Where did your band name come from and any regrets with that name in today’s climate?
Our previous singer Stu actually started the band when he was at uni and chose this name from a letter his friend once sent him. His friend had signed off the letter 'This Town Needs Guns' in reference to a bunch of scally-wags who had thrown a brick through a bus window at him.
Yes, we're actually kind of regretful of the name at times but we hope that people realise it is just a band name and it doesn't convey any of our views on guns or any other weapons for that matter. We'd hope people would take the time to listen to the music before basing their view of us just on a name.
How did you come to be in a band together and with what ambitions?
The band originally started like most bands - a bunch of friends just wanting to spend their time in a positive and fun way. We recently had a bit of a line-up change in that our singer left amicably to start a family and our bass player left to pursue a career in graphic design. Since Henry has joined us (undertaking both of these duties and more) we've still had the same outlook and just like at the beginning of the band, we've had no particular ambitions besides enjoying what we're doing and taking what opportunities come our way.
How would you describe your sound for people yet to hear your music?
It's always difficult to pigeon-hole your own sound but other people have described it as indie/math-rock. I thing people get too hung up on having to label music under a particular genre; it's much easier to just check out the music.
Hi Matthew, how are you today, ready for Christmas?
Yes. I have been looking forward to this particular Christmas for a long time, its been a crazy year! I’m going AWOL for a couple weeks.
Who is Matthew E. White and how would you describe your music. What was the actual spark that made you believe music was going to be your career path?
Right now my music is an American gentleman’s psychedelia sparked by Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys
Where is your home town and are there any record stores still standing there or where you live today?
Richmond, Virginia is my hometown and yes, there are several wonderful record stores still standing.
What is your approach to song writing, does it all come in a rush, over time, music first, words first etc?
Over time for sure it’s a bit of a combination of music and words all floating around each other until they find their home. I like to write down phrases that I like and sometimes Ill play with those until they fit nicely in a bit of music or sometimes there’s a piece of a melody that begs a few words. You never know how its going to come out, that’s what makes music so enjoyable - its something that you can play around with forever.
Hi Pye, how are you today, ready for Christmas?
I am fine thank you,
The turkey and the ham are ordered, the champagne is already on ice, the Christmas tree is up and covered with decorations. The house is nestling under a couple of inches of snow, and I have uncharacteristically bought the main presents, so I am nearly ready. Just the surprise pressies to go.
Today up here in the Grampians, it is cold. Yesterday it was snowing and cold, and tomorrow it will be wet and cold. If the sun comes out it will be a full house of weather. This year will be a quiet one ,I expect, as my son and his family will not be joining us until after Xmas.
You have a 10 date UK tour planned for January around the ‘For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night’ album. Is this aimed at the Grey hair fans from the 60’s & 70’s or do you hope to attract some new followers?
Caravan fans are a completely mixed bunch. Some are clearly our age group with as you say Grey Hair ( I prefer to call them Highlights), some are bald, (That's when we have to get out the shades to avoid the glare), and some are young and discovering the music for the first time. Whatever, they are like family to me and I love playing to them. They are the most loyal bunch in the world. 45 Years and counting.
When did you realised that music would be your path for life and when and where was your first gig as caravan, any memories?
I realised music was going to be my preferred course in life about two weeks after I got my first guitar on my 17th birthday. I was a late starter. Once I had learnt a couple of chord patterns I was completely hooked and couldn't put it down. It is still the same today.
The first Caravan gig that I remember was in the Beehive club in Canterbury. This was "The Place" to be in those days. It was referred to as a Coffee Bar and no alcohol was served. We went across the road to the Nag's Head pub to get in the mood before playing. The beehive was very small with a capacity of no more than 100 or so, but the atmosphere was heaving.
We had individually played there before in the Wilde Flowers band doing R&B so the crowd knew us and were prepared to give us a chance with our own music. It went down a storm and we were invited back on a regular basis.
The Beehive is now a Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant called the Kudos Restaurant, which I visit every time I get back to Canterbury
Questions from our Lou.
It's 16 months since I met you in the bar at
Very well thank you! Keeping ourselves as busy as possible
You must be very proud of your first album, All Our Favourite Stories - the Guardian gave it 4 stars and called it 'solid gold indie pop'. Did you find it easy to translate the songs you'd been playing live into album material?
I wouldn't say they were all easy to translate but some of the songs off AOFS were nearly 4 years old, eg. Glockenspiel song, so we'd had plenty of time to iron out any difficulties we came across when putting the songs on record.
In 2011 you told me you were ambitious, and you've proved that with your rise from local
Well we're pretty restless. We've started writing again and in the new year we're setting off on our first European headline tour!
Hi and how the devil are you today, in the Christmas spirit yet?
