Music for the players; Chase Bethea’s story

If I were to ask you to tell me the first thing that you think of when I say the word ‘game’, what would it be?

It would probably be your favourite game, your favourite character, the game you like to play after a stressful day, you could be thinking of the graphics, the scenes, the memories you have when your friend rammed your car off the road during a GTA race, or it could be that beautiful score that plays on the menu screen.

That song that stays with you, that connects people alike together through a memorable theme tune, the music that can change your mood before the cutscene has begun, that sound that can make you terrified, when you’re on the menu for Dead by Daylight ready to try and survive from the stress-inducing killers.

Chicago native Chase Bethea has a passion for composing music for video games. Chase started composing when he was in the 5th grade. Being in advanced band and a choir group, he says helped him.

“I was in advanced band and during my practice at home on the Saxophone, I started composing melodies out of boredom from the music pieces I was learning. Melodies were coming to me often because I was singing regularly.”

The 32 years young composer said that this at first isn’t what he wanted to do.

“In High School, I was making music but since that time people told me it sounded like video game music. I took it as an insult because I wanted to make Hip-Hop beats. I never could escape the sound.”

Moving to Los Angeles with his mum in 2001, started Chase on his journey to becoming the video game composer and creative and technical sound designer that he is now.

“I wanted to attend the Los Angeles Recording School to hone my audio production skills. So, I enrolled in that school the same year I graduated High School. If I only had a more optimistic mind and I regret this still, I would have listened to the people who told me my music sounds like video game music and would have pursued it then.”

Initially going to Los Angeles Recording School to become a recording engineer, the Chicago Bulls fan, realised that after two years he didn’t enjoy everyone’s music, and that he didn’t find satisfaction in it. He met good friends and learned that what he wanted to do more about recording and production.

“Moorpark College was the best time. I have some of my fondest memories there. Here was where I began my composition journey to become a video game composer. During this time, I was basically playing catch up as well as reinventing myself. I was taking classical piano and made it into their elite applied music program. Orbie Ingersoll, Professor Song, and Mona DeCesare & Sheila Rumenapp were my most beloved professors and I am so thankful for them.”

From here he attended California State Northridge, with the intention to strengthen his orchestration skills and learn the very thing he would become passionate for; video games composition. He said:

“When I was accepted into the program, I was told that there was not a video game class for composition. For the first semester that I was there, the university did not have a video game club. In the same first semester, I searched in the computer science department, emailing teachers, through the school’s directory until I stumbled upon the ART department. They started a video game club the following semester. I joined the club immediately and became the first Game Audio Composer within the club. Even participating in the first inaugural game club game jam. I quickly became the liaison for peers in my class to collaborate with other game developers. If it was not for me, most of the composers who wanted to work on games most likely would have never known about that club during that time.”

Chase is very passionate about what he does, and you can tell this when he speaks about his favourite video games.

“My favourite video game to play is Beyond Oasis on Sega Genesis. I don’t know why, but I always seem to come back to this game and beat it faster than I have before ever since I was a child. The score was written by Kushiro, Yuzo who is famously known for writing the Streets of Rage music. I wrote a blog about my Top 50 soundtracks and I wrote a blog about some music from a game that did not get as much shine.  The game is called Eternal Ring. What I love about the music for Eternal Ring is that there are congeries of different Renaissance styles in electronic/semi-orchestral form. It may not be a listener’s first pick right off the bat. The music grows on you while sneaking the main theme in the entire soundtrack. It is truly a hidden gem and deserves a deeper listen. Most people focus on melodies and swear they love them. However, most video game composers can only sing the typical “Halo” or “Super Mario Brothers” theme. Their palette is so narrow and cliche. I’m not pouring any salt on those themes but when you find music like Beyond Oasis, Eternal Ring, Hitman (2002) or Castlevania – Lords of Shadow, and it is barely referenced, it makes me wonder. I think to myself, “Are you really playing games? Are you really listening to how the music has been integrated with this or are you just listening to it out of context simply for album formality?”

