album?

TM: There are always plans for an album, but we live in an age where people consume music "song by song" either by downloading single tracks from iTunes or listening to selected playlists on sites like Spotify. So for the time being I intend to keep regularly releasing new material as individual songs and then, as I build up a catalogue of work maybe put it all together as an album. However, I enjoy the spontaneity of writing, recording and planning to release my music as it happens.

RMMW: You've collaborated with so many Singer/Songwriters over the years, if you were offered the opportunity to collaborate with anyone you desire – who would you chose? And of course why?

TM: I would love to work with Elton John. He has been so massively influential in my life as a writer, musician, performer and entertainer.


Perfect & Beautiful 


RMMW: Can you remember the first song that you ever wrote? And the feeling it evoked upon completion?

TM: I was maybe 12 or 13 and wrote some descending chords on the piano and sang my own melody but used the words of the poem “Ducks Ditty” from Wind In The Willows -

All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all!

Ducks' tails, drakes' tails,
Yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight
Busy in the river!

Slushy green undergrowth
Where the roach swim--
Here we keep our larder,
Cool and full and dim.

Everyone for what he likes!
WE like to be
Heads down, tails up,
Dabbling free!

High in the blue above
Swifts whirl and call--
WE are down a-dabbling
Up tails all!

I felt a great sense if accomplishment - As I got older, I found that I had more things to sing about and started writing my own lyrics after that.

RMMW: What is your favourite song written by you and why?

Photo credit Mike Prior
TM: Most songwriters will say " My newest song" - which I often echo, others will often say " I love all my songs like children, how can I pick favourites?" which I also echo - But, I think if I could only choose one, then it would be a song called "She's A Dreamer" - I love to play it - and when I am not performing with a band, I lose myself in the "piano solo" in the middle. It's a fun and yet dramatic song to sing - and I always get such an amazing response from people when I do the song live. It never gets old for me...

RMMW: How do you select your Singer/Songwriters for your weekly show Tony Moore's Music Emporium on Soho Radio?

TM: I only invite artists that I personally love - sometimes PR companies 'Pitch" ideas to me - but I only want to have people on the show that I feel strongly about their music and believe we can have an great conversation. So, they are drawn from people that play at my live shows, friends, friends OF friends and business suggestions.

RMMW: If there an audition process to be showcased on Tony Moore's Music Emporium? What are interested performers required to know about it?

TM: Nope - I listen to their music and if it speaks to me (or maybe "sings" to me) then I will book them - availability and timing dependent of course. If its not my thing I am polite and explain why it's not for my show

RMMW: What is your favourite aspect of doing a weekly radio show?

Photo credit Mike Prior 
TM: After all the preparation (and each show require 2-3 hours of preparation) - what I love is just being "in the moment" of the show - jumping off at tangents in conversations - I have a motto " Ask the unexpected question to get the unprepared response"

RMMW: We all have an inner critic inside of us who just loves to criticize our work, how do you contend with yours?

TM: I follow my heart -

RMMW: Since music festival season has begun in the UK... which ones are you looking forward to playing at or frequenting?

TM: I am playing, headlining in fact, The Caffe Nero stage at Cornbury Festival on July 7th - Also going to see Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks at the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park. 

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Karina Bush

Now, that I've had a chance to properly curl up with Karina Bush's Maiden, I think, I am ready to write this review. Maiden really truly is an journey for the senses, especially with regards to sexual and sensual exploration. When you read a painting you take note of specific techniques such as: brush strokes, capacity for blending realistic and un colours and perhaps believably of theme. I don't know what it is with regards to the quality of words that would release inside of the reader -- a thought to perhaps be more open minded. To appreciate the intimacy of words and phrases held dear to body parts when aroused, attain a mind blowing experience but also the neglect of what nurtures poor relations to a level of abuse that renders the reader to ask why should human beings have to hurt each other to comprehend one another. Pretty deep thought if you ask me. The competency level of this beautiful girl's ability to weave such an intimate explorative tale leaves even me breathless – wanting more of this pure passion.


