Wednesday, 19 January 2011

YMC Backstage Interviews - TALK TO ANGELS

Yorkshire Music Collective interviews Talk to Angels backstage at Milo before their charity gig

YMC: Can you introduce yourselves and say what you play?

Talk To Angels: I'm Craig and I'm the singer, I'm Jamie and I play drums, I'm Mickey and I play keyboards, I'm Chris and I play Bass

YMC: Your doing a really special concert tonight in aid of a charity, can you tell us a bit about it?

TTA: All the proceeds from tonight and from the Christmas single we have released all go to St. Georges Crypt which is a fantastic company who do a lot for the homeless around Leeds. We went up there and we played a show not too long ago and we helped out, did some dinner lady sort of things and they were very welcoming. Its really enlightening to go somewhere like that and learn about what they do, it really does take your breath away when you realise what they do.

They are very good at this time of year with the cold and the snow it just gives people a place to go, a place to get off the streets and have a warm bed for the night and hot food.

YMC: I've seen on your facebook profile that you have been there a few times, its not just that you're putting on a gig you have implicated yourselves in the project

TTA: Well we recorded our version of Fairy Tale of New York about 3 years ago and every year we've thought about releasing it and every single year we've left it too late and this year we remembered we needed to do something with it. We thought we can't just put it out and take the money for ourselves, we need to do something more worthy so a friend of ours told us about they Crypt. So we got in touch with the Crypt and told them we were thinking of doing it and wanted to give them the proceeds and they were just blown away. So since then we've been down there a few times and made a lot of friends. There were a lot of smiley faces when we were playing a gig in the cafeteria!

YMC: I've been watching you for a few years, one of the things that most impressed me was that so young you went to SXSW festival, it must have been a huge thing for you when you were about 17

TTA: I can't remember how old we were, 18/19 maybe. We just turned old enough to be able to do things legally in England then we jetted of to America where you can't do anything legally.

YMC: You have to be 21

TTA: Maybe you can marry your sister in some states but not Texas!

YMC: Was it a positive experience, SXSW?
TTA: Yes on the whole, we had an absolute ball but bands go out there full of hopes and dreams and expect that you're going to come back with a big record deal and its not like that, its basically just a huge record industry piss-up for want of a better word to describe it. Get together! Yes so we played some shows and had a great time, its costs an absolute fortune to do it as well, we had an amazing time. I think it helped to get the band's name out there. There are so many bands out there, big names, Metallica turned up as the secret band that year, we're glad we did it - all in all we had a good time, so to answer the question yes it is positive.

YMC: Well now you are of legal age a lot more venues are open to you, have you struggled growing up in music and finding places for your fanbase to come and see you.

TTA: More recently, we never really knew what our fanbase was and to be honest we still don't, we never intend to write songs for a direct target we never write for a certain genre, the audience changes every single night we play. We've recently struggled and people say we want to get there but tonight we've sold out and people are trying to get in the venue and we are struggling to get people tickets coz there's nowhere to go, but that's a good sign for us. I think it is hard when you are young but at that time for us there was a lot more venues open because bands were so much more the in thing, where as now its sad because you see a lot of venues shutting down because I don't know maybe people don't go out because X-factor is on.

YMC: Do you think there could be a trend in young people more towards dance music than watching live bands
TTA: Not sure really, the biggest enemy is crap on Saturday night TV. But next year we want to change the way we do gigs, not just in black painted square rooms with a PA in one end and a bar in the other. We want to try and find much more unusual places to play and hopefully that will make it a lot easier for people who are under drinking age to get there as well. So far we have secured a disused swimming pool that we have permission to use, a boxing ring, an art gallery, a multi-storey carpark, a ball pool, a launderette. So we just thought it would be much more fun than your regular kind of square room with lights and sound.

YMC: I suppose its enticing people away from drink too

TTA: Yes, all the big venues in London are called the Carling this. I think also because we've done some gigs and people have said I really want to bring my younger children or my children want to come and there's not a lot of venues out there where 14 and 16 year olds can come so doing gigs like that allows the fanbase to come.

