Tom Lumley set to release new single “Skyhigh” on March 15th

Wednesday 14th March 2018

Penned as one of my artists to watch back in the Autumn of 2017, Cambridge born singer/songwriter Tom Lumley has wasted no time in putting the finishing touches together on his next release.  Last year put a solid stake in Tom’s music career, after being awarded the Best Male Solo Artist at the NMG awards, and also being picked up by the likes of BBC Introducing. Fresh off the back of the success of his previous single “Just Like The Light”, which really gave Tom and his band another well-earnt peg up, and riding high after a year of performing a string of live dates, tomorrow sees the release of his next single “Skyhigh”.

Speaking with Tom last year about his plans for an upcoming EP or album release, he explained that “At the moment I’m going to stick with singles. I have a locker full of songs but I don’t want to rush it and just chuck them out there. I’m going to try and keep building the fan base whilst releasing singles until I think it’s the right time for an album”.  

Being fortunate enough to grab an advance copy of the latest single, it was pleasing to hear that “Skyhigh” continues to live up to expectations. Uplifting with it’s indie-pop vibes, and catchy with its lyrics that talk of a one-sided relationship, the track is very catchy and vocally pleasing.  Tom has a great voice with a harmonious tone, which often becomes more strident.

Alongside the release, tomorrow is also the final day of the current tour, which will also be a launch show for the single taking place in Tom’s hometown of Cambridge at the Portland Arms. If you fancy heading out and supporting new music, then grab yourself one of the remaining few tickets here.

Connect with Tom Lumley via his Facebook and Twitter.

Nath Bravo – Interview

Thursday 22nd February 2018

Hailing from Mexico, but currently residing and performing in London, Nath Bravo has already spent a lot of time in the music industry pursuing opportunities. Having won a competition back in 2015 with an original song called “Alma Ajena” (foreign soul), Nath went on to write demos and took her first trip to London.  After 2 months in the capital she had played at over 30 venues and released her first single “Mercy” Nath was later discovered through one of her videos on Facebook and was asked to join the Vidanta group in Mexico, for which she spent 6 months as part of the team.  Following on from this Nath went back home to start focusing on her songwriting and creative journey. Now, with a brand new EP and single “Shadowman”, which was released at the end of November, she’s currently gigging all around London promoting and performing her own original music.

You have quite a musical background, and although you’re only 21 it sounds as though you’ve already spent a lot of time in the industry.  How have you found the experiences so far, and how has it helped you to develop and get to where you are today?

Well, I think it’s been a whole journey. Each phase I’ve gone through has built something different and in retrospect, it’s all been pushing me somehow till the point I’ve turned into this person. When you spend so much time and passion on something you believe in, you get the purest relationship with it, and the more I get into music, the more I get into myself. I’ve still got many many things to experience and I’m sure that in one year, they’ll bring me to another different phase without even noticing; I guess that’s how it works.

Do you feel that you have reached the point of finding the authentic sound and style that you were looking for with your music?

Authenticity is something that happens when you are truly honest on what you do, so, I think I’ve kept on being like that with everything I write and perform. That being said, I’m at the moment really happy with my sound, so I’m enjoying the feeling cause, at the end, I think it’s all about finding something that feels right. To trust your instinct and to own it is always gonna take you to a good place. I like to surprise myself.

You were born in Mexico but have spent time in London recording and performing. What is the music scene like in Mexico, and what was the decision to bring your music over this side of the pond?

I think Mexico is rich in culture and there are many talented creative souls out there, I love it. It’s interesting, different from the one here, as any other music scene, obviously, but the Mexican music has a special place in my heart. A couple of years ago, when I was living in Vancouver, a dear friend of mine recommended me to come to London to try my music out, and so I did. I came in the summer of 2016 and loved it; I guess it’s a place where I got a lot of my influences from, so, it just felt right to do it. This city is a sort of capital for music and therefore has many platforms and great opportunities for upcoming artists, which is wonderful. You should always be free to go out there and find the places and things that work for you.

Are there any venues in particular that you enjoy performing at?

