FRONTEERS – Interview – 2016

If you are into writing music, for any teenager your instant reference points come out as the obvious sorts, those such as Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, Oasis and Blur. How do you put these into a new context though? It’s one thing taking these as influences but another thing to manipulate them and make them sound just as relevant as they did first time round. It seems Hull’s FRONTEERS by all intents and purposes have actually found a method in doing this.

Their sound is projected through their lens of melodies that deliver themselves with grace and elegance, much in the fashion of Lee Mavers, John Power and James Skelly. FRONTEERS grabbed my attention at The Great Escape when they opened the Queen’s Hotel stage early on the Thursday. I was intrigued firstly by their age and the distance they had travelled down from Hull, I was keen to get stuck into how they sounded in a live setting and see how it transposed from their recordings. What they delivered with their short set at The Great Escape was arguably one of the finer things I witnessed at the whole festival. Completely captured by their harmonies and songwriting prowess. When they were to descend upon Brighton for the second time in as many weeks, I was keen to chat to frontmen Andy and James, Ellis on bass and Lloyd on drums.

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Vulgarians – Interview – 2016

Vulgarians have become Hull’s most exciting new export in recent times. They have gained the attention of artists such as The Wytches via their previous single, ‘Wet Juice’, they have now tacked into a subculture that is currently bubbling gently below the surface of the music scene within the UK. With a relentless touring schedule in recent times, they have garnered slots with the likes of Bad Breeding, the aforementioned Wytches and Dinosaur Pile-Up.

Their latest single release, ‘Lost Sanity Smiles’ is an abrasive take on The Fall, Fat White Family and The Birthday Party. It’s cloaked in darkness and gloom, it’s hell bent on dragging you through the muck and mire with it and it sure as hell made them a one to watch at The Great Escape. I managed to catch up with bassist, Jodie, before they headed home to Hull on Sunday morning to ask about their time in Brighton and how they are breaking through right now, tapping all the right veins in their musical circle:

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Young Native – Interview – 2016

South East London’s Young Native were one of the acts that took The Great Escape by storm over the weekend with their Saturday afternoon slot. Their debut EP, Consciousness Is King was released back in April and it grasped my attention with its sun-kissed hooks and confident swagger. I was now keen to see how they would transpose the sound into a live setting. Their show-down in the basement of Queen’s Hotel attracted quite the crowd as they grew with confidence throughout the set; their walk became a strut as they laid into hits such as ‘Stripes’ and ‘Sunset’, both are songs that have achieved the group radio airplay courtesy of BBC Introducing.

Here’s what I found out about their beginnings, and ultimately, their future plans as they still remain a fairly young band in the making:

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Merlin Tonto – Interview – 2016

When you start talking about Brighton’s live music scene one band keeps getting mentioned time and time again. That band is Merlin Tonto. Considering that they make music that encompasses elements of Vangelis, Holy Fuck, Can and Socrates, prog-inspired rock with dance elements, you’d be forgiven for thinking it would all be a bit static live. Far from it! Their live sets are bombastic exercises in sound and vision.

This week sees the release of their new EP Baotou. Following on from 2014’s Tano Dragon, Baotou is another excursion to the place where analogue synths meet with surging bass riffs and careening beats. The band managed to find time in their busy schedule to answer a few questions about the EP and their thoughts on Brighton’s vibrant live scene.

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Tangerines – Interview – 2016

Tangerines have become one of the most addictive bands to listen to of recent times, their single ‘You Look Like Something I Killed’ became quite the unforgettable ear worm. This brand new talent named after everybody’s favourite easy peelers were in town for The Great Escape playing not one but seven shows scattered around the city. They gave me an interesting insight into how the Big Smoke works for bands breaking through the roots of the city, how that city helps and also how it hinders young creatives. Ultimately though, it was a nice insight into this band’s mentality that is rooted there: how to survive in London is easier when surviving as a pack rather than sole individuals. Tangerines came across as a gang of four, Gareth, Isaac, Miles and Ricky – they have a purpose and drive to be a saving grace of contemporary rock’n’roll music. Here was my sit down with four very interesting individuals:

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Amber Arcades – Interview – 2016

Annelotte de Graaf is at the helm of Heavenly Recordings upcoming releases with her five-piece group, Amber Arcades. Hailing from Utrecht initially, she steers her debut release, Fading Lines, into the hands of the public on 3rd June with its diverse blend of psychedelia, Kruatrock and ethereal atmospherics. She has recently become the hot topic of contemporary music having filled both her Great Escape venues beyond capacity. Delegates were turned away from the Komedia on Friday afternoon as bodies rammed the venue beyond access, queues were then spotted heading all the way down the road towards Juju where people still kept their fingers crossed for catching some of the show.

