Interviews

City Of Ashes – Interview

Monday 12th June 2017

Now here’s an alt-rock band with a story to tell.  During the European leg of their tour with American rock band Orgy earlier this year, and after only performing a handful of nights in the UK, France, Switzerland and Spain, City of Ashes found themselves faced with the devastating news that the remainder of the tour had been cancelled, leaving them and their gear stranded in Barcelona.  Lead Vocalist, Ori explains that:

Nobody would hire us a vehicle so we had to leave all of our equipment in Barcelona. We then flew to London and picked up our van and drove to Germany to get our equipment back, this took nearly another week. I don’t know how much lower it can get than sleeping in the back of your van in Cologne surrounded by your equipment, not knowing what’s going to happen or how you’re going to get home. We had no money left after losing it all on a tour that got so dramatically cut short.”

Despite everything City of Ashes have remained positive, and it’s always great chatting with a band who have such determination.  ‘Save Me’ is the next single to be taken from their latest album RISE, so keep your eyes peeled for the video because a lot went in to make it happen. These guys certainly deserve your time, so make sure you check out their social channels below.

For those who are just discovering you please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves?  Where did you all meet, have you been in bands previously, and what has driven you to form City of Ashes?

For sure! City of Ashes was a name Ori came up with when he was living in London after moving from Canada to pursue his creative aspirations. It was a difficult period and those three words in a note book were Ori’s description of where he was at the time and what his relationship with the city of London had been like. After moving south and being desperate to get something creative going again, Ori and a friend began playing acoustic shows through which paths crossed with Freddie and Dan before James finally joined. Dan had been in a whole bunch of bands before whilst for everyone else it is still their first and only one.

How did you find the process of putting your latest album ‘Rise’ together; did you face any challenges and how did you overcome them?

It was definitely tough! James and Ori funded the entire thing themselves working minimum wage bar and kitchen jobs. It took nearly 18 months of hard grind and careful living to get together the money necessary to record. It was a really interesting process though as we’d learned so much from the first record about practice of recording and how we could work within it. That kind of gave us the confidence to incorporate different ideas such as the choral vocals of ‘Battles of my Youth’ or crazy effect driven tracks like ‘Iliad’.

Are there any tracks in particular that you’ve been most excited about getting out there? 

Ori: ‘Battles of my Youth’ release was so huge for us. After everything that had gone into it for such a long time behind the scenes and trying to maintain the vision that we had set out to accomplish, hearing Alex Baker debut it for the first time on Kerrang! Radio was a special moment. I was sitting in the kitchen praying for him to say anything nice about it and when it finally came I honestly sat their and cried. It was an incredible relief and sense of catharsis. On top of that, we’re so excited to get our new video to ‘Save Me’ released as it’s the first video that has really involved so many people we know in it and our first date in Germany. It was so cool to involve those aspects.

What’s the response been to your music so far and have you received any radio airplay?

Overwhelmingly positive! We’re so grateful for the amount of people that have gotten and remained involved with us. Airplay has definitely been great too. Kerrang! has played us a couple of times along with Amazing Radio and several others. It’s kind of nice when a DJ decides they’ll back you for airplay and you hear from people through social media later who caught the broadcast.

How do you feel you’ve developed as a band since your previous album, and are there any noticeable differences from your last release? 

Oh God, yes! As mentioned earlier, some of the confidence we had from working on ‘All We Left Behind’ really helped. We understood the process so much more and so were able to tailor our approach in writing to some degree to what we wanted to achieve. In use of choral vocals was another huge thing that we’d wanted to bring in.

Ori: Personally, I also think ‘RISE’ is a much darker record. I guess that kind of poetically juxtaposes the title, I was certainly flirting with some pretty dark areas of my psyche at the time.

What’s your writing process as a band and how do you come together to create the final track?

Usually it’s started with a sound. More often than not it’ll be either a riff or just a couple of chords from James. Once Ori has an angle, he’ll write a story and we’ll work to adjust the music to it. In the future, we may well try something new however. Who knows what’s coming next!

Who are your musical inspirations and how do they influence you as a band?  Are there any particular artists you listened to growing up that have encouraged you to make music?

For each of us their are so many. We’d literally be listing all day if we were to go through them. Suffice to say that between us we have influences from every genre any of us can name and some we can’t. From the heavy to the light, fast to mellow, the new to the classics. All of that has left a pretty rich tapestry to draw from. These days we mostly get compared to 30 Seconds to Mars, Finch or a few others.

