Category Archives: Interviews

THE RAH’S

The Rah's band photo

THE RAH’S (from l-r): Andy McLeod (bass), Neale Gray (drums), Jack McLeod (lead vocals/guitar), Lee Brown (keyboards/percussion/guitar/vocals), Jordan McIntyre (lead guitar/vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Calling themselves “your finest indie rock n’ roll five-piece“, The Rah’s have gained a loyal following, as well as much positive feedback, in recent years with a sound that accurately reflects their closeness, talents, and passion for what they deem to be “real music“.

Having recently released a new single, ‘Survival’, and currently recording some new material, which will be coming out soon, the Scottish quintet chatted to me about such things as their origins, songwriting approach, lyrical inspirations, and much more.

How did the band form?

Four of us went to school together and played for the same football team. Lee joined the band at a later date.

How did the name The Rah’s come about?

We were drunk and woke up with our name on our Facebook page having changed to The Rah’s. There was no turning back from that.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Usually, we write the songs in our practice room, which we then take to the studio, where it always develops in the best way, with our man, James Darkin.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Anything we can all relate to really, from current affairs to past experiences.

Recently, the band brought out a new single, ‘Survival’. How was the recording process for that?

It was quite different from our past experiences, as we went into the studio with one song and came out with another. After a spur-of-the-moment riff from Jordan, we basically changed the song’s direction, and we were all very happy with the outcome.

And how have you all found the reaction to the track so far?

The reaction has been great. It’s been played on radio stations around the globe, our favourite so far being KROQ in Los Angeles.

The band have toured all over Scotland, as well as playing some venues in England, gaining a loyal following. How is it, for you all, performing live?

It’s one of the main aims of being in a band, to play our music to new people, the van journeys, rough sleeping, good nights out, rock n’ roll if you wanna call it that.

And you’ve also supported the likes of The Fratellis and Twisted Wheel. How were they as experiences?

They were great gigs, and there will be more like them to come in the near future.

Now that ‘Survival’ has come out, what are the band’s plans for the near future?

Our plan is to release a follow-up single, news regarding this will be coming very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

The top.

The Rah's Single Cover

‘SURVIVAL’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM THE RAH’S, IS OUT NOW.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: therahs.co.uk

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/therahsmusic

TWITTER: twitter.com/therahsmusic

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/therahsmusic

SOUNDCLOUD: soundcloud.com/therahsmusic

YOUTUBE: youtube.com/user/therahsmusic

 

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FLOOD PEAK

Flood Peak band photo

FLOOD PEAK (from l-r): Peter Layman (vocals/guitar), Pierre Carbuccia (bass), Dylan Stuntebeck (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From Oregon, Flood Peak are a trio who are certainly not your generic metal outfit.

Blending anarchic riffs, creatively maniacal drumming and monstrous bass lines with a raw vocal delivery, the band specialise in a sound that is powerful, heavy, and emotionally intense.

Armed with this, the Portland three-piece are ready to take on whatever is thrown at them, coming out as a musical force to be truly reckoned with.

Having recently released their debut EP, ‘Plagued By Sufferers’, which is currently getting an overwhelmingly positive reception, I spoke to Flood Peak’s bassist, Pierre Carbuccia, and the following is what he had to say:

How did the band get together?

We met while playing for a previous band, Sól, actually, Dylan still plays drums with them. Flood Peak was an older project that Peter had worked on, he mentioned it to me one day, and I became interested. He also mentioned it to Dylan, who became interested as well, and that’s pretty much how we started.

From where did the name Flood Peak originate?

The name comes from the natural disaster, and how it impacted Peter as he grew up.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

There’s a lot of influences to cover, considering we have very different musical backgrounds, but bands like Amenra and Mare come to mind. There are so many different genres and bands that sneak into our songwriting, though.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Peter has the skeletons for these songs written, and we work as a group to jam, discuss, change, and finalise structure. 

What inspires the band lyrically?

Peter mainly writes the songs, and he mentioned to me that these songs are inspired by personal experience – a loss of a friend.

His friend was young, and he was diagnosed with something that may have been curable with treatment, but his friend’s parents (mostly their religious beliefs) were an obstacle, because instead of treatment, they decided to wait for a miracle, which unfortunately didn’t end well.

