With the rumble of music playing beneath our feet from Vrillon who were the first support act for the Sœur gig at Moles in Bath we sat down with the band members; Tina Maynard, James Collins, and Anya Pulver, to get to know the band better.
OtHM: Your new song ‘No Show’ has been out since the 4th of March, What’s the song about?
Anya: The song is about depression which is something I have struggled with, the verse of the song was a snapshot of a point which I felt on edge and I had to pretend I was in a super happy state but the people around me knew differently.
Tina: In my part of the song I kind of counteract Anya’s part and send the song in a different direction which I feel makes the song really interesting.
OtHM: We chose ‘Fight’ as Track of the week in the past, I hear everyone featured in the video was a fan so how did the idea of doing this video come about?
James: We have great fans and we wanted to involve them in a video and ‘Fight’ was prefect for this, it was good fun and an experience, but I don’t think we will do it again anytime soon.
Tina: Yeah totally agree it was a mad day, we put it out on social media and thought a few would turn up but we had around 50 people which was amazing. It was in a small room which was like a basement and it got really hot and there was sweat coming off the walls.
Anya: Yeah I remember ending up directing people around and shouting most of the day with Tina and James moving the lighting, I was happy at the end as we managed to get everyone who stayed around till the end in the last shot of the video.
James: Also we provided food and beer which kept everyone going during the day.
OtHM: What does the writing process look like for you as a band?
Tina: The writing process is different for every song, but normally someone will bring an idea to the rest of us and then we will explore lots of different ideas, sometimes we can take longer than we should because we like to experiment and take it to every corner.
Anya: I find it really interesting the way we make songs because we’re a dual fronted band and we like to make our songs complicated as this gives us a better sound.
OtHM: You’ll be playing at Thelka’s 35th year celebration, tell us about that?
James: I got to say it’s a proud moment for us, we also wanted to do headline a gig in Bristol and Thelka just seems like the right venue.
Tina: Yeah we love the Thekla and I think I can talk for us collectively that it’s our favourite venue in Bristol.
Anya: Owain who works at Thekla really helped us out when we started up as a band and he suggested us to other bands and venues for us to be a support acts, so it’s great to get the chance to repay him.
OtHM: What’s the lyric you’re most proud of?
Tina: “I don’t want to fight anymore, cos I don’t think it’s right anymore. And maybe you are right, I don’t know. But I don’t want to fight anymore”
It expresses that uncertainty you have when you want to make a big change but haven’t completely realised why.
Anya: “If we’re all made from the same strain, what separates us?”
OtHM: Last gig of the tour tonight, so how’s it been?
James: Oh it’s been refreshing going out gigging and it’s been a chilled easy 9 gigs and it’s so much better than getting yourself lost in endless admin.
Anya: it’s been really got to get back engaged with our listeners and it been great to play in new venues.
OtHM: You’re now officially Laney Amplification Artists, tell us how you feel your live sound has evolved with this equipment?
Tina: The amps have just made it so much better and the sound engineer’s have commented that our sound is so much cleaner and clear.
Anya: It’s so important for us to get our guitar sound right as we don’t have a bassist and these amps are so many levels above the amps we had before.
OtHM: Moles Club is a famous venue with walls plastered with posters of legends who have played here, Which gig would you have most wanted to attend?
Anya: PJ Harvey
OtHM: What was the most challenging part of making your first EP?
Tina: Picking the records for the EP was really hard, because you want to put all the songs you write on the EP.
Anya: I think we didn’t fully knew what our sound was at the time so for me it was finding the right music to go with our songs.
James: We’re all fairly happy with the EP and I think we can say it was really fun to make the EP, it was a lot different tempo to our current music.
OtHM: What next for you as a band?
Tina: We’re releasing a the new EP soon and there’s going to be a few singles released as well so keep your ears ready, we also have a few festivals in the summer which we’re looking forward too.