Her single, ‘Right Now’ captured the attention of the British music industry, naming her as one of the top acts to keep an eye peeled for in 2016 and, if anything, her time at The Great Escape confirmed that all expectation and hype for the album is founded on solid groundings. I caught up with Annelotte just after her intimate show at Komedia and chatted about the past, the album and her time over in America:

So your debut album, Fading Lines is set to come out two weeks today?
Yes, exactly two weeks today – today is a Friday so, two weeks today.

Did you enjoy the recording process?
Yes, of course. I was in New York for a month, we were in the studio for two weeks. The first week we were doing some pre-recording stuff and then the week after we were doing some mixing and then it was done.

How did you find the whole writing process before that?
It was a natural process really, it was never such a conscious thing. I think I wrote about 80 percent of the songs in the six months before I went to record. I was working this job at the court house as a legal officer and there wasn’t enough work anymore so I lost my contract, but I’d already scheduled going to New York by this point. So that left me with a lovely two or three month period where I was completely left to writing songs which was cool, it freed up so much time for me to dedicate to creativity. So, instead of planning on quitting a month early before going to New York, I was given three months to write and focus on what I loved doing. It was cool that I had so long to go over unfinished ideas and little bits of songs right before I went away to New York.

On the topic of your time working at the court house, I read the press release for your new album which outlined how you were quite involved with Syrian refugees, can you tell me more about that?
Yeah, this was my day job at the courts, I worked at an immigration service and when I first started, it was on Syrian refugee cases that I was working on. It is an interesting job for sure.

Did you find your influences from the job came into your music at all?
Any bleeding across into my music is not conscious as such, my job is involved with the Supreme Court and it gives me a huge sense of fulfilment doing something so meaningful but then there is my music side which is creative and fun, it is something I like to keep away from that. I don’t consciously think: “Oh, I’m going to write this song about this person I’ve heard about from work or something” but, I mean I work with it a lot so subconsciously, perhaps it does come across. It’s definitely not a conscious effort though. I like to keep the two aspects of my life separate.

So, with your debut release Fading Lines, what can we expect musically speaking?
Well, it’s a diverse album I think. I’m just really happy with how it turned out in the end. Yeah, I think people call it dream-pop which I guess is a pretty accurate description of perhaps most songs on there. Then there’s various divergence towards different aspects, for example there is a seven minute Krautrock-styled jam and then other elements which are definitely more of the acoustic sort of workings. There’s another move towards the more general pop song style so it’s quite diverse. I became quite concerned before recording it at how the final sound would come out, like, how am I going to turn this out into a record as a whole piece without it being too sort of schizophrenic, you know – how do I go from this to that, to that. Then when I started working on it with Ben Greenberg as producer, he had a vision of how to bring each of the separate elements into the whole thing which was really great.

Cool, so with Ben Greenberg as producer, who has previously worked with the likes of The Men and Destruction Unit, did any of his past bleed into your work?
I’m not sure really. I mean like, definitely his taste in music interested me which is more rooted in that sort of hardcore punk sound but once again, any influence of his taste was more sort of subconscious.

So looking at your roots, how do you find the Netherlands?
Well, I spent my whole life there as you know. So my friends, my family, my job, that’s all there which is nice. The Netherlands on the whole is a really good place, the only thing that bothers me sometimes is how everybody wants to stay beneath the radar, stay hidden and blend in. We have this phrase over there that suggests nobody wants to stand out above the crops. Everyone is kind of like very low key I guess. Nobody is really allowed to be crazy, everybody needs to fit in which is very engrained into the Netherlands culture. It’s very easy to blend in and let everything go on around you. That’s the only thing I really don’t like too much but, we’ll see. Brighton is so different to that, so colourful and individual.