Peter is usually not comfortable talking about this, so I wouldn’t recommend asking him directly. However, I think it is important to let people know where these lyrics come from – roots of pain, hopelessness, and loss.

Recently, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Plagued By Sufferers’. How was the recording process for that?

It was very fun. We hit up our friend Derek Leisy from Audiosiege, booked two days, and recorded two takes of our songs in a live setting. Dylan and I do a lot of improvising, and that didn’t change during the recording process.

The next day, we sat behind Derek to watch him mix and propose ideas, and a month later, we were ready to send those files to Brad Boatright (also from Audiosiege) for mastering.

And how has the reaction been to the EP so far?

We messed up when we first released it by not promoting it or sharing it with people.

As soon as we did, however, reviews have been mostly favorable (I’d say 90% or 95% has been positive), but I think negative reviews have their nuggets of truth in them as well, so I read all reviews and research about the reviewer/writer, in order to understand their perspective and background.

Most people say it’s exactly what we believe it is, which makes me feel, on a personal level, very good, as it shows the message, intention, and energy that we put across, therefore, it means that we communicated what we wanted through our music, which isn’t always easy.

The band are from Portland in Oregon. What is the current state of the city’s music scene?

There’s so much new music all around the world, and Portland is no exception, as there are so many good bands from here and also from Seattle. Portland is a growing city with a lot of talented artists from so many genres and paths.

And how is the experience, for you all, of playing live?

We love it. As I mentioned earlier, we recorded ‘Plagued by Sufferers’ live. If someone attends a live show where we play, that is exactly what they’re going to get.

There may be some improvised sections that may sound a bit different, depending on how Dylan and I are feeling, but the most different thing will be the energy and sound (how it hits your body; how the venue interacts with our gear).

Our energy and sound in a live setting has the ability to make it a different experience, especially when compared to sitting at home and listening to the album.

What are the band’s plans for the near future?

We are currently writing new material, and we’d like to keep playing shows.

We’ve talked about going on a European tour next year, and have discussed with our friends from Sól to have weekend tours and/or a short 10-day tour of the American West Coast.

At the moment, we have three shows scheduled for the rest of this year, and we’re looking forward to those.

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

Making music, recording, playing shows, and sharing those experiences with others, as those are the things we have the most fun doing.

Flood Peak EP Cover

‘PLAGUED BY SUFFERERS’, THE SELF-RELEASED DEBUT EP FROM FLOOD PEAK, IS OUT NOW.

YOU CAN GET FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND BY VISITING THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/floodpeakband

TWITTER: twitter.com/floodpeakband

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/floodpeakband

BANDCAMP: floodpeak.bandcamp.com

 

FEAR ME DECEMBER

Fear Me December band photo

FEAR ME DECEMBER (from l-r): Tony Small (drums), Victoria Cabanellas (vocals/bass), Stuart Woolley (rhythm guitar), Valentin Macagno (lead guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Back in 2012, two Argentinian musicians, Victoria Cabanellas and Valentin Macagno, decided to form a heavy rock outfit called Fear Me December.

After releasing a debut EP to an overwhelmingly positive response, the duo relocated to Manchester.

Having initially struggled to attract personnel to bolster their ranks, Victoria and Valentin eventually brought in two talented local musicians, Stuart Woolley and Tony Small, and since then, there has been no stopping the quartet.

Now, having just completed work on what will be their sophomore EP, entitled ‘Crystallized’ and coming out this September, Victoria spoke to me about what can be expected from that, as well as a journey that has taken them from north-east Argentina to north-west England.

How did the band form initially?

We knew each other from another musical project we were part of. That project didn’t work, got dismantled, but we were really good friends and had great chemistry as musicians, so we decided to keep playing together and that’s when Fear Me December was born.

From where did the name Fear Me December originate?

It was Valentin who came up with the name. We spent three solid days trying to find a name that we would all like but couldn’t find any, so one day Valentin was listening to ‘Apocalypso’, a song by Danish band Mew, where at the end of the chorus it sings,  “Black waves come, so fear me, December“, and he thought it was a cool idea.

