Ones To Watch – Interview / Volcanoes

After being together for a decade and nearly throwing the towel in last year, the Sheffield/Leeds based four-piece have luckily! not given up and kickstarted 2014 with a new wowing track When We Melodise (released on 9th March). Being their most played track up to date and impressing the media and music critics all around, it certainly looks like this year is going to bring the band a truly deserved recognition. Their new upcoming album Radiogeist promisses a bunch of original and well crafted tunes coming from the band’s eclectic music taste and passion for experimenting with different sounds. So watch out! MGMB spoke to Sam (vocals) about the single, album, songwriting and more interesting stuff about Volcanoes.

Eva: Volcanoes have been going for quite a few years now, have a few records under the belt but not everyone might have heard of you. Could you introduce the band to the MGMB readers?

Sam: I sure can. We’re a frontier freakbeat zellfunk omniforce indie band from Yorkshire and we’ve been writing tunes and going nowhere for the last ten years. The smart money is on us becoming the next Anvil.

Your track When We Melodise is out on 9th March and it’s the first release from your upcoming debut LP Radiogeist. It’s a beautiful and interesting track. How did it come together?

That’s very kind of you. This song was almost our swan song. Over the years we’ve put an enormous amount of effort into the band and to date we haven’t had much success. Last year we had ‘the talk’ and we came very close to throwing the towel in. At the time of writing the lyrics, the end of my musical days seemed unbearably close. So the song is a little ode to Volcanoes, I’m basicaly saying that even though we didn’t achieve much, we had a wonderful time trying. As for the Violin, my bones yearned to hear it.

Could you give us an idea of what’s ‘Radiogeist’ going to sound like compare to your previous releases?  

I tend to write in Happy and Dark cycles. My songwriting in Radiogeist is definitely darkness tainted. During the course of writing this LP I managed to have a massive OCD relapse and I also broke my back mountain-biking. On the plus side it was pretty easy to find inspiration, I wasn’t exactly short of subject matter. Kevvy has written five songs on Radiogeist and his songs are nothing like mine. In summary, my songs are generally dark (apart from When We Melodise, oh and Horror Film, which is about the Lost Boys…tenuously). Kevvy’s songs are breezy and melodic, and we once again prove our inability to stick to a particular sound.

You obviously like experimenting with different sounds. Where do you draw the inspiration from when creating songs?

I can’t speak for Kevvy but I get inspired by whatever CD is in my car at the time of writing. If it’s Dinosaur Pile-UP  (good band, check them out) then I’ll tend to write bangers and if it’s Alt-J then I try to sound all intelligent and trendy. Someone once wrote about us and said that we had the attention span of a knat. I’m really proud of that. Another review of our Sugar and Snarls EP said that we are shit and we know it. I’m really proud of that too.

How much of an input has each member of the band towards the sound?

Kevvy and I do much of the songwriting (melody/lyrics) and then Boa and Ash come up with their own parts in rehearsal. We usually jam tunes out for a while until the song stops sounding shitbags. Then we all make friends again and pretend it was fun. Then we record it and we all fall out with each other and the producer.

What kind of musical taste runs among the band members; what do you all listen to?

I am really not a muso and I’ve got a closet full of guilty pleasures. The Sign by Ace of Base is a TUNE and I wont hear anything to the contrary. Mostly I listen to Indie and I’m pretty happy to listen to any original music. Bands like The Music really got me excited to write songs and basically kickstarted Volcanoes. I’d say before 2002 my songwrting ability was pretty woeful (though I didn’t think it at the time). Kevvy has more eclectic tastes than me but then he’s an all round musical sage and he can actually play his guitar. Ash likes Queen and Tenacious D and Boa likes Bloc Party and Embrace. My feelings on this I’ll keep to myself.

How about live shows? What can we expect to see if we come to one of your gigs?

You’re most likely to see four aging blokes trying to look hip in front of a small to non-existent crowd. We describe it as intimate. We did a gig last year and some girl came up to me after and said we were really good but I looked like her physics teacher.

Do you think 2014 is going to be the best year for Volcanoes so far?

It already is by a country mile. Prior to this month our most successful song on the internet had a few hundred plays. When We Melodise has had over 18,000 plays in three weeks, we are absolutely ecstatic. All we need to do now is play to a crowd of more than 15 people and we are rocking it. Seriously though, we want to play Glastonbury and I think we can do it. So that’s our aim.

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