Rock-a-Rolla Q&A

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Rock-a-Rolla: Q&A with editor-in-chief Vuk Valcic
For our 12th Q&A we’re going off-piste and instead of talking to the artists performing at Supersonic 2011, we’re checking in with Vuk Valcic, editor of Rock-a-Rolla magazine. Capsule has a long standing relationship with the magazine and we salute their coverage of independent, progressive music.  Read on to find out Vuk’s fondest Supersonic memories and why he thinks the festival is essential.

How would you describe your relationship with Supersonic Festival?
Rock-A-Rolla has been Supersonic’s media partner since the very early days of the mag – in fact going all the way back to our first year of existence. Capsule have always had a knack for selecting interesting and vital artists, and the line-up has always been spot-on in terms of what we cover in the magazine. We’re also friends and fans.

Which acts are you looking forward to most in this year’s line-up, and why?
As always, pretty much all of them, but for my part Secret Chiefs 3, Zombi, Zu93, WITTR, White Hills, Circle, Fire!, Barn Owl and The Skull Defekts are all particularly unmissable. Secret Chiefs 3 should be every festivalgoer’s top priority.

What has been your ultimate favourite performance at a previous Supersonic and why?
Tough question. There’s no way I can choose just one, but let’s go with Oxbow Duo and Wolf Eyes in 2007, Asva and Dälek in 2008, and SunnO))) and Thorr’s Hammer in 2009, all of which were memorable for various reasons. And of course Zu a couple of years back – one of the best live bands out there.

How would you describe Supersonic to a potential, fresh audience?
In one word: essential. It’s the only festival that keeps getting it right year in, year out. For crucial, cutting-edge underground rock, metal and experimental music, there’s simply no other festival quite like it in the UK. On a more personal note, it’s like getting all the bands you read about in Rock-A-Rolla together in one place for an awesome weekend.

What does Supersonic offer differently compared to any other festival?
The line-up is just plain different to any other UK festival you can think of, and it’s always outstanding. It speaks for itself, really. Other than the band selection, the Custard Factory setting makes this a completely different beast to the outdoor festivals doing the rounds – no mud and Portaloos here, just great music and a great atmosphere.

What impact does Supersonic have on Birmingham’s music scene?
I think it goes beyond Birmingham – and the UK for that matter. It undoubtedly plays a major part in putting Birmingham on the map and of course brings festivalgoers to the city, which can only be a good thing, but more importantly Supersonic has far-reaching impact on underground music worldwide.

Interview by Ross Cotton

www.rock-a-rolla.com

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Film week, day 2: ‘Man With A Video Camera’

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Supersonic film week, day 2: Man With A Video Camera

Supersonic 2011 are pleased to present ‘Man With A Video Camera’, a documentary about the Finnish band Circle.  Happily, Circle themselves are also performing this year, thus squaring the, um, circle.  In fact, although we say ‘documentary’, ‘Man With A Video Camera’ is closer to an anti-documentary.  As with, say, ‘Lost In La Mancha’, Terry Gilliam’s film-about-making-a-film-of-Don-Quixote, the actual story appears to be somewhere else, somewhere unplaceable.  Perhaps that’s because filmmaker Esko Lönnberg himself has come from elsewhere, into Circle’s world…

Lönnberg left his middle-class job in Sweden and returned to his hometown of Pori, Finland to pursue his artistic desires.  The shooting for the film mostly takes place in the countryside where the band is recording their next album. The circumstances turn out to be chaotic and most of the band appear totally uninterested and unengaged.  But, Esko tries to keep the crowd together, even though he does not know himself if he is going to end up with fiction or non-fiction.  Throughout, Esko captures everything essential and unessential on video while the band plays.

In the end, this unique film tells you all you need to know about documentary-making, its perils and its rewards.

http://www.fonal.com/shop/petrihagner_manwithavideocamera_dvd

 

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Meet Pharaoh Overlord

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Meet Pharaoh Overlord

In their own words, Pharaoh Overlord play “hypno-improv-stoner-rock”. Featuring three members of the Finnish group Circle (also playing Supersonic 2011), Jussi Lehtisalo, Janne Westerlund and Tomi Leppänen started up Pharaoh Overlord just over a decade ago to explore their love of stoner-rock. Since then, they’ve boiled it right down to its essence, each new record taking a different trip.  Then again, their ‘Out Of Darkness’ album from earlier this year took a sharp, unexpected turn into the heart of true heavy metal. Their ‘Live in Suomi’ album even features Joachim Irmler of Faust, both performing and remixing. All of which was enough to inspire Roadburn Festival to host them as artists-in-residence this year.

The band’s new record ‘Horn’ (Ektro Records) is a further departure for the band. This is nasty, noisy full-on art rock from the outer reaches of space, like early Sonic Youth tearing it up with Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers.  We reckon this is really satisfying head-music that’ll move your body too. The album features a cover of Spacemen 3’s ‘Revolution’, which may or may not be the tune they’re playing on the Roadburn 2011 clip below. You tell us. Either way, it’s a quarter of an hour of zoned-out, one-chord magic.

