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RGM Introducing – The France

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 a band ?

We all love the idea of creating something of our own for people to enjoy. 

Playing live and the camaraderie of experiencing everything with your mates are the best and it’s why we do it. Plus, what else is there to do?

Introduce us all to the members?

Liam Dodd – Bass / Lead Vocals

Joel Murphy – Guitar / Vocals 

Joe Weetman Drums / Vocals

Richard ‘Ric’ Marshall – Keys / Synth

What have you been doing during lock down?

Grafting in all sense of the word. Pushing ourselves writing more material, as we know next year needs to be a boost not just for the music industry but the whole world. We got the chance to record 2 singles just before ‘lockdown 2’ fully hit the UK, which has given us the opportunity to release now and into next year.

How has it effected your mental health?

We’ve been lucky in a sense, as this is such a strong subject area for current times.

It’s hard not being able to do the usual things you want to do without checking what rules or tiers you are in.

Not being able to play live for nearly 12 months has been awful, but it will just make 2021 even more special.

So tell me a little bit about you and what you like doing for fun?

It sounds cliché but playing in the band. 

Away from that, Dodd likes to star in amateur musicals, Joel fancies himself as a golfer, Joe cruises round on a motorbike in the summer… and no one actually knows what Ric likes, we will have to ask him.

How do you think the government have looked after the night time economy / live gig circuit?

Is this a joke? Next question…

Which one is the biggest pain in the arse?

We all have our own little annoyances. However Ric is always late, for everything. 

Joel also likes to hide Dodd’s stuff in recording sessions. He’ll take every cigarette out of the packet and hide them in random places around the studio, leaving the empty packet in its original place for maximum effect…crafty

What good bands are coming out of Manchester at the minute? 

We’d say it’s both in and around Manchester there’s something good, with the likes of The 1975 and Blossoms who killing it at the min. 

In Wigan there’s The Lathams have a cool unique sound. 

Then in the city you’ve got The Larkins and King Kartel we like and are doing their thing

We also watched Pale Waves last summer support Courteeners at Heaton Park, I think Heather used to work for our manager before they started touring etc…. they were class that day.

What’s your favourite song right now from another band?

This changes on a weekly basis with us all and we all have different tastes, but to give you an insight of today.

       (Liam)  –  DMA’s – Silver

       (Joel)   – LANY  –  Where The Hell Are My Friends

       (Joe)    – Harry Styles – Golden 

 (Ric)    – Dave Matthews Band – Idea of You

What support is out there for new artists in Manchester?

For Manchester it’s the diversity and choice of venues to play at, although it’s tough times at the minute.  There are a number of regional radio stations, which are supporting local music. We are blessed that we have Fear Records behind us supporting everything we want to do. 

Who is inspiring you at the minute and why?

Our writing inspiration has always come from experiences and events more so than other artists. Musically if we were to nail it down to a couple of bands your are looking at hints of Fleetwood Mac for the synth, then Coldplay and The Killers for the big sing along stadium sound.

If your fans could remember one thing about you what would it be?

New Vibe

What useless talent do you have/ party trick? 

Pointless, but Joel can bottle flip onto the back of his hand. 60% of the time it works every time.

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

We played freshers week at Edge Hill University which was class. No one knew who we were, so we just blasted out the set at 100mph. The vibe of the night was great, people dancing and climbing on the stage. We ended up back at the student halls playing and acoustic sing along set in some kitchen using pots and pans for drums and cymbals. Good times

What was the worst experience on stage?

We kit shared with a metal band at a gig and the drummer from the support band put a hole in the kick drum skin, playing like a gammon head. We had to heavily tape a bar mat to the hole, so it could still partially function for when we went on to play

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about? 

Dodd is a qualified Maths teacher

Joel was signed on as Huddersfield Town FC as a youngster

Joe is a big motorbike enthusiast

Ric is a certified chemist and Steve Jobs lookalike

Best drink to have on stage?

Depends which stage. It’s a different drink for every occasion.

Festival – Cider

Venue – Red Stripe

Who is the biggest named band you have played with?

Reverend and the Makers or Scouting For Girls maybe

Tell us a funny story from backstage?

On holloween on route to a gig our van got a puncture with all the equipment inside.

We had all decided to dress up as KISS for the night, so people driving past were stopping and beeping as they thought “Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frhley and Peter Criss” were unloading the gear to change the spare tyre of a clapped out Toyota Previa. Classic

Who would you like to work with on the circuit right now?

Red Rum Club or possibly Haim. Loving what they are doing at the min, plus we,reckon they’d be up for a right session as well.

What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?

Keep going, and enjoy the ride. There are so many bands who look like they don’t enjoy what they do, so people watching switch off. We want people to not only hear the music, but see that we actually enjoy performing it even more.

What tips do you have booking tours and managing the travel?

Leave it to the specialists, or you end up staying in some absolute dives. Brushing your teeth at the top of multi story car parks and using a rack tom case for a pillow is not ‘ Rock and Roll’ regardless of what anyone says.

Whats your biggest achievement as a band?

Not that we have to say this, but signing with Fear Records. They are investing so much time and effort into their artists. It’s cool how their roster are all different genres, and they allow you to be the artist you are. They don’t tell us how we have to look or sound, its just all about providing a platform to get music out.

What makes you stand out as a band?

Melody, Harmonies, Chorus’ and Hooks. It’s what we work so hard on as a band, and we are our biggest critics in the rehearsal room.

Add in the fact that wherever we play it makes no difference to us. The standard is the same whether it’s a festival, venue or a house party in the middle of Grimsby (not that we’ve ever played there but hit us up)

Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus 🙂 

We’ve nothing against people making comebacks, but artists doing it for the money and not the music is a gripe. The likes of  S-Club 7 and Steps reunion tour… seriously? Fuck that.

Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?

Most of the time we actually have a laugh as a band. There’s no filter between the four of us, so we are constantly taking the piss out of each other and everything around us. We do use a lot of innuendoes and hand gestures in almost every day conversations, which can get weirdly awkward if someone else sees or hears it.

Last year we took time and had a band trip to Berlin in the summer for a long weekend. 4 days of carnage, chaos and belly laughs.

Whats your favourite song to play live and why?

As it stands – Better off Alone. People took a massive shine to it earlier this year before lockdown when we played it live.

I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?

As above, Better Off Alone is out now with a cool music video we did with a director called Matthew Boone. We are also releasing another at the end of January 2021, with a real Don Henley vibe called Forever Too Long. Keep your eyes peeled.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Everyone always asks about the band name: Its an acronym 

From Rochdale And Never Can Escape

It was taken from an Internet review of our home town  Rochdale where someone had written ‘Make your choice – leave fast or stay forever’