Category Archives: Interviews

CROW COUNTRY OUTLAW

Crow Country Outlaw band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Crow Country Outlaw are a hard rock band from southern Sweden.

Since forming in 2013, the four-piece have become crowd favourites in their native country with a sound they have described as “a mash-up of rock n’ roll, punk, country and blues, giving it a raw vibe with both deep emotion and groove.”

In the last year, the quartet have been expanding their reach further afield, embarking on a successful tour of eastern Europe and getting recognition in the UK.

With a new album planned for release later in the year, I spoke to the band about all the things their fan base want to know.

How was Crow Country Outlaw formed?

We got together around the end of the summer of 2013. Sebastian had just moved back to Jönköping, where we are from, and rounded up Mattias, Adam and Poods shortly after that.

Can you tell me where the band name comes from at all?

Sebastian took a stroll through the woods and came back with the name.

Which bands/artists would you say were your influences?

A lot and a little more!  But we try to narrow it to our foundational inspirations such as Kiss, Backyard Babies, Guns N Roses and Nirvana.

Where does the inspiration come from for the band’s lyrics?

From a wide span of things. We have some lyrics covering political views, some personal experiences and some about the people who have caused a great impact on our lives, both good and bad.

What is the band’s approach to songwriting?

There are two approaches: 1. Sebastian writes a song and we rehearse it later on.  2. We jam together and find something that sounds interesting and start working with it until we have a finished song.

How, for you, is the experience of playing live?

We love playing live if that’s what you mean. We have had, just like most bands, both great and really bad shows, but we have always made the best of every situation. Our experiences have been that, even if a venue doesn’t get more than five people one night, you deliver those five fantastic fans a show to die for!

What has the band got planned for the near future?

A new record is currently in the making and with that some minor tours. We are dead set on making this year our most productive to date.

And finally, what is your long-term aim? What do you see yourselves doing in the next couple of years?

Major record deal, full-time (paid) musicianship and to keep on having the best time of our lives.

MORE INFO ON CROW COUNTRY OUTLAW CAN BE FOUND AT:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: crowcountryoutlaw.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/crowcountryoutlawOFFICIAL

TWITTER: twitter.com/OutlawCrow

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/outlawcrow

YOU CAN ALSO HEAR THEIR MUSIC ON SPOTIFY AND iTunes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BLACK BULLETS

The Black Bullets band photo

THE BLACK BULLETS (from l-r): Lance Skybaby (guitar), Carl D (drums), Billy T(vocals/harmonica), Alice E. Atkinson (bass), Skinn Klick (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Since forming in 2012, Hampshire quintet The Black Bullets have been winning over rock fans across the UK and Europe with a powerful, vibrant and gritty sound, raw vocals, and live sets that are unique and entertaining.

The reaction to their recently released single ‘Mockingbird’ has so far been positive, with both the track and accompanying video getting much exposure on social media.

Telling me about the band’s beginnings, influences, aims and more was their guitarist Lance Skybaby.

How did The Black Bullets come about?

The band was formed by our drummer Carl, after various line-up changes, myself and Skinny Pete joined forces with Billy and Carl about three years ago. The three of us had previously played together in another local band called Junction 13 a few years ago.

Our new bassist Alice, who we knew from her previous band The Featherz, only joined the ranks at the beginning of this year after our previous bass player decided to walk out on us just before a big gig in Paris, Hard Rock Hell Festival (with the likes of LA Guns, Love/Hate and Lita Ford) and a two-week Spanish tour! Nothing like last minute changes to keep everything lively!

From where did the band name originate?

Ah, the name! Well, I believe as the rock n’ roll legends of old would have it, we are actually named after a ‘Female Pleasure Device’ of the same name. To find the truth now would be impossible though, it’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery!

What would you say were your main musical influences?

I’m sure that each member of the band would say something different on this, but the main influences that come through for me are: Guns n’ Roses, Chuck Berry, Dogs D’amour, Sex Pistols, Ramones, Motley Crue, AC/DC, The Wildhearts…….all the good stuff!