Funnily enough, a lot of the big things and changes in the band have all happened during December.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Musically, every song is born out of a jam, whether it’s a full band jam, or Stuart or Valentin on their own. We always try to write for the song, and we always prioritise the structure and the song as a whole. That’s why most of them don’t have a solo, even though sometimes a solo may be needed.

We are extremely lucky that we found each other, as there are no egos within the band.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Our own experiences. Every lyric we write comes from somewhere, either it’s something that has happened to us or to a loved one. Music is our catalyst, our personal shrink, and that’s why it’s always full of emotions.

After bringing out a well-received debut EP, ‘Who Cares’, yourself and Valentin decided to relocate from your native Argentina to Manchester. What were the reasons behind that decision?

You could say it was a business decision, and it was a good one, as the music scene in Argentina is quite different from the scene in the UK, especially for our genre of music.

Having played there since we were little kids, right from the start, we knew that relocating to the UK was our best option, and that was the aim from our very first rehearsal.

Looking back, we can say we made the right choice, because we love it here, and we’ve met some amazing people and bands.

Was it difficult at first adjusting to a new country and a new music scene?

Really difficult. The way of life and the music scene here is almost the complete opposite, so we had to adapt to a whole new culture, a new way of doing everything, even the accent, as we learnt English through watching American TV!

However, we spent a lot of time talking with people who were kind enough to explain us how things worked, also, we made a lot of mistakes, but we have learnt from them.

We were really lucky to find such nice people, and we still feel like that!

You’ve just completed work on ‘Crystallized’, which is coming out this September and will be the band’s second EP. How has the recording process been for that?

Really good. We worked with Matt Elliss at Axis Studios again, so it was super relaxed, but also very demanding too, as we pushed ourselves a lot harder, but the chemistry as a band and as friends is undeniable, so that made everything easier.

For some of us, it was actually the first time recording in a studio, so that was quite exciting as well!

And how different will the upcoming release be to ‘Who Cares?’ and first album ‘Between Violence And Silence’?

Well, if you compare ‘Between Violence And Silence’ to ‘Who Cares?’, you can see the band’s progress, as we found our sound with the debut album. The quality and production improved, as well as our songwriting.

With ‘Crystallized’, not only have we kept pushing in developing our sound and the production, but we have also added different influences, as Tony and Stuart brought all of their influences and magic into the band when they joined.

We all listen to different bands, but we also share some common ground, so the songs get richer in sounds and styles. We are all aware of what Fear Me December is, but we love pushing barriers, and you will be able to hear that with songs like ‘Crystallized’, ‘City Lights’, and ‘This Is Not Okay’, all of which are completely different, but a result of us working together as Fear Me December.

How is the experience, for the band, playing live?

We love playing live, as it’s the thing we enjoy the most, therefore, we give it our all!

It’s really energetic, as for some magical reason, we’ve had chemistry since our very first show, and it has only improved since then. Our fans are awesome and they show it at every gig we do, so that makes thing easier for us as well.

The EP aside, what have you got lined up over the next couple of months?

We’ve got a few new videos coming up! We also have a proper tour lined up of which we cannot give any details just yet, but we do have some shows coming up where you can hear some of our upcoming material:

July 22 – RS Bar, Sheffield (Tramlines); August 11 – The Bobbin, Lancaster; August 17 – Cotswold Inn, Cheltenham; August 25 – Sanctuary, Burnley; Sep 1 – The Northern, Bradford (Lizard Fest).

And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

To conquer the whole world and save every dog and cat we can!

Seriously though, we want to keep on growing. Our current line-up is still quite fresh, so there’s plenty of room to keep growing more and more as a band, and write better songs. This is a new chapter for us, and it’s really exciting.

Also this year, we started working with Reaction Management, and so far, it has been amazing, so for us, the future looks extremely promising.

Fear Me December EP Cover

‘CRYSTALLIZED’, THE SECOND EP FROM FEAR ME DECEMBER WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 7.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

ASHFIELDS

Ashfields band photo

ASHFIELDS (from l-r): Tom Cotterill (guitar), Josh Boam (drums), Louis “Dev” Devonshire (vocals), Carl Kynaston (guitar/synth), Jay Sanderson (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by JAY WHITEHEAD

Shortly after forming in 2015, things were not looking great for Nottingham indie-pop outfit Ashfields.

