RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW SHEFFIELD BAND LIGHTNING THREADS
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
Can’t wait to have you on at our Tramlines pre show folks, we will come to that shortly, let’s get to know you a bit first.
What made you decide to start the band?
We have a mutual love of blues rock and roots as well as playing music live. Sam and Hugh previously played together in Santiago Kings and we first met Tom when he supported Kings in Sheffield. We straight away saw the potential for putting a trio together.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
Tom Jane started playing guitar when he was 7, emanating his heroes like Rory Gallagher. He built a following as a well-respected solo artist for years. Sam Burgum has flipped between guitar and bass since he was 14 and is currently keeping both going with Lightning Threads and Santiago Kings. Hugh-dog the lightnin Butler (former Santiago Kings and Gorilla Warfare) keeps himself busy by playing drums and keys at the same time.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
Get out to support other bands’ gigs as much as you can. Then they’ll come to your shows and together you can keep the scene going.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic? If so what?
Hugh – I bought loads of trinkets and a trinket display cabinet. I also bought loads of camera gear and synths and drum machines and saxophones. I bought a purple strat, a bass and an accordion (I learnt the game of thrones theme tune on it). Also, I got a sausage dog called noodle.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
If Paul McCartney did die in 1966, I bet his lookalike didn’t think he’d have to keep it going for so long.
What support is out there for new artists in Sheffield?
The Tramlines Fringe is a really important weekend for local bands every year where the city centre is flooded with music fans. There are also some great local venues and promoters in Sheffield who love their music and want to keep putting bands on.
Who is inspiring you at the minute on the Sheffield unsigned scene?
Bone Broke Kings, The Fargo Railroad Co., Andy P Davison and the Soul Preachin Co, Rich Brown, Emilia Quinn, Emma Savile, Hazy Janes, Ashley Sherlock, Tom Kilner, Serious Sam Barratt, Porcelain Hill, The Strangerz, M&J Blues, Ash Gray, Deltanaut.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Last year we did a (not so secret) midnight Tramlines gig at Dorothy Pax – loads of people came and they were really up for it after lockdown. You couldn’t move for people and the people couldn’t stop moving.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Tom – I broke a string when we played at HMV in Oxford and it was the one time I didn’t bring a backup guitar. Luckily everyone stuck around to see the rest of our set and we styled it out.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Tom – people are usually surprised when I tell them my Fedora cost £300. I have to defend it with my life at every gig.Sam – I keep 3 rescued chickens called Henrietta, Balti and Bhuna.Hugh – I have a beautiful falsetto but rarely crack it out live.
Tell us a funny story from backstage?
We managed to get lost in the backstage corridors of the O2 academy in Sheffield… you probably had to be there but it was a proper spinal tap moment.
If you had to describe your band to an alien how would you describe them? Meep morp
Which one of the band is the most unpredictable and why?
Probably Tom. He can get a bit ‘into’ a solo sometimes and will take a few extra bars. Luckily we see it coming now.
You have one phone call and you have been locked up for a crime you didn’t commit? Which member would you call first?
Probably Hugh because he’d be able to whip up some digital assets for an epic freedom campaign.
So, we have you on soon at The Frog and parrot on Thursday 21st July, are you looking forward to it?
Yes we certainly are! Love tramlines and love the buzz in the city centre. It’s also our first time at the legendary frog and parrot.
What will your fans expect to see?
A fucking good time, wall to wall killers, back to back bangers, and even some new material.
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?
Mystical Woman is a feel-good hit for the summer. Slightly psychedelic and old school. We recorded it a few years ago and it’s been waiting in the wings for the right moment. We’re releasing it everywhere on the day of the Frog and Parrot gig (21st July) and it will be available on Spotify etc
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
Usually, Tom will bring some voicenotes with a melody, lyrics, and the beginnings of a chorus or riff. Then we work as a three piece to build it up into a finished song in the practice room, experimenting with different transitions and sections. Mystical Woman was one of the first tracks we wrote together as a band.
What was the recording process like? The middle section was fun to record. We added loads of extras in the studio like shakers, bongos, cowbell.
Why record an album? A lot of artists are going down the road of regular singles, just interested in your thoughts on committing to an album right now.?
Funny you should say that .. we’ve also been releasing regular singles over the last three years, but there’s something about the story and the vibes of an album. There are some tracks we have that are more anthems for an album rather than singles. We’re all fizzy about releasing a vinyl sometime next year.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
That recording a demo in advance (and to a click) saves alot of time in the studio because you can use it as a guide track.
Would you change anything now its finished? We may play about with some sections if it makes the cut for the album. We’re always writing and experimenting and adjusting our songs.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
We have a big gig headlining 2 nights at Dorothy Pax in November (18/19th). But we also have gigs with Porcelain Hill at Cleethorpes Rail Ale and Blues festival, Tom Killner in October in The Greystones, as well as sets at Hallamshire House in August and Peddlers market in November for Martin Bedford and the Honey Bee Blues Club. Then we’re into the studio to record the album.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Go to more gigs! Come for the music and stay for the vibes. Without you, it’s just a practice. Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.