The video for your latest single ‘Save Me’ has quite a story to go with it – a cancelled tour, stranded equipment, sleeping in the back of vans, no money, and then pulling off an acoustic show for your fans.  Has the experience changed your outlook on touring at all?

It was among the hardest experiences I can remember. We had to gamble such lot on the tours success and it hurt everyone to be in such a shitty situation from it. I’d say if anything it’s made us hungrier though. We honestly cannot wait to get back out on the road next week. It’s already been too long!

What’s the next step for the band following your live dates in June?

We have a couple more festivals during the summer and are in the stages of planning things of later in the year. Not to let on just yet but there’s reason to be excited!

Finally, what other artists are you currently listening to at the moment and do you have any recommendations?

Actually it’d be cool to give a couple of shoutouts to awesome people we have played with recently here: Estelle Mey, Venture and Avagrace all deserve your attention. Go follow them!

Connect with City Of Ashes via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Daisy Clark – Interview

Tuesday 6th June 2017

Daisy Clark recently became a YouTube sensation overnight with her cover of ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ which stacked up over 12 million views, and even knocked Ed Sheeran off the iTunes Singer Songwriter charts – twice!  Her channel is packed with an array of wonderful covers from the likes of Ella Henderson, Adele, Harry Styles, and The 1975; and after being picked up by Music Crowns and spending time in Mark Ronson’s studio, Daisy is now due to release her debut single ‘Worlds Away’.  Hailing from Cornwall and at the tender age of 18, Daisy has spent the majority of her youth emercing herself in music, and it’s easy to see why her talents are quickly emerging.  Being one to watch I speak with Daisy to find out more.

How long have you been singing and at what point did you realise you wanted a music career; was there anyone in particular who inspired you to pick up a guitar?

I’ve been singing since I can remember. I always participated in a lot of musical and theatrical things when I was younger, so I grew up always singing and performing and I loved it. Music was always my main focus though and I knew I wanted to be a singer. Throughout school I loved listening to Taylor Swift who is a singer songwriter… just her and a guitar which is what I wanted to do. She wrote all of her own songs which inspired me to do the same.  

Your debut single ‘Worlds Away’ has just been released, and was recorded in Mark Ronson’s studio.  How was the experience for you, and how are you feeling about the release of your single?

I love hearing songs come to life in the studio, the contrast between just me and my guitar and high quality recordings with other instruments added is amazing to see and hear. It’s been a great experience to be in such an exciting environment where amazing artists have recorded and gone on to do incredible things, so for Worlds Away to be released today on all major platforms is so exciting! I am known for my covers but I am a songwriter so being able to write my own original in such a prestigious place was so cool! I’m looking forward to hearing what my listeners think of Worlds Away as it’s quite different to my typical, mellow, acoustic songs.

How did you find the writing process, and were there any obstacles you had to overcome?

This was the first song I’ve co-written in the studio. 90% of my song are written at home in my bedroom with just me and my guitar so it was different, but it was fun to experience writing in a different way. Also, when I first started songwriting I was quite shy and didn’t like showing my songs to anyone, so to have to actually write with other people was quite intimidating at first, but it ended up being a great experience.

The single has been written through a personal experience.  How does it feel listening back knowing it represents a certain period in your life?

I wrote the song about a friend who was going through a tough relationship, and I really sympathized with this person, so decided to write some lyrics about it which I then took to the studio. A lot of my songs are written through personal experience but this one was inspired by a outside perspective. I like that as a songwriter I can write songs about other situations and experiences that listeners can interpret and relate to.

There are loads of great covers on your YouTube channel and they all sound fantastic.  Are there any personal favourites that you enjoy covering?

I recently did a cover of ‘Attention’ by Charlie Puth which I LOVE. The bass line is so funky and satisfying to play. I’m very into acoustic music, so I love being able to take and upbeat pop song, and strip it right back to show the simplistic beauty in the music and songwriting.

You covered ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ and it knocked Ed Sheeran off the top of the iTunes singer songwriter charts – twice!  How did it feel to become a viral hit over night?

It was very strange waking up to a LOT of notifications and messages. I pretty much spent the day doing interviews and watching the track climb the iTunes charts which was so much fun but very surreal! Especially to be next to Ed Sheeran who is such an incredible songwriting inspiration to me. I had people like Dawn French and James Arthur contacting me, it was crazy!

