Interview | The Calamity Answer 10 Questions

The Calamity Band

Wolverhampton Band The Calamity take on the 10 Questions!

Interview: Present are Billy Haynes (guitar/vocals), Matt Smith (guitar), Steph Haynes (bass) and George Holt (keys).

1. Where did band name come from?

Billy: Out of a hat. The hat’s decision is final. I’m not sure whether the hat is literal or figurative.

2. What made you want to get into music?

B: Creative expression?

Matt: Not wanting to have a shit job.

B: Though we don’t make any money so we have to have shit jobs anyway.

3. Best venue you’ve ever played and why?

Steph: The NAC [Newhampton Arts Centre]. We played at ‘Strummerjam’ there last summer.

M: We put these gigs on at Asylum Art Gallery in Wolves, they’re really good. It’s just a white room with no toilet, everyone has to piss behind the bins. It’s free and a great atmosphere, and we don’t have to deal with promoters.

B: Mmm… promoters.

M: It has a kind of renegade thing to it.

B: I used to love the Adelphi in Hull when I was at uni there, used to play there a lot. It’s like someone’s living room made into a gig venue. We’d like to take the band there at some point.

4. One band/artist you’d love to support?

M: Should we say someone really niche?

S: Nah someone massive. Ariana Grande?

George: Do they have to be still functional? If not then the Velvet Underground.

B: Probably Peter Doherty. I remember seeing him in Coventry once, there were four support acts. It was a sort a cabaret vibe, very cool.

5. What’s the greatest love song ever written?

M:‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ by Foreigner.

B: Erm…

6. The best album you’ve heard this year?

M: ‘Brutalism’ by Idles. Looking forward to listening to their new one.

B: I bought Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Psychocandy’ couple of months ago, love that.

G: ‘Unknown Pleasures’ by Joy Division. Not sure if I listened to it this year or last year though.

S: Not really listened to anything. I think when you play music a lot of people expect you to be an ‘aficionado’; but I’m not that into consuming music, I just enjoy playing it.

7. Most overrated artist of all time?

S: The Calamity.

B: Queen. Definitely Queen. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is terrible and makes me sad.

M: Ed Sheeran.

B: Is he rated?

M: Yeah! All the idiots love Sheeran.

8: What’s the last song you streamed on Spotify?

M: ‘Drunken Angel’ by Lucinda Williams.

G: I can’t get my Spotify to work.

B: I don’t have it. We’re listening to The Fall at the moment though… I listened to a band called Real Estate the other day.

9: Bands to look out for?

G: Raphaella Kornaskis…

B: Bryony Williams…

M: The Calamity?

B: Yeah! I think we’re quite introspective as a collective, our influences are mostly archaic and we can’t afford Saturdays at the Sunflower Lounge. So in terms of the ‘scene’ we’re very much outsiders.

M: We’re trying to do something different, make something that we’d love cos no one else is doing it.

S: Be the band you want to see in the world.

10: Plans for the future?

S: Film a video for our song ‘Pagans’.

B: World domination. Take the band on tour, make new records.

M: I want to be happy and not be bored and working for £7.83 an hour like a twat.

Just would like to say thanks once again to The Calamity for taking the 10 Questions on. Make sure you follow them and check out their music!

Twitter / Facebook / Soundcloud

Interview | Italia 90 Answer 10 Questions


Italia 90 London Band

Where did Italia 90 Come From? What do they want to Accomplish Next? Find Out Below!

Where did your band name come from?

We don’t have a particularly interesting story behind this unfortunately. Ages before we’d even played together we had a vague concept of a band kicking around for quite a while. We were originally going to be called The Cairo Gang, until our bass player Bobby Portrait said he thought Italia 90 had a nice ring to it. We all agreed and here we are.

What made you want to get into music?

We’ve all basically went to school together, so after 20 years we essentially ran out of things to talk about and started playing music. All our other mates were doing it too so it seemed like a good idea.

Best venue you’ve ever played and why?

Milhoes de Festa in Barcelos, Portugal. Our first international gig. Lovely place, too hot.

One band/artist you’d love to support?

Slaves – they seem to be having a tough time and need all the support they can get.

What’s the greatest love song ever written?

Nothing Compares 2 U, Prince’s love song to cigarettes

My Baby Does Good Sculptures – The Rezillos

The best album that you’ve heard this year?

Parquet Courts – Wide Awake – Listen Here

Grouper – Grid of Points – Listen Here

 Most overrated band/artist of all time?

Shame/Damien Hirst

What was the last song you streamed on Spotify?