Pharaoh Overload at Ektro Records

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Circle + Pharaoh Overlord + more to play Supersonic 2011

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Further line up announcements for this year’s Supersonic Festival include exciting appearances from Circle and Pharaoh Overlord. Fresh from their artist residency at Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands , Circle and Pharaoh Overlord will both perform at this year’s festival. Circle bring together krautrock beat, heavy riffs and showmanship to induce a trance like state, while Pharaoh Overlord  (featuring members of Circle) lets out their stoner/space rock side. To celebrate the appearance of these Finnish legends we will be screening a new documentary ‘Man with a Video Camera’. The film follows a Swedish Circle fan who decides to make a documentary of the band, and finds them to be kindred spirits despite their lack of interest in his film…

Here are Circle performing at Supersonic Festival 2006

Other acts confirmed to play are  Silver Apples, enormously influential pioneers of electronic music, their odd breed of psychedelia has inspired scores of other bands. Nathan Bell, formerly of Lungfish will perform his cyclic banjo music. Avant -garde violinist and sound artist Tony Conrad will also be appearing – an experimental musician, film maker and writer, every performance of his is a unique event.

Early bird tickets went flying out the door and are now sold out. Weekend tickets are available here for £75, giving you three days of music, art, film and cake.

Supersonic Festival 2011

21-23 October

feat: Bardo Pond, Circle, Cloaks, Electric Wizard, Fire! feat. Oren Ambarchi, Secret Chiefs 3, Zombi, ZU93, a.P.a.t.T, Agathe Max, Antilles, Astro, Blarke Bayer//Black Widow, Eternal Tapestry, Lucky Dragons, Monarch, Pekko Kappi, Scorn, The Skull Defekts, White Hills, Wolves in the Throne Room, Nathan Bell, Tony Conrad, Silver Apples, Pharaoh Overlord and many more to be announced.

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Man with a Video Camera

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Esko Lönnberg has left his middle-class job in Sweden and returned to his hometown of Pori, Finland. Now he has taken up filmmaking. His first project is a film about the rock band Circle.

The film follows Esko Lönnberg who is making a film about the rock band Circle. Lönnberg, a 59-year-old HVAC manager, left his job in Sweden and returned to his hometown of Pori, Finland, to pursue his artistic desires. In Pori, he found kindred spirits in the local experimental
band Circle whose members are half of his age. The shooting for the Circle movie mostly takes place in the countryside where the band is recording their next album. The circumstances turn out to be chaotic, but Esko tries to keep the crowd together, even though he does not know himself if he is going to end up with fiction or non-fiction – and problems ensue. Disagreements disappear, however, when the gang gets together to share sacred moments
around the dinner table, to watch sports on TV or to play in the recording room, where Esko captures everything essential and unessential on video while the band plays. When filming the musicians in action, Esko almost becomes part of the band. He throws himself into the music with his whole body and does not pay much attention to what his instrument, the video camera, is recording. In spite of some discord and even heated tones, the making of the
Circle movie radiates an air of friendship. It ties the crowd together, regardless of the weight of each individual performance. In the end, the greatest rewards seem to be the work itself and the shared experiences. The vocalist of Circle, Mika Rättö, is virtually the only one in the band to show interest in Esko’s film project. The making of the film indeed falls mostly on their shoulders. Besides being an account of filmmaking, “Man with a Video Camera” is a film about the significance of choices in life and their consequences.

This screening accompanies a special performance by Circle at Supersonic Festival 2011.

 

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Circle

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Fresh from their artist residency at Roadburn Festival, Supersonic are delighted to announce that both Circle and Pharaoh Overlord will join the festival bill.

Formed in 1991, Circle is the most visible and prolific name in the Finnish avant-rock underground. Having survived innumerable lineup changes, the band and its founder, bassist/vocalist/guitarist Jussi Lehtisalo, have constantly reinvented themselves, weaving hypnotic mantras out of exacting Krautrock beats, heavy riffs, arty noise, dark psychedelia, and soundtrack-like beauty. Hard, chilly repetition has served as the lone unifying theme throughout 15 years of experiments.

http://www.circlefinland.com/

To accompany this performance, we will be screening a special new ‘documentary’ on the band, ‘Man with a Video Camera‘.

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Pharaoh Overlord

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Fresh from their artist residency at Roadburn Festival, Supersonic are delighted to announce that both Circle and Pharaoh Overlord will join the festival bill.

Pharaoh Overlord are a self described “Stoner Rock” side project of Circle, but don’t go getting visions of Nebula and Kyuss in your head just yet: this is more like “Stoner Minimalism.” Pharaoh Overlord deconstruct the standard rock song creating vast soundscapes that stretch time and space. Riffs capable of moving mountains repeat endlessly and when the silence finally comes, it’s deafening.

http://www.ektrorecords.com

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