Anya: I’m looking forward to going back to writing new songs.
Written by Kess Anthony
Mid afternoon on a Friday all was calm in the Hy-Brasil, Bristol with a few people enjoying an early weekend drink before a night of great music, at this point the doors open and in walks a women wearing a polka dot white and black coat and carrying her special guest for the evening, a cardboard cut-out of footballer, Joey Barton. Putting Joey in place on stage for later in the evening Emily Capell
introduces herself with a big smile “I’m looking forward to tonight it’s my first time visiting Bristol”.
So lets get to know Emily, as she is an artist who is exciting, talented and full of interests beyond her music.
OtHM: What was it like growing up in Harrow?
Emily: I enjoyed growing up in Harrow it’s a nice place and we have an Nando’s, I like to take the Tube into London on my free time.
OtHM: Where would be the number one tourist site you would take a newcomer to in London?
Emily: I’ve got to say Portabello Market is an amazing place to go to I can spend most of my day there, oh and I have to mention St Pauls it’s a beautiful building with loads of history and during the war with all the bombing London went through the Cathedral stood and they didn’t bring it down.
OtHM: and music venue?
Emily: The Music has to be ‘The Hundreds Club’ because it’s been there for years and it hasn’t changed and there has been loads of great artist who have performed there, but I got to say the dressing room is tiny sorry Hundreds Club I do love you!
OtHM: What are your interests outside of music?
Emily: I love pink fluffy things, I have loads of fabulous fluffy coats like the one I got on today and if they are animal print, even better! I do like to sink into the sofa and my guilty pleasure has to be Escape to the country but only if Jonnie (Irwin) is presenting.
I’m also a little bit political and this seeps into my lyrics of my songs, I’m happy to say I’m a Corbyn fan and Russell Brand has a good radio show which makes me laugh.
Also come on QPR, I love football and QPR are my team.
OtHM: How do you describe your sound?
Emily: Right, it’s very London sounding, like London I have a mix of sounds from a lot of different styles and cultures which I hope gives me a broad ranging sound that everyone can get into.
OtHM: What’s your favourite lyric you have written?
Emily: Wow that’s a hard one, I’m not sure I can pick just one, I can tell your going to pin me down to one, oh let me think right this is my lyric I’m most proud of are you ready it’s from my up and coming new album:
“I bet you will regret your Morrissey lyric tattoo about some girls might be bigger than me and you, who would of thought Morrissey might be a racist, you should of got a lyric tattoo of oasis.”
OtHM: If you could pick a track to describe your personality which would it be?
Emily: 99 red balloons by Nena
OtHM: What’s the writing process look like for you when writing new material?
Emily: Everything at the same time and if it doesn’t came out at once I will leave, I write lyrics really quickly at the same time writing music on the acoustic guitar.
OtHM: At what age did you pick up an guitar?
Emily: I was the age of 11, it was the day Joe Strummer died, Joe’s music really inspired me as a child and even more so now I’m making my own music. He was really important to my family, my brother was named after Joe Strummer.
OtHM: Who are the artist which inspired you to get into music?
Emily: Ok so i have a love for a real mix of music and lots of artists have inspired me but my number 1 has to be The Clash as I have the same intentions as The Clash when making music but I’m less punky then them.
But I also listen to lots of 50’s music, Marie Wilson and George Michaels, this is my long drive playlist.
OtHM: Where the best Venue you have ever played in?
Emily: Festivals are my favourite venues to play as you get a great buzz from the crowd, I’m also really lucky that I’ve played Glastonbury so that’s got to be my best venue but wow did it destroy me just imagine a beehive hairstyle in a tent with lots of rain and mud, I restored to using an old orange peel to wipe the mud off me.
OtHM: What’s the first record you remember buying?
Emily: Ha, are you ready you’re going to love this answer, it was Shaggy It wasn’t me and Frank Sinatra The high society.
