AMBER are an indie-grunge four-piece from South Wales. I was lucky enough to speak to members Sam and Lewis, and find out a little bit more in an interview. We talked gigs, festivals and meal deals.
1. Introduce yourselves.
Lewis: I’m Lewis, I’m lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist.
Sam: I’m Sam and I play bass and do some backing vocals from time to time too.
2.When and how did you form?
Sam: Lewis and I have always wanted to do a band and attempted many different variations before we met Tom. Lewis and I had for a long time time thought we’d be a two piece but with Tom it was love at first sight.
Lewis: We formed our original line up back in May last year, since then our line up has changed a few times but we’re doing well with our current line up. I met our Drummer Dylan back in September at college, as soon as I told him about the band a few months ago he was instantly interested. He came to one practice session and we just knew he had to be in the band.
3. Who are your main influences?
Lewis: Vocally my inspirations range from the likes of Stevie Wonder to Yannis Philippakis from Foals. It’s really important for me to have a unique tone to my voice and so that’s why I look to such a variety of singers for inspiration.
Sam: I’d say instrumentally it’s got to be a blend of bands like Arctic Monkeys but then at the same time bands like Nirvana and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. That might sound like a really uncomfortable mix, but somehow it ends up working for us as a band and it really is I think a unique sound.
4. Where do you get your inspiration to write from?
Sam: It’s always been really important to us as a band to write as authentically as we can, and so the best way to do that is to look to our own experiences and beliefs and feelings etc. I’ve always found and so do the boys that a song carries itself forward to a much greater extent if the people playing can really relate to what they are playing.
Lewis: We all have different ways of writing our songs and we all write about very different things. For example some of our songs can be as specific as stupid arguments with your girlfriend or as general as any standard night out with your mates. It’s also important to us that our songs aren’t just confined to one single theme and that we branch out lyrically as much as we can.
5. Have you got any releases in the pipeline?
Sam: We don’t tend to plan our releases as such but instead just write as much as we can and if we really feel something with a song and we think it’s good enough we decide there and then to record it and just release it a week or two after. What I can say is that we’re working on shit loads of material at the moment and so it wouldn’t surprise me if we have new songs out very soon.
Lewis: We mainly focus on writing as much material as we can so that we’re basically just spoilt for choice. Right now we’re just focusing on just releasing our best songs individually to get them out there before we even think about things like EPs.
6. Where can people listen to your music?
Lewis: The place most people go to is Youtube but do we also have a Soundcloud. Otherwise, the best place to hear it is live because we guarantee you’ll have a lot more fun- plus you get to see our sexy faces in the flesh.
7. Have you got any advice you can give to others who are just starting up?
Sam: Well we’re still a tiny band in the grand scheme of things so I can’t speak from that much experience but the best advice I can give is that if you are thinking about writing a song, or starting a band or playing a gig etc. then just do it. There’s only a certain amount of time you can really make things like this work and so if you want to do it and have the energy and drive to do it then just do it.
Lewis: Yeah what he said.
8.What’s your favourite gig you’ve played so far?
Sam: Two that stand out for me are our headline gig at Le Pub in Newport and supporting a band called The Fused at Undertone. Both had huge, wild crowds that were just moving constantly throughout the set. The best feeling is seeing someone really enjoy the music that you’ve put ridiculous amounts of time and energy into.
Lewis: Whilst all the gigs are really fun a few do stand out, like Sam said Le Pub and Undertone have both been really good venues and experiences for us as a band. It’s fantastic to see people have as much fun as we are when we’re playing.
9. Have you guys been to any festivals this summer?
Sam: We’ve played a couple, but the band as a whole have been so busy this summer outside the band we haven’t had much time for them. We do all love festivals, though, we’re all going to Reading this month. I just came back from Y Not, our guitarist has been to Bestival and is currently at Wilderness and our drummer’s going to Boardmasters too. As much as we love playing music live, we also love hearing it.
10. What’s your favourite tune to perform?
Lewis: That’s a really difficult question as I love playing our stuff, if I had to choose one though it’d probably be our song Lovesick. It was our first release and we always close with it. When we play it live it never fails to get a reaction from the crowd.
Sam: I probably couldn’t choose one. Our song Sweetness is really fun to play live just because it’s so full of energy and is a bit of a roller-coaster when we play it, but I also really love playing a song we have called Dublin. It’s very different to the others in the set and it’s basically just about going out with your mates and having a wild time, so to see the crowd having a wild time just makes it even better.
11. All time favourite song?
Sam: That’s easy for me- Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division. Granted it’s a pretty obvious song to choose by Joy Division but I just think it’s timeless really. I listen to so much though that I don’t actually listen to that many bands that sound like Joy Division.
Lewis: That’s pretty much an impossible question for me because I listen to so many genres, but one song that I really fucking love is Too Much Love Will Kill You by Queen. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite song of all time, but I do really love that song in particular.
12. Favourite album of the last 5 years?
Sam: My favourite album of all time is Silent Alarm by Bloc Party, but that’s near ten years old now, and my second favourite is The Suburbs by Arcade Fire which came out in 2010. Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, m.A.A.d city and Tame Impala’s Currents are two from the past five years that I thought were pretty groundbreaking so I’d have to go for those two.
Lewis: Again this is a difficult question for me to answer, but two albums that have really kicked me in the face over the past five years have been Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories and Great Western Valkyrie by Rival Sons. Fucking bangers mate.
13. Do you prefer cats or dogs?
Sam: Um, I don’t know. If I’m at home I’d rather be cuddled up with a cat on a sofa, but then I wouldn’t want to be one of those people that walk their cats so outside the house definitely dogs. This question’s fucking impossible. I have both.
Lewis: First off, I really like both cats and dogs. On the one hand, I find it great how dogs are happy all the time, yet on the other hand I can’t get this sneaking suspicion out of my head that my cat wants to kill me in my sleep. So I guess it’s gonna have to be dogs.
14. On the topic of the last week or so, what’s your perfect meal deal?
Sam: That’s easy- Egg and cress triple sandwich, bottle of Coke and a bag of Cool Original Doritos. Fuckenn sound matee.
Lewis: Brunch Triple Sandwich, packet of Quavers and a bottle of Fanta Fruit Twist.
15. Finally, describe your sound in a sentence.
Sam: Basically heavy Indie Rock. Which really doesn’t cover it anyway. I dunno, I’m sure you can figure it out if you listen to us.
Lewis: I’ll sum up our sound based on how it makes me feel: FUCK YEAHHHHH
Don’t forget you can find most of the bands material on their Youtube or Soundcloud. Have a listen to Sweetness here:
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