Twist and Turns and Headtrips – Milk Music

Humming – Portishead

Which three artists/bands should we be looking out for? (Musically not for Criminal Offences)

Ghost Car, Great Dad and Militant Girlfriend are all absolutely excellent. And we’re not just saying that because they’re pals.

What do you want to accomplish next as a band?

Finish (start) writing the album!

Just would like to say thanks once again to Italia 90 for taking the 10 Questions on. Make sure you follow them and check out their music!

Follow Them! – Twitter

Tourist Estate’ –  Listen Here

Italia 90 EP’  – Listen Here

Interview | Suzi Island answer 10 Questions

Suzi Island

One of Brightons Brightest Bands, Suzi Island, Take on the 10 Questions

Where did your band name come from?

Matt: We thought up the name after watching a documentary about Micheal Jackson and his ‘Neverland Ranch’ (named after the fictional island from Peter Pan). From that we thought up the concept of our music having a location and being a place you can escape to, and it really just developed from there.

What made you want to get into music?

Hugh: I’ve just always loved writing songs really! I met Matt pretty early on in my life, and we just sort of stuck it out busking, gigging, just playing loads of different places. When we bumped into Carlie it became a no brainer that this was the right thing to do.

Best venue you’ve ever played and why?

Carlie: I think the best venue we’ve played so far has to be the Guildford Indie Night at the Star Inn. It was a really intimate gig but the crowd was dancing and all just up for having a good time which made our job easier – it ended up being a lot of fun.

One band/artist you’d love to support?

Hugh: Anyone! Do you know someone? We’ll probably do it. (Radiohead would be quite cool, although I’d probably die a little/a lot)

What’s the greatest love song ever written?

Matt: It may not be widely considered the greatest, but as far as modern love songs go ‘I Luv U’ by The Ordinary Boys has to be up there for me. It’s a really underrated tune that one.

The best album that you’ve heard this year?

Carlie: Ooh thats a difficult one. For me there’s been two strong contenders, either ‘Man of the Woods’ by Justin Timberlake or Kanye West’s ‘ye’. – Listen Here

Most overrated band/artist of all time?

Hugh: Overrated is really tricky! I guess if people are connecting to an artists music then they’re usually doing something right… Can I change this to underrated and answer Milo?! ‘So the flies don’t come’ is kind of incredible.

What was the last song you streamed on Spotify?

Carlie: ‘I Like It’ by Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin – we’re all really digging this tune at the moment.

Which three artists/bands should we be looking out for? (Musically not for Criminal Offences)


TS Graye


Alice Jemima

What do you want to accomplish next as a band?

Hugh: The next huge thing for us is coming next month. We can’t wait to let that out, as it’s going to mean rounding up 2018 pretty perfectly! We’re dying to get onto some festivals for next year – so that’s the goal we’re aiming for by the end of 2019. After that, world domination! …Or maybe we’ll go on holiday.

Just would like to say thanks once again to Suzi Island for taking the 10 Questions on. Make sure you follow them and check out their music!

Follow Them! – Twitter

Show Me The Way’ –  Listen Here

Actor’  – Listen Here

Interview | Lions of Dissent answer 10 Questions

Lions of Dissent - Photo By Eurpides Dakis Altintzoglou

Lions Of Dissent Weigh in with their 10 Answers and give some in-depth answers!


Where did your band name come from?

I had the name a good year before I did anything with it, it sounded like a group of freedom fighters or activists and I knew I would use it for something vital. Originally it was going to be used as a company name for film soundtracks and multimedia projects but with a combination of coincidence and fate, things changed very quickly and we ended being a full on music and art collective. We went from 1 to 7 members in under 2 years.

What made you want to get into music?

For me it is the ultimate form of artistic expression and at times it has literally saved my life. Music is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I was obsessed with the Sex Pistols at a very early age and that was it really – they were like my musical gateway drug to a whole new world that I’ve never really left.

Best venue you’ve ever played and why?

We’ve been fortunate to have played some great places, but so far I would have to pick Newhampton Arts Centre in Wolverhampton – we did our first gig there to a sell out crowd so it holds a special place. Not only that, the production values are amazing and the stage is massive which is a big help when there are seven members to fit on.

One band/artist you’d love to support?

I could pick loads for this but i’m gonna have to say Public Image Limited.

What’s the greatest love song ever written?

God Only Knows – Beach Boys

The best album that you’ve heard this year?

I really liked Noel Gallagher’s latest LP, David Holmes who produced it is probably the best producer in the world. I think he really brought the best out of Noel. I’m also really looking forward to the new Spiritualized record too and of course there’s always a great new BJM album around.

Most overrated band/artist of all time?

