Category Archives: Interviews

In Conversation With Brownbear

We spoke to the lead singer of Brownbear, Matthew Hickman, about Michael Jackson, musical influences and what we can expect from their debut album. We also previewed their upcoming single ‘Covers,’ due out on Friday.

Brownbear have used the past few years to gain valuable experience by touring with rock royalty; releasing a string of singles and of course performing to crowds at their own sell out gigs.

After a yearlong break, the boys hit the studio to record their long awaited debut album. A record that lead singer, Matthew Hickman, says he has “a lot of faith in.”

“We didn’t make an album full of singles, we made an album which is a collection of songs that, if you will, have a common theme. All the songs make sense to each other; they’re all related in a way. It all sounds right.”

Brownbears’ philosophy of ‘if it doesn’t fit then it’s not going in’ is taken very seriously. Proof of that lies solely in the confirmation that their first ever, and arguably most famous, single ‘Dead or Alive’ won’t be included in the album. Matthew said:

“People who have seen us live will recognize some of the songs (in the album). But, ‘Dead or Alive’ isn’t in there. My view is, we did it as our first single and it stood itself. To redo it for the album would mean changing it for the sake of it.”

“Two mistakes bands make all the time is: trying to do a song over and over again and ruining it; and secondly, not believing in their new material.”

“Dead or Alive had completely different production to what the album has, so I feel like it’d be a bit like saying ‘oh we don’t trust in our new songs.’ I can only hope that folk will look through iTunes or Spotify when the album is out and find ‘Dead or Alive’ and think; what’s this. We’re still going to play it live obviously; you’ll still hear it at our shows.”

For the band, new material is everything. Matthew told how he has become a keen experimentalist of performing new songs at gigs, especially after a solo tour supporting ‘The View’s’ Kyle Falcnor:

“When you’ve got a new song and you think ‘is it any good,’ the best way to judge that is to go up and play it in front of the crowd with just you and the guitar.”

“The Kyle (Falcnor) tour showed me which songs work and which don’t, by the end I was able to adjust my set to suit. If you play a new song off the cuff and the crowd go wild then you’re on to a winner cause that’s up against more established tunes.”

The lessons learned from that solo experience differed from the lessons the band learned when touring with bigger teams, like the tour with the Libertines. Matt said:

“Different tours teach you different things. Big tours, like the Libertines, taught us a lot about being professional. And then the Kyle tour obviously I learned a lot about playing in front of intimate crowds and reading the room, connecting with an audience. I had the best time on that tour because I had so many people that I’d just chat to after shows and getting to find out what they liked about the show if they enjoyed it.”

One of the new songs the band will be eager to play is ‘Covers,’ the first single off the album. It’s a very upbeat and catchy tune that has the classic Brownbear acoustics; however, it also boasts sobering lyrics that describe the mental unrest of a cheated boyfriend. The combination strangely works well, you’ll be humming ‘and I pull back the covers…’ in your sleep.

Thankfully the lyrics of ‘pull back the covers’ is just a metaphor for the suspected cheating, Matt joked that he didn’t literally catch anyone red handed:

“At the time I was with a girl and we were slowly deteriorating and I was beginning to think she might even be seeing someone else, just a pure gut feeling. I didn’t literally pull back the covers, thank God, that would be like something from a gruesome horror film.”

“The song actually started because I was singing the chorus in the car and sometimes as a writer you think of a line, I was singing like ‘cover and lovers,’ it sort of developed from that.”

Brownbear have developed an alternative acoustic/folk rock vibe over the past few years, something, which Matthew agrees, are the bands “own distinctive sound.” Yet the music Matt grew up listening to is a complete different shade of music to what he plays:

“I grew up very much a student of rock music, I love the Foo Fighters, Metallica and bands like that. I used to kick about with the black sweatbands on and that. But I’m not very metal orientated as a writer, when I began writing songs; they just didn’t come out like that.”

“I also love Michael Jackson, especially the ‘Thriller’ album. That album broke boundaries; it went so much further than the music. It was the first time an African American had been listed on TV; he broke down that relevance for everyone. At the time he had the dark skin and the Afro, I can relate to that part.”

“I think great records have more than just the music. People never really know where to place our music and I think that’s a good thing.”

