Striking live shows, distinct personality topped with confidence and all around brilliant sound – those are the main qualities of indie rockers IC1s, who have been creating a real buzz throughout the music scene in London and beyond. There’s something about this band that’s entirely fresh and exciting, something that makes you appreciate music in new different ways. I caught up with IC1’s lead singer Daniel Coburn to find out about the band’s recent activities, plus discussing the Camden Rocks festival, music making process and other fun stuff.
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.
Camden based Burning Beaches know exactly how to make music. And by that I mean dangerously good music. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about once you hear the opening riff in Wo’man. These guys possess some serious musical powers. Clearly, the three brilliant tracks available to stream on the band’s Soundcloud page are a warning for what’s coming. In our interview, the band’s frontman Sam McCarthy mentiones putting out an EP or two this year. HELL YEAH. Not just that, he introduces Burning Beaches to us and tells us how the tunes come together, plus why Camden’s music scene rocks at the moment, and more. Read on.
North London based four-piece Knights come with a fine dose of energy, passion and highly impressive pile of genuine rock sound. The band have been taking the Camden music scene by storm and building a strong fan base on the way. They’re about to release their self titled EP, produced by Tristan Ivemy, and celebrate its release with a launch party at Barfly in London on 12th November. The record, available to stream on the band’s soundcloud page, dominates in powerful melodies, fierce riffs and excellent vocals all the way through. The five tracks will take you on an amazing musical journey created by who’s to become your new favourite band. There is a strong potential of Knights becoming the next big thing on the UK’s music scene.
Digs (vocals, guitar), Jesse (drums), Oli (guitar) and Tom (bass) introduce their sound in our following interview and talk about the EP, influences, dream tour, soundtrack of their lives and more.
Could you tell us the story of how you all met and formed Knights?
JESSE: Digs and I started as a two-piece. We met through his girlfriend, and started playing, after a few gigs we wanted to develop our sound. After some auditioning and a few more gigs, it just seemed right with Oli and Tom, the energy, the banter and the ability. We gelled straight away.
How would you introduce your sound to MGMB’s readers?
DIGS: It’s essentially rock music but I think we’re all influenced by different things. I listen to a lot of metal and heavier stuff, and Jesse loves his crazy time signature stuff. I guess we sound like an English Foo Fighters, that sort of thing.
TOM: When I think of our default setting, it’s like strong energetic beats with pounding bass lines and chuggy guitar riffs, but having said that, we are not afraid to show our emotional sides either.
You’re about to release debut EP. How would you describe this record and what was it like to work with producer Tristan Ivemy, who’s worked with artists such as Frank Turner?
TOM: We’re all really proud of the record. We feel like all the tracks work well together – it’s a good representation of where we are as a band right now, but having said that, we would love to show everyone the rest of the deal!
OLI: Tristan is great to work with. He really knows how to capture our sound. It’s the first time working with a producer that has been so much on the same page as us.
JESSE: Tristan helped us to make the songs as good as they can be. He just unlocks our full potential. He never stops banging on about Portsmouth football club though…..
DIGS: He’s a great guy, and really patient with us. To know his background and who he’s worked with, it’s really a privilege to record with him.
Could you tell us a bit about each of the songs on the EP?
TOM: ‘Sidonie’ was written slightly differently to the rest of our songs. Usually, Digs will write a loose structure with a chord rotation and a melody and then we write our parts around that. With ‘Sidonie, Jesse wanted to write something in a 5/4 time signature, so we started with the drum beat and then wrote everything around that. It’s a bit hard to get your head around at first, but when it drops back into the second verse it’s like, yes, I get it now.
DIGS: ‘Let it all out’ has a lot of different parts to it, so it was probably the one that took the most effort to write, butI feel like we were rewarded with a great track. It’s got a lot of energy, and a big chorus, and you weave in and out of the different sections, like a roller coaster.
OLI: ‘Come back in’ was one of the first songs I had a role in writing, so it’s always going to be a bit special for me. It’s one of our more upbeat songs but it still rocks. The ending on that song is insane, when Digs’ vocals step up, and we all go to half time, its a fun one to play.
TOM: ‘The fear, the sweat’ shows our dirty side! Its got a slow, heavy, pounding sound that just makes you feel filthy. You can jump to it, grind to it, strut to it, just get your groove on!!
DIGS: ‘Middle of nowhere’ is very much light and shade. The verses are sparse and melodic and then it steps up into this noisy, furious, relentless chorus. Its about depression, and I think we can all relate to it, like ‘I try again to climb the overhang’, and trying to get back towards the light.
Take us through the usual band practice. How do you normally work on the songs?
JESSE: We usually take ages to set up and then rip on each other a bit and mess about, get all that out of the system and then we’re ready to play.
OLI: We go through our live set a few times to make sure everything is as tight and ready as possible. Then spend a bit of time developing new ideas that we might have or jamming at the end.
Are there any particular bands or artists who influenced you to start playing music?
DIGS: I guess my first loves were Nirvana, and Pixies. I liked all the heavy stuff like System Of A Down, they really got me going, cos of the contrast between beautiful soaring vocal melodies and harmonies, against rocky guitar riffs. When I started writing, it was a lot heavier than it is now. Biffy’s ‘Blackened Sky’ made me go and buy my first guitar.