I think The Water Rats has been one of my favorites. It’s such a great place to perform; intimate and nice vibe.

It’s been a few months now since the release of your EP.  How are you finding the response to your music so far?

It’s been good, I think that every time you release your work it’s a bit scary cause you are giving a bit of yourself for the world to listen and you never know what the response is going to be like, but I’ve seen that people have liked what I’m doing, so it’s been good, I’m glad!

Your latest single “Shadowman” has the most beautiful video to accompany it.  Who did you work with for the video, and where was it shot?

Thank you! It was filmed and completely made by my talented brother Aaron Bravo, mainly while on a road-trip in Iceland. I told him the meaning behind the song and the vibe, and he just instantly got it and brought his magic to the project. There’s a “male intervention” which was shot in Mexico.

Could you tell me about the single and the meaning behind it?

Well, in “Shadowman” the lyrics are quite personal, and still relatable. It’s a tribute to fear and the way I feel when it happens. I was able to experience it myself by the time that I wrote the song, so it just came naturally. It’s like you are a kid, trapped in a cage that only you can destroy, it’s a chaotic state of mind, but still, pretty fascinating as well. 

What’s your writing process?  Being a solo artist do you have anyone to bounce ideas from, and how do you know when a song is ready?

I think it depends. A song can just happen and sometimes I make the song happen. Sometimes I have a very specific idea in my mind to be portrayed, and some others I just sit in front of the piano and let it be as it emerges, and as soon as I get something half decent, I keep on working on it until I feel it’s ready; I guess I just feel it. Once it’s almost done, I send it to some good people I trust to know what they think and to know if it’s not only cool in my mind.

You were invited to join the group Vidanta back in 2016, which you were part of for 6 months. What was the decision behind not continuing with the band, and what is it about being a solo artist that has made you pursue this instead?

Well, Vidanta is a big resort in Mexico and I was invited to the group as a solo artist, so I was headlining shows pretty much every day. It was a step I needed to take in order to get more experience and I’m grateful it happened. After 6 months I just felt it was right for me to continue with my own path and project so I left to focus on my songwriting and production, but I think I’ve been a solo artist my whole life, I just started making my own thing and it’s just worked out, however I do love to collaborate with other people, to share ideas and so on.

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

To connect with people is always gonna be the ultimate aim, I think. I hope it leads me to a point where I can inspire the audience, that’d be amazing, and I always dream about being on the road, so maybe everywhere!

Connect with Nath Bravo via her Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Geo Gabriel – Interview

Sunday 28th January 2018

Geo Gabriel is a London-based Soul artist who has worked with some huge names in the music industry, including Jay-Z, Madonna, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, 30 Seconds to Mars, Placebo, Beverley Knight and Ed Sheeran, just to name a few!  He has also spent four years working with Bazil Meade, the founder of the world famous London Community Gospel Choir, responsible for recording the backing track of The Lion King’s “The Circle of Life”.  At the top of his mission list, Geo wants to continue contributing his own music to the world, and has just released his latest single “Destiny”, which is to be followed by an album release later this year.  I caught a moment with Geo to find out more about his experiences in the industry and latest release.

What artists and genres did you listen to growing up, and who or what encouraged you to pursue a career in the music industry?

When growing up I listened to lots of soul, rock, pop, reggae, hip-hop, jazz ranging from artists like Michael Jackson, Motown music, Phyllis Hyman, Earth Wind & Fire, David Bowie, Led Zeplin, Aerosmith, Genesis, Journey, Santana, Gun N’ Roses, Queen, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, John Holt, Ella Fitzgerald, Grover Washington, Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Kool G Rap, KRS -1, Leaders Of The New School, Steely Dan, New Edition, Prince, Parliament Funkadelic, etc.

You’ve worked with some really big names (Jay-Z, Madonna, Roger Waters, Ed Sheeran, to name a few). Could you tell me more about how these opportunities came about?

Some opportunities came to me via agencies I worked for, the Madonna and Roger Waters gig (Cà Ira) was via Choir connexion agency, because I used to be a member of London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC) while Ed Sheeran and Jay-Z were based on recommendations.