As for now, Brownbear admitted you’d find a different type of music on his playlist:

“I’ve been listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar at the moment, and Alicia Keys new album. Both of those have total jazz vibes between them that’s what’s catching my ears I think.”

Transpiring through a range of genres whilst retaining a core Brownbear sound seems to be essential for the band. Matthew told how there’s a song on the album which has a “tip of the hat to mow town,” a genre which he admits is “his thing.” He also told how we could expect a bit of country in there as well:

“We had a guitar player play as a guest in a few songs who used to play in a band called ‘Whiteout’- they were pretty big in the Britpop era. He’s an amazing country player and he did this cool country riff over one of the songs. It just sounded right, man, so we were like ‘let’s just do it.’”

The album is sure to please ears of all music backgrounds and will be available sometime in early autumn. As for the new single, Covers, that comes out on Friday (5th of May). Something that we recommend you definitely check out.

Be sure to keep updated with the band through social media.

Twitter: brownbearband

Facebook: brownbearofficial

Photography: Murray McMillan 

Follow me on twitter: @bdoncook

NEW MUSIC: Mac Benson to release brand new single

On April 20th indie-solo artist Mac Benson is set to release a brand new, two part single; he chatted with us in a small Q & A ahead of the release to tell us more… we talked desert islands, dream collabs and doggos…

Hiya Mac! Firstly, can you tell us a bit about you?

Sure. I’m 17 and from the North of the U.K and I’ve been writing songs from around aged 14.

Is your music all produced/performed by you?

Yes, all the music I make is written and recorded in my bedroom. I usually am 100% self produced.

How would you describe your sound?

As of recently my ‘sound’ has changed quite a lot. My first EP was heavily inspired by Lo-Fi and Indie music but in the time between making my first EP and making new music I’ve become quite influenced by Indie Folk stuff and film scores too. I would describe my sound now as calm, quiet and minimal.

So you’ve got a single coming out on Thursday, can you tell us about it?

The single is 2 tracks the first is called ‘The Cosmos’ and the second is called ‘Yellow Light’ which is kind of a little b-side. They’re both quite similar in terms of sound, to me they sound like spring, the sun and childhood days at the seaside. They’re perfect for anybody who listens to music as a means of temporary escape or to feel calm.

What was the inspiration behind the track?

The first track, ‘The Cosmos’ is inspired by friendship and love, as many of my songs usually are. Lyrically, the song is very visual, I wanted to write something that was descriptively detailed and beautiful. The second track, ‘Yellow Light’ was written in the very early hours of a morning, i was laying on my bed looking at the light from my lamp glaring across the wall, everything was silent, I thought it was beautiful and would make a nice concept for a song. As I continued working on it into the next day, writing the different verses, the song moved away from that concept and started to become a song about how its very easy (especially at the age or stage of life I am at) to feel very isolated and wanting to break away from that feeling and experience freedom.

Can we expect any more material from you in 2017?

I am currently working on something which these 2 tracks will be a part of, whether it will be another EP or a full length I’m not sure, I’ll just have to see how much material I make that I’m happy to put out.

Can you tell us some artists you’re particularly enjoying listening to right now?

Right now I’m listening to a lot of Folk and Indie Folk artists like Father John Misty, Florist, Angel Olsen and Big Thief which are having quite an influence on the kind of music I’m making myself. For a while now I’ve been into music with an electronic feel such as SOPHIE, Porches, Maggie Roggers, Soft Hair and Blood Orange.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would you pick and why?

I’d love to collaborate with Emily Sprague of Florist, her music is so beautiful and perfect, I think she’d be the perfect person to have produce the kind of music I want to make. I’d also love to collaborate with Clem Creevy of Cherry Glazerr and Tyler, The Creator, they’re both incredibly talented musicians who I respect massively.

You can pick 3 CDs to take to a desert island with you, which ones would you take?

That’s a hard one, I would probably take ‘Apocalipstick’ by Cherry Glazerr, ‘Girl Talk’ by Kate Nash and ‘Half Way Home’ by Angel Olsen.

Are you more of a cat or a dog person?

Definitely dog. Dogs are so pure and beautiful.

What are your hopes as an artist for the next few years?

I’d really like to start playing gigs, it’s something I’ve always been very anxious about but now that I’m starting to grow in my ability to write songs and am happy with what I’m making, I want to start to share that in a live environment. Possibly not in the next few years, but in the long run I just want to make creating music my full time job and continue to make music that people connect with.