Would you ever consider moving elsewhere then?
Yeah, of course, I mean I’ve lived in Philadelphia before which I think is pretty nice. I’m always interested in relocating myself, I try and relocate to a new place after a certain point in time just to head somewhere with a new environment and new scene, and all of a sudden you can see life from a new angle or whatever. Like, moving to Brighton, for example, all of a sudden you can recreate and redesign your whole life I guess. For example the way you talk and the way you can act and then the way you are perceived, like I only started playing guitar when I moved to Philadelphia.

Okay, so how come you moved to Philadelphia?
Well I moved there for a semester during university, it was back in 2010 when I was studying. I really loved music but never played guitar really. But when I moved there I saw it as an opportunity, all of a sudden there was a chance to reinvent myself and who I was so that was when I started with instruments. I started off by buying a little mandolin when I thought I might get more into music, mainly because I met quite a few people involved in music. I met quite a few punk kids who were friends through friends, they were starting up bands and that was, like, my way into music really.

Did you enjoy your time out in America?
Yeah, back in 2010, it was great, I really loved it. I mean, I was quite young, I was 21 but it was a new experience, I loved it.

What are your plans for the rest of The Great Escape then?
Well we got here yesterday at about 3pm. We played Latest Music Bar last night and we played here earlier today but then we need to go up to London tomorrow to do some press stuff. We haven’t really seen many bands unfortunately though just because you are always so busy loading things in and out all the time. We saw Nap Eyes yesterday at Latest Music Bar because we were on the same stage and they were unbelievable. Today we’ll try and see Telegram later on who are on at Latest Music Bar, I think.
Tom Churchill

Read our album review of Fading Lines here: http://brightonsfinest.com/html/index.php/12-music/1486-amber-arcades-fading-lines

Website: amberarcades.net
Facebook: facebook.com/AmberArcades
Twitter: twitter.com/AmberArcades

Tuff Love – Interview – 2016

One of the first names we put on our wish list for the Brightonsfinest Alternative Escape 2016 was Tuff Love. The three-piece, fronted by Suse and Julie, have long been on our radar after a string of fantastic EPs and their reputation for a thrilling live show. You are sure to love their lo-fi rock-pop and we could not be more excited to present them at One Church on Friday 20th. We put some questions to Suse from the band to find out more about Tuff Love.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Glasgow, Julie grew up in London.

Is there much of a music scene there?

Yeah – there's a good scene of decent musicians and artists who are supportive of each other (mostly) and loads of gigs/events on all the time, which is great if you're a music fan or a musician wanting to play gigs.

How do you think where you lived, or now live, has influenced your music and how?

I always wonder if I'd grown up somewhere else if I'd have met someone to make bands with sooner, like growing up in a more progressive city if there might have been more girls about to play with. I played with boys for ages, not that it really matters but I just wanted to find someone who was similar to me and to make music/play music with. I don't know why I think that's so important, but I do. I suppose it’s because the creative process can sometimes make you feel vulnerable, and if you’re sharing that process with someone who understands your life experiences that is good and it makes things nice instead of hard.

What kind of music were you brought up on?

I grew up listening to piano and classical’ish music my mum liked and the Beatles, then when I was a teenager guitar bands like Ash. I loved Abba from a very young age.

Can you remember the first album you owned?

Abba Gold

What was the first instrument you played, and when? Do you have a favourite instrument?

I started playing piano when I was 4 years old, picked up guitar around 10, then bass (when no-one else wanted to play the bass) when I was like 19, also the drums a few years ago. I like the drums and the piano. Drums are so exciting. Bass is cool, but it's pretty restrictive sometimes, not as expressive as I want it to be.

What drives you to write music?

Just wanting to make things, writing music makes me feel better when I feel bad. I used to record every musical idea I ever had on my parent’s computer until it ran out of hard drive space. My mum didn't understand what had happened… woops. I still do that these days, but have more hard drive space. 

How was Tuff Love formed?

Julie and I met at a party. I pestered her until she sat down in a room with me and played some music.

Is there a story behind the name?

I liked a band called The Unicorns when I was younger. They had a song called ‘Tuff Luff’. I liked the way that looked and how soft if sounded but how hard the meaning was.

How would you briefly describe your music and ethos?