Music Crowns have really helped and supported me along the way by putting me on a platform which pushed my cover on a global scale was incredible! For anyone who doesn’t know what Music Crowns is, it’s a platform for unsigned, newly signed and independent music artists to get great exposure through social media and various online platforms, I would definitely recommend that if you are an artist yourself and are looking for help in getting exposure to get in contact with Music Crowns.

If you could pick a song by any artist (past or present) that you could say you wish you had written, what would it be and why?

Probably ‘Put Your Records’ On by Corinne Bailey Rae. It’s such a good song that everyone can sing along to, and I adore the lyrics. For example: “Summer came like cinnamon, so sweet”… it’s just so good, haha.

Are there any artists that you would like to collaborate with if you had the opportunity?

Definitely Taylor Swift, as she inspired me to start songwriting and learn guitar! That would be amazing, however I would be very star struck to meet her in person, but it would be an incredible experience.

It looks as though you’ve got a busy schedule over the summer with many live dates and festivals planned.  Are there any venues in particular that you’re looking forward to performing at?

I love local festivals… I just performed at the Great Estate Festival which was incredible. I’m also super exited to play at Boardmasters and Tunes In The Dunes! They’re amazing festivals in Cornwall which are right on the beach. I am also getting to perform at the Royal Albert Hall at the end of the month, which really is a dream come true, there have been so many amazing artists perform there so to follow in their footsteps really is so great!

Finally a random question, but when viewing your blog my cursor turns in to a jar of Nutella.  Is there any reason for that? :)

Because who doesn’t love Nutella?? Haha, there’s no particular reason I just really like Nutella… and just food really!

Connect with Daisy via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Daisy Clark is managed by Music Crowns, an online platform for independent and unsigned musicians. Worlds Away is available now on iTunes, Spotify and other major music distribution channels.

Camilo – Interview

Friday 26th May 2017

Camilo are an up and coming band hailing from Cambridgeshire, and bassist Adam Milton contacted me recently with their latest single ‘At This Moment’. Having spent time trying to piece the band together whilst writing and recording music, they’re now on the road to defining their sound and are ready to move Camilo on to the next stages.  Being in the early days of their career, I take a moment to chat with Adam to find out how it’s all going and what’s next for Camilo.  They’re out to not only spend every moment enjoying what they do, but it’s clear there is drive and passion to push the band forward.

Could you tell me about the band and how you came together; where did you all meet and at what point did you decide to form Camilo?

Initially the band started with Motey (vocals/guitar) & Scott (drums) wanting to start playing music together again after having a band together for a few years prior to Camilo, so they recorded and released four tracks in late 2014 with the intent to grab the attention of other musicians that would want to get on board. I then contacted the others having known their previous outfit and came on board from there.

What changes have you gone through as a band since you first set out, and how has this helped you develop?

The EP was written with the intention of being a four piece band but we found ourselves trying out different guitarists to no avail as they had other commitments at the time. This resulted in us, eventually, deciding that it made sense to go forward as a three piece as the three of us maintained the passion to get the project moving. We then had to essentially start from the drawing board again and since about June 2016 we’ve been locked away in our rehearsal rooms creating a set of new songs to carry us forward. With regards to helping us develop, I think really we obtained an understanding of one another as to how we saw the band moving on and really got into a routine for writing songs in a way that we could all bounce off eachother.

How would you describe your music to anyone hearing it for the first time?

This is such a difficult question. We’re always asked by friends/colleagues to name a band they’ll know that we sound like and I never know how to answer it. People that have come to see us live generally always comment on how big our sound is for a three piece so I guess there’s a bit of that. Otherwise, I would say we have a lot of melody mixed in with a heavy but atmospheric sound.

Listening to your new single ‘At This Moment’ and the B-side ‘Sweet Poison’ both tracks have a different sound to each other.  Who are your musical inspirations and how do they influence you as a band?

They are very different tracks yes! I guess what people will hear at the moment is really us finding and developing our sound as a three piece. We all grew up listening to similar bands but I would say we all have our seperate influences as well. Whereas there is influence from bands like Deftones/Thrice & Oceansize, what we find now is that we can pick up a lot of influence from new bands. The UK scene has a lot of talent coming up doing different things and it’s cool to sometimes be able to step back and take in what bands in a similar position to us are doing.