Who have you enjoyed working with the most, and do you have any memorable moments?

I’ve really enjoyed working with them all, I say Lionel Richie was so much fun. He was very down to earth and brought such a great vibe on stage, we had a dance-off on stage and as well, he was an absolute professional!

You also spent four years working with Bazil Meade. Are you able to tell me more about this experience, and what you achieved together during this time?

Bazil Meade is a legend, he’s the real deal!! His training is second to none, he helped sharpen skill in the area of voicing, working with harmonies which today I use in my vocal productions. Bazil Meade also introduced me to the world of session singing whereby I got a large amount of work with big artists through him.

How have these experiences encouraged you in your own music as an independent artist?

These experiences have encouraged me to keep working on my craft as a vocalist, presentation of my music as a whole, develop a great work ethic and aim for the top in terms of artistry.

It sounds as though you spend a lot of time working with other artists, but how do you find time to focus on your own material?

I have to always remember my ‘big why’ I entered the music game. I believe in keeping my mission at the forefront of my vision, this means regardless of what’s going in my life I have to make time for my music, because first and foremost I am an artist/singer/songwriter/producer, this means creating and contributing my music to the world is at the top of my mission list.

Could you tell me about your new single ‘Destiny’ and the inspiration behind it?

Destiny is a song about my life as an artist/entertainer, bright lights different cities different tours, plane hopping, hotels galore, performing on different stages around the world, these are some of the elements that make me the man who I am and I embrace it all because it’s no fluke I landed here, it’s my destiny. The inspiration for the song’s concept is my life as an artist/entertainer, as for musical inspiration it’s Quincy Jones in terms of production and Michael Jackson for the vocal styling. 

Will there be a video released for the single?

Yes, there will be a video for Destiny, we’re in talks of getting one done.

Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?

This year I will be releasing my album and I’m very excited about it.

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

I’m currently listening to Gene Noble, BJ The Chicago Kid, PJ Morton, 9th Wonder, Phonte, Foreign Exchange, The Walls, Zacardi Cortez.

Connect with Geo Gabriel via his Website, Facebook and Twitter.

George Simpson – Interview

Saturday 20th January 2018

Following the success of his first 2 albums, George Simpson decided to take a break for a couple of years, to spend some time deciding what direction he wanted to take his music.  Having already been picked up by the likes of Jeremy Vine and Graham Norton, and with his single “Open Door” finding success on the TV show Hollyoakes, George wondered what his next step would be.  Now, due for release on the 23rd February, “Finding Myself” is the upcoming single, which will be followed by a 3rd album release from George in the coming months. The single also features the harmonious vocals from UK Country songstress, Kezia.  My interview with George has been very enjoyable, as he gives me a detailed background in to the early days, his music career so far, and his songwriting process.

Hi George! Please could you tell me about yourself, how it all started and at what point you decided to make a career out of music?

I’ve always seen myself as a regular guy. One of the lads who grew up playing sport and not music. Music came very late to me picking a guitar up at 17 and not being able to perform solo until I was 27. I’ve only been performing solo on the piano for 3 years so as a performer, my background is very different from that guy, who has been learning an instrument and having lessons since they were at primary school, and had small friend circles and spent hours practicing. That was definitely not me.

I had a hopeful career as a footballer at one point, playing for my county (Leicestershire) and having trials for Leicester City when I was 16, and apparently I used to sing a lot in the changing rooms before football matches… so it’s something I enjoyed and something my friends obviously picked up on.

The football thing never materialised and I went backpacking for 2 years after leaving school and my A Levels half way through. I was never a keen academic… but when I went backpacking, I purchased a guitar and spent a year or so learning and playing and singing around camp sites etc, so when I came home I really got the music bug.

I joined a band called Shine, who were a cover band in my home town. One of my mates dad was the bass player and they let me get up and sing at his wedding. A few months went by and they needed a singer and they remembered me and I joined the band and thats where it all began!

The more I played the guitar and sang, the more I experimented with writing so I started writing from the word go.

