Hiya mate thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to become an artist?
I’ve always loved music. From a young age, there was always a guitar in the house and I used to play it until I got a blister on my thumb from strumming. Car journey’s as a young child consisted of listening to this 80’s new wave compilation cassette called The Sound of the Suburbs, included classics like Eton Rifles by The Jam, Echo Beach by Marfa and the Muffins and Teenage Kicks by The Undertones to name a few.
The most profound moment though was when I saw the Courteeners at the MEN arena in 2012. I felt like I could identify with them and as a teenager I saw a bit of myself in the band. The gig was seminal for me – they were little known then to the mainstream media, yet they sold out the arena and every single person was singing back every word like it meant everything. I walked out of the gig with a fire burning inside me and I thought “I want some of that!”.
Soon after I picked up a pen and started writing songs. It’s everyday living and the people I see on a daily basis that inspire me to be an artist and write songs. I want to create music that people can relate to, tell stories and articulate their thoughts as well as mine. I want to sell out gigs up and down the country, see an audience of people singing my songs like it means the world to them.
I moved to Liverpool this year to really see how far I can take my music. I’m also very proud of where I come from and I want to put Cumbria on the map for music.
How do you think the government has looked after the night time economy / live gig circuit?
They haven’t done enough, it’s been sad to see iconic venues like the Zanzibar close. Even the Cavern Club has been at risk of closing – that could’ve been a huge loss to our national identity. If you’re going to force everywhere shut without people having a say in the matter, it is only moral to ensure it is left in the same condition when we can reopen again and get back to it.
Britain is the best in the world for music and arts, they should be protecting it at all costs. They can say the money isn’t there but the reality is they wouldn’t think twice about bailing the banks out again.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
I don’t have one, don’t think I will get sick of questions. I’m grateful for the time people give me to talk about my music.
What is the unsigned scene in Liverpool like at the minute?
I moved here in July during the pandemic so I’m not sure how it compares to what it’s usually like but one of the things that attracted me to Liverpool was the number of grass routes venues – Jimmy’s, Jacaranda, Phase One etc. Scousers are very friendly and supportive too, they really get behind unsigned acts.
What good artists are coming out of Liverpool at the minute?
RATS, Bandit and Columbia are a few up and coming bands I’m listening to at the minute. I’m very late to the party with She Drew the Gun, but I’m constantly listening to her too.
Who is inspiring you at the minute?
Musically Fontaines DC. I love the chaotic sound and the poetic storytelling lyrics. I’m a big fan of Grian Chatten’s vocals too, so raw and authentic.
What useless talent do you have/ party trick?
I guess I could say playing guitar and singing is a party trick. At a party I only play if invited to though and if the large majority of people want to hear a few tunes.
I find it the cringiest thing in the world when someone reaches for the guitar when people are having their own private conversations – there’s an air of David Brent about it. The likelihood is everyone will endure an unwanted rendition of Wonderwall. That’s usually the queue to leave.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
My debut single ‘Sticky Dancefloor’, I had a launch party with the band at The Yellow Earl in Whitehaven. It was a really fun gig, great turn out and everyone was bevvied (including myself). The gig went all smooth despite being half cut, until we played ‘Sticky Dancefloor’ – the last song in the set. I had my capo on the wrong fret so it was a semitone higher than it should’ve been, my poor bass player Sam thought his guitar was horribly out of tune and Stu (lead guitar) realised what I’d done half-way through and started improvising.
I looked down at my guitar when the song finished and thought “fuck!”. It’s somewhere on Youtube, I should probably think about contacting the channel to take it down haha.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Apart from that wobble described in the last question, everything has gone pretty smoothly, touch wood. I guess when things go wrong it’s just experience and it’s a funny story to tell.
I once played a gig in a pub and my PA system kept cutting out mid song, people were clapping though, they must’ve been thinking “why’s he only playing half of Sit Down by James?”
Best drink to have on stage?
I’ve seen Gerry Cinnamon walk on with a bottle of Jack Daniels, that’s pretty rock ‘n’ roll. Think that takes some beating.
Who would you like to duet with?
Would have to say a dream collaboration would be with Damon Albarn. I feel like he’s got something great out of a diverse number of artists, seems to create something genre bending yet keeps the authenticity of the artist he’s worked with – Shaun Ryder on DARE, Mark E. Smith on Glitter Freeze, more recently Peter Hook on Aries.
What goes into your favourite sandwich?
It’s hard to beat a bacon sandwich.
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
Believe in yourself. Have a clear reason and purpose, ask yourself why you do it. Set a goal and work towards it everyday, discard everything that stands in the way of where you want to be. Look after yourself financially with a separate stream of income – gear, recording, promo, music videos, ads all cost money with the view of one day being paid to make your art full time.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do not give a shit about what people think of you. Don’t do things to gain approval or validation from anyone, do it for you, no one else.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus)
I think this year in general has divided a lot of opinion and it seems if people disagree on something it turns tribal and a bit toxic when both sides are completely valid in their view. That lack of understanding for each other annoys me at times.
That said, I try not to get pissed off at things really, it’s easier to let things be rather than worry about changing something that I can’t change.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
I’ve got a song called ‘Where Are You Now?’, it’s just really catchy, people can sing it back even if it’s the first time they’ve heard it. Definitely a crowd pleaser.
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?
Yes! It’s a song called ‘Flower’ – it’s energetic, plenty of guitar crunch and big sounding. Guaranteed to go down well in the live setting when we can get back to it.
It’s a song written about the character of a vulnerable young woman who hides behind her outfit and makeup as she struggles to find the space for her to blossom and flourish.
It’s out Friday 20th November on all streaming platforms!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?