How are you finding the response to your music so far? You’ve been picked up by the BBC Introducing platform which must have been a great help raising your profile?

The response has been great so far. We appreciate that, although we haven’t put out music in a long time, people have given us an opportunity to play shows and the feedback has always been positive. Tom at BBC Introducing has always been good to us since day one and it’s great having someone in his position being genuinely interested to see what we come out with next.

How are you feeling about getting ‘At This Moment’ out there and have you set a release date?

It’s going to be such a relief! We recorded the B-side in August 2016 so we’ve been sitting on that one for a long time. It’s just going to be good to be able to take on feedback from people and see what aspects of each track they like the most. This will help us develop our sound for sure. Hopefully it’s going to help us get some more shows too. There’s not an official release date as such, it’s been sent to iTunes/Spotify etc so really now it’s just a matter of time.

Will there be a video for the single?

We kindly managed to get a bit of help whilst we were recording the single so we have a studio video to go with it of sorts.

Are you looking to release an EP and have you got any live dates planned?

We’re always on the look out for new shows yes. We have dates coming up in Norwich, London and Bedford but I’m sure we will be adding to that list soon. An EP would be cool but we’ve decided at this stage to try and release a single/B-side regularly rather than taking the time out to record a full EP. A lot of bands are doing that now, I think it’s quite cool to be able to have new music every couple of months from a band rather than waiting for a full EP or album.

Being in the early stages of your music career, how are you finding the process and have you been given any lasting advice?

Everyone in the band has either toured/recorded or gigged extensively before so we’re quite experienced (old) anyway. What we’re finding now is that the most important thing is to make sure we’re always enjoying it. We have a good understanding of how to approach certain situations for sure, but the main thing is making sure our live element is enjoyable and that we always give 100%.

What’s the ultimate aim for the band and where do you hope your music will take you?

I don’t think we’ve really discussed this to be honest! It comes down to enjoyment. We’re all passionate and believe in what we do but really music is our outlet. It’s important for us to have that getaway and I’m sure (hope) the quality of what we do will be enough to play some cool shows and meet some good people. Anything on top of that is a bonus.

Connect with Camilo via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

The Firelight Opera – Interview

Thursday 25th May 2017

May is turning out to be a great month for new releases so far this year, and my latest discovery are Northern alt-rockers The Firelight Opera and their latest single ‘Alive’, which is taken from their forthcoming album ‘Communication Breakdown’.  What initially piqued my interest was that the band contains not one, but four vocalists.  Sounds like a bunch of very talented guys don’t you think?  Me too, and I’m already excited for the album release to hear more.  I caught a moment with the band to find out about The Firelight Opera and how they’re feeling about the release of their album.  Oh, and make sure you give ‘Alive’ a listen (link below), I promise you won’t be disappointed…

Hello! Please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves and how The Firelight Opera formed?

We are Chris Pettitt, Dan Foster, Lee Hardy, Ben Craigs and Kyle Martin. We’re an alternative/rock band from Sunderland which formed in the summer of 2012. We hit it off with songwriting and vocal harmonies instantly!

How did you come up with the name for the band and were there any other contenders?

The Firelight Opera came from a night of jamming and singing round a campfire. Also, like an opera we tell stories through our music. The lyrics are always deep and meaningful.

When did you all start playing music and have you been in bands previously?

We’ve all been playing music since school. We all performed in bands before The Firelight Opera was born. Chris, Lee and Kyle were gigging together since school but under a different name. Dan performed in another band and also did solo stuff and Ben also performed in bands.

What is your writing process as a band? How do you come together to create the final track and where do you take your inspiration from?

Generally, Lee and Dan write most of the lyrics and melodies then the whole band gets together and everyone puts their input in to bring the song to life. It works well.

Your album ‘Communication Breakdown’ is released on the 29th May. How are you feeling about the release and what can we expect from it?

We’re really excited for people to hear it! It’s got a bit of everything on it from huge rock anthems to stripped back acoustic tracks. All of the tracks have infectious melodies and catchy guitar riffs and there are plenty of vocal harmonies on there!

Are there tracks in particular that you’re most excited about getting out there?

At the moment we can’t pick a favourite. We were really excited to get ‘Alive’ out but we’re going to struggle to choose the second single. It’s a good problem to be faced with though so we’re not complaining!