I then joined a original music band called Lux Mundi to really put my writing to the test. They created the music which was prog rock, and I wrote the lyrics and melodies. Not the way I would have liked to write in hind sight but some great stuff came out of it. We never really got anywhere. We spent hours rehearsing and no time gigging. We were young, and there were personality clashes and we went our own ways, but it was a valuable experience, and at that point I was writing all of the time.

There was a pivotal moment where I left both both Shine and Lux Mundi at the same time in 2000. I focused on performing solo and writing as a solo artist and two year later I released my first single ‘Never Leave You Out in the Rain” and it went from there.

By this time my reputation as a performer helped me make the jump from full time employment into being a full time musician performing around the UK and Europe every week. It’s been nearly 4 years as a full timer and I am loving it! I have more writing time than ever, and see my two young boys (Zak-5 and Savvi -2) all the time which is great!

What is it about Country music that you enjoy, and who or what has drawn you to this genre?

I actually really got into Country music around 2 years ago when my wife drew my attention to the series Nashville. I don’t watch much TV but as soon as I heard that the series was about the Nashville music scene I thought I would give it a go… then…. these stunning duets and the beautiful melodic songs they played each week just grabbed me and it went from there! As a writer I am always analysing writing styles and looking for ways to be more diverse myself, so I wanted to test myself and try and write a country song, and within 30 mins, ‘Finding Myself’ was born! I found it came really easily to me and my style is quite emotive anyway, and being an acoustic guitarist it seemed to really suit me. I really really adore male and female duets too!

Following on from 2 successful albums you decided to take a break. What was it at that moment that made you feel you needed the respite, and how has it helped you going forward?

Yes, after my second album my second son was born and I was also still trying to cement my career in being a professional entertainer/musician, so it felt like a natural break. But… also, I simply wanted to just focus on new material and thinking about what direction to go in to next. I didn’t want any pressure on myself to write, so I went with the flow and tried to build up a collection of songs that could potentially be on album number 3! The previous 2/3 years were really full on. I hadn’t released a song before 2012 and most people I knew didn’t even know that I write songs, so there was a lot of hype at the time, and I tried to keep the ball rolling, and get a second album out and new singles and videos out there, but after that I was mentally exhausted from it all. Especially being an independent artist and doing everything myself.

Your new single ‘Finding Myself’ is due to be released in February. How are you feeling about getting your new music out there?

I really can’t wait! It’s been a few years of writing, recording and planning and I’m ready now for another push. I’m excited about people hearing my new music, and the new direction. The industry has actually changed a lot since I’ve been ‘hibernating’, ha! Spotify is a real big player now where it wasn’t so much with my first single and album, so planning releases is very different this time around!  

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

I worked with a friend called Jay Hillyer who is a really talented videographer. He started out when I started releasing music and I have always used him so we have grown together in a way! He has a really big profile now in certain scenes and we work together really well!  I always plan my own videos and try and create the scenes and shots. I wake up some mornings and go…. ahhh yeah that would be cool, or that would work well for that part of the song… my head is always on it!

The location was in Derby. An old derelict site… which was perfect. Kezia is from Derby and she pointed it out and said her brother had a photo shoot there a while back. We checked it out… and it was great… it reflected the song… and the relationship between two people where the relationship has gone from good to bad… just like that site. The graffiti added colour and you can see wildlife trying to grow again… and that almost told the story of the song. Accidentally clever I’d say! Ha. 

How did you find the process of putting the song together, and how does it feel listening back to a song that reflects on personal experiences?

I found it quite easy actually. I just started strumming some chords on the guitar, in a country style, and just let the first melodies that came in to my head, spill out… I knew what I wanted to write about at that time and it went from there. Some songs come easy, others you can spend months of tweaking and improving certain parts. ‘Finding Myself’ is about a personal experience, my first relationship actually… where things went bad, and I needed time away to reflect and see what I wanted. I moved home as I was living a few hours away in Leeds at the time. There is a line in the song ‘I see fire through your window, but it’s cold in my heart’… and I can vividly remember walking in one day, and seeing the fire on in the house through the lounge window, but feeling like I didn’t really want to be going back to that house anymore… anyway…! I’m please how the song came out. I feel most people could relate to it too and thats always something I strive to include in my writing!

