Indieterria meets FAITH

Dear readers!

Thank you so much for your kind reaction to our interview with The Racket! We are truly grateful for all the shares, likes and positive comments, it means a world to us! We hope that you are enjoying the interviews as much as we do preparing them and hopefully, we will see you all at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham for a real rock and roll banger on 9th of June!

If you’d like to learn more about the event organized by the wonderful crew at Modern Age Music or read the previous interviews we published, please click on the links below:

Poster for gig at the legendary Sunflower Lounge on 9th June 2018

Event page on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/216304582300587/
Organizer: Modern Age Music: www.ModernAgeManagement.com
Interview with As Mamas: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/indiaterria-meets-as-mamas/
Interview with The Racket: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/indieterria-meets-the-racket/

This interview was done as Birmingham native band FAITH was supposed to support The Racket – however after we did the interview band had to cancel. Still so, Indieterria got hold of McCabe, Jason, Tom and Matty to chat about their second EP (which will be simply called “Two”), the joys of working with long-time friends and returning to stage in their home town. As one of our musical heroes keeps saying, it’s great to be alive and it’s a pleasure to be able to discover new exciting bands.

Let us introduce you to:

FAITH

Jason Payne – Vocals & Lead Guitar
McCabe James – Rhythm/Lead Guitar
Tom Jones – Bass Guitar
Matty Neale – Drums/Percussion

Band`s logo

Official bio: Faith is a Birmingham based quartet consisting of Jason Payne (vocals and lead guitar), McCabe James (rhythm guitar), Tom Jones (bass guitar) and Matty Neale (drums and percussion). Founded in 2015 they draw their influences from The 1975, The Cult and Joy Division.

Within the walls of debut EP “One”, FAITH’s true musical introduction to the world is conjured, with a compelling combination of dark pop layers amongst an attack of strings and a rebellious pulse. Hook-filled melodies sit within hard and heavy beats as songs are laced with intelligent yet angst-filled lyrics which speak to a generation. The synth infused, deep funk underlay adds salt to the wound building up to a unique dirty, metallic dance eruption. Their recent single “Honey” received an extensive airplay on BBC Introducing in West Midland.

Local press sees you as one of the outstanding bands in town on par with The Assist, Karkosa and The Clause. Please introduce the band to the readers of Indieterria.

McCabe James: It will be my pleasure. FAITH is Jason Payne, our lead singer and guitarist. He also plays synth. Well in reality, he just pushes one button on it before each song, that’s all (laughing). Next, we have Matt Neale who plays drums. Tom Jones is on bass and backing vocals. And then there’s me, McCabe. I’m the newest member of the band on guitar and some backing vocals but I’ve known Jason and Matt for years and being in other bands.

Jason Payne: We are a four piece indie pop soon bringing to you an explosive new EP, full of silly guitar riffs and mint combination of drums/bass with an average vocal but great lyrics. That’s how I would describe us (laughs).

Matty Neale: So we’re a bit of everything, you have me Matt Neale on drums always up for a laugh and don’t take life too seriously. Jason Payne vocals can be shy but once you get to know him he is possibly the funniest person I have ever met but he’s an absolute legend and knows how to make your cheeks hurt through laughter and he also writes some banging tunes along the way. Tom Jones plays bass like a boss but also originally came up with sex bomb, it’s not unusual etc. McCabe is cockney what more is there to say apart from he’s mad as a box of frogs but is completely devoted to shredding the guitar and living life to the full. Altogether we are FAITH an original indie pop/rock band from the West Midlands.

Tom Jones: We’re just four lads that enjoy making music and having a laugh while doing it to be fair. Jase is the funniest bastard I’ve ever met and a perfectionist in every sense. McCabe knows his way round a guitar better than I know my way round the pubs in Shrewsbury (that’s well). Matt is a quality drummer and we gel well as the ‘rhythm section’ of the band. And well I just turn up half hour late to everything still pissed and get an alright sound out of a bass I suppose.

Faith ready to unleash new music

You have been praised for your eclectic song writing and compared to The 1975, Joy Division and even to The Cure. But we want to hear what new elements you bring to popular music. What makes you unique?

McCabe James: Thank you. We add a nice mix of different influences that shine through on each song but with a big guitar sound when needed. The new music has definitely progressed from our first EP  – “One”.

Jason Payne: Our old management compared us to all those bands and they don’t really have a clue about music so I wouldn’t listen to that. We`re pretty unique I can’t say we sound like anybody to be fair.

Matty Neale: Our EP Two is unique, it is the best piece of music I’ve ever heard from an unsigned band if I do say so myself. Energetic drum beats with powerful guitar riffs shredding through and catchy lyrics that have meaning. We’re a mix of old and new in one.

Tom Jones: I think we’re unique just because I can’t put my finger on our sound, even more so in the new EP but when I got asked to join I listened to some of the tracks from EP One and couldn’t get where the influences had come from but took an instant liking to the band.

FAITH knows how to have good time. Your interests on social media mentions “parties, females and sunshine”. Imagine you are in charge to plan a weekend away for Robert Smith. Where do you take him and what do you do for two days?

McCabe James: (laughing) This is a good question. We would probably take him to Amsterdam and get on it!

Jayson Payne: Who’s Robert Smith?

Matty Neale: McDonald’s drive through would defo be on the cards and maybe my nan`s.

Tom Jones: I’d take him to The Nag`s Head in Shrewsbury cause it’s the best pub in the world and show him how to down a Guinness.

Despite your young age, you are not debutantes. You have been making a mark on Birmingham scene for about six years now. In 2013, Express and Star called you “an indie band on the road to success”. The same year you played your first show at the O2 Academy. Your songs appeared on Amazing Radio, Black Country radio, BBC Hereford and Worcester, BBC West Midlands and BBC Introducing. You crossed the country on tour, filling out important venues such as Sunflower Longue in Birmingham, Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton and Nambucca in London. This is a very impressive CV indeed.

McCabe James: Thank you. Well, we are trying our best! Right now, we’ve been off the scene for a while. We have been rehearsing, writing and recording for the past year and a half since I’ve been in the band so it was a long break for us. After this, we feel like we have to start from scratch in a way but we’ve had a pretty good response to our new single “Honey” even if the Facebook likes don’t prove it (laughing). We just love what we make and we hope the audience will like it as well.

Faith in monochrome

The band’s first EP “One” came out in October 2015. It was immediately promoted by BBC Introducing and received positive reviews in local press and zines. How do you recall the recording session?

McCabe James: I have to admit the recording process for our first EP was a lot easier than the recording for our second one. All our songs were written before we got into the studio to record “One”. This time it’s different. We are in the studio now, writing the material and recording it at the same time.

Matty Neale: I’d been out the night before and went straight to the recording session. Took me about 500 times to get the beats right because I was still wrecked but managed to smash it then fell asleep listening to “Your Love Is Wasted On Me” feeling sorry for myself.

Tom Jones: I don’t because I wasn’t there but if it’s anything like the ones I’ve been at, Jase would just have everyone in tears for ten hours straight.

Over the years, you have had several line-up changes. The core of the band seems to be centred around Jason Payne (vocalist and lead guitar) and Matty Neale (drums and percussion). Can you tell us about your composing process? Do Jason and Matty compose all the songs or does the band work together?

McCabe James: Jason, Matt and myself go a long way together. We were in a band called “The State Of Things” about five or six years ago. After TSOT parted ways, we eventually reunited and went on to form FAITH. Everyone is involved in composing and writing music. We all have our own styles and preferences but what really counts is everyone is engaged in our creative process. We all contribute equally towards writing.

Jason Payne: The songs are usually a quick group process instrumentally but a long, painful process lyrically. I don’t like to put my lyrics out there if something doesn’t sound right or doesn’t have a meaning.

Matty Neale: It’s weird but we work as a band so well that one of the lads could hit a chord and I’ll put a beat to it or vice versa. Then Jase will put some lyrics on it and before you know it we have a new tune. We all add bits or parts we want to as long as it sounds sick!

Tom Jones: A lot of the time Jase will come to us with an idea and then we’ll all have an input into what we put into the song but a few times we’ve just played some random stuff in practice and accidentally wrote a song in half an hour. I think we all gel really well as a band to be fair and that helps when writing new material.

Cover of “One” EP

FAITH has been crafting the second EP entitled simply “Two” since last year. What can we expect and do you have the release date yet?

McCabe James: We do not have a release date so far, no. What can you expect? Well, we’ve progressed a lot as a band. Since I joined in, we have changed the style a bit. Our music got bit more groovier and funkier. Our personal music tastes also developed and I’m sure you will be able to hear it on our new EP when it is released.

Jason Payne: No release date as of yet but it is pretty fucking decent I’ll give us that.

Matty Neale: You can expect it to be 10 times better than Arctic Monkeys new album to put it that way. Hoping to release it in the summer.

Tom Jones: We have got a proposed date but it’s our secret for the minute! As for the EP it’s the best thing I’ve ever been involved in and we all think it’s the dog bollocks to be honest. I think we all enjoyed writing these tunes and getting them down and I think that shows in the music.

First single to promote your upcoming EP, “Honey” is already hitting radio stations.  It is regarded as the indie anthem of summer. Can you tell us more about the song?

McCabe James: What can I say? “Honey” is basically a song Jase wrote about his misses! (laughing)

Jason Payne: Song is about my misses, always moaned at me for years for not having a song written about her and now she does and she’s happy, and what a tune it is.

Matty Neale: It`s catchy and upbeat with story telling lyrics.

Tom Jones: It’s an upbeat catchy tune and it’s one of my favorites to play. Great for summer.

Jayson Payne

On June 9th, you will be returning to Sunflower Longue to support The Racket. Will you play any of your new material?

McCabe James: We are very excited to perform alongside The Racket, The Jack Fletcher Band and As Mamas.  Definitely, we will be playing our new songs at the gig as well as the older ones. We can’t wait to see you all there.

Jason Payne: (in a very enthusiastic voice) Yeah!

Matty Neale: (in the same time as Jason) Yes!

Tom Jones: (agreeing) Yes.

One last question. You can make your one wish come true. What would that be, except for the world peace of course!

McCabe James: (laughing) I wish we could do this full time so we can finally quit our shit day jobs!

Jason Payne: To play to more than 5 people obviously!

Matty Neale: I would absolutely love for our tunes to be heard around the UK and the world. One of my main wishes is to play our set on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. That would be a dream come true!

Tom Jones: Play massive gigs and have as many people as possible listening to our music. Sounds cliche but it’s what we love.

If you’d like to follow FAITH on social media, please use the links below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weareFAITHx/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wearefaithx
Twitter: https://twitter.com/weareFAITHx
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wearefaithx/

We absolutely love FAITH. They are funny, full of enthusiasm and they work/play hard in equal measure. We are heartbroken that they will not support The Racket on this tour but we will do our utmost to catch them live in the near future.

For now, that`s all from us dear readers and keep your eyes open for upcoming editions of Indieterria.

Mal+Rita

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Indieterria meets The Racket

Hello, hello!

Band`s logo

We always say that the time goes really fast when you are having fun and it is true. So many gigs, so many outings, open air mic nights and  it is almost the end of May! But the most exciting months are still head of us.

The next big date in our rock and roll diary is the 9th of June when we will be going back to the beautiful Sunflower Lounge to see the newest indie rock sensation, The Racket. The quartet is now on their headlining national tour and they decided to pop into the legendary Brum venue to show the West Midland folk how to play, fast, powerful songs and how to thoroughly enjoy the experience. The gig is brought on by the amazing crew at Modern Age Music and we cannot wait to step into the mosh pit.

