Jonny Polonsky may well be a new name to most, but mark it down – it's one you'll hear again and again.

Even Black Francis is a fan, with the Pixies frontman musing: "The guy was born to be a rock star and he makes the music to back it up.”

New album 'The Other Side of Midnight' is out now, and captured a certain David Lynch-ian treatment of the twilight gloom. Clash is able to premiere the video for 'Lay Down Your Arms' and it enhances this aesthetic.

Jonny comments: "This video was filmed in Salton Sea, a ramshackle desert town located a couple hours outside of Los Angeles. It's a very strange place, but visually stunning. The director, Chris Deford, and I braved the sweltering summer sun, biblical droves of flies, and an epically rotten stench coming from off the water (there is such a high concentration of salt that it ends up killing a lot of the fish). But, hey, it's only rock and roll, right? Chris did a great job, it looks beautiful. Enjoy."

Check it out now.

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Have you heard? Toms has a new vocation. Previously known for its ‘one for one’ campaign providing footwear (plus water and safer facilities) to those in need, the brand has since turned its attentions to sight.

And the product results (no doubt the recipients of cataract surgery, medication and optical glasses too) are great.

Top of Clash’s list is the Maxwell in tortoise, above. One of two colourways (grey crystal being the other), the vintage leaning frame boasts a two in one formula, that is, the shaded frames are detachable leaving the wearer with a second pair of glasses.

That said, it’s the former look which is the most striking of the pair, providing a unique aviator meets wayfarer (alike) aesthetic. And which will likely have the upper hand during the UK’s current freak weather spell, ‘cause, sunnies season right?


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Richard Hawley has always been a force to be reckoned with, but it seems that the rest of the world is now catching up.

New album 'Hollow Meadows' will be released on September 11th, the singer's first since the Mercury nominated 'Standing At The Sky's Edge'.

Ahead of this, Richard Hawley has shared new track 'Which Way'. Fuzzed up guitar matched against that unmistakeable baritone, it's a bracing return from a true treasure.

Check it out HERE.

'Hollow Meadows' will be released on September 11th. Tracklisting:

I Still Want You
The World Looks Down
Which Way
Serenade Of Blue
Long Time Down
Nothing Like A Friend
Sometimes I Feel
Tuesday PM
Welcome The Sun
Heart Of Oak
What Love Means

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Mogwai unveiled their own whisky back in January, with a few nips of 'rockact81w' proving to be more than enough to keep out the winter's chill.

With summer now arriving in all its splendour, the band have switched their attentions, naturally enough, to rum.

A 12 year old single cask Demerara rum from the Diamond Distillery in Guyan, Mogwai's limited edition rum will be on sale from July 1st at 10am.

Purchases will be limited to 2 bottles per customer, and shipping will be within the UK only – full details HERE.

Mogwai are set to release 20th anniversary compilation 'Central Belters' on October 9th.

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Lilliput are two imaginary islands in Gulliver's Travels, a place of fancy, a place for the imagination.

A suitable name, then, for a crew of miscreants who have a wide-eyed approach to songwriting. The group's new single 'Waiting To Go' is due to be released on July 17th, with the band set to play the Cluny on August 14th.

Recorded in their own flat, Lilliput explain: "Waiting To Go' is based on a feeling of uncertainty. The feeling that you can leave, and you should leave, but you won't. At least not just yet".

Clash is lucky enough to be able to premiere the video – check it out now.

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Sensation, Impulsive, Presence: so called are the three standout pieces from Reebok Classic’s latest collaborative effort, a hook up with Swedish make-up label FACE Stockholm.

Founded in 1982 by boutique owner Gun Nowak as a means to match her make-up to the bright coloured clothing of the era – “I wanted every colour and I couldn’t find them anywhere” – this is the label’s trainer debut; though somewhat interestingly, you can buy bikes from the website.

The capsule metallic range (gold, silver, bronze, respectively takes its cue from FACE Stockholm’s AW15 colour palette, while elsewhere in the collection coral and mint both feature.

It’s the three-piece offering that will no doubt win over the most hearts however, ‘cause everyone fancies themselves a winner, right?


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A few moments ago, Clash set live an interview with Faith No More's Roddy Bottum focussing on the reformed band's rather great new album 'Sol Invictus'.

Digging into the archives, we're able to offer up something equally special. Faith No More singer Mike Patton took part in our regular Culture Clash column back in 2010 but, for a variety of reasons, it was never used.

Until now. Check it out below.

– – –

Currently on tour with the reformed Faith No More, vocalist Mike Patton’s eclectic musical projects have also included Mr. Bungle, Fantômas and Peeping Tom.

