20 Cent Dreams – Interview

Friday 8th April 2016

Line Up:

Sam Threadgold – Lead Vocals and Guitar
Joseph McCarthy – Bass
Liam Hornsby – Drums and Vocals

Forming in 2012 and hailing from the South of France, 20 Cent Dreams wanted to show the UK what they had to offer.  So, in 2014 the guys moved to London to spend time pushing their music and building a name for themselves.  If you like British rock and old school pop, then you’ll quickly find yourself enjoying the catchy sounds of 20 Cent Dreams.

I catch up with Liam to find out how it’s all going for the aspiring trio:

20 Cent Dreams

How did the band form, and what’s the history behind you starting out in 2012 to where you are today?

We were high school friends that really enjoyed playing music together and formed a band in the south of France. From 2012 we played regular shows in a few bars and eventually started participating in band competitions (that’s more the norm for young bands where we’re from). We released our debut EP, Gathering Dust, in 2014. After graduating that same year, we decided to move to London to pursue our studies in music and take on the UK’s music scene.

Could you tell me about the inspiration behind the release of your EP “Generations” and what we can expect from it?

There is definitely a theme of youth throughout the EP that we wanted to express, hence the title “Generations”. We also see ourselves as part of a new generation of bands attempting to bring something fresh and new to the public. Our listeners can expect upbeat and catchy songs, relatable lyrics and interesting mix of genres.

What’s been the response to your music so far?

Response to our music has been all around pretty positive, we’ve had some very good reviews following our first EP.

How do you work together with the writing and recording process, and what inspires your music?

For the writing part it varies, sometimes one of us would come up with an idea and we’d build from that. Other times Sam (singer/guitarist) would present a song that he’d more or less finished and we’d work on it as band. Some of our songs have also been the result of us just jamming and coming up with something on the moment. As for the recording process we’d usually start with drums. Then depending on our availabilities we would either start tracking bass or guitar. Minor changes and improvements would then usually be made as we went on before finishing with vocals, extra effects and instruments if needed. As far as inspiration goes I guess it’s different for all of us.

Having recently moved to London from France, how much of an impact would you say that’s had on the band?

Moving to London has definitely had a huge impact on us since we had never been introduced to the UK rock scene. It taught us to re-evaluate our way of thinking when it came to booking gigs, promoting ourselves and acquiring a decent following since we basically had start from the beginning again.

What is the music scene like in France compared to the UK, and how responsive are audiences to your music?

I would say there’s a lot less going on compared to the UK, especially in the rock scene. It just seems like not a lot of people are interested in going out and discovering new unsigned acts. This also becomes apparent once you notice the lack of small music venues around. It’s either large venues or small pubs with a stage in the corner. I personally think that audiences in the UK are much more responsive to our music since a lot of people really want to discover something new.

You’ve been working hard on your EP and to push things as a band, which has to be a lot of work when you’re unsigned.  How has that been for you all, and how do you make ends meet?

It is tough trying to get our music out there as an unsigned band but the trick is to just keep pushing and getting in contact with people who can potentially make that easier. We’re really trying hard to promote the crap out of this one before its release to get a bit more recognition. We try to separate out our tasks evenly on order to get more done under less time.

Do you have any memorable gigs, or favourite venues that you’ve played?

One of our favourite gigs would be one we did right before coming to the UK. It was a music competition we entered where we ended up being one of the finalists, and one of the prizes was to play this festival on this massive stage in Aix en Provence, as support for a band called Gush. It was a great turn out with around 3000 people coming. I think that would be one of the most memorable gigs we’ve ever played.

Can we expect a tour from you anytime soon, or maybe catch you at a festival this summer?

Hopefully! We’re looking to expand and go to places we’ve not played before, and are in touch with a few people to hopefully make that happen.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a band so far, and how did you overcome it.  Have you been offered any lasting advice?

I don’t believe we’ve had any major challenges so far, at least nothing that big. I guess our move to the UK and having to get used to London life as a band and as individuals has been quite tough. We were really keen on playing as many shows as we could and ended playing 2 to 3 shows a week sometimes, which ended up just tiring us out and not getting us very far. This also led to an overall feeling of frustration since we were playing loads but nothing was happening. In France we were used to playing gigs that would often lead us to other opportunities to playing better shows. Here we realised that things don’t really work like that, especially in London. The advice I would give would be to not play a shit ton of shows whenever you get the chance. Play less, chose your gigs wisely and promote them so that people end up coming to your gigs.

“Generations” is set to be released on the 28th April, and Sam speaks on the EP, saying that “above all I’d say that Generations is a step in the right direction for us. It sticks with the youthful experimentation we’ve always tried to have and it’s a lot more of a stamp on our identity as a band, and a much more confident and cohesive sound than we’ve had before. I’d undoubtedly claim that it’s the most honest we’ve ever sounded as a band, both musically and lyrically. It definitely represents us and where we are in our lives at the moment.”

Connect with 20 Cent Dreams on Facebook and Twitter to find out more.