How does the band typically put songs together?

Well we normally hold a very formal shirt and tie meeting, plan strategies, present pie charts, take minutes etc……..Ha, ha! Nah, we prefer the old-school rock method of plug in n’ play! It nearly always starts with someone coming up with a spontaneous riff at a rehearsal, followed by someone saying “What’s that? It sounds cool“, then everybody getting involved.

Normally, the band gets the song sounding sweet and in what we think is a working order, then we hand it over to our singer Billy to work his evil magic!

You recently released a new single ‘Mockingbird’. How have you found the reaction to that so far?

Very encouraging, we received over 10,000 hits on the video in one week on YouTube with about 100 people sharing it of their own backs on Facebook, which blew us all away!

We’ve had lots of good responses to both the song and the video from radio stations and the public. It’s such a good feeling to have people dig it as much as we do, that’s what it’s all about, from the point when the band finishes the song in rehearsals and you know you’ve done something really good and you just want everyone to hear it.

How, for the band, is it playing live and touring?

Awesome, it’s real and gritty you know? Just being out there, playing in different towns and even countries, meeting new people, being part of a unique gang that’s working together to make something powerful. It can be hectic, funny, stressful, rewarding.….you never really knows what’s going to happen, it keeps you on your toes! It’s always entertaining.

Our recent Spanish tour was a real eye opener, a county where no-one knew us and from the first gig, people were singing along to the songs that we have videos out for, quite overwhelming, in a good way of course!

What have you got lined up in the near future?

We’ve got a new single ‘Drag the Damned Down’ and video in the making as we speak, with hopefully several more to follow throughout the year. Various gigs already booked (some as far as Christmas) with more being added all the time, including an appearance on the main stage at this year’s very popular Basingstoke Live free festival.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

To keep building this thing up and take it as far as we possibly can. Write bigger and better songs. Get our music and the live shows out to bigger audiences and get this monster really charged up! Once you’ve had a taste, it’s hard to stop.

FOR MORE INFO ON THE BLACK BULLETS, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/TheBlackBulletsUK

TWITTER: twitter.com/BlackBulletsUK

REVERBNATION: www.reverbnation.com/theblackbullets

 

 

SEASONAL

Seasonal band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Seasonal are a four-piece from Surrey, comprising of vocalist/bassist Matt Truseler, guitarists Alex Coombes and Max O’Neill, and drummer Alex Tickner.

Having formed early last year, the band have spent that time honing their sound, primarily pop-rock with elements of pop-punk, emo, pop and hard rock thrown in, the results of which can be heard in their recently released debut EP ‘Bloom’.

With this currently getting positive reviews and having recently supported Canadian emo/pop-punk quintet Seaway in London, there are very little reasons for the Guildford quartet not to be optimistic about their future.

Here’s what they had to say when I spoke to them:

How did the band first get together?

Three of us (Matt, Tickner and Max) were playing in bands together previously and we always jammed and wrote music regardless of band or no band. Max played Alex a demo that we had recorded, and pretty much the next week we started jamming and writing as a four-piece. This was around February/March last year.

How did you come up with the name Seasonal?

The name really just came from the change in the way we were approaching the project, like a change in the seasons. We just decided what we wanted to do.

Which other bands/artists do you take inspiration from?

We’re influenced by a lot of older bands like Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday and Brand New. We’re also really into more current bands like Transit, A Will Away and Have Mercy, to name a few.

What is the band’s approach to songwriting?

We practice as a full band every week and usually we will start jamming around with some ideas there. We then take this over to Matt’s house and demo the ideas in Logic so we can chop and change and play with them a bit.

After a few weeks, we’ll have several versions of the same track but we’ll have settled on the final one. Matt will usually come to practice with a vocal hook and decide the idea of the song and that’s that. I guess we take quite a logical approach!

