Please introduce yourself: history, line up, etc:
We got together a couple of years ago but only been a serious outfit
since Summer 2011, thats when Kyle(drummer) joined the band.
Me and Addy(Rhythm Guitar) had been going to gigs together for years and
been into the local music scene in Sheffield but thought it lacked a
proper lads rock and roll outfit and we could not see where one was
going to come from.
Smit (lead): It always seems to be across the penines where all the best bands come form
Addy: Myself & Chris(Singer) got banned form football for allegedly
being involved in football violence so I borrowed my dads old guitar
and decided to try to learn a few chords and make a band up, Chris was
straight in on vocals even though he had never sung with a mic before
not even on a karaoke!!!
Smit: I found out they had made a band up
and I joined without asking, I just said I am in your band now on lead
guitar and they were all like yeah sound! Luke (Bass) lived around
corner from Chris and he had been sacked from The Stoops for being a
drunked idiot so we thought hed do for us!
Addy: Kyle lives in
Derbyshire and we found him running round after sheep with some
drumsticks in his hands and seen as we had lost our old drummer we did
our bit for the community and he completed the band!!!
To me its bands like Joy Division, The Cure and definitely Puressence
from Manchester. Weve ripped off everybody in our practice room at some
stage, I mean Noel Gallagher made a career out of it and also made not
secret out of it which I think is sound. I also think its hard to be
Addy: Manchester band Puressence, Northern Indie Bands for me and obviously Beatles!!
Luke: My influences are Guitar bands, northern soul, mod, Beatles, oasis, verve etc
Your favourite 5 albums ever.
Chris: My fav album changes week to week as I listen to a lot of music and currently its bummed by Happy Mondays
Addy: Mine is one of my biggest influences Puressence & their album “Dont Forget to Remember
Luke: Ive not got a favourite album, still waiting for the one!
Kyle: “Up The Bracket” by Libertines
I`m the stereotypical one and was buzzing to see them live in summer
but best album for me is “The Stone Roses” by well everyone knows who
You re into football. What's your team?
from Sheffield with its two teams Sheff Utd & Sheff Utd Reserves we
are all Huge Blades and can usual be found down at lane as much as we
How is gigging in your area these days...
is a pretty vibrant scene in Sheffield but like most places there is a
mixture of good and bad promoters, this can see bands used and abused
but its a learning curve. We have been lucky to have built a solid
fanbase and self promote big events. The one thing id change is the pay
to play nonsense that exists in most cities that and ban X factor and
all that bollocks and get people out supporting real music.
Your favourite venues?
Favourite venues are the iconic Leadmill & The Plug in Sheffield,
both top venues ran by people who love music and believe, for being the
other side of the stage The City Hall in Sheffield gives out a top sound
and atmosphere, We hope to be on that stage in near future
What's your favourite clothes shop? Favourite brands?
My two top shops are Seasons Menswear in Sheffield & Pretty Green
Store In Leeds. Current brand im into is Peacefull Hooligan the gear is
quality and the lads who run the label are top boys too even for
Luke: Im with Chris all way on Seasons & Peacefull Hooligan, im also into Pretty Green, CP & Stone Island
Addy: Im an 80s casuals fan, im a walking advert for them ive even got there underwear!
Kyle: A bit of Ralphy are nice threads for me
Im a big fan of anything on sales rack, well that & Hugo Boss cos
our young un works there and does me a nice bit of discount.
How would u rate the current music scene? Which bands do you like?
The Jake Bugg albums been on the bus a lot a lately on way to gigs and
were all having that at minute, well that and obviously one direction!!
Smit: Im into Richard Hawley another Sheffield Lad and his album Standing on The Skyes Edge.
I think the scene currently is poor and Mr Simon Cowell has a lot to
blame, lot of dross and scenesters but not a lot of quality bands, best
current & future band.......Section 60....trust me watch!
Current projects and future plans?
Weve released our debut album “Is This Our Day In The Sunshine” and a
couple of singles Elysium & Diamonds and the response has been
amazing, We have also been giving away our newer tracks through
downloads and CDs at our gigs, Its about spreading the word and growing.
Kyle: Ive only been with the band 12 months but weve been at it all
over the country, from Newcastle to London. Weve done about 50 gigs over
past twelve months and the lads have over 200 under there belt. Its all
about putting on a good show and hard graft.