OtHM: What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
Emily: McFly, but I didn’t like it when they become one band with Busted.
OtHM: What’s the biggest obstacle in making it in the music industry?
Emily: The biggest things are the money that you need to start a career in music, and the pro’s and con’s of the internet.
OtHM: What would you choose to do if your weren’t an artist?
Emily: I really like engaging with people and meeting new people everyday like I do in this job, so I would like to be a charity spokesperson.
OtHM: What’s next for Emily Capell?
Emily: Well I just finished my album yesterday in the studio and I’m hoping for an August album release, but the hardest bit has been trying to pick a name for the album. It’s as hard as naming a baby, I change my mind everyday
Written by Kess Anthony
At the back of the Stag and Hounds, right next door to the exchange in Bristol we found Next Stop Olympus in an enclave illuminated by the glow of a fruit machine. Five guys lounging on the sofas enjoying a beer whilst wondering how they are going to get they’re gear unloaded: Conor the singer with a spectacular mass of pale curly long hair, Matt on bass, Harry on vocals and guitar, Skip on guitar and Josh on drums. Loud music blared out of the speakers as we sat down to chat with the band, that took us from Disney films all the way to skittle alleys.
OtHM: So first of all, we’ve been itching to ask, where did the name come from?
Conor: A lot of ideas were bounced around but nothing quite stuck. The name came in the end when I was up drinking one night whilst watching the Disney film Hercules. Next Stop Olympus jumped out as a great name and I sent it round the band, who all agreed.
OtHM: So how did the band originally come together?
Matt: Conor and myself had been trying to form a band for ages but it just never quite came together. Then when I moved to Salisbury everything started to fall into place.
OtHM: So your first EP ‘’Hit the ground running’ came out last May. How was the process of putting that together? Were there any stumbling blocks?
Conor: Pretty much all of the stumbling blocks. It was a new experience for all of us and we had a lot to learn. We had to find a place to record, find someone to print the CDs and t-shirts. It was a big learning curve and we had to learn as we went.
Matt: But we had loads of help from some great people along the way.
OtHM: Who are your main influences?
NSO: It’s interesting as we all listen to lots of different stuff and we don’t all necessarily listen to this kind of thing. I do the screaming vocals but I don’t listen to that much stuff with it in.
Matt: Yeah we all listen to this type of music but we have wide tastes outside. We like to think that we’re trying to bridge the gap a bit between heavy music but having powerful melodic choruses.
OtHM: How does the writing process normally work in the band?
NSO: It varies, some take weeks, sometimes someone will just be casually drinking and then a song comes. Normally things always start with the guitar.
We try to meet up, at least once a week, then if someone has an idea we can just bash it out. We all live quite close together.
Skip is always late but then in fairness that is because he’s in the army, not because he’s always on a date!
And Conor has no sense of urgency!
But on the whole things work really well.
OtHM: What kind of gigs are you looking for?
Anything! So long as it is not in a skittle alley!
OtHM: That sounds like a story…
Well, there was a guy booked us for a gig in Trowbridge, we asked if there was a Facebook page or anything we could link to for promotion, the guy said no but it is been promoted in other ways. We show up, turns out the promotion was one dodgy looking poster in the pub put up the day before.
We set up in the skittle alley and it turns out the other band are the band of the guy who is putting on the gig. They are really bluesy and it’s a complete mismatch of sounds.
Then only six people show up who are all Skip’s mates from the army and they have to leave early. Skip spends the entire gig hiding behind Matt. Then the other band goes onto play to no one and the drummer is not a well looking guy and we’re worried that he might die before the end of the show. It was all just a complete disaster.
We’ve been back to Trowbridge since though and had a great time, just not with that guy again.
OtHM: So what’s next for the band.
NSO: We’re going to be recording our new single ’Hell to bear’.
Then we are going to be looking to record a new four track EP this summer, though this single is not going to be on it.