You recently released ‘Bloom’, your debut EP. How was the recording process?

We loved recording ‘Bloom’. It was a lot of fun. We had some good times down in Folkestone at Hidden Track Studios with Oz. We did the whole thing over two long weekends, so it was broken up a bit which I think definitely helps with the cabin fever that usually ensues in a studio!

How well do you think it has gone down with critics, fans, etc?

We’ve had some really positive feedback across the board for the record so far. Dare I say no-one has said they dislike it yet! We’ve been really pleased with all of the comments, especially with it being our debut.

How is the band’s experience playing live?

A lot of fun! Our songs vary in ‘pace’ from each other so there’s highs and lows but we have loved all the shows we’ve played. We are really looking to develop our live profile currently, so keep an eye on our social media if you like what you hear, as we may be coming to a town near you later this year.

Now you have released your debut EP, what have you got lined up for the near future?

We’ve got a few one-off shows which you can find on our socials, and we are currently booking a weekender for the summer and further shows and possible tour later in the year. We’ve also just released a new video, so keep an eye out for that!

What is the long-term aim for the band? Where do you see yourselves in the next couple of years?

I don’t think we had a long-term aspiration for this band when we started really. We just enjoy writing, recording and playing live music, so we really just want to continue doing that for as long as possible. We all have those bucket list venues we would like to play, so fingers crossed for the future!

SEASONAL’S DEBUT EP ‘BLOOM’ IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM AND DOWNLOAD NOW FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes AND BANDCAMP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAYPINE

Maypine band photo

MAYPINE (from l-r): Dan Jarvis (guitar), Jason ‘Jase’ Payne (vocals), Tommy Roberts (bass), Becky East (guitar), James Holdsworth (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Despite having only formed just over a year ago, Brighton quintet MAYPINE have made rapid progress to become one of the most exciting emerging bands on the British pop-punk scene.

They have already built a strong reputation with their sound, which sees them put their own spin on the pop-punk genre and is influenced by a range of both heavy and melodic outfits.

This, as well as their high energy live shows, has won them a following that will surely grow as they ascend further.

With a busy summer ahead, which will see the five-piece release their debut EP and embark on a nationwide tour, they recently spoke to me about what has been an incredible twelve months for them.

How did MAYPINE start out?

JASON ‘JASE’ PAYNE (vocals): My last band had broken up and I’d kinda given up on making music or being in a band. I thought that for the first time in ages, I’d just have a go at making music for myself, stuff that I enjoyed and wanted to make. I’d always loved pop-punk, but had never considered myself good enough to make music like it. I decided to challenge myself and make some demos and then, out of the blue, Dan messaged me…

DAN JARVIS (guitar): My old band had ended a little while before and I wanted to be in a new band. I knew Jase from our local scene and messaged him about jamming. He showed me the demos and I loved them. We met up and wrote a song together in our first session. Then he went to Florida for like three weeks and left me hanging…. but yeah, it all worked out well and here we are!

How did the band name come about?

BECKY EAST (guitar): My girlfriend and I were putting different words we liked together – once we found MAYPINE, we ran it past the guys and they liked it!

To anybody who is reading this, but have yet to listen to your music, how would you describe it to them?

BECKY: I’d describe it as fun and upbeat, it makes you want to tap your feet and air drum!

JASE: Fun, melodic and energetic!

TOMMY ROBERTS (bass): A middle ground between pop-punk and alt-rock. Basically, it’s pop-punk minus the generic thrasher element.

DAN: Unique. I don’t think anyone really sounds like us at the moment. Our influences are obvious but I think our sound is different!

And what are the band’s main influences?

JASE: It sounds cliché, but we all have different influences. I like pop-punk, but I also like metal! Architects are a massive influence on me.

DAN: I’m a massive Blink-182 fan and I’d say that comes across in our music.

TOMMY: Always the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for me. I’m currently trying to convince the guys to let me record the next record solely in slap. So far, I think it’s a resounding “no“.

