Interview – Riff Bastard

English newcomers Riff Bastard are ready to make the world a much heavier place with their groovy brand of hard rocking sludge and, of course, riffs the size of bull elephants. M3 asked the band about their origins, the death of the record store, and the New World Order…

M3 – First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself, and what it is that you do?
Riff Bastard – We are a new heavy rock/sludge/doom band in Nottingham. We are playing gigs, just recorded our first record and are signed to local independent label ‘Unrepresented’ run by Junkie Kut.

What inspired you to form Riff Bastard? What are your own musical backgrounds?
Riff Bastard started with a couple of band members Chris and Victor meeting up and talking about a mutual love of all things rock/ metal. Especially the doom – sludge end of things. It grew from that point as they contacted like minded mates and old aquaintences. We got together and connected instantly, we are seriously pleased with the resulting ideas and dynamics of the band. We play what we want as long as it works which has included elements of Hardcore or Black metal.

What would be your preferred medium to listen to music (eg. Vinyl, CD, tape, MP3 etc.), and why?
CD’s because they are pretty hard wearing. It’s hard looking after vinyl you end up with jumping crackling records. MP3’s are good because you can save physical storage space and feed your musical addiction without having to displace the rest of the family.

Do you feel the idea of an album, as a piece of art that people will listen to from start to finish, has been undermined or forgotten about in the digital age?
Depends on who is listening. If you are into pop music you tend to want to hear the hits. If you are into music which is less about instant gratification and making cash you tend to want to get the whole picture the artist is portraying. Most people might do a bit of both so it gives people a bit of freedom.

Much has been made of the supposed death of the record store in recent years. Do you believe the digital age has killed the record store, and if so, do you think that this is a necessary part of progression, or a tragic loss?
Many record stores have closed since the internet has made it easy to buy music online without having to leave your living room. The big record stores deserve it because they were always sterile and over priced. The independant local stores will be missed because they were havens for music as art, the staff knew you and your tastes and they supported the local music scene.

Many people have claimed that there is no longer any money in record sales, and that touring is the most efficient way to earn an income as a band. How much truth do you think there is in this sentiment?
Depends on Simon Cowell…

Do you think traditional copyright laws are still enforceable in the digital age, or do you think we will have to rethink the concept of copyright itself?
The copywright laws will remain. The big corporations trade with online companies which support their interests. It’s the New World Order.

What is your take on the recent SOPA/ACTA controversy?
It may infringe upon freedom of speech and be used to shut down unwanted voices (Wikileaks etc).

What would you say are the main challenges facing an up-and-coming musician/band in today’s cultural climate?
The world is awash with music and bands, a lot of it is sterile and contrived. You have to stand out from the pack. That doesn’t mean that you deliberately go out of your way to be different, you can get heavily formulaic music played by bands with a certain spirit and attitude that grabs you and draws you into the music, you have to find and tap into the psyche of like minded people.

Finally, what does the future hold for Riff Bastard?
More awseome music and more fun, staying up late playing gigs, meeting more people!

For more information about Riff Bastard, you can visit their official Facebook page.

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About M3 Event

The music industry is rapidly changing. The internet has enabled widespread piracy, as well as a variety of new business and distribution models. We want to offer an engaged audience in and around the Euregion an opportunity to develop a coherent and detailed picture of the future of music distribution. On the 31st of May 2012 a music conference in Maastricht, consisting of oppositional debates, creative workshops and lectures, will provoke opportunities for intellectual stimulation, debate, as well as networking. We hope to utilise the skills and ideas of some of most forward thinking minds and operators in the industry in order to highlight some promising new ideas and areas which can be improved upon.

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