Tag: interview

New Music Friday: Ginger Snaps

Northampton pop artiste Ginger Snaps – aka Jay Brook and friends – has been regularly treating us to his three minute ditties since 2016. The latest served up from the…

Northampton pop artiste Ginger Snaps – aka Jay Brook and friends – has been regularly treating us to his three minute ditties since 2016. The latest served up from the former OhBoy!, My Pilot and Bruises man is ‘With Or Without Her’. New Boots ventured into the heart of ShoeTown to meet up with Brook in his natural domain – the studio – and go over the project with a fine tooth comb. Listen in below

 

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Interview: Charlotte Carpenter brings us Babywoman Records

Kettering singer-songwriter Charlotte Carpenter has earlier in the summer launched her own record label, Babywoman Records, and today  announces the first release on it from Alessi’s Ark. New Boots Editor Phil…

Kettering singer-songwriter Charlotte Carpenter has earlier in the summer launched her own record label, Babywoman Records, and today  announces the first release on it from Alessi’s Ark. New Boots Editor Phil Istine met up for a coffee and spoke to Carpenter all about it, in our first ever audio interview just below. Full single release details are below too.

The Alessi’s Ark single is entitled ‘Devant Moi’, and is released digitally on September 27th. A fresh dreamy, French pop sound comes from Londoner Alessi Laurent-Marke, and is a follow up to her fourth studio LP Love Is The Currency [2017]. Delivered in French (a mother tongue for Alessi), she remarks of the song:
“’Devant Moi’ is the connection felt between true partners, taking that leap and being open to love with another being. I feel such a strong connection to water when swimming, the ground when walking, it’s so visceral, physical, intimate, medicinal… but only to a point. ‘Devant Moi’ is about being ready, at last, to share intimacy after a long period spent alone in connection with nature only”.

Alessi has toured extensively in the UK, Europe, US and Japan: with Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling, John Grant, Jenny Lewis and M.Ward amongst others. Her releases have won acclaim from BBC London, BBC 6, XFM, WFMU, DubLab, KEXP and previous LP ‘Love Is The Currency’ was warmly welcomed by MOJO, Guardian, Best Fit, Clash, and The 405. ‘Devant Moi’ is produced by fellow Ark member Jason Santos, and mixed by Jag Jago. 

Alessi heads out on a run of UK & EU shows with Carpenter this November:

Saturday 17th – The Playhouse, Northampton
Monday 19th – The Islington, London
Tuesday 20th – The Castle, Manchester
Wednesday 21st – Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield
Thursday 22nd – Prince Albert, Stroud
Saturday 24th – De Log, Ghent
Sunday 25th – Kulturcafe Lichtung, Cologne
Tuesday 27th – Freundlich+Kompetent, Hamburg
Thursday 29th – Feinkost Lampe, Hannover

Babywoman Records on Facebook. Artwork design by Rogue Ink and CC/AA photo by Wild Sisters

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New Music Friday: Grace

Kettering quartet Grace have been making a name for themselves away from the spotlight these past two years, and now with the latest single ‘Lately’ it is time for New…

Kettering quartet Grace have been making a name for themselves away from the spotlight these past two years, and now with the latest single ‘Lately’ it is time for New Boots to have a word in their ear and discover what they’re all about.

How did you get together?
Back in 2014 our singer Jamie got tired of playing guitar in the mirror and decided to recruit three other guys to form a band. This new band consisted of James Virtue on bass, Nathan Robinson on drums and Josh Menon on second guitar (along with Jamie on vocals and lead guitar). Although we had aspirations to do bigger things we basically just got together every week on a Tuesday lunch in school and played ‘Voodoo Child’ until we’d pissed off enough people within 100 yards! From then on things pretty much stayed the same until we realised we couldn’t move forwards playing stale Presley songs and half assing a few Chilli numbers, so Jamie wrote a few songs and we put our heads to something new. Ever since 2016 we’ve been writing, playing and, when we have the funds, recording our own material. In short, we got together because we all thought, and still think, that we have something to offer musically that is worth listening to. We wanted to recreate that feeling you get when you first hear a new band that sparks something you forgot you could feel.

How would you describe your sound?
Our sound largely derives from a combination of minimalism, typically in the verses, and then more complex, powerful passages. Sort of like if you took Kurt Cobain’s approach to writing a pop song, then added the rhythm of the Chilli Peppers! Often we’ll write our songs with sections to highlight the drums, paired nicely with a bass line that complements them, giving the music a driving energy. This energy is something we’ve really worked at these last few months in our live performances, as this was the best thing about the gigs we went to – and separated the memorable bands from the alright ones. We found that the best way to tap into this energy was a blend of tight playing and wild moments that were unique to each performance.

We think a lot about texture when it comes to our sound, making sure that a song has the right mixture of loud and soft, full and empty passages. It was through this that we started to include drastic changes in texture to encourage a reaction from the listener/crowd, for example including sudden stops and switches from everybody in to just the vocals or even the drums. We’re expecting our sound to change and develop in the coming months, as our guitarist Josh has decided to leave and do his own thing in London, which will mean a different approach to our songs and maybe more stripped-back arrangements.