BECKY: I have loads! However, in terms of guitar and writing lead parts, Lower Than Atlantis and Paramore are big influences.

JAMES HOLDSWORTH (drums): For me, I’d say Green Day, Biffy Clyro and Avenged Sevenfold. They were definitely my main three influences growing up, and the drummers that have influenced me a lot recently are Dani from Neck Deep and Eddy Thrower from LTA.

Both manage to come up with so many interesting parts that are so fun to play whilst still serving the song so well. That’s what I try to do anyway (laughs). Whether I do or not, that’s up to the audience. They should buy the EP and let me know.

How would you typically put the majority of your tracks together?

JASE: Dan and I tend to do most of the writing together. I’ll go away and make demos based on stuff we’ve come up with. We’ll then jam out the songs as a band until we’ve got something we’re all happy with!

DAN: I start with a melody and lyrics personally, then we work together on the songs.

The band have recently completed their debut EP, which will be released in August. How was the experience of recording it?

JASE: I think we all really enjoyed working with Ian Sadler, who has worked with bands such as ROAM and Homebound. He really brought the best out of all of us! We also ate a bucketload of hummus!

BECKY: We had an amazing time at Emeline Studios in Kent with Ian, he’s great to work with. We also became closer as a band and I felt like I became a better guitarist whilst recording there.

TOMMY: Recording with Ian was a delight. He was so chilled and down to earth. He seemed to know the exact sound we were going for before we even stepped in the studio! He also taught me that hummus goes well with everything!

DAN: I enjoyed it, but I got a bit of cabin fever being cooped up in the control room for nine days…

What can be expected of the EP when it’s released?

JASE: I like to think that they can expect a fun experience. We all worked really hard on these songs, both from a songwriting and performance perspective, and I think as Becky alluded to earlier, the songs are fun and upbeat and hopefully people will enjoy listening to them.

You’re also going on tour this summer. How, for all of you, is it doing that and playing live?

BECKY: For me, playing live is the most important part of what we do. I love engaging with people who come to our shows and getting to share our music with them. I also love how much it unites us as a band.

JASE: I agree, it’s such a buzz. As a frontman, I love interacting with the crowd, and if I can get them to sing with me, or dance or pit, then it’s been a good day!

TOMMY: Touring is the best part about being in a band, especially with these guys!

DAN: I find touring tiring, especially as I do most of the driving, but playing the shows is ultimately rewarding and makes all the tiredness worth it. The buzz of performing wakes me up for sure!

JAMES: Playing live is the best part about being in a band for me. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. And touring is even better because it normally means I get to share a small bed with Dan…

Where does the band see themselves in the long-term?

BECKY: I think ultimately, we all want to be doing this band as much as possible for as long as possible. I’d love it if our music took us all over the world.

JASE: They say that if you work a job you love, you never work a day in your life. We all love being in this band, playing shows etc. I’d say that I keep my goals small, and then each time we achieve something, I make the goal just a little bit bigger.

DAN: I’d love to play shows around the world and make a difference to people with our music.

JAMES: To be successful whilst staying true to who we are as people and as musicians. Headlining Reading Festival would be a dream come true though.

Maypine Cover

‘IN THE BACK OF MY MIND’, THE DEBUT EP FROM MAYPINE, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 4.

FOR MORE INFO, CHECK OUT OUR RECENT NEWS ARTICLE ON THEM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCRIBBLE VICTORY

Scribble Victory band logo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having been gigging and recording constantly since forming in late 2013, it has got to be said that Derby two-piece Scribble Victory have one of the strongest work ethics of anybody I know.

This, along with a unique, diversely influenced sound, centred around two vocalists, an acoustic guitar and a drum kit, has resulted in the duo getting praise from other bands, their growing fan base, and music critics, with Louder Than War magazine placing them amongst the fifty bands they think will make a substantial impact in the near future.