Finally, we’ve spoken a bit about bigger artists but can you recommend any newer, up and coming acts for us to check out?

Sure, my friend Matt Autieri (who’s from Philadelphia)  has been putting his own stuff up on Soundcloud for about a year now, he’s amazing at everything he does. In terms of people more local to me this guy Nathan Mcpartlan is putting out some new stuff soon I think, he seems pretty cool, he makes really nice electronic music, my friend Ewan Devenay has started writing songs which I hope he’ll put out soon, they’re great, and Daniel Brown (Empty Rooms) is a great guy and he’s working on stuff at the moment too.

Thanks Mac, and best of luck with the release!

You can check out Macs debut Hot Water Bottle EP on his Bandcamp, and the new tracks will be available as of Thursday.

Twitter: @macbenson_

INTRODUCING: RELEASE

We chatted with Stoke-on-Trent quintet RELEASE to find out more about their single The INEVITABLE and them as a band, heres what we had to talk about…

Hiya! Firstly, tell us a bit about you guys?

We’re an alternative 5 piece from stoke on trent. We include drums, bass, guitar, vocals, synth and violin. Our influences are all over the shop; From Radiohead to Jamie T to Coldplay to The Sex Pistols To The Streets To Kendrick Lemar. Best way to be I reckon.

Where did the idea behind your name come from?

It came from the idea of our energy in our performances and music. Music is a lot of peoples release from the dull, mind numbing process of working life and we wanna be a band who provide that for the masses if that be possible.

How did you guys all meet?

Ah we met at college mainly i suppose, a few of us knew eachother from previous bands n being on the scene when we were younger.

Did any artists particularly influence your track ‘The INEVITABLE’?

Now youre askin’ me. Me and aaron (who plays bassoon) wrote it cos we were bored as f*** in College once. We only wrote the Synth melody and the initial guitar though and it reminded us initially of something like if Foals and The Streets had a baby. The track evolved into something along the line of if The Killers adopted that baby and raised it as their own i reckon, but i dont like to compare artists or music really if i can help it!. But yeah, I suppose if there were influences then it’d probably be them three haha.

Where is it available to listen to? Are there any physical copies?

Its available on soundcloud and YouTube which is where our video is found for the track n all, if you wanted to have a butchers then it’d be much appreciated. There aren’t any physical copies available at the moment but if you gave us a message with your address then im sure we can send you something in the post.

Have you got any releases in the pipeline for the near future?

Well we’ve not told anyone this yet actually but we’re currently recording a few tracks at the moment at a top recording studio in Stoke called Riff Factory. I reckon you can expect a ‘release’ (bud um tssss) in the very near future so peel them eyes

Have you got any gigs lined up?

Gigs we can announce at the moment are a few very exciting ones:
  • 18th May @ Great Escape Festival in Brighton
  • 20th May @ The Deaf Institute
  • 14th July @ Alsager Music Festival
We’ll have many more dates to announce over the coming weeks but this is all we can say at the moment!

If you could play the main stage of any festival, what one would you pick?

I’d say Glasto, its the dream innit. Prestigious and would just be an absolute dream and honour to grace that stage. Its like the equivalent of getting to the FA Cup final or The Champions League.

Describe your sound!

Edge of your seat Velumptiously energetic choons.

Cheers guys!

If you wanna find out more, check out the music video for The INEVITABLE below, and follow them on Twitter:

INTERVIEW: Joe Symes and the Loving Kind

I spoke to Liverpudlian trio Joe Symes and the Loving Kind, about their favourite gigs and their new album.

Can you introduce yourselves and tell us how you all met?

[Joe]: I’m Joe, Singer/songwriter/harmonica player of the band. Myself & Colin have been friends for many years now and we played in a few different bands in the city, Andy joined the band through an advertisement when we needed a bass player.
[Colin]: I’m Colin the drummer/percussionist and backing vocalist. As Joe said, we’ve know each other for years through previous things we done. We met Andy through an add we put up.
[Andy]: I’m Andy, and I’m the bass player. I met the lads by chance. I found myself between bands, so was looking to get playing quick and found an ad looking  for a bass player urgently. I thought, “That’s a bit of me,” and the rest is history.

