Indie

The Sheratons – Interview

Wednesday 13th September 2017

Pinned as a good young, old fashioned indie pop band, with a sound defined as ’80’s Paisley Underground Brew,’ The Sheratons are a four-piece hailing from Bradford.  Although they are only just starting out, their single “Better Days” has an accomplished sound that feels as though it would fit nicely within the late 60’s era; which would simply be put down to their mutual love of music.  The single talks about getting older and missing the younger years – a safe haven for any upcoming band to write about, providing the euphoria to remind us of those halcyon days.  It’s refreshing to chat with a band who are dipping their toes in to a slightly different genre, and taking inspiration from not only the artists they grew up listening to, but from the other local bands currently on the scene.

When and how did the band meet, and what made you decide to form The Sheratons?

Kane our frontman founded the band around 3 years ago under many incarnations until around a year back we stuck with the lineup we have now. Me, James and Kane all grew up in Bingley with Kane and I meeting through primary school and then meeting James at Bingley Grammar. We found Emma after a previous drummer left and we asked at a local music school if they had any willing to be in a band, and sure enough this brilliant drummer showed up. The Sheratons was formed through a mutual love of music; I believe if you play an instrument you naturally want to be in a band.

How would you define your sound? You have such an eclectic mix of inspirations, but for anyone listening to you for the first time, how would you describe it?

It’s even hard for us to define our sound, we simply would describe it as The Sheratons. But we have been known to fit into the 80’s Paisley scene and compared to such bands as The La’s.

Could you tell me more about your debut single “Better Days” and what the song is about?

Better Days is our first studio single, the song represents getting older and realising how easy it was when you were younger, yet you didnt realise it at the time, and you wish you could go back.

Will there be a video release for the single?

We do plan on getting a video released in the near future.

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

Usually the writing process is very independant where one member will come back with a basic song, however for Better Days it was a real communal effort and represents the band as a whole. The intro bass riff was whipped up by our bassist James, the drum beat was created there and then by our extremely talented drummer Emma, and the rest of the song just came together.  

Can we expect an EP or album release in the near future?

Definitely we have been in the studio recording some new stuff which I’m excited to release.

What’s the music scene like in Bingley? With Leeds on your doorstep I imagine there to be a lot of good venues about, or do you prefer to go further afield?

Venue wise for Bingley there isnt one haha, but for the musicians residing within there are some great bands starting to emerge, such as The Flukes and Critical Reaction who all met and grew up in Bingley. However if we are looking for proper music scene you have to travel into Leeds where the scene is unbelievable right now, a stupid amount of good bands are playing the many venues in Leeds.

How are you feeling about your upcoming tour dates, and will you be testing any new music out on the crowds that hasn’t been heard before?

The whole band is extremely exciting about the upcoming tour, some of the venues we have played before, such as The Zanzibar Club in Liverpool which was an amazing night in which we packed the place out, however there is some which we haven’t such as Manchester Academy, which is a huge opportunity for us. For new music you will just have to be there to see 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?

The whole process is alot more than it seems, alot of work goes into what we do whether it be hunting hours on end for gigs or travelling across the country in a small car. However some lasting advice I could give to any upcoming band is that the actual music is only 20% of what goes into a band, the rest is business, because at the end of the day your band is your business and you have to work to make it a success.

What other artists are you listening to at the moment, and what was the last album that you bought?

As mentioned previously the upcoming bands in Bingley, such as Critical Reaction and The Flukes who have some new music on the way so listen out for that. Also some great bands who are part of our tour such as New Columbia who are a great listen. For the last album I personally bought I believe it was London Calling by The Clash on Vinyl, an absolute classic from the punk days.

Connect with The Sheratons via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

The Rah’s – Interview

Monday 11th September 2017

It’s fair to say that some of my most favourite discoveries over the years have come out of Scotland, so I was looking forward to checking out The Rah’s as they’ve spent a lot of time developing their sound.  Forming back in 2011, the band already have 2 EP’s under their belt, and with the recent addition of Chris on keys and backing vocals, and a fresh approach to their music; they’re back with their latest single “The Time Is Now.”  Labelled as ‘ranting rock’ we’re presented with a fresh approach to a single written a number of years ago. It certainly packs a punch and with a sold out hometown show, it’s already building up a lot of momentum.

For those just discovering you please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves?  Have you been in bands previously and what has drawn you to form The Rah’s?

We are 4 lads from a small seaside town called Prestonpans which is located on the outskirts of Edinburgh. We have a great passion for music, especially when playing it live. We have all been close friends from a very young age and decided to form a cover band (Feedback) to test our music skills and creativity. A decision was made to change our name to The Rah’s in 2011 as we began to write our own material and take things a little more serious.

Where did the name “The Rah’s” come from?

The name The Rah’s was a drunken idea that looked good on paper and sounded good… so we went with it! A ‘Rah’ is the complete opposite of us by the way, I know it’s stupid but we decided to research it after we had changed our name. Oops.

You’ve had a great run so far since forming in 2011, but have recently gone through some changes along the way.  How would you say you’ve developed as a band?

You could say we have matured both mentally and musically, some may disagree with the mentally part though. We’ve changed our sound a lot over the years but we all feel the music we are producing at this stage is by far our best.

How are you finding the response to your music so far?

The response is overwhelming really. Never thought us 4 young lads from Prestonpans would be travelling up and down the country playing our own music to thousands of music lovers.