The process for composing music depends on the person, it can take years to develop a masterpiece, and it takes a lot of practice for you to get your own way of doing things. Chase once again shows his enthusiasm, when he discusses his process of how he creates his work.

“It depends on the project. It can take anywhere from a month to nine years. Game Development can be temperamental and meticulous. There are lots of delays that can be caused due to scope creep, poor time management, bugs, port process, localization, etc.

“I typically have a game design document to refer to and from there I extract ideas that are not on the asset list. During this time, I mentally take notes on which sound instruments I will use that will create the appropriate sonorous world for the game I am trying to achieve. From there, I go through my composing journal and read about any techniques that may spark my creativity more. I jump to my dream audio logs (logs of music theme dreams that I have had before waking up.) Then, I sit at the Piano and begin sketching by playing around with scales and chord progressions until something resonates. After that, I record my sketches into my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), Cubase, and compose/arrange the music to where it flows compositionally. Then, I mix and master the track and test it in the game. Any revisions to the music occur after it is implemented in the game.”

The composer has composed music for games such as I Can’t Escape, a Different Color and Super Happy Fun Block, just to name a few. He was also nominated for Video Game Music online’s ‘Artist of the year – best independent composer’.

Apart from composing, Chase has a lot of other endeavours. These include writing, streaming, and some surprising hobbies.

“I decided to stream my music-making process because my friends found it fascinating. I realized this is a good promotion for myself and a good educational platform to show game developers how difficult writing music can be for games sometimes. I demonstrate my thought process and writer’s block that occurs with looking for instruments that fit and making new ones.”

“My first hobby is I refurbish Retro video game cartridges and discs as well as consoles (PS3, GameCube’s, Nintendo Entertainment Systems,etc.) Second, I like to read about business and marketing. Since I am a freelancer it is imperative, I stay up on these new practices and tools that can help me be more efficient with my day. Administration work takes up a huge majority of the time and music writing becomes less and less. Reading articles like these in my spare time helps mitigate the time I spend on it in a workday.”

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The Blackhawks fan also partakes in Sound Design. The self-labeled autodidact explains what this is.

“Sound Design is the creation of making sound effects that fit animations. It brings any animation and player action to more life. If you need real-world practical sounds (like wind, birds, city sounds, etc)  then you do Field Recording (taking remote recording equipment to capture the sound.) If you need in-door or action sounds you do Foley (overdub and creative layering of smash fruit to make punch sounds or dishes being picked up etc.) I’m an autodidact. There is a lot of resources and sounds for research on the Internet all ready to get started. The rest comes through listening to everything in your life around you in an indirect way, knowing how to get sound you hear in your mind out by exploring with audio effect plugins, having a grand imagination and experimenting for hours.”

What does it take to be in this industry?  There isn’t a lot out there for people who want to break into video game music and composing. “Many people do not know who I am and since I do not have any representation or agencies helping me. It is me doing everything by myself,” he says.

He adds, “if you are not posting on social media or showing up to the same events your colleagues are attending then, you’re forgotten. There is a formula to getting to the bigger clients and I have not solved it yet but I am close. Thankfully, the industry is small but huge at the same time and it can allow me to do my own thing to still work on games and achieve what I want to do in the industry.”

With passion comes ambition. From being a little boy being fascinated with music, Chase has plentiful ambition.

“I want to perform my music in my local city and game conventions around the world, arrange music for orchestras to play lesser-known game titles as well perform my own, educate developers thoroughly on how to work with composers effectively, write for bigger game projects that gain notoriety, write in more music styles, sell more of my original game soundtracks and design a hardware sound unit that taps into the sound production of different eras.”

Being in the game, no pun intended, for so long, Mr Bethea has a lot of advice that he can share to people who want to get into the industry. He says:

“You have to keep writing. Like anything a substantial amount of practice is how you get better. Typically, game jams are the best exercise for this. Maybe the game continues with production after the game jam and possibly ships. Then you have another game in your portfolio.