What are your main influences?
In terms of our sound we take a lot of inspiration from ’90s bands like Nirvana and Radiohead, and Britpop, along with the noughties indie bands we grew up on, like the Arctics, Kooks and Strokes. We reckon if you were to take Nirvana’s erratic sound and apply it to carefully written songs and a more Radiohead-like focus on guitar effects, then you’d be pretty spot on with the sort of songs we’re producing at the moment. In the grander scheme of things, we listen to A LOT of music. Other big influences are artists like The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan (1964-66), Jeff Buckley, The Smiths and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Tell us about the single, ‘Lately’ b/w ‘I’ve Been Thinking’
These two songs came about last autumn, soon after our second EP, Make Your Assumptions (‘Lately’ was actually written by Jamie on the evening of recording sessions). The two songs both show a progression from our older songs and, at least to our ears, show us finding more of our sound. Both songs came from a simple acoustic version, written by Jamie, and were developed by the band in rehearsals (‘I’ve Been Thinking’ sped up considerably and made the transition from a lonely ballad into a tortured rock song). The two songs both deal with the subject of a girl, although neither is about a relationship. ‘Lately’ is set post-breakup and describes the guilt in not giving a person enough attention, and instead “[lying there] alone and think[ing] about all the times [he] should have called [her]”. ‘I’ve Been Thinking’, on the other hand, paints a picture of obsession and directly addresses the subject of this obsession. It is a song that is meant to capture the experience of trying to get someone out your head, but all that happens is you remember snatches of things they’ve said or images of “lifts in [her] car”.

Both songs were chiselled away at in gigs from winter to summer and recorded and mixed in two days, at Parlour Studios on the outskirts of Kettering, with help from our great producer and engineer Neil. The songs were our last project with our guitarist Josh, and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to part ways! We hope you enjoy the tracks as much as we do.

What are your live shows like?
For the past year we have been gigging more and more, making the transition from playing rarely at home functions, to now playing at least two gigs a month. Taking inspiration from other bands we have seen on YouTube and live in person (e.g. the Chillis, Nirvana, Father John Misty, Catfish And The Bottlemen, and Dead Pretties), we have worked at our live performance, focusing on connection to the crowd and the energy generated from this. In the past year our favourite gig, and one that would be an example of us live, was one that we set up ourselves with two local bands (Street Asylum – Uppingham band and Naked Molerats – Kettering band). We invited 200 or so friends and in the end over 270 showed up, bought a ticket, and danced themselves crazy. We never drink before playing as we think it slows us down and stops us from accessing the moment, and we’ve found we don’t need to as, when a gig is going well, the adrenaline and electricity in the air pushes you to do and try things that you can’t conceive in a rehearsal, and it’s this spontaneity that drives our performance.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Recently we’ve really enjoyed playing with local bands from all over the county, in Kettering, Corby, Rushden, Northampton and the surrounding villages, with bands like The Scruff, Citrus, Oddity Island, Street Asylum and Sarpa Salpa. These bands have helped us get a feel for the local scene and we have really appreciated the leg up and advice they’ve given us. We’ve played in some cracking venues, our favourites being Kino Lounge [Kettering] and The Charles Bradlaugh [Northampton].

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
It has to be from the gig we organised ourselves at the Barton Seagrave Village Hall, with Street Asylum and Naked Molerats. The week leading up to the event, our drummer broke his thumb playing football and, after being casted up, realised that he couldn’t even hold a drum stick in his right hand, let alone play the kit. After considering all our options and mentally preparing ourselves for a last-minute cancellation, Nathan decided to play one handed. We were pretty shocked, and our first reaction was to laugh, but, on hearing his playing at the rehearsal the day before the gig, we realised he was still capable of carrying the set and, more to the point, still playing incredibly. So, although he was shattered by the end, and needed a hand setting up, Nathan played the 80 minute set with complete confidence and maintained the power needed to drive our sound.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
An album we’ve all recently been listening to is Silver Revolver, by [Australian folkie] Angus Stone, under his alias Lady Of The Sunshine. It’s a great mixture of well-crafted ballads and raw ’70s-inspired blues rock.

You’re all relocating to Brighton, is that correct?
Basically Jamie, James and Nathan are moving to Brighton as of this week, and all studying different courses at the British and Irish Institute of Modern Music. Josh has decided to relocate to London instead and focus on his solo career, which we’re really hoping goes well. We’ll miss him a lot! The plan in Brighton is exactly what you’d think: play as often as possible, keep writing and recording new music, and hopefully build a fanbase and see where it goes.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future?
As a group we’re very ambitious. We will continue to set challenges for us to meet until we’re selling out gigs not only across the UK but hopefully the US. Bear with us on that one! If we had to pick one thing that as our ‘burning desire’, it would be to write and record a debut album that turns heads and joins the ranks of such great first albums as Oasis ‘Definitely Maybe’, the Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say About I Am… and Jeff Buckley Grace (yes the name was definitely partially inspired by this!). If it means waiting a couple of years until we’re ready to drop it, the ‘perfect debut album’ is something that is definitely on our minds.

‘Lately’/’I’ve Been Thinking’ is available now via the usual steaming/download platforms

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New Music Friday: Drinsipa

Corby mathcore trio Drinsipa have just released a new single, ‘DOP’. Hear it below, along with an interview with singer/guitarist Beb Reed. How did you guys get together? Why the switch…

Corby mathcore trio Drinsipa have just released a new single, ‘DOP’. Hear it below, along with an interview with singer/guitarist Beb Reed.