With a new EP planned for release later in the year, and having played a set in Nottingham supporting As December Falls, I caught up with them and they gave me a frank account of their story so far.

How did the two of you form Scribble Victory?

TOM WARD (drums/vocals): I’ll let you explain this one, Jamie.

JAMIE THOMPSON (vocals/guitar): The band started out as a project I was doing in my final year at Derby University, and then I decided to sort of do it live. We had a bass player, and Tom was the only drummer I really knew.

Then, I decided we didn’t need a bassist, I think he left actually, and yeah, that’s how it sort of came about.

From where did the band name originate?

JAMIE: I used to be in another band, and we wrote a song which I called ‘Scribble Victory’. The rest of the band didn’t really like the song title, so I had to change it.

For the university project I was doing, and because at the beginning, I only had myself to answer to, I thought: “Sod everyone else, I’m going to use it for the name of the project.” Where it came from before, I have no idea.

TOM: Usually, Jamie will say it’s a secret.

Which bands/artists do you both take inspiration from?

TOM: We’re influenced a lot by bands such as American Football, Jimmy Eat World, Blink-182, just old Nineties emo/pop-punk.

JAMIE: More recent influences have been Modern Baseball, The Hotelier, Pinegrove, that sort of stuff.

What is the band’s approach to songwriting?

JAMIE: In the early days, it would basically come from me messing around, writing a song and asking Tom: “I’m rubbish on drums, would you write something for this?“. He would then put some harmonies over the top of it, but nowadays, we sort of jam a lot.

TOM: Yeah, that’s right, but Jamie will be the one who writes the lyrics and comes up with the main concepts. We’ll jam with the guitars, and usually something entirely different will come out.

Last October, you released your latest EP ‘Expectations’. How was the reaction to that?

JAMIE: It was really positive actually, yeah. We had an EP release show, but just before, Tom put his back out, so I ended up having to do it by myself, but it was a good gig, and in terms of sales, it’s done well.

How did you put your back out, Tom?

TOM: I’ve always had problems with it, and one day, literally while we were shopping, I realised I’d left my keys in the car. I went to go and grab them, I bent down and my back literally went. It took me at least a week to get over it, I couldn’t walk, and the feeling of not being able to do anything at all was horrible, but at least I had Jamie, who lives a few floors up from me with his girlfriend in a block of flats, to wait on me, hand and foot.

How, for the both of you, is the experience of playing live?

TOM: For us, it’s what we love to do. We play a lot of gigs throughout the year, we aim for at least a hundred, 120 in that time. That, for us, is what being a musician is all about, just playing live and interacting with as many people as we can.

Don’t get us wrong, we love the recording side of things, but live is the absolute pinnacle.

JAMIE: Yeah, I would say we do prioritise playing live over recording. We’ve just played our 48th gig already this year, and we’re well on the track to reaching triple figures.

What’s the plan for the near future?

JAMIE: We’ve got another EP planned, we’re recording it at the moment actually, and some of the tracks off it we’ve played tonight. It’s one of those things, we’ve been playing those songs for over a year now, we haven’t released them yet, and people have been getting on our case about it, so we need to do it as soon as possible, really.

TOM: The idea is after that, we would love to tour Europe, because we’ve never really been on a proper tour before, and it would be nice to experience how we would go down over there.

What is the long-term aim for the band?

JAMIE: Actually, me and Tom were just talking about this. Probably to get a Nando’s black card!

(Both laugh)

TOM: That would be brilliant.

JAMIE: It’s crazy, the Nando’s black card is like membership to a secret society. Yeah, and that’s about it.

TOM: Honestly, to just continue what we’re doing now, playing to new audiences, meeting new people and releasing stuff as much as we can, that would be the end goal, and also to have fun doing it as well.

I think that’s it. Any final words at all?

TOM: Yeah. Keep your eyes peeled for our new EP, which should be out sometime later on this year, probably around late August.