I don’t want the bad karma of picking someone for this so I’m gonna go most underrated if that’s ok, I’m gonna pick my old friends Exit Calm, their bass player is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

What was the last song you streamed on Spotify?

Bells and Circles from the new Underworld and Iggy Pop EP

Which three artists/bands should we be looking out for? (Musically not for Criminal Offences)

Darryl and Si from our group are working on a new project under the name ‘Roman Missile Unit’ which is definitely gonna be worth checking out.

Burning Astronomers are great songwriters, a couple of us guested on a track of there’s called ‘Red Van’, I recommend checking out the EP of the same name – it’s a great introduction to their work.

Finally I’m gonna pick Violet, I think they’re a great young band with a big future. They supported us at the back end of last year and were really good.

What do you want to accomplish next as a band?

We want to get out and play further afield, get on a few festivals next and to just keep enjoying it and keep getting better and progressing. Being in this band is a privilege for me, I couldn’t ask for better bandmates or musicians to work with.

Just would like to say thanks once again to Tim from the band for taking the 10 Questions on. Make sure you follow Lions of Dissent and listen to their debut EP What Would It Fee Like To Be Free!

Follow them! – Twitter

Debut EP – Listen Here!

Honey From Hell’ – Listen Here!

Interview w/ Peaness

Peaness Band

With their gig at The Sunflower Lounge coming up in April, I managed to steal some time off Peaness member Jess to answer some questions!

First of all, last year was a very eventful year for you guys with you playing a ton of shows and supporting some amazing bands like The Big Moon & The Cribs. Which shows really stood out for you last year and why?

Hi! Thanks for getting in touch. Jess here!

Yep 2017 was pretty amazing for us and we had lots of amazing gigs, it’s difficult to narrow them down (and to recall them all!) but the shows with The Cribs were definitely a great way to end the year. We also had a couple headline shows in Manchester, the biggest being in the Soup Kitchen (which reached max capacity!) and to have so many people come and support us, especially away from home, was very special. Festival season was great last year as well, we played 2000 Trees, Truck, HANDMADE and main stage at Indietracks. To play big gigs like that really made us believe we’re actually an alright band!
I need to discuss with you about supporting The Cribs! I’m a huge fan of theirs, and when I found out you were supporting I was super excited. How did it come about? Am I right in thinking it was a last minute thing?

They literally messaged us on Twitter. Like “hey we’re the cribs wanna play some shows with us on tour? Peace”. Rach saw the message first and started freaking out in our little group chat like “GUYZ HAVE YOU SEEN TWITTER OMGOMGOMFG”. How could we refuse?

I also saw a picture of Gary Jarman wearing some very fetching Peaness gear, which was really cool to see. Did you get a chance to speak to the lads? Did they offer any advice going forward as band?

They were all super lovely and we were really glad they were so nice! You know when you meet “famous people” and sometimes you can be left disappointed because turns out they’re a dick, well absolutely none of that happened with the Jarmans. We got to hang out and eat their rider snacks, chat about bands and life being in bands, and being in a three piece band. Gary made sure he bought the tshirt as well which was a nice touch. They’re in our hearts forever.

This year has started off quite quickly for you as well, for example you supported the incredibly talented Indoor Pets for two shows, and it looks like you had a blast. What was it like supporting them? It must be so cool supporting bands that you enjoy and get on with.

Also another set of lovely people. We’re big fans of theirs and had been listening to them for ages, so to get to play a couple shows with them and hang out was awesome. I think we’re all life long friends now – at least I hope cos Jamie is an internet star and I want to be friends with an internet star.

I’m super excited that I’m getting to see you at The Sunflower Lounge in April! It’s also a headline show for you, which is even better. You’ve play the Sunflower Lounge before, what do you make of it, and are you looking forward to play there again?

We’re looking forward to returning to Birmingham, yes! Rach was born and raised in Dudley so it’s always special stopping at home towns. The sunflower lounge is quite pokey and intimate, so should be a nice atmosphere. Make sure to say hello!

You also announced a few festivals that you will be playing this year including Distortion, Sabotage and Handmade Festival! Which one are you looking forward to playing the most and why?

HANDMADE cos Indoor Pets are on the same day ❤ We’ve got a couple more to announce soon too.

Maybe it’s me being impatient, but are you guys looking to release any music by the end of year, I really enjoyed your debut EP ‘Are You Sure?’ last year but i’m craving more music!

Not telling.

On the subject of ‘Are You Sure?’ now it’s been out there for some time now, and you’ve had some time to reflect on the release, are you happy with how it’s been received? And what would you do differently for your next EP?