If you are interested in purchasing tickets for the Birmingham show, please click on the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/events/216304582300587/

Poster for The Racket gig on 9th July 2018 at the Sunflower Lounge

To prepare well for this musical feast, we sat down with the band to ask them several questions, from their early days in their hometown of Widnes, to musical inspirations, their newest single and some of the rock and roll antics that will definitely go down well into the  history of  modern music. The interview is one of the longest we did and we had a real blast. Thank you The Racket and hope you had as much fun answering these question as we had asking them and putting them on here!

The Racket – social media profile picture

Callum Codd
Mike White
Dom Eaton
Colby O’Sullivan

Official bio: The Racket is an alternative rock four-piece from Widnes that receives more and more attention on an independent music scene. The band have played their own headline sold out shows at Liverpools Zanzibar Club and Manchester’s Night and Day. They completed their first UK tour in 2017 supporting Louis Berry on numerous dates up and down the country then topped off with a hometown gig with Trampolene. Such creativity, melded with high energy enthusiasm, has been rewarded by them being listed by This Feeling as one of the big in 2018 bands. Their trajectory is steep and they are building momentum with every lager stained, sweat drenched show – and that’s just the front row. Having recently finished recording with Al Groves in the Motor Museum, the second release is finished and will be coming out later this year to coincide with their first music video. The band is currently on headline national tour with several summer festivals booked in including Great Escape, Confessional and On The Hill Festival as the main support to CAST. The Racket will play The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham on 9th of June 2018 with support from The Jack Fletcher Band, FAITH and As Mamas.

You describe yourself simply as a “four-piece from Widnes”. Please introduce the band members to the readers of Indieterria.

Callum: I’m Callum. I’m guitarist and singer.
Michael: Hi, I’m Michael and I play the guitar.
Dom: I’m Dom, the drummer.
Colby: And I’m Colby. I play the bass.

Your home town boasts of strong musical heritage. Widnes lies closely to Spike Island where The Stone Roses held their legendary festival, it inspired “Homeward Bound” by Paul Simon (a song written at a local train station) and is referred in works of Belle and Sebastian (“Stars of Tracks and Fields”) and Elvis Costello (“Watch Your Step”). Jane Weaver and Mel C call Widnes home. The town also has a famous music venue – The Studio. Have your city and its history had any effect on your band?

The Racket. Picture by Culture City management https://www.culturecity.co.uk/the-racket/

Callum: To be honest the history of Widnes hasn’t influenced me at all and probably never will! It’s the present, the way people go about their daily routines today and their lifestyles. It interests me to write and sing about the people around me. Mostly just normal things, born mainly out of frustration but also out of enjoyment. I think all the best comedians, actors, songwriters are the ones who are down to earth and talk about normal things.

Michael: Widnes is just where we have grown up and lived. As for an effect on the band, well it’s the special people from Widnes that have carried us through since day 1 to where we are today. Without their backing, we’d be playing The Hammer and Pincers on a Friday night doing shit covers!

Dom: I don’t think it’s something we think about often. The town itself hasn’t had an impact too much, it’s more the people around us that have influenced us. Widnes is just like any other town in the UK and our songs are relatable because they’re about issues and problems that happen to people our age up and down the country.

Colby: I wasn’t very interested by music while growing up. I was way more into football, up until around 2005 and 2006 when there was a lot of new bands coming through like The Arctic Monkeys. I would say, from that time on, I was influenced by music more than anything else.

The Racket is being compared to The Sex Pistols, Libertines and The Cribs. We can think of a dozen indie bands who would be mortified by the pressure to deliver. Comparisons to the greats seems to invigorate you. Do you have a way to handle music related stress?

Callum: We don’t often get stressed. We’re all good mates and we’re doing it because we love it. If people want to compare us to others, then so be it.

Michael: Every band gets comparisons as soon as they start. It gets boring when people ask, what sort of music are you? Get off your arse and go see a band live and it might just blow your mind! I think it’s in our nature to compare music to what’s gone before, but there’s no stress or pressure. We’re just doing what we’re doing and still would be whether people think we sound like The Sex Pistols or Danny Dyer’s Chocolate Homunculus.

Dom: It’s great being compared to The Sex Pistols and The Libertines because we’re fans of these bands but we’ve heard it that often now, that for me, it has become a bit meaningless. This is our band, we want to do our own thing, create our own sound and make our own impact. What invigorates me most is playing live and knowing that you’re playing to a crowd of people that want to hear your music and are going for it just as much as you are. Of course, we’re serious about the music and where we want to take it but we’re still four really good mates having a laugh and doing it cause we enjoy it. For me there’s no pressure on us.

Colby: It’s always nice to be compared to good bands from the past but I don’t think it affects us in anyway. We just want what they’ve got or had and it’s our music out there for everyone to hear an enjoy.

On the set of their first music video by Sitcome Soldiers Ltd https://www.facebook.com/sitcomsoldiers

In one interview you mentioned that your songs are born out of “boredom, teen angst and social commentary”. Which song you have penned so far makes you truly proud of and what it is about? 

Callum: Going back to what I said earlier about normal, mundane things. There’s a song I’ve wrote called “Two Minutes Hate” which is exactly 2 minutes long and goes through the routine of someone who gets up, goes to work, comes home, has their tea, goes to bed, repeat. Frankly, it’s most people I know! This is why, I think I’ve managed to capture it quite well. Quite proud of that one, but I also love the song called “Why Are You Watching Me” mainly cause of the riff!

Talking about teen angst, the photo promoting your single “Faded Days” shows your bare bottoms lined up along a wall. The picture is accompanied by a quote taken from the lyrics that states you are fed up being “bend over backwards for a man who’s in a suit”. Very risqué yet incredibly brave for a young band. Did it get you in any trouble?

Callum: (laughing) Not yet, no! Hopefully it does sometime otherwise we would have just stuck on normal picture there! And it’s funny you pointed out that lyric because we genuinely had it on there! We love playing footy and that’s how you end a football match where I’m from!

Michael: (laughing as well) The only trouble I had was having to look at Dom’s hairy arsehole all day!

Dom: We haven’t got into any trouble for it yet, still time though (laughing). I don’t know why anyone would complain though. I’ve been told on at least two occasions, I have a great arse.

Colby: Let’s just say, for the cover of “Faded Days” we wanted to do something everyone can relate to the lyrics in the song so…(laughing)

You will be playing important indie festival this summer – Liverpool Calling with all the hottest acts on the circuit: Sheafs, Soeur, False Heads, Himalayas, Strange Bones or Emily Capell. What do you prefer: large stages or intimate venues?

 

The Racket performing live in Liverpool on 19th of April (supporting Trampolene). Picture by Tom Adam https://www.instagram.com/tomadampics

Callum: Definitely the small ones. Getting loads of energy in front of us in a small room is something special. Honestly one of the best feeling you’ll ever have. At the same time though, we’ve not played many “big” stages yet. From what we’ve done so far, I’d definitely choose the little scenes any day.

Michael: There’s no feeling like playing to a packed tiny room. People falling on stage and knocking mic stands over. I think when we’ve played the bigger venues, I don’t like being more than a step away from the rest of the band.

Dom: Playing intimate venues is great. Being so close to the audience allows you to feed off their energy and excitement, it’s a great feeling being in that moment. Playing bigger venues is something I’m looking forward to doing more because I think it becomes more of a challenge then A test to see if we can get what we want to say across to a bigger audience.

Colby: It’s always nice playing in front of new people at festivals and getting out there with your music but there’s nothing like a small gig with the fans that follow you to every gig. They always put on a good show for us to watch while we’re playing. We never mind them watching us!

The new single “Know It For A Fact” has received rave reviews and is promoted on BBC Introducing Merseyside. We have to admit it is incredibly powerful track, which surely will start mosh pits. You are one of few bands that manage to bring the fury and dynamics from the live performance onto the record without losing an edge. Any secrets to your recordings?

Callum: The last single was recorded live with hardly any takes and minimal over dubs. I think that makes it sound exciting. This time, we have done it differently. We worked with Al Groves at The Motor Museum and he has done an amazing job. I think just the amount of time we spent getting the best, most exciting, angry drum take possible made everything else a lot easier. Full day for the drums for one song!

Dom: I think it’s just a case of spending enough time on getting great takes and getting the sound right. I was definitely conscious of putting the same amount of energy into the recording as I do when playing live and hopefully that’s something that come across. Al Groves, who we worked with on “Know It For A Fact”, has done a great job and it’s his input and ideas that have made it what it is.

Colby: There’s no real secrets to how we record our records. We just go into the studio knowing what we want the song to sound like. For “Know It For A Fact”, we knew we had to do a powerful recording, because that’s how the song comes across live. It is important for us that it should come across exactly the same when you are listening to the track at home.

The band performing live at the Magnet Liverpool on 4th of February. Picture by John Hollingsworth https://www.johnhollingsworth.biz/

On 9th of June 2018 you will be playing at the legendary Sunflower Lounge. Is it your first time performing in Birmingham? What can we expect during the show?

Callum: I never been to Birmingham before but expect a set of fast, loud rock and roll tunes. It’s also a Saturday night so expect a lot of drinking to get done! (laughing)

Michael: We’ve only ever been to Birmingham New Street station on our first trip to London as the band, so to us it’s a new experience. You’ll have to show us some good pubs for before the show! As for the gig, expect some poor attempts at Brum accents in between songs. (laughing)

Dom: It is our first time in Birmingham and I’m really looking forward to it. I think what people can expect is just a lot of energy and a lot more sweat. We’re going to put everything into it and show people why they should be paying attention to us.

Colby: As others said, we have never played Birmingham before. I’m expecting a good night, plenty of drinking. We play every gig loud and fast so the crowd should love it

This tour is your first as a headliner. You will be playing dates all over the country across the month of June, ending with a gig in Liverpool. Is there anything you want to do, any places you want to visit?

Callum: It’ll be good to go back to our favourite pubs in different cities like The Harley in Sheffield, Good Mixer in London, just as long as Sunday morning, we’re in The Bradley in Widnes!

Michael: I’m looking forward to London. We know there has been demand for a gig down there for a while, so that’s set to be a good one. Sheffield is always fun. Finishing the tour in Liverpool to our crowd will be the perfect end!

Dom: I’m just looking forward to visiting new cities, new venues and playing for new people. We’ll be out of our comfort zone. It’s our first headline tour so I’m just buzzing off that.

Colby: Really looking forward to headlining each night. The one I’m looking forward to the most is probably Sheffield. We had a really good time last time we played there and hopefully we will have the same great atmosphere again.

The band performing live at the Magnet Liverpool on 4th of February. Picture by John Hollingsworth https://www.johnhollingsworth.biz/

Last obligatory question: where do you see yourselves in five years’ time. We predict Pyramid Stage at Glasto. Your picks?

Callum: Well, The Pyramid Stage is the big one for me, always has been! I think as long as we’re still together playing music we love, whatever that be at that time is the most important. Right now, who we are, and what we’re doing is perfect and the future is looking bright for us.

Dom: As long as we’re still together, playing the music we want to play and enjoying it, then I think I’ll be sound, I’m also ambitious and the thought of playing bigger venues and bigger and better gigs and doing all the major festivals definitely motivates me. I want us to be successful and to not only be around in five years but for people to know who we are.