His current solo album, Mondo Cane, revisits classic Italian pop songs. His recent cultural tips are as unpredictable as his music.

I’ve been on a French crime spree. Jean-Pierre Melville I’ve been really into lately; Le deuxième soufflé, Red Circle is amazing, Army of Shadows is incredible. Most of these have Lena Ventura in who was an amazing actor. Bob le flambeur is also totally amazing. They’re the four that I’ve been watching over and over again. They’re intelligent action movies. Every shot is like a composition with a lot of detail and incredible dialogue.

Live Act
Bad Brains were one of the more visceral groups I’ve ever seen. More recently Ivo Papasov, a clarinet player who plays Bulgarian wedding music. If you’re curious, these things just pop up from time to time. Other times you’ve got to dig them out. As a musician, that feels really natural.

I went to Indonesia and had a great time. I saw some amazing things; cremation ceremonies, puppet show theatres, shadow puppets, a wedding. There’s music everywhere, so you can just wander down the street, follow your ears and you’ll end up in the middle of something amazing more often than not. At the cremation ceremony you’re part of a giant parade and people are slamming cymbals in your face. It’s pretty aggressive.

Then they build a really elaborate bull with a coffin in it and everyone puts their offerings in there. So the guy’s got this amazing collection of wealth and then they burn him! If I’m gonna go, that’s not a bad way.

The only TV I watch is stuff from the Sixties. But I love Planet Earth. I’ve developed a real crush on David Attenborough. It’s hard to go to sleep without hearing his voice.

To Hellholes and Back by Chuck Thompson. He describes really horrific places and his experiences there. He goes to the Congo, various war zones and then the last place he goes is Disneyland. And he swears that’s the scariest place of all!

I’m really into those little Flip video cameras. It’s a tiny video camera smaller than a phone and it records HD video. You put it in your pocket and aim and go. It’s got a tiny little screen so you can’t really see what you’re shooting but when you blow it up on your computer it’s HD and looks great.

Interview by Ben Hopkins

– – –

'Sol Invictus' is out now.

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Considering his role in one of rock's most virile, vital forces, Roddy Bottum cuts a rather unassuming tone on the telephone from his New York apartment.

But then, the musician is a hugely unexpected figure. Alongside his ongoing role in the Faith No More re-union, Bottum is also a member of Imperial Teen, has scored three full-length films and recently unveiled his very own opera. It's name? 'Sasquatch: The Opera'.

“It's pretty experimental and weird. I live in New York and those sort of artistic endeavours are encouraged!” he laughs. “I like the idea of taking something from the ground up and having a story and following it all the way through towards the presentation. And I like the idea of telling a story with song and I really like the theatrical sort of quality, the visual presentation of opera. It's really cool.”

Faith No More have always had a certain sense of drama. The band's reformation was almost as sudden as their collapse, with re-union dates in 2009 prompting enormous emotion from fans and the group themselves.

“It was super emotional, it was a crazy place to be seeing as we'd broken up ten years prior, too. With really no intention of ever really coming back together,” he insists. “There were a lot of crazy resentments and burned bridges coming out of that, when we broke up. It was a really hesitant but comfortable and emotional place to re-visit. Going back into it in those first shows it was really super scary and very emotional.”

“Absolutely, there were anxiety memories. It kind of came down to muscle memory, too.,” he continues. “Initially it was a funny thing to re-visit, and challenging, too. But once we were in the studio, even before we played, it was honestly like looking down at my hands and they were playing the parts themselves. We played those songs so many many many many times it was just, like, they almost played themselves.”

– – –

I live in New York and those sort of artistic endeavours are encouraged!

– – –

Unsure of how the re-union would pan out, the band proceeded carefully through those opening flurry of shows. “Just to get through that was an achievement for all of us,” he states. “To come back and even be in the same room together was a challenge. We sort of took it one step at a time. And after a while it sort of felt like we owed it to ourselves to write some new songs and approach it from that direction, rather than just rely on the old stuff.”

Deciding to work on a new Faith No More album, the varied members returned to the sounds which first fired the group. “When we started doing it, it was honestly just a really crazy art project the three of us started together,” he says. “It was very goth and very simple and very repetitive and very stripped down. I think we intentionally went there, back to our absolute roots and started from there.”

“Not so much outward inspiration,” he says, “more us as a group – what got us off and what we liked doing. Which was just like this weird language that we share, this repetitive, simple, moody, brooding place that we used to go.”