YOU CAN KEEP UP TO DATE WITH WHAT SCRIBBLE VICTORY ARE DOING AT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.scribblevictory.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/scribblevictory

TWITTER: twitter.com/scribblevictory

BANDCAMP: scribblevictory.bandcamp.com

 

THE CARRIERS

The Carriers logo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

The currently thriving Stoke-on-Trent music scene was dealt a blow recently when popular local four-piece The Carriers announced that after playing the Underground in Hanley on June 16, they were going to go their separate ways, in order to pursue other projects.

The band may have only been together for two years, but in that time, they made quite an impact in their home city with a mainly punk sound, full of high energy, distorted riffs and rapid drum beats, supplemented with elements of funk and ska.

However, despite the sad news, the quartet are set to go out on a high, with one final album planned for release to accompany their farewell gig.

The band’s frontman Ben Murray spoke to me recently, in what will be one of their last interviews.

How did The Carriers come into being?

Our guitarist Jack Duggan and drummer Ryan Dawkins have been mates since school. They put an ad out on the Stoke Music Scene Facebook page for a singer / rhythm guitarist. I’d only just moved to Stoke and was looking for a band, so I answered the ad, met up with the guys, and we seemed to gel really well from the get go. Our bassist Sam Johnson, who knew Ryan from college, joined after we’d kicked the first one out a couple of months after I joined.

How did you come up with the band name?

It was something either Ryan or Jack had already thought of, it was a working title for a while and we tried to think of something else, just spit balling ideas for a bit, but none of them stuck as much as The Carriers.

What are the key influences on your sound?

All of us bring loads of different influences to the table. Ryan is a big punk/pop punk/metal and ska fan, Jack has similar tastes, but also enjoys funk and more old school punk like NOFX, Sam listens to literally anything and everything from like Bossonova to Primeus, and I’m more into emotional post-punk, so bands like Joyce Manor and Bloc Party, but also for fun and games, MSI and others like them influence me.

How does the band put their songs together?

Usually, we arrive at practice and someone will have a riff or progression they have been working on. We’ll then work on it and jam with it for a bit, make it a song, sort out the structure and composition of it and then at the next practice, I will bring some lyrics that I’ve worked on and by then, the track is pretty much finished. We’ll then just practice the hell out of it, and if there was anything we got bored of while playing, it gets cut.

What subjects do you like to explore with the lyrical content?

A few are stories of people getting drunk or finding inspiration, some are more politically charged making comments on immigration, Brexit and the education system. There’s also a song about celebrity culture, one with Pokémon references, and I tend to talk a lot about money, work, mental health, relationships, music and my dad.

How well do you think your music has been received? 

It’s been good, we’re definitely a live band over a studio band, so it’s a much different experience listening to our tracks to seeing us in the flesh, so the immediate reaction to our sets has always been very positive and anyone who likes us will then usually buy one of our CD’s or find us on Spotify.

Stoke-on-Trent, where you are all based currently, has a thriving music scene at the moment. Would you agree?

Yeah, the scene is great right now. Every weekend, there’s a local band playing somewhere in Hanley and the venues do a great job of making these people sound and look awesome.

Also, with stuff like Your City being free to come and watch for the public just showcases how awesome the talent is in Stoke currently, and what’s more is that it doesn’t just focus on one style of music, there’s plenty of diversity in the types of acts you can go and see.

The band announced recently that they were calling it a day. Can you tell me what the reasons behind this decision are?

I’m moving away in July or August to Liverpool, so we thought it would be better to end on a massive high rather than to just fizzle out into obscurity and not play again. Each of us is such an integral part of the sound and presence of The Carriers as a live band, so we couldn’t really draft anyone else in to play the live shows.

We’ve all put a lot of work into this band over the past year and a half, and we’re proud and happy with what we’ve all got out of it. Also, we’re all going off to do our own projects now, Sam is fronting Misovia, Ryan is drumming in Undercurrent, Jack is looking to put together a funk band and once I move to Liverpool, I’m going to put together a band called Just.