Guitar-pop. Melancholy. Make stuff because you want to make it & be honest.

How do you approach the writing and recording process?

Hide away behind closed doors mostly. I sometimes write a song and take it to Julie, and vice versa, or we come up with something together in the same room. Then I'll either have a demo already recorded or I'll record a demo of the song and do demo drums on top, then maybe we use some of that record for the final recording. Iain drummed on a few of the newer songs. I find it quite hard to let go of the drum part and pass it on to somebody else, but he made it sound much more lively and exciting when he played. 

Do you prefer writing music or performing live?

Writing music, performing live can be fun though, but I don't think either of us are natural performers.

If you could give a musical award of the year, who would you give it to and why?

Chastity Belt, their songs are amazing. They're so fun and so seriously good. Good vibes good songs.

Who would be in your perfect supergroup and what you call it?

Annie from Chastity Belt, Kate from The Organ and Alex G. They'd be called… eh…. Chorgan G… or probably something else.

What would be your perfect line-up of any three acts for a concert you are putting on and where would it be?

The Organ, Alex G, The Beatles. I would quite like them to come do a session in my flat or something, I'd invite some people round and then we could all hang out and chat afterwards.

If you could work with any artist, who would it be and what would they bring to Tuff Love?

I'm not sure really. There's a woman in Glasgow called WOLF who makes really expressive electronic music, with computer and viola. Her viola is so pure sounding, deep and.. I've run out of words to describe it. Check it out, it's great!

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Chastity Belt are very good, also Mitski.

Do you get to go to many gigs?

I don't get to many any more unfortunately.

What has been your happiest memory with music?

Jamming with my brother. He always wants to jam; he's a really talented musician.

What makes you happiest when you are not playing music?

I like drawing, recording other musicians and bands, making plans, and hanging out with my girlfriend.

Website: www.reallyTuffLove.com
Facebook: facebook.com/reallyTuffLove
Twitter: twitter.com/reallyTuffLove
Instagram: instagram.com/reallyTuffLove


 

 

Holly Macve – Interview – 2016

A rare voice, a rare talent. Holly Macve’s folk sound is incredibly delicate and arresting, producing songs that will live with you for the rest of your life. The first time I heard her music I was utterly spellbound – so was Simon Raymonde (Bella Union boss) who found her performing at an open mic night in a basement bar in Brighton. We are overly excited to have Holly perform in the acoustics of the One Church for our Alternative Escape Showcase, so we put some questions to her to find out more about her and her music.

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Kudu Blue – Interview – 2016

One of my highlights of the first ever Together The People Festival was getting to see Kudu Blue perform. It had been a name that had been mentioned to me a surprising amount of times, yet I hadn’t been able to catch them live. Having seen them a few of times since, including a fantastic set supporting Hiatus Kaiyote, Brightonsfinest have wanted to find out more about their eclectic mix of modulating electronics and impressive soulful instrumentation. After their recent show at Patterns, I met up with the five-piece ahead of their début at The Great Escape for an interview which was full of laughter.

Where do you all come from?
[Creeda] We are all pretty much from Brighton, apart from Clem.

[Clementine] I’m from Birmingham.

How did you all originally meet?
[Creeda] It was fate really. Tom and I were baby friends.

[Tom] Owen and I literally go way back to Year 1 in Primary School. We then started making music together when we were 13/14.

[Dale] I met Creeda through one of my best mates from Primary school – and we hit it off. We played in a band together with Owen before Kudu.

[Clementine] I met them all along the way and we’ve become best buddies.

What kind of music were you brought up on?
[Creeda] My bother listened to a lot of Hip-Hop. My parents, a lot of rock.

[Clementine] For me it was a lot of Motown, soul and jazz from my parents. My dad was also a reggae DJ. When I was growing up, I was listening to a lot of garage.

[Tom] My dad grew me up on The Beatles big time. A lot of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin – typical dad rock.

[Dale] I grew up listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Radiohead and a lot of alternative rock. Also to stuff like Tracy Chapman.

What was the first album you ever owned?
[Clementine] New Found Glory – Sticks And Stones. I don’t have the album anymore, but I do listen to it occasionally.

[Creeda] My first tape was Ace Of Base, it had ‘Life Is A Flower’ on it.