Hi! We are wonderful thank you. If by the Christmas spirit you mean we are eating loads of food and enjoying an array of beverages, then we are festive all year round.
New album release on the horizon, take a step back and tell us how the band came together?
We have been together for about 3 years, although Ian and Nick knew each from previous bands. Francesca was found lurking in a second hand clothes shop and Luca was recommended by an acquaintance of ours. We all had such different influences, so we thought ‘hey, let’s start a band!’
From those first few band meetings is life in 2012 as expected?
Well we certainly haven’t played Glastonbury as many times as expected. From the beginning we had vague goals which have definitely grown over the years, but having completed a debut album we are proud of and feeling like a tight musical outfit, things could be worse.
Just where does Fra's voice come from?
Francesca is Italian so we do get a lot of queries about where her quirky voice comes from. It must be that Friuli mountain flavour that you are referring to.
Hi EsmÃ© How the devil are you today?
I'm in the nebulous space of not knowing whether I've had too much coffee or not enough...
We have just discovered your music; tell us about Paper Bird and your new solo album, All Princes, I?
All Princes, I was born from stacks of songs that were overflowing past my band of the last 6 years, Paper Bird. I had so many songs, and such a clear vision for their orchestration, that I finally seized the chance to gather them up and build them a home. I am still happily playing with Paper Bird, but creating and releasing my own project has really helped to renew my energy in the band.
What was the spark that made you realise music was going to be your career path?
Recently I was reading a biography of Carl Jung and it kept referring to his acceptance of The Work, his life's work, at a young age, and I realized I had always known that my music was The Work, but recently mustered the courage to pursue it.
What’s the biggest difference playing out front on your own rather than with the band?
It's terrifying. In the best way. It sharpens me.
Hi guys, how are you today?
How would you describe life in the band at the present time?
It’s a really exciting time, our debut EP is out next week and it’s been getting great reviews. We can’t really ask for more at the moment.
Was there any major changes to the recording techniques used for Air Formation as when recording as you walk through walls?
Not really, except that I had to do a lot more than I was used to. We recorded it live in a day and then spent a few more on overdubs and mixing, as always we were working to a tight budget so couldn’t really afford to experiment too much. We recorded again with Pat Collier as we know he produces great sounding records and it’s always a good vibe at his studio.
What was the driving force in establishing the new band and what are your initial hopes and dreams for you walk through walls?
Without really intending to, a month or so after Air Formation ended, I wrote a few songs that I thought were really fresh sounding, they felt different to Air Formation and too good to never see the light of day, so I gave James a call and asked if was still up for playing drums with me. I also thought it would be a nice challenge to be the only guitarist and see if we could pull off a three piece line-up, without succumbing to the temptation of backing tracks which tend to get used a lot nowadays. I just wanted a straight forward line-up that could set up and play anywhere.
As far as what the future holds it’s quite simply making records which hopefully people will enjoy listening to. While we’re here we’ll see if we can push it a bit further than we were able to with Air Formation.
Hello there, did you wake up with a smile this morning?
You are New York based, is that Brooklyn or does good music come from other parts of the city as well?
GOOD MUSIC COMES FROM ALL OVER THE CITY AND OUTSIDE OF NY, BUT IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT I AM LIVING IN BROOKLYN.
For anyone who has not yet heard your music, how would you describe it?
DARK. LONGING. ETHEREAL. HEAVY AND MAYBE KINDA GOTHY.
What was the music you listened to as you grew up and are you still playing any of those songs today?
OUR FAMILY DIDN'T HAVE MUCH WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. NO STEREO...NO RECORDS...NOT EVEN A RADIO TIL I WAS IN MY TEENS. THE PARENTS REALLY DIDN'T LISTEN TO MUSIC. BUT THEY RENTED A LOT OF CHINESE OPERA/DRAMA VIDEOS, AND I THINK THE TONALITIES, AND CERTAINLY THE COSTUMING, MADE AN IMPRESSION ON ME. I DID PLAY CLASSICAL MUSIC (PIANO AND VIOLIN) FOR MANY YEARS BUT DON'T PLAY THIS NOW, BUT DO ENJOY IT GREATLY STILL.
How did you decide to take the music path as a career and were there other options outside music that you gave serious consideration to?
I NEVER REALLY DECIDED TO TAKE MUSIC AS A "CAREER" PER SE, AND I'M NOT SURE I HAVE NOW. I'M SERIOUS ABOUT IT, AND I LOVE CREATING MUSIC. I DO HAVE A FULL-TIME JOB IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW, BUT IF DEVOTION IS THE DETERMINANT OF WHETHER SOMETHING IS A "CAREER" THEN MUSIC AND YOGA TEACHING ARE MY "CAREER", MUCH MORESO THAN WHAT PAYS THE RENT AND GETS ME HEALTH INSURANCE.