“You have to have verve and passion. Don’t enter the industry if don’t love it because it is popular, or you think it will make you tons of money. Things in the industry will click for you right away sometimes if you’re meant for it. If not, you’ll know. Keep in mind this career is a marathon and very long one. Sometimes it will take five or twenty years before the big break happens. If sprinting is your mindset, this is not the industry for you. I would also say please do your homework the composers who worked or who are working professionally in the industry and treat everyone with respect.”

“Most importantly, stop offering to work for free to work on a game. Join a game jam! This is the only acceptable/respectable place to work on a game for free because it allows for practice and growth. Lastly, raise your rates. The rates hear and see about from new composers is too low and unprofessional to sustain a consistent and decent living and for the hard work, schooling, gear and library money we pour into. $100 per finished minute of music is unacceptable to be charging for your time. $500 -$700 per finished minute is a better beginning. If you love yourself and this industry, raise your worth and help the competition be truly competitive.”

Even if you don’t know much about this industry, you can agree that music impacts every aspect of people’s lives, whether or not we mean it to. We link music to memories, now every time I hear the imperial march I think back to the times when I was playing Star Wars Battlefront with my dad, on our PS2 when he was home from duty. There is no denying that a person with this much desire will succeed in their endeavours.

“I just want to reflect on the early days of my childhood where I would play my N64 at my grandma’s house for hours, picking up Ocarina of Time from the pen shop down the street from her house. Exploring for a place to sit down in clothing stores on Clark St. in Chicago and play Godzilla on Gameboy while my Grandmother shopped with my Cousins and Great Aunts. How I would be in my room at my Father’s house listening to Final Fantasy Legend Music via the Sound Test on my Gameboy.  It’s so awe inspiring to see myself now. Even looking back seven years ago to when I had no idea about the industry but learned as much as I could in three years to have the friends I have and accomplished what I have done. Those days of daydreaming, sitting on the bed, couch or in my humble studio are difficult to have the foresight of where you will be tomorrow or a year from now but the memory, the journey and the moment, as brief as it is, will never be forgotten.”

It is only a matter of time until Chase becomes a name on every game enthusiasts’ lips, talking about his musical talent. If you would like to follow Chase, check his socials!

TikTok – @chasebethea

Dan Morris

The Ferret is one of the most popular music venues within Preston, Lancashire, and on the third of May 2016 I was delighted to get an interview with their manager Dan Morris to get an insight on what The Ferret does and to help you get a gig at this spectacular venue. Dan used to study illustration and design, where all the posters in the venue come from his graphic design experience. He has also got a lot of experience with bands as he has been in a few since the age of 12, which lead him to be a touring musician doing a few circuits up and down England as well as a few gigs abroad. He said he has found a different path and that he likes putting the events on and giving bands a boost “it’s good fun”. As mentioned in the interview they run a festival called ‘Glaston Ferret’ and this year it is the 10th anniversary. It starts on the 8th of July to the 10th. – This interview was carried out in 2016, if you would like to find out about the events and Glaston Ferret then visit their website. The link is at the bottom of the page.

How long have you worked at The Ferret?
“I have been here two – two and a half years.”

How did you get the job?
“I used to play music here loads, and I knew one of the mangers and then one day I gave her a bag of weed and she gave me a job. And I have been here ever since.”

What events do The Ferret run? Is it just gigs?
“No we do loads of stuff. We used to do a thing called trash cinema, obviously we do gigs most nights of the week. We do quiz nights on Mondays, we do open mic nights that’s where anyone performer can come down and play anything from fire breathers to poets to guys that play the kazoo, guys that play the sitar, we have loads of variety down. We also run a festival called ‘Glaston Ferret’, which we put real grass down in the pub, real hay bails. We have two stages,30 bands over the course of three days it sells out every year, it’s brilliant.”

How much are the tickets for Glaston Ferret?
“Its £6 a day or weekend ticket for £12.”

