Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band ?
I had been writing on my own after arriving back in London; around the same time I met Joe & Sara and was writing with them too. Bringing them into the project and combining everyone’s talents felt totally natural and was wonderful timing.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
Sara De Santis plays piano/Wurlitzer on several songs and also contributed to the writing, Joe Bernie sings and co-wrote 3 tracks, Pauli the PSM I’ve known for years and toured & written with a lot, Rebecca Freckleton is a friend of Pauli’s and came in to do BV’s and feature on another track, and Eva Brooks is my wife! So it’s a family affair!
It’s been a bit of a wild last year, how have you guys managed to pass time and stay sane during lockdown?
We’ve all struggled through in our own ways and fortunately everyone’s managed to keep their own musical projects going as well as being part of Peak Futures. Staying productive has helped, I think, but being stuck inside or alone has been hard on everyone.
How positive are you feeling now restrictions are loosening?
Things are feeling a bit better now that your hear friends and family have been vaccinated.. There’s a bit less anxiety in the streets. But I don’t feel like we’re out of the woods yet.
How has 2020 effected your mental health?
There have been dark moments to be sure; being separated from family for long periods has been the worst.
How much are you looking forward to playing live?
So much. I miss it dearly.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I think it’s one of current society’s saddest traits that we are constantly grasping for unfounded explanations instead of looking at what’s in front of us.
What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on the circuit?
Sonsick by San Fermin
If your fans could remember one thing about you what would it be? That we mean it.
What useless party trick /talent do you have/?
I’m 100% useful.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Getting electric shocks to the teeth off a microphone probably tops it.
Who is the biggest named band you have played with?
I did a co-write with Cosmo’s Midnight and Pauli the PSM which Cosmo’s have played all over the world if that counts. I also played a party in New York where the next band to get up on stage was Alice Cooper. THE Alice Cooper.
Name a four piece band made up of legends – who would be in it? (drummer, bass, lead singer etc)
Clyde Stubblefield – drums
Willie Weeks – bass
Bernice Blackmon – guitar
Donny Hathaway – keys/vocals
Aretha Franklin – vocals/keys
Whats your biggest achievement as a band?
So far finishing this album and getting it out is a pretty big achievement given the past year and a bit!
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?
Being up on Hampstead Heath for our most recent photo shoot was great fun and luckily the weather held out! But it’s been really hard for us to get together at all recently because of Covid restrictions..
We recently reviewed your last single. How did you feel the review went? It was great! We are so happy when we get a review full of genuine enthusiasm! Tell me about your new album and how it came about?
It started with a few instrumental ideas that I wrote in autumn of 2019, that I felt had some common themes running through them in terms of sound and direction. At that point I didn’t have a clear idea of the shape of the project though. Around the
same time I started writing with Joe and Sara, and the stuff we were coming up with also overlapped with the instrumentals. Next, Joe tried out some vocal ideas on those tracks and the whole thing started to take shape. Pauli was also a long-time collaborator and I knew he would bring his awesome drum sound to the biggest tracks. With the input of the other featured vocalists Eva and Rebecca, we were able to add some more breadth as well as a jazz edge to the tracks they sing lead and backing vocals on.
How was the recording process given the various restrictions the UK has been under of late?
The main tracking sessions for the album were fortunately all just before Covid came along, and the next part after that was a lot of editing and production that I did on my own anyway. But in March of 2020 I still had more recording to do; I squeezed in some final tracking sessions just before the first lockdown but then we had to go remote, which was a bit of a struggle. It took a long time to get all of the parts for the last song, Broadway. The mix engineer, Danny Trachtenberg, was great and we took a relaxed approach to getting the mix done – he would work on some tracks and then send them to me for comments, and so on. It was good not to have a particular decline to work to at that point.
What are your plans for the year ahead
Hopefully get back into performing again, whether that’s with this project or another one. And get some new material written!