If you haven’t already, check out part one of the interview.
4. When and how did your passions for music begin?
Jacob: My eagerness for music started when I bought the CD ‘ANThology’ by Alien Ant Farm. It was a random purchase that I never really paid much attention to until I played it in my basic room stereo one day after school. It connected in a way music never had before. The riffs were simplistic yet catchy, the drum beats professional yet appropriate, the bass lines funky yet gritty and Dryden Mitchell’s voice just knocked me off my feet. I loved every single track and identified with the lyrical substance behind each word. Needless to say I must have repeated that album three times over before I hit the hay late that evening. The same process must have happened each day for a month yet still now I am not sick of a single song off that or any of their other albums. It was the first band I ‘superfanned’ about. Instrumentally I guess it came from boredom in all honesty. I never was much of a gamer or a tinkerer, a sportsman sure but how often in Britain is the weather nice enough for that? So when I was bought my first little acoustic guitar it was a way of passing time rather than anything else. But where the passion started was from my first group ‘Raised by Hounds’. Jamming music with this immensely talented bunch of guys gave me a buzz that will never be replicated or replaced. I remember our first show at some blues night (despite us being indie rock) and though nervous, I thrived upon every moment. Seeing people’s faces light up when I played and seeing peoples unity when focusing upon the music I was a part of filled a big place within me that I didn’t realise until my later years I needed filling. That was where the real passion began, that night at that little plucky stage.
Sam: My passion for music began through hearing different bands play like Blink 182 but it turned into a much more serious thing when I heard Avenged Sevenfold. I was gobsmacked by their instrumental capabilities and song writing as I had never heard anything like it before. This was what made me start learning how to play guitar and drums. After this I had begun learning guitar and just began playing, I can’t really remember how my early guitar playing story went to be honest! I just remember jumping in at the deep end and looking at tabs and sitting for ages and learning all of my favourite songs. After about a year of playing the guitar I wanted to learn the drums due to how much Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer the Rev had inspired me. My parents bought me an electric drum kit when I was 11 or 12 and I had some drum lessons but found myself frustrated and bored by having to learn from the beginning as I was young and naïve, after a while I sold my drum kit and stopped playing. For about a year and a half after I had just began slapping my knees and hitting tables along to songs whilst tapping my feet mimicking the bass patterns. I actually thoroughly enjoyed doing this so I bought a drum kit again and to my pleasant surprise playing along to songs by air drumming and stuff had actually developed my drumming far more than I ever thought I could! This was a turnaround as I realised that I could now play all of the songs that I was frustrated that I couldn’t a year and a half back. I realised around this time that I wanted to play in bands regardless of whether I was playing guitar or drums as I dearly love both.
5. What was the idea/inspiration behind your debut EP?
Jacob: Right now for some heavy stuff. Sam introduced me to a group named Nordic Giants a couple months back and they absolutely mesmerised me with their talent. How could a two piece be this proficient at creating such a big sound? All I knew is that I had to give it a shot. So along with Sam, we started to give it a crack. My early attempts were pretty dire but key stepping stones to where we are at the moment. What I didn’t realise was missing was the soul factor. The music I was creating simply felt like a series of progressions moving alongside one and other, not a song. I wanted something anthemic, something that got people thinking. So with this EP we wanted to portray the beauty of nature instrumentally (hence our ambient sound) whilst conveying strong messages that are almost metaphoric for areas of nature. Some melodies would be disjunct and chaotic hence illustrating the natural disaster aspect and some would be in major and simple with a harmonious approach; it all is pretty artsy stuff (kinda pretentious to talk about I know). We wanted to make the EP an experience, make it feel like you’ve learnt something, heck make it feel like you see something differently since it has done so to me whilst making it. Think of it as a concept album filled with natural ideologies expressing untypical viewpoints in modern music.
Sam: We had been in several bands and they had always ended as we were picking up steam for whatever reasons and we just wanted to do something different that we had both never done before. After seeing Nordic Giants support TesseracT and The Contortionist live at the 02 Academy in Oxford I was absolutely mesmerised as I had never seen anything remotely similar to them. I told Jacob to check them out and he was equally blown away, we decided to form a two piece band that uses similar aspects from bands like Nordic Giants to challenge and develop our song writing as we had never done this before. Additionally, we had both never written anything serious using keyboards and atmospheric samples which make this a breath of fresh air. This project also allows us to be in different bands which are nice as you get to play many different styles of equally challenging music which can only be good right! This EP pretty much stemmed from wanting to do something different, challenge and develop ourselves and have fun!
6. Have there been any points in your careers so far that have seemed surreal?
Jacob: In all honesty, no, not yet at least. Each moment so far has felt somewhat deserved since we know we’ve put in the effort to achieve it. From performances to recordings, I’ve felt that it was all what I deem as natural progressions in my career. If I were to point out particular areas that hit me hardest, I’d say it would be my music journalism interview with the band Anarchy Club and hearing my ex-bands music on the radio for the first time. Anarchy Club were one of my favourite bands growing up (also a two piece, funny that) and they taught me so much in a brief exchange about the music industry; it produced one of my favourite articles I’ve made and it left me with a great feeling of achievement. Hearing your music on the radio too is also up there since you know there are strangers out there either digging or hating your tune. I prefer to think about the digging part since the idea of someone humming along to a song I’m a part of means a great deal to me. It’s what I do to my inspirations and the mere thought of me reaching that stage I idolize is pretty near surreal I guess. Oh and before I forget, being number one for three straight weeks in your local area and moving up fifty places nationally in the ambient charts to 24 in one week was a pretty big deal and that was just last week, pretty great stuff.
Sam: We’ve both taken this project pretty laid back in comparison to other things we’ve done, and to see it start gaining headway is really surreal. We’ve somehow surprisingly been on a few radio stations and are climbing up on reverb nation quickly. We put our first two tracks on YouTube and we did not expect anyone to watch them so the fact that they are growing in views and people are actually listening is surreal enough and we appreciate it soooooo much!
Jacob and Sam: We’d like to say a massive thank you to April for having us on her blog, her content is a brilliant read and she’s an unbelievably sweet person too! We definitely recommend you check her articles out and show some love to this awesome site, she more than deserves it!
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