I think it’s done us well! We never really thought our band would come close to the level we’re at now, so we weren’t thinking about it too much at the time. For future releases however I think we’re going to take our time a bit more.

I know this is a bit out of left field. But last year was a great year for music, were there any particular albums that really stood out to you, and perhaps even any that influenced you?

It was a great year, off the top of my head a couple of my personal favourites were Andy Shauf – The Party, Alvvays – Antisocialite, and Phoenix – Ti’ Amo. But I think the state of the word influenced us more with our writing.

And in asking that, are there any albums that you’re particularly looking forward to this year?

New Courtney Barnett record, fo’ sure.

With us being 3 months into 2018, what will make this year a successful year for Peaness? What would you like to accomplish by the end of the year?

Write some banging new tunes.

Thanks so much for taking the time out Jess to answer these questions! You can buy tickets to all of Peaness’ upcoming shows in the links below, they’re all over the place so there should be one near you!



7th – Soup Kitchen – Manchester – Tickets

20th – Louisiana – Bristol – Tickets

21st – Green Door Store/Distortion Fest – Tickets

24th – The Sunflower Lounge – **HEADLINE SHOW** – Birmingham – Tickets

28th – Night & Day/ Sabotage Fest – Manchester – Tickets


5th – O2 Academy/Handmade Fest – Leicester – Tickets

6th – Sound City – Liverpool – Tickets

7th – The Lexington – London – Tickets

8th – The Belgrave Music Hall – Leeds – Tickets

9th – The Lanes – Bristol – Tickets

10th – Central Station/Focus Wales – Wrexham – Tickets

11th – Cumberland Arms – Newcastle – Tickets

19th – The Great Escape Festival – Brighton – Tickets

27th – Alexander’s – Chester – Tickets


Interview w/ Campfire Social

Upon hearing their EP ‘Wellbeing’ earlier this year, I instantly gained affection for Campfire Social and their wonderful music. After that, interviewing them about the EP became a priority. Luckily enough I got the chance to here, and I couldn’t be happier! 

Let’s start with 2017, it saw the release of your debut EP ‘Wellbeing‘ which I listened to the other day and really enjoyed! Were you guys happy with the release and how it was received?

– Really happy. It was the first time that we had all worked together in a studio and I think we were all proud of what we had made. The songs themselves are kind of an amalgamation of sounds we had worked through to get to where we are now, in terms of an overall vibe, I think you’ll hear how all of that comes together on our next recording. We are certainly happy with how it has been received. Last year we managed to secure a decent amount of Radio play, were invited to play Festival number 6 and travelled to South Korea to play Zandari Festa with nothing but that EP in our arsenal. So no one is complaining here! I think a lot of that is down to continued support from Adam Walton (BBC Wales), the Focus Wales team and not forgetting Gorwellion/Horizons who have helped with funding for the next release.

I loved the sound of the whole EP, especially the beautiful guitar riffs that you weave around the vocals, reminding me slightly of the Mystery Jets in some ways. What influences would you say found their way onto the EP?

– We have such a wide range of influences between us that I think they all become unrecognisable, I could list a few of the bands/artists that influence me the most at the moment I.e mewithoutYou, Manchester Orchestra, Elliot Smith, Deathcab for Cutie and of course Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys but I wouldn’t expect you to pick them out in listening to our music. Mostly I get the urge to write a song after watching a coming of age themed movie so make of that what you will. As for the beautiful guitar riffs Chris Done has a beautiful mind and that’s all on him.

Wendy’ is such a beautiful track, mainly because of the delicious guitar parts in it. How do you go about writing your songs usually, is it the guitar parts and melody that come first or some other special way?

– Thank you so much. Generally I watch a nice film, cry like a baby and then sit up at night holding a guitar and pretending to be an artist. Then I go to band practice and everyone pats me on the back and enables my unhealthy desire to be liked whilst quietly deconstructing what I have made and turning it into something a million times better than what I started with.

Obviously a lot of bands find going into the studio and recording quite tiring, as it can become such a long process. How was it for you guys recording the EP, were there any issues?

– I LOVE recording! It’s probably my favourite thing to do. It’s really nice to be able to hear each part and be adventurous. Russ at orange sound studio makes it all seem really easy as well.

You guys had a fairly busy end of year in 2017, playing a few shows. However over the course of last year, what were the gigs that really stood out for you? Chester Pride must’ve been pretty special!

– Chester Pride was great fun and it was an absolute honour to be asked to take part. I think the obvious winner for us, as far as experiences go though, would have to be Zandari Festa. I have never been to that part of the world before and and the shows we played just felt so special.