With there being four vocalists in the band, how do you decide on who sings each part of a song and do you all get to take the lead on different tracks?

Having four vocals to play with makes songwriting really interesting! Chris and Dan have the biggest voices so they take most of the main vocals but Lee and Ben chip in here and there.

Who did you work with on the video for your single ‘Alive’ and who came up with the idea behind the story?

We worked with a local company in South Shields called Unified Media. Lee wrote the story/concept for the video and worked closely with the guys at Unified Media to bring it to its fullest potential. They were dedicated and worked relentlessly to make it work. We’d like to thank them along with Harry and Martin for their incredible performances.

What’s next for the band and will you be taking the album on tour?

This is something we’re currently looking into and hope to do soon. We’re excited to take our music further afield.

Finally, if you were invited to perform on the BBC Live Lounge, which song would you cover and why?

It would have to be House of the Rising Sun by The Animals. Chris has a huge voice and sings it better than the original (in our opinion, of course!).

Connect with The Firelight Opera via their Website, Twitter and Facebook.

Chey – Interview

Thursday 18th May 2017

Hailing from South Wales, Chey is an outstanding singer/songwriter who has been on the music scene for many years.  From performing at charity gigs in her hometown to working with artists and producers from around the world, Chey is ready to really push things further and make a career out of her music.  Her latest single ‘She’s Got You’ has quickly picked up interest, and rightly so; it’s a soulful and heartfelt track with a stunning video to match.  I was completely taken in by Chey upon first listen so I had to take the opportunity to find out more – I’m certainly itching for an EP release and can’t wait to hear what’s next.

Please could you tell me about yourself, where it all started and how you came to be a singer/songwriter?

I come from a small Welsh village in South Wales and I started singing at a very young age. One of my earliest memories was aged 5, in a Christmas Carol service in a local church where I sang “little donkey”, I felt quite at home on a stage even back then. About fifteen years ago I started writing songs by putting my feelings and experiences down on paper and then putting them to music. Recently I’ve been working with artists from all around the world, I love to collaborate with other songwriters, there’s something quite magical about two people from different corners of the world coming together to make something special.

Your voice is simply wonderful. When did you realise you could sing and wanted to make something of it?

Oh thank you! I’ve been singing as far back as I can remember, singing has always been a big part of my life, it’s something I really enjoy and I’m very passionate about too! I’ve always wanted to make a career out of music but sometimes life just happens and dreams are put on hold. I’m ready to make it happen and show the world my music.

What’s your writing process and how do you draw upon your inspirations?

Usually during the writing process the music comes first, well most of the time, and inspiration comes sometimes in the most unusual places, inspiration is anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes I can be in the studio for hours just catching up and having a good old chat with my producer and nothing happens. Then other times I can go in and he plays a chord and we write a song within an hour, that’s why I love music, it’s so unpredictable!

How do you know when a song is finished and is there anyone you can bounce ideas off to give you any advice?

Even when you think a song is finished there’s always something you can do to make it better. After a studio session I like to live with the track for a week or so to really feel the song, I play it to all my close friends and family to see what they think and then I go back to my producer and we bounce ideas off of each other to see if we can make it better.

Your latest single ‘She’s Got You’ has been released for a couple of weeks now. How are you finding the response so far?

She’s Got You was released on 27th April and was premiered in the Huff Post. So far the response to the new single has been amazing, it’s had over 41,000 streams on Spotify and I’m so grateful for all the support that I’ve had with it. I’ve also just released a club mix which is available to stream and download now on all digital platforms. There’s also a really cool lyric video to go with it, which you can check out on my YouTube channel now!

It comes across very expressive and personal as though it has been written from the heart. Have you drawn upon personal experiences?

When expressing a song the words and music must have passion and sincerity, even though this song isn’t from a personal experience I try and place myself in the moment and express how I would feel telling the story. People need to relate to the song and the best way to do that is to mean every word and sing it from the heart.

How did you come up with the idea with the video for the track, and how did it feel seeing it finished? It compliments the song really well.

First of all I got in touch with the guys from Video Ink, myself and the creative director then had a long conversation about the song and the meaning behind the song and how we could tie that into the video. We came up with the idea of contemporary dancers, which I really loved. All the choreography and shooting was done in one day, I think this brought out the best in the dancers and really allowed them to feel the song and just dance with the emotions they felt at that time, which I thought worked really well.

