Copying music for personal use now legal in UK

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Copying music for your own personal use is now legal in the UK.

Until now UK law has considered it piracy to make copies of music for backup purposes or to use it on another listening device. The new Intellectual Property Act – which comes in to force today – has changed that.

Users are now legally able to make multiple copies of music that they have lawfully purchased. They are not allowed to keep the copies if they sell the original item that they bought, however. It also remains illegal to record streamed music or copy a rented title, and sellers remain legally able to secure material with DRM software.

Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “These changes are to bring our laws into the 21st century. They mean that the UK is now responsive to the modern business environment, and more flexible for consumers.”

Business analyst Alice Enders notes, however: “Content owners will become more concerned. They don’t want their works to be copied without compensation – they want to sell it, rent it to you or get you on a subscription. No money comes from a copy.”

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Interview: anything but idle with Frankie Whyte

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Photo (C) Kevin Lamb, Kevin Lamb Photography

“Why do you sleep on the left side of the bed or the right? Why do you like tea or coffee? Or beer or whiskey? Or blondes or brunettes? Some things in life simply feel natural to us: We’re at home when we have them, and homeless without. This is the way I’ve felt about music, for as long as I can remember.”

So says singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontwoman Frankie Whyte, of Frankie Whyte and The Dead Idols. Hailing from Toronto, the band are one of Canada’s foremost rock n’ roll hopes. And what’s more, they appear to have come to prominence the old fashioned way. Constant touring whilst holding down (two) day jobs; traversing their native country by hauling their gear themselves – sometimes precariously on public transport; writing, writing, writing and writing some more; grabbing opportunities by the throat when they finally come along. In short, they’ve been working long and bloody hard to deliver the best rock n’ roll they know how, and any profile in the rock world that they have, they’ve more than paid their dues to now enjoy.

So who are they and what makes them tick? What do they play and why should you listen? Skin Back Alley was lucky enough to speak with Frankie in the middle of a very hectic schedule to find out a little more.

Skin Back Alley: For those who might be less familiar with Frankie Whyte And The Dead Idols, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the band?

Frankie Whyte: We are rock n roll band called Frankie Whyte And The Dead Idols, from Toronto, Canada.

SBA: The new record is complete. How has the recording process gone?

FW: This record is the first album we’ve done live off the floor. It was a great experience and I think we’re all looking forward to working in such a way in the future. When you’re moving together at once it can very well feel like musical teamwork.

SBA: What can we expect from the new record?

FW: I think this record has a genuine recklessness to it. I think it’s true to the spirit of rock n roll, it’s not perfect. I’m not here to be perfect, I’m here to tell the truth.

SBA: Any news on a release date yet?

FW: Nothing announced as of yet, but it’s looking like early 2015.

SBA: Who have you been working with in terms of production and engineering?

FW: We went back into the studio with Duncan Coutts from Our Lady Peace who worked with us on our first two albums. He was joined by Byron Wong who we’ve known for quite some time. The album was mixed by Brian Moncarz (who produced Keep Walkin’), and then mastered by Tom Baker whom we were excited to work with for the first time.

SBA: Have you always been around music and musicians?

FW: I haven’t always been around musicians, but I grew up in a family of music lovers which was extremely impactful.

SBA: When did you feel like you knew that music was a path you wanted or needed to follow?

FW: There wasn’t one moment. Those things about ourselves that are too far back to remember. They are woven into the very fabric of who we are. Music has always been special to me.

SBA: Where did the “Dead Idols” part of the band name come from?

FW: Growing up I was really into Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, Kiss… I was also into Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street band. The name was born of that ilk. The combination of those ideas. I wanted something to represent the weird, the off kilter. After all, rock n roll to me is about the outcast, those in the dark, those estranged.

SBA: Your song, “Keep Walkin'”, is something of a rock anthem. What was the inspiration behind it?

FW: At the time it was really important to me to write a song about perseverance. Sometimes life is just about putting one foot in front of the other. And that’s no small thing. We all need to be reminded of that from time to time.

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Photo (C) Frankie Whyte and The Dead Idols, taken from their Facebook page

SBA: You’ve said previously that songwriting and structure didn’t come at all naturally to you. Are you more at ease with it now?

FW: Amidst my frustration, one of my favourite songwriters gave me a great piece of advice. He said “one day it will just click. You won’t even realize it and you’ll say “hey, I can do this now”. I had that moment about 3 years ago after writing literally hundreds of songs, practicing, refining, analyzing. I was really quite crazy about it for a while. However now I’m in a place where I feel confident in my ability and I’m writing songs that I love. I am able to get out of my own way and not concern myself much with “technique”, but rather just field the ideas as they come. What is that old saying… once you know the rules, you can break them.

SBA: I understand that you write with and for others. How does that compare to writing for yourself?

FW: It is the same, and it is different. I love doing both, however. When I write for myself I have free reign over what I want to say and how I want to say it. When writing for other people, I have to consider what is important to them.

SBA: You’ve previously mentioned a learning disability that you felt was hampering your songwriting? Can we ask what it was, and what message would you have for those suffering with similar learning disabilities?

