ZED’S ALIVE, BABY!

It’s gonna be a whole new experience for West Coast US heavy rockers Zed coming to the UK and having their name mean the last letter of the alphabet. That is, of course, just one aspect of the new experience the hard-hitting four-piece are set to have, since their trip to Desertest 2019 will also mark their first international excursion since getting together more than 10 years ago!

Zed have been working toward it though almost all the while. In 2013, they released their debut long-player in Desperation Blues, which was just recently reissued by Ripple Music, and even those formative beginnings -- actually, they had an EP out before that, but stay with me here -- showcase a drive toward catchy hooks, aggressive riffs and songs that play your eardrums like the punching bags they are.

Their second record, Trouble in Eden, came out in 2016 on Ripple, and it’s found them touring all around the US -- east, west, north and south -- playing festivals like Maryland Doom Fest and New England Stoner and Doom Fest, Borderland Fuzz Fiesta, SXSW and more. All the while they’ve maintained their central purpose in belting out no-frills, no-BS heavy rock, flying in the face of what one might expect coming from the psych-jam hotbed that is the Bay Area and California generally these days.

As Zed leave American shores for the first time, the only thing to do is prepare a proper welcome as they hit Desertfest this May. And also to tell them their name isn’t just a Pulp Fiction reference anymore.

Words: JJ Koczan

PSYCHLONA TO GET THE MOJO RISING AT DESERTFEST 2019!

Bradford City’s self-proclaimed ‘dirty desert rock kebab eating mofos’ Psychlona are rolling-up to  Desertfest next year, dragging their grooving  fuzzed out riffs with them. No stranger to festivals, Psychlona have hosted their own one in Bradford on six occasions so-far called Idle Fest , where they’ve been honing their craft.

The band was started by two old-hands in the local scene, Phil Hey (guitar, vocals) and Dave Wainfor (guitar).  Martyn Birchall (bass) then joined, and after FIVE drummers had succumbed to the usual demises like spontaneous combustion and lightning strikes, they found a keeper in Scott Frankling.

Ripple Music & Cursed Tongue distributed their debut album Mojo Rising which came out in November, taking an instant liking to the Boogie Van-era Fu Manchu and early Orange Goblin vibes, “with occasional fistfuls of Spirit Caravan that all coasts effortlessly past the Sky Valley billboard”.

Psychlona are a no-nonsense band giving fans exactly what they want, heads-down, chugging lysergic heaviness witch takes no prisoners. Classic stoner rock is what Desertfest was built on and we are happy to keep the tradition alive with Pychlona making their first appearance in Camden this year!

Words: Rich Sheppard

WORSHIPPER TO BUILD AN ALTAR AT DESERTFEST 2019!

Boston’s own Worshipper will come to London immediately after playing the first-ever Desertfest NYC at the end of April, and the occasion is the impending release of the follow-up to their full-length debut, 2016’s Shadow Hymns.

Released through Tee Pee, that album made it plain right out of the gate that the four-piece outfit weren’t screwing around when it came to tapping into classic heavy rock ideals and giving them a much-needed modern kick in the ass. Armed with memorable songs, blistering performances and a sense of live energy that exuded from the LP regardless of actual volume -- though volume never hurts -- Worshipper had an opening statement that was heard around the world. Their second album blows it out of the water.

Really?

Yeah, really.

Like, you’re not even ready for it yet. You think you are, and that’s cool, but this is a whole other level of class coming down on your head. Worshipper have gone quickly from “knowing what they’re doing” to mastering their approach and expanding their sound with a skillful and purposeful blend of influences in and out of a heavy rocking sphere.

Their second record is richer, more psychedelic and more progressive, but it doesn’t lose that core that made Shadow Hymns so engaging either. We can’t wait for you to hear it and we can’t wait to watch them play those songs on the Desertfest stage. Trust us, it’ll be awesome.

Words: JJ Koczan

MOUNTAIN CALLER TO PLAY DESERTFEST 2019!

Since forming in 2017, London prog metal three-piece Mountain Caller have been building a steady reputation from their live shows. They recently won their heat at Metal 2 The Masses in London and they have supported UK scene heroes such as OHHMS and Boss Keloid, having played a striking set with those two and others at The Boston Music Rooms in November.

They play their own original style of long-form atmospheric progressive metal, flipping a well-trodden genre around in new directions with long trips that explore the edges of the known universe in lonely and terrifying places, counter-balanced by some alternative rock of the 90s that Tool fans will devour. Classic prog fans will also appreciate their understanding of the importance of using interesting time changes in unexpected twists and turns, bringing songs to a wholly different place from whence they began.

Mountain Caller are a very new band who have not released any official records yet, but no doubt up-coming experiences of playing live will help Claire (guitar), El (bass) and Max (drums) to conceptualise what they will be putting down on wax in the near future, and Desertfest are extremely happy to assist in that department, so come along be some of the first to see where it all started!

Words: Rich Sheppard