Could you tell me about your writing process, and how you know when a song is ready? Being a solo artist do you have anyone to bounce ideas from?

In terms of writing I have always done everything on my own. I may sit down on a piano or the guitar, and both offer something very different in terms of writing and what comes out of my head! Sometimes I don’t know what to write about, but I play music first and see how it feels emotionally and then build the content of the song around that. Melodies come to me really easily… and then I work on lyrics to fit the melodies. Thats a very typical way in which I would write a song. Sometimes I write lyrics first.

When it comes to production of the tracks, I work with my producer Ben Haynes and he is brilliant to bounce ideas off. Between us, the song can take all sorts of twists and turns, but in the end, I’m always really happy with it. We’ve worked together on three albums now so we are really comfortable and familiar with how each other work, so this third album has been a pleasure with clear focus on what we want to achieve!  

How did the opportunity come about to work with Kezia, and how was the experience?

My producer, Ben Haynes, showed me a few years ago, Kezia’s work, as she worked with Ben too, so I always knew of her and really admired her style and voice. So when we started to look at female singers to make up to the duet, Kezia flew to the top of the list! Kezia is a pleasure to work with. She came in, used our ideas and harmony lines as a guidance, but then just improvised and did her thing, and I was like, yeah… that is great!!! I had another song recorded called ‘Love You Again’ which is almost like the part 2 of ‘Finding Myself’ and she also sang on that. Kezia is a lovely girl, really easy to get on with and really down to earth. I hope she goes far!

Are you looking to release another album in the near future?

Yes, certainly! I have the album ready to go! I have a release date set for April 19th 2018 and I am buzzing about it! I’ll be releasing another single just before then too in the run up to the album launch and hopefully a small tour to go with it all!  

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

Mmmmmm, actually I recently recorded a cover of ‘Freedom’ by George Michael/Wham. I love turning upbeat pop songs into emotive ballads and really show the true core of the song. I would love to get in the Live Lounge and do that with a small string section and some backing singers! I just love the song and love performing it and it would be great to show the world how George Michael probably wrote it originally before all of the production!

Connect with George Simpson via his Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Amanda Jayne – Interview

Wednesday 3rd January 2018

Amanda Jayne is a singer/songwriter who is ready to take her music to the next level.  Music and performing has been in her blood ever since she picked up her father’s guitar as a child, and now after an already successful debut album release, Amanda is ready to record and release new material. “Bruising pt II” is the latest single from the Long Island songstress, which is a reworking and development of the original track “Bruising” from her first album “Strike A Match.” The accompanying video sees Amanda comforting her four heartbroken friends, as she travels with their emotions in one continuous shot.  Being in the early stages of her music career I took a moment to find out more about Amanda, her music and aspirations.

Hello! Please could you tell me a little bit about yourself, who or what got you interested in music, and how you came to be a singer/songwriter?

Hi! My name is Amanda Jayne and I’m a singer-songwriter from Long Island, New York (the suburbs of NYC). I’ve been writing songs for about eight years now and playing live/recording for four. I decided to become a singer-songwriter because writing music was the best way to express my emotions as a teenager. Everyone has that angst-y period, and music helped me cope with it. I picked up my dad’s guitar, strummed a chord, and the rest is history!

How would you describe your music, and where do you take your inspiration from when writing your songs?

I say my genre is singer-songwriter/pop. That label encompasses the fact that my music is structured like pop but contains the authenticity of a singer-songwriter. My songs typically have memorable choruses and I use vocal harmonies often. The music’s complexity lies in the lyricism. When writing, I take inspiration from my own experiences. Many times, real-life conversations I’ve had make their way into lyrics. Having this honesty makes the songs feel more valuable to me and more personal to the listener.

What’s the story behind your latest single ‘Bruising pt. II’ and was it written through personal experiences?