Last year you played Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Aftershow Party, how did that feel ?

[Colin]: Always great to play a venue like the 02. We suit those venues right down to the ground.
[Joe]: Yeah it was awesome to headline the main stage of the 02 Academy 1 again in Liverpool and to be asked play at his aftershow party for a second time.
[Andy]: Yeah, it was good to be involved in it.

Where do you get inspiration for your songs?

[Joe]: The songs come from experience and everyday events for me, sometimes even talking to someone
can trigger off an influence for a song, all kinds of idea’s just come from nowhere.
[Andy]: I couldn’t say really. I play a part that feels right for the song, so I would say me. Ha! Ha!
[Colin]: I always say you are what you eat.

How would you describe your music?

[Andy]: I’d say it was an eclectic mix of styles with a backbone of rock and roll.
[Colin]: Heavy Pop……..well that’s what we’re doing at the moment.
[Joe]: Very honest, we can be very diverse when we need to be, sometimes you would not think we are the same band cause our song writing style changes.

Your new album is coming out later this year, what can we expect from it?

[Joe]: A total departure from our self titled debut album, our first album was an introduction of what we can do
as a band and the range of songs we can present as a band. Our new album will be an out & out rocker. catchy pop songs, melodies & heavy guitar riffs.
[Colin]: As I said, Heavy Pop.
[Andy]: VOLUME!

Who are your musical influences?

[Colin]: My drumming influences are people like John Densmore, Ringo, Art Blakey, Daru Jones, Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell, Gene Krupa, Phil Collins, Carla Azar, to name a few. 
 
[Andy]: I grew up listening to Guns N Roses, and Pink Floyd to name a few, so I’d say that Duff McKagan and Roger Waters. I know, opposite ends of the scale. A bit like myself. Ha! Ha! 
 
[Joe]: Mine are The Beatles first & foremost, i have loads of band’s i could list from the likes of The Velvet Underground to The Who to Motown through to Burt Bacharach, Sex Pistols, The Jam to name a few.
 

Where can people find your music?

[Joe]: You can find us at our official website which is www.joesymesandthelovingkind.co.uk where you can find up to date information on up & coming gigs, new releases & up & coming releases, merchandise.
 
[Colin]: We are also on Facebook, Reverbnation, Youtube.
 
[Andy]: Twitter, Fit4talent, Gigmit.
 

You’ve supported some pretty great bands and scored some great events, but what was the greatest gig you’ve ever played?

[Joe]: I’ve enjoyed all the gigs we have played up to now, i’m looking forward to playing many more.
 
[Colin]: Oooh, that’s a tough one. So many to name. 
 
[Andy]: Phew! There’s been so many. I think Glastonbury or the Whisky A Go Go are in joint top though.
Catch the guys on tour:
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INTRODUCING: Strangewave

Indie-rock quartet STRANGEWAVE are set to release their brand new single Out All Night later this month.

The Brighton band led by Darius Zaltash chatted with us ahead of the single release, along with revealing details of their next few gigs & even touching upon where their name idea came from. Check out what they had to say…

Hiya guys! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? 

[Darius]: So I moved to Brighton from Reading for Uni in September, met Stewart as he’s my housemate and straight away we wanted to work together, Stewart and Harry used to be in another band back in Maidstone and so did I back in Reading. Although it was fun both bands weren’t really going anywhere so we thought why don’t we give it another crack here.

[Luke]: I’m from Burnley and moved Brighton for the same reasons really and I’m on the same course as Stew so he said come for a jam one day, we’re looking for a new guitarist and here we are!

 Where did your name come from?

Saw it on the back of a dolphin.

What artists influence you?

[Harry]: Too many! I’m rating The Orwells at the moment though.

[Darius]: Our influences come from all over the place but I’m really digging the new Palm Honey EP, they’ve just got a wicked sound deffo check em out!

[Stew]: I’ve been listening to a lot of Dinosaur Pile-Up, they just sound so grungy I love it.

[Luke]: – Picasso is still decent tbh.

So you’ve got your first single coming out soon (exciting!!), can you tell us a little bit about it? 

[Darius]: Yeahh boii, so the single is called “Out All Night” and it is about exactly that to be honest! I took a trip to Budapest last summer with some of my closest friends and it ended up being one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever had! Met some of the best people so the song is kind of a tribute to those 10 days if that makes sense, I think its got a kind of “you and your mates vs the world” vibe aswell which is cool.