Could The Carriers return one day in some form or another?

Unlikely. We’ve all learned a lot writing and performing with each other, and we’ve all improved in songwriting and stage presence and production, but now, I think we just want to take what we’ve learned and put it to use in our own projects.

Finally, are you looking forward to putting on a big finale then on June 16?

Definitely, it is not to be missed! Also, around that time, we’ll be releasing an album containing every song we have written, so for anyone who has really liked our work, they can continue to enjoy it. 
MORE INFO ON THE CARRIERS CAN BE FOUND AT:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS DECEMBER FALLS

As December Falls band photo

AS DECEMBER FALLS (from l-r): Will ‘Bambi’ Brown (rhythm guitar), Ande Hunter (lead guitar), Bethany Curtis (vocals), Lukas James (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

A female-fronted four-piece from Nottingham, As December Falls are an outfit currently on the verge of making a huge breakthrough.

Priding themselves on delivering a powerful fusion of pop and rock, led by the melodic vocals of frontwoman Bethany Curtis, the quartet have recently been taking themselves across the UK, impressing the crowds at each of the venues they have played.

It is little wonder then that the music press are tipping them for much success in the near future.

On the warm late spring evening they returned to play a headliner in their home city, I spoke to them and this is what they had to say:

How did the band come about?

BETHANY CURTIS (vocals): I got approached by one of our old members on Facebook, he called me in, he knew Ande from other bands, when they used to play together, and then maybe that’s how he knew Luke as well, who is our drummer, but he’s not here right now.

Then, we played for a bit, and we got Will in, we call him ‘Bambi’, when we were on tour last year, because we needed another guitarist, but then there were sad times as two members left us, but we got through that and everything’s alright now.

Will, you don’t mind me asking, but why do you have the nickname ‘Bambi’?

(All laugh)

WILL ‘BAMBI’ BROWN (rhythm guitar): It’s a reference from ‘Scrubs‘.

ANDE HUNTER (lead guitar): Yeah, it came from when we did our third band practice with Will, and someone said something mean to him, and another person reacted by saying: “Be nice to Bambi!“, and it’s kind of stuck from there. (to ‘BAMBI’) You’ve got a forest tattoo to go with it, haven’t you?

‘BAMBI’: Yeah.

ANDE: Okay.

From where did the name As December Falls originate?

ANDE: We were literally in the studio recording our first EP, and we had yet to come up with a name for the band. We were just throwing ideas around, and as everything had come together for us in December, it made sense, like that was the month when the first songs were written and when our line-up had fully formed, so yeah, the name came together like that.

What would you describe your sound as?

BETHANY: Pop rock?

‘BAMBI’: Yeah, pop rock. It’s pretty loud. (BETHANY laughs)

Which bands/artists serve as inspiration for you?

ANDE: I think we all have different bands/artists that influence us. (to ‘BAMBI’) What would you say?

‘BAMBI’: I would like to say Dance, Gavin, Dance.

ANDE: No, not happening. For me, it’s anyone really that takes my fancy at the time, The Story So Far…

BETHANY: You like Twenty One Pilots, don’t you?

ANDE: Yeah, but I’m not going to write anything like Twenty One Pilots. My guitar playing is very much influenced by old classic rock guitarists, a lot of Slash, a lot of those old school blues players.

BETHANY: I’m very much into female-fronted rock bands, so for me, it’s Marmozets, Paramore, Against The Current, all those kinds of bands. Obviously, I love Hayley Williams.

What do you think to Paramore’s new stuff?

BETHANY: I really like it, I think it’s really funky. Me and Bambi have constantly been singing their new songs in the van on the way to our gigs.

