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?
I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision for any of us. We all love music and have a creative spirit and it was a fairly natural thing to combine those and start making music as an outlet for that creativity.
Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history.
As a band, we’ve existed since late 2019, when three singer-songwriter friends decided to join forces and try their hand at a vocal harmony based trio.
Jamie: I started playing guitar when I was kid (my Dad taught me my first chords) but I didn’t really get into it until I was in my 20s. I toured the UK with my brothers in a country harmony band for a few years, then, as a soloist, I won an award (UK songwriting contest), released a couple of EPs, did some tours around Switzerland before eventually hooking up with Phil and Tamsin
Phil: I’ve been playing guitar and songwriting for 30 years (I was 11 when I first picked up a guitar), I’ve been in rock bands, toured the country as a solo artist several times, and done two tours of Canada too.
Tamsin: I first felt the urge to play music when I was 13. I grew up on a canal boat and I wanted so badly to join in with the jam sessions around the towpath fire. My dad said if I practised on his guitar for 6 months then he would buy me my own guitar, so I did. Shortly after, I wrote my first song and discovered how much of a therapy and creative outlet songwriting was for my teenage angsty soul. I was a shy person and it took 8 years of writing before I finally felt brave enough to play live gigs. The buzz of sharing my songs overtook the nerves and since then I’ve recorded two EP’s, a full studio album and been able to carve out a small but joyful living doing what I love. Being part of The Lost Trades has really propelled me career-wise but also pushed me skill-wise as a musician and songwriter and I am enjoying the challenge of working as a band.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums.
Jamie: Change Everything by Del Amitri / Teaser and the Firecat by Cat Stevens / King For A day by Faith No More.
Phil: Rumours by Fleetwood Mac / Woodface by Crowded House / Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco.
Tamsin: Song To A Seagull by Joni Mitchel / Levelling The Land by The Levellers / Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?
Is it? I guess it depends on how you measure progress. We’ve set ourselves realistic goals about what we want to achieve over the next few years. The most pleasing thing for us is that people with no connection to the band get excited about the things we do. To be making connections with strangers through something artistic you’ve created feels good, and makes us think we’re on the right track.
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?
Phil: I’ll give my perspective, but then I want to hand it over to Tamsin too, because it’s important to get her views. Personally, I think it’s important to continue to raise awareness, because as a man, I’ve been blissfully ignorant of a lot of what goes on and I’ve certainly had my eyes opened in the last few years. Luckily for us, I don’t think it’s such an issue in the folk circuit that we play.
Tamsin: As Phil mentioned, I think we’re lucky that the folk circuit feels a very inclusive and supportive environment for women to attend gigs. However, I’ve experienced a few moments myself at larger gigs where someone gets a bit too familiar or breaches your personal space. I think people are speaking up more now, and I feel that’s important. It’s taken me a while, I used to just awkwardly laugh it off as I wouldn’t want to cause a scene or make them embarrassed. I’m trying to be better at speaking up now when someone makes me feel uncomfortable and calling them out on it. Often they either don’t realise they’re doing it, or they are ashamed as they know they’ve overstepped the line and they instantly apologise. I think calling people out when you see something happening (to yourself or others) is a good step forward. It doesn’t have to be a big shouting scene, but just firmly telling them to back off would hopefully make them see their behaviour is unacceptable. I’ve seen a local promoter in Wiltshire (Sheer Music) putting posters up at gigs and on social media to advertise the ‘safe gigs for women’ campaign and more of that sort of promotion of gigs would make me feel a lot safer going to gigs alone as a woman as you know the support is there if you need it.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
The biggest tip I can give is to not be too pushy. Find people that you think might be into your style, but then chat and engage on a human level. They’re a music lover, and you’re a music lover. Talk to them about music in general, without selling yourself. Once you’ve made the connection, they’ll check you out, I promise.
Tell us two truths and a lie about you.
Tamsin was once given a jar of pickled eggs at a gig. Phil was in a church choir. Jamie also plays bagpipes.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
They only have a monopoly on casual listeners, surely? It’s always been the case that the casual listener will find a way to get music for free. It used to be that people would get music for free through radio – at least now there’s more chance for artists to get heard alongside established acts. Then home taping was going to kill the music industry. The simple fact is that most people don’t value music as highly as music lovers do, but music lovers will always find a way to support the music they love. Spotify still needs to sort out its royalty model though!
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
Do you mean pasta and toilet rolls? No, but Phil did add to his ever-growing collection of studio equipment. Tamsin bought an electric violin that never made it out of the box. Hopefully some lucky person got a good deal on that from the local charity shop!
What was the worst experience on stage?
I don’t think as a band we’ve ever had anything truly awful happen on stage, we’ve been very lucky with our lovely audiences and been able to shrug off any hiccups. Boring answer, but true.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Jamie: I don’t play the bagpipes
Phil: I nearly died after my appendix burst when I was 17, and spent 2 days in intensive care after having emergency surgery.
Tamsin: I’m actually a fully trained ballet dancer and once appeared in Swan Lake on ice….. Haha! Not really, but I do love a bit of Morris Dancing in my spare time and dance with my local side in Wiltshire. I would highly recommend Morris Dancing to anyone, you get to dance in pub carparks through the summer and get paid in beer! What’s not to love!?
What makes you stand out as a band?
It’s those vocal harmonies, no doubt about it. There’s a magic to it that we can’t explain, that makes people sit up and take notice.
I hear you have a new album, what can you tell us about it?
Petrichor is our second album, following on the heels of our award-winning debut, which spent 8 months in the Official UK Folk Album Chart. We’ve been told that the new album has a more developed sound and more of a band identity, which we’re happy about
Talk me through the thought process of the new tunes.
Being three songwriters, we’ll each start to write the songs on our own, and then bring the song to the group to be altered and arranged. We’ve found ourselves writing songs with similar themes, without really discussing it, or it being a conscious decision. The songs deal with themes of grief, making a fresh start, and persisting through hard times until you reach easier ones. That in part is why we called the album Petrichor, which is the word for that pleasant smell of rain after a long dry spell. An awakening of the senses caused by change and new challenges.
What was the recording process like?
We’re lucky to have a studio we can use, which is at Phil’s house (he records, mixes and produces all our releases), so we were able to take our time. With the first album we had most of the songs written and rehearsed before recording them, but this time, they were written as we were recording, so we’d never actually played (or even rehearsed) them live. They were layered up in the studio, knowing that we’d need to learn how to play them live. We’ve tried to arrange the songs in such a way that we can reproduce them faithfully at a live show.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
I feel like we’ve all learned more about each other’s strengths and weaknesses doing this album. We’ve each got a different way of approaching things too, so finding a way to incorporate each other’s styles was very important to us, and something which was challenging but mostly enjoyable, and totally worthwhile.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Nope, we never look back, we just learn for next time.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Jamie makes incredible music videos (and videos in general), go over to our YouTube channel and take a look. Also, regarding music in general, if you find a new band you like, shout about it… tell your friends. It’s something we tend to do when we’re younger, but not so much as we get older, but sharing music is a special way to connect with people.