Chris: This year we
have been spreading the word and have followings all over the country,
gigging in Manchester & London has been high on our agenda &
looking to take that into 2013 with a new EP to be released in the
Spring with a tour including Cardiff, Glasgow, London, Manchester on our
Addy: And World Domination, take a listen to our tunes and spread the word!
Our friends at Three Stroke Combat Studio regularly attend contests
and stages across Europe. This time they will meet Rachid, a 34 year old BJJ
fighter from Casablanca. I'm sure not many of you out there will know a lot
about this city? Rachid not only tells us about combat sports in Morocco, but also
about the beauties of his country....
Hi Rachid , introduce yourself and your team:
My name is Rachid Imzara, i am 34 years old and i was
born and raised in Casa , since i was a kid i was involved in martial arts. At
the age of 10 i did judo for 4 years then i switched to karate kyukushinkai
training with my uncle who was a black belt in the Usa, after i got my brown
belt,,, i hurt my knee so i stooped training,,, after being away from martial
arts, for two years i wanted to get back to training , so in 2003 my friend Rida Mourak opened a jiu-jitsu gym after coming back from Thailand,,, and since then
I’ve practicing bjj and i have a purple
Describe your typical day schedule...training, work,
I work Monday to Friday from 8 pm to 17 pm then i go home
rest and eat, after i go straight to the gym, i do bjj Monday, Wednesday and
Friday and Tuesday and Thursday i do mma
,i usually go one hour jogging Saturday, my busy schedule i try to spend as much
time with my family also whenever i have time i chat with my girlfriend (Yana)
who's lives in Ukraine
Can u describe the "scene" in your country as far as BJJ and martial
arts are concerned?
Bjj and Mma are still new to in here and not many people know about
it, so there aren't many gyms or tournaments to test your level, the first
tournament "open morocco bjj" took place in Rabat last year which i finished
third in my weight class, and since then no tournament had been organized,,,, as
far as combat sports concerned in here, we have many gifted athletes but they
need help from people with experience ,,whit my friend tachfine bouachrine who
is a professional mixed martial artist and a jiu-jitsu in usa and whit a very
limited resources we just opened another bjj and mma gym.
MMA is growing steadly....how is the Moroccon scene? events? Team? MMA is the very young discipline in Morocco and trainers are usually
practitioners of other martial arts disciplines but for the love of mma they
choose to teach, it is a good thing but it seems to me but it's not enough,must
also have experience in rings and cages . The only MMA tournaments organized in
Morocco was the ffc2 Casablanca in 2009 which had the participation of my friend
and coach rida mourak, who won in the 1st round. Currently there are several
facilities that incorporate in their mma training programs,,, I hope that it
will be a recognition of the sport by one of the federations, to practice and
also have more tournaments, and I also hope to have sponsors to sponsor this
kind of tournaments and events.
Why did u become a BJJ fighter? What role can a martial art play in
I was already fighter when I practiced kyukushinkai
after i was introduced to bjj i like it a lot and i think it's completed sport
that can be used for self defence and for many real life situations and also it can be practiced at any age "bjj
+ it teaches you discipline, respect and your confidence
also, to be right mind in right body
Movies such as
casanegra e ali zaia show a new picture of your city. This is very interesting
for us Europeans....how is life
for young boys and girls in Casablanca?
Casablanca is growing very fast and young
boys and girls in here are getting very influenced by American and European
culture, and you can see that from the way they're dressed, the music they
listen to and the places they go to in order o eat( kfc, MC Donald’s , burger
king,,,,)and the places they hang out,there
is also thetraditionalsideofCasablancain the
thetouristside(the formerMIDINA, mosquehassan
What is you opinion about "drugs"?
as an athlete i
don't like drugs because of the effect is they have on the body and the mind
Do you like music? What are you favourite
music, listen to pretty much all kind of
music , so when i am working out i like listening to linking park, sublime ,
iron maiden, and when i am hanging out whit my girlfriend yana i like listening
to jack Johnson, Ben Harper, and the list goes
Do you follow any other sport? Any favorite
I watch lot of football, and
my favourite teams are wydad of Casablanca, fc
Barcelona, and Manchester united
Morocco looks exciting ..with increasing number of visitors from Europe ... we need some recommendations for our readers...
tell us the 2/3 best places visitors shouldn't miss ....
historial sites, shopping...anything...)