What’s next for you and have you been working on an EP or album release?

I’m back in the studio now working on new music and new ideas, and maybe an album release very soon!

Can we look forward to any tour dates? It would be great to catch you performing live.

There will definitely be tour dates coming soon, you can keep up to date with the latest news and performances on my social media.

Finally, what other artists are you listening to at the moment and do you have any recommendations?

I listen to lots of genres and lots of artists but my favourite at the moment is Rag and Bone Man, his voice is pure velvet.

Connect with Chey via her Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Seasonal – Interview

Wednesday 17th May 2017

If you imagine the sounds of New Found Glory and mix that up with emotionally charged lyrics from the likes of Yellowcard then you get Surry’s own pop-rock offering, Seasonal.  Their debut EP ‘Bloom’ is due for release on the 19th May and it’s quite simply a breath of fresh air.  Going in to the studio with the intention of only recording one song, but finding themselves inspired to complete the EP after hearing the final mix; what we’re presented with is a personal, honest and sincere release and I find that very refreshing.  I take a moment to chat with Seasonal who give me an insight in to how the band and EP came together.

For those who are just discovering you please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves?  Have you been in bands previously, and what has driven you to form Seasonal?

Hi! We are Seasonal, just four mates who love making music. Matt, Alex T and Max have all played in a few bands together over recent years, and after jamming together as a 3 piece for a bit, Alex C jumped in to complete the line up as it is. We all always enjoy playing music live with friends whether it’s with the intention of making a band or not. With Seasonal, we jammed as the 4 of us for a couple months, and really liked the direction our music was taking. We decided to write for an EP and here we are!

Your debut EP ‘Bloom’ is due for release on the 19th May. How are you feeling about the release?

We are really happy with how this record sounds. We think it’s got an individual sound and there’s something in there for a lot of people so definitely give it all a spin.

How easy was it to select the final 5 tracks for the EP, and did you write any songs that didn’t make the cut?

We wrote quite a few tracks before we even got to the kind of sound we had originally envisaged. Listening back to demo’s from the practice rooms and home recordings, the tracks changed and grew through the whole process. We had scrapped a few ideas, but once we had the base for the 5 tracks we just worked on them.

Listening through the EP the lyrics are very honest and at times emotional. You’ve mentioned they’ve been written through personal experiences. How does it feel listening back knowing the songs represent a certain period in your life?

Lyrically, we didn’t want to write about anything too generic without it meaning something to ourselves, so we kept the content quite personal. There are some very emotional topics like ‘Homeward’ which is about losing a close friend, so these tracks do hold a place in our hearts. It wasn’t really what everyone else sings about for us, it was the stories we wanted to tell, and we think this has given the delivery of the vocals a truly genuine powerful presence.

Who are your biggest musical influences? How have they encouraged you and helped to develop your sound?

We are massive fans of a lot of older bands like Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday, as well as more current bands like Transit, Have Mercy and A Will Away. If you’re familiar with these bands you can definitely hear the influence they have had on our songwriting, and if you haven’t heard any of these bands, give them a chance.

How do you feel you have developed as a band since forming in 2016, and why is now the right time to release your EP?

We only started playing as the four of us in February/March time, so we did jump in to recording the record pretty quickly. We finished the record in late November 2016, and thought we would hold on to it for a couple months just while the madness of Christmas and new year passed. We showed it about to a few people and considered how best to put it out. The songs are fairly upbeat on the whole so we did want to release it in the summer, and decided on mid May. Whether its the right time is another thing, but we definitely had no reason to hold on to it any longer.

Who did you work with for the video on your lead single ‘Certainty’ and how did it feel seeing it complete?

We chose to work with a close friend of Matt’s for the video. Jon Fraser is a professional photographer who did our original promotional shots. He expressed interest into getting into videography also and had heard the track and really wanted to work with us on it. This is actually his first project, but you can see from the video, the shots all look amazing and we are stoked with the outcome. It’s always exciting to see your first video as a band. There’s a second video coming very soon so keep your eyes peeled!

Being in the early stages of your music career how are you finding the process? You’ve decided to self-release your EP; are you doing other things outside the band to help fund your music?