How often do you have bands playing?
“Mondays we have quiz night and sometimes we have an acoustic act playing that, Tuesday are paid in shows like touring bands but that’s not every week, Wednesdays are open mic night, Thursdays is gig night but it varies between touring bands to paid in shows to blues nights, metal nights, rock nights to hip-hop nights which is a new one next week. This Thursday we have two Korean bands playing. Fridays and Saturdays are free entry shows so touring bands are playing but it’s free so we can get music to the masses and then Sundays it varies like Thursday. Sometimes it could be a paid in show sometimes it could be a themed show. There will be live music pretty much every night”

What do you look for in a band/is there a certain band you go for?
“Not really to be honest. I f I think people want to hear them or should hear a band I will definitely put them on. Also there are little bits will a band bring a certain amount of people in, will the punters enjoy that band, is it going to be accessible for everyone for people who don’t know about the show, will people leave when they hear it, that sort of thing. We try and put every genre on at some point in the night so we have anything from hard core screamo, goth industrial metal to light jazz on a Sunday night. So it’s wide variety of stuff we try cover every base really.”

If a band wants to play here how do they get in touch?
“If they get in contact with me or they would go through the Facebook page. Either way I will pick it up and take a listen. So it varies, sometimes I will discover new music and I will ask or they come to me and ask me if I can have a listen to and if I like it see if we can get a show together and match all the bands so there are also of different ways; you can come in, ring up, email me or you can email the pub really.”

What does your job entail?
“I manage the place, so I am general manger here but I am also a promoter, events coordinator and the graphics designer, so covers a lot of basis.”

If you could book any band for The Ferret, who would you it be and why?
“Oh god so many, I am really proud of May there are a few bands on there that I have been try to get for ages you see so Trampolene and Cabbage are two of my favourites at the moment. Catfish and the Bottlemen again would be great. We have had them on a few times but having them again would be perfect.”

From your point of view would you say its difficult to get into the music industry?
“Very difficult, bands are ten a penny theses days, there are so many different acts, different varieties as well. You gotta break into the Manchester scenes as well but I know a promoter in Manchester called Gaz who runs Night and Day café and I know for a fact that I get ‘x’ amount of emails a day and he gets triple that so if you need exposure you need to get in to these venues. We’re right at the bottom of it, so we are a grassroots venue, very much called the ‘toilet circuit’ if you an get in with us it’s a step up but then obviously you got to step up again and then again then you will get noticed by an agent or someone one will take you on and then you will get the bigger gigs. It’s incredibly difficult.”

If a band wanted a gig at The Ferret, how would they get your attention?
“If they email me and I like what I hear, some acts take you by surprise, there was a band called Arcadia recently that emailed me and I listened to about 2 or 3 songs and I was blown away, I was like yeah I definitely need to get these guys on, I then booked them, went on their Facebook page afterwards and started listening to it all then realised they were 17 year olds from Stoke. I was like what the hell I thought you guys were seasoned musicians, it was brilliant. So yeah it takes you by surprise sometimes, but the best way is to email it across and obviously we’ll take a listen.”

Do you have any advice for new artists?
”Just keep going, keep practising. You’re not going to play to 500 people at the Ritz in Manchester if you’ve not played 100 gigs to 3 people in a place like this, so keep going, don’t get disheartened, constantly writing, constantly moving, constantly asking for gigs, just keep moving, keep going forward and just never stop and don’t look back.”

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Email – info@theferret.info
Telephone – 01772 200017

Whitecliff (Wide Eyed Boy)

When I carried out this interview the band was called Whitecliff, since then they have changed and are now called ‘Wide Eyed Boy’, all their social media links will be for the current band. I will soon review their new single ‘Wolves’.

Whitecliff are an indie-pop rock band who have already been heard in the music circle as they have already had radio support from many radios including BBC Radio 2’s Janice Long. The group who met whilst studying Music at Liverpool have just released their ep ‘Five Minutes’. Band members include Oliver Nagy (Vocals), Tom Taylor (Drums) Johnny Ball (Guitar) and Paul Bates (Bass). On the 29th of April 2016, Whitecliff were doing a gig at the Ferret in Preston where I interviewed Oliver and Tom. Pictured left to right Oliver, Johnny, Tom and Paul. Their newly released ep ‘Five Minuets’ is available for download on ITunes for £1.49 or you can buy the singles ‘Five Minuets’ or ‘Till The End’ for 99p.

