Dynamite is Freedom: We catch up with Raptor

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Bristol’s bluesy-fuzzed trio are back in the game with their latest single Dynamite is Freedom from their forthcoming LP Escapsim out 17th May. Recorded with Mat Sampson (Turbowolf, Kasabian), Escapism is fuelled by hard hitting garage-rock and a dose of hallucinogenic honey. Ahead of the release and their show on 17th May at Rough Trade Bristol, we caught up with frontman Kurt Fletcher to have a chat.

Hey Kurt & Adam, how’s it going today?

We are really good! We just been concentrating on rehearsing and getting a show together for the album launch at Rough Trade this Friday.

Congrats on finishing up the new LP. How does it feel to be sharing it to the world?

We couldn’t be happier to have our music out on vinyl. We have worked a lot harder on these songs and are really proud of how it sounds. We’ve been flat-put doing everything we can to get the record out there. Its heavy, psychedelic, lighter in parts and very diverse for us. T

Talk to us a bit about Raptors sound. It’s pretty bluesy, pretty hard rock, with some notable 70s influence. Where did that come around from?

We’re always trying to subtly change our sound and move things forward but still always with a heavy psychedelic outlook. Our dad was born 1959 and grew up on late 60’s/70’s music. He has a great record collection that we use to dig into when we where younger and the radio was always on so we heard all sorts! Some bands that really influenced us are Black Sabbath, The Who, Tame Impala, Rival Sons, Queens Of The Stone Age and Pantera.

You worked with Mat Sampson (Turbowolf, Kasabian) on this one, how was that?

Mat is so great to work with, his studio Bink Bonk is a lair or new and vintage gear and he has such a wealth of knowledge about music and recording. We had been looking for a studio in Bristol to record Escapism for a little while and finally stumbled across his place in 2017. We went into the studio with demos of the tracks that were pretty much complete, so it was a case of choosing the right sounds for each instrument/song. It was easy an super fun to work with Matt, he has endless inventive ways of getting cool sounds and we consider him a really close friend now. We have always had a big interest in recording and feel like our time at Bink Bonk with Matt taught us a lot.

You’ve done some pretty impressive shows opening with a few legends of rock, including none other than Robert Plant. How do playing with the old-timers affect you as an artist?

It was amazing to play with Robert Plant, we grew up listing to Led Zeppelin so to even meet his was an honour. When we where playing our set before him, Adam turned around whilst playing drums and saw Mr Plant watching us from behind to stage… so surreal! Verdan Allen (organ player for Mott The Hoople) came to that show which made the night even more unbelievable. We ended up chatting and drinking with Verdan all night and became really good friends! He’s up for coming down to Bink Bonk to lay down some organ on a Raptor song… Hopefully on the next record if we can keep him away from the cider haha!

We’e looking forward to the show on Friday night. What can we expect from it?

There is going to be some psychedelic projections that we have made for the show and the whole night going to filmed and recorded, so that we can mix and release the footage after. Can’t wait to be playing in Bristol, it is so far our favourite city to play. We’re gonna be playing every song off the album live and will have a load of copies of Escapism with has been pressed on Acid-Green vinyl! Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Check out Dynamite is Freedom below.

Find event details for Raptors show here. If you can’t make the show you can grab the record online here.