They had just played a gig at a local pub to an audience of zero, and had been described as an “awful Coldplay tribute band” by a reviewer who had seen them perform at that year’s Dot To Dot festival.

However, three years on, the quintet have shown that perseverance can be of long-term benefit, as they are currently riding on the crest of a wave, having signed to a record label, released some well-received output, supported a range of highly-regarded musical collectives, and amassed a fan base that just keeps on growing.

Having recently brought out a new single, ‘We Don’t Talk’, as well as playing a brilliant headline set in their home city, one of the band’s guitarists, Carl Kynaston, spoke to me about a journey that is been at times challenging, but has now turned out to be highly successful, with much of the music press tipping them for big things.

How did the band get together?

We were all mates from the same town, and me and Tom are cousins and grew up together playing guitar.

We had been in a few bands before, but we started Ashfields together and rang up Dev to come and sing, obviously, he replied “Get proper jobs!” and hung up, however, after a few pints, we were able to persuade him to join, and then shortly after, Josh joined on drums.

I wish that was a joke, but that’s literally how it happened.

For those who have yet to listen to your music, how would you describe it to them?

Number 1. Why haven’t you listened to us yet, is your Spotify broken, because I can’t see any other reason?

Number 2. The best music in the world.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

We listen to literally everything, from Nothing But Thieves, right through to Dr. Dre, but I think the main influence to our writing style on guitar are the Kings Of Leon, as back when me and Tom were both learning to play guitar, we were obsessed with them, as we’d go through song after song just learning all of the different riffs, and I think that’s something that has stuck with us ever since.

Josh is influenced more by the sort of heavier tunes that he listened to growing up, and I think that is why he is such a heavy hitter and gives us those huge crashing choruses.

Now Dev, well, he likes to listen to Dolly Parton and Shania Twain on his daily commutes, and I think this really really comes across with his vocals, because man, he feels like a woman!

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

It varies really. Half of the time, I’ll sit at home writing a song on piano with chords, riffs, vocals and melody, before taking the finished product to the lads and telling them to just do their thing.

The other half of the time, one of us will have a cool riff or drum beat, we will then just jam it out together, and Dev will then stroll in and be like, “Yes lads, I’ve got a sick vocal melody for that“, and nine times out of 10, he’s right.

What inspires the band lyrically?

I think for me over the last two or three years, I’ve written mainly about my struggles with anxiety and how gradually it’s sort of taken over my life, sometimes, there can be a song about wanting to just give up, other times, it can be about the positives and learning to cope, it depends on the day.

Dev writes a lot about love and feelings, as he has a massive heart, which is one of his many amazing attributes, so if you hear a song of ours about break-ups and misery, then it’s probably been written by me, if you hear a song about falling in love, then it’s probably been written by Dev.

You’ve performed several sold-out gigs in Nottingham, as well as supporting such outfits as Judas, INHEAVEN, and The Sherlocks. How is it, for the band, playing live?

I think having the opportunity to support so many amazing bands made us realise just how awful we were, we thought we were top class, then we’d see these bands get on stage after, and we would just go, “WOW!“, and I think that really pushed us towards the solid unit that we are today.

Now, we’re in the situation where we’ve become that headliner where bands support us and it makes their piss boil for how good we are now live.

And the start of last year, the band opened for Biffy Clyro and Brand New at Birmingham Arena. That must have been quite an experience.

We walked into an empty arena, and Biffy Clyro were sound-checking. Simon Neil did a wave and we were like, “Nah, surely he’s not waving at us. Hang on, he is!

That’s really all you need to know about that day, because that in itself is up there on the top 10 things to happen in my life, or at least that year.

On top of all this, you have a vastly growing fan base, have had over 150,000 listens on Spotify and 25,000 views on YouTube, as well as being tipped for a bright future by much of the music press. Did any of you expect to achieve what you have within the first three years?

It’s funny you should say that, as we found a video the other day from our very first practice, which was in a garage.

At the time, we remember posting this little jam video recorded on a potato, and thinking, “Yeah, this is sick! Let’s get it on Facebook!” It only got about three likes, and they were from our mums!

Now, we are signed to a record label, working with some of the industry’s best producers, playing major festivals, and about to support The Libertines in front of around 30,000 people.