How did you guys get together? Why the switch to a three-piece after so long as a duo?
Beb: Josh and I are cousins, and basically in 2013 he came down from up north to live here! And we didn’t really know any other musicians in the local area who wanted to do the same sort of stuff we wanted to do, and had no connection to the local music scene, but we enjoyed jamming and rehearsing, so we started a band with our mate Arran. We played a few gigs, and we were really in to it. We started to write some songs on our own aside from that band, and then we got a gig and had to think of a name, thus Drinsipa was born. We started getting a lot of gig offers quite soon which we’d never had before, and we haven’t really stopped since then. We just love playing gigs and being around the people involved in the music scene. We started writing some more complex and experimental songs mainly due to different influences from different bands we were listening to. Having recorded a full length album, we felt it was time to switch things up a bit. We recorded the Poppy Fields EP from home at our old flat in Poppy Fields in Kettering. We played some gigs with the new songs and we had a really good response, but felt we’d benefit from a bass player to fill some of the more chordy and harmonic parts of the songs from the EP. We had toyed with the idea of having our mate Myles come and play bass for us, so when we decided we were going to get a bass player, we instantly thought of Myles. We taught him the songs and he picked up on them really quickly. We started playing some more shows and writing some new stuff and here we are now.

How would you describe your sound?
We find it hard to describe our sound as we try to make the songs sound as non-traditional as possible. We play with a lot of time signatures and obscure song structures, mainly for a laugh and to keep it interesting not just to perform, but to play, or in some cases just to listen back to ourselves. I’d say dynamics are a big part of the sound, as we have a lot of different sounding sections in songs, so they can go from oober brutal to melodic clean within the space of 4 bars, or in our case every 1 and 3/4 bars [that’s a joke]. But if someone asks, I usually say mathcore because it’s the probably the biggest influence of ours.

What was the reaction like to your debut album 42, from 2016?
The reaction was fantastically amaze balls. The album launch show was especially good. We played at The Hut in Corby, and it went fuckin’ mental!!! We didn’t push the album as much as people thought we should have done, but in all honesty, we only do things as a band we think are fun, because we really don’t want it to turn in to a chore for us. We just appreciate that people loved what we were doing and bought our album. We still get comments about it today, and it’s really cool that people dig it. We were quite out of touch with social media back then too, but it’s a lot easier to do now we have an extra helping hand.

Tell us everything about the new single, ‘DOP’.
It’s titled after the practice studio in which it was written; shout out to the The Pod in Corby! It was the first song we wrote after the Poppy Fields EP. We were going for a more visceral, aggressive sound and with the added help of Myles we were able to work out some pretty interesting sounds. The track is full of fuzzy bass and crazy weird riffs and time sigs. It has a cool major-key riff that floats in and out of the track between the more aggressive section and really stupidly stupid heavy section at the end, which is always fun to play live.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We play with a lot of different kinds of bands in Northampton, too many to name all of them! We don’t let a difference in genre stop us from playing with bands so it’s just one big mates fest! Skirt, King Purple, Monarchs, Sarpa Salpa are just a few of our local favs!

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
We just recently played The Guildhall as part of Twinfest, that was crazy! Huuuuuge hall with huge sound, had a great time! We also flew over to Germany as part of Twinfest and played some gigs over in Marburg, which was phenomenal. Probably one of the highlights our musical lives let alone the past year! We made some great friends and connections over there and it’s cool to be part of the Twinfest family.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We don’t have too many burning desires for the band. We love playing gigs and hearing feedback about our intentionally confusing music. We know it’s not for everyone, which is part of the reason we write the music we do. I think writing and recording is a big part of why we do what we do, and we like to have a physical copy of music that we have written and recorded, there’s something quite special about that. I guess we will have to see what happens, but for now it’s just a barrel o’ laughs!

DOP is out now for ‘name your price’ here

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New Music Friday: Phantom Isle

Northants/London psych-rock quartet Phantom Isle have released their third single, ‘Focus’. Scroll down to hear it, but first New Boots speaks to singer-guitarist Peter Marchant about all things Phantom. How…

Northants/London psych-rock quartet Phantom Isle have released their third single, ‘Focus’. Scroll down to hear it, but first New Boots speaks to singer-guitarist Peter Marchant about all things Phantom.

How did Phantom Isle get together?
Myself and my brother Matt got together in 1991 when I was born, and we started playing with Sam back in 2012 when I was writing and performing under my own name, as some in Northampton may remember. We then started writing music together and relaunched ourselves as a band. Last year we got together with our keyboard player Josh who me and Matt knew from primary and secondary school.

How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?
Psych Pop Disco Inferno™

Who are your main musical influences as a band, do you think?
Queen, Led Zeppelin, Tame Impala and maybe The Smiths

Tell us about new single, ‘Focus’.
The lyrics existed before the music if I remember right. Our drummer Sam had written them about a ‘friends with benefits’ kind of thing he’d had that got a bit full on. We then started jamming around with this chord pattern, and the rest was history! I met John Harbison from RYP Recordings at a Fox Chapel gig in Camden and ended up recording ‘Focus’ at their studio, and releasing it with them. They’ve been ace and have invited us to perform on their stage at The Great Escape.

It’s great that you get to play Brighton’s The Great Escape Festival on May 19th.
We can’t wait; it was one of the things we set out to achieve around this time last year. I went to the festival in 2017 for the first time and was spellbound by such as acts as Flamingods, Husky Loops and Bad Sounds. Seeing our name up on the line up is a massive step for us, we’ve got RYP Recordings to thank for including us on their stage alongside some great artists that they’ve worked with recently.

Bassist Matt recently suffered serious ill-health. How is his recovery going?
My brother’s courage and determination in the face of his brain tumour has been nothing short of heroic. Considering we nearly lost him to a brain haemorrhage in February on the day shot the video for ‘Focus’, the progress he has made since then has been amazing. He’s been really active: going to fitness classes, doing yoga, bowling, walking and eating well. He’s just about to start radiotherapy to try and reduce the tumour, so we’re all praying this will make a difference on top of what he’s already doing. He’s my biggest inspiration – we’re endlessly proud. We have an incredibly talented bassist called Esmeralda Edwards filling in who has been truly amazing in learning our songs at such short notice. She’ll playing with us at some of our biggest shows yet, so no pressure!