Colby: (laughing) Probably jail for strangling Mike at some point!

You can learn more about The Racket by visiting their social media pages:

Management: https://www.culturecity.co.uk/the-racket/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRacketMusicUK/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theracketuk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theracketmusic/

More articles about the band:
http://liverpoolnoise.com/band-feature-the-racket-widnes-music/
https://hotvox.co.uk/artists/racket

Please come back soon as we will have interesting interviews and reviews coming up shortly!
Have a good week and don’t forget to drop us a message or leave a comment.

xoxox
Rita and Malicia

 

Indiaterria meets Karkosa – Korean version

Hello!

We never thought that our  interview with Karkosa would be that popular! Thanks to all of you who shared and liked our post – it means so much to us! And we also went viral. Our interview turned out to be very popular among the Korean fans of the band!

We would like to thank Mia Choi, our lovely translator who worked so hard to translate this interview in a day and a half! That must be a new world record, we are sure about that!

You can find the English version of the interview here:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/indieterria-meets-karkosa/

And now for all of  Karkosa’s fans in Korea, here it is! Enjoy!!

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언젠가 우리는 우리의 유튜브 채널에 이 블로그에서 인터뷰한 밴드의 특집을 기획하고 싶다. 그들의 밴드명은 카르코사(Karkosa)이고 여러분은 향후 몇 달 뒤면 그 이름을 더 자주 듣게 될 것이다.

카르코사

우리는 년초 런던에서 진행된 인디콘 컨퍼런스에서 카르코사를 만났다. 그들은 우리에게 아주 훌륭한 인상을 남겼고, 카르코사의 리드 보컬 마이클 워녹(Michael Warnock)과 마주 앉아 짧은 대화를 할 수 있어 기뻤다. 그들은 우리가 만나 본 사람들 중 가장 친절하고, 노력하는 사람들이었다! 그들의 독특한 밴드명, 인디 어워드에 후보로 오른 것과 심지어 지구 반대편 팬들을 얻게 된 것까지, 무수히 많은 얘깃거리들이 있었다. 카르코사는 더 많은 것들에 도전하고 있고, 우리는 그들이 가능한 빨리 그에 도달하도록 계속해서 응원할 것이다.

Big in Birmingham

공식 소개: 영국의 인디 락 밴드 카르코사는 마이클(Michael)과 잭(Jack) 워녹(Warnock) 형제에 의해 2014년 버밍엄에서 결성되었다. 리드 기타에 톰 러쉬튼(Tom Rushton), 베이스 기타에 라이언 트롯(Ryan Trott), 그리고 키보드에 윌 클루스(Will Clews)를 영입한 뒤, 밴드는 한 묶음의 곡들을 작곡, 녹음해 온라인에 게시했다. 그들의 멜로딕하고 폭발적인 락 사운드는 캣피쉬 앤 더 보틀맨(Catfish and the Bottlemen), 로얄 블러드(Royal Blood), 그리고 더 아마존스(The Amazons)에서 크게 영감을 받았다. 카르코사의 첫 싱글 The Devil’s Greatest Trick이 2016년에 발매되었고, 이어 2017년에 싱글 Monarchy, Sheffield, Where the River Flows가 발매되었다.

마이클 워녹 Michael Warnock (보컬/리듬기타)
톰 러쉬튼 Tom Rushton (리드기타)
잭 워녹 Jack Warnock (드럼)
라이언 트롯 Ryan Trott (베이스)
윌 클루스 Will Clews (키보드)

흑백의 카르코사

소개를 보니 카르코사는 4년 전 버밍엄에서 결성되었네요. 인디테리아(Indieterria) 독자들에게 밴드 소개와 밴드의 시작에 대한 이야기를 부탁드려요.

마이클 워녹: 제 생각엔 제 동생 잭(드럼)과 제가 그것보다 좀 더 일찍, 그러니까 5년 전쯤 밴드를 시작한 것 같아요. 저희의 첫 공연은 아빠의 40번째 생신 파티에서 였어요. 그때와는 멤버가 조금 바뀌었지만요. 저는 톰 러쉬튼(리드기타), 윌 클루스(키보드)를 우리가 함께 음악을 공부한 BOA칼리지에서 만났어요. 가장 마지막으로 영입된 멤버는 잭과 같은 학교를 다닌 라이언 트롯(베이스)이에요. 우리 말로는, 우리가 더 아마존스, 캣피쉬 앤 더 보틀맨, 로얄 블러드의 영향을 받은 인디 락 밴드라고 이야기하곤 해요.

카르코사는 밴드 이름으로는 아주 독특한데, 이상하게도 기억하기에는 쉬워요. 어떻게 이 이름을 짓게 되었는지 궁금합니다. 저희가 예상하기로는 미국 작가 비어스의 단편 「카르코사의 주민(An Inhabitant of Carcosa)」에 나오는 가상 도시에서 밴드 이름을 따 온 것이라고 생각이 드는데, 맞나요?

마이클 워녹: (웃음) 네, 맞추셨네요! 카르코사라는 이름은 로버트 체임버스의 「노란 옷 왕(The King in Yellow)」이라는 책에서도 등장해요. “고대의 신비로운 가상 도시”로 묘사되죠. 사실 그 이름을 사용하기로 한 건 저희 아빠의 아이디어였어요. 카르코사의 C 철자를 K로 바꾸어 사용하게 됐죠. 독특하기도 하고 우리 맘에도 들고요.

새 싱글 “Lonely Kid”는 아주 흥미로운 곡이에요. 아티스트 앰버(Amber Le Grys)가 디자인한 앨범 표지가 단순하면서도 굉장히 눈에 띄고요. 이 곡에 대해 더 소개해 주시겠어요?

“Lonely Kid” 싱글 앨범 표지

 마이클 워녹: “Lonely Kid”는 2017년 7월부터 쓰기 시작한 곡이에요. 이 곡은 칼리지에서 대부분의 친구들이 떠나고 그들의 관계들을 맺어갈 적에 제가 느꼈던 것들을 담고 있어요. 저는 저 혼자 있는 게 괜찮았어요. 또한 저는 보통 제목에 적힌, “lonely(외로운, 혼자의)”라는 단어에 대한, 슬프다는 고정관념을 깨는 무언가를 만들고 싶었어요. 앰버가 만든 아트워크가 꽤나 곡의 분위기를 잘 살려준 것 같아요. 당신이 말했듯이 단순하지만, 굉장히 효과적이죠. 저희의 이전 아트워크들과는 달라요. 곡의 클라이막스 부분은 파라모어(Paramore)의 “Ain’t it fun”의 브릿지에서 영감을 얻었어요.

3월은 여러분들에게 아주 바쁜 달이었어요. 3월 17일, 출신지인 버밍엄 O2 Institute에서 서포트 밴드 North Parade, Elliot Sturman과 함께 헤드라이너로 공연하기도 했고요. 그런 다음 캠던의 Dublin Castle에서 공연하러 런던으로 이동했죠? 그 때가 런던에서의 첫 공연이었나요?

마이클 워녹: 저희가 헤드라이너로 섰던 공연은 굉장했어요. 저희가 마지막 공연을 맡는 게 흔치 않은 기회라는 점뿐 아니라, 저희의 멋진 새 베이스 드럼 로고와 ‘카르코사’라고 적힌 배너를 걸고 공연하는 첫 무대였다는 점에서도 의미가 있어요. 게다가 저희는 이제껏 가장 많은 티켓을 팔았어요! 전반적으로 저희도 굉장히 즐거웠고, 관객분들도 좋아해 주시는 것 같았어요! 캠던에서의 공연은 이전까지 저희가 한번도 해본 적 없던 것이라는 점에서 훨씬 더 신났어요. 새로운 지역에서뿐 아니라, 새로운 관객들 앞에서 공연하는 것이기도 하잖아요. 정말 놀라웠던 사실은, 관객분들이 엄청나게 즐겨주셨다는 거에요. 심지어 저희가 마지막 순서여야 했다고 말씀하시면서 말이에요! 아무튼, 굉장한 주말이었고, 또 다시 거기서 공연할 수 있기를 기대하고 있어요!

라디오 DJ 스티브 켈리(Steve Kelly)가 여러분에 대해서 꽤 적지 않은 동료 진행자들이 그들의 곡 ‘Sheffield’를 좋아한다. 과장이 아니라, 그 곡의 기타워크는 The Eagles, 내가 가장 곡인 ‘Hotel California’급 수준이다. 내 생각에 ‘Sheffield’는 아마 우리가 라디오 스테이션에서 틀었던 최고의 곡이고, 앞으로도 자주 선곡할 것이다.” 라고 한 바 있습니다. 이렇게 락 음악사에서 가장 사랑받은 곡과 비유되는 건, 보통 평범한 칭찬이 아니죠.

법을 어기고 있는 카르코사… (역주: 사진에 ‘자리에 앉으시오. 일어서지 마시오.’ 라고 적혀있음)

 마이클 워녹: 저희가 스티브 같은 사람과 연줄이 있다는 건 정말 행운이에요. 저희가 처음 만난 이후부터, 그는 쭉 저희를 응원해주었거든요! 저희는 그와 첫 라디오 인터뷰를 진행했었고, 저희의 헤드라인 공연에서 그를 개인적으로 만날 수 있어서 정말 기뻤어요. 그는 저희를 보러 엄청 먼 Blackpool부터 와 주었다니까요! 저희는 그를 5월에 다시 만나기를 기대하고 있어요. 그가 저희 밴드에 쏟아주시는 엄청난 열정을 보는 건 기분 좋은 일이니까요.

그 밖에도 많은 곳에서 인정받고 있죠. BBC Introducing West Midlands에서는 여러분의 연달아 발매된 세 싱글들(“Monarchy”, “Sheffield”, “Where the River Flows”)을 방송했고, 마지막 곡은 2017년 7월 금주의 곡으로 꼽히기도 했으니까요. 또한 여러분들은 리즈, 에든버러, 바스, 플리머스를 돌며 성공적인 국내 투어를 마쳤고, 끝내줬던 Sunflower Lounge 공연을 포함해 몇몇 공연은 매진시키기도 했어요. 그간 열심히 노력한 게 드디어 빛을 보네요, 그렇지 않나요?

 마이클 워녹: 그럼요. 저희는 이 모든 것들을 “사다리 오르기”라고 보고 있어요. BBC Introducing에서 방송된 것은 꽤나 멋진 일이었죠. 그치만 저희는 더 작은 라디오 방송들에서 선곡되는 게 훨씬 더 즐거웠어요. 진행자들이 항상 저희 음악에 대해 더 많은 것들을 말해주었거든요! Sunflower Lounge에서 공연하는 것도 굉장히 즐거웠어요. 우리 음악에 맞춰 모슁(역주: 락 공연에서, 몸을 부딪혀 가며 격렬하게 춤 추는 것)하는 팬들이 있었거든요. 관객들에게 가까이 갈 수록 항상 더 큰 활기가 느껴지곤 해요.

우리는 당신의 수상 프로듀서 개빈 모나그한(Gavin Monaghan)과의 콜라보에 대해 물어봐야 할 필요가 있겠네요. 더 셜록스(The Sherlocks)와 함께한 그의 최근 작업들은 갈채를 받고 있어요. 울버햄튼에 있는 그의 유명한 스튜디오(매직 가든)에 다녀왔나요? 몇 곡을 녹음했나요? 그리고 우리는 언제 그 곡들을 들을 수 있죠?

