Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to become a soloist?
I’ve played in bands since I was 13-years-old and they gave me some of the best experiences of my life. I just got to a stage where being in a band was hard to commit to. Juggling family commitments, along with having to be at rehearsals at a certain place and time just wasn’t something I really relishedany more. Status:Revolt means I can do everything on my own terms. On the one hand, it’s pretty liberating; I have full creative control of the whole process. But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t advantages to being a band. There’s a certain “admin” burden that’s better shared amongst a group and I do miss collaborating with other musicians. Online collaboration is ok, but never quite feels as cohesive as being in a room with 4 or 5 other people bringing their inputs to the table.
It’s been a bit of a wild last year, how have you managed to pass time and stay sane during lockdown?
I’ve not really had chance to stop. Between the day job, home schooling, trying to stay fit and working on my album, I’ve been pretty well occupied. I suppose like a lot of people, I’ve been keeping the Amazon delivery drivers in a job. On the whole though, I think I’ve been in a less difficult position than many others and just about managed to keep my sanity in check.
How positive are you feeling now we are in 2021?
I’m very excited about this year. The one thing this wholeCoronavirus experience has taught me is that I took a lot of stuff for granted. I’m really looking forward to when everything re-opens and getting down to the local for a beer with my mates and enjoy some live music. I’m looking forward to start planning some live dates of my own too.
How has 2020 effected your mental health?
Honestly, it peaked and troughed. I do have a tendency to be over analytical if left alone with my thoughts for too long, which has impacted my mental health in the past. But like I said before, I’ve managed to keep myself occupied throughout and kept everything reasonably well balanced. Mental health is really important subject to me and one that still needs a lot more public conversation.
How are you feeling now the road map has been announced and live gig can return?
Obviously, I’m looking forward to getting back to live gigs, as a spectator as much as a performer. The last band I saw before lockdown was Supergrass in Leeds and it was epic. From my own perspective, I’ve put a huge effort into getting my album finished and released during lockdown and I’m really looking forward to getting some gigs planned and performing the tracks on stage.
Do you sign up to any interesting conspiracy theories?
Nah, I’m not really into any of that. I get quickly frustrated with people who always try to look for scandals that don’t exist.
What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on the circuit in Wakefield?
Most of the local bands I follow are actually from Leeds, mainly because the bands I used to play in were all Leeds based. One of my favourite tracks at the moment is actually by a band I was briefly involved in, Captain Wilberforce. The track The Last Dance Is Over, from the album When The Dust Just Won’t Settle is a really stand-out effort. I’d highly recommend a listen.
What support is out there for new artists in Wakefield ?
In the early noughties, there was a bit surge in the Wakefieldmusic scene. A band I played in at the time played the locally organised Clarence Park Festival, along with a number ofother bands emerging from the West Yorkshire region. The boom in the scene eventually saw the rise of probably our best export, The Cribs.
For a while after there was a lull, followed by the closure of some great circuit venues; Escobar and The Snooty Fox to name a couple. But the last few years saw something of a resurgence, with venues like The Hop and Warehouse 23 flying the flag for live music in Wakefield and the reintroduction of the Long Division festival offering a platform for local artists.
Hopefully the pandemic hasn’t damaged that too much and we’ll see music in the City start to thrive again once everything re-opens.
Who is inspiring you at the minute on the Wakefield unsigned scene?
I suppose the honest, if cheesy answer would be my eldest son. He started learning piano at age 4 and since lockdown he’s taken up drums. Obviously people will think I’m biased, but his ability for an 8-year-old is incredible, not to mention how much he’s actually picked up in such a short space of time. But what makes it so inspiring is seeing him going through that learning process. It reminds me that, even having played guitar for more than 25 years, I can still learn and improve myself. I genuinely think I’ve got much better as a musician in the last 12 months by just watching him learn.
If your fans could remember one thing about you what would it be?
I always think it’s hard to answer a question like this without sounding like David Brent. I’ve never been great at the whole self-appraisal thing. If I was really pushed, I’d have to say the one thing I would like my audience to say about me is that I’m sincere.
What useless talent do you have/ party trick?
I recently learned how to conquer the Rubik’s Cube, which is probably less impressive than it used to be. Other than that, my friends always tell me I have really good memory. There was a bit of a running joke during my University days where I could recall pretty much every bit of pointless trivia on The Simpsons on demand.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
If I had to pin it down to one gig, I’d say the first time my old band, The Beat Marshals, played at Manchester Academy. We brought a big following across the Pennines for that one and they made so much noise, chanting our name, mixing it up with the occasional “Yorkshire” chant. It really was a top night.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Probably the first time I played solo. After years of playing in bands, I found the things that matter less when you’re backed up by the noise of a big group, suddenly really matter when you’re on the stage alone with just an acoustic guitar. I kept forgetting lyrics and hitting bum notes. It did at least give me a new focus on what I needed to practice.
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
I once gave advice to a singer in a young band, telling himthat he should never take advice from another musician. I stand by that sentiment, despite the obvious paradox.
What makes you stand out as a Artist?
These days, I think it’s harder to stand out as an Artist than it ever has been. Mainly because the digital revolution. Music has become so easy to produce and distribute without the backing of major labels. Standing out has become more about having a good social media presence.
Musically speaking, I think the style of my songs reflect the artists I grew up listening to in the 90’s and hopefully the nostalgia is appreciated by my listeners.
Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus 🙂
Jesus, where do I start with this one? I think the one thing that’s pissing me off more than anything else at the moment is this culture of denialism. People pretending things don’t exist or aren’t happening, just because it inconveniences them. I’m not saying the virus itself is pissing me off (although it obviously is), but I do get irritated by people pretending it doesn’t exist or that it’s being exaggerated. It completely undermines our NHS frontline workers who have to go work and face the effects of it every day.
Tell me about your new single and how it came about?
The album, Thirteen Steps, has been a while in the making now. I actually first coined the Status:Revolt project in 2012. I initially abandoned it in favour of a more acoustic project, but that just didn’t really feel authentic. Roll on to 2018 and I brought Status:Revolt back into play.
The album took the best part of the last two years to complete, accelerated last year with lockdown. It was recorded and mastered at home and draws influences from a number ofbands I listened to growing up, Oasis, Radiohead, Mansun, Feeder and Nirvana to name a few. I wanted to deliver a dynamic guitar layered album, with big melodies, similar tosomething by those bands would have done.
Lyrically, a number of the songs reflect the current political and societal landscape, whilst others are just based on personal experiences.
How was the recording process given the various restrictions the UK has been under of late?
Lockdown was actually a blessing when it came to recording the album as it gave me the time at home to really focus on the process, without worrying about time and money. Of course, it would have been nice to get into a proper mastering studio to finesse it, but having access to decent enough kit at home really fuelled the process. It certainly made things clear about how much of the process I could actually do from home for future recordings anyway.
What are your plans for the year ahead
Well, it’s a new project, so the main plan is to take the songs to the stage, just as soon as the doors are open. I have already starting penning tracks for the next release and will be looking to get them recorded too.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Only that my album, Thirteen Steps, is available to stream on all major online providers and that you can find me on the usual socials by searching for Status:Revolt. I look forward to getting back out onto the gig circuit very soon.