Where did the name for your band come from?
Oliver – “You know that’s a funny story, we started making music writing songs together, and we didn’t have a band name. I was just walking up to band practice and I just pressed shuffle on my iPod and for some reason it played ‘Wyclef Jean’ and I didn’t even know I had songs of his on my iPod, and basically for a joke I went into the practice room and said “We should call ourselves ‘Wyclef'” and they thought I said ‘Whitecliff’ so we just kept it.”

How would you describe the style of your music?
Tom – “I think it’s like indie-pop, it’s basically guitar music meets pop music.”
Oliver – “I guess the melodies are a bit on the poppier side of the spectrum and then the indie guitars the rock elements in it as well.”

Do you have any advice for any new budding artists?
Oliver- “I mean it sounds very stereotypical like write a lot of songs, you know usually your first songs aren’t going to be the best, don’t be very precious about them, just write and write. Do gigs, meet new people, you know network.”

What is the writing process for your songs?
Tom – “It’s all written together which is really cool.”
Oliver – “We just jam really, we just go and practice, someone comes up with an idea and we just build from that and it just comes a song after a while.”

Do you have any future plans – any tours and gigs?
Oliver – “We are about to finish our tour now, we are more than halfway down, we have another four to go, so we are doing that and then we are going to Germany in October to support The Rifles, which is great because I am from Germany originally so it’s going to be fun.”
Tom – “We are sure there’s going to be another UK tour round October time.”
Oliver – “We are just going to do a lot of writing.”

Who are your influences?
Tom – “I’d say older bands like Strokes and the Kinks as well, more recently bands like the 1975, Circa Waves, Catfish and the Bottlemen, you know all big North West bands, it varies.”
Oliver – “You know individually we all have different musical backgrounds, us put together in a room, we all bring our different musical identities so that creates our sound really.”

What is the weirdest thing to have ever happened to you whilst being in the?
Tom – “We were at a service station and our van is white with a blue roof, and Johnny got in to a black van, totally unrelated van and he got in that, that was pretty weird.”

How long have you been a band?
Oliver – “We properly started working on the band about 2 and half years ago, but we only finished uni last year so its been on the road now for a bout a year.”

Where did you all meet?
Tom – “Everyone meet at uni up in Liverpool. Oli is from Germany, I am from the South, we are all form different areas and we all met in class up at uni.”

What did you study at uni?
Tom and Oliver – “We studied Music actually.”

How many hours a day do you practice?
Tom – “We are actually quite good, we actually practice together everyday, Monday to Friday if we are not touring we are doing stuff like that. We write 4 hours a day.”

Where do you get your instruments from and how much did they cost? For those people who may want to start their own band.
Oliver – “That’s interesting. I am a singer so I don’t, obviously I have a keyboard as well that was like £200 or something, that’s it.”
Tom – “My first drum kit I actually borrowed from a friend for years and years and years ad then I just grown over the years and I had different stuff, I couldn’t put a figure on it.”

How did you get into music?
Tom – “I am really bad at everything else to be honest so that’s how.”
Oliver -“I have always been a singer, I was on stage I started singing at 6 or 7, I really didn’t have a choice.”

Do you have any future plans for an album?
Tom – “Yeah so we have a few more singles coming out and then we are going to record our first album and that should be out next year-ish.”
Oliver – “We always write, I think by now we probably have material for an album, but you know as we grow as a band, as time passes, we change our sound a bit so I am guessing next year. ”

If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Tom – “Everyone always has different answers for this one, but I think personally I think it would be cool to do something with Kanye West, it would be interesting. On a more serious note, maybe a legend. I know its not possible now but playing with somebody like David Bowie or someone like that would have been amazing.”