When will the track be released and where will it be available to download/buy?

[Stew]: The song is coming out next month and will be released on Apple Music,Spotify and Soundcloud.

What gigs are you going to be playing in the near future? 

[Luke]: Our next gig is at Bleach on the 16th of March with Sisteray and The RPM’s, then after that we’re playing Jumanji’s single launch party at The Hope and Ruin on the 19th of April which looks like its gonna be huge! The rest is all hush hush for now.

Who would you say is the funniest in the band?

Harry!

Have you guys got any gigs you’re attending in the near future?

[Harry]: Maybe Jagwar Ma

[Darius]: Seeing The Amazons at Patterns next month, they played a gig in my house once back in Reading and been a huge fan of their work ever since!

Are you more of a cat or dog person?

[Harry]: Cat

[Darius]: Dog

[Stewart]: Cat

[Luke]: Cat

Do any of you have pets?

Harry has a cat, Stewart has a bunny.

Did you have any New Years resolutions and have you stuck to them?

Not that we can remember haha!

Favourite album of all time?

[Harry]: Nevermind

[Stewart]: the hurting by Tears For Fears

[Luke]:  Wild Cub – Youth

[Darius]: Fortune Drive – A Modern Question.

Cheers guys!

As of yet the band have just one demo track on Soundcloud after forming late last year; you can listen to Run below.

Strangewave are playing a local gig at BLEACH / Brighton on Thursday March 16 along with The RPMs, Sisteray & HAKE. Tickets are available here.

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Facebook: @wearestrangewave

Introducing: The Nix. + a brief interview

Introducing The Nix. They are rising band from Stockport with a unique blend of genres noticeable in each of their current songs, which is hardly surprising when you take into the classic rock n roll influences the band has.

I have chatted with the band and here is what they have to say.

Tell us a bit about yourselves?

“We’re a quintet from Stockport consisting of 3 guitarists, 1 bassist and drummer with 2 leading vocalists. 18-20 years young. Spending most of our time gigging around the North west.”

How did you all meet?

“We all met at Cheadle Hulme high school pretty much, when we were about 13-15. Tom and Nathan went to the same primary school and Hayden, Andy and Josh went to another one together. Started playing together in high school and have taken it from there. ”

Where Did the idea for the band’s name come from?

“We were just trying to find random words and put ‘the’ in front of it. We found the word ‘nix’ in a fashion book, thought it sounded cool. Apparently Nix is a German slang word for ‘nothing’. ”

Who are some of your main influences as a band?

“We have a variety of influences cause we all listen to so many different sounds. It ranges from psychedelia, dance and rock n roll.”

What would be your all-time favourite gig you’ve been to?

“We’ve all been to a couple mint gigs together like Tame Impala, The Strokes and Stone Roses. ”

Any upcoming music you’re currently working on?

“Yeah funnily enough we’re actually planning on being in the studio next week getting down some new tracks that hopefully will be out soon. ”

What’s your favourite record to listen to?

Andy:  “Nas – Illmatic”

Hayden:  “Frank Ocean – Blonde”

Tom:  “Radiohead – In Rainbows”

Josh:  “My Morning Jacket – Z”

Nathan:  “David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”

What’s your current favourite track you’ve recorded?

“Fear of Change”

What are the bands plans for 2017?

“Our plan is to gig massively and build a wider audience and try and get our music played on major radio stations to get people behind our tunes. Also to record more tracks and release them on music platforms so people have more to listen to.”

How would you describe your bands sound for people who haven’t discovered you yet?

“That’s a pretty hard one. We always have trouble with this question when it’s asked. At the moment it’s a pretty spacey groovy but it fluctuates between our influences.”

And finally any festivals or gigs you guys have lined up for this year?

“Our main gig to look forward is our double bill with our good mates Dantevilles, playing 2 nights with them at Jimmys. Can’t wait for that. We’ve got talks for more gigs over the summer so you’ll have to keep posted on our social media”

Make sure to follow the band’s social media to keep updated and check them out on spotify and soundcloud to hear what they have to offer. Including their latest track and the bands favourite “fear of change”.