You guys also supported Peaness with their single launch at Soup Kitchen in Manchester. I saw those support The Cribs last year and they were amazing! Did you enjoy playing alongside them, and which other bands did you enjoy play with last year? 

– Peaness are collectively one of our favourite bands that we just happen to be lucky enough to call friends. I’m a sucker for a great song that sticks with you and they just keep firing them out. Kidsmoke are another band that seem to do that seamlessly. We consider ourselves very lucky to have done a good few shows with both of them last year.

Earlier I asked you about the influences you took with you onto the EP, to quickly jump back to that, which records did you really enjoy from 2017 and what are you looking forward to in 2018?

– I’m trying to think but I’m pretty sure my first two choices, Andy Shauf – The Party and Angel Olsen – My Woman are from the tail end of 2016. I’ve spent most of 2017 revisiting old albums that I’ve always loved, off the top of my head though (and with help from Carrie) we both really enjoyed the new Manchester Orchestra album. I know that Chris was a big fan of Clean Cut Kid-Felt. Rhys has a huge collection of new albums that I’m yet to hear such as Wolf Alice, Death from Above and the QOTSA. Tom would definitely say Ti Amo” by Phoenix and “In Mind” by Real Estate. We would all probably agree on Paramore – After Laughter, especially Carrie and Eyre Llews debut.

You already have two shows booked up already for this year, the next one being on 18th January at Blackout, have you played there before, and are you looking forward to it?

– Always love playing for students, usually a great atmosphere.  Can’t wait for the Eyre Llew gig in March either, gonna be great to see them again. Telford’s warehouse is also our home away from home and we always have a great time.

With the EP released and shows already booked up this year, what does 2018 hold for Campfire Social, and what would constitute 2018 as a successful year in your books?

–  We’re heading into the studio with Russ again (thank you gorwellion/horizons!) to make a start on our debut album! Which we plan on releasing a few singles from starting in March. After that we hope to come back with a better live show and to play lots more shows in new cities. Another festival would be fantastic, No6 was so much fun! Lots more gigs……LOTS!

Thanks so much for taking the time out answer these questions guys, I hope your 2018 is just a prosperous as 2017 was, all the best you guys!

– No, Thank YOU X

Interview W/ Nobodies Birthday

Nobodies Birthday

With them supporting The Cribs in only a few days time, I managed to catch up with Reading Band Nobodies Birthday, to get their thoughts on the upcoming show and how the Reading music scene is doing!

First things first you’re starting 2018 very promisingly by supporting The Cribs at Coventry Empire on 27th January! This must be exciting, how did the show come about and are you looking forward to playing the show? especially with such a headline act.

– Yeah it’s an exciting one for us because we’re genuine fans of The Cribs, we’ve paid to see them at their own shows and we were asked about playing it a little bit out of the blue but it’s a Saturday night, the last night of the UK tour those boys are on, so it’s got the ingredients to be a memorable one.

You went to see them in Reading earlier in the month, I know first hand their shows can be hectic. What did you think of the set and their performance?

-What they do live is similar to what we do – come on, play your tunes as loud as possible and get everyone in there nice and sweaty so we loved it. They’ve obviously got a huge back catalogue behind them which makes for some good singalongs and always gets a crowd going so I’m sure we’ll see more of the same up in Coventry. 

Have you guys played in Coventry before? If so what was it like, if not what are you expecting from the gig?

-Never. It’ll be our first time so play nice! Some of us have been to Coventry to watch shows, have a night out and drink far too much which is exactly what we’ll be doing after this show, but never played in the city so we’re looking forward to seeing what everyone’s got.

Reading’s music scene has had a jolt with the ascension of The Amazons and Sundara Karma in the last few years. Did you get to play any shows with those guys at all? And are there any other bands in Reading that you would tip to make an appearance this year?

– We haven’t played with either of them but Reading isn’t a big place, so we’ve bumped into The Amazons boys a fair few times and they’re top guys. Both them and Sundara Karma have done so well and it’s great for us because they’re two bands who again we genuinely like the music of. We bought tickets to see Sundara Karma at their Brixton Academy show because it’s cool for us to go and watch a Reading band on that stage. Same with The Amazons – top 10 album and we’ve got tickets to see them at a hometown show they’re doing so we’re looking forward to hearing them live again. They’re probably the two kind of flag bearers for Reading rock music at the moment but we’re behind them and hopefully can do some good stuff too.

After the release of your Album All You Ever Want is Everything , which was released in 2016, you embarked on quite a busy 2017. What were some of the highlights of last year, and was there a milestone for the band?