마이클 워녹: 개빈과의 녹음은 알려져 있는 만큼 매우 신났어요. 저희는 수많은 멋진 수집품들로 가득 찬 그의 매직 가든 스튜디오에서 작업했어요! “Where the River Flows” 한 곡만 녹음했지만 또 다시 Gavin과 작업하고 싶어요!

2018년은 당신들에게 돌파구가 될 만한 해인 것 같아 보이네요. 지역 언론으로부터의 주목, 공연 매진, 카르코사의 미래가 특히나 밝아 보이는군요. 다음 달엔 당신의 열성 팬들을 위해 스토어에 무엇이 준비돼 있죠? 우리가 지켜봐야 할 새로운 공연이나 싱글들이 있나요?

카르코사 홍보 사진

마이클 워녹: 올해는 지금까지 엄청났고, 이제 겨우 4월이에요! 지금까지, 저희가 참여할 훌륭한 공연들이 아직도 많이 있고, 저희는 또한 버밍엄 뮤직 어워드에서 최고의 인디/얼터너티브 밴드 후보에 지목됐어요! 현재는 Isle of Wight festival에서 공연할 수 있는 HotVox 투표에서 선두를 달리고 있어요. 대한민국에서 저희 음악이 입소문을 타고 있는 덕분에요. 저희는 올해 저희가 또 무얼 할 수 있는지 기대하고 있어요. 그리고 만약 메이저 페스티벌에서 공연할 수 있다면 저희 모두의 꿈이 이루어지는 셈이겠죠!

아래 링크에서 저희를 투표할 수 있습니다.
https://hotvox.co.uk/artists/karkosa

이건 흔히 있는 일이 아닌데요! 버밍엄 밴드가 세계 반대편에서 입소문을 타다니! 한국에서 여러분이 유명한 이유가 뭔지 아시나요?

마이클 워녹: (웃음) 솔직히 말하면, 저희도 잘 모르겠어요! 저희는 SNS에서 저희를 팔로우할 여유가 있는 모든 사람들과 관계를 맺으려고 노력했어요. 처음엔 그저 적은 수의 팔로워 였는데, 정말 며칠 만에 저희가 천명이 넘는 한국 팔로워들에게 답장을 보내고 있더라고요! 주로 인스타그램과 트위터에서요. 그들은 저희 음악의 링크를 공유해주었고, Isle of Wight festival 투표도 도와주었어요. 저희는 언젠간 그곳에서 공연하기를 기대하는 중이에요!

카르코사를 SNS에서 팔로우하세요:
www.karkosa.co.uk/
https://en-gb.facebook.com/officialkarkosa/
https://twitter.com/officialkarkosa
https://soundcloud.com/karkosa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLFIGmi7Cwo

유용한 링크들:
https://bromsgrovestandard.co.uk/news/northfield-band-and-worcester-singer-through-in-austin-socials-search-for-a-star/
https://artists.nme.com/artist/karkosa/

우리는 앞으로도 우리의 최애 버밍엄 5인조 밴드, 카르코사의 행보를 지켜볼 예정입니다.
지금으로서는, 당신도 버밍엄 뮤직 어워드-라이징스타 투표를 통해 그들을 응원할 수 있습니다. 투표는 4월 24일에 마감됩니다.

투표 링크:

https://www.facebook.com/thebirminghammusicawards/posts/831404343728207
https://www.survey-maker.com/poll1927441x550C4e13-538

Text: Malicia and Rita Dabrowicz
Translation: Mia Choi

고맙습니다!!

Indieterria meets Karkosa

Hi!!

We hope you had a nice and relaxing Easter break. Here at Vanadian Avenue we are unable to rest or sit still (one of our biggest flaws!) and we had to find something music related to do. And there was plenty to things to be done! We have set up a Youtube channel, edited hundreds of pictures, did a nice small social media campaign and even had some time to eat a bit of chocolate. Talk about very productive long weekend!

From now on, you will be able to see videos of the performances we attend. So far, we have fantastic clips from Iggy Cuthbert (aka Happy Bones), mighty The Americas and the indie sweethearts, Junior Weeb! Soon we will add other great bands from the WorcesterWave scene: Nuns of the Tundra, Thousand Mountain, Dead Dads Club and many more. Please be on the look-out for the best new and unsigned bands from West midlands.

You can visit our channel at:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiWtRmMIq6atchlvnDSBCpQ

One day we are hoping to feature on our YouTube channel the band interviewed in this blog. They are named Karkosa and you will be hearing about them often in the coming months.

Since Karkosa is very popular in Korea, you can read translated version of this blog here:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/indiaterria-meets-karkosa-korean-version/

The good lads of Karkosa

We met Karkosa at Indiecon conference in London at the beginning of the year. They made a great impression on us and we are very happy that we were able to sit down with Karkosa’s lead singer Michael Warnock for a short chat. Those guys are one of the nicest and the hardest working people we have met! There were so many things to discuss: their unusual name, being nominated for an indie award and even winning fans on the other side of the globe. Karkosa’s on their way to greater things and we will be keeping our fingers crossed for them to get there as soon as possible.

Big in Birmingham 

Official bio: British Indie rock band Karkosa was formed in Birmingham in 2014 by brothers Michael and Jack Warnock. After recruiting Tom Rushton on lead guitar, Ryan Trott on bass and Will Clews on keyboard, the band wrote and recorded a batch of songs and published them online. Their melodic, propulsive rock sound is heavily inspired by Catfish and the Bottlemen, Royal Blood and The Amazons. The Devil’s Greatest Trick – band’s inaugural release arrived in 2016 and was followed by singles Monarchy, Sheffield and Where the River Flows in 2017.

Michael Warnock (vocals/ rhythm guitar)
Tom Rushton (lead guitar)
Jack Warnock (drums)
Ryan Trott (bass)
Will Clews (keyboard)

 

Karkosa in black and white

Your biography mentions that Karkosa formed about 4 years ago in Birmingham. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria and tell us a bit more about your beginnings.

Michael Warnock: I think my brother Jack (drums) and I started the band a little earlier than that, about 5 years ago. Our first gig was at our dad’s 40th birthday party. The line-up has changed quite a bit since then. I met Tom Rushton (lead guitar) and Will Clews (keyboard) at BOA College where we studied music together. The last member of the band to join was Ryan Trott (bass) who went to school with Jack. In our own words, we are an indie rock band with influences from The Amazons, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Royal Blood.

Karkosa is a very unusual name for a band, yet strangely it is easily memorable. We are very curious where it comes from. Our best bet would be you are named after the fictional city from a short story entitled “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” by American writer Ambrose Bierce. Are we correct?

Michael Warnock: (laughing) Yes, you are correct! The name Carcosa is also featured in a book called “The King in Yellow” by Robert W. Chambers. It is documented as being a fictional “ancient and mysterious city”. It was actually my dad’s idea to use that name. We changed out all the C’s for K’s to get Karkosa. Which we liked and it was unique.

Your new single entitled “Lonley Kid” is a very interesting composition. It also comes with minimalistic  and very striking cover designed by artist Amber Le Grys.  Can you tell us more about this song?

Cover of “Lonely Kid” single

Michael Warnock: We started writing “Lonely Kid” back in July 2017. It reflects how I felt at the time when most of my friends had left college or had their relationships to deal with. I was fine being on my own. I also wanted to create something that broke the stereotype of songs with word “lonely” in the title, being sad. I think the song’s spirit was captured quite nicely by the artwork which Amber made. As you said, it is simple, yet effective which is different to our previous artwork. The song’s climax was inspired by the bridge of “Ain’t it fun” by Paramore.

March was a very busy month for you. You headlined a hometown gig at the O2 Institute in Birmingham on 17th of March being supported by North Parade and Elliot Sturman. Then you travelled to London to play at Camden’s Dublin Castle. Was that your first time playing in the capitol?

Michael Warnock: Our headline gig was great as it was not only a rare occasion of us playing last but it was also the first time we got to play with our new bass drum logo and Karkosa banner which was really cool! We also sold the biggest amount of tickets for a gig ever! Overall, we had a lot of fun and the audience seemed to love it! Our Camden gig was a lot more exciting for me as it was something we hadn’t done before. Not only were we performing in a new location, but we were also performing to a new crowd. The surprising part was the fact that people started enjoying themselves, even stating that we should have been on last! Either way, it was a great weekend and we look forward to going back there again!

Radio DJ Steve Kelly had this to say about you: “Quite a few of my fellow presenters loved their song named ‘Sheffield’. No exaggeration, but the guitar work on it is up there with ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles, which is my favourite track ever. I think ’Sheffield’ is probably the best track we’ve had on the station and I’ll be giving you regular airtime”. This is no ordinary praise, being compared to one of the most beloved songs in the history of rock music.

Karkosa is fighting the law…

Michael Warnock: We are very lucky to have a contact such as Steve as he has constantly gave us a lot of support, ever since we first got in touch with him! We did our first radio interview with him and it was real pleasure to meet him in person at our headline gig.  He came all the way from Blackpool to see us! We look forward to seeing him again in May, and it’s nice to see his incredible dedication to the band!

The list of recognitions is not over yet: BBC Introducing West Midlands played your three consequently released singles (“Monarchy”, “Sheffield” and “Where the River Flows”) with the last track becoming a song of the week in July 2017. You also had a very successful national tour that saw you playing in Leeds, Edinburgh, Bath, Plymouth and selling out several dates including at legendary Sunflower Lounge.  Hard work is finally paying off, isn’t it?

Michael Warnock: It certainly does. We view a lot of this stuff as “climbing the ladder”. Getting played on BBC Introducing was pretty cool, however we found that getting played on some of the smaller radio stations was even more enjoyable. The presenters always had more to say about our music! Playing at The Sunflower Lounge is also a lot of fun as we’ve had fans moshing to our music and there’s always a bigger buzz when you’re closer to the audience.

We have to ask you about your collaboration with award winning producer Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Jaws, The Twang, Ocean Colour Scene). His recent work with The Sherlocks brought him  universal acclaim. Did you travel to his famous studio (Magic Garden) in Wolverhampton? How many songs were recorded and when can we listen to them?

Michael Warnock: Recording with Gavin was pretty exciting based on his recognition. We were working at his Magic Garden Studios which was filled with lots of cool memorabilia! We only recorded one song, “Where the River Flows” however we hope to work with Gavin again!

2018 looks like a breakthrough year for you guys. With huge interest from local press and sold out shows, Karkosa’s future is looking particularly bright. What do you have in store for your loyal fans in the coming months? Any gigs or new singles we need to be on the lookout for?

Promo picture of Karkosa

Michael Warnock:  This year has been awesome and it’s only April! So far, we’ve still got a lot of great gigs lined up and we were also nominated for best indie/alternative band at the Birmingham Music Awards! We are currently winning the HotVox vote to play at the Isle of Wight festival, mainly due to our music going viral in South Korea. We look forward to seeing what else comes our way this year and it would be a dream come true for all of us to play a major festival!

You can vote for us at this link:
https://hotvox.co.uk/artists/karkosa

Now this is something we don’t hear very often! West Midlands band going viral on the other side of the world! Do you have any idea what made you popular in Korea?