What’s the story behind your latest single “The Time Is Now” and what inspired you to write the song?

It was wrote back in 2012/13 and we later dropped it from the set. We decided to give it a revisit last year as we missed playing it. It needed a bit more grit and drive to bring it up to standard so that’s what we gave it. We sent the demo to James Darkin in Dublin and his instant reply was “that’s the one”.

Could you tell me about your writing and recording process? How do you work to put a track together with each other’s skills?

Writing we do in many different ways, majority of the time it starts with a guitar riff or chord pattern and we basically make it up from there. Recently we have started writing the structure of the songs down on massive sheets of paper which we had never done before but I guess our brain cells are slowing melting away so there’s no other way! If anyone has any ideas we chuck them in, test them out and if they don’t work someone else has a shot.

Your music has been released through your own independent record label called “EH32 RECORDS.” What was the decision behind setting up a record label and how did it come about?

It was partly our managers decision. It looks a lot more professional I guess and hopefully attract bigger labels to swoop in.

Can we expect an EP or album release in the near future?

We are going to stick with singles for now, maybe an EP soon. Don’t want to rush ourselves into an album at this stage as there’s always room for improvement.

How far have you taken your music? You’ve picked up a good fan following in Scotland, but how are you finding the crowds further afield?

Furthest we’ve been from home is Ireland but hopefully that will change in the near future. The reaction to our live music from them the folks across the border has been superb, Ireland especially loved us… possibly due to the amount of drink we consumed with them. Our manager is based in Ireland so that helps a lot and now we are working with James Darkin who is based in Dublin, we have a right Irish connection you could say.

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?

Think I’ve been asked this one before and I said Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody… cos why not?

Connect with The Rah’s via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Ciircus Street – Interview

Tuesday 25th July 2017

Indie-pop duo Ciircus Street have just released their debut single ‘Mouth Like That’ and upon first listen I found the track to be extremely catchy; I just couldn’t get it out my head for most of the day!  So, if a song catches me like that, then I know I’m on to something good.  Taking their inspiration from the likes of Ed Sheeran, The Kooks, James Bay, and most importantly each other, I was intrigued by Ciircus Street.  Watching their videos, including the acoustic version of ‘Mouth Like That’ it’s easy to see straight away how well the pair work together and their connection.  Definitely a recipie for success and lots of fun, so I caught up with Sam Brett and Jim Crowder to find out more about them both and where they’re heading.

Hello! Please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves? It’s clear there’s great chemistry between you. How did you meet, and did you know each other before the night you formed the band in Oxford?

We originally met at Reading College about 5 years ago when we were doing a performance course. After that we stayed in contact for years, just meeting as friends, hanging out, having a pint or nine. Then in October 2015 we went to go see Saint Raymond at the O2 Academy Oxford. After a few beers, and missed buses, we decided to walk to the venue from the city centre, and on the way passed ‘Circus Street’ and we agreed it would make a good band name, and after a few more beers ‘Ciircus Street’ was born. We then wrote a load of terrible songs, scrapped them all, and started some ones we where happy with. 

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

We’ve both been playing solo stuff for about 7 years now, but joined as Ciircus Street almost 2 years ago.

You’ve just released your debut single ‘Mouth Like That’. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

So far the response we’ve had has been amazing. Being our first single, we weren’t 100% sure what the response would be like. We felt confident with the track, and enjoy playing it every time, but we are extremely grateful that people have been buying it on iTunes, and streaming it, then messaging us to let us know what they thought. It’s really exciting!

Have you received any airplay or mentions on mainstream radio?

We’ve had a few plays from BBC Introducing Berkshire which we has been great, and we really appreciate the support from them! We’ve also had some play from Bay FM and Kane FM.

Who did you work with for the accompanying video for the single, and where did the shoot take place?

We shot the video with Simon Aukes, who’s an incredibly talented director/film maker. He’s also a really nice guy, and great to work with. If you watch the video, it’s hard to imagine it was all one guy filming and directing. We had the basic concept of the video, and after talking through with him, he put his creative ideas in, and we worked quickly to get the finished idea. It was a great experience, and we look forward to working with him again.

Let’s talk about your inspirations because it’s easy to draw a comparison to the likes of Ed Sheeran, but your biggest inspirations are each other. What is it about your friendship that encourages you?

We both listen to a wide range of music, from Hip Hop to Metal, and anything in between, so inspiration wise, I think the cross genre really opens us musically, to create something a little different sometimes. Each song has a different vibe, but also falls under the umbrella of our sound.

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

Writing wise, usually one of us will get an idea, to a really bad recording on a phone, then we will meet up and create the track. Sometimes we meet up and just start writing a song from start to finish together, it’s a bit of a mixed bag really.

You’ve got a handful of live dates performing around London in July.  Can we catch you further afield over the coming months?

The July shows were a lot of fun, we played our first Sofar sounds gigs, and loved that! We are looking into some dates for later this year… possibly a little tour, you’ll have to check out our socials to see what we are up to!

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

Over the years we’ve heard a lot of advice, some that’s great, and some that… well.. we let those ones leave our brains aha. But sticking at it, understanding that this will be a slow build, and generally just being yourselves musically, and as a person, is probably the best advice we’ve taken.

What can we expect next from the band, and can we look forward to an EP release in the near future?

I don’t think we’re going to be releasing an EP soon, we’ll probably focus more on singles for now, and really pushing our live sound, but you never know, maybe next year!

Connect with Ciircus Street via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.