-As a band we always seem to set little targets and they end being the milestones. To release the album was a milestone in itself, we self funded it, had full control over it and had no one sat behind in a little chair telling us what the first single would be and how we should dress in a music video. It was an album made for us, made for our mates and to release it was maybe the biggest milestone achievement but 2017 gave us some great opportunities off the back of the album. We played with The Sherlocks in Reading which ended up being one of our favourite shows then probably the biggest thing was The Pigeon Detectives took us out on tour and we played some big shows with them which ended with a sold out one at Electric Ballroom in Camden.

Had a listen to All You Ever Want is Everything earlier today, and I really enjoyed. I love the ominous guitar that surround every track, I’d say it has a slight Madchester style to it. Would you say the same, if not influences do you take with you into your music?

-Yeah there’s definitely some of that in there. Certainly Oasis and The Stone Roses. Those two are two of the biggest influences but we’re an old school indie band – our influences are probably obvious to a lot of people; The Libertines, Kasabian, bands like that, bands that like to plug guitars in and make some proper music.

Sorry to ask this but I’m loving the answers i’m getting from other bands, with 2017 being a good year for music on the whole Which records did you take from last year that really stood, and were there any that really influenced you?

-I’m not sure if new albums and the sound that’s around at the moment necessarily influence us too much. We know what we like and we make our tunes how we like em but we can’t not give the Reading boys a shout again – Sundara Karma and The Amazons both released really good albums. Like the new Kasabian record as well; they know how to write big songs!

With a few shows already booked up for this year, including Are You Listening in April, which ones are you looking most forward to, and which venues would you love to get a chance to play at if you can?

-Are You Listening is one we’re really looking forward to, to be honest. It’s an all day festival that takes over the town in Reading and it’s all done for charity so it can be our good deed for the year. There’s so many venues we’d love to play and we’ve got a few other bits and pieces to sort for some other good shows so without giving you a vague answer – there’s a lot to look forward to, a lot people should look out and a lot of opportunity to come and see us live which everyone should take. 

With 2018 starting so well for you guys already, what do you hope to accomplish in the coming year? What will make it successful?

-We’re going into the studio in early March to record a new EP. To release that and have people enjoy the songs will be successful but we’re hoping to play some bigger shows, maybe a few support slots, a couple of headline shows and a few festival slots. That sounds pretty successful by our standards!

Thanks so much guys for taking the time to do the interview, good luck supporting The Cribs. I’m sure I’ll bump into you there at some point!

Interview w/ Average Sex


Average Sex Band photo by Agne Papievyte
Photo by Agne Papievyte

Ahead of their show in Birmingham, I managed to get to speak to Sam and Laetitia from East London band Average Sex! After having a lot of success in past two years, we discussed what 2018 has to hold for them and much more. 

So 2017 was quite a hectic year for you guys with the release of your EP Ice Cream and playing a lot of shows including getting to play alongside The Charlatans! How was it having this jam packed 2017, and out of everything were there any other highlights?

Sam: Yeah there’s been so many, Other than the tour the biggest highlight was being asked to travel to Barcelona to shoot a cameo in an Indonesian movie being filmed there. 

Also when you’re touring a lot you get the chance to play with a lot of bands, which bands stood out to you, and would you like the chance to play with again?

Sam: Yeah we made loads of friends on tour, I really enjoyed Spinning Coin and Cabbage. Hopefully our paths cross again.

Laetitia: It was also great to meet and play with Brix & The Extricated, the Blinders and the adorable Tom Mouse Smith. To be fair, all the bands we played with were super good and I felt very lucky to share a stage with them.

Releasing an EP can be a very taxing experience sometimes especially when you can’t get the sound you want or it just taking a very long time. How was the experience for you, did you face any problems?

Sam: Not at all, we worked in quite a relaxed way! We recorded it back in July with our friend Ric James and it was a lot of fun! 

Laetitia: Recording was quite laid back, we went with the flow and didn’t stress too much about it. 

On the subject of your EP, how do you think it was received? Were you guys happy with the overall project, is there anything you would’ve done differently?

Sam: I think it’s gone really well, the 12″ sold out in Rough Trade East and Piccadilly Records in the first weekend! All the reviews have been great and it’s also gotten a lot of radio play on BBC 6 music and Radio X. 

Laetitia: It seems like people liked the EP. I’m super happy with it but now I can’t wait to release new songs. Sam and I have been writing so much since these first 4 that are on the EP! I feel like we are in a totally different place now. It’s very exciting.

Going slightly off topic, just would love your opinion on this as I’ve been asking other bands. 2017 was a good year for music, were there any records that really stood out for you and played a part in the bands sound last year?

Sam: I’m not too sure who played a part in our sound as such, but my favourite album of 2017 is probably The Courtney’s II by The Courtney’s. 

