Duo

Huxtable – Change Shape Future

Wednesday 27th September 2017

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Do Anything Fancy
2. Super Toxic
3. You Got It To Go
4. Break It Hard
5. Act Of War

I was introduced to Huxtable off the back of their single “Don’t Do Anything Fancy” and I have been eagerly awaiting the release of their debut EP ever since.  The Scottish duo are making a name for themselves having already supported the likes of Biffy ClyroSlaves and Zane Lowe; and with each of the guys armed with drums and a guitar, and a huge bag of riffs over their shoulder, their storming EP “Change Shape Future” is due for release this Friday.

At first, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were listening to fellow two-piece Royal Blood, because their debut single and first track on the EP “Don’t Do Anything Fancy” has a hook at the start that sounds very similar to hit single “Lights Out.”  When the vocals kick in I’m then hearing elements of Biffy Clyro and with these comparissons, I feel it’s certainly good company to be in.  However, during the last minute of the track there is a kazoo solo.  Yes you read that right, a kazoo solo ladies and gentlemen.  It reminds me of that time I played ‘name that tune’ on the kazoo after a few drinks and not managing to make it through “Barbie Girl” without choking on laughter.  With that in mind, I wonder how many takes it took these guys to get that recorded…

Speaking with the band back in August, Huxtable assured me there would be some strange and wonderful instrumentation on the EP, with plenty of hooks and excitable tracks.  Well they certainly lived up to their word with second track “Super Toxic” which has the most arousing opening, and also has a quirky video which features the duo appear as their alter egos in puppet form.  The guys also told me as part of the interview that for them, making music was about having fun and that they were out to make music that excited them.  For me, “Super Toxic” sums that up nicely!

Talking about the album, Huxtable say that “’Change Shape Future’ is all about embracing change and how if you want something different out of life you need to make changes. It’s a pretty basic idea really, but one I think we need to be reminded of. Constantly adapt to where you want to be in the future – make the change that will shape your future. We’ve been writing for about 18 months, the original plan was to do an album – but we decided that an EP would be the best way to go – It’s quite a nerve racking thing having been in a little bubble for so long and now we are thinking – “this is the most confident record we have made, let’s see if people agree!” It’s an excited nervousness.”

“You Got To Go” is quite a hectic track, it sounds as though there’s a lot going on in the background, but there’s a funky little twinge of the guitar picking it’s way through, alongside a tasty riff that captivates the whole track.  The way in which this track develops is great, the hooks become rapid, the vocals gutsy, and then it ends quickly but softly with a tap of the high hat. Moving through, “Break It Hard” brings the ballsy rock and high energy, with “Act Of War” ending on a slightly poppier vibe.  There’s something about this track that actually reminds me of Greenday, which I would put down to it being a very solid track that has a well established sound to it.

Having spent 18 months writing their EP, Huxtable have proved they’re able to step up and give their peers a run for their money.  Being able to slot nicely in to a genre that is already rife with bands that are at the top of their game is something to be proud of, and here’s hoping that “Change Shape Future” takes the band to that well deserved next level.  It’s a fantastic showcase of what the guys can do, and here’s hoping a full album is on the horizon for the not too distant future.

Connect with Huxtable via their WebsiteFacebook and Twitter.

Huxtable – Interview

Wednesday 23rd August 2017

Riffs and rock music your sort of thing?  Then I’ve got something special right here.  Allow me to introduce you to Scottish alt-rockers Huxtable who are armed with drums and a guitar, and a huge bag of hooks.  Duo Marc and Jordan have been working the circuit hard, building up a fan base whilst putting the finishing touches to their new EP “Change Shape Future” which is due for release on the 29th September.  They have just released their first single from the EP “Don’t Do Anything Fancy” and if you give it a listen with your eyes shut, judging by the riff-roaring opening you would be forgiven for thinking you were listening to the fellow two-piece Royal Blood.  I’m very excited by this band and their sound is right up my street, so I catch up with the guys to find out what we can expect from their upcoming release.

What was the decision behind forming the band as a duo, and have you ever thought about bringing in other members?

We were kind of fed up with it being so hard to organise everything! Trying to fit practices, writing, recording and gigging around 4 or 5 people’s schedules can be a real nightmare – this just seemed like the path of least resistance. I don’t think we would bring anyone else in, we’ve got a good flow. Too many cooks spoil the broth as they say!

You’ve both been in bands previously; how do you think your past experiences will help you with Huxtable?

It’s just a learning curve, you learn what to say yes to and what to stay away from (opportunity wise), learn how to perform, learn how to write and so on… we’ve both been making music for over 15 years! So we’ve nearly 3 decades of experience between us… not sure exactly how it helps, but it must in some way!

What’s your writing process, and how easy is it to put a track together with only drums and a guitar?

Generally, Jordan will have and idea and we will flesh it out together. We will record what happens on our phones and then pick through it later to see if anything sticks out. We will usually kick stuff back and forth for a month or so until we have something that is well structured, then they tend to grow into proper songs on the run up to recording them properly.  For “Change Shape Future” we had around 27 songs in varying stages of completion. So we’ve got a bit of a back log of new stuff right now!

You certainly have that Royal Blood / Biffy Clyro / Twin Atlantic vibe about you which I’m really enjoying. What do you think sets you apart from these bands?

I think that’s pretty good company to keep to be honest! Thank you haha.  The real answer and the only one I can think of is lack of success!  People who have heard us like us a lot, getting it out to a wider audience is the tricky bit.

How are you feeling about the release of your upcoming EP “Change Shape Future” and what can we expect from it?

We’ve put a lot more emphasis on production for this record.  If it sounded good – it got kept.  There’s some strange and wonderful instrumentation on some of these tracks. We also made sure it was hooky! So so so many hooks didn’t make the cut so if there is a band out there looking for a hook, we’ve got plenty lying around right now! Hit us up haha.

What inspirations have you drawn upon whilst putting your EP together?

The inspiration during the writing and recording of this was basically “does this excite us?” and if the answer was yes then we went with it.  We kind of collectively decided at the tail end of last year when the writing was coming to an end, and we had picked the tracks that were to be included, that the over riding theme would be “this is what we want to make.”

Are there any tracks in particular that you’re looking forward to getting out there and performing live at your launch show?

All of them! We are really excited to let anyone who will listen to them hear them. It’s been torturous sitting on these tracks and not forcing everyone and their dog to listen.

How does the EP compare to your previous material, and are there any notable differences or developments?

The quality of the songs is higher, the quality of the recording is higher and we didn’t shy away from something because it was difficult, or we couldn’t immediately figure out how to make it happen live with only the two of us – figuring out how to play the record live has been as much fun as making it!

What has the response been to your music so far? You had a great reaction back in 2015 from the likes of Zane Lowe, and it looks as though your latest single “Don’t Do Anything Fancy” is already picking up momentum.

The response to “Don’t Do Anything Fancy” has been great!  Let’s just see how it goes I guess.

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

We’ve both been listening to Everything Everything pretty much constantly. Such an amazing band. I’d recommend anyone listen to their singles at least!  Master class on writing ear worms. We are mainly on a diet of rock music… but in terms of other things floating our boats right now, we would have to throw out Yela Wolf, Post Malone, and the new Jay-Z album is incredible too.  Not a direction for us, but you can pick up things and borrow them over time!

Connect with Huxtable via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.