Best and worst thing about being in a sibling band situation?
Best thing, we get to be like Oasis. But better. Worst thing, Matt’s heard all the sh*te recordings I was making when I was 10. There’s always a slight risk he make set them loose on the world. Joking aside, I love playing in a band with my brother.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Paul White Rejuvenate. Great producer from South London for those unfamiliar. Heard ‘Spare Gold’ on 6 Music and haven’t stopped listening to him since.

What is your burning desire for the band? 
To keep things progressing and bring out some more psych pop disco classics for humanity to enjoy.

What plans do you have for the rest of 2018?
To welcome Matt back in the band and to enjoy life without cancer getting in the way.

 

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New Music Friday: The Big Dirty

Northampton’s hard rocking quartet The Big Dirty are on the comeback trail, and celebrate this with new tracks ‘Safeword’ and ‘Queen Of Hearts’. New Boots catches up with bassist James…

Northampton’s hard rocking quartet The Big Dirty are on the comeback trail, and celebrate this with new tracks ‘Safeword’ and ‘Queen Of Hearts’. New Boots catches up with bassist James Cutler.

How/when/why did you guys get together?
We have been in bands together in some form for the past 15 years! Dave and Chris were played together at school/college and myself and James have been in a few bands since the age of 15. We gave it a rest for a few years until we started to get the itch for the rock n roll lifestyle again. So we started up The Big Dirty! We called on Dave to play the drums as our previous guitarist had played with him before and couched for his abilities. It was only this year that Chris joined as our new guitarist. Chris composed the score for the Rhythm Of My Drum music video and we have been working with him on an up and coming collaboration project with local rapper Tony Ceasar. We instantly clicked and haven’t looked back.

How would you describe your sound?
We like to say it’s Sex Rock! we all have massively different influences which we like to think gives us a fresh sound! We like to sing about all things sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

Who are your main influences?
We all have a wide range of influences such as He is Legend, Underoath, Pink Floyd, Matt Corby, Emery, Breathe Caroline, Buck Cherry, Pendulum, Led Zep, Dead Sara, Alter Bridge, Ozzy, Dream Theatre, The Beatles, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Bloc Party & The Libertines.

Tell us about the new songs
‘Safeword’ is the first track we have written with new guitarist Chris. In our first practice he showed us the riff and two hours later we had the track! Everything we’ve written has just felt natural and fun which we think shows in the music. ‘Safeword’ is a good example of how our sound has changed and what to expect.

We are releasing ‘Queen of Hearts’ this Monday so make sure you pop in and check it out.

What are your live shows like? They look pretty wild from some of the footage we’ve seen…
For us music is about the live show! It’s no good having a great energetic track then standing there like lemons while playing it live. Nothing is planned, we just get up on stage and whatever happens happens! Things do get pretty wild!

What has been your favourite band moment?
This is a tough one! Being on tour with Synergy Protocol from Denmark was an amazing experience, it showed us that being in a band can be hard work and we loved it! All our live shows are our favourite moments, it’s why we do it! We have amazing loyal fans and watching them go nuts is the best!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
JC…Underoath ‘Erase Me’
Chris…Deadmau5 ‘Wheres The Drop?’
James…Marshmellow’
Dave…Justin Bieber ‘Baby’

What plans do you have for the rest of 2018?
We have a lot of great shit going on already this year! We are working on a colab track with Northampton rapper Tony Ceasar and Giant Dwarf, who directed and filmed our Rhythm Of My Drum music video for us. Keep an eye out for this cause its different than anything else you’ve heard! We have a new booking agent so loads of shows to come and we’re currently working on a new EP which will hopefully be released end of summer/autumn time!

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New Music Friday: Last Chance

Last Chance are a powerful, hard-hitting and melodic pop punk band from Kettering, who this week release their new Shut Down EP.  New Boots spoke to guitarist Dan Holmes about…

Last Chance are a powerful, hard-hitting and melodic pop punk band from Kettering, who this week release their new Shut Down EP.  New Boots spoke to guitarist Dan Holmes about the band and this release.

A quick synopsis of the band, if you please. How/why/when? 

So we are Last Chance from Kettering and we have Matt on vocals and guitar, Harry on bass, Dan on lead guitar and backing vocals and Luke on drums. We started back in March 2017. Originally we was to learn a few punk covers to play at a friend’s memorial party, but just didn’t have enough time to get our shit together to perform. But we stuck with it and actually wrote a few good songs which we thought people would like to see and hear so went out looking for gigs.

I think it’s fair to say you wear your influences on your sleeve, do you not?

Our influences are definitely delivered well throughout our tracks. Were all stuck in the 00s pop punk time zone. Bowling For Soup, Box Car Racer, Blink 182, New Found Glory and Green Day to name a few.

Tell us everything about this new EP ‘Shut Down’

Well our EP was recorded at Parlour Studio in Kettering by Jay, and we had an absolute blast. He made us sound great! The artwork was done by a good friend of the band Ant who lives in Australia and plays in the band Baltimore Gun Club. We’re currently selling the EP for £5 which automatically puts you into a raffle to win a REAL bright pink guitar which we have all scribbled on, so get buying people.

Do you all skateboard, like the artwork suggests? Is it an important band of the band culture?