That process between garage to main stage festivals has literally been a blur of hard work and passion. Three years ago, when we played at Dot To Dot, a reviewer called us “an awful Coldplay tribute band“, yet after playing this year, we were described as “the highlight of the whole festival“, so I think to answer this, we didn’t expect it, but we wanted it enough that we made it happen.

The band have a packed summer of live shows ahead, with sets at Splendour and YNot still to come. I can imagine you are all looking forward to them.

It’s an absolute dream. At Splendour, we’re playing on the Confetti stage before Toploader, the very next day, we play the main stage at Jimmy’s Fest with the Happy Mondays, the weekend after, we play Wellowfest, the weekend after that, we play Kendal Calling, then it will be straight to YNot the next day to play the Quarry Stage with Peace, and then we have a little break before we get to support The Libertines.

Just saying this out loud is madness, as literally three years ago, we begged our local pub to let us do a gig which lasted half-an-hour and that nobody turned up to watch, and now, here we are playing the shows that I’ve just mentioned.

And finally, what do you hope to achieve in the next three years?

Firstly, I hope our van passes its MOT, or we are taking the “Shoelace Express” to these festivals.

Secondly, I want to be able to one day buy my parents a bungalow and make sure they live comfortably.

Thirdly, and in all seriousness, it doesn’t matter what we achieve as long as we are all still together having the best time of our lives, remembering that friendship started this band, and just enjoying this journey together.

Also, we want to headline Glasto.

Ashfields Single Cover

‘WE DON’T TALK’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM ASHFIELDS, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, GOOGLE PLAY, DEEZER, BANDCAMP, SOUNDCLOUD, AND THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE www.ashfieldsband.com

YOU CAN FIND FURTHER INFO ON ASHFIELDS THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/ashfieldsband

TWITTER: twitter.com/AshfieldsBand

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/ASHFIELDSBAND

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/user/ASHFIELDSBAND

WOLVES DON’T SLEEP

Wolves Don't Sleep band photo

WOLVES DON’T SLEEP (from l-r): Connor MacLean (drums), Dan Bingley (bass/vocals), Stephen “Steev” Bond (vocals), Daniel Bradley (guitar), Chayce Swain (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by EM COULTER

Since first hitting the metalcore scene three years ago, Nottingham five-piece Wolves Don’t Sleep have offered an alternative take on the genre, balancing hulking tones, colossal riffs and immense drum beats with compelling vocals, powerful lyrics, and an uncompromising stance.

Having received plaudits for live sets that are both explosive and emotional, as well as their 2016 debut EP, the band will very soon be bringing out an eagerly-anticipated new single, entitled ‘Hope Won’t Set You Free’.

To tell me about that, and other things, was the quintet’s frontman, Stephen “Steev” Bond.

How did the band form?

I had just left a hair metal band (let’s never discuss that), because I was sick of everything to do with it, also, I was going through a tough time personally, and I felt that getting back into heavier music would be the best step for me creatively and emotionally.

I got hold of Chayce and Connor, explained to them the plan I had to form a band and what I planned to achieve, and we set to work writing what would become the first EP, ‘The Monster You Are’.

How did the name Wolves Don’t Sleep come about?

The name came from the phrase “Wolves don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep“, as it basically lays out our whole attitude in regards to everything that we do as a band, and how we will not compromise who we are.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Sometimes, one of us will have a full track written, which we will then work on and tweak any bits as necessary, other times, we’ll just have a riff and build a song from there, bouncing off each other and crafting the track.

What inspires the band lyrically?

A lot of the lyrics come from my own personal experiences and feelings at the time the tracks are written, and I try to match the lyrical tone and feel to the track, also, I will constantly re-write and scrap lyrics to keep up with where I am as a person.

You first came onto the scene in 2015, however, early on, there seemed to be almost a revolving door of personnel. I can imagine that time was rather frustrating. 

Honestly, it just sucked, and sometimes, it did feel like we were never going to get anywhere, but luckily, we managed to find the right people, and massive props to our mate Arron for filling in on bass before Dan Bingley joined.

Next month, the band will be bringing out a new single, entitled ‘Hope Won’t Set You Free’. How has the recording process for that been?

It was a massive learning process for us, especially working with Steven Jones (who has also worked with bands such as Bleed From Within and From Sorrow To Serenity).