“Bruising pt. II” is a reworking of my song “Bruising” that was on my last album Strike a Match. The original “Bruising” was quite simple, and I felt that the song would be better if it had more production on it (like a pop song would). I also added new lyrics to create a bridge. The process took about a year from rewriting to release. This song’s about a former love interest of mine who felt that he couldn’t commit to a relationship. In my mind, he didn’t value me and didn’t care that he was toying with my emotions.

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

Jolil Ullah from Vacant Eye shot the video, and I had four wonderful friends, Lindsey Smith, Cissy Ge, Khairika Al Sinani, and Jessica DiPaola play the four different characters. The shoot took place at the Pollock-Krasner House in East Hampton, which is where artists Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner once lived. It was a great experience, and I think the aesthetic of the video fits the song well.

What instruments do you play, and are you the one playing them in your songs?

The guitar is my main instrument, but I can play a bit of piano, bass, and ukulele as well. Studio work is a collaborative effort for my music, so it depends on the song! For “Bruising pt. II,” I played the piano part because I had written and practiced it. But, my friend Christopher Reilly was in the studio with me that day and nailed the guitar part. On Strike a Match, Chris and I tossed around the instruments so much that I couldn’t tell you who played what!

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

So far it’s been good! Many of my friends are incredibly supportive of what I do and try to help when they can. I haven’t picked up too much of a following yet, but I hope to in the coming years!

Could you tell me about your writing process? Being a solo artist, do you have anyone to bounce ideas from, or do you just know when a song feels ready?

Usually, an idea for a lyric or melody line hits me. I’ll jot it down, and when I can, I’ll sit with the guitar or the piano and flesh it out. While writing, the lyrics and melodies tend to come to my brain simultaneously. There are pros and cons to writing alone, though. I don’t have to agree with anyone about what goes into the song, but at the same time, it’s easy to run out of ideas or get stuck. I enjoy collaborating with other songwriters, and sometimes the product I get with a co-write is a million times better than what I could have accomplished alone.

How do you feel you’ve developed as an artists over the years?

Yes! I think I’ve grown tremendously. I’ve been working on my voice consistently and I’ve felt a huge improvement there. I’ve spent a lot of time practicing music and diving into the craft of songwriting. Also, my influences have shifted from pop/rock to R&B/ indie, so the type of music I make has changed a bit.

What are your plans for the year? Can we expect another album release, and do you have any live dates lined up?

My plan for 2018 is to get started on recording another project. I have a bunch of songs that are ready to get produced, so you’ll be hearing some new originals in the near future! These songs are going to be the best ones yet.

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

I’m so glad you asked this! I love sharing music. Recently, I’ve been listening to Jess Best, Isaac LeSage, and Verhoog. Drax Project is always a favorite, and I can’t wait for Kimbra’s new album!

Connect with Amanda Jayne via her Website, Facebook and Twitter.

As Sirens Fall release new single ‘In My Mind’ featuring Skindred’s Benji Webbe

Saturday 2nd December 2017

Following on from the release of their debut EP “The Hospital Party” last year, As Sirens Fall have recently released their next single “In My Mind” featuring Skindred’s lead vocalist Benji Webbe.  Thinking back to when I first listened to their EP, I remember how diverse the tracks came across and was bowled over by how right these guys were already getting it, even in the early days of finding their feet.  Talking about the challenges of putting the EP together, the band commented that “The biggest challenge was making the songs on the EP work together. Each song sounds very different to the last, and that’s always the band that we’ve been. We’ve never liked the idea of sticking to any single genre or getting pigeonholed, and we wanted this EP to scream that.”  Almost a year and a half since that release the band have gone from strength to strength, and are now presenting us with yet another storming single. 

Take The Power Back.  It is the battle cry of Keighley natives As Sirens Fall on their anthemic new single “In My Mind,” telling a story that resonates on many levels. From the beginnings of the uprising against the establishment as shown in “In My Mind’s” creative music video, to the lyric inspiration of being a positive message against mental illness, depression and the struggles of everyday life, In My Mind” is a song the band hope will help people when they need it most.