Skateboarding is what originally brought us all together, apart from Matt who lived in Australia where surfing was his forte. I think now though with two of us being parents and the other two being reprobates, falling off a plank of wood onto hard concrete is definitely not the one no more.

It’s look like incredible fun being at your live shows. 

Oh yeah definitely, our gigs are a right laugh. The easiest thing to do for crowd entertainment is to just give Dan a microphone and he will entertain people for hours. But we all have a good crack doing what we do at live shows. We set each other challenges before we play like most amount of lunges and how many times can Luke the drummer stand up during the set. We just have a good crack and take the piss out of each other.

Do you hit the road very often?

Hitting the road and going on tour is something we really want to do but at the moment we’re still trying to find our way into local venues and continue writing more tracks for an upcoming album.

What’s the connection with Baltimore Gun Club?

Baltimore Gun Club are from the Gold Coast, which is where Matt moved from. His brother Christian (Ronnie) plays drums in this band and they came over to do a UK tour last winter and we supported them at the King Billy. It was so cool for Dan being Christian’s cousin and Matt being his brother to actually appreciate each others music live.

Best/worst thing about Kettering is…?

Where’s all the music shops and live venues gone? If you want to buy strings or even plectrums you’re then off on a 20 mile trip to Northampton. Such a shame; this town used to have some brilliant shops for musicians. They just all vanished one after another.

Who is your big tip from Northants for 2018?

Our tip is to support all local music venues and promoters. The promoters put on all the top local events like Marc and his guys at Rocked Up! These guys still work day jobs have family’s at home and still support the local music scene. Good on them.

What you got coming up next?

We’re looking forward to playing at the Pop Punk Pile Up in Selby at the end of April. Playing alongside Coast To Coast, The Bottom Line and Malory Knox just to name a few is going to be awesome. Then also we’re opening one of the tents at the Rocked Up Hootenanny in September which is also great news. With other gigs at other venues being booked it looks like a busy year for us. Were looking at hitting the studio again in September to record some more, and hopefully have the album out before Christmas. What we want to be doing is push this band as far as we can and see what happens. We don’t want to be just random people who blend in with the surrounding, we want people to come see our band and have a great night with us.

Shut Down is available on Spotify and the other usual online formats. Message the band at lastchancebanduk@gmail.com for a physical version at £5.

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Deaf Trap: interview and new video for ‘Real Nice Night’

Following the release of their second EP, Miscreants, Peter Dennis spoke at length to Northampton alt-rockers Deaf Trap. The band comprises of Matthew Wetherill (guitar), Rob Gray (drums) and, rather…

Following the release of their second EP, Miscreants, Peter Dennis spoke at length to Northampton alt-rockers Deaf Trap. The band comprises of Matthew Wetherill (guitar), Rob Gray (drums) and, rather confusingly, the band has two Tom Wrights: Thomas (vocals) and Tom (bass). The lads tell New Boots about their songs, their scene, and their plans for the future. Plus, the new video for Miscreants track ‘Real Nice Night’ is below.

How easy was it to find three other guys with similar musical tastes who you could tolerate?
Matthew Wetherill: For me it comes down to genuinely being really good friends. It’s probably a clichéd thing to say…
Thomas Wright: We basically met up as mates and then Matthew started playing guitar and we used to cover things where I’d sing along and then we used to write songs about the hotel that we worked for and how much we absolutely hated it! [laughs]
Matthew: That was it. It was almost like Billy Bragg protest songs about a posh conference centre. We’d go for a night out and because we didn’t have any money we’d go round someone’s house, drinking, playing guitar, singing…
Tom Wright: Many years later…here we are! [laughs]
Thomas: We’re late bloomers.
Tom: It took us a long time to get our first gig. We were practising for over two years.
Matthew: That’s one of the good things. It’s like a slow build. You’re not forcing anything.
Tom: You see all these young bands, we play with them and they’re awesome.
Thomas: It’s depressing, isn’t it? [laughs] That band who were on at The Lab [The Keepers], they were really good and The Barratts were saying how young they were and The Barratts are younger than us! The Barratts were getting annoyed at how young The Keepers were and I thought, ‘Shit! That’s exactly how I used to feel about you!’
Matthew: That’s it. We have a closeness. I say it all the time but you have to be comfortable falling out with people. And that way when you do fall out with people, although it’s not always nice, because you’re comfortable enough you just go past it, because you’re that good friends, you’re happy to tell each other what you think. It means you don’t hold things in so much, there’s no tension. It’s a much more natural progression because of it.
Thomas: There is the occasional strop in this band and it usually takes a couple of beers to get over. [laughs]
Rob Gray: That’s a Deaf Trap recommendation. A good conflict and resolution solution. Always resolve it.
Thomas: [laughs] No punching!