They're the future of music really. We're hoping people will get in touch with us and say we've found a perfect venue will you come and play it because we spend quite a bit of time trying to find these places. Hopefully we'll get the ball rolling but then word of mouth will mean that people get in touch and say will you come and play in our local woods, quarry, cave, anything.

YMC: I think that music is most important when you're 13-14 and start listening to your own stuff, and there is a real void for these music fans.
TTA: We're planning to fill it.

YMC: Very best of luck with that!

TTA: Thank you.

The recorded version of this interview can be found in the downloadable podcast:

Monday, 3 January 2011

YMC Backstage Interviews - Above Them

YMC :I'm backstage at the Cockpit with one of the members of Above Them, would you like to introduce yourself

Above Them: I'm Mark, I play bass in Above Them, there's also Tom and Oli but they nipped off for a shifty pint, I'm driving.

YMC: Did you enjoy the gig?

AT: Yes, it was good, its wasn't like the normal gigs we play, the venue is really big - we're more used to the back room of a pub, just DIY shows really, so we are a little bit out of our comfort zone but it was really good, I enjoyed it, good sound and people came out

YMC: How did you manage to get this gig then?

AT: Inala records who put our music out know Frank, who is promoting from Higher Rhythmn, and he got in touch and of course we agreed to play, nowt better to do on a Friday night.

YMC: Are you from Leeds?

AT: We're from Pontefract which is about 15 miles away from Leeds, so we are fairly local, its a place where we've always played a lot so we feel pretty much at home

YMC: and Wakefield I would imagine too

AT: Yes, we used to play at Escobar when it was still open, quite a lot actually when we first started going but now there's a new venue called the Hop One good venue has closed down but there's another really good one opened up, so its not a loss really, we've just kind of switched places.

YMC: Do you think its hard for bands to find places to play, especially when you're starting out?

AT: Yes, when your starting out, it depends really we're quite lucky coz a lot of our friends do DIY gigs, so it kind of just snowballed from there. The longer you go the easier it is because you have more contacts really.

YMC: How long have you been playing together?

AT: Since the winter of 2004, we were only going to do one gig, a Christmas all-dayer, and here we are 6 years later still doing it, its good fun.

YMC: Who writes the songs?

AT: All 3 of us really, Oli our guitarrist comes with an idea, maybe a lyric or something and we just build it from there. its sort of all three of us it would be a bit weird I think if was just one person coming with an idea, saying play this play that, no matter how good the songs are because we think all 3 of us should be involved

YMC: What other gigs have you got coming up?

AT: This year now we're going down to Dorking, thats about it for this year its been pretty hectic, we've been out in Europe in October.

YMC: Which countries did you go to?

AT: We went down through France, into Switzerland, we did a week in Germany and then we went to Holland, Belgium and came back home.

YMC: Was that a good experience? How was crowd reaction in the different countries?

AT: It wasn't that well attended because we're not a well known band but the people that attended liked it, its just pub gigs whereever really, if your into that you're into anything, we got well accepted everywhere and we got really well looked after I was quite surprised about that, the hospitality was unbelievable.

YMC: I've heard bands that say that before, that once you get out of the UK you're really looked after

AT: I just thought that was something everyone was just saying but it was really the case, I suppose it's like when I've put gigs on in the past and bands have been travelling and that you always try and look after them because its not much fun when you've been travelling and you don't get fed and you don't get any drinks. I'm not saying that's what we want all the time but it is nice and makes the whole experience a lot easier.

YMC: Have you got any recorded material?

AT: Yes, we did an EP in 2007 on Inhala records which are friends of ours and then we brought an album out last year also on Inhala records and then a friend in Manchester who runs a DIY label did one with us which was pressed on 12" vinyl too and we've had a couple of split 7" out with a band from Sheffield called The Amistad and another band from the States who we also did a couple of split 7" with. We are just writing a new album now and hopefully recording June time. It just depends when we can fit it in because working full time we eat our holidays up doing this so its just doing it when we can get it in.

YMC: If people want to find out more about you have myspace, facebook, etc

AT: Yes,, or just search for Above Them on facebook.

YMC: Thanks for talking to us.

AT: Thank you.