Talking about the single, frontman Mikey Lord says that “This is actually an older song of ours. When we got together to begin writing together after THE HOSPITAL PARTY, we dug this old thing back up and brought it back to life. I’m so glad we did.  The video is absolute insanity. I cannot believe we pulled something like this off.  We shot enough footage to make a short film.  Fitting this into a 4 minute music video was an absolute nightmare.  I can’t wait to see what people think of what we’ve been up to. It was awesome working with Benji. He’s super friendly and professional and when he added his vocal parts in, he helped us bring this song to life. His presence in the video is amazing. The guy is a rock n roll machine.  We wanted to represent how hard it is for people to talk about mental health, and not only that it is hard – but that people are often pushed into not acknowledging it at all.  It’s been a hard year for the people in this band, but it feels really good to come back with something that we’re all so proud of and excited about. We left the black and whites of THE HOSPITAL PARTY behind. We decided to introduce way more colour into the whole image of the band. It felt like a step forward.”

Connect with As Sirens Fall via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Lectures – Interview

Thursday 12th October 2017

Experimental four-piece Lectures are due to release their next EP “Distraction Shades” on the 20th October; with the promise of hook driven melodies and addictive riffs, and taking inspirations from the likes of RadioheadFlying Lotus and Wild Beasts, I was intrigued by this unique band.  Forming during their school years, the band have continued with their aspirations of writing music and also decided to self-produce their latest EP.  Lectures are still finding their feet, but are already gaining support from BBC Radio 1, Radio 6 Music and Sofar Sounds, so I chat with the band to find out about the upcoming EP and how they’re feeling about the release.

Hello! How are you guys, and what have you been doing with yourselves today?

We’re great thanks – we’ve been rehearsing/writing today.

Where and how did the band meet, and what made you decide to form Lectures?

We’ve been making music together since school as Lectures but carried on after we left and gradually changed without choosing another name.

We’re only days away from the release of your EP “Distraction Shades.” How are you feeling about getting your new music out there, and how would you say it compares to your previous material?

We’ve been sitting on the EP for a while so it feels good to finally put it out. It’s perhaps less polished than our first EP, but musically it is more ambitious, and there’s definitely more of a thread running through the songs.

You produced the EP yourselves; how did you find the process?

We all have mixed feelings about the process – generally a lot of over thinking things or not thinking enough – but we ended up with something we’re all really proud of. We’ve strived to be self-sufficient for a long time and it feels like we’re kind of there now.

How easy was it to pick to final 5 tracks, and were there any that didn’t make the final cut?

These 5 were the only songs we completed, and they all felt worth releasing. Although “Morning Forms” didn’t come together properly until the last minute.

What’s the story behind your latest single “Your Whatever?”

Half of the ideas for “Your Whatever” came from an older song that we liked but couldn’t finish. The rest was just built out of that, but with a different lyrical vibe.

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

It varies from song to song, but this EP was a result of collecting lots of small ideas over time and then bringing them together quickly. Entry Point and Peaches came together easily in the room, whereas SAD existed for almost a year before we could complete it.

Who are your biggest influences and how do you draw upon your inspirations when writing and performing?

While making Distraction Shades we were listening to artists like Wild Beasts, Radiohead, Andy Stott and Darkside. We mostly try to copy artists we like and get it wrong, so we occupy the space in between the real deal and supermarket own brand. For example, making Entry Point we were aiming for D’Angelo but only managed Vanilla Ice.

I’ve recently discovered Sofar Sounds and noticed that you guys performed a few dates in London recently. How did the opportunity come about, and how was the session for you?

That came from us playing a show at Good Karma Club in London last November and someone from Sofar was in the audience, so we got chatting after the show and it went from there. We normally use a lot of gear live, so it was fun stripping the songs down to just the core elements and not worry about pedals or monitors etc.

What’s the furthest you’ve taken your music so far, and where do you hope it will lead you to?

The furthest it’s gone so far is having the EP pressed to vinyl, which makes it seem a bit more real. In terms of ambition, we just want to write music with each other for as long as possible and share it with people who like it and connect with it.

Connect with Lectures via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.