Can we talk about your musical influences? What do each of you bring to the Deaf Trap sound?
Rob: My pretentious answer to that is everything I’ve ever heard. I know the stuff I like but it doesn’t necessarily influence what I’m doing here. It’s whatever you hear at the time. Within this band the style I play there’s a lot of Chad from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the way he whacks those drums. I can’t think of a nice way to say it but he slams those drums, he fucks them up, he really hits them. I’m influenced by hip hop and trip hop beats, it doesn’t play out in this band apart from some break parts. More recently Foals or Bloc Party, they’re both heavily tom-based, they don’t just do the straight beats, they’re almost dance beats with some rocky bits and then a lot of tom’s to make it sound tribal. The Trail of Dead do some awesome stuff and Ginger Baker is one of those guys with that swing.
Thomas: I suppose in terms of things I listen to, it’s traditional indie. I like a lot of Britpop, I like indie bands. These guys write some basic music first and I have to adapt and put my mark on it so… I kind of experiment with my voice and then it just comes out. I don’t draw on anything specific. I’m not a musician! I just keep trying until something good comes out. Sometimes it doesn’t!
Matthew: For me very, very early on it would have been The Cribs and The Libertines, that’s the age I was when I first picked up a guitar. I’d go to watch bands at The Soundhaus and always be a bit in awe and when I saw those bands and the carelessness with which they played but still generated more emotion out of me than any of the other bands did that made me think, maybe I could do that. As I got older I really listened to The Pixies and Sonic Youth. That’s where, if I need a bit of inspiration, it’s down that route. I wouldn’t write a whole song and come to practice and say ‘Right, how can you guys add to this?’ I might start off with something and then it will change so much from what it was with everybody’s input. It doesn’t come from one particular influence. By the time a song’s finished you can’t trace it back to anything because the ideas are so collected now.
Tom: This might come as a shock to the band but I listen to a lot of Nirvana, Foo Fighters. I listen to a lot of Rolling Stones, I like the bass in Royal Blood. I get a lot of my bass riffs and ideas from Royal Blood and stuff like that.
Rob: That drummer is sick, the Royal Blood drummer. I saw him live. Solid.

It sounds like you all have disparate influences. How do you bring them together and make them work cohesively?
Matthew: It tends to to be, I’ll have a guitar riff, Tom will have a bass riff and then we’ll loop and throw guitars and things over the top. In doing that and having a bit of a jam you can usually work out two or three different ways it could go because we don’t fall out as much now.
Thomas: Sometimes it does reach a point where, say, two of the band have got completely different ideas and at the end of a practice everyone’s a bit disjointed because it keeps going round because nobody can decide. Usually everyone goes home, has a sleep on it, comes back and says “Actually, that’s a good idea after all. We’ll try that”. There are certain points where there’s a bit of stubbornness .
Matthew: You have to draw a bit of a line, don’t you? But when you do come back to it and everyone thinks there’s two different ways we can do it, retry everything. That’s the thing these days, there’s no “We’re not doing that”. If one person thinks something and another the other, we’ll do two different ways. It’s very rare at the end of that we don’t agree.
Tom: We tend to go through at least ten ideas before we get to a song.
Rob: We do drop a lot because there’s too many things going on in there so we can’t agree so what’s the point in sticking with it if we can’t agree? We move on and we end up with the stuff we can agree on and when we have that one idea we can all agree on, that’s what makes it cohesive.
Thomas: I think that because everyone’s a bit different does slow down the process of writing a song, but it adds to the end product. We’re all usually happy with the way it sounds and at the beginning nobody thinks it’s going to sound like that, it’s always something completely different.
Matthew: Obviously when you listen back to some of our songs and you know the influences then as much as you wouldn’t say “That song sounds like Foals” or “That song sounds like Sonic Youth” if you really pick it apart and pay attention you can see where those ideas were spawned.

Your recent single ‘From the Floor’ is quite dark, and not what I expected.
Rob: I wasn’t aware that ‘whore’ was a swear word. It’s not in America.
Matthew: The interesting thing with that is, it’s worth putting on record, it’s a song about having struggles with alcohol, drugs, that sort of thing.
Rob: It’s a massive metaphor.
Thomas: Actually the core line in that came from Rob.
Rob: It was the first time we really started to sing together. That’s what really pushed it as a song. The original lyric was ‘Need somebody to love’ – it was too George Michael for us. So I sang ‘Please stop being a whore’ instead. It just sounded a bit rougher, a bit rock and about not going too far with things.
Thomas: We toyed with the idea of changing it to something that would be played on the radio, and then we thought ‘Fuck that!’; we’re not pandering to society. The thing is everybody’s offended all the time about whatever and to be offended is somebody’s choice and how they interpret our lyrics is how they interpret our lyrics. If they’re offended by that it’s because they’ve taken something from the lyric and it reflects on them rather than us.
Rob: It’s not necessarily talking about a woman. It could be talking about yourself, about a friend of yours. It’s just a general sense of going to far.
Thomas: When I sing it I think of it as a kind of battle. A first person singing to himself: “I’m going out tonight, I don’t want to do this, I’m always a whore when I go out”. That’s the avenue I take mentally when I’m on it. Obviously it’s a fictional character…I’ve never been a whore! [laughs]
Rob: We’ve got to make it clear that it’s not a re-imagining of The Police’s ‘Roxanne’. It’s not that. You don’t have to put on the red light. It’s not the same thing.
Thomas: No. We’ve got a lot of respect for whores and we’d never sing about them in a derogatory manner.
Rob: We’ve got respect for all ladies of the night!

While we’re on the subject of ‘From the Floor’ it’s accompanied by a great video. How involved were you in that?
Rob: We did it all. I tried to take the lead because I’ve got a little bit of video making experience, but it was all of us.
Thomas: Jack, the lead in the video, always comes to our gig dressed as a hot dog so we thought that because he’s been so committed to the band we’d give him a lead role in our first video.
Rob: He was really creative in that, he was full of energy, God bless him, he was up for anything and always available and we can’t thank him enough really.
Matthew: We all really like it. It came out really well considering we had no budget.
Rob: Zero budget. It was just an idea to do something like Peep Show. For me it’s a bit like a cheap version of The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ video. Someone goes out and gets wasted and we just tried to put an extra element to it…a hot dog!
Matthew: The point being, not being able to get over your addictions. You fall into it at the start and at the end you are trying to recover and you fall back again.