Does it ever get difficult being in a band?
Oliver – “Definitely, obviously at the very beginning you don’t earn money from it, so we had to get jobs to make a living and we are on our first tour now and you get tired a bit some of us get really ill, there are always ups and downs.”
Tom – “Its doing something everyone loves as well, you know its good with bad really. If it’s tough at least we are out there doing it which we are really great full for to be able to go and tour the UK.”

How would you describe the process of getting signed, was it difficult?
Tom – “It was after doing loads of gigging and loads of writing, it’s our first stepping stone really.”
Oliver – “We had to grow as a band and then we played loads of gigs and we were lucky that Gary Powell was in the audience in Brighton, who owns 25 hour convenience store, you know the label we are signed to, and it was just like really being in the right place at the right time.”

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Rocheii

Rocheii are an undiscovered gem that I had the pleasure of interviewing on FridRocheiiay the 29th of April 2016 when they headlined at the Ferret in Preston. They combine epic, shimmering guitars with a funked up rhythm section to create a jagged, left field British pop sound. With the use of the guitars, drums and vocals they are unique. The band started in 2014 by lead singer and guitarist Calvin Roche who found band members Alex Lewis (drums), Dan Yates (lead guitarist) and Sam Mercer (bassist) online, believe or not on Gumtree. They are pictured left to right, Sam, Alex, Calvin and Dan.

Where did the name for your band come from?
Calvin – “Basically, when I was ten years old I got a really bad disease called ‘Kawasaki Syndrome‘ and I was in hospital for about a month and there was always one poster outside that said ‘Pompeii’ and it’s the only thing I remember from that and it has stuck with me since. My second name is ‘Roche’, I was always thinking about two similar things, like ‘Cold-play’ its short and snappy and the only thing that rhymed with ‘Pompeii’ was ‘Rocheii’.”

How would you describe your music?
Sam – “I’d say it’s quite poppy, but left field. It’s funky, upbeat and groovy. What would you say? (to Calvin).”
Calvin – “Early Kings Of Leon maybe.”
Sam – “Mixed with parliament, funkadlelic, something like that.”

Do you have any advice for any new budding artists?
Sam – ” Pick up an instrument, play it, practice it and invest in it. In the sense that nothing is going to come for free, don’t just think cause you’re in a band, ‘why is no one listening to me?’ ‘I am Mr. Bigshot’ no you have got to pay. You might be doing it for a year or two, you know we now have got to pay for transport, cd’s, merchandise, promotion, recording, everything. Crack on work hard. ”
Calvin – “Practice your trade. Do as much as you can, while you can.”

What is the writing process for your songs?
Calvin – “Mainly, we come up with an idea, or anyone comes up with an idea, you take it to the practice room, if everything fits, the lyrics, sound and melody, it sort of all comes together, you have to do it part by part. As long as the flow is there and the song has a natural feel to it. ‘Body language’, the single of the ep had that feel, it sort of had a funky beat all the way through out.”

Do you have any future plans – any tours and gigs?
Sam – “Well what we intend to do is loads of gigs up until June, we are going all over the show. Then after that we are going to have some downtime in July and August, we’re gonna do a music video for ‘Body Language’ our single. Then it’s back to the drawing board, and once we have everything sorted in that regard, you know got some new material, videos, take that then do a bunch of gigs.”

Who are your influences?
Dan – “Well, I think that’s the sort of thing that makes the band what it is, we all come from very different corners of the musical world, where as if we all had one similar influence our music would turn out like that influence but we all bring something different to the table, so myself there is a hard rock and metal background, Calvins’ the sort of singer/songwriter route, you know we bring all of these influences together to create something that is greater than the sum of it’s parts.”

What is the weirdest thing to have ever happened to you?
Dan – “It’s got to be the Birds nest gig. We played a gig at this three day hippie-fest essentially, over in south east London and the sound engineer had a pair of spectacles that were held together by sellotape and they only had one arm so he was constantly handicapped by the fact that he had to hold his glasses, for a start, the sound engineering equipment wasn’t the best and he played flute whilst he was engineering the set, so he couldn’t have a clear head.”
Sam – “He was doing it with his head wasn’t he.”
Calvin – “He was having a cig and playing the flute, the police drove past and he was like ‘yeah f-you police’ and all that.”
Dan – “There was a definite conflict of interests in terms of where his priorities were, engineering the gig or mouthing off at the cops. He offered his caravan to us, so that all in one was a bit of an oddball experience for us.”