Is there any theme to your debut album or, do your song have their own individuality?
THE SONGS ON THIS ALBUM HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH THE PASSING OF TIME, THE EXPERIENCE OF PURE LOVE AND LOSS, COMMUNION WITH LIKE-MINDS AND HEARTS, LETTING GO....I THINK THE OVERALL THEME OF THE ALBUM HAS MUCH TO DO WITH PASSING ON FROM ONE REALM TO ANOTHER.
Hello and I hope the sun is shining where you are. Where actually are you today?
Three of us are slaving away at day jobs underneath an overcast sky in
How would you describe your sound for people that have not heard your music yet?
A friend once described our sound as "kit-bashed spaceship rock," which more or less sums it up. We'd stuff the word "instrumental" into that description somewhere to be completely accurate.
What was the spark that made up your mind to make music your career?
Let's replace "career" with "expensive hobby" and we can answer that one for you honestly. We approach the band like a full-time job in many ways, but we're completely independent and self-funded. At the core, the four of us just love playing music together. We're all friends, and the creative machine happens to chug along naturally. Everyone needs an outlet to offset the mundane of the day-to-day. Some people join house-league softball teams or play darts. We write songs and play really loud music.
In a nutshell,
So Hi there, how the devil are you today?
I feel good, a bit tired, I Had a long weekend, I played Pop Montreal and the next day one of my oldest friends got married outside of Hamilton, On. Had lots of fun though.
How did the band come together and with what ambitions?
It wasn’t planned really, it kind of came out of nowhere for me but thinking back on it, it was definitely a combination of things that sparked it. This year has been an interesting one, I recently co-built a recording studio with Leon Taheny (Dusted/Final Fantasy) that took up at least half my year and doing 17 hours of building/running around every day made me not really have the energy to write a lot.
On top of that both bands I’m/was in had just finished full length albums and when you’re not in a huge band with much back support, it can be a slow stretch to start getting the record out there and doing something with it.I didn’t want to write specifically for either bands that soon because we had each had a whole album worth of stuff that we might have to tour soon and want to play material off the album.
After a long winter/early spring of getting the studio ready one of the first weekends I had to myself I plugged in my guitar, a delay pedal and a microphone into a little amp in our new tall ceilinged live room and was so at ease and felt like I had nothing to lose of what would come out, and after a few hours I had sketches for at least 5-6 songs.
My band Beliefs is all co-writen with my roommate Jesse Crowe and I was mostly now playing drums in Elk, so it made sense to have something where it was just me creating it, I just needed to do it. I wanted to play a show and quickly Kyle Connolly in Elk offered to play bass and I asked my friend Shawn Dell (who mentioned a few times wanted to do music together eventually) to play drums.
Hi Abi, how the devil are you today and what is the view from where you are sitting?
Hello! I'm great thank you. I'm in the car going to play at End of the Road festival in Dorset, I'm going to be there all weekend, so I'm hoping to squeeze a few impromptu shows in as well as my official one in the Tipi Tent. We're currently in a supermarket car park stocking up for the weekend, so the view isn't worth mentioning unfortunately.
When was the first time that you realised music was going to be your career and what was it that lit the spark for you to make that decision?
I've always loved and played music, I guess I have my older brother to thank. He started the piano but swiftly gave up so when I came along there was already an instrument in the house. Nobody in my immediate family played anything so I would write silly songs on the piano bar the occasional visit from my gran who would teach me duets. I always felt the urge to play music so I guess I had no choice really!
Your bio says “Abi Wade (cello.box.voice): a musical collaboration between limbs, strings and vocal chords”. That sounds quite a feat. Why did you choose those instruments particularly?
I have always written songs, first little pieces on the piano and then songs on the guitar. At Uni I started experimenting with writing songs on the cello and studying music & visual art I went all art school on the it hence, the crazy percussion. Everything else fell into place as and when I felt I needed it told/ could afford it! The bass drum sound to drive it and the tambourine and block to add lifts to the general sound.
Hi how you are today and where are you?
I'm at home editing a video for Where Do You Go? It’s off the new album and it's coming together.
How did Stratus get together and become a band?
Martin and I worked at
What does being a musician mean to you, does it feel like you are living the dream?
I'm never happier than when inspiration hits and I'm writing new material but after years of doing it I know that when you're in the musical doldrums you just have to wait it out... and that the pub is not necessarily the best place to search for the muse.
How easy is it to fund the recording of an album and do you think that organisations like Pledge Music and Kickstarter are the way forward when getting a record made?
It depends on the nature of the release - with a small budget we can't record strings at