And how will the upcoming release differ from your debut EP?

It will be heavier, tighter, and a lot more technical.

How is the experience, for the band, performing live?

It’s a really intense physical experience for us all, it feels completely right, and for me personally, it is super cathartic.

New single aside, what have you got planned for the near future?

In September, we’ll be playing at Macmillan Fest in Nottingham, alongside such sick bands as Black Peaks, Asteroid Boys, and Loathe, as well as finishing off what will be our second EP.

And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

We would like to start playing more shows outside of Nottingham.

Wolves Don't Sleep Single Cover

‘HOPE WON’T SET YOU FREE’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM WOLVES DON’T SLEEP, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 3.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS AND THE BAND CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

THE YOUNG & RESTLESS

The Young & Restless band photo

THE YOUNG & RESTLESS (back, from l-r): Adam Hogg (drums), Rob Hardy (guitar/vocals), Will Newell (bass) (front): Ali Morrison (vocals/guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From Northampton, The Young & Restless are a four-piece that deal with subjects such as heartbreak and growing up through a combination of emo and pop-punk delivered at breakneck speed that will leave you feeling a whole range of emotions.

Having released two well-received EPs, the band recently brought out a single, entitled ‘Family Values’, and talking to me about this, as well as just some of the things they have done over the past couple of years, was the quartet’s frontman Ali Morrison.

How did the band form?

Officially, we became a band back in the summer of 2013, but it all began at the beginning of that year, when myself and my brother Sam (former lead vocalist) went down to our local pub one night to meet up with some old friends.

Sam and I used to perform together as an acoustical duo playing a bunch of covers and play the odd support for our eldest brother’s cover band, Buck Naked.

At the pub, we met an old school friend, Josh Palmer (former drummer). He had actually been recommended to us, so as we already knew that he was a drummer, we got talking, then arranged to get together and play a few covers from some of our favourite bands.

We then started meeting up every week on a regular basis, until one day, we started jamming out spontaneous riffs and beats, and decided to make a go of it!

The band stayed as a three-piece for a little while, performing our first two shows with that line-up, until we decided to get in a bass player, and that’s when we met Rob Solesbury (former bassist).

Eventually, we decided that we wanted to expand on our sound, and that’s when we met Rob Hardy.

How did the name The Young & Restless come about?

After a practice session one evening, we had a chat about what we should call our band, and Sam suggested The Young & Restless. We loved it, and decided to have that as our name, so that was that!

What are the band’s main musical influences?

From a young age up until now, each of us have been influenced by a lot of bands from a variety of genres, but if we were to mention a good handful of them and give people a better idea as to what we sound like, we would say Blink-182, New Found Glory, State Champs, The Story So Far, Yellowcard, The Wonder Years, Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis…

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Usually at practice every week, one of us would have already come up with a riff that we’ve been messing around with in our spare time, then each of us would follow it up and try out different things, if it works, then great, if it doesn’t work, we’ll simply try something else!

What we do is get the core musical structure done, then we will write lyrics according to the vibe of the song, it may be about certain situations that have taken place in our lives, but we aim to make it so that it’s something that other people can relate to.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Heartbreak, growing up, hanging out with friends, family issues, basically everything that makes your modern day pop-punk band!

You recently brought out a new single, entitled ‘Family Values’. How was the recording process for that?

We recorded ‘Family Values’ with Ed Sokolowski at EAS Studios in Milton Keynes, who also recorded both our first EP, ‘Leave Us To Our Own Devices’, and our second EP, ‘Horizon’.

Ed is an absolute pleasure to work with, and a total genius at what he does, not only is he really good, but when he gets stuck in, it’s almost as if he becomes another member of the band, and by bringing so many good ideas to the table, he truly helps make the songs what they are.

The recording process itself was actually rather easy, we demoed the song in a day to help give Ed an better idea of how it went, and to build on it with new ideas, one of them being the complete change-up in the melody and rhythm of the lyrics.

It was pretty mental and all over the place to begin with, so with Ed’s help, he tidied everything up, then the actual recording process took place over three days, and we couldn’t imagine doing it any other way now!

And for those who have yet to listen to the track, what can they expect from it?

