Based in Chelmsford, the only city in Essex is alternative rockers Lemoncurd Kids. Their unique sense of fashion does not detract the focus from their musical brilliance and to prove they should not be taken lightly, the quartet have delivered their second album "Consequence Of Doubt". To show that there are consequences should you doubt this band's musical arsenal, the guys discussed the new album, their back-story and their place within the Essex rock scene.
"The problem in the [Essex] music scene is getting people to shows and keeping venues alive"
For those who have not heard of Lemoncurd Kids, could you give us a brief history of the band, the meaning behind the name and how you all became musicians?; was you in previous bands? Was it hard to obtain your signature outfits?
"Lemoncurd Kids were born in Winter 2014. Mark was a solo performer under the name of 'The Lemoncurd Kid' and he decided to put a band together for a charity show, so James, Jon and Matt joined him and he has been unable to shake them off ever since. The name comes from Mark’s propensity as a child to smear lemon curd over his face and stick slices of bread to it. He thought ‘The Lemoncurd Sandwich Kid’ was a bit of a mouthful so it was shortened.
We’ve all got a fair bit of band experience so we came into it knowing how a band should work; we function pretty well and have kept disagreements to a minimum.
The cardigans (or ‘Curdigans’, as they’ve become known) were purchased online from an American label called ‘2/men’ - I would guess they’re discontinued now. Also in the line-up is the burgundy cardigan - the ‘Burdigan’, and the lesser-spotted lemon corduroy trousers - the ‘Curduroys’. When we’re not naming our clothes, we sometimes make music."
Back in December, you released your music video and single 'Tick Tock', could you explain the meaning behind the title, what the video is meant to portray and where inspirations came from? What was the reception like?
"I guess the whole feel of the song is a message. A reminder to really live in the present, look around you, take it all in and appreciate all the little things that we take for granted in everyday life. In the video you see us connecting musically with each other through some strange scientific experiment. Take time every now and then to stop, put your phone down and really have a moment of peace. Social media and the instant gratification culture that we live in is screwing with people's mental health. The track had an amazing response and has become a firm favourite for people at our shows."
Regarding the video, is it true you made the hats yourself? How long did they take to make and did you have any inspiration to go by?
"James had the initial idea for the hats; I think his inspiration cams from an 80’s film, maybe ‘Ghostbusters’ or something, and he created his for a fancy dress party a year or so ago. It was a good look so we all had a go at making our own and personalising them in some way. Apart from Matt, who is inept and cannot operate a glue-gun without adult supervision so he got his friend Tom to do it for him."
What is the Essex rock scene like right now? Is it going strong? What could (or should) change in your opinion?
"The Essex music scene, in terms of the music itself, seems to be in rude health. Here in Chelmsford the established acts are putting out really strong efforts, and up and coming bands like Children Of The Fuzz are getting the recognition they deserve. Further afield, Shooty & The Bang Bang released an absolute banger of an album last year and we really have to be on our toes when we’re on the same bill. We’ve been lucky to play with some truly great talents. The problem in the music scene is getting people to shows and keeping venues alive - we lost Asylum around 18 months ago and The Square in Harlow went and The Railway in Southend nearly went. It’s a shame but we keep fighting the apathy."
Out of all the gigs you have done, what has been your favourite and why?
"Favourite gig is a hard one; we’ve had some great times and a great crowds but personally I’ll never forget the crowd singing along to ‘Tick Tock’ at a charity gig in January 2019, the song hadn’t been out long but everyone seemed to know it and it’s an undeniably amazing feeling when that happens."
Would you agree that rock music in the UK is on the up again? Or did it never really fade away?
"I think the supposed demise of rock music pre-dates The Beatles, so I’m not too concerned at a national level. The festival scene has diversified, and that’s a good thing, but it’s not unusual to see rock bands headlining here there and everywhere."
With 2019 in full swing, what plans (aside from album promotion) have you got for the year ahead?
"We have two gigs in the diary - June 16th at The United Bretheren in Chelmsford and The Fling Festival on 6th July, also in Chelmsford. We’re planning on making another video. And after that who knows?"
Finally do you have any greetings, thank you's, etc., that you wish to send out to friends, family, fans, etc?
"We’d like to thank everyone who continues to support us. Playing in empty rooms or to disinterested punters is no fun so to all that come to our shows and listen to and like our music - thank you so much. Peace out x"
It's always imperative that upcoming musicians from the grass roots background should receive attention and endless coverage to help push their career forwards. Specifically focusing on rap music, a more or less male-dominated genre, things recently have began to change for the better with more and more females taking up the MC and laying down their own songs to challenge the guys in their own ball park. One such female rapper is Cianna Blaze, whose gritty, smooth yet punchy sound is set to shake the very foundations of the rap music world.
Check out here debut EP "Get Mine" below:-
Global Mainstream Arts sat down with her to discuss ambitions, gender equality in rap music and of course her debut EP.
"I do also feel that there is pressure on females to be sexier with it (rap music) too"
Hi Cianna, firstly how did you get into rap music? Who inspired you growing up and at what point did you want to become a rap artist?
"I've been an Emcee (MC - Master of Ceremonies)) from my early teenage years, all of my friends were guys at the time and they all emceed, so I initially tried it more to fit in but grew to love it and couldn't stop! "
What do your parents think of your music?
"Mum calls it noise lol"
Do you feel that rap music carries certain stigma's with it? How would you address the criticisms of the genre? What do you think of rap rock / metal?
"I think when being a rapper people automatically stick you in a box, they pigeon-hole you; you are either hip-hop or grime and that's it! My sound is much more alternative, although there are certainly influences from both genres."
What was it like working with Maxim from The Prodigy? He must be a laid back yet creative guy.
"Yeah he is dope, touring on his DJ sets was such a 'once in a lifetime experience'!"
How did you come up with the inspiration for the song 'Booty Like Nicki'? There surely must be a story behind it?
"When I go to the gym and I see girls with wicked asses, I can't lie it makes me sad because I want a bum like that! That's what initially inspired the concept and obviously with a bit of tongue and cheek. Nicki Minaj has the BIG bootay so it felt right to mention her."
You must be excited to be releasing your debut EP "Get Mine"? Will you be touring in support of it?
"I plan to jump on the festivals in the summer for sure! I will be pushing it online via my Spotify @ciannablaze and also my YouTube account which is also /ciannablaze "
With Grime becoming a vastly popular style of rap music, could you inform us what the core differences between rap and grime music are?
"Grime is a British sound and hip-hop is American, the tempos are different and all round styles are fundamentally miles apart! "
Do you feel that female rappers aren't as appreciated as their male counterparts? Is there a stigma towards female rappers?
"I think that the rap scene until recently was very male dominated. With female rappers like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj running the charts it is beginning to change for sure! I do also feel that there is pressure on females to be sexier with it too."
What plans do you have for the year ahead and are there any greetings you wish to send out?
"Lots more recording and releasing, I don't think you can ever have too much music! Lots of touring and more videos, a new year but the work continues!"
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