Working in different cities, Faith No More were bound by modern technology, swapping ideas on the internet. “It's so easy to share music online these days, and we're all in different cities so it was kind of about sharing different ideas, initially,” he says. “It was tentative at first, it sort of took a while to get started but once we started, there's this language that we all share. Very quick, shorthand, creative, expressive link that we all share. It was a comfortable place to be, once we started doing it.”

Billy Gould seemed to take the reins, with the band pushing ideas towards this fulcrum. “He's always taken the lead; he's very go-get-em, very enterprising, push ahead, forge ahead kinda guy. The rest of us are a little slower. I mean, he produced, mixed and wrote a large part of what we're releasing.”

– – –

– – –

A quiet, pervasive influence on the new material was Matt Wallace. An old friend of the band's, he was brought on board for the final mixdown but his input can be felt across Faith No More's new songs. “It was similar to having one of us one board, he speaks the language that we speak. He knows the band so well so bringing him on board was a real shortcut it enabled us to all move forward a lot quicker. If we'd brought someone that we didn't know on it would have just bogged it down. We were lucky to pretty much work amongst ourselves, or with people who we know and feel comfortable with.”

'Sol Invictus' is the result. Out now, in many ways it's the most Faith No More-like album that Faith No More have ever released. It's a record driven by an instantly recognisable dynamic, by an intensity of approach which is unusual in rock then, and certainly now.

“I think that just inherently comes out,” he says. “That's all we know how to do. I think it's like extremes. Extreme highs and extreme lows. Intensity and release. When we think about our music we think about it more in terms of that, as opposed to the confusing process but I think as a result it does confuse people.”

“I mean, we've always sort of heralded ourselves as an amalgamation of a lot of different personalities and a lot of different tastes,” he continues. “We still at this point don't really share a lot of similar tastes, so I mean the amount of time that everybody spent away from the project definitely helps us as individuals and then us as a collective as a result of that. And it just accentuates everybody's strong points, I think. Bringing those strong points to the mix is always helpful.”

– – –

Extreme highs and extreme lows. Intensity and release.

– – –

Mike Patton's lyrics lend a cohesive nature to 'Sol Invictus', ranging from the introspection of 'Separation Anxiety' to the explosive lead track 'Motherfucker'.

“It seemed like a credo to establish at that point,” Bottum says of the latter. “We haven't been around in so long and it felt like putting a song out called 'Motherfucker' set the course to let people know that we weren't really into compromising or releasing something just for the sort of bang of making money. It was a direct, in your face expression. As well as the tone of the song was about where we were and where we come from. Accountability of the creative process.”

For now, Faith No More are content in being a live entity, in taking their sounds – both old and new – across the globe. “I mean, we've always been a live band but definitely, we've focussed on this recording for a long time. For the next month or whatever, that's what we'll do. Go on tour and focus on the presentation of the songs in a live fashion.”

With 'Sol Invictus' fresh on the shelves, fans are already asking what the band's future plans might be. “I don't know. We can only take it one step at a time at this point. We just have to get through the touring thing and then see where we're all at. Right now, it's really comfortable and a good place to be but I'm not sure how long that's going to last.”

The new album is the band's first to be released on their own label, Reclamation Records. In a way, 'Motherfucker' – with its howling indignation and boiling anger – directly refers to this exchange of responsibility.

“Whereas before when we were making music, releasing music before there were always big companies involved, big record companies. That song is about the accountability of that. Who is accountable for what we do, for the release and presentation of what we do. And yeah, exactly at this point it's only us – we started our own record company and we're doing things strictly on our terms. The people who are accountable are the five of us and it's a pretty good place to be.”

– – –

'Sol Invictus' is out now.

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U.S. Girls has now signed to 4AD, with a new album incoming.

Ahead of its release, the artist has shared new cut 'Woman's Work'. Emerging from the lo-fi scene, the track finds U.S. Girls staying close to her roots – the sound is frayed, tattered, at times almost bleached out.

Yet the sonic has been expanded, the approach slightly broader and undoubtedly more confident.

Check it out below.

U.S. Girls will release 'Half Free' on September 25th – guests include Slim Twig (DFA), Ben Cook (Fucked Up, Young Guv), Amanda Crist (Ice Cream) and Tony Price.

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Southern newcomer Daye Jack has an aggressive stance to creativity.

Tearing up the rulebook, the rapper's flow tumbles over beats which refuse to sit quietly. Ever in flux, Jack's music has a tenacious edge which fuses skittering 8-Bit effects with some lush production.

New mixtape 'Soul Glitch' has been in the works for some time, with Daye Jack supplying fans with a number of previews.

Well, it's now here. Hardhitting from the off, there's even a few rather more indulgent moments to slacken the pace.

Check it out now.

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