FW: I’m a verbal learner. I learn best in concentrated situations, so if I desire to really understand something I will almost always seek out one on one dialogues. It will take me twice as long to complete a task than the average person, which means I always arrive early, and I always stay later than everyone else. I have problems with structure and order of information, which in school can lead to educational chaos. What is a learning “disability” though if not a terrible explanation for what actually is a learning difference, and differences are what make us ourselves. My best piece of advice would be to take the time to get to know yourself, figure out what’s going on inside you so that you’re able to advocate for yourself. Realize what type of environment you are at your best in. I have made tricks/structures/signposts for myself so that I am able to work productively, quickly and confidently in a variety of situations. Most importantly though, never feel ashamed about your differences. You’re as capable as anyone else.

SBA: You seem very passionate about issues of mental health too?

FW: I live with varying degrees of depression and anxiety. I know what it’s like to not be able to get out of bed or to leave my house, and for people to not understand why. The societal issues are vast in the area of mental health. I think the best thing we can do for each other is to have a genuine curiosity and care for the other. In the case of mental health, silence can be just as deafening as it can be defining.

SBA: There seems to be a really strong rock scene in Toronto and Canada at the moment. Do you notice that? Do you feel part of it?

FW: Toronto is a great city with a thriving music scene. To be honest, I don’t think I fully realized the scene until a photographer friend of ours Kevin Lamb completed his latest photography book 3 Songs No Flash: Canadian Music On The Road. It is not only a chronicle of Toronto bands but probably nearly every Canadian rock band that you love is included into this one piece. When you see everyone compiled together in one place, you realize how big and prosperous this community truly is. Absolutely we’re very proud to be apart of it, we’re very grateful.

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Photo (C) A.J. Leitch, A.J. Leitch Visual Goods

SBA: What music is turning you on right now? Who should we all be listening to?

FW: This year I’ve been listening to Sempiternal by Bring Me The Horizon on repeat. I’m anticipating the new Black Veil Brides album that is coming out in October. Also awaiting the new SIXX AM. A lot of Metallica, a lot of Green Day. Then there are the stand by’s… Don Henley, Tom Petty, Bryan Adams etc. Rock music is my blood but I really just love good songs.

SBA: You’ve toured with both KISS and Bon Jovi in your time. What were those experiences like?

FW: They were a dream come true. Both bands shaped my playing in very significant ways.

SBA: You wrote a piece back in March for UberRock about the importance of Metallica. Are you aware of the controversy surrounding their upcoming headline appearance at the UK’s Glastonbury festival? What do you make of it?

FW: I actually haven’t heard about it. What’s up?

SBA: Well, let’s just say that the headline appearance of a heavy metal band at Britain’s most beloved music festival didn’t go down too well in some quarters!

Your online bio quotes Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. A fan of the movie?

FW: I’m a big fan of John Hughes movies. His screenplays are just phenomenal. John Hughes scripts can make me feel similar to the feeling I get when I hear a song that I identify with, I think “hey, that’s me”. That’s a good feeling.

SBA: As someone who used to work at a funeral home, I also share your apparent love of Six Feet Under. You liked the show?

FW: Not unlike John Hughes, anything Alan Ball is equally brilliant.

SBA: Can you share how and why you were “banned from a town in southern Ontario”?!

FW: In short, I wasn’t made aware of the no swearing clause in the gig contract. The rest is history.

SBA: What would “success” be for Frankie Whyte And The Dead Idols? What would you like to happen when the new record comes out?

FW: Success for us is making records on our own terms. Beyond that, whether in speech, writing, or music – it is important to me to let people know that they are not alone through whatever reality or adversity they face.

SBA: What’s next for FWDI? Tour dates on the horizon?

FW: Album release. Tour dates!

SBA: Any plans to play shows in the UK/Europe?

FW: We’re actually currently in the middle of discussing a UK/Europe tour. When things are firmed up, our sites will be updated accordingly and announcements will be made. Can’t wait to meet all of our friends over on the other side of the world.

Check out Frankie Whyte and The Dead Idols’ anthem of perseverance, “Keep Walkin'” below:

Find out more about Frankie Whyte and The Dead Idols at their official Facebook Page, Website, YouTube channel, Twitter and Instagram feeds.

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Under The Skin: The Passion of Skin Back Alley

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It doesn’t matter how hard you try to avoid it, sometimes life is gonna’ get in your way. At those times, it’s important to be mindful of the concept of acceptance. Some things you just aren’t going to be able to change, and you have to do your best to navigate them, learn from them, and move on.

To cut a story short, I was unexpectedly forced to look again at what I write here at Skin Back Alley this weekend; why I do it, what I want to achieve with it, and how best to go about doing that.

As well as checking in on my own internal values, motives and goals, I sought some external input, too. What does Skin Back Alley look like from an outside perspective?

One message came back and stuck in my mind: essentially, hold back on the superfan vibe; people will see you as a shill or a suck-up if you don’t make them fight for space on your site, or if your reviews are largely positive.

So I mulled that over for a while and bounced it around with other aspects of what I do here and why I do them; things that I do out of choice, and some that are a simple consequence of circumstance.

And I came to a conclusion.

