Tom Hodgson

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.