Hiya folks take a seat, what made you decide to start as a band?
Chris: Jordi and I have been playing together for years since we were teenage lads in a small town in Newry, Northern Ireland. It was inevitable that we should end up back together after a few years apart when we both separately moved to England for university. The stars aligned a couple of years ago when we moved in together in Manchester and started writing and performing songs just for the fun of it.
Introduce us to the band, how did the band get together?
Jordi: We are Chris McGuinness and Jordi Shevlin. We’re in our twenties and we love playing sweet tunes together.
What is the unsigned scene in Manchester and Bristol like at the minute?
Jordi: The unsigned scene in Manchester is good, there is a lot of diverse bands and a lot happening, so theres always a good band to go and see. You are quite spoilt for choice when it comes to live music in Manchester, you have every night of the week pretty much there’s an open mic happening, many of which we have played. This is such a good way to meet likeminded people in the local music industry and to gain a potential fanbase. Studying at BIMM, I am surrounded by artists who are at the same stage of their career, so there are a lot of opportunities available for support acts and there are many events that are run through the university itself.
Chris: Bristol is amazing for music. It seems to have its own community that’s isolated from what’s going on in the rest of the country. So many good venues with the best musicians you could see anywhere in the country playing every night of the week. My personal favourite venues are the Rough Trade Store venue and The Old Duke. They always have artists that really surprise you in terms of different genres being smashed together and crowds that really get into it.
How do you feel like you are progressing through the industry?
Jordi: We are at an early stage of our career as a band, although we feel we both have a lot of experience in the industry. Chris has toured as a sound engineer around the world with various high level pop acts, and I have been playing in various bands for years in Liverpool and Manchester. We put a lot of work in behind the scenes now for nearly 4 years and recording and releasing this song is just the beginning of what’s to come. Chris has been the producer and mix engineer on this track and the rest that are soon to be released. His sheer passion and work ethic is outstanding which only makes me want to push myself more. We would love for anyone and everyone from all walks of life to come join our journey as we feel we have something to offer for most people. We don’t limit ourselves to one genre and we love riding the gap between the types of music we love.
Is there enough support out there for new artists?
Chris: I think in this day and age with the internet being so ingrained in our lives, it’s easier now than ever before to build an audience and get support from lots of different companies like yourselves. It’s all about cutting through the noise nowadays because of the vast amount of music content out there. We feel the best way to properly connect with people is to get out there and meet them at open mic nights, busking and at your own gigs. Your audience will always tell you what they want. All you have to do is give it to them by the bucket load.
Jordi: And of course it’s great to have connections with universities and venues where they will always have good advice for up and coming artists like ourselves.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Jordi: Well way back in 2013, Chris and I were playing in a pop/folk band around Ireland and we were invited to play at Ballyshannon Folk Festival, a famous Irish folk and traditional music festival in Donegal, Ireland. We were playing our set on the back of a lorry in the middle of the town square, when a truck decided to drive up the main street, managing to disconnect the main power cable for the stage which ran over the road. Well madness ensued as the stage crew frantically tried to get it back up and running. Well we just decided to keep playing with just our wee voices and our instruments and we managed to get the whole crowd clapping and singing along for the rest of gig.
Chris: I think the finally got the power back for outlast song, and the gig finished up really well. Never let a truck driver get in the way of great gig.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Jordi: The worst experience for me, was a gig we played back home in a town called Lurgan. I was so ill with terrible food poisoning that I had to sleep in the back of our van for the whole day. Through soundcheck and all of the support band sets.
Chris: Oh boy that was a strange one. When it came to our set, we just had to prop Jordi up on the drum stool and miraculously he managed to play perfectly through the whole set without puking or passing out. It was quite impressive to watch really.
Jordi: I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I remember coming to midway through the second song and I’ve no idea how I made it to the end.
Tell us something about each member yourself that you think people would be surprised about?
Chris: Jordi is an amateur tattooist and regularly practices on himself. Hands are riddled with tiny symbols.
Jordi: Chris runs ultra marathons for fun and has a weirdly large collection of driftwood.
Whats your biggest achievement as a band?
Chris: When it came to releasing this first single, “Rosaleen” we couldn’t believe we got this far considering how much work we both put in over the last 6 months at the same time as working full time and going to university. We’re so proud of it and we know that with every song we release after this, they will only get better.
What makes you stand out as a band?
Jordi: Our melody’s along with captivating lyrics and angelic harmonies combined with a wide array of instruments. I guess what we think is our niche is the wide variety of songs we have. With our upcoming releases a bigger picture of our band’s work will show that we can do small acoustic stuff but we also do big anthemic electric bangers.
Chris: We write songs that have catchy hooks with simple yet beautiful lyrics that paint a picture we hope the listener can relate to and empathise with. Like all songwriters we’re always trying to put our experiences and emotions into our work but ultimately we want it to touch the listener in a way that makes them stop and think for a second.
Its strange times at the min with the virus stopping the whole live music scene in uk and abroad, how do you plan to stay productive while we get through this?
Chris: Currently I’m living and working back in Ireland with my parents until it all blows over because as a sound engineer my work dried up pretty fast, so its been tough working together from different households, but sure everyone is in the same boat now. We’re just trying to come up with as many interesting bits of content for our growing audience.
Jordi: We just wanna bring people content that will help bring a bit of joy into peoples lives when they need it most.
Tell us about a time when you had a proper right laugh while you were all together?
Jordi: I remember a night out in Manchester when we played an open mic and decided to go out afterwards carrying all our instruments with us. We ended up dancing all night in an underground club in the gay district.
Chris: I think I left the place with my t-shirt ripped off my back. It was that good of a night. Basically we ended up busking out the back of the club at 4am for all the punters who were leaving and the party continued on into the night. I think we ended up leaving there with a fair few pounds and some discarded condoms. Straight into the bank account.
Tell me about your new single and how it came about?
Jordi: We have been working very hard on this single, a lot of work behind the scenes has gone into this. Rosaleen was written telling a tale of two lovers. At the time I had written the song for my girlfriend’s mum who was getting married, the song was based around their relationship and how close they were. It also reflects some of the ups and downs of any relationship and going to extreme lengths for that person and for love. The song also represents dreams and things you want to achieve and go after and that you should pursue them and see them through and live each moment to its fullest.
What message do you have for your fans at this moment in time?
Chris: We are embarking on a new journey with our music and it is something that everyone can be a part of. We all are giants with our inner child and we believe our music will bring people together. #GIANTSARECOMING