Twitter – @thenixband

Facebook- The Nix

Instagram – @thenixband

Featured image sourced from the bands Facebook

Follow me on Twitter: @DanielSlater17

daniel//@DanielSlater17

INTERVIEW: The Sheratones

We chatted with Surrey quartet The Sheratones to find out more about their hopes as a band for 2017.


Hi lads! Firstly, tell us a bit about yourselves?

Hello internet we are The Sheratones from Woking and we play rock and roll music.

(Members: Matt Smith, James Fairminer, Johnny Rutter & Adam Clarke)

Where did the idea behind your name come from?

The Sheraton is the name of a guitar, which for copyright reasons we added an es to.

When did you form, and why?

Monday, around tea time. There was a lack of music around that we wanted to hear so we decided to write some.

What’s the strangest thing to happen to you guys since forming?

*alert, alert pg13 rating* We were once on the bill of a gig where a Nun played circus music on a keyboard while taking more and more clothes off.

Who are some of your influences, big or small!

The biggest influences on the band are  John, George, Paul and Ringo. Other than that let’s just say Motown and Indie.

What’s been your favourite track to record so far?

Sundance; We managed to capture a specific emotion which is sometimes tough, the lead guitar tone came out sounding really cinematic. It also helps that the recording and mixing went smoothly.

Any festivals you guys are hoping to play this year?

All of them and any of them…. please?

Any new tracks in the pipeline? an EP maybe?

Loads of demos, looking at several single releases over the year, hopefully over the summer months

Are you guys playing any gigs soon?

We have a few in the not too distant future, like our Facebook page for all the info you could ever need.

Where can people find your music online?

Bandcamp and Spotify, and ITunes

Did you have any new years resolutions, and if so, have you stuck to them?!

New Years resolution:
Get a new drummer
Status:
Complete

Describe your sound in a few words!

A melting pot of music from both sides of the Atlantic.


The Sheratones released their debut EP If Your Hearts Not In It last August which can be found on Spotify, Bandcamp and iTunes.

The lads also play a hometown gig on 9th March at The Cave at the Holly Tree.

You can find The Sheratones on the following network sites:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/thesheratones Twitter – www.twitter.com/thesheratones Instagram – @thesheratones

INTERVIEW: BIG FAT ASTRONAUTS

Devon trio BIG FAT ASTRONAUTS will kick off their UK tour in February with support from a range of bands. We chatted with the lads ahead of the tour to find out more!

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Tell us a bit about yourselves?

Big Fat Astronauts is made up of Charlie Stork (Vocals/Guitar/Keys), Josh Sanderson (Bass Guitar) and Jacob Rix (Drums/Percussion). We all live in Exmouth (massive) in Devon.

When did you first form?

We’ve been through multiple line-up changes and dodgy band names since Jacob and I (Charlie) started making music together in 2012. The current line-up formed in November 2013. We recruited Josh (bass) when our previous bass player left to form a deathcore band… yes.

What inspired you to start to make music?

We’re all lucky to have musical parents that encouraged us creatively growing up. But if we’re being real about this, we’re actually mindless puppets employed by the government to distract people from serious world issues.

Who are some of your influences?

 At the risk of sounding massively cliché, we listen to a really wide range of stuff! Some current indie-ish stuff, Tame Impala, Foals, Eagulls, Merchandise, Wild Beasts… some classic post-punk and ambient/experimental-rock bands like Talking Heads, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, The Smiths, Talk Talk, Brian Eno and recently more Jazz, Funk and Hip-hop music: Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Childish Gambino, BadBadNotGood, GoGo Penguin, King Krule, Prince, Rejjie Snow. Although our inspiration doesn’t just come from music; films and chicken Caesar salads are also big parts of our lives.

So you’ve got a tour coming up soon, when does it kick off?

The tour kicks off on February 8th at The New Cross Inn, London. There’s some rad bands on the bill that night, including our good friends Semantics from Birmingham. We’ve been wanting to play London for a while now, so it kinda feels like a bit of a landmark for us.

Who’ll be supporting?

We’re playing with different bands in almost every city – Bandicoot, Diablo Furs, Putamen and our homeboys Semantics, Hollows and School Disco. Gonna be some funny afterparties.

Have you got any releases in the pipeline?

Keep your eyes peeled for April.

How would you describe your sound?

Post-punk, progressive indie-psych-rock.

What advice would you give to bands who are just starting out?

