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HAUSPOINTS

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW HAUSPOINTS WHAT HAPPENED?

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I can’t say that there was ever a conscious decision-making process, I do remember making the decision to play the drums as an angsty teen and I think everything just followed from there. It’s like the whole ‘be the thing you do’ (not sure if I’ve quoted that right) mantra.

At some point I started playing guitar and getting more of a kick from writing songs and recording them myself. None of them were very good, but the art of repetition tends to, at the very least, give an understanding of which mistakes are unwanted and which ones are keepers.

Introduce us to you all and your musical history.

I’m Palmo, I sing (vaguely), play the guitar and sometimes tinker with radios. Rob Clarke plays the guitar and sings. Nik Brierley plays bass guitar, synthesisers and miscellaneous noises. Charlie Hartley plays the drums. 

We’ve all been friends for a long time, doing stuff in our own respective bands. There wasn’t a right lot of people who were into writing original or arty numbers around, so the ones that were naturally gravitated. You’d put each other on, record each other’s stuff if you had the gear and know-how, and form a kind of community based on that common interest.

What’s the live music scene like where you are right now? Anyone we should be looking out for (Bar you of course)

Because we’ve all done this music thing for so long (we have about 80 years collectively under our belts), we’ve seen, and been involved in, spots to be put on come and go. We started this band as a studio project coming out of the malaise of the multiple lockdowns with just myself and Rob at the wheel.

Getting back to it, so to speak, with a full band, it would be easy to say there aren’t as many venues and promoters wanting to put new, original bands on- and that might be true, but the fact is that where bands are doing the work, making records, drilling live sets and making sonic concoctions, there are people who want to hear that. Maybe just not the same people as there were in 2020. 

I’ve seen a lot of people struggling for support recently online. What’s your view on the industry?

It’s easy to rail on the industry, and for good reason. Artists can be very easily taken advantage of by people and organisations whose only concern is the bottom line. This isn’t a new thing, however, and the main difference now is that as an artist, you can choose not to partake in that culture. 

When everything is treated as a business (it is), if you adopt the mindset of treating your band like your own business, and make moves on your own terms, there might not be as much return, you might not end up doing things at a scale you might well be if you had the backing of a multinational corporation, but you have full control over what it is you’re doing. 

You can put the work in (a lot of it, for little to no financial gain, reward or stability), talk to people, talk to bands, put your art out into the world, push it as far as it’ll go and just keep going. It might work, you might end up in a position where your art is popular enough to be self sustainable (really, that’s the most attainable dream), or it might not.

But in doing so, you’ve created something that is fully yours, brought something to life that wasn’t in the world before. It might be absolute dross, but it’s your dross. The key is to keep swimming, keep working and make something, anything happen. The alternative is to make nothing happen, how dull would that be? 

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

Honestly, I have no clue. I prefer not to consider our place in the music world, it might lead to an existential crisis that incapacitates our creative mojo. If I was pushed I’d say not at the bottom, but nowhere near the top either. If that makes any sense whatsoever. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

Our guitar player was in a manufactured boyband.

Palmolive is my favourite brand of soap.

The band Soft Play (formerly known as Slaves) once slept on my living room floor

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

I wouldn’t say I worry too much about it. I think if you’re not being a prick about something then even if someone does take it the wrong way, as long as you have the self-worth to back yourself then you should be alright. If you don’t, that’s a whole different problem.

Personally, my take on so-called cancel culture is that if you shut the conversations down then it can galvanise the issue for certain agitators. If we talk about these things and calmly dismantle any, frankly ludicrous arguments, surely that’s more productive than shutting it all down. 

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

I find conspiracy theories interesting from a narrative point of view. Like, the stories are just wild. I could go into a lot of detail discussing specifics, but the way I see it, humans are hardwired to look for patterns- especially when the circumstances are so unreal.

It’s like we need to find the order in the chaos. I will say this though, when I started out playing drums, the guy who taught me was a die-hard subscriber to UFOs, Ike and the whole shebang. It made for interesting learning. 

What was your best experience on stage?

With this project, we’ve not had any bad experiences so far. Everyone has been really receptive and kind, and into it so I couldn’t really ask for more. Up until very recently we were a six-piece band with two drummers, so sound engineers did tend to shit themselves when they saw us loading in. 

What was your worst experience on stage?

Over the whole time I’ve been playing, there have been many. I can’t really go into specifics because I can’t exactly recall, which is the whole reason it was a bad experience in the first place… 

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.

We settle band disagreements with Street Fighter II tournaments on the Sega Megadrive in our studio. 

What are the next steps you plan to take as a band to reach the next level?

The main thing for us is to just keep at it, and take it as far as it can go. We never set out to climb any kind of ladder, so to speak. If we can continue writing, recording and playing, and break-even as an added bonus, that’s cool. 

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

We’ve just put out a single, Hear No, See No, with a video to coincide. This is the first single from our debut album ‘Eel Feeling’ which is due out 21st September on Crackedankles Records. 

Ironically, this is one of our oldest songs. We wrote and recorded an early demo in the studio before the band was a band, as I mentioned earlier, and this song is the only one we’ve reimagined for the record. 

What was the recording process like? 

We recorded the single as part of the album sessions at Whitewood Studios in Liverpool, with magic producer Rob Whiteley. We’d made the decision to track the album in a few days as opposed to painstakingly tracking it over a number of months ourselves. It’s good to put that pressure on yourself sometimes, and get out of your comfort zone. Keeps things fresh. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

There wasn’t so much of a learning curve per se, as I said we’ve been round the tracks a bit. So it’s more like feeding a compulsion to get this stuff out and keep working. That being said, every day is a school day. The whole process is collaborative and we work together really well to get things done. 

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

There are always bits of any recording where you go, “Ah, if I’d have just…” Especially when you’ve listened to it more or less on repeat for months on end. It’s another part of taking the approach we did, get into the studio, track it quickly, and live with it warts and all. On the whole though, I’m incredibly happy with how this has turned out and I’m really proud of the result. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Yeah, loads. I’m not sure the world wants, or needs it for that matter. 

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