How long have you been a band?
Calvin – “As we are now a year.”
Alex – “Sam has been with us for a year as the current line up, but we have known each other for two years.”

How many hours a day do you practice?
Calvin – “I think in terms of me it’s more songwriting. Me and Sam live together we won’t really practice we will just write ideas, I suppose that’s practice in itself.”
Sam – “Practicing individually probably not a lot. Personally I don’t play my bass more than hour an day. Alex teaches drums so he has to practice.”
Alex – “Yeah I probably do an hour a day.”
Dan – “Yeah between 1 to 2 a day myself.”

Where do you get your instruments from and how much did they cost?
Calvin – “It depends, my guitar I got for £100 and its worth a lot more now. I just got that luckily, it’s not cheap if you want decent instruments.”
Sam – “I would say if you have never picked up an instrument before and you start a band don’t look at the shiny Fender and go ‘I want that because it’s a grand and that make me better’ no, rubbish. If you want to learn an instrument pick up something that’s within a decent budget, we all did. My first bass, about 12 years ago was a knock off, cheapy bass guitar, work on that because it may be harder to play, but if you care for it and if want to play, you will play it.”
Dan – “In terms of cost wise, definitely look for second-hand bargains. If you want to buy an new Fender Strat guitar it will cost you about £600-£700, you could get a couple year old one for that half that if you look in the right place.”

How did you get into music?
Alex – “Well I got into music from my parents playing records round the house, but more specifically I got into the drums by going to a family friends house and just seeing the drum kit and being mesmerized by it, thinking it is the most amazing thing in the world. That’s how I started drums.”
Sam – “I am the same as you, when I was 12 my mum listened to a Stranglers record and I remember I was in the car and she said ‘You should learn the bass’ and I was like ‘ What’s that?’ and she put on ‘Peaches by the Stanglers’ and it was like *bass noises of the intro song* and I was like ‘I want to do that, so my mum bought me a bass that Christmas and that was it.”

I know you have just released one, but do you have any future plans for an album?
Sam – “Well we just released that one a few weeks ago, we have written a few more songs, that we are playing tonight. I imagine how quick we write songs there will be one later this year, September?”

If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Sam – “Damon Albarn”
Calvin – “For me it would be ‘D’Angelo’, he is just such a cool musician, you can jam with him.”
Alex – “I would probably want to collaborate with ‘Drake’.”
Dan – “I would probably collaborate with ‘Stevie Wonder’. The guy has just written so many classic songs, and I think to go in and add my guitaristical goodness to his songs, he is just a ledge.”

Was it hard getting a record deal, with your label The Animal Farm?
Calvin – “It’s not really a record deal as such, probably a guidance thing at the start. We played a gig and they came to us, I wouldn’t say go out there and push but there are bigger things happening in the pipeline, touchwood, in the future. You play gigs and if someone sees you and likes you.”
Sam – “I think it’s a kind of record label thing for someone who hasn’t played in a band, having a record label is a red herring, I would say, especially with social media and the ability to put your songs out your self, do everything yourself, I think some people think ‘oh a record deal that’s what you want cause they’ if that’s what you think, if that’s your mindset then put the guitar down and do something else, I have learnt, because I had the same mentality when I was younger and in a band. Do it yourself, be pro-active, think what you need to do, you have a record, what do you need to invest in? Go to your local uni find a graphics designer, someone who is studying social media, you know get them on board.”

If you want to listen to this spectacular band click their links. Also check out their newly released ep that features three of their original songs: Body Language, So Young and Casanova. You can purchase their ep on ITunes (album costs £2.37, individual songs are 79p), Google Play (album is £2.97 and individual songs are 99p) and Amazon (same prices as ITunes).

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