Be nice to everyone, make the music you want to make (not just what’s cool right now), try to listen to lots of different types of music, and don’t lose sight of why you started making music.

Where online can people listen to your material?

Our SoundCloud page: soundcloud.com/bigfatastronauts and our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2IgnAkUd0jz_8p_hhepFQg/videos

What are your hopes for 2017?

Play as many shows as possible to as many people as possible, write the best songs we can and have as much fun as possible (and get sponsored by Red Stripe).

Cheers lads & good luck on tour!

• TOUR DATES FEB 2017 •
08.02.17 – LONDON: https://goo.gl/4T32tj
09.02.17 – CARDIFF: https://goo.gl/gWORgm
10.02.17 – MANCHESTER: https://goo.gl/szG9Ba
11.02.17 – NOTTINGHAM: 
https://goo.gl/bCj7To
13.02.17 – BRISTOL: 
https://goo.gl/iM1SM5
16.02.17 – LIVERPOOL: 
https://goo.gl/RaIEc1
17.02.17 – BRIDLINGTON: 
https://goo.gl/1Ys3CB
18.02.17 – SHEFFIELD: 
https://goo.gl/T3Edhk
Find the band on social media:

INTERVIEW: Plaza

Plaza are a four piece band with a unique – but great – style of music! On the 20th January they released their new song Origami. I did a Q&A with the guys to find out a bit more about them: (ps I found out they’re funny lads)

Introduce yourselves!

Hi, we’re plaza aged between 19 and 46 (funny joke guys, they’re actually 19/20!) from a lil seaside town called Hartlepool our names are William, Matthew, Bradley and Matty.

How would you describe your music?

Our music has been described differently by lots of people, but the reoccurring theme and phrase we keep hearing is “mathy”. Obviously we can see where people get that from as we tend to base a lot of intricate tricky riffy stuff laid out over wavey tones, but if you asked us to avoid that specific pigeon hole we would say Aerosmith/Napalm Death if they grew up in the north of England.

Your single Origami is coming out this week, how would you sell the song?

Origami, hmm on the basis that I’m selling it to make money, I’d tell the customer in question that the lyrics in the song are a method of escapism, a grasp on a dimension you only venture to when your lost in your own tranquillity, a forest made of paper, the birds in the trees are crafted with your hands. and all that shite, and if that doesn’t work then I’ll walk behind them playing the melody on a tuba.

Where can we find your music?

You can find us on most popular and musical platforms – Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Babe station etc etc.

Who are your main influences in music?

Between the 4 of us, our tastes in music vary, myself personally (Will) I listen to a lot of electronic music, Matthew is a massive drum and bass head, Bradley loves joy division and Matty strictly only listens to queen. But as a collective we come to a musical consensus and find mutual loves for guitar bands that we’ve listened for a long time e.g. Foals, Radiohead, Tame Impala.

Have you got any gigs coming up?

We’ve got quiet a lot of shows already booked and a few more in the pipeline. We have a small tour in February starting in London and finishing in boro. We’ve also got a lil support slot on a uber cool tour with an extra cool band that were waiting to announce but I’m not giving any clues as to what the contents of it are.

What songs are your guilty pleasures?

Will: R Kelly – Real Talk
Brad: Gwen Stefani – Sweet Escape
Matty S: Snakehips – All My Friends
Matty N: Chelsea Dagger – Fratellis

Finally, what are your plans for the future?

Keep on keepin on. Just keep blitzing round the country playing passionate tunes to beautiful people, breaking hearts and spreading our message to the world. Got some more music recorded on ready to release and enough energy in us to keep playing shows until we’re grey and old. Hopefully not like that mush who plays drums in the Rolling Stones, he looks poorly!
 

Where to find Plaza:

Follow their Twitter
Find them on Spotify
Subscribe to their Youtube
Listen to their new single Origami here
And buy tickets for their tour here

 

INTERVIEW: Oddity Road

After a successful 2016, it’s is looking like the next 12 months will be even bigger for Sheffield quartet ODDITY ROAD, who recently announced they’d be supporting The Sherlocks at a number of dates on their upcoming tour.

The four-piece consists of members Jack Heath (Vocals + Guitar), Dan Brennan (Guitar), Joel Gilbourne (Bass) and Ethan Lambert (Drums). We spoke to the lads in a Q & A to find out more…

Hiya guys! Tell us a bit about yourselves?