Laetitia: Two records released in 2017 that I bought and love are Slowdive’s Slowdive and First Hate’s A prayer for the Unemployed, although we sound nothing like them. But I’m sure I will think of more stuff tomorrow and regret not mentioning them.

You’ve got this Birmingham show on 24th January at the Hare and Hounds, is this the first time playing Birmingham before, and are you looking forward to it?

Sam: We played there earlier this year supporting Hungry Ghosts at their single launch, looking forward to playing there again. 

Laetitia: Love Birmingham, can’t wait to go back!

Finally, 2018 is staring at us right in the face, what have you got planned for the year and what do you look forward to doing the most?s

Sam: I’m looking forward to getting in the studio, we’ve got lots of big things in the pipeline which we’ll be announcing pretty soon! 

Laetitia: I’m not sure what we’re allowed to talk about yet, but I can’t wait to play in Paris, my hometown, and I’m also looking forward to playing festivals and releasing our next single.

Thanks so much for taking the time to complete the interview guys I really appreciate it, I look forward to seeing you in 2018!

Interview by Alex Wise @AJWise

Interview w/ Sugarthief!

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Hey guys thanks for taking part in this interview, I really appreciate it considering how busy you are even at the start of the year!

So 2017 was a very busy year for you guys, which saw you play a heck of a lot of shows, especially towards the end of year. Which Towns and Venues really stuck out? And where would you like to go back and have another crack at?

Of course Birmingham is our favourite. It’s where we have the strongest fan base so naturally have the best shows, but saying that, Glasgow was a crazy one, we had never played there before and every person in the crowd was so passionate and we loved that! We had a similar vibe at Newcastle too so we’d definitely be keen to get back to those two cities.

I saw you play at COW Birmingham later on in 2017,which was really cool seeing a band play in that sort of setting. How did you find the experience, and would you want to do that again?

We’ve wanted to play there since the first time we stepped inside the store and saw other bands do it, we got to know everyone at COW pretty well – who are all absolute legends by the way – and they asked if we wanted to play in there. It was such a cool show and we were really surprised by how many people turned up! We definitely hope we can play there again in the future.

2017 saw the release of your latest track ‘Provide’ , which I really enjoyed because of the sleek poppy guitar hook. How do you think the song was received? And was you happy with the end product of the single?

It was a weird one for us because Provide was actually one of the first songs we wrote, even before Sugarthief was a thing. We’ve played it since the band started so it was nice to give it to people who have heard it endless times live. In a way it was wrapping up our older style and helping make a clear step towards the future and everyone seemed to dig the track a lot so we can’t complain at all!

I know you’re currently in the studio at the moment, do you like the process of it? Because I know a lot of bands find it quite tiring if they can’t seem to find what they’re looking for.

We love being in the studio, the process of seeing these songs you’ve written build together is really satisfying and getting to experiment with them is a lot of fun. Ryan at RML who is producing our new stuff really gets what we’re trying to achieve which makes the whole thing a lot easier and the songs sound better than we ever could have imagined because of that. It can get a bit tense when there’s disagreements about sound or structure or whatever but luckily we’re all best mates in the band so there’s never any bitterness and we just love hanging out talking about music in depth for 10 hours a day.

In terms of you style, is that something we can expect to be back in 2018 or will you be introducing some new elements to your music?

Our new material explores a lot of new elements but still honours our older stuff, we’ve really honed in on our sound now and have written a bunch of tunes off the back of that. We’re so excited for everyone to hear this progression and really think it could be what will take us to a new level this year.

It was a decent year for bands in Birmingham in 2017, is there any bands that particularly stood out for you?

Where do we start! Birmingham is amazing at the moment not just because of all the awesome music coming out of it but we’re all mates as well! Violet are awesome, we think they have an amazing sound that kinda reminds us of the OG btown era haha! We also have to mention our good mates Ivory Wave who are killing it at the moment. Also shout out The Assist, The Lizards, Riscas & The Cosmics, just to name a few.

While we’re on the topic of music in 2017, is there any albums that you particularly enjoyed?

Beach Fossils released a beautiful album called Somersault, just not a single bad song from start to finish! Also Flyte released an incredible debut album which really innovated their sound, so we’re really into that too, so we’re very excited for all the bands bringing out debut albums in 2018! watch out for The Magic Gang, Island & The Orielles. All gonna be bangers.

With 2018 staring at us right in the face now, what have you got planned for this year? I would love to see an EP release from you guys.