In Morocco, every city is unique and has its
own charm ;
- FES is one of the cities
that i recommend people to go visit, it's one of the oldest and it's called "the
scientific capital" and it has one of the oldest universities in the world
called "University Al Quaraouiyine" and it has lot of beautiful old and
-Marrakech is another city
that i recommend, it's know by a place called "Jamaâ El Fna" was listed by
UNESCO in 2001 as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, also known by it’s
-Essaouira is a coastal
city, it’s also know by it music festival "gnawa festival" which a music unique
to this area of the country , the city is wind so it's ideal for people who like
kite surfing and fly surfing
Are you inspired by any fighter present or
Fedor Emelianenko is my
favoritr fighter because he's a complete fighter and i like his character inside
and outside the ring, i would love to meet up him one
Have you ever needed to use your fighting skills outside the
Yes, i had to defend
myself,,, but always i try to avoid problems
We now suffer from a deep economic crunch involving high unemployment
rate...what's your opinion about it? what do people think about current
situation in Europe?
I think it's a very
difficult situation for Europeans and for Moroccans who live in there, and i
know many Moroccans who came back home because of the
Do global crises show it's symptoms in Morocco
Many countries got touched
by the current crises and we too but not too,, and we can see it in from the
money that Moroccans living in Europe usual
bring it's becoming less,
and also Europeans investing in morocco is becoming less , but with
the way the economical management goes in here is helping us keeping an
Any plans to take part in some contests in the next few
I train regularly, as soon as he will be a
competition, I'd be there,,, I also hope to participate in the championship
Europe at Lisbon
I want to thank my team and all my teamates ( Reda, Tachfine, Alika, El Oukili, Abdelali) my friend Luca and Three Stroke Productions for
this interview and support
We re about to launch a new project called "The Collective": a new professional blog featuring events we take part in, bands, combat sports, scooterism, the "scene".... Guest writers welcome...! ! ! Stay tuned......
Articles coming this week:
Twisted Wheel: the Manchester lads are back!! Interview and photos.
New management deal, new album , lots of dates across the country. With
passion, style and hard work, The Universal are becoming much more than a
"promising band"... With a gaining support from an ever increasing audience, we
thought this amount of activity and good news requires an
update. So thanks to Terry for telling us what is going on right
now.... Our friendship and collaboration with Terry
Shaughnessy and the band continues and we look forward to listening to their
are indeed working on a new album. We’re taking our time to make sure we get
the sound we want, as, personally, I wasn’t happy with the sound of our first
album. I also took some time out of the recording schedule to have meetings
with various interested record companies but with the current financial climate
everybody is very, very cautious. This took a chunk of time away from the
recording schedule and prompted me to put the wheels in motion to start my own
record company. On the plus side, along with Three Stroke Productions, Gama
Clothing and KooksKleek, Del Junction have come on board and provided some
financial support. I’ve also just struck a management deal with Red Sun
International, which will cover all aspects of my music including The
Universal. The more passionate, like minded people that we can get around us,
How has the scene evolved in the past 2/3
years, and what do you think about the current scene?
I think the
main thing for me regarding ‘the scene’ over the last 2/3 years is that it’s
proved to me that in this disposable age of music, people still want to come
out and see a proper live band, which is great for a band like The Universal
because we live for playing live and consider it the ultimate proving ground.
of the current financial debacle, we appreciate this even more because people
are willing to spend their hard earned cash on live music, which is
commendable, as it’s tough for everyone at the moment.
On a personal
note, I have only admiration for the gig goer who is happy to stick his/her
neck out and come and sample some original music, as I think that these days,
that’s the tougher option, as there’s a lot of covers/tribute bands out there
who make it a bit more difficult for bands who play their own music. I’m not
having a go at any musicians, as everyone has to pay the rent, I’m just saying
that it makes things even tougher for bands like us who play all their own material.
I know that the argument against that could be that if your own material is
good enough, then it doesn’t matter if there’s covers/tribute bands out there.
But I think that because of financial constraints, if a gig goer in ‘the scene’
only has a few quid to spend, they are less likely to take a chance on a band
who play their own material if there’s a covers/tribute band on the same week.
thing I like about ‘the scene’ over the last 2/3 years, is that the majority of
people involved are a bit more open minded. I often get compared to Paul Weller
or Noel Gallagher and I understand that people are going to make comparisons
about any musician or band. But I think that if people can just get past that
initial knee jerk reaction, it’ll give the musicians/bands a chance to
establish themselves. After all, at the beginning of their career, you could
argue that the Paul Weller of The Jam was three parts himself/Wilko Johnson and
Pete Townshend, and the band were labelled ‘revivalists’. But they were allowed
to develop and people gave them that luxury and the result was phenomenal.
