Interviews

16th May 2013

New Band: Dear Atria

By Chenge Dziya

Left to Right, Zach, Hayden, Dani, Matt, Joe
Left to Right, Zach, Hayden, Dani, Matt, Joe

Alternative metal band Dear Atria are taking over the Leeds underground music scene.

The unsigned band is based in Leeds, and the group members who are all students at Leeds College of Music established the band in January 2013.

The band consists of members Hayden 20 Lead Guitar, Joe 19 Drummer, Zack 18 Bass guitar, Matt 18 on Rhythm, and Dani 18 the group’s singer.

The newly formed band is the brilliant brain child of Hayden who also happens to be the group’s manager and song writer.

Dani, the vocalist of the group, also contributes to music writing.

Dear Atria’s style of music is alternative metal and these guys really know their music. Hayden says: “I would say our music is influenced by bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Asking Alexandria and Flyleaf.”

Dani says that “all our songs are tearjerkers that Hayden writes for Avenged Sevenfold, while she writes for Flyleaf.”

Each one of the members has an opportunity to have their input and write songs, Zack has written a song for the group and so has Joe.

When asked about their performance Zack said that “we have one cover by Asking Alexandria – ‘Someone Somewhere’, all the rest of the songs are our own”. Dani said that the one cover they did was more of set filler.

The group have been offered someone to write all their songs but they turned the offer down.

When asked about the extent of their instrument playing all the members have an element of being self-taught which is probably what contributes to their passion for good quality music.

The band were very vocal about their feelings towards talent shows, Hayden said “I would rather get nowhere than go on something like the X-Factor.”

One of the most important lessons the band feel they have learnt so far is, “don’t take anything personal”, which is also the same advice they would give to any new bands starting up.

The band, which has been active for 5 months, have been promoting their EP album and single which will be available by the summer.

Dear Atria also have a music video which will be ready for release very soon.

I met up with the band in the studio and this is what they had to say:

Read more stories from Chenge here.

16th May 2013

Tribes…on their new album ‘Wish To Scream’, craziest outfits and support slot for The Rolling Stones

Tribes

By Lucy Howell

Polkadots & Potions caught up with Johnny (vocalist/guitarist), Jim (bassist) and Miguel (drummer) from Tribes before their first gig of the tour in Sheffield. The Camden quintet will release their second studio album, Wish To Scream, on May 20th. They are currently touring the UK, as well as playing at several festivals this summer alongside rock royalty, The Rolling Stones.

How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never listened to you before?

Jim: British Rock ‘n’ Roll

Which bands would you say you’re most influenced by?

Jim: I think the ones we all have in common are Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, real sort of song crafty writers.

Miguel: We actually just found out we’re playing with Stones at the Hyde Park gig.

That’s pretty impressive! You must be excited?

Jim: Yeah it’s gonna be wicked. We’re doing Glastonbury as well, so we’re driving  down from there for Hard Rock Calling on the Saturday then gonna drive back up to Glastonbury to watch Stones. So we’ll see them twice within about 10 days.

Here’s Jim talking about the concert :

Can you tell us a bit about the new album?

Jim: We recorded it out in La Sound City Studios with a guy called Kevin Augunas who was a great man to be around. He is a very passionate music fan with great ideas, so it was an amazing experience. And to be out in LA doing it was a dream come true.

What song were you most excited about when you were recording?

Jim: Personally ‘How the other half live’ which is the first track released off the album. It just came from being a really simple demo, then working with Kevin through it and getting these incredible sounds out and just transformed it.

How does the new album compare to your debut?

Miguel: I think it’s more mature.

Jim: The main thing with the writing is that the first album was very much based on experiences and it was retrospective in a way where as this one is way more optimistic and forward thinking.

When it comes to fashion sense, they certainly look like they know what they’re doing; but Johnny tells us that’s not always the case…

You have a great following. Are you big users of social networks? Do you it has an important role in a band’s success?

Johnny: Not at the start. It’s so sad to see bands spending all their lives on their phones instead of writing tunes. But as time went on, and we signed to Island, they were keen on us using it. Now we have someone to help us out with it. You can’t really live without it because everyone relies on it.

Do you have any final words for your fans?

Johnny: The album is out May 20th, it’s on pre-order now.

You can listen to the full interview here

Photograph by Lucy Howell

Click here to read more from Lucy

13th May 2013

Blue Lip Feel: on being in the studio, touring and love for 70s fashion

Image
Press Shot

By Lucy Howell

Polkadots & Potions caught up with Sheffield quartet Blue Lip Feel who are singer-guitarist Oliver Tooze, guitarist Conor Houston, bassist Will Adams and drummer Sam Bywater. 