ANDE: I won’t pass comment. (BETHANY and ‘BAMBI’ laugh)

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

BETHANY: By the way we’ve written our last few songs, I write a few lines of vocals, then I give it to Ande, who sorts it out, because it’s pretty shit. (laughs)

ANDE: I work my guitar around her vocal lines, see what works, and then when the vocals have been put down onto paper, we’ll take it to Bambi, who will add something with the rhythm guitars, and Luke, who will do the same with the drums, so it may seem like we all do it in one room, but we don’t. The process is vocals, guitar, rhythm guitar, drums.

BETHANY: And normally all of our songs will start off acoustically.

How well do you think the band’s music has been received up to now?

ANDE: So far, so good. Considering we’re completely independent, we’re not signed at the moment, we have no management, no backing, I think we’ve done alright. We get a lot of plays, a lot of streams, about 13, 14,000 on Spotify every month. We’re also doing alright on YouTube, we’ve been played on both Kerrang! and Scuzz, Planet Rock, Q. Yeah, we’re doing alright.

You are currently on tour. How has that been so far?

BETHANY: It’s been really good, like we played Swansea last week, and that was really incredible, everyone was nice and friendly. We gained a few new fans from that one, because they came up to us after the gig, and then we played in London as well, that was sick, and our producer came down and watched us, so that was really good.

Was that your first gig in London?

BETHANY: We’ve played Camden twice, once at Camden Rocks and another one at a festival there about a month ago.

ANDE: It was kind of Camden Rocks again. Our gig in London as part of the current tour was the first one we’d done that we were actually involved in promoting etc…

BETHANY: It was our first time headlining a venue in London.

ANDE: Yeah.

The band are playing in their home city this evening. How is it playing live in front of a home crowd?

ANDE: It’s definitely the best. Our home town shows are always really incredible, we haven’t really had a bad one yet. It’s a really cool experience. We played the Rescue Rooms back in January, and I’ve seen so many bands play there that I loved growing up, so to be performing on the same stage that they have is just mind blowing.

What is your personal opinion of the current Nottingham music scene?

ANDE: It’s amazing to be honest. There’s so much stuff going on. My favourite thing about it is that there are so many different bands playing different genres, it’s not as if just one genre is breaking through, like metal, rock or acoustic, there are literally bands of every genre coming through.

‘BAMBI’: There’s quite a good underground emo scene here as well.

BETHANY: Yeah.

‘BAMBI’: A lot of DIY stuff.

ANDE: It’s a great scene to be playing music in.

What’s lined up for you once the tour’s finished?

BETHANY: We’ll be releasing a single, we’re not quite sure when the release date will be yet, but we recently recorded the video to it, so hopefully that will be really cool.
Other than that, we’re playing Macmillan Fest in September, we’ve got Lowde Fest as well, so that should be amazing.

ANDE: It’s in Hampshire, and we’ll be playing with the likes of Doctor and the Medics and ABC.

BETHANY: Lowde Fest is kind of Hampshire’s version of Splendour. Then, after all that, we’ll be heading back into the studio.

ANDE: At the moment, we’re very much planning whether we want to do another EP, or maybe getting an album together. We’ll see where we’re going before making the decision. It’s in the early planning stages, but currently, we’re just writing more than anything, and when we’ve finished that, we’ll see what we want to do with the songs.

What is the band’s long-term aim? Where do you see yourselves five, ten years from now?

‘BAMBI’: Warped Tour. (BETHANY laughs)

ANDE: Then Wembley! (BETHANY and ‘BAMBI’ laugh) Honestly, to get signed to a major label, release a couple of records.

You don’t mind me asking, but are you close to being signed up at the moment?

ANDE: Well, we’ve been approached by several small labels, unfortunately, someone hasn’t come along yet who has really taken our fancy. We’re not approaching anyone ourselves at the moment, we’re just concentrating on building our own sound and fan base, and we’ll wait and see if someone big wants to come and approach us.

FOR MORE INFO ON THE BAND, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.asdecemberfalls.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/asdecemberfalls/

TWITTER: twitter.com/asdecemberfalls

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/asdecemberfalls/