London five-piece NAROPA, were kind enough to have a chat with me after the release of their brand new single If Only While I’m Sleeping. We talked favourite albums, new releases, and superpowers.
1. Hello, please introduce yourselves?
[Josh] Hi, I’m Josh, I sing.
[Rosie] I’m Rosie, I play bass.
[Francis] I’m Francis, I play the drums.
[George] I’m George, I play guitar
[Sam] And I’m Sam and I also play guitar.
2. How did you all meet and when did you decide to form?
[George] So, Josh and I went to school together and wrote and played together for a couple of years before we met Sam, who was in another band, and we hit it off straight away and started jamming together. We knew pretty quickly we wanted to form our own band because there was so much chemistry between us, so we all decided to go to university in London, in the hope that we would meet a bassist and drummer and within a fortnight of being in London we had met Francis and Rosie and it all just came together to be honest.
3. Who are your main influences as a band?
[Sam] There are too many influences to name. We’re surrounded by influences! We all come from different places musically and all have our own influences, but collectively I’d say probably The Stone Roses, Mystery Jets, Girls, Blur, The Cribs, The Smiths, The Maccabees. Lots of stuff like that, but also loads of weird stuff. Classical music, disco, folk, soul; things like that too.
4. How would you describe your overall sound?
[Sam] We want to have something to say for ourselves. Talk about universal things that touch people like love and loss, and talk about how unsatisfactory being young and living in the 21st Century is because we’re all too impatient, obsessed with celebrities and glued to our phones and TV’s. Josh sings in quite a high register and has a great range, which works really nicely with the shimmery guitars. We try to make sure the guitars are always intertwining and resulting in really bright, infectious melodies.
[George] The real driving force of the band is the rhythm section though, the basslines are funky, warm, and melodic, which works perfectly with Francis’ frantic, syncopated drumming style.
5.So you’ve recently released a new single, where is this available to stream/download/buy?
[Josh] Pretty much everywhere. It’s on Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Google Play, all of them, even Tidal. Jay-Z hit us up personally about putting us on Tidal.
[Sam] He didn’t.
[Josh] He did.
6.Have you got any other releases in the pipeline?
[Rosie] We’re going to get back in the studio to record the follow up hopefully in October-time. We’re always thinking ahead about where we want to be and what we want to be doing a few months from now and it feels natural to be writing a lot, rehearsing a lot and progressing naturally over time. Hopefully you’ll be able to hear that in the follow up single and at future gigs!
7.Any gigs coming up in the next few weeks?
[Francis] Actually our last gig was on 1st July, we’re going back into the rehearsal room over summer to write loads of new material and hopefully lay down some more demos. We’re going to Wales for a week which will be cool, we want to spend the next couple of months writing loads more stuff and getting it really tight so that we can come back in September with a bang and be ready to make the next step up.
8. What’s your all time favourite album?
[Sam] David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
[Rosie] Demon Days by Gorillaz.
[Francis] The Chronic,Dr Dre.
[Josh] Morrison Hotel by The Doors, or Album by Girls I think.
[George] Not the best, but probably my favourite, Up The Bracket by The Libertines. Not my favourite, but one of the best, Transformer by Lou Reed
9. If you could have written any song, what would it be?
[Francis] Hotel California!
[Josh] The Weight by The Band, or American Pie by Don McLean. Either one of those.
[Rosie] Something like Heroes by Bowie, or London Loves by Blur.
[Sam] I Am the Resurrection by The Stone Roses.
[George] I’m undecided. Either I Want You (She’s So Heavy) by The Beatles or Since I’ve Been Loving You by Led Zeppelin.
10.If you could support anyone on their tour, who would you support?
[Josh] Bon Jovi, definitely.
[Rosie] Probably Wolf Alice, I think.
[Francis] Modest Mouse!
[Sam] Foals, for sure.
[George] Palma Violets, or Mystery Jets. Either would be incredible.
11. If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
[Sam] I’d have four arms with extra stretchy fingers for ultimate shredding capabilities.
[George] I’d have the power of metamorphosis, and just change into loads of different animals all the time.
[Josh] Super enlightenment.
[Francis] Flying. That would be sick.
[Rosie] I’d be time travel, I think.
12. Finally, describe the single in a few words.
[Rosie] Groovy baby!
[Josh] Future indie disco heavyweight.
[George] Sexual. Emotional. Intense.
Don’t forget, Naropa’s single If Only While I’m Sleeping is now available to listen to, or even buy on a number of platforms, why not give it a listen?
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