Everyone hilariously starts to sing “All that she wants / Is another baby” (taken from ‘All That She Wants’ by Ace Of Base).

[Tom] I think mine was the Sum 41 album with ‘Fat Lip’ on All Killer, No Filler.

[Dale] Mine was Steps. Then it was the Smurfs doing different renditions of different pop songs. All played on a ladybug tape recorder with the sponge headphones.

When did you all start playing as Kudu Blue?
[Clementine] It was about a year-and-a-half ago.

[Creeda] In fact our first gig was a year ago, two weeks ago.

[Dale] That was supporting Bipolar Sunshine at The Haunt. We had just put ‘Bones’ out and ended up getting that gig, we didn’t expect it.

[Creeda] Owen’s keyboard stand collapsed onto Dales foot midway through the gig.

Can you remember your first jam?
[Clementine] Yes, it was terrible!

[Creeda] It really was awful.

[Dale] We had all been doing different things before, so going in this new direction took a bit of getting used to.

What is the story behind the name?
[Creeda] To be honest, there is no real meaning behind it.

[Tom] We needed to change our name, as there was already a local company with the name Early Bird (Promotions). We went about finding a new name and ended up with Kudu Blue – it took a while but it just came out and stuck.

[Clementine] We have had a few funny interpretations of it – like Kudoobal (spelt phonetically) said by an Aussie bloke at one of our gigs.

How would you briefly describe your music?
[Clementine] It’s an eclectic mix of all our passions.

What are you influences?
[Tom] I love playing reggae, that comes out in my bass playing – real dub sounds. Also Latin and World music are big influences.

[Clementine] Michael Jackson, he is the one for me.

[Dale] Jonny Greenwoods (Radiohead) guitar playing, I would love to be as good as him. I’m not but I do try. I don’t quite know how to put my guitar through a transistor radio, yet.

[Creeda] I feel like I am a product of Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Questlove (The Roots).

What drives you to write music?
[Clementine] Love man, ha ha.

[Tom] I would not know what to do if I didn’t write music!

[Creeda] It sounds cringey but it is my life.

[Dale] I think if we didn’t write music we would be miserable.

Are you thinking about your next release?
[Creeda] Hopefully in June. We are currently working on tracks, doing takes and working on the production, then we will be sending it off to be mastered in a month’s time. Nothing is set in stone but it will definitely be sometime in 2016.

What has been a musical eye-opener?
[Tom] It was the first time I heard J Dilla. Someone played me ‘Think Twice’ and I had never heard anything like it, the rhythms and the way the song changed. It wasn’t self-indulgent, it was just great. It really opened up that whole branch of music to me.

[Dale] Nirvana when I was 12 years old and a very angry teen. Hearing something where every word they sang was with such pure passion. Also the first time I listened to Kid A by Radiohead. Hearing how intelligent and forward-thinking it was totally summed up what many mainstream cultures didn’t know was going on.

[Clementine] I have always been so absorbed by all music that it is really hard to choose one specific moment.

[Creeda] Watching Radiohead play In Rainbows was a phenomenal experience.

If you could put together a supergroup, who would be in it?
Family Man Barrett (Bob Marley & The Wailers) on bass, Mark Colenburg (Robert Glasper Experiment) on drums, Johnny Greenwood (Radiohead) not only as a guitarist but as an innovator in music, with Michael Jackson on vocals, and their name is Daayyymmm!

What would be your perfect line-up for a concert you are putting on and where would it be?
Bob Marley headlining to calm everyone down after Michael Jackson kicked things off in emphatic style. They would have to play Stonehenge.

If you could work with any artist, who would it be and what would they bring to Kudu Blue?
[Creeda] It would be incredible to work with James Brown, but I think we would all get sacked.

[Dale] Aphex Twin or Flying Lotus would be interesting.

[Clementine] I would love to work with Boom Clap Bachelors.

What are your future plans?
[Clementine] To make good music that we are all proud of.

[Creeda] We are playing Secret Garden Party, The Great Escape and Noz Stock festivals.

Facebook: facebook.com/KuduBlueUK
Twitter: twitter.com/KuduBlue



The Island Club – Interview – 2016

If you take a look out your window, it looks as if (whisper it) summer might be just around the corner. No better time then, to get acquainted with the music of The Island Club. Whether it’s the gloom of winter or the tranquillity of autumn, the Brighton music scene has music to suit all seasons. Within that spectrum, The Island Club undoubtedly fill the quota of music to accompany lazy, sunny afternoons.

