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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

Exclusive album stream: Clean Bandit's 'New Eyes' *is* the sound of Summer 2014

Posted: 29 May 2014 01:45 AM PDT

Listen to a stream of latest UK music sensation Clean Bandit's debut album New Eyes exclusive to The Star Online, courtesy of Warner Music. 

When Clean Bandit first got into the music scene, record labels refused to sign the quartet dismissing them as a joke. But when the group's breakout single Rather Be hit over 52 million views on YouTube and then topped the UK Singles Chart earlier this year, it became obvious who had the final laugh.

As their current single Extraordinary burns up the UK and international charts, one can't miss the band's fusion of classical stringed instruments with electronic beats. Odd though they may sound on paper, the band's music somehow manages to hit all the right notes among music fans.

Clean Bandit: (From left) Luke Patterson, Jack Patterson, Grace Chatto, and Milan Neil Amin-Smith.

Formed in Cambridge in 2009, Clean Bandit is made up of bassist/keyboardist Jack Patterson, drummer Luke Patterson, cellist Grace Chatto and violinist Neil Amin-Smith. Ahead of the worldwide release of their debut album New Eyes on June 2, Chatto was more than excited to share her enthusiasm for the band's major project.

Clean Bandit doesn't have a lead singer. How do you decide and choose the vocalist for your tracks?

"It always comes about in different ways. The first vocalist we worked with, Love Ssega (featured on Mozart's House and Telephone Banking) was a friend of ours and we did a lot of live shows with him there too. Then Jack met Eliza Shaddad (featured on Birch and UK Shanty), when she was busking with her guitar in Shoreditch. Jack fell in love with her voice and asked her to do some writing together. Then Nikki Cyslin, who sings on A&E and Nightingale, we met through our studio space: South Kilburn Studios. She has now written the vocal line and appeared on a Gorgon City track too. Jess Glynne (from Rather Be), we heard on the Route 94 track My Love and thought her voice was perfect for the song we'd written.

Your songs are so diverse. Will there be any surprises in the album?

"I really hope so! We work with different vocalists on every song, so each track takes on a completely different feel. For example, we worked on a song with the reggae singer Stylo G and the Jamaican influences in the instrumental are pretty obvious.

We can't help but notice that the Clean Bandit members all have different degrees – from architecture to Russian. Did this help with the creative process or cause disagreements?

"It definitely does! Musically, we are on a similar wavelength as we have played together for such a long time. It's important outside of writing too. Neil is a DJ, so we are introduced to a lot of new music from him. Luke is a skateboarder, and without this, a lot of the shots in our videos would not have been possible."

The cover image for Clean Bandit's debut album New Eyes, to be released worldwide on June 2.

Clean Bandit directs its own music videos. Do you think it's important for an artist to control the visual aspect of the music?

"It's really important for us to keep that control. We try and see each project as a whole – the video and music having equal importance. I think Jack would find it impossible to relinquish control over either!"

So why are videos now as important as music?

For us, what we see is just as interesting as what we hear, and the way the two relate is all-important. We always seem to come up with visual ideas at the same time as writing music (or sometimes even before!) and the two are inseparable.

Check out the exclusive stream below of the entire Clean Bandit New Eyes album before its official release on June 2 right here on The Star Online. Courtesy of Warner Music. 

'Metal Knight': Christopher 'Saruman' Lee releases metal album at 92

Posted: 29 May 2014 01:05 AM PDT

Screen legend Christopher Lee celebrates his 92nd birthday by releasing a heavy metal mini-album entitled Metal Knight.

The actor, known to younger fans for his portrayal of Saruman in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, is a long-time devotee of heavy metal – a genre partly inspired by the horror films he starred in earlier in his career – and already has several album releases under his belt. He turned 92 on May 27. 

"I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that the music delivers," explained Lee, who possesses a booming, classically-trained bass voice, and is probably the oldest metal performer in rock history.

Man of metal: Christopher Lee (above), best known to younger film fans as Saruman in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, is also a metal beast. Celebrating his 92nd birthday, the actor who was knighted by Prince Charles in 2009, released Metal Knight (below), a mini-album of covers from the Man Of La Mancha, Carmen and Frank Sinatra's My Way

Cementing his credentials within the rock community, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi presented the star with the Spirit of Metal prize at the Golden Gods Awards in 2010 for his services to metal music. In December last year, the actor became the oldest ever performer to place in the US Billboard singles chart with his record Jingle Hell.

Metal Knight features four tracks and three alternative edits. Two songs are from the Man of La Mancha musical: I, Don Quixote and The Impossible Dream. The others are The Toreador March from Georges Bizet's opera Carmen, in its original French, and My Way, popularised by Frank Sinatra.

"As far as I am concerned, Don Quixote is the most metal fictional character that I know," said Lee. "Single handed, he is trying to change the world, regardless of any personal consequences. It is a wonderful character to sing". – AFP/RelaxNews


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