So you’ve been in the studio. How did that go?

It’s been great, you know there’s something special awaiting you on your last Mix of the studio session and we know were working harder all the time and the new material is our favourite work to date.

Who’s involved? 

Blue lip Feel, Alan Smyth (2fly) and our good friend Stevie Keys.

When can we expect an album? 

Not for a long time. There are certain steps this band has yet taken to lay the gauntlet as such and we would have to be extremely excited about tracks to record an album, in a year and a half would be about right, so expect it then I guess.

Take me through your song writing process…

It’s constantly changing, it’s sometimes all of us sat down trying to collectively add instruments and adding vocal from pre-written lyrics. Or like the most of the time, we just start singing a fresh melody.

Which song are you most excited by/proud of and why?

Man I Am, it felt like a progression with our music ability and our maturity,

You’re on tour with Tribes at them moment, how’s it going?

It’s unreal, they have been amazing to us guys. Such great talented guys and they’re just giving us a break we need. We met some amazing folk on the tour and gained so many new fans. These gigs have been amazing for us.

What kind of music influences you?

Music that has that spark that makes you want to sing, play and write music yourself.

We love artists, singers and players from all genres. Mainly guitar music but we are open to everything.

Where’s your favourite place to play and why?

The Leadmill is always amazing. There’s a certain spirit when taking to its stage. It’s our hometown favourite.

The reception you get in London seems to get better each time you play there. Would you ever consider moving there?

Yeah we’re currently considering it now.

Who would you most like to tour with and why?

Phoenix. Because they would be such a good band to watch side of the stage every night, and they’re humour in interviews looks similar to ours.

What’s your dream festival line-up? (Dead or alive)

An answer that could be time consuming…

Were thinking, The Doors, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Strokes, The Rolling Stones, Phoenix, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding, Amy Winehouse, Nirvana, Hot Hot Heat, Thin Lizzy, Laura Marling, Melody Gardot, Kings of Leon, Jimi Hendrix, Arcade Fire, The White Stripes, The velvet Underground, Van Morrison, Ray Davies,

What music are you listening to at the moment, any new bands?

Transfer are the best new band we discovered, they are also on the tribes tour they are incredible.

Oliver:

How would you describe your fashion sense?

The Early 70’s

Do you still work at Freshman’s Vintage Store in Sheffield? 

Yeah it’s great, All freshman’s shoppers are just great people to work around.

Do you cherry pick the new stock for yourself?

I certainly do.

What’s your favourite item of clothing?

A handmade South American waistcoat.

What’s the worst thing you or your band mates have ever worn?

Jeans with no crotch.

Where do you shop?

Probably in your old man’s wardrobe.

You’ve got a young Caleb (KOL) style hairdo- was he your inspiration?

Not for the hair do, but a young Caleb was a cool cat.

Who’s your style icon if you had to pick one?

Its difficult to say most probably Marc Bolan,

Second would either be, Jim Morrison, Keith Richards or Bob Dylan

You can catch Blue Lip Feel at Mosborough Music Festival on Sunday 23rd June. Get your tickets here.

In the mean time, listen to their latest track from the band’s official SoundCloud page:

Click here to read more from Lucy

11th March 2013

Findlay: on Jake Bugg, Tom Odell, Harry Styles and strip teasing

Findlay: On Jake Bugg, Tom Odell, Harry Styles and Strip Teasing

Press Shot

By Lucy Howell

She has been in the headlines for various reasons: her incredible voice, attending Harry Styles birthday party and taking a punch for Jake Bugg to name a few. We caught up with front woman Natalie Findlay, who has been described as ‘a female Iggy Pop’ (Liam Fray), to find out about her move to the big smoke and her stand-out-style.

Hi Natalie! So, you’ve just moved to London from Manchester. How are you finding it so far?
Love it! I’d lived in Manchester my whole life and I needed a change. London seemed like the next step for me. I love it here, there’s a lot going on and because London’s so big I like that anonymous feeling when I walk around, I don’t get that in Manchester I seem to know everyone.

I read that you crashed Harry Styles’ Birthday bash- how did that happen?
When I say I blacked out before I got there, I mean seriously blacked out. I don’t remember anything I went to see Jake perform at Burberry and I don’t go down well with free bars. But according to who I was with, we ended up going to Groucho with Jake and Cara where it was Harry Style’s birthday but like I said I don’t remember. I probably wouldn’t have gone in if I’d known.

You’ve got a great fashion sense! How would you describe your style?
I have no idea, whatever I put on in the morning. If it was up to me I’d probably dress like a scally the whole time because love to be comfy. I travel in my pyjamas when we’re touring and carry around a suitcase full of miniskirts for on stage. It’s quite a transformation haha. I love hats, leather, lace, velvet and fur. And I’ll wear something until it breaks.