OtHM: Well thank you very much for your time and good luck. Just before we go, we just wanted to ask if you have any guilty pleasure music?
NSO: We all listen to some really weird stuff.
Conor gets ripped for listening to hip-hop like 50 Cent, though he doesn’t feel guilty about it!
Harry listens to Norwegian songs.
Harry- Yeah if I can’t pronounce it then I’ll listen to it
Skips listens to stuff so heavy that it makes us look pop punk.
Written by Jimmy Rock
After becoming Off The Hook Music’s Track of the week with Minefield we’re delighted that we managed to caught up with Chris Horrock from Oxbloods, we then took the opportunity to ask him some questions.
Oxbloods are a Manchester based band made up of five members, Matty Aston (Bass), Chris Horrock (Guitar), Charlie Cothliff (Vocals), Matt Lunn (Guitar) and Alex Binnington (Drums) and their sound brings you a modern, vibrant blend of electric alternative rock with pop credibility.
So let’s get to know them:
Oxblood is a very interesting band name, where does the name Oxbloods come from?
CH: The band name comes from a pair of red Doc Martin's I own which I wore when the band first started rehearsals. Just became a bit of a running joke “haha”.
OTHM: Chris when we review one of your gigs this year we need to see these Doc Martins.
CH: I’ll see what I can do.
How did the Oxbloods begin?
CH: Matt, Alex, and Ashton all studied at uni together a few years ago and they decided to form a new band after their old bands had split up.
The guys new me from gigging together in the past and then we found Charlie on a Facebook forum for local Manchester musicians.
OTHM: There’s a lesson to any hopeful musicians out there, get out networking on social media and you might become the final jigsaw piece for an up and coming band like Charlie.
So which bands are responsible for inspiring the Oxbloods?
CH: That’s a hard one, it's a really wide array of musicians. Most of us though grew up listening to Metallica and Guns N Roses when we were teenagers and progressing from there.
What was the catalyst for picking up instruments?
CH: For me it was 100% going to see Metallica when I was 13 years old. Absolutely mind blowing and I started guitar lessons the week after.
What's an average day look like for the band?
CH: Every day is different for us but last week we were in the studio.
OTHM: Last week in the studio go on, what did a day in the studio look like for the band?
CH: We'd tend to grab a coffee before the session and chat about the recording process, then record from 2pm until midnight then all fall asleep at like 3am after a massive caffeine binge.
OTHM: Sounds like the Oxbloods are more night owls than early birds.
What’s the song writing process look like when Oxbloods are laying down a track?
CH: It changes every time but usually songs will begin with very rough demo's from one band member, just the raw structure. Then we'll flesh it out together as a group and finally hand it over to Charlie to work on the vocals. That's usually it.
Has making a debut EP been a steep learning curve?
CH: Not much actually. We've all been in bands since we were teenagers releasing music so the format isn't new to us.
However we all come from different musical backgrounds which is awesome because we all have different opinions or different things.
OTHM: On the EP you can tell how well the different musical backgrounds mix together.
CH: Thanks glad you like the bands sound.
We have seen some amazing bands in lots of fantastic venues but where has the best venue you have played?
CH: Oh it’s got to be Deaf Institute in Manchester. We're all really big fans of that venue.
OTHM: Hot tip there gig goers get yourselves to Deaf Institute in Manchester and don’t forget to let us know if you agree with Chris.
Where can people see you live soon?
CH: We can't share anything quite yet but if you follow us on Facebook and Instagram we'll be announcing a big show very soon!
OTHM: So keep an eye out on social media.
CH: Yep you are right there, our Instagram is @oxbloodsmusic feel free to take a look.
And last question Chris what’s next for Oxbloods?
CH: We hope to release a new single in the next few months. So follow us to stay up to date on that!
OTHM: Well thanks Chris for taking time out of making music in the studio to talk to us.
CH: No problem, it was good to catch up after being Track of the week.