Also, let’s not forget the constant barrage Noel Gallagher and Oasis received
in their tender years regarding The Beatles, and again, given good grace and
time, people got some great music once they allowed themselves not to fall into
the trap of ‘pigeon-holing’ musicians/bands.
"Which current bands and clubs would you
talking about bands who myself or me and my band have actually shared the bill
with, then I’d have to say, personally, for me, only one sticks out in my mind
and that’s a band called New York Tourists, who we played with at a great venue
in Preston, Lancashire called Mad Ferret. I’ve got to be honest and say that
most of the bands we come across, their music and performance doesn’t match
their ego. There seems to be less emphasis these days on being good at your
craft and more on posturing.
club to play was the Sound Bar in Birmingham, which, sadly had to close down a
little while ago. The 100 Club is always a pleasure to play and we recently
supported The Zombies at Islington Assembly Hall, which is a great venue both
aesthetically and sonically.
The crowd in
The Midlands are always very kind to us and there’s a few decent gig nights
going on down that way, with some really good promoters. AceFace Barbers
usually put on some decent gigs and DJ Sunflower aka Paul ‘Mez’ Merrick has a
good night down that way too, which we’re playing at on November 10th.
home, the aforementioned Mad Ferret in Preston is a good ‘un and the gigs put
on by the Modculture Liverpool group at The Head of Steam on Lime Street or The
Cavern on Mathew Street are always fantastic with a great, passionate, open
We followed the thread on fb..."Mod
Revivalists!?......isn't that a contradiction? How can you be a Modernist AND a
revivalist?.... " You know we couldn't agree more...."..
Subcultures like the Mod have developed along the decades through a path made
of bands, characters, events and even conflicts. Beyond reinterpretations and
reshapings, what is the real essence of being a mod?
To be honest,
I’d be insulting people who are real Mods by trying to answer what the real
essence of being a Mod is, as I wouldn’t really consider myself a true Mod. For
the plain and simple fact that I don’t live it like those real Mods do. I’m
obviously influenced by Mod culture and what I can say is that I totally
believe the Mod Ethic and I definitely live my life by what I consider those
ethics to be.
been enamoured by the look, the clothes and most importantly, the music. What I
can give you is my personal view point on how I personally go about it in my
life. Regarding how I interpret the Mod Ethics, I’d have to say that it’s about
tipping your hat to the past pioneers but then constantly looking forward,
constantly looking to better yourself on all fronts, not just being satisfied
with wearing a Fred Perry T-Shirt and some Desert Boots and believing that’s
all it takes.
I guess it’s
hard and probably almost impossible these days to be original but my take on
it, the clothes in particular, is that within that Mod framework, you should
strive to find the clothes that absolutely suit you, that make you not only
look but absolutely make you feel that you stand out because you’ve made your
look personal to you. I also feel that it’s your attitude and your headspace
behind what you’re wearing that will make it absolutely personal to you.
Attitude and perception are everything, you’ve got to be wearing and doing it
for the right reasons that are true to you and nobody else. That’s my belief of
the Mod Ethics. Constantly look forward, get your attitude sorted, be bold and
try and constantly push your own personal boundaries all the time on every
You played loads of acoustic sessions with Piet
and I understand feedback is great....can u tell us more about this project?
This is something that I’ve always done. I started out at the
very beginning of my career playing solo acoustic gigs to try and hone my craft
and to test out my songs. So, it’s just a natural progression from that, I
think. I love the sound of an acoustic guitar and I do most of my song writing
on one or a piano. I just love playing live and any opportunity to do so,
either with my full band or acoustically, I’ll grab with both hands. Having
Piet playing alongside me is great, as, in my humble opinion, he’s one of the
best young British guitarists around today. He’s sensitive to the songs and
what I’m trying to put across and his harmonies are fantastic. The feedback has
been great and that’s testament to the songs and the performances. I recently
released an acoustic EP called ‘No Room at the Doom and Gloom Hotel’ and I’ll
continue to record and do acoustic gigs alongside the full band gigs as long as
possible and as long as the demand is there.
"Clothes & football": favourite
brands, favourite piece of clothing, your football team...!
honestly say that I’ve got a favourite brand, especially after I explained my
understanding of the Mod Ethics earlier. I do however really like the
‘Wallabee’ style shoe worn with Levi’s and I’ve recently started venturing into
getting suits made.
team always has been and always will be Liverpool FC. I’m red through and
through! Thanks Terry and keep up the great work!!