Michael Warnock: (laughing) To be honest we are not exactly sure! We try to engage with anyone that takes time to follow us on social media. At first, it was just a few followers, then literally over a couple of days we were replying to over a thousand followers from South Korea, mainly on Instagram and Twitter. They have been sharing links to our music and have helped us with this vote for Isle of Wight festival. We’re now hoping to play out there at some point!

You can follow Karkosa on social media:
www.karkosa.co.uk/
https://en-gb.facebook.com/officialkarkosa/
https://twitter.com/officialkarkosa
https://soundcloud.com/karkosa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLFIGmi7Cwo

And here are some additional useful links:
https://bromsgrovestandard.co.uk/news/northfield-band-and-worcester-singer-through-in-austin-socials-search-for-a-star/
https://artists.nme.com/artist/karkosa/

We will be watching Karkosa in the next months to see how our favourite Birmingham quintet is doing.
For now, you can also support them by casting your vote at The Birmingham Music Awards’ Rising Star/One to Watch 2018. The vote will end on 24th of April!

https://www.survey-maker.com/poll1927441x550C4e13-53

Till we meet again,
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria meets Happy Bones

Dear Readers,

Hey you! Iggy Cuthbert showing the way

When we started Indieterria fifteen months ago, we did not expect to be setting out on such a grand journey. And yet – here we are: spending nights editing and proof reading, interviewing musicians over Skype at 3AM while lying in bed with the lights out, talking to artists who continue to have meaningful careers while battling severe illness (Nic Evenett), watching brightest talents take on the world (nth cave). In our last chapter we profiled Junior Weeb – a band that had to grow up in the spotlight despite incredible personal tragedy.  Witnessing such stories makes us humble. We have realized that indie circuit – close and far – is full of incredible artists, who have strength, determination and their own unique voice.

Stepping outside comfort zones.

We will continue down this path with Iggy Cuthbert, known as Happy Bones. Iggy is a poet and songwriter based in Worcestershire, who has been leaving his mark on local scene in the last few years. Known for his dreamy lyrics and raw and emotional music, Iggy is an incredible person to interview.  He is fierce, open and raw. He is also shy and vulnerable and yet candidly speaks about his stage fright, death, highs and lows of being an artist in digital era. Please enjoy this interview and let`s take a walk on the wild side.

Sinking mud

Happy Bones made his mark on local scene, but for those not familiar with West Midlands indie circuit – tell us who is Iggy Cuthbert and why do you make such extraordinary music?

Happy Bones: Iggy Cuthbert is a pretentious persona I don’t really keep up with or know that well. I’m a writer and a singer, I suppose. I’ve grown to like the “folksinger” label. However, I always think of myself as a poet first. I can’t really write without a melody though, so I guess that’s why I do it. I make music because it’s the only thing that makes some sense to me. A lot of my songs jump around different topics and sometimes don’t make much sense, even to me. But that’s the way my brain seems to work. To me it’s a way of talking things out with myself, so it’s always a strange experience when I whisper my deepest, darkest secrets behind the mic (laughs). I enjoy it though.

You have been involved in organizing events and gigs for other artists as part of Boneyard Sessions. If you were to pick three  local acts that had the biggest impact on yourself – who would you recommend?

Happy Bones: I love all the bands we have put on so far, we always try and put on bands that we are excited about. Boneyard is a very selfish endeavour in that way. As for the three that are closest to my heart my first answer, perhaps the most obvious one, is nth cave. They’re my friends, I love them very much. They’re all extremely talented instrumentalists. You can tell they mean each note. Whenever I see them live, it feels like I’m discovering each of the notes all over again. Danni Timmins has a great way of delivering vocals, she makes it easy to get lost in the lyrics. Their song-writing is incredibly strong and clean, everything sounds tight, every word has a purpose. There are no clichés with that band. Hector and Fergus Brazier both work on Boneyard with me and I played some sets with Alfie Newman. I love them a lot. Following that, F. F. Ivanovski (Alfie Newman`s alter ego and solo project) is a sleepy but awakening experience. That boy sings in poetry covered in reverb. With some beautiful guitar work. Third would have to be Tom Forbes, his sets are a trip. He radiates confidence. He makes no mistakes, and if he does he works with them. He’s a real performer, his set for Boneyard Sessions really stuck with me.

In March 2017 you debuted with self titled EP. It included four tracks and was hailed as intimate and raw combination of lo-fi, folk and alternative with very strong song writing credits. You have been compared to Evan Dando, Stephen Joseph Malkmus of Pavement, Beck or even Ariel Pink. Slap Magazine called you ”a troubadour in the making”. Not a bad answer to a demo that has been written and recorded in about two weeks.

Happy Bones: I’ve always been writing songs and poems. I had a bit of a break after some old bands dissolved, I worked a shitty job that made me sad and I almost ruined one of my oldest friendships. So, of course, the most logical answer was to write an EP. I get distracted easily so a tight deadline worked for me in terms of keeping me motivated and inspired. Again, it was mostly therapy, and the fact that people enjoyed it made it seem some-what worthwhile. The “production” of the EP is pretty crude and simple, but I hope people listen to it with an open mind. When I counted down the days till the release most people thought I was counting down to something dark but I’m still around. I played harmonica on the EP, in hindsight that was a mistake (laughs). I tried to make the EP sound as if it’s an interview with a therapist or a doctor. I originally called it “The Grand Finale” (I think if you download the EP that’s still the title it has) because, I didn’t want to carry on with music after I released it. I was pretty demotivated at the time. I started studying literature and poetry at university, so I think I’ve come a long way in terms of maturing as an artist since that EP and I don’t really relate to it anymore, but it’s still very close to my heart. “I Surrender, I Give Up“ is probably the song that defines the whole EP well, I think? Again, I don’t really like that EP defining me as an artist anymore.

Iggy live

We absolutely love “Death Obsessed (Sketch #2)” from the EP, not only because of the fantastic lyrics. The entire composition is something like out of a secret diary of Syd Barrett.  Can you tell us more about this song?

Happy Bones: Thank you! I’m a huge fan of Syd Barret so that means a lot. “Death Obsessed” is more-or-less a true story. My mother tells me I was a different age when the swing incident mentioned in the song happened, but I chose to gloss over that. There’s still a pretty large scar on the back of my head for those that don’t believe the authenticity of it (laughs). “Death Obsessed” is about mortality and I suppose, existentialism. It’s about being stuck. It’s about the dark part of the human psyche that’s always nagging and telling you that time is running out, reminds you you’re ageing. That voice in the back of your head telling you that you don’t deserve to be happy. The song was inspired by one of my trips to the doctors trying to figure out what it is that’s making me feel blue and they said I was just a teenager. I’ve done some growing up since then and death is still on my mind. The last verse is the most important to me, I think it summarises the song perfectly. it’s about the empty effort of time endlessly pushing you forward but really, you’re going no-where. I don’t play that song as much anymore because of how close it has become to me. I don’t really like showing that side of me anymore. Being sad isn’t that original or cool anymore (laughs).

Last year you played Worcester Music Festival while also curating a scene for the festival. You seem to keep yourself occupied at all times.

Happy Bones: Playing the same shows I’m curating always makes me worried about what people might think my intentions might be. I suppose there’s stress from both sides: performance and promotion, but playing Boneyard Session shows just feels natural. Playing such gigs gives me a similar feeling I get when I’m just playing songs in my bedroom in front of my girlfriend or best friend.  I always get anxious about working with other promoters and sound engineers. On the other hand, I like stepping outside of the comfort zone of Boneyard Sessions. I want to be heard, and the only way that will happen is by forcing my music down everybody’s ears.

Happy Bones EP cover

You shared stage and collaborated with incredible amount of local artists: Alfie Newman (F.F. Idorovski), nth cave, Jesse River Dylan Murray, Ben Dallow, Luke Steele, Joe Norris, Tom Forbes, Sam Clines to name a few. Aren`t you sometimes tempted to form a band on your own?

Happy Bones: I always think about starting a band, I tend to write my songs as drafts that can easily be expanded. Myself and Hector Brazier (nth cave) are in talks but who knows what will happen? I’m used to playing on my own, but I get bored easily. I tend to write a lot and start hating my old songs. During most of my shows you’re very likely to hear a song that’s just been written the day before. Doing that would be harder with a band. I like the freedom I have as a solo performer, but I do miss my band days, I get lonely sometimes (laughs). I have a vision of creating a Woo-town supergroup made up of all the singer-songwriters I love. Big things might happen. Don’t forget about me, I still have a lot of songs in me.

You undergo a mesmerizing transition into a truly iconic performer. Where last year was a shy boy with guitar, now we see a confident Beatnik-esque young man unafraid to treat his skin as a canvas.  You  showcase some incredible inks on your socials and we have to admit, following your metamorphosis is very exciting and intimate experience. Was it a conscious decision to share this growing up process with the audience?

Happy Bones: Documenting my life was certainly not intentional. I feel like I have been doing some growing up as a person and as an artist. I still have a lot of bad days and I still shake on stage but it’s what I do and it’s all I think about. I can’t imagine working in an office, so I suppose I might as well give it all I’ve got and see what happens. There’s still a lot I have to learn, and I am learning with every set I play. As for social media, I like pretending that people care about what I do, and social media is an excellent illusion. I like sharing things and being as open and honest as I can. I want to show snippets of songs I’m working on and not worry about my voice slipping out of tune. I try to not worry about what people think of me based on my Instagram or Twitter feed. I don’t want to cultivate an image (the way so many people do) of being someone I’m not. I do really like the fact people are noticing a change. I like creating that intimate feel on stage or outside of it. I like to form connections with people and social media seems to be the way it happens today. A costume or a mask would definitely be more comfortable but what’s the point of pretending? It’s the same way as it is on stage.

Iggy Cuthbert (Happy Bones) performing live at Paradiddles, Worcester March 22

Tattoos have become another outlet, I suppose. I like the idea of art being permanently on my body. I like treating my body as a canvas, a record of my mistakes and so on. It’s more permanent than sketching but I like tattooing myself. Without meaning to sound cliché or pretentious, I do think it’s possibly the most primitive form of self-expression. I’ve given myself a couple of bad stick n’ pokes. I have a little sad face on my ankle. And some other little pieces on my legs and fingers. I like tattoos that don’t look like tattoos. I like them when they look like sketches out of a notebook. The ones you do at Uni when you’re bored. That’s kind of the way I see my songs. Just sketches that I churn out then forget about.  They all have a little part of me though.

 On March 30th 2018, you will support The Americas during an anticipated home coming show. Will we be able to hear some new material?

Happy Bones: Yes, it’s always a yes. I write songs all the time. Some of them no one will ever hear but some of them I’ll be brave enough to share. The Americas show might be the latter. I’m really excited. I’ve known the Americas for a while and they’re incredible artists. I’m  honoured to be asked to play their home-coming show I think it’s gonna be really special for everyone involved. I’ve seen Junior Weeb a couple of times, and I know they’re going to make a lot of noise that night too. It’s gonna be a party.

And while we are asking about the new stuff – when do you think we will see the follow up to Happy Bones EP?

Happy Bones: Yes! I don’t know when, but I’m in talks with Alex Knight, he recorded some wonderful artists: Chip Langley, Tyler Massey among others. I get bored easily though and I can never decide what to record. I always change my mind about what I want to sound like. One day soon there will be a new EP, maybe an album, maybe a collection of poems? Or maybe all three. I don’t know. I’m certainly not done yet. I have a lot of ideas and not too much time.