TOM: Blink 182 were the first band i really got into, so i suppose they’re what started it all for me. I went through a big AC/DC phase and i suppose Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys are also important bands on my musical journey.
Why should people come and see you live? What are your main strengths while on stage?
TOM: I think we just all really feel it. For half an hour we’re going to put everything into trying to entertain you. We are going to put ourselves out there and if you like it then you can put yourself out there too. It’s a chance for everyone to let go and do what they feel like for half an hour.
DIGS: We’re up there to have a good time and try and get the people moving. Jess is great to watch because of his enthusiasm and crazy drumming faces! Those poor drums, they take a real beating.
What would your dream tour look like and which bands would you want to be joined by?
TOM: My main ambitions at the moment are threefold: 1. Be a guest on soccer AM. 2. Go on Jools Holland. 3. Play at the Koko in Camden. As long as they are stops on the tour then anything else is a bonus. I’d like to hang out with Alex Turner and Josh Homme. I know they’re buddies now and I just want to see what they’re like together.
DIGS: When we started out, I think we all have agreed on supporting Kings of Leon. But now I think we all idolise Biffy Clyro, so to play with them would be amazing.
If someone was to make a movie about your life, what would the soundtrack be like?
TOM: Hahahaha that’s tough. Can we have our music or is that a bit self righteous??? Maybe like a big orchestral score but with loads of electronic sound effects. Like a Star Wars opera. Someone should do that. Star Wars: the opera.
DIGS: I love the soundtrack to ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. That mixed with ‘Lock Stock’ would be great. Definitely some Ocean Colour Scene on there!
Do you have any special plans beyond the release of your EP?
DIGS: World domination hopefully. Like Pinky and the brain.
JESSE: There are a few things in the pipeline but nothing concrete yet. New Years Eve at the Barfly, UK tour, Great Escape festival, Hoxton Bar and Grill in January. We are really just working towards building our fan base and getting a strong team of people around us.
London based trio Hunter & The Bear are with no doubt one of the greatest upcoming acts on the British folk music scene. Inspired by greats such as The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bruce Springsteen – whom they recently supported at Hard Rock Calling Festival, the band is gradually gaining recognition with their excellent melodies and astonishing harmonies. Their music leaves you smitten by its significant energy and makes you desire more of this wondrous sound. Hunter & The Bear will release their debut single ‘Forest On The Hill’ on 29th September, taken from their upcoming EP ‘Dusty Road’.
The guys took some time to tell MGMB about their music, touring, favourite albums and more.
What’s the story behind forming of Hunter & The Bear and how would you introduce your sound to the music listeners?
We (Will and Jimmy) started writing songs together in August 2012. There was no real aim or direction, we just wrote songs we liked to play. Moved from Scotland to London in September, played a few shows and realised that to take it seriously we needed to build the sound. This meant calling our old friend Josh in to slap some bass. As for the sound, in a sentence: a rocky blend of folk and country.
You’ve recently performed at Hard Rock Calling Festival alongside amazing musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Kasabian. What was the experience like for you and how did the audience receive you?
It was massive pleasure to be involved in such a great event. It was our first ever festival so our minds were fixed on keeping it together and smashing our set. The audience were great and made us feel very welcome. We had one eye on the clock so we could go watch Bruce do his thing.
Did you manage to bump into some cool musicians at the festival?
We had a great night and met loads of lovely people. Despite our best efforts we didn’t manage to find Zac Brown. There’s always next year…
What can you tell us about your upcoming debut single ‘Forest On The Hill’?
It’s a song we wrote when we were just starting out. It’s out 29th September and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it. We think it’s a good summary of our sound at this stage.
You’re also set to release your new EP ‘Dusty Road’ soon. Could you describe the recording journey of this EP?
We had a great experience recording it and we’re all really proud of the results. We were lucky enough to meet Jamie Bell, an amazing producer who really understood our sound and what we’re about. We had an idea in our heads of how the songs had to sound and he helped us achieve that. Can’t wait to get back in the studio with him.
Are there any highlights from your recent UK tour you’d like to share with us?
There’s so many! It was our first experience with touring and we just love playing shows to new people. Cornbury festival and Live at Troon are the two biggest stages we’ve played and it was amazing to play to crowds with so much energy.
What’s the best atmosphere for you when writing and working on your songs?
We have no formula or routine, we’re still learning. We love getting out of the city where we have a room to think.
What are your three favourite albums of all time and what have you been listening to lately?
That’s such a difficult question and it changes all the time. Seeing as there’s three of us, we’ll give you one each:
Will – Bad Company, Bad Company
Josh – Nirvana, Nevermind
Jimmy – The Band, The Band
We listen to lots of different stuff individually but our current radio favorites while on tour are Stereophonics and Arctic Monkeys.
If you could read one newspaper headline about yourselves in 2013, what would it be?
Dusty Road EP goes platinum in 70 countries.
What’s the main goal for Hunter & The Bear?
We want to play our music to as many people as want to listen. We love to write and play together and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.