Just Me

It's just me
That's all I need
Just me and the void
And my wound
And my hand
And my slave

I submit to myself
There is nothing else

Wounds heal tight
But my breath tonight
Is Heavy
And my hand
And my slave
Are ready

I mean... come on? The profound depth of this core piece above leaves me questioning, are we genuinely all we really need? It brings up so many images of isolation but at the same time a self discovered independence -- that leaves you feeling or wanting for nothing. Can you imagine such a feeling? Sigh! Wanting for nothing – pretty much means close to perfection in my opinion. At that point you would not be tethered to anything else on this earth besides yourself. I can't even begin to imagine that – at some point it seems so unrealistic to be able to only require yourself for all of your: needs, desires, tribulations to be prepared to do what that specific role of independence will eventually ask you do to. Because even though you are ready, there may be a point where there's another version of you who desires nothing but that – do you give in and surrender to the greatest part of who you are or do you turn on it's back and ignore all its oblivion as you try to cheat a inevitable death.


Negligible

I need you to push it –push me

Shatter me
The parts that haven't already
Take charge

But you didn't
So you showed your depth
Negligible

You couldn't have shattered me completely
You are a weakling

This piece just makes me want to sit down in a corner and cry like Alice in Wonderland, untiI am surrounded in an ocean of my own tears. We all have come across those individuals in life who not only want to see us miserable but; also to constantly wallow in our darkness to give comfort for theirs. I can't imagine anymore surrounding myself with individuals who are critical of not only who I am but, also the way that I looked. When I was in elementary school I was constantly barked at and called ugly by these boys who would ALWAYS torment me. Now, that being said, they tried to break me like a gazillion times and almost did at some point. Ok, I am getting to my point I promise... Needless to say, decades after being teased in the school yard one of my tormentors was jogging by my parents (was still living with my parents at that time) house and I heard this quiet voice call my name. Do you know what this individual told me – decades after the fact of being mocked to the point that my parents had to call the other parents of the students who kept taunting me? Nevertheless, that night I received the apology that I so richly deserved.  This individual could not even look at me until I told them that I survived it and that I forgave them. This story binds the last two lines for me in a fashion of soulful healing.


These two tidbits are and example of what you will find when you read Karina's Maiden; exquisite works which explore a world absorbed in desire, requited and un love. 

 Make note, Karina's new book 50 Euro is now out and ready to be purchased. 

Interview with Tony Moore

I'm excited to announce -- over the next couple of days I will be posting a follow up interview with Tony Moore... For now you can read this one from approximately 3 years ago -- should give you a taste of what Tony is all about... 

In high school during our Christmas concert, I wore a sparkly indigo-blue bowtie with a matching cummerbund, 12 pleated white tuxedo shirt, iridescent black pants and a covered denim jacket, ripped into a vest adorned with studs all over the front, on the back in shiny square studs spelt the name of the rock band “IRON MAIDEN” in large block letters. If someone had told me, back then, approximately 22 years later that I would have the good fortune to interview one of the original members of Iron Maiden, I would have cackled with laughter and called them CRAZY!

What Tony Moore has done for humanity, let alone the music industry is genuinely remarkable and all of this in one lifetime. Tony has seized every opportunity to not only succeed but consistently challenge himself, not exclusively as an artist more importantly as a human being. Tony is an innovator and trailblazer who has taken full advantage of our new found modern day technology by brining tremendous music to the masses.

You can follow Tony on social media via:Twitter, Instagram, Facebook: Tony Moore Magic and Facebook: Tony Moore Media.


Rania: Are you a classically trained keyboard/synthesizer player?



Tony: No, my father was, and I grew up listening to him playing all the greats from Rachmaninov to Chopin. But although I had a few lessons when I was young I found it hard to read music and follow a structure, I learnt to play by ear and was composing from about 12.



Tony Moore, The Best Day Of Your LIfe 

Rania: How many posts have you held in the music industry?

Tony: Hmmm, I have done so many things over the years but, Singer/Songwriter, Keyboard Player, Musical Director (in a band), Radio Presenter, Promoter, Producer and Manager.

Rania: Which one of these posts are your favourite and why?

 Tony: Singer/Songwriter, I will often stay up all night writing and singing because it releases an energy in me that I can find in no other outlet, it gives me the greatest joy.

Rania: What inspired you not only to take up flying but also the concept of Acoustic Airwaves?