Lost in music

Over the last twelve months, you have been a recording and performing artist, you organized shows, promoted and booked other musicians. What`s the state of the indie scene in your opinion?  Is it all cut throat – dog eat dog world out there or have you seen reasons to be optimistic?

Happy Bones: The music scene in Worcester is wonderful and it’s scary and it’s intimidating and inspiring. It’s all the things you say and none of them at all. I wrote a song that I often dedicate to the indie scene titled “I hate being one of your kind” because Worcester and “the scene” are both easy places to get stuck in, I worry about that sometimes. I don’t want to get stuck. But I made some wonderful friends and we all have to help each-other out, that’s the whole motivation behind Boneyard Sessions for example. We all want to do this. I try and stay optimistic, it feels good to be a part of something. Something that’s definitely breathing. It’s a real honour to be able to have some (however small) impact on it. Worcester birthed The Americas, Junior Weeb, Tom Forbes, Ben Dallow, nth cave, Alfie Newman, Luke Steele, Joe Norris, Jesse River Dylan Murray, amongst many, many, many others. They are some of the most interest artists I’ve had the pleasure to watch and share the stage with. Worcester definitely has something to say. I don’t know what it is yet, but I hope we’re loud enough to say it.

Poster for upcoming gig with The Americas

Iggy Cuthbert will play Marrs Bar in Worcester with Junior Weeb and The Americas on March 30th. Its gonna be carnage and a sold out home show – we are warning you. So grab your tickets before they are gone.

https://www.facebook.com/events/266397940564769/
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/429992

In the meantime, you can visit Happy Bones online and listen to some quality music:

https://www.facebook.com/iggyhappybones/
https://twitter.com/iggster_69
https://soundcloud.com/iggyc
https://happybones.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/iggycuthbert/

That`s all for this episode of Indieterria. We will see you soon -ish,

Mal& Rita

****Update: 01/04/2018****

What can we say? The gig at Marrs Bar went by in a flash. We have been running around taking pictures,  videos, making sure we had some images from the green room. We also had enormous pleasure to see Iggy Cuthbert on a proper stage. When Happy Bones started, the room was still filling in – but he had a perfect combination of almost religious silence and a cheering crowd. Each song was performed to a focused audience and ended with an applause and calls for encores. In return Iggy spoke about his tunes, the stories behind them and debuted a new song “Bruised Knees” (we are hoping this is the right title) about a funeral of a young, anonymous girl. It must have been first time that we actually seen a person in Marrs Bar tear up when listening to a song. Iggy promised us tunes to cry to and he delivered.

Happy Bones performing at Marrs Bar

Powerful voice and dark lyrics.

Happy Bones is powerful on stage armed with just a guitar, his voice and his lyrics. He is coming out of the shadow of his collaborators and friends – nth cave at incredible rate and is firmly standing on his own as a writer and performer.

His new material is as dark as previously but the melodies come up front and you find yourself humming the chorus lines long after the song is finished.  We won`t lie – “Bruised Knees” caught us off guard with its intense and existential theme contrasting with a sophisticated pop melody. That is a formula that made The Smith legendary. Iggy is obviously learning from the best.

Vanadian Avenue agrees that everyone should see Iggy live.

Up close and personal – Iggy leave an impression on the audience

The coming months will be very interesting to observe as nth cave also enter studio and we may have a “battle of friends” on the Worcester scene.

If you missed the gig, here`s a video since we have now a YouTube channel!

And some extra photos from the green room.

Iggy Cuthbert (aka Happy Bones) backstage at the green room Marrs Bar 30.03.2018

Against the wall – Iggy Cuthbert

Iggy at the back of Marrs Bar.

Regards,
Mal+Rita

****Update 20/04/2018****

Worcestershire favourite indie poet has dropped a new single, so we did a review!

Happy Bones – “Just The Same”

Cover of Just The Same single – released on 16th April 2018

There is something captivating about Happy Bones (alter ego of Worcestershire based poet and  resident decadent – Iggy Cuthbert): messy hair, strange glasses, beanies and shirts, mysterious  tattoos, ethereal vocals and grim lyrics.

He changes like a chameleon. One day, he is a Harry Potter of indie circuit – a kind of rebellious prodigy, then you see him live and he creates this semi acoustic and mesmerizing show only to shake you back to your senses using all sorts of sonic effects that would make Ash Bowie of Polvo jealous.

There is also an aura of defiance in whatever Iggy Cuthbert is doing. He could have easily cast himself as a traditional folk singer and fill coffee houses and clubs in a large city with a buzzing university campus. Instead, he lives in a market town in West Midlands and sings to small but dedicated audiences. He could provide his listeners with produced to perfection poetic songs, yet he releases homemade demos and subscribes to the ethics of lo-fi movement: scratches, background noise, disregard to quality et all.

Even his name is contradictory – Happy and Bones. Iggy Cuthbert obviously found a formula to keep all those opposites together and merge them into one coherent artistic and musical persona, but don’t expect him to reveal the ingredients.

Iggy Cuthberg performing at Firefly, Worcester 22.02.2018

And why should he? He seems to find enjoyment in confusing his audience and keep them on their toes.

Expecting a single release in a regular way with sponsored ads, competitions, likes and shares? Not here, not this artist.

In a fashion that reminds of antics of Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell, Iggy posted series of  Instagram stories showing him smoking heavily, looking like he was about to suffer a nervous breakdown and counting days to something. Could have been new material, could have been a walk to the bridge. Fans could  guess.

On 16th April a new song appeared on Happy Bones` Soundcloud and Bandcamp entitled “Just The Same”. Illustrated by a simple graphics with flowers in a vase, it featured Iggy Cuthbert on guitar and vocals, Alfie Newman on guitar and Hector Brasier on drums.  Alfie and Hector belong to  incredibly popular in Worcester dream pop/shoegaze outfit nth cave and this is the closest collaboration yet between nth cave and Happy Bones.

Bringing together nostalgic lyric with mid tempo lo-fi dark folk composition, hypnotic drums and loops echoing in the background, Iggy Cuthbert once again delivered a single that escapes all forms of description. Full of strange effects yet easily memorable, evocative and haunting, radio friendly and yet meeting all the requirements of a niche circuit that prides itself in being alternative.

Even trying to review the song, makes you feel like a dork.

Happy Bones is definitely placing himself in the same league as Pinning for Sunshine,  Lowpines or  Joshua Burnside. Yet  I keep  on hearing small nodes to Grant Lee Buffalo or Evan Dando and it catches me off guard time and time again. For 3 minutes folky song, “Just The Same” has so many layers, it makes your jaw drop.

There is one regret here though. It really begs for a better mix. If only to fully appreciate all the small sound bits that happen in the background. I know it goes against the indie ethos but damn it.

It has so much potential.

“Just The Same” can be purchased from Iggy Cuthbert`s official shops at:

https://soundcloud.com/iggyc/just-the-same
https://happybones.bandcamp.com/track/just-the-same

Do yourself a present and get your copy of the single.

Mal+Rita

Indieterria meets Junior Weeb

Welcome again!

Winter months have been a very busy period for your favourite independent A&R’s. We traveled to gigs, went to Indiecon conference in London, took pictures, filmed shows, handled merch, sent countless emails and wrote reviews and articles about our lovely Worcester Wave bands. The rest of March will leave us very little time to relax as well, but we love what we do!

Last time, we spoke to Lower Loveday – an exciting new rock group that makes a name for themselves on the indie circuit. Today we have something for lovers of young, hip and alternative rock with fuzzed guitars, wall of sound and catchy melodies.

Do we have your attention? Good – please read our conversation with a band that is quickly following the trails of Soeur and The Americas, leaving jaws on the (dance) floor and an insatiable craving for their full-bloodied debut album.

***

Promotional picture of the Weebs

 

Growing-up in the spotlight

Almost a year and a half ago, when we saw Junior Weeb for the first time, we were not impressed. They played a short set and compared to other acts performing that night, we didn’t think the young quarter had any future. How wrong we were! In recent months, Junior Weeb underwent almost miraculous transformation. Their stage presence is electric, their writing improved to the point where their songs could easily conquer the Top 40. Everything about them is matured, sophisticated and exciting.

Luckily for us, the band do not hold grudges and we didn’t have to beg for second chances to interview them. Chris Phee and the company were a joy to talk about their humble beginnings, self-(re) discovery and their upcoming music.

Official bio: Junior Weeb are an indie funk/alternative rock four-piece hailing from Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire. With hard-hitting bass grooves, soulful vocals and sticky guitar licks, Junior Weeb take their influences from a catalogue of different genres hoping to create a finished product that pleases your ears.

Chris Phee (rhythm guitar and lead vocals)
Max Killing (bass guitar and backing vocals)
Joe Webby (lead guitar)
Quentin Hill (drums)

Junior Weeb’s official bio mentions that the band was formed at the beginning of 2016. Tell us more about the beginnings of your musical journey? Where did you meet and who is in the band?

Junior Weeb: We’ve all been close mates since high school. To begin with, we were in 2 different bands, one of our old bandmates had a house party where we all played in his kitchen. This brought us closer together musically so we formed a super group called Junior Weeb in around February 2015 and thus discovered our mutual love and trust in music. We have the soulful enigma that is Chris Phee on rhythm guitar and vocals, Max Killing slapping da bass and vocals, man like Weeb (Joe Webby) providing that sticky lead guitar and the big friendly giant Quentin Hill smashing the shit out of those tubs like.

The Press and your fans affectionately refer to you either as The Weebs or The Juniors. Where the name “Junior Weeb” does comes from?

Junior Weeb: (laughing) Our guitarist Joe has the nickname “Weeb”. We don’t refer to him as Weeb anymore because of the association with the band. He said that if he ever had a son he would want it to be called Junior Weeb. We laughed but never really thought of it as a band name. It wasn’t until many weeks of arguing and moaning about the band name that we referred back to what he said and we finally settled with Junior Weeb. It was something catchy, funny and relatable to the band. We also happen to be the first website that pops up when you type our name into Google. Mad isn’t it?

We have to admit, when we`ve seen you for the first time, we were not into your music. Watching the band for a second time, a year later – we have fallen in love with Junior Weeb. Yours is the biggest, most impressive musical development on the local scene in recent years. Can you tell us what drives you, what keeps you focused?

Junior Weeb live on stage

Junior Weeb: We’re very happy with the progress we’ve made in the last year or so. We all study music at Kidderminster College and the tuition we’ve received has definitely kept us motivated and driven. Our musicianship has developed, each player is learning their instrument well and we’re listening to all kinds of music at the moment which is driving us to succeed. Some of the bands we’ve played/become acquainted with are doing some really great things at the moment which is also inspiring and a gentle reminder that we need to get our arse in gear.

It’s the beginning of the year and 2018 looks very busy for you already. On 17th of February you played at Mr Wolf’s in Bristol, where you supported two other WorcesterWave bands: Soeur and HVMM. You have opened for Soeur before at a sold out home-coming gig at the Marr’s Bar. How does it feel to perform alongside your friends? Have they offered any advice?

Junior Weeb:  Soeur has looked after us a lot over our musical journey and we couldn’t thank them enough for the support. We feel honoured to be playing alongside such talented songwriters who are so lovely and kind.  We don’t think we’ve ever had any advice from Soeur but we know how dedicated and driven they are. They have put so much hard work and passion into their music, they’re probably the most organised band we’ve played with and they deserve all the recognition they are getting. Playing with Soeur has definitely inspired us to work harder and organize ourselves respectively. We love you Soeur! XXX (laughing)

You shared stages with many popular independent acts such as Muncie Girls, The Riscas, Ivory Wave and The Americas. How important, in your opinion, is the close fellowship between different bands on the indie circuit? Is the Worcester scene supportive towards new starting acts?