Hey we’re Oddity Road, basically four 17/18 year old lads, good mates from Sheffield and the Hope Valley who enjoy making indie rock music!

Where did the name Oddity Road come from?

The name came about from us noticing how a few local bands were using places in Sheffield to inspire their names, so it was kind of a play on that, as well as a joke around what we thought the band would be when we started out, a crazy odd old road trip for us and that’s certainly proving to be true to this point!

How did you all meet?

Three of us (Joel, Jack and Ethan) have known each other since we were about 10 yrs old and over the years we’ve been making music together in many different guises. But meeting guitarist Dan at sixth form last year, where we are all studying music, is where it all definitely kicked off, and we played our first gig back in February 2016.

What inspired you to start making music?

We’ve all been dead into music individually, playing and listening to a huge range of styles and instruments. I guess just common interests and a passion for creating music brought us together and we all got really into it together and have been ever since so it was a perfect fit!

Who are some of your main influences as a band?

We’ve all been influenced by a mad range of music growing up and we’ve got a taste for the big anthemic indie rock bands. We like bands that bring the best out of people and get a good time going.

Have you got any projects you can tell us about?

We’re spending a lot of time writing at the moment, playing around with new ideas and giving a few of them a whirl at live shows to get a proper feel of how people react to them as well as how they sound recorded. We can tweak them from that, but I’d say we’re probably sat on around 10-15 decent songs as it stands.

2017 has started brilliantly for us and we are talking about so many potential projects at the moment  … It’s a little crazy.

So you’re going to be supporting The Sherlocks on their upcoming tour, where are you most excited to play?

Yesss it’s unbelievable we can’t wait! We are playing 7 main dates on the UK tour and we’re really excited to play each and everyone of the shows to be honest! Obviously Sheffield is gonna be pretty special as it’s the biggest hometown show they’ve ever done, it’s sold out and it’s the Sherlocks so the atmosphere promises to be absolutely mad! We’ll be playing to loads of local friends and fans too but it’s a chance to get ourselves heard by so many more people, the whole tour is. It will be great to play to whole new audiences from Swansea and Cardiff to Hull via Peterborough, Nottingham and York!  We’ve had so many good messages from people who are coming along to see The Sherlocks and have checked us out. It’s proper humbling that people like our stuff. Supporting the lads will be class, they’re undoubtedly one of the hottest bands in the country right now and will be for some time I’m certain.

What is the strangest thing to happen to you since forming?

Probably the strangest in terms of still feeling surreal is the opportunity to get on this tour, when we started out we never expected to get anywhere near this point!

Personally we also get a massive massive buzz playing live and hearing the songs we’ve written coming back at us. It’s proper strange, in a completely brilliant way, it’s pretty special.

Are there any festivals you’re hoping to play in 2017?

We love a good festival and we love playing so obviously we’d love to get to as many as possible, we’ll just have to wait and see what the summer sun brings….Fingers crossed X

What’s your favourite track to play live?

So far It’s gotta be Handshake, the crowd always goes wild to it and it’s an absolute ball to play!

What are your hopes as a band for 2017?

It would be great if we are still writing music, playing gigs and enjoying ourselves at the end of the year! That was our aim when we started and anything else is simply a fantastic bonus!

Noel or Liam?

Noel.

What’s your all time favourite record?

This is always a real tough one and can change everyday … Today as a band we’d have to say The Balcony or Whatever People Say…… both stunning albums which have given us so much inspiration and continue to do so ….. But the list could be endless ……..

Finally – for people who haven’t yet come across your music – describe your sound in a sentence?

Someone once described it as ‘indie rock with a hook and a twist’ ….. Whatever that means…..
Cheers lads and we wish you the best of luck on tour!
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Photography by: Gunnar Mallon
You can see below the dates and venues Oddity Road will play on the tour:
February:
  • 18th – Sin City, Swansea
  • 19th – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

March:

  • 1st – Met Lounge, Peterborough
  • 3rd – The Foundry, Sheffield
  • 4th – Welly, Hull
  • 6th – Fibbers, York
  • 8th – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Follow the band on social media:

Twitter

Facebook

http://www.oddityroad.co.uk

Photography by:

Gunnar Mallon

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