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Motive Black’s debut album titled, Auburn, is out now. Produced by Grammy-winner Nick Rowe (Bloodsimple, Vampire Weekend) the album features special guests such as Marcos Curiel (P.O.D.), Ray Luzier (Korn), and Carla Harvey (Butcher Babies). We had a chat with Elana Justin, the artist behind the project, all about how Motive Black came to be, the making of Auburn and more.

Hi Elana! How are you? What does a typical day look like for you at the moment?

“Hi! A typical day for me at the moment starts with walking my dog followed by a 20 minute meditation. I try to throw in some yoga to get my body ready and warm for rehearsals. We have been prepping for some upcoming shows, so rehearsals and applying notes afterwards are super important.”

Please give us a little bit of background on the Motive Black project and how it came about.

“I came out to Los Angeles from New York to do a few warped tour shows on the Shira Girl stage in the summer of 2018. I had some songs I was trying to rework from my old band, and while I was out here I reached out to some producers. Nick Rowe and I worked on one of the songs and it kind of grew from there. I ended up staying in California and turning my attention towards this new project. I really just bothered everyone until they agreed to work with me.”

You’re about to release your debut album. What’s the record about, where did you draw influence from sonically and what does it mean to you? What do you hope listeners will take away from it?

“The album is about evolution and the wild roller coaster of emotions that you experience when you go through abrupt change. The road to finding yourself can be beautiful, but it’s also filled with mistakes, anger, forgiveness, mania, and heartache. I hope listeners can find songs on this album that they can really relate to, and feel seen within. We can’t all understand each other’s specific experiences, but we are all tied together by shared underlying emotions.”

Please take us through your songwriting/creative process for the LP. What was your favourite part? And what did you find most challenging? You worked with Ray Luzier, Marcos Curiel, Carla Harvey & Nick Rowe…how was that experience?

“Every song sort of came about in its own way. For some songs we started with my lyrics, and others Nick would have a cool riff he had been working on that we would try out. One song even began as a joke we were making on a break from working on a song that was giving us some grief. I think the most challenging thing was covid breaking up the production of the album so much. It also really messed with my headspace for a bit. Ray was amazing to work with. It was so cool to watch him record the drums and really add his energy to the project. Marco’s was really chill and laid back, he laid down some guitar for Broken. Carla was so lovely, she recorded vocals in Chicago because of covid. We finally got to meet in person while shooting the video. I’m so glad she agreed to sing on the track, she’s such an inspiration and was really a blast to work with.”

Finally, what else is next for you? We’ve read that for the future, your goal is to turn Motive Black into a full band, both in the interest of touring and future work on new music. Are you in the process of doing this yet?

“Motive Black is now a full band, hence the rehearsals. It’s really cool to see the songs finally coming to life on stage. We have some upcoming shows soon to be announced in Los Angeles, and hope to be out touring in the fall.”

Brand new artist IKONIK is the brainchild of Katrine Wachmann from Copenhagen. Inspired by the early 2010’s she brings forward a technical and fresh take on the metal genre. Having some of the best vocal cords and chops the Nordic metal industry has to offer, IKONIK is a name that is set to flourish in the coming years. Now, she presents her debut single ‘Wall of Stone’. “‘Wall of Stone’ is a song about commitment issues and being stuck in a relationship that is going nowhere, though knowing that vulnerability might be the only way to make a relationship work. Whatever the listeners get from this song I’m just truly humble, amazed and excited that IKONIK is off on its wings and ready to fly out into the world”.

Finnish hard rock act Smackbound will release their second album, Hostage, on April 21 via Frontiers Music Srl. Fronted by versatile vocalist Netta Laurenne, it sees the quintet deliver another powerful slab of metal-influenced musin. A first single and video from the record for the song ‘Change’ is available now. “We actually started writing the album in early 2021 and even recorded the drums for a couple of songs, but then stopped because a lot of other things were going on in our lives,” explains Laurenne. “Most of it was subsequently written and recorded in autumn 2022 and I actually wrote some of the lyrics and recorded vocal takes just days before the album was mixed and mastered. We were taking turns between working on the record and sleeping! It was a hell of a ride, but we were able to pull through and give birth to our beloved second child!”

The End A.D. present the video for their song ‘Stink’, directed by Lanice Hill. ‘Stink’ is a track taken from the band’s It’s All In Your Head album, out now via Wormholedeath worldwide.

Disillusive Play is excited to announce their signing with the Wormholedeath label for the distribution and promotion of their second full album entitled Songs for the Non-Existent, which will be released in Spring 2023. Songs for the Non-Existent, will feature Marios Karanastasis (The Silent Wedding) on the duet of the album, Bob Katsionis (ex. Firewind) on Keyboards, Iliana (Enemy Of Reality) in backing vocals, and guest appearance of bass player Panagiotis Bourazanis in one track. Check out the astonishing video for ‘Queen of the Night’ below.

‘Necro Nightmare’ is the third single from Küntsquäd‘s new self-titled album due for release on February 24 via Wormholedeath worldwide. Watch the video below.

Discover more women in heavy music via the playlist below!

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