Junior Weeb: In our opinion, we think the fellowship between bands on the indie circuit is very important. We’ve had some great opportunities recently and as long as we’re all supporting each other, things are gonna keep ticking along. The Worcester scene is always supportive to new bands and we’re always excited to hear new music and meet new people who are keeping the scene alive.  Seeing what all the other bands have achieved and the support we’ve received recently has really helped us out. Long live Da Woo Town scene!

On April 21th 2017, your debut single “No right” was chosen as the track of the week by This Feeling circuit and a month later popular website GigSlutz gave you a glowing review describing your music as “dreamy, psychedelic affair with just a hint of Oasis”. That’s very impressive review for a young band. Have you expected such warm reactions to your song?

Junior Weeb: To be honest we didn’t expect these reactions. “Not Right” was the first song we wrote together and it’s one that’s very close to our hearts. The main riff in the song was something that Max’s brother Sam came up with before he sadly passed away. We decided to write it as a tribute to Sam and his legacy. The reactions to this song have been very heart-warming and we hope Sam is proud of the finished product.

You are currently working on a new material to be published later this year. Can we expect an EP or a full blown debut album? We are curious where are you working and who is attached to the project?

Junior Weeb: We’ve had a lot of fun in the studio recently, we’ve been recording new songs at Kidderminster College with help from the Music Tech students who have made some impressive mixes for us. We thought it would be a good idea to record these songs live because on some of these tracks there is a lot of feel and groove. Hope that doesn’t give too much away (laughing). It’s great being able to record in an environment that we are all so comfortable with and the recording sessions have been fairly regular. We’re not too sure about an E.P or an album anytime soon but there will definitely be new music. Expect the unexpected.

You had to deal with incredible family tragedy. Do you feel confident to talk about it?

Junior Weeb: We lost Sam Killing in December 2015. After a long battle with mental health and drug misuse, Sam took his own life with unclear intent. He was a charming, intelligent and charismatic guy who inspired us a lot. We were all very shocked and upset when it happened but the legacy he left behind in his music and persona helped us a lot with our music. When you have to deal with a tragedy like that it’s hard find comfort when listening to music but we knew that music was the only thing that would help us out. Sam played lead guitar/backing vocals for Babypink and it’s not until you sit down and properly listen to Babypink that you understand the intricacy and beauty of Sam’s playing and writing. He has been a massive inspiration to all of us and one of the main reasons we formed. His legacy will continue to inspire us and live on through our lives as long as music will. R.I.P Sammy x.

Juniors on the green grass

2018 could be a breakthrough year for Junior Weeb. What are your hopes and fears for the nearest future?

Junior Weeb: 2018 is the year of the Weebs. We hope to gig as much as we can up until summer. The plan is to spend summer writing and working so that hopefully we make a fabulous return when we’re finished. None of us are driving yet so we hope to get on the road too. At the moment, we have nothing to fear, we’re going with the flow, taking everything as it comes. Big thank you to everyone who has supported us on our musical journey so far and we hope to see you all in the near future. Weebs out! Xxx.

***

Baby Pink

Writing about Junior Weeb, we cannot omit Sam Killing, the incredibly talented elder brother of Max Killing. Hailed as one of the most talented musicians to come out of The Faithful City, Sam played lead guitar for a band Baby Pink along with Andrew Brooks (vocals, guitar), Jack Vaughan (bass) and Jack Cotterill (drums). Formed in 2012, Baby Pink very quickly gained a lot of attention and toured the UK without even releasing a debut EP. Their gigs in London and Manchester drew big crowds even with minimal promotion, giving the band very positive reviews from music journalists and comparisons to the American alternative rock legends, The Pixies. Baby Pink were featured in the New Musical Express (named as precious find) in February 2014 and toured with Jaws, Catfish and The Bottleman, Wolf Alice and many other. Baby Pink decided to call it quits in March 2014 and Sam went on to form Birmingham based quartet named Juice with Davis Armstrong, Matt Burdon and Damon Cox in September 2014. Tragically he lost his life three months later.

You can learn more about Baby Pink by listening their music online:
https://facebook.com/bbypnk
https://amazingtunes.com/brumpromoters/biography
https://amazingradio.com/home/news-babypink-break-up
https://soundcloud.com/babypinkband

More articles about Sam:
https://www.indiependent.co.uk/tribute-late-sam-killing-power-music/
http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/14188972.Bandmates_to_honour_life_of_musician_Sam_Killing__20__who_died_after_being_hit_by_a_train_in_Droitwich/

***

Poster for The Americas gig at Marrs Bar

Junior Weeb keep a tight schedule of gigs all over the West Midlands. They recently supported Soer at Night Bus in Bristol, played legendary Fleece,  opened a gig for hugely influential Catholic Action at another iconic venue – The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham and will progress to 02 in Birmingham in April.

They will play Marrs Bar with Happy Bones and The Americas on March 30th. Its gonna be carnage and a sold out home show – we are warming you. So grab your tickets before they are gone.

https://www.facebook.com/events/266397940564769/
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/429992

As usual we will keep our hand on the pulse and will report all the action. In the meantime, you can follow Junior Weeb using the details below. You will thank us later for introducing you to the quality music and future rock stars.

https://www.facebook.com/juniorweebband/
https://twitter.com/JuniorWeeb
https://soundcloud.com/juniorweeb
https://juniorweeb.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/juniorweeb_

All the best,
Mal&Rita

****Update 02/04/2018****

What can we tell you about Junior Weeb that we haven’t said already? They are a perfect combination of youthful indie, funk, blues and classic rock. They emerged victorious from a tragedy that would end much older and experienced bands. They improved their act to the point where they outgrew local circuit by a long distance and moved easily to play bigger venues in Bristol and Birmingham. They will be on a label and touring their debut album sooner than we think.

Junior Weeb supporting The Americas at the Marrs Bar on 30.03.2018

We look at Junior Weeb and see a new Viola Beach. A four piece made for biggest stages, a group with strong work ethic and resilience, talent , sense of humour  and desire to succeed.

And they proved it on the night they supported The Americas. Jumping into crowd, singing their hearts out, being joined on stage by one of their dads for a hilarious blues piece. They are wild, free and  unstoppable as soon as they are in front of the audience with their instruments in hand. There are no apologies, no fear when they play.

Loud and ready. Junior Weeb put everything into their set.

Interaction with audience is very important

But see them back stage, sitting on a sofa in a front of photographer – huddling together,  making sure that all of them are in the frame. This is a band that does not only play good music together. They genuinely like being in each other`s company, they treasure and respect one another. Junior Weeb are a bunch of close friends as much as they are the next big indie act.

And that is why readers you should see them when Junior Weeb play live.

Here`s some videos in case you missed the gig.

 

And some green room shots too.

Junior Weeb with photographer Duncan Graves at the green room

Posing for a photo session right after the set. Junior Weeb work hard and play hard

Everybody in the frame. Post gig photo session at Marrs bar on 30.03.2018

That’s all for now,

Mal+Rita

 

Indieterria meets Nic Evennett

Nic Evennett – A Song to a Siren

 

Nic is also a skilled photographer doing all her publicity shots herself.

Welcome to the new chapter of Indieterria, where we profile artists on the unsigned/independent circuit that bring something new to the audiences. We want to introduce you to incredible artist, poet, photographer and composer based in Kent – Nic Evennett.

Nic not only records and mixes her own compositions, staying true to DIY ethics of the genre. She also built quite an impressive profile as a studio based artist. She is not touring, not playing the popularity games on social media. And yet appears on national radio and enjoys a wide network of collaborators. She is passionate and driven. Talking to her was a privilege. Please read on.

***

You have the most unconventional biography we have ever seen. It reads: “I bash the piano and stuff”. We were expecting few home-made demos but found a whole catalogue of songs, an established artist who have been on national radio and comparisons to Kate Bush. Not exactly just piano bashing! Would you like to introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria?

Nic Evennett: Well, firstly, thank you so much for interviewing me! I’m all flustery and excited! It’s a real honour, and it’s my very first proper interview.

I remember Tom Robinson saying something about the “I bash the piano and stuff”, commenting that is was self-deprecating, and I think self-deprecation sums me up quite well! Your question is one that always makes me (pauses) clam up, somewhat. I find talking about me incredibly hard. I doubt that’s uncommon. It’s much easier for me to just quote what somebody else has said about me. But I’ll have a go here: I am Nic, a singer-songwriter from Kent, United Kingdom. I’ve been bashing the piano since I was 7, studied music for a while, had a long break, and then really only turned to song-writing about five years ago, or so. I also love photography, being out in nature, listening to Buddhist talks,  meditations, and eating cake, in no particular order. There. I did it. (laughs)

Nic Evennett through her own lens

Your song “Outside” debuted in January 2017 on BBC Introducing Kent  to very favourable reviews.  Listeners described it as “outstanding” and “mesmerising”, while BBC staff was also visibly impressed. Not a bad start of the year. Did you expect such reactions?

Nic Evennett: No, not at all, and certainly not for that particular song. It was a lovely surprise, and I am so grateful to Abbie McCarthy at BBC Introducing Kent for including me in that show. It’s funny. Many of my songs are kind of dredged up from some depths – something that needs exploration, then gets twisted and turned into music and poetry, trying to find some resolution, and then splattered out into song. And I come out the other side thinking, whooof, I needed to get that stuff out of my head. “Outside” didn’t work that way, which is very rare for me. I just liked the riff! And I think it was the riff that got me a foot in the door. I think my music generally tends to be more meandering, more spacious, and that doesn’t always lend itself well to radio play. But this one is a bit livelier. And yet, I reckon it’s probably in my own bottom three! Funny how it works.

“Outside” also found itself on the rotation at the Channel Radio and Strange Fruit Radio. Your next offering – “Hurry” – went even further and was voted “Song of the Week” at the Strange Fruit at the recommendations from listeners.  We know it was a digital release but we will still call it a beautifully crafted ballad. Any inspiration behind that song?

Nic Evennett: “Hurry” is much, much more from the heart. Like all my songs, well, bar “Outside”, they really are little windows into my heart and mind. And as somebody who loves words, loves playing with and manipulating language, and somebody who in many ways is quite private, my lyrics tend to be deliberately ambiguous. I suppose it’s a little safety net for me in some ways – only those who truly, truly listen can see through the windows. But also I love the idea that the songs can be whatever you want them to be about. Once they are out in the world, I really don’t see them as my songs any more. They just float about for people to borrow and use and sink into when they need to. So some people have questioned the lyrics to “Hurry” – mainly asking what in the world does it all mean. Which is a good question that I’m not sure I have the answer to! I think it’s about somebody reaching a point where they want somebody else to intervene; take away bad memories, tough stories. “Hurry” has a funny time signature too, which is meant to depict waves rolling in and out. The sea features quite a lot in my songs. Or rather, nature does. Sea, rivers, the moon, the seasons, the sky, trees. I can’t think of a song that doesn’t mention nature, actually.

Collages created by Nic often include poetry or lines from her lyrics.