I’m not at all inclined to hold back on any vibe that suggests that I am a fan of the styles of music I write about. The simple fact is I AM a fan of that music. I am very passionate about it. That and the best quality writing. For goodness sake, I love both so much that I’m trying to make writing about that music WHAT I DO. I think that’s part of what makes Skin Back Alley different.

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t write blindly or without insight in to what I am hearing; I won’t write thinking “If I do x, y band will love me.” In short, I’m not about to give a favourable writeup to something that is shit, regardless of whether it is in a genre I love. I mean what I say in the “About” section of this site. Skin Back Alley is not about personal prejudice.

But it is about PASSION. The writing WILL reflect that.

As for being a shill? Well, if you’re cynical enough to think that, then bollocks to you. That says more about you than it does about me or Skin Back Alley. The simple fact is that Skin Back Alley doesn’t have a vast swathe of staff writers to call upon (yet!) Therefore I do have to carefully select what gets covered in order to do it justice; in order to write with PASSION and INSIGHT; in order to write with Skin Back Alley’s brand values at the forefront of my mind.

I want Skin Back Alley to be a professional space, of course I do. I want it to have integrity. I want it to be seen as somewhere that fans and bands – indeed any and all people who are passionate about the music that I am passionate about – can come and engage and share in that passion.

I DO value this space; more than most things in my life. Do I expect anything from fans or bands in return? Well, I want them to value themselves and their music in the same way first; then I want them to value Skin Back Alley too, respecting why it was founded and what they’ll find here should they come.

You like Skin Back Alley? Great. Tell me. You don’t like Skin Back Alley, feel free to tell me that too! You want to use some of what I’ve written somehwere else or in your marketing or PR materials? Ask me! Credit me! I’ll probably say yes!

I want engaging with Skin Back Alley to be a mutually beneficial experience for ALL.

Rock HornsMaybe you think that’s all naive bullshit. Maybe you’re right. But until such time as I am proved wrong, I’m going to ensure that Skin Back Alley continues to do what it set out to do, and become what I have intended for it to become.

I hope you’ll join me.

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Watch! Black Label Society reveal ‘Angel of Mercy’ video

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Black Label Society have released a video for their track “Angel of Mercy.”

The song is taken from the band’s latest studio album, Catacombs Of The Black Vatican.

You can watch the video below. Let us know what you think!

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EXCLUSIVE! Bi:Lingual stream “Subject Number” radio edit

Bi-Lingual Live Shot

Occasionally a new band comes along with a song that slaps you upside the head with it’s passion and urgency; it makes you want to shout about it from the nearest rooftop and demand that a record label throw a wedge at it in order to make sure it’s heard; it inspires thoughts of immediately embarking upon a fevered run through the streets, yelling in people’s ears to stop what they’re doing and get with the programme. “Why are you not listening to this song? Right now?!”

Bi:Lingual are one such band, and their debut single, “Subject Number” is one such song.

Let it speak for itself via our exclusive first stream of the song’s radio edit. Click below:


It’s perhaps easy and inevitable to talk about Rage Against The Machine at this point; early adopters of the band certainly seem to be doing so. But put those thoughts out of your mind. Bi:Lingual share their rap/rock DNA, but there we’ll call a halt. These guys are a beast all of their own.

Listen carefully to Dylan Teague’s flow. It’s lyrically sharp and delivered with pin-point accuracy; yet it lays waste with the eruptive fire of a Pompeii-scale paroxysm, particularly in that roar of a chorus. It seems to these ears, too, that the particularly British pronunciation draws more on the styles explored by the UK rap and hip-hop scenes; and in the way that they rip the global talent-show trend a new arsehole, the lyrics spun in the sphere of UK grime.

The instrumentation is equally unyielding in it’s blistering incalescence; a tempestuous assault on the senses with the burning sting of a box of pissed-off hornets. The rhythm section of Aaron Lythe on bass and Stephanos Louca on drums throw it down with funk and groove that, when bolted firmly to the hardcore guitar snarl of George Louca, is blistering and thrillingly bolshy.

And, bugger me, that guitar solo! Eye-popping? Yup! Mind-boggling? You bet. Matt Bellamy eat your motherf**king heart out. And you, Chris Wolstenholme!

At this point, I would apologise for the profanity. I’m not usually prone to it. But to my mind Bi:Lingual are that good that I need to make a point. Why don’t you make one too, and buy the bloody single.

– oOo –

The full version of “Subject Number” is available for pre-order now via Itunes

Find out more about the band at: Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube

Bi:Lingual are about to embark upon an extensive UK tour, playing:

July
23rd – The Showroom, Hartlepool
30th – The Fenton, Leeds

August
2nd – Carpe Diem, Leeds
4th – Subject Number Single Release
5th – The Keys, Middlesbrough (supporting DZ Deathrays)
9th – The Globe, Newcastle
14th – Roadhouse, Manchester
15th – Ryans Bar, Derby
26th – The Islington, London
30th – The Lomax, Liverpool (International Music Festival)

September
11th – Zombie Shack, Manchester

October
4th – The Crown, Middlesbrough (Guests at RISE Wrestling)

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