At the moment we’re focusing on getting a bunch of shows booked not just in brum but across the country and preparing to release our new stuff in the form of a single first and then possibly an EP, but we’re making no promises, we’ll just see where the year takes us.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer the questions guys I really appreciate it, and I wish you all the best for 2018!

Interview by Alex @AJWise

Interview w/ Kidsmoke!

After a very hectic year for Kidsmoke I managed to catch up with them so they can reflect on what happened, from featuring on Black Mirror to releasing their EP Save Your Sorrow. It was a really interesting interview, so I hope you enjoy!

Hey guys so I’ve been keeping tabs on you over 2017, you’ve had a really busy year with a lot of gigs. Which would you say has been the most memorable?

As a band we love to play festivals, so we were over the moon to be asked to play Festival No.6 in Portmeirion. We’d heard a lot of good things about the festival and it didn’t disappoint. We played the Lost in the Woods stage alongside our friends Campfire Social and it was the only part of the weekend that the sun came out, so everyone was in high spirits. A load of wasps did try to attack us during our set though, but I don’t think anyone noticed.

This year has had you play so many different venues and with so many bands, is there any particular venue you’d like to go back to? And which bands stood out when you played alongside them?

We played a lot of places/venues we’d never been to before and had the opportunity to headline more shows this year. For me, EBGB’s was really enjoyable; it was our first time playing Liverpool and we seemed to go down really well. I’m hoping we get to play that venue again this year.

A handful of bands from the North-West are doing really well at the moment, and deservedly so. Seazoo, Peaness, Campfire Social and Cull are all bands we’ve enjoyed playing alongside this year and are all well worth keeping an eye on.

As a late sort of present to you guys at the end of the year your track ‘take me to the river’ has featured on the highly rated Netflix show Black Mirror. That must’ve been very special for you guys, how did that come about?

We were emailed by a music publishing company called Sentric back in February and they told us that they’d pitched our song ’Take me To The River’ to Black Mirror and it had been accepted. I had pretty much just finished watching season 3 at the time of receiving that email so the whole thing was a bit unbelievable. It was confirmed about two weeks before the new series dropped on Netflix that we were to be featured on the episode ‘Arkangel’, directed by Jodie Foster. It all feels a bit surreal (in a good way) and the response we’ve received since we announced the news has been quite overwhelming.

You also had your EP Save Your Sorrow released this year, which I really enjoyed. How do you think it was received? And are you happy with it now you can reflect?

‘Save Your Sorrow’ was received pretty well I think. Each of our releases has been more popular than the last so I take that as a sign that we are heading in the right direction. I’m happy with how it turned out overall; with all of our recordings there’s things I’d go back and change but working to time/money constraints seems to work well for us. We sometimes have a tendency to overthink things, so the limitations help keep things sounding more natural and unforced.

Making an EP can be a taxing experience, how did you find it? Is there anything you would like to have done differently?

We recorded the EP in two parts. ‘See The World’ and ‘Waves’ were recorded and released first, then we were awarded the Horizons Launchpad fund which allowed us to go back into the studio and record 3 more songs. As with any band nowadays money is tight, so without the launchpad fund I’m not sure if the EP would have even happened, so we’re extremely grateful to the people at Horizons and the Arts Council Wales.

Recording with Russ Hayes at his studio in Penmaenmawr is always a great experience. He’s extremely encouraging and makes the whole process of recording a lot easier and more enjoyable. We tend to play the songs live for a while before we go into record them, because in the early days we found that recording songs we don’t know inside out doesn’t really work for us. I think that’s why we sound more confident on ‘Save Your Sorrow’. Well, I hope that comes across anyway.

Looking back I don’t think we would have done anything differently. I think sometimes we underestimate how important the finishing touches can be when recording, which is something we’ve noted and tried to remedy on our upcoming singles.

On a totally unrelated note, 2017 has been a string year for music. Which albums have you been listening to the most, any artists that have surprised you?

For me, ‘Party’ by Aldous Harding and ‘Capacity’ by Big Thief had the most impact on me out of all the albums released in 2017. Both albums are stripped back and really emotional. I pretty much fell in love with both of those albums on first listen.

With 2018 around the corner, I get the feeling that this is going to be an important year for you guys. What can we look forward to in 2018 from you? Also I what are you most excited for?

We are keen to build on this momentum so we have two new singles ready to go, both to be released in the first half of 2018. I feel these songs are a bit different to what we’ve released before so I’m excited to see what people think of them. Our main goal in 2018 is to record and release our debut album, and we are working on new songs at the moment in the hope of getting back in the studio asap.

Thanks so much for taking the time to complete this interview, I wish you all the best for 2018 and I look forward to seeing you live next year!

Interviewed carried about by Alex Wise @AJWise