Expect full-throttle right from beginning to end, fast-paced beats, a whirlwind of emotions, and big, bold guitar riffs seasoned with twinkly little melodies!

The band have played live with the likes of Reckless Intentions and Carousel Kings, headlined such venues as The Black Heart in Camden, and performed at the Pop-Punk Pile-Up festival in North Yorkshire in April. How were they all as experiences?

It was an honour to hit the road with Reckless Intentions back in February, they’re a lovely bunch of lads, and great musicians, supporting Carousel Kings and playing at The Asylum in Birmingham was an amazing opportunity, we’ve always wanted to play that venue too, so thank you to Ryan Cornall!

The Black Heart in Camden was actually the first venue we ever played in London, we had such an awesome time there, and really appreciated the opportunity to be part of Music From The Heart festival, thanks to Lloyd Parkinson and Phil Walker for putting us forward!

Pop-Punk Pile-Up was an absolute blast, Adam Ruane is a wonderful promoter, and credit must go to Jay Burgin, Courtney Jocelyn, Steph Knight, and everyone else involved for making the festival what it was, as it was clear throughout that they had really pulled out the stops!

And how is it overall, for you all, playing live?

When you see us live, expect a lot of movement and energy, as we tend to get a little carried away! We get a real buzz off the energy of a good crowd, and we also like to get everyone involved.

We especially love playing in places that we’ve never been to before, and later this year, we’ll be aiming to hit up new venues!

Now that the single has been released, what are the band’s plans for the near future?

We’re going to carry on touring, we may release a new single towards the end of this year, or get started on recording a long EP or mini-album, as we’re always writing new material.

Next year, we’d love to tour Europe, and it would be amazing as well if we could get to tour America, it would be also be great if we managed to get a support slot on a week or fortnight-long tour with a big band!

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

We’d love to do this for a living, we want to continue making music that people can enjoy, and overall, to simply have a good time!

The Young & Restless Single Cover

‘FAMILY VALUES’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM THE YOUNG & RESTLESS, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD, OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, AND BANDCAMP.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/theyoungandrestlessuk

TWITTER: twitter.com/TYandRestlessUK

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/theyoungandrestlessuk

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

SILVER WILSON

Silver Wilson band photo

SILVER WILSON (from l-r): Elliot Labbate (bass/backing vocals), Gabe Holland (keyboards), Brandon Hill (lead vocals/guitar), Tom Girling (drums/backing vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by BEN HALE

With a guitar-led indie-pop sound that incorporates the use of detailed, feel-good riffs, catchy melodies, and new technology, Leeds/Nottingham four-piece Silver Wilson have built up a loyal following since they formed three years ago.

The band have played festivals including Dot To Dot, YNot and Tramlines, and have been championed by BBC Introducing.

Having brought out a well-received single, ‘Let You Go’, in March, the quartet are preparing to release another track, ‘Close Enough’, next month.

I chatted with the guys prior to their recent set supporting Ashfields in Nottingham, and the following is what they had to say to me:

How did the band get together?

TOM GIRLING (vocals/guitar): Basically, I knew Brandon from school, he knew Elliot from a previous band they were in, and when that ended, we decided that we wanted to go in a different direction.

Once we had established themselves, we met Gabe at uni in Leeds, and we moved on from there. It’s been a bit of a long process, but this is where we’ve ended up.

How did the name Silver Wilson come about?

BRANDON HILL (lead vocals/guitar): It was a pretty boring process trying to come up with names, we had a few lined up, and there were all pretty good, at one stage, we were seriously considering the name Coach.

ELLIOT LABBATE (bass/backing vocals): We were trying to come up with a name that was easy to say and remember, and also if you put it into Google, it would be at the top of the results.

BRANDON: The band me and Elliot had been in before was called The Gorgeous Janes, but saying that out loud was a nightmare.

TOM: We wanted a name that looked good and sounded good when it was said.

BRANDON: Silver Wilson happened to be one of the names written down. We then looked at it, then said it out loud, and that was an “Eureka!” moment.

TOM: At least it’s better than Coach.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

BRANDON: We all have different individual influences, but I guess, as a band, when we started out, we were like, “Let’s be like The 1975“, but eventually, our sound evolved into its own little bubble.