Tony: I had always been intrigued by the idea of flying, but later in life, when I did some consultancy for a very good wage, I decided to use the money to invest in my wild dream. I immediately loved the challenge and focus it required and I love the precision that is required...as I was learning I not only felt that it was a privilege to be able to do it, but that I wanted to do something with the flying that had a purpose (more than just flying around in big circles for a few hours) I saw that there was space in the plane and felt it was like a flying transit in some ways. I thought wouldn't it be cool to fly to gigs with all my gear in the plane…that quickly morphed into the idea of doing it to raise money and awareness for Teenage Cancer Trust. In the last month of my training I started booking 15 airfields and telling them about my idea, some got behind it and others didn’t really understand what I wanted to do (or even why), I started the tour about a month after I got my license, it was insanely ambitious and there were a few moments I thought I might die! It was far beyond my skill level but naivety and enthusiasm are very contagious as they say, fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. At the end of it, my awareness of flying was incredibly sharpened, but as I look back on it now I get a chill and wonder how I ever did it! However, we raised money and lots of press for TCT and I am very proud of it.

Rania: What lesson do you want your students to take with them after leaving your “History of Song writing” class at the Institute Of Contemporary Music and Performance in North London?

Tony: That there are 3 keys to success you have to have: a hit song, sung by a hit voice arranged and recorded with a hit production as history proves this to be the case!

 
Tony Moore, Tunnel Vision

Rania: How does the ICMP fit into the wider music industry?

Tony: It is part of the whole new explosion of music in education - it is exciting and challenging to try and gather together a faculty of great educators who can share their wisdom and experience and help a whole new generation find their way.

Rania: What does ICMP offer artists/students over studying at another institution such as The Brit School?

Tony: The Brit School has many more disciplines across the entertainment world, they both focus on different but essential skill sets.

Rania: You’ve dedicated your life to music, what did earning the Gold Badge mean to you?

Tony: It was one of the most memorable days of my life and I feel honoured (literally.) It is an award from my peers and so it has a priceless place in my heart. I never did anything with my life except focus on the things I loved and tried to share my passion with those who would listen, so to be recognised for that was a surprise and extremely touching.

Rania: What do you feel are some of the challenge emerging artists face today in a high tech world as opposed to when you first started out?

Tony: Well, the competition is fierce, it's hard to be completely original, often the short cuts (celebrity focus) take artists to far too fast and they don’t have the experience to support themselves. It has always been hard - but I also feel music has become less "vital" to people and is more of a social experience. You hardly ever saw a camera at gigs when I was starting out - now your performance might be filmed from 10,000 different angles if you are a big star. However, I think there are fantastic opportunities for artists that never existed before and so often the challenges are balanced by new ways of working and being able to promote yourself.

Rania: What is the most valuable lesson you feel every musician should learn about his or her interactions within the music industry?

Tony: Never take it personally, don't be surprised if people let you down and be the best you can be ALL the time.

Tony Moore, The Search For Universal Truth 

Rania: Does The Bedford automatically live stream every performance?

Tony: Unless there are technical issues, we try and share the shows as much as we can, usually every show is webcast.

Rania: Has The Bedford ever thought of having audience participation via Skype/Google Hangout during a performance?

Tony: Yes, but we try and create sustainable, long term online streams, and that requires us to be as simple as possible, in the future we are looking at ways of being even more interactive.

Rania: How has streaming live performances helped both the artist and The Bedford?

Tony: I know of some acts that have had music released and shows booked outside of the UK by industry people who saw them online. It has helped build our reputation worldwide, we often get people come to London, and visit for the first time after having watched live for a long time because they feel part of the extended Bedford family.

Rania: Is there a place that you have not travelled or performed at that you would like to?

Tony: Australia and New Zealand and the Philippines.

Rania: What do you feel are some of the struggles modern day venues face with regards to current technology and promotion?

Tony: I think one major struggle is having enough man power/man hours to dedicate to filling the never ending void of social media that demands feeding all the time

Rania: What is the secret to establishing and maintaining a successful venue such as The Kashmir and The Bedford to entice people to actually go to the venue?

Tony: Making it personal, going beyond the extra mile in creating great sound and a great experience and booking the best music you can find, I always like to think that the events I organise are INCLUSIVE rather than EXCLUSIVE.

Rania: Do you have any artist rituals before composing a new piece?

Tony: I just drop everything when I feel inspired and try and find the nearest instrument!

Rania: All artists go through a creative block, how do you deal with yours?

Tony: I don’t worry, I look back at the (sometimes years) when I have written nothing and seen that suddenly, when the moment is right, I will write!

Rania: If you had a super-power, what would it be?

Tony: To Manipulate time!