The process itself is enjoyable. It’s always going to be frustrating trying to get your foot in the door, but if you’re not putting the effort in it shows. So we just keep working on the band and producing content and booking shows. We all have careers as well during the week, so we do like to keep ourselves busy, but wouldn’t be able to have this record if we didn’t!

Are you managing your own social media accounts, and how important is it for you to connect with fans this way?

Yes we manage all our own social media accounts. It is vitally important to keep in touch with anyone who is showing your band interest at this stage. If people are not willing to share your music and show their friends just because you haven’t responded to them, that’s not a risk we’re willing to take. Every like and share does count, its just how the business is. It’s early days but we are very active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in keeping anyone interested up to date with us.

What’s next for Seasonal and where do you hope your music will take you?

We’re just looking to develop our live profile and arrange a tour at the moment and make sure the release of the record goes smoothly. We’ve got a second video for another track on the EP coming shortly after the release so there’s something fresh to keep your eyes out for. We’ve got a few shows coming up also so do check out our socials to keep up to date with these.

Connect with Seasonal via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This Party – Interview

Tuesday 16th May 2017

Brighton is a town that’s known for its thriving music scene, so when This Party landed in my mailbox with their single ‘Lover’ taken from their debut EP, also titled ‘Lover’, I was keen to talk to the band and find out more about how they’ve managed to get everyone so excited.  Having already been picked up by Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing South with their catchy indie-pop vibes, I’m already praying for those long summer days that we know are just waiting to push through the clouds; and it’s certain to lift your spirits too.  I speak with Lead Singer, Matt Macneill, who gives me an insight into how it all started for the band and the direction they’re hoping to take.

Hello! Could you tell me a bit more about your “chance encounter” at the Smiths tribute gig that lead you to forming the band?  What made you decide to start This Party and was this the first time you all met?

Sure, a couple of us had previously been in a band together and were looking to start something new. Incidentally we bumped into each other at a Smiths tribute night were we met the other two, one was the drummer in the tribute act, the other was being the Morrissey. All four of us were introduced and not long after we began playing music together.

Your music is released through your own independent record label called ‘Moscow Let’s Go’.  What was the decision behind setting up a record label and how did it come about?

I think we just wanted a platform with which to release our future records. Something with our own brand on it that we could experiment with and grow ourselves.

Have you worked with any other artists on your label?

No, it’s really in its infancy (we’re currently on record number 2) but we plan to in the future. With each release we do we’re sort of ‘ironing out the creases’ if you see what I mean, but when the time is right we’ll go for it.

Already being championed by the likes of Steve Lamacq and the BBC Introducing platform must have been a great boost for you.  How are you finding the response to your music so far?

It’s fair to say the BBC have been really supportive. We found ourselves getting airplay and doing a live session on BBC Introducing South only a couple of months after getting started and they’ve been great ever since. Generally we’re delighted with the response but we’re still refining our sound all the time. With each record we put out we feel we’re getting closer to where we want to be.

Your debut EP is due for release on the 15th May.  What can we expect from it?

It’s an upbeat ‘rough round the edges’ energetic record. The EP wasn’t actually originally planned. After a really positive studio session we decided to record three of the tracks right then and there on the day so there’s a certain spontaneity to the record. There’s an excitement of playing something brand new that hopefully comes through.

How did you find the process of putting the EP together; did you face any challenges and how did you overcome them?

Three of the tracks were really quick easy and incredibly natural. However, one of them was re-recorded and rearranged differently to try and get the feel right. It’s not always your best songs that work better in the studio. There’s a random nature to it all. Some songs take an entirely new approach to record them, others just work perfectly as they are.

Which tracks are you most excited about?

I think the answer would be different for each of us so I couldn’t say one way or the other. We love them all for different reasons. They capture the stories and emotions we were going through at the time.

What is your writing process as a band and how do you all come together to create the final track?

I (Matt) usually come up with the basic tune and arrangement of the song before passing it on to Hal, Marcus and Tom to put their signature sounds on it.

Being in the early stages of your music career, how are you finding the whole process and have you been given any lasting advice?

‘Turning heads’ – that’s what we call it when your music makes a real emotional connection with people who have never heard you before. It’s the best feeling in the world and makes all the work worthwhile. As for advice, that’s one thing we’re always out the look out for. The best advice I’ve heard is to just to keep on writing, even if you write something terrible. If you ever completely stop then it becomes near impossible to start again so keep going until you get something great.

Connect with This Party via Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.