What do you think of the local music scene?
Thomas: It’s underrated. There’s loads of great bands around. It’s not just Northampton, it’s Kettering, Corby and all the surrounding towns. I think we’re overlooked towards this end of the country.
Tom: Northampton’s really strong musically.
Matthew: We’ve got so many good bands like Monarchs, Thomas mentioned The Barratts earlier. The Keepers are doing really well.
Thomas: And they’re all nice guys. We get along well with all the bands. There’s no egotistical band where they’re all wankers and they don’t talk to or want to have anything to do with the other bands. They’re all really decent, sound people who’ll have beers with everyone.
Matthew: That’s true. I can’t think of any band in the town who I don’t like. I mean there’s obviously styles that you don’t prefer but in terms of any band we’ve played with I can’t think of anyone who’s been iffy.

There’s some cracking small venues in the town but what we really need is a good, medium size venue that has bands on every night.
Thomas: Bring back The Soundhaus basically. That’s what we all feel like. I was devastated when it closed.
Matthew: The Lab, at the moment, is the best venue in town for bands being able to play. They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to get a great sound system set up, it’s really starting to take off and that’s why we’re here today. It’s Independent Venue Week but the only other real venue I would say is The Roadmender, but that seems to be club nights.
Rob: They’ve got the main hall and a side room. If you want to do a bigger gig in that type of venue then… The Picturedrome have had their entire room refitted. Our next video is due to come out, it’s done at The Lodge with Max, and he renovated The Picturedrome for it’s acoustics. I can’t wait to hear a band there. It’s a difficult place to play because it was originally a cinema, so I can’t wait to hear a band there because if he’s done a good job then that would be a major higher class venue rather than a pub.
Matthew: It was a travesty when The Soundhaus closed because that was 380 capacity and that was perfect because you used to get bands who were about to break playing there and they booked some great bands. The list of bands from The Arctic Monkeys to The Libertines and so on. They all played there and whoever booked them at the time had all the contacts and we’re crying out for someone who knows what they’re doing. The town’s missing that. The Lab’s great but it has a lower capacity.
Rob: The town is fine for that: The Garibaldi’s putting bands on, The Lamplighter putting bands on, you can get a couple of hundred people in there but they’re all squashed. They’re not venues that are originally designed for that.. The main venues are shutting down because of neighbours who’ve moved in and want quiet and venues are also struggling financially.
Thomas: I think that’s where a lot of local bands get their break by supporting touring bands and there’s no major bands passing through. That’s where you get most of your exposure. When our old band supported Space at The Picturedrome we had a whole new crowd to play to. It was a great opportunity and it got us loads of new fans but without the touring bands we never would have had that. That’s what it’s like pretty much all the time.
Rob: I think if you look at what some of the surrounding towns are doing like Corby, Bedford, Milton Keynes even, they’re always supportive of their bands. Some of those things are out there which we’re keen to play this year to open thing up for us. My friend Karl was saying it’s a shame Northampton’s got all these bands coming up but unfortunately the surrounding areas are doing more. I think in time it’ll come up. The Lab is doing a lot. I don’t think it’s dying, it’s on its way up but it’ll take time. For the time being it’s worth driving to play 20 miles out of town to play somewhere that’s got venues of a decent size.

How do gauge your music development between the your two EPs? Is one an extension of the other, or is it more a quantum leap?
Matthew: We talked about this not so long ago. The first EP felt more ‘demo-ish’ because we needed something to go “Right! We’ve got new music, we’re technically a new band, here’s what we’ve got for you to listen to”. It wasn’t rushed but it was a case of, you want to give people something to check out, to decide if they want to come and see you, there was an element of that, whereas with the second it’s a lot more precise in the way it was written. We could have done five songs again but, no; these three we’re really happy with.
Rob: At this time it’s also an economic thing as well, to get an album done in a top recording house it’s gonna cost you hundreds of pounds, that’s realistic. We’re lucky to get the bargains we have, working with the people we have. We can go in there with a short time frame and they do great jobs. I think now the reaction we’ve got from these EPs…in a way people are waiting for an album and I think that’s next on the cards.
Thomas: We probably won’t release any more EPs, will we? We’ve done physical copies for the two EPs. I think now, until we get to the album stage, we’ll release things as a digital single.
Matthew: we can go and record a song in two or three hours because we live-take it generally – then we sing the vocals over the top. We don’t do it bit by bit, we have it quite organic and because of that we can do it really quick. So if we wanted to get something out there it won’t cost us a fortune. It’s working out the best way to do it. We’ve got a good amount of material out there [with those eight songs]. I don’t feel we need to jump into something straight away.

That was going to be my final question. What are your future plans?
Rob: We haven’t really talked about it so we may disagree. I’d like to record more this year, stick everything on that because we’ve got enough EPs. Maybe double down on them and get a couple more singles out this year. Then we could work more on them, rather than doing them in a day, if we can have that luxury of doing them in a week or a month then we can concentrate on getting our best sound, then maybe next year look at getting a full album out.
Thomas: I think it’s important to stay on the radar releasing smaller amounts of stuff more often so people don’t forget about you.
Matthew: That’s a good theory. Whatever the end goal is, along the way making sure people don’t lose touch with you.
Rob: Like we said, go to other places and raise our fan base and this year we’re going to concentrate a lot more on festivals, to enjoy that element of it.

https://www.facebook.com/DeafTrap

 

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New Music Friday: The Keepers

Northampton quartet The Keepers release their fourth single this weekend. The A-side ‘Take Me On A Trip’ is a moody paean to the joys of escapism, wrapped up in desert…

Northampton quartet The Keepers release their fourth single this weekend. The A-side ‘Take Me On A Trip’ is a moody paean to the joys of escapism, wrapped up in desert rock guitars. B-side ‘Leaving Home’ is more of a Britpop/Beatle-esque pop song with some nifty artificial string lines in the chorus. You can hear both below. New Boots caught up with Jordan Jones (vocals, guitar) and Liam Taylor (guitars) for a quick chat

How did you guys get together?
Jordan: I formed the band a couple of years ago. I just had a few songs that thought would sound cool with a full band behind them. It’s been a long process really trying out different members.