Where do you shop?
I do a lot of shopping when I’m on tour in charity shops I bought a floor length fur coat in Leeds for 20 quid that I’ve not taken off since I bought it. I like finding weird vintage pieces and mixing them with modern stuff. I really like ASOS as well- shopping in my pants from home is a blessing.
 
What’s your favourite item of clothing you own?
My leather jacket which is hanging together by a thread. And my silver space boots.

Who is your style icon?
I really like the French 60s look so Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot… Anyone who f*cked Serge Gainsbourg had good style!

The video for ‘Your Sister’ is a bit steamy! What inspired the song and the video?
I was really into watching old stag movies, like old footage of strip teasing from the 40s. I got really, really into it. I love the glamour and the sleaze but it’s still all very innocent and sexy so I wanted to put that into a music video.

‘Off and On’ is your next single, when is the release date?
It’s available for a free download right now online but the ‘proper’ release is the same as the EP on the 15th April.

Thanks for your time!

Findlay has already been confirmed to play at this years’ Live At Leeds Festival. You can get a free Download of their latest single ‘Off & On’ here.

In the mean time, check out the video for ‘Your Sister’ from the band’s official YouTube page:

Click here to read more from Lucy

25th February 2013

Little Green Cars: on their Debut Album ‘Absolute Zero’, latest Single ‘Harper Lee’ and their ‘hipster’ look…

By Lucy Howell

Dublin band Little Green Cars have come a long way since they entered Battle of the Bands back in 2008- especially considering they didn’t actually win the competition. They have been named ones to watch by The Guardian and The New York Times as well as being featured in BBC’s Sound of 2013.

I had a chat with the band in their tour bus after their first slot supporting Jake Bugg at 02 Academy, Sheffield.

Adam: “That’s one of the biggest shows we’ve played. I saw a little three-year-old on his dad’s back giving it loads for Jake Bugg!”

The band should get used to playing bigger venues as they’ve had a lot of radio play and media attention recently. Radio 1’s Zane Lowe named their first single ‘The John Wayne’ as ‘The Next Hype’. Does this add pressure?

Adam: “We try not to take it all on board and focus on what were doing. It’s really nice though.”

The debut album ‘Absolute Zero’ is due for release in the UK on May 13th. The band worked with producer Markus Dravs (Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Mumford and Sons) who was their first choice. He had originally turned the band down but after hearing a couple of tracks he had a change of heart.

Faye: “He didn’t want to tamper with the music or fiddle with anything too much. So that was great for us. We’d love to work with him again.”

Little Green Car’s fashion sense is a bit of a mixed bag…Don looks uncannily like Jared Followill (Kings of Leon) and coincidently also plays bass. Dressed in black skinny jeans and a denim short sleeve shirt, he’s nailed the double-denim look.

Guitarist Adam has a pair of daring pink skinny’s on, paired with a checked shirt. This matches his bright and outgoing personality as he is most forth-coming throughout the interview.

Frontman Stevie has a funky floral, vintage-look shirt on and is rocking his floppy Barnet.

Co-lead singer, Faye, has a 90’s grunge look going on; wearing pale jeans, a black roll-neck crop top, a checked shirt layered further by a baggy khaki shirt.

And drummer Dylan looks pretty laid back in a shirt over a plain t-shirt with jeans.

So, is fashion a factor you need to consider when you’re in a band?

Adam: “It’s definitely important but I don’t think it’s a good thing to talk about (laughs). I think forever people have always expressed themselves in some way through the clothes they wear. I think it’s intuitive.”

Faye: “You can always tell if someone’s uncomfortable in their clothes.”

Adam: “There was actually a comment on Facebook recently. Someone wrote: ‘So happy to see Little Green Cars doing well. It’s a shame they made them dress like hipsters though.’ It really got to me! I wanted to write back: We dress ourselves man!”

Some of the band’s fist gigs as punters are pretty impressive: Kings of Leon supporting Pixies (Don) and Paul McCartney (Stevie) and some are slightly more comical:

Dylan: “Mine was Craig David! My mum had to take me along because she couldn’t find a babysitter…honest.”

Faye: “Blink 182. There were condoms blown up and I was like: ‘Ahh balloons!’. My mam was shouting, ‘Don’t touch them!’”

The band is currently touring in the UK then  Ireland before kicking off their North America tour. See if they’re coming to a town near you here.

In the mean time, check out their latest video ‘Harper Lee’ from the band’s official YouTube page:

Photographs by Gary Wolstenholme

Click here to read more from Lucy

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