fbpx
TALK IN CODE

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW TALK IN CODE WHAT HAPPENED?

Hi folks. What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

Some of my earliest memories involve music. I was brought up in a home where music was playing often and my family would huddle round my Dad’s stereo where we’d listen to the official charts on a Sunday.  I remember being stood in my back garden, hearing Reading Rock Festival (as it was then) in the distance and being filled with wonder.

During primary school years I tried different instruments and sang in the choir but it was drums I eventually settled on in my teens being inspired by Alan White (Oasis) and Lars Ulrich (Metallica).  I played drums in a few different bands early on from around 17 years old.  I then got a taste for writing, learnt to play a bit of guitar and started trying ideas which later Talk In Code emerged from and I loved the feeling of creating, recording and performing original music.

Introduce us to you all and your musical history.

From the ashes of various other music projects and bands, Talk In Code was formed through a mixture of circumstance and musicians coming together that shared common creative ideas and aspirations.

After a few line-up changes in the beginning, the current line-up has been solid for 6 years and consists of Al Sneddon (Snedds) on guitar and synth, Mark Turner (Titch) on bass guitar and synth, Jamie O’ Sullivan (Jambo) on drums and myself, Chris (no real nickname worth note ha!) on vocals and occasional guitar.

We regularly write and rehearse in our own studio space fondly known as ‘The Den’. The name -Talk In Code – is derived from the idea that everyone relates to music and songs differently. With a sense of mystery, this theme is portrayed in the lyrics, leaving them open to interpretation.

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

We are based across Swindon and Reading along the M4 corridor. Swindon’s scene, whilst there is a handful of venues and some fantastic promoters driving original music (shout out to The Victoria and Swindon Shuffle guys!), it feels largely covers and tribute orientated. 

Reading however, appears to hold more opportunities for original artists and having been playing there a fair amount recently, things are building well – shout out to The Oakford Social Club! As a result, with some combined work our tracks have been recently played on BBC Introducing Oxfordshire & Berkshire.

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

How long have you got?? Well…there’s an old saying in sport ‘concentrate on your own game’, which is something we’ve been doing more, since the start of the pandemic in fact, and it’s meant for good progress. We’ve been regularly releasing music, playing shows, staying active on the socials and putting small budget behind promo and focussing on building the fanbase too.

We’ve reached a point of being virtually financially self-sustaining. Whilst are signed to a label who have been excellent as the vehicle to release our music over the past 2 years, we remain financially independent.  The difficulties and challenges we experience in the industry is that EVERYONE has a different opinion and depending who you speak to, there’s a different opinion on where time and effort should be concentrated to make progress! 

We try and produce our music to the highest standard that budget and our skill level allows, create good quality assets to accompany releases and use a small amount of money on promo activity with streaming, socials and online PR. We pride ourselves on the live show and have a built a good reputation in this area which is by far our largest income source.  We are always grateful of good opportunities to perform.

TALK IN CODE

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

I feel we have good cross-over appeal with our blend of 80’s flavoured, energy-packed indie pop and certainly don’t shy away from the fact our sound is more pop/accessible.  We are keen to reach anyone we feel might enjoy our music and often have children and the parents alike approaching us after shows all having enjoyed the set!

Tell us two truths and a lie about you.

I am a Level 2 qualified Outfield and Goalkeeping football coach, we have never performed at Glastonbury Festival, all of the band once aspired to join the armed forces.

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

Yes, we are possibly the most polite and considerate band you’ll ever meet ha! ‘Cancel culture’  is challenging, however, we generally avoid posting anything that may be remotely interpreted as controversial and therefore haven’t experienced this kind of behaviour.  We don’t have a strong political message or anything like that, we just like to keep the focus on our music to be honest…we’re not ‘content driven’ artists which has seemingly become more and more apparent in recent times – that the content comes first… That could be largely down to our age – ha – or just the fact we don’t have the time for all that. We’d rather dedicate the time to writing and we are holding down day jobs too.

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

Not really, no conspiracy theories that we necessarily support although they can be interesting just to hear people’s point of view on, when things are thought to be staged or not how things appear etc.

What was your best experience on stage?

We’ve had many great experiences onstage. Playing Walled Garden Festival for the first time with Go West and Nik Kershaw was brilliant and we had an awesome crowd reaction. Being the first ever artist to play the Mainstage at Swindon’s Mfor Festival was amazing, with Years & Years Headlining and supporting The Feeling at Foodies Festival are ones that stand out for me…largely festivals over venues currently although our recent shows at The Oakford have been awesome!  It’s possible to have a great experience onstage in front of a small crowd and a terrible experience onstage in front of a larger crowd. It’s mostly down to the band’s level of comfort with whether the show is enjoyable or not. 

What was your worst experience on stage?

Yep – a few bad ones, generally it’s when the onstage sound is challenging and things are uncomfortable because when that happens you can’t throw yourself into the performance. Tech gremlins can throw you off too. Glad to say we’ve not yet experienced a show that’s a complete disaster!  We’ve played to virtually empty rooms, but the point is, whoever is there, they’ve given up their time to watch so whether it’s 5 or 5,000 we always try and deliver a great show.

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

Chris (me) once applied for ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ as Liam Gallagher, Snedds has a Masters Degree in Audio Technology, Titch is a former Reading FC Academy Goalkeeper, Jambo can drive a digger!

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

After this single release we are planning another for the autumn with a trip to the studio due around the same time to record new songs. We have 3 radio promotion campaigns lined up including the current single, combined with streaming promotions, social media activity and online PR. We have a busy summer season ahead, packed with 14 festival appearances including playing directly before Sleeper and Ash at Minety Festival in Wiltshire.  We intend to release an EP in the spring of ’25 and shall be busy writing in the background, working towards our fourth studio album…staying active, staying visible, staying consistent.

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

Yes, our brand new single is called ALL IN, the 2nd of 3 singles set for release this year. It’s an uplifting, indie pop tune that fuses elements and rock and pop with distinctive Talk In Code sounds.  The song’s largely about overcoming adversity against all odds.

What was the recording process like?

All our recent recordings have been with Sam Winfield (The Amazons, Amber Run, Fickle Friends) at Studio 91, Newbury.  The foundations for the current single were built from chords on the acoustic guitar and vocal top lines with lyrics, later enhanced by band member’s contributions.  We write in many different ways, the seed of the idea can be a synth, guitar, bass or drum section even before any vocals or melodies are added.

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

The importance of additional production and how it can give a whole new dimension to a song.  Preparation too, just in general, going into the studio with parts well-rehearsed that you intend to record as staple parts.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Not the recent crop (at the moment) but we often listen back and there are songs that – when the time is right and we aren’t focussed so heavily on new music – we’d like to re-visit and re-record in the studio…maybe for the next album???

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

I think I’ve pretty much covered everything in the world of TIC just now…just to say thank you to RGM and thank you to anyone that reads this and checks out the band!

FOLLOW ON X (TWITTER)  // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // WEBSITE

MORE RGM NEWS HERE