So far we’ve been treated to two tracks from the five-piece, the super sleek ‘Paper Kiss’ and the more woozy and melancholic ‘Sober’. But anyone who’s caught them in the flesh will attest there’s plenty more where that came from. They pack an absurd amount of hooks and melody into their not-too-short but very sweet live sets. By this point they could probably put together a bit of funk-infused indie pop in their sleep. We managed to get them all together in the same room and asked them a few questions about where they came from, what they’re doing, and where they’re going.

Let’s start from the beginning, how did you all meet? How did the band get together?
Mike
– Julien and I started writing together pretty early on at Uni, after meeting through a mutual friend and we went through a few band members before finding Sam and Dave. It really clicked musically straight away with them.

Julien – I met Sam at a house party, he told me his life story. I had to be friends with him after that 'cause I knew too much.

Barney – I actually knew Julien from school, he drunkenly asked me to join his band in Brighton to which I drunkenly agreed.

Julien – We'd been in bands before and I knew we could write well together.

Where do you all hail from originally?
Mike –
I grew up in Stevenage and Sam hails from Swindon. Barney and Julien both come from a small village just outside of Guildford.

Julien – I was actually born in New Zealand, and moved over here when I was young.

Dave – I'm the only native Brightonian, born and bred. It's handy that these guys landed on my doorstep.

I can hear lots of different bits and pieces in your music. There’s a bit of psychedelia, indie-pop, disco and dance. Are these all sounds you purposefully draw on? What would you say are your main influences?
Julien –
It started out with more of an indie sound. I definitely saw the potential for a more electronic sound so pushed for getting Barney in on synth. As far as the music goes it really is just a combination of what we like as a group. Sometimes an influence will be brought up during writing if we want to capture a vibe but we're mostly trying to write what we enjoy. I draw a lot of influence from sampled music in my guitar playing, and I like when a live part sounds choppy and disconnected. Also all hail the funk.

Barney – We all love a bit of Tame Impala, Daft Punk and Peace. Personally I was force fed a lot of Michael Jackson as a child, I know Mike fell in love with Hopes and Fears by Keane, and it was the first album that he properly became obsessed with. Sam recently mentioned that he listened to a lot of ABBA in the car growing up.

Sam – I think it really helps that most of us didn't grow up together and the music we listened to growing up was so varied.

You’re all at BIMM right? Do you think studying there – or even just being located in Brighton – has had any influence on the music you make?
Mike –
BIMM is good for networking and you can get a lot out of it, but I wouldn't say it has any influence on what we write at all.

Julien – I'd agree. On the other hand Brighton is a great city, and living here probably effects the music we make on some level.

Sam – There are a lot of great bands in Brighton at the moment, it's cool to be a part of that scene

Julien – I suppose Dave has been the most influenced by Brighton having grown up here.

Dave – Yeah, it's just got such a good live music scene and you can't escape it. There's always touring bands and local acts.

Barney – I don't live here…

You released your first single ‘Paper Kiss’ near the end of 2015, can you tell us what the song is about?
Mike –
It's about the corruption of money and how it can change people. I began to imagine what it would be like to put the richest 1% on an island, strip them from their cash and reputation yet let their egos remain… It would be interesting to watch.

Your recordings have a really lovely crisp, shimmering sound to them. Did you record and produce them yourselves, or where/who did you record them with?
Julien –
We've only ever recorded with Neil Kennedy at the Ranch Production House in Southampton so far, at least with the tracks we've released. We demo tracks ourselves before we go to record them so we already have a solid idea of the production, but Neil has always had ideas for how to approach recordings, cause he knows his studio so well.

Sam – Neil introduced us to Geoff Swan who then mixed Paper Kiss and an upcoming single. Geoff managed to capture the sound we had in our heads.

Barney – We want to move towards doing more of the recording and mixing ourselves, so we have even more creative control over the sound.

There’s quiet a few members the band, how does your songwriting writing process work? Is there anyone who has to take on the role of leader or is it pretty democratic?
Julien –
The initial idea for a track will normally come from me and sometimes Mike. We'll all write the meat of the track in the rehearsal room together, and we all have a say on how certain sections should feel.