TOM: I think as the music industry seems to evolve really quickly, with so much new stuff coming out, obviously with R n’ B, garage, grime, so we try to listen to a bit of everything, really.

ELLIOT: We’ve all got very different influences from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, for example, Gabe likes a bit of jazz, me and Brandon are more into indie-pop and the bands who we grew up listening to, so I guess that’s kind of evolved into the sound we now have.

TOM: Now, to be fair, we’ve been together for a little while, so we’ve had time to mould our sound and image. If we write something, but we feel that it doesn’t fit into our set, we put it to one side, because we now know what we want to achieve musically.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

BRANDON: We used to do a lot of writing together, but these days, we’re mostly production-based, so I’ll come up with something, show it to the rest of the band, and then they’ll go, “Let’s change this bit here, let’s change that bit here“, so I’ll take it back, and change it around, then towards the end of the songwriting process, I will edit the parts to make it sound more concise, resulting in the finished product.

What inspires the band lyrically?

BRANDON: Lyrically? I’m not really inspired by my day-to-day life and my own situations, I kind of just write what I deem to be the best fit for the soundscape, and also, I like to keep the lyrics open, so the listener can make their own interpretation on them.

For example, ‘Let You Go’, our latest single, has a few different meanings to it, and that’s what I try to achieve.

ELLIOT: People kind of like interpret our songs differently, which is always interesting.

TOM: It’s very balanced. When you’re a solo singer-songwriter, you do tend to write about your own life and experiences, but as a band, what Elliot and Brandon have just said, I think, would be the best way to describe our lyrics.

BRANDON: We try and keep it as un-individual as we can, really.

TOM: It’s one of them, isn’t it? If you write something and it works, you can do whatever you like with it.

You just mentioned ‘Let You Go’. How was the recording process for that?

BRANDON: It was good fun, you know. ‘Let You Go’ was a song we played originally around a year ago, back when we started, and the final track ended up sounding so much different to how it was then. The only thing that was the same was the chorus and pre-chorus.

I made a demo for a random song, so I could play around with ideas. I added a whole new backing track for this song, and then I sang “Let you go” over the top of it, and when I heard it back, it seemed to be a perfect fit, so it was really easy, I think we all did it within a few weeks.

TOM: Mainly because of the level we are at, we can’t just walk into a studio and spend two or three months producing something.

BRANDON: We mainly use laptops, anyway. That’s the way we’ve been working up to now.

And how has the reaction been to the single so far?

BRANDON: Good. It’s been really well-received, and people seem to have really liked the videos that came with it, as well, and at gigs, much of the audience have been singing along to it, which was cool.

You’re supporting Ashfields in Nottingham this evening. How is the experience, for the band, of performing live?

TOM: Really good, yeah. It’s what we live for, as we all really enjoy playing to people and sharing our music with them.

ELLIOT: Rehearsing is like the training pitch, and playing live is like the actual match, you know what I mean? It’s where you really enjoy yourself, despite there being pressure and all that, but at the end of the day, that’s what you do it for.

TOM: Part of the journey of writing a song is discovering how it will come across when played live in front of a crowd, because then, you can get a real glimpse of how people are reacting to it.

The band have also played festivals such as Dot To Dot, YNot and Tramlines. How were they as experiences for you all?

TOM: They were all great. We were fortunate enough at Tramlines and YNot to play some great stages.

When we played YNot in 2016, it was raining heavily about 10 minutes before we started our set, and when we got on stage in the tent we were playing in, the crowd was massive. It was just one of those little things.

It was the same with Tramlines, we were playing in a really small venue, with a sizable crowd watching, and the vibes were just amazing.

And finally, what are your plans for the near future?

TOM: We will be bringing a new single out soon, around mid-July, and after that is released, we’ll be playing a gig up in Leeds, also maybe a few festivals towards the end of this year.

ELLIOT: To keep doing what we’ve been doing, making as much noise as we possibly can, and we’ll see what happens from there.

Silver Wilson Single Cover

‘CLOSE ENOUGH’, THE NEXT SINGLE FROM SILVER WILSON, WILL BE RELEASED ON JULY 13.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/silverwilsonuk

TWITTER: twitter.com/silverwilsonuk

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/silverwilsonuk

SOUNDCLOUD: soundcloud.com/silver-wilsonuk

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com