We catch up with Experiment 637’s Ronan and Mickey as they embark on their first U.K. tour which begins tomorrow. Catch the band this Saturday 25th March at Brudenell Social Club.
TICKETS 👉 HERE
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Ronan: I always loved making and creating things growing up. It took me a while before I properly figured out that the thing I was the most prolific at making was songs, but once I had myself a little recording setup at home, I couldn’t really stop!
Introduce us to all of the members and your musical history.
Mickey: There are two of us, myself and Ronan. I’ve been in bands forever. I play keys in Embrace and have been in countless bands over 30 years. I also run a studio in Bradford called The Cellar of Dreams where I produce other bands. Ronan is in once such band called LELO. I produced their forthcoming album.
Name me your three favourite albums.
Ronan: It changes on an almost weekly basis, but I reckon as a duo these would probably our favourites.
22, A Million – Bon Iver
Things We Lost In The Fire – Low
Elephant Eyelash – Why?
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Mickey: Probably something by the Beatles. Or a Motown thing. Our house was always filled with amazing music, and I began playing the piano (quite badly) at the age of three.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?
Ronan: I don’t think you can really worry about that too much. As you say, it’s so insanely tough to crack – we’re really proud of what we have created so far, and we love doing what we do together. That’s the focus for me.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
Mickey: Some men simply need to stop being total dicks. I find it unfathomable that some people think it’s appropriate to grope other people at concerts. I worry about the decline of humankind. We appear to be going backwards.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
Ronan: It’s harder than ever before, and everything changes so quickly, you can’t keep up with it, so I think it’s important to do what feels right.
More than anything else, we just want to show people who are interested a deeper side of our music and creative processes. Exploring the layers of a track or putting together behind the scenes footage from filming days. That sort of stuff keeps it fun for us.
Tell us two truths and a lie about you.
Our favourite cuisine is curry.
I’ve had a number 1 record in Thailand.
Ronan’s a black belt in Karaoke.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
Ronan: As a consumer, it is great. As an artist it’s a totally bleak and depressing concept. Especially at a grassroots level.
There was so much potential there for it to be a great and positive thing, but sadly it feels way too far gone.
If you love an artist, buy a record or a t-shirt or better yet, go see them at a show!
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
Mickey Nah. Real life and real news are way too crazy to bother with any of that!
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
Ronan: Actually no!
What was the worst experience on stage?
Mickey: I was in a band with a guy who had food poisoning. He was wearing white jeans too. Not pleasant.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Mickey is an expert Bloody Mary mixologist.
Ronan’s mum is a famous interior designer.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
Mickey: Lordy, that’s a tough one! Do we stand out? I truly hope so! Hopefully the sum of our influences and our desire to do things differently means that we are in some way unique.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
Ronan: We just released the music video for our latest single Midday Sun, taken from our debut album Sleepwater which was released in September last year.
We filmed the video at an old mansion in Flamborough with a group of our favourite people, and had a really great time – despite the song and video exploring some dark, distressing themes. Our videos (and recording sessions for that matter) usually go that way.
What was the recording process like?
Ronan: Mickey had the idea for Midday Sun floating around for a while. I remember him playing it for me a few times on his piano in his front room. I always loved the vocal melody and chord progression – particularly the sparsity of the verses.
It took a while before we actually looked at working on it in Mickey’s studio, and when we did we were still finding out what Experiment 637 sounded like as a project.
Midday Sun was originally presented more as an electronic piece. Really cold and quite angular with some pretty crazy synth sounds. We really enjoyed exploring what that could be and actually performed the arrangement at our first ever show.
In the end though, as we found more of an identity through the other songs on the album, we rearranged the song with more acoustic instruments and organic sounds, whilst retaining the outro from the original.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Mickey: Finding our sound. When you are surrounded by all the musical toys you could ever need, it can get very confusing. So it’s good to find early on which pallet of sounds works for you, and try to stick with those. Space is important. You don’t wanna fill every bit of space with sounds. The Fender Rhodes electric piano is a mainstay of our recordings. Ronan works for them! I’m hoping one day they’ll give me one!
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Ronan: Not at all. We have a lot of open conversations about all the aspects of our songs and productions. Nothing ever makes its way through the recording process without being considered by us both. This track and indeed album definitely says what we want it to and expresses what we were going through collectively at the time of writing and recording.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Mickey: Be kind. It’s pretty horrible out there at the moment with wars and lying politicians. It’s gonna be down to us to treat each other with love and respect.
FOLLOW THE BAND HERE