How would you describe your sound?
Jordan: 1960s psychedelia with a 90’s kiss.
Liam: Yeah. Indie Britpop with an add of Psychedelic

Who are your main influences in music?
Liam: Wilko Johnson, Paul Weller, and Pete Townsend

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Jordan: ‘Wildlife’ by The Lovely Eggs
Liam: ‘The Masterplan’ by Oasis

What was the inspiration for ‘Take Me On A Trip’ and ‘Leaving Home’?
Jordan: ‘Take Me On A Trip’ is a recycled song we used to play a few years ago, we needed a more groovy and heavier sounding song, so I just took that, changed the words and added some extra riffs. ‘Leaving Home’ is inspired by The Beatles song ‘She’s Leaving Home’. We all know the original from a very upset mum and dad perspective. I had this concept of the song from the girls perspective – it sticks to main themes of the original like leaving the note, the man in the motor trade etc, but I’ve had to add a few bits like getting married and running away from university which I think makes it slightly more modern.

Being on stage vs being in the studio, which do you do prefer?
Jordan: studio
Liam: stage all the way; I love the atmosphere and the interaction with the crowd.

What has been your favourite band moments so far?
Jordan: Supporting The Moons at Roadmender, Space at The Picturedrome and playing Beano On The Sea festival down Hastings.
Liam: Supporting The Moons and The Spitfires

What plans do you have for 2018?
Jordan: We have some very exciting things coming up this year! We have more singles coming out and some fantastic gigs we cannot announce yet! Watch this space!

 

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New Music Friday: Hana Brooks

Northampton singer-songwriter Hana Brooks is back with her impressive new single ‘Used To Be’. Having toured the Sofar Sounds circuit in London during the summer Brooks released  ‘Leave It’ last…

Northampton singer-songwriter Hana Brooks is back with her impressive new single ‘Used To Be’. Having toured the Sofar Sounds circuit in London during the summer Brooks released  ‘Leave It’ last November, gaining her much radio and streaming plays. It has lead to a tasty residency at West London’s The Troubadour venue [where ‘Used To be’ will have it’s launch party on February 28th]. Mixed by Nick Bennett [London Grammar, etc.] ‘Used To Be’ comes with a blend of subtle beats & bass anchored to that Californian blend of synths and guitars – and of course her distinctive vocal talents. This special song should propel her into the heart of the industry – if it knows what’s good for it.

New Boots spoke to Brooks about the song and the path that led her to here. You can watch the video below too

When and why did you decide to start performing?
I have always wanted to perform, it’s something I have always felt is right and feels like what I am meant to be doing! I love it. I feel more comfortable on a stage in front of 500 people than I would in a living room with two people.

Did you ever play covers? What were your favourites?
Yes, with friends in local bars. My favourites would be Moloko ‘Sing it Back’, The Specials ‘Monkey Man’. Always so much fun. Basically just jamming through any 90’s dance banger was always a laugh.

Who is on your playlist right now?
The Neighbourhood; also loving Pale Waves at the moment and a bit of Portugal .The Man

Has your musical taste changed much from when you were growing up?
It has always been diverse. As a kid my older cousin gave me Nirvana Nevermind and the Spice Girls album on the same cassette! I grew up listening to a lot of Motown, hip-hop and Frank Sinatra. I would say my music taste hasn’t changed a bit, as I’ve always just listened to just about EVERYTHING.

Do you remember the first gig you performed?
At 11 years old I formed a band with a couple of lad’s in my class, playing songs that I wrote! They were very Oasis/BritPop kind of tracks. I actually don’t remember feeling nervous, just super excited to be playing on a big stage. I seem to remember having the most horrendous haircut and was going through a very grungy stage at the time.

Can you talk about what inspired ‘Used To Be’? It’s a very emotional track.
I wrote the track whilst in California, its about a “friend” that I had. At the time we had been on and off. It’s basically about wanting things to be like how they were; that it could be more simple – and how distance from somebody makes you want them more.

What was the musical process like?
This track started like many of my songs do. I had a riff that I had been noodling around with on the guitar and then I built the rest of production around that in Logic with a really pumping drum beat – almost a bit like Drake. I got the demo down at home and then brought it into the studio where everyone instantly got it. From there we built up the synths and added new sections here and there. It was a really natural process with free flowing ideas. The way I like to work is: no limitations and splicing genres.

Did you have much say in how the song was produced?
100%!! As a multi-instrumentalist I like to get as much of the original idea of what is in my head down to a demo at home before I work with other producers to take it to the next level and bring in new ideas.

How was it working with Nick Bennett?
Fantastic! Nick is a very good friend of mine so working together is always sound.

Did you have fun filming the video and visiting the States?
I have a lot of love for California and the States. Getting to film a video in my favourite place on earth with my amazing team…we had a ridiculous amount of fun!

What are you working on next? What can we expect next?
I’ve started work with another amazing producer, alongside releasing more new material over the next couple of months and will be heading across the pond again. Watch this space!

Used To Be is out to download/stream on Monday February 12th

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