You have been featured several times on national radio BBC 6 Music (singles “Somehow” and “Where We Are The Forest”) and by Tom Robinson himself. Now this is not just mere luck. It is quite hard to get through all the vetting for the “MixTape Show”. You did it more than once.

Nic Evennett:  I think that Tom is just blimming lovely and kind! In fact, that was a lovely surprise too because neither “Somehow” nor “Where We Are The Forest” got short-listed! It was picked by a few people, but not enough, and I felt thoroughly deflated. But I think Tom ultimately decides what he wants to broadcast and added me both times, which was so lovely of him. It’s people like him that truly help the likes of me. I think there are two strong divisions in music – those who will push hard at the self-publicity bit and have a lot of confidence in what they do, and then folk like me, where none of that comes naturally or comfortably at all. I worry that the folk in the latter never get heard, never get found. There is a difference between being confident and wanting to be heard. An artistic voice can be so, so important for people who lack confidence, self-esteem, or who just struggle generally. So having a platform where you can submit songs and they are judged in their own right, without the need for self-promotion or long-winded bios, is essential. And wonderful. The Fresh Net team do a superb job. Love ’em.

You have about sixteen songs on your Bandcamp and Soundcloud profiles and they are produced and recorded to highest quality. Moreover, we see that certain songs are mixed by other artists. Are they really home recordings or have you invested in professional studio?

Nic Evennett:  Well, that made me beam! Know why? Mixing is the bane of my life! I never feel I get it right. Or I think I have got it right, and find it’s completely wrong. My ‘studio’ is the spare bedroom and I share it with drying laundry, stuff that should be in other rooms that I haven’t got round to putting away, and the dog. In most recordings you can hear the birds in the tree outside. Most songs have had a few dozen takes after bikes decide to whiz up and down the road, or somebody has slammed a front door, or somebody has yelled at somebody else, and then there is much quiet swearing from me and we go again. I tell myself that there is something…lovely and organic in home recordings, which in truth I think there is, but that only seems to apply to everybody else but me. I really love listening to songs with other sounds going on in the background. I love listening to songs where the mix isn’t perfect and there is a rawness to it. But if a bird has tweeted out of place, or I have made a vocal tick somewhere, I am very hard on myself about it all. So to hear that is wonderful. I shall try not to give myself such a hard time from now on.

Besides your solo compositions, you are involved many collaborations, two main projects being Return To Mountain (with Steve Gleason) and Silent Reasons (with Frank Cable).  Would you like to tell us more about them?

Nic Evennett:  Ah, I love working with Steve and Frank. I suppose they are two I work more regularly with and I feel a deep musical connection with. They are both gorgeous souls all round, and that is important to me. I have done work with quite a few folk, though. Robert Pabst, from Cinematic Dance Music, is a genius and did a super Bond-style remix of my song “Hold On”. We have done other projects together that I have loved working on. And I also work with a chap called UNJAY, who is big on his Future Bass – a genre so far from what I do and yet I find so interesting to do the vocals for. Not to mention other fabulous musicians I have been honoured to work with. I am very lucky to have these folk encouraging me and inspiring me.

Your back catalogue is available on US based streaming platform Pandora. The service describes you to their subscribers as “delicate mystery, warm and lustrous, yet fragile and crystalline – a bewitching blend of Kate Bush and Linda Perhacs, surrounded by dolorous, reverb-drenched piano and woven into broken-hearted balladry”.  This is the very first time we have seen an indie artist being compared to Kate Bush and we have to wholeheartedly agree. Are you able to  tell us how well are you received on Pandora?

Nic Evennett: Being compared to Kate Bush is just crazy, isn’t it? I can’t get my head around that one. Kate is in a league of one. She truly is an astounding musician, poet, artist, woman. So my name in the same sentence as hers makes me feel both thrilled and baffled. And maybe even a bit scared. And Andee Conners from Pandora, was the very first person to write a review on me and for that I love him to bits. What an amazing first review. It’s something I read when I am feeling anxious about my music…so I read it a lot. I’m so grateful to Andee for that. As for how I am received, I have no idea! We can’t get Pandora in the UK and nor can I access any listening figures or anything. Actually, I quite like it that way. It is a little mystery. I have no idea when or if my music is being played.

It is quite hard to describe your music. There are piano based ballads, but also loops, possible samples, elements that remind us of trip -hop. If you were to give yourself a label, what genre would you subscribe to?

Nic Evennett:  It is hard, isn’t it?! I never know where to stick myself, category-wise. Something might jump out at you as trip-hop in style, and then a choir will burst into life (well, just me really, layered up a hundred times) and throw you off the scent. It throws me too! The term ‘alternative’ gets used a lot by folk who have no real home and who travel between genres, so I tend to opt for that one. ‘Odd’ is another one. Or ‘a bit mixed up’. Any of those could apply to me (laughs).

Recently you spoke about limitations imposed on artists due to health reasons. You said: “Folk with chronic conditions need to be heard in more ways than one. I often feel sidelined for not being able to give a gig list or tour dates. I can’t be alone.”  We would like you to elaborate a bit more on the topic, because we think there are still many people in the music industry who do not know how to handle artists with chronic conditions or disabilities.

Nic Evennett:  This is a BIG one for me. Personally I have two main conditions that sort of take over my world quite a lot. One is PMDD, which is a devastating condition that few have heard about. Basically, think PMS multiplied infinitely! The second is Fibromyalgia. And other than that, bipolar and other mental health stuff. What a combo! All ‘invisible’ conditions, so like many out there, you’d never know it if you met me. But these things, and mental illnesses like depression or  anxiety are so isolating for many. You may not feel able to leave the house, you may not be even able to get out of bed. So musically, just standing up and recording is an issue for me. My voice is temperamental and reflects how bad things are. Gigging and touring is certainly out the window. I have no doubt I am one of a vast amount of people who love making music, love singing, love playing but hate performing! I am not a performer. And I think in this day and age we shouldn’t need to be. I think it can silence people with, say, mental health illnesses who think that in order to be successful they must be a certain way. They must be the ‘whole package’. Well, personally, this package is dented! It’s rattling around with smashed pieces inside and the paper is all torn! But I still want a voice. I still want to share my songs. I still want to connect to people through music. And I really want others to feel the same, because it just so happens that some of the most beautiful, most moving, truest music I have heard has come from people who struggle in this way; people who have hardly any followers on Soundcloud, say, or few listens. How they use their experiences to create is astounding. We need so, so much more of that out in the world.

The last question is traditionally reserved for future plans. What can we expect from Nic Evennett in the coming months?

Nic Evennett:  Ooo, like any question about the future, I say ‘who knows?’! I have some plans of eventually getting a little EP together, but money is tight, obviously, so I need to find ways of doing this on a budget. Certainly more songs, and I’ve thrown my music into various competitions out there. I would LOVE to have a song used in TV or film. I think music and drama can be such a magical partnership, so I am trying to find ways of doing that at the moment. If anybody out there knows how, please come chat to me! But I am very much a ‘in the moment’ person, so I just live hour by hour, day by day. That way magical things can happen that you just weren’t expecting!

Through her own lens #2

 

Nic Evennett can be found online at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicevennettmusic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NicEvennett
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wingless-night
Bandcamp: https://nicevennett.bandcamp.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiCT_99Cy3p1w0RMCuv1SBA

Return to Mountain ( collaboration with Steve Gleason)

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/returntomountain
Soundclick: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=540680 (Steve`s page)

Silent Reasons (collaboration with Frank Cable)

https://soundcloud.com/silentreasons
https://soundcloud.com/orionstarband (Frank`s page)

We would like to thank Tom Robinson of 6 Music for introducing us to Nic`s music.  And big kudos to Nic who was patient with us for publishing this interview.  We are hoping to make quite a few updates to this interview in the coming months.

Until the next time.

Mal+Rita

*** Update 01/02/2018***

We are following up our awesome (and highly popular!) interview with Nic! After we wrapped the talk, we still had some questions. We wanted to know what the artists will release this year. And boy, we were lucky. After a bit of nagging, Nic  revealed that her new digital single will be called “Ribbons” and you can listen to it online!

Nic Evennett: There are two versions of this track – this one includes the birds outside Nic’s house.

During our post interview exchange, we also learned that Nic is an advocate for mental health and well-being.  In September 2016,  she released an experimental EP “Three” from which half of proceeds go to charity Mind. The EP includes seven compositions, all recoded during the same week. It was basically a challenge: one song a day while stepping outside comfort zone and using  instruments and arrangements that Nic not used before.

Nic Evennett:  The EP is free to download on Bandcamp, though people can give money if they like and 50% goes to the charity Mind. Might be worth a mention. In fact all my music is free to download, in truth, but we won’t mention that! (giggle)

Three EP cover

You can access the EP from the link below:

https://nicevennett.bandcamp.com/album/three

Nic you are the very definition of awesomeness and a proper legend!

Mal+Rita

*** Update 03/02/2018***

Bone and Thirst EP cover

We knew there was something in the air, when we followed up our interview with Nic. She mentioned EPs and singles. We should have seen it coming really! The hard life of a music writer – you try to nail everything, have the artist in a box, fully explained and  leaving no mystery uncovered. And then this happens – a brand new EP! Dropped in the middle of the night! Ah!

Artists are such incredible beings – they constantly reinvent themselves, they are masters of creativity and no matter how hard you try to figure them out, they are two steps ahead of you. And we love them for it, to be honest.  They keep us on our toes.

We can picture Nic Evennett smiling like mythical Sphinx when she dropped her new EP – “Bone and Thirst” at 4:00 am yesterday.

But we will admit -we are very lucky. We got our interview just at the right time. We won`t complain.

So what can you expect from “Bone and Thirst”? Three songs:  the title track, lead single “Ribbon” and a brand new composition – “Jagged Boy”, incredible poetic lyrics and  two digital photographs.  Nice package.

“Bone and Thirst” is the most experimental of the tree tracks – it blend trip hop and electronica with  mesmerizing vocals, it is full of loops, samples and strange noises in the background that create quite a dark and nervous atmosphere. Nic is shining in this track, her voice just flows and overwhelms you. This composition reminds us a bit of Sarah McLachlan or Paula Cole – it is very cinematic, neurotic and mysterious.

Ribbon digital single cover

On the other hand – “Ribbon” is completely opposite. Nic sings nearly a-cappella accompanied just by a piano and chirping birds. You read it right. There are birds singing in the background though out the track and this is used like accompanying instrument to the piano. What a strangely beautiful duet! Vocals are stripped but in the lead, providing a focal point of the composition. We`d think “Bone and Thirst” would make the lead single, with all the production that went into the track, but choosing  “Ribbon” Nic Evennett proved to be very brave, experimental and adventurous artist.

“Jagged Boy” continues with the acoustic feeling. But there is something gospel about it. It feels almost religious, like it was recorded in a cathedral instead of a studio. Nic`s voice is at times multiplied, creating a choir effect. The lyrics is unsettling and mysterious, a lamentation even. If this song won’t give you goose-bumps, please consult a GP. You may be deaf. In both ears.

The EP can be bought from Nic’s Bandcamp page and half of the proceeds will go to Mind charity.

https://nicevennett.bandcamp.com/album/bone-and-thirst

You know what to do, dear readers. Go and get yourself a copy of the EP.

A comment from Tom Robinson!

Also, thank you Tom Robinson for your feedback. We are blushing. It is a great honour as we consider ourselves fans of your music and we have always held your lyrics and writings in high esteem. Much power to you too Sir!

Mal+Rita