Barney – We get really specific about the details of the track almost like producers would, so the track sounds 98% of the way there before Mike starts on the lyrics.

Mike – Writing lyrics and melodies usually consists of me pacing around my room for days on end whilst blasting the track experimenting with loads of different ideas. If I have a song idea, I'll bring it to Julien and we'll work on it together before we bring it to the group, we've always done it that way since the beginning.

You just sold out The Prince Albert for a headline show, which must have felt pretty good. How was it for you?
Sam –
Massive.

Julien – It was the perfect mix of scary and brilliant.

Barney – I was already feeling celebratory at the beginning of the night seeing the room packed out! It certainly makes us hungry for even bigger shows.

David – Yeah, it was a really great show for us and we got a great vibe from the crowd. It was definitely a milestone for us.

Mile – Even the morning after the show we were thinking about what we were going to do next, we're always trying to up the ante.

You’re playing The Great Escape this year, have you been before? What are your experiences of the festival?
David –
It's a festival that I've followed for years having grown up in Brighton, and it's cool to know we're gonna be a part of it this year.

Julien – I'm a fool and have never been before but have been desperate to go for years. It's awesome that the first time I get to go is when I get to be involved and play.

Mike– I haven't been but I'm excited to play!

Sam – Playing TGE is something I've wanted to tick off my bucket list since moving to Brighton. Seeing all these bands you've listened to for years just walking round Brighton is really cool and we're really grateful that we get to be a part of it.

Anyone you’re particularly excited to catch at this year’s festival?
David –
I'm hyped to see Mura Masa and Oh Wonder at All Saints Church.

Sam – Blossoms, Mystery Jets and Black Honey. Too many bands to list really. We actually played with Blossoms at the Prince Albert last year.

Julien – Yeah we did! It's crazy to see how far they've come in a year. I'm really looking forward to seeing Boo Seeka. I found them on Triple J not long ago and love the track 'Kingdom Leader'. I agree there's just too much to list though!

Mike – I'm Interested in seeing Beach Baby cause there's a lot of hype around them. Also Jack Watts and Nova Twins.

Barney – I'm gonna make sure I see Clean Cut Kid and KYKO, who I played a couple of shows with in some of his earlier projects.

Your sound definitely feels like it’s meant for the summer. Any other festivals you’ve got lined up to play this year?
Julien –
Nothing we can announce yet!

What else does 2016 have in store for you? Any plans to release more music?
Mike –
There's going to be a new single very soon, expect some new sounds at the start of May.

Sam – It's been a while since we put out Paper Kiss but we didn't want to rush the process on the next single.

Barney – We do have a lot more we want to release, so hopefully this year will get pretty hectic for us.

Julien – We're gonna move into a house together later this year, and it looks like we'll have a studio space in the back garden to write and record ourselves and others in as well.

What artists or albums are you listening to at the moment?
Barney –
The new Grimes album has taken over my life at the moment. I've also been listening to the Koi Child album which Kevin Parker [of Tame Impala] produced. Bibio's new album is great too.

Julien – It feels like I haven't stopped listening to Currents (Tame Impala) since it came out. I'm just looking through my playlist now, and there's a lot of RATATAT being added, and The Internet. I also just found this nice electronic duo from Aus called Kllo, really liking their sound.

Mike – I’ve been listening to a lot of Vulfpeck recently, I just love how they cover every element of funk. The Weekend, Beauty Behind Madness is just a great pop record and I always find myself listening to it. Mark Ronson’s, Uptown Special, yet again another great pop record with some wicked collaborations.

David – Flume's latest singles are insane and his album is going to be next level. Also B4- 4.

Sam – I was listening to Kendrick Lamar's album To Pimp A Butterfly at the end of last year on repeat, but for 2016, I haven't really gotten in to any other albums as of yet. The Magic Gang are becoming favourites of mine; I'm really looking forward to seeing them live in Brighton as soon as I can. A friend of mine is in a band called RAIN, he's shown me some of their new stuff and I'm really excited to see what they get up to this year. Their first EP was great. They're from my hometown, Swindon, so it's really great to see some emerging music from back home.

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