The Hull five-piece have been making a name for themselves with some raucous gigs. Singer Daniel Mawer talks about the release of new single Wishing I Could Kill.
Who came up with the idea for filming the video to Wishing I Could Kill in a local café?
Filming music videos really aren’t the band’s forte but we realised that it would fit the feel of the song if we did a performance video. We filmed it at Thieving Harry’s café and, since I spend so much time there, it made sense to make a music video in a place that felt like home and had so many interesting things inside to film. That still didn’t stop us half-miming, half-smirking for the entirety of the two days filming. Finding usable footage of us taking miming seriously was particularly hard to do.
Do you feel that you sound more subdued on record than live?
You’re right. The songs we have online don’t represent how loud and horrible we are live. We’ve often tried to capture that energy in recordings but, for whatever reason, the more subtle tracks have come out better and we’ve focused on those instead. But that energy is something we’re really focused on highlighting with our next record.
Why did you decide to release this through the Adult Teeth label?
When Lewis from Adult Teeth Recording Company first chatted to us we were in a weird transitional period of recording a new EP whilst still having some recording sessions left to mix and release. This single seemed like the best place to start. It gave us the chance to have a feel of how we’d work together in the future and close the door on the formula we’ve subconsciously worked to of writing four minute reverb-drenched songs.
What is the music scene like at the moment in Hull?
As a teenager the music scene here was brilliant but when we started the band in Hull four years ago, it was a quiet year. What has happened since then has been remarkable. By the end of this year Hull will have hosted at least six local festivals, and none as important to us than Humber Street Sesh, an event run by local collaborators on 2 August. The city’s on a high after winning City Of Culture 2017 status.
Do you feel as though the city plays a role in shaping the things you write about?
Not so much that we’re namedropping the Humber Bridge or our favourite streets in songs, but our style and feel is definitely shaped by our city. Hull’s facing a lot of adversity to change people’s opinions after years of an unfair bad reputation. But with city of culture status as well as plenty of hard work from people in the city amongst other developments in the region, Hull has become a beautiful and more prosperous place to live, whether doubters like it or not. Our band name means ‘the beast blooms’, and although it’s just a few crappy words I wrote in a notebook as a kid, I think it sums up our city and how I feel about it pretty well.
You’ve had members come and go and there’s a BBC introducing video of you online that doesn’t look like the same members of the band are in it?
As a band we’ve always had to grab stand ins for gigs and live opportunities. James is a permanent member but plays in a much heavier band called The Colour Line who tour the UK and Europe regularly. Alex (the drummer in the video) is an ace friend who helps cover when it’s needed, he’s also much quieter to have around then James so it gives our ears a rest. Beckie and Louisa are both at University, so as of this year we’ve brought in our friend John (the bearded man in the video) to help fill out the sound. It’s been brilliant having him on board, he’s way too talented for us but we’ve somehow tricked him into playing every show we’ve had this year as well as having a major contribution to the E.P. Whilst Louisa comes back from Uni to play shows and record when she can, Beckie has made a move to London permanently meaning she can’t really play or record. She’s really busy having a real life away from dingy pubs and it looks like she won’t be a regular fix with us anymore. It’s a shame but we love her to bits and hope she can contribute with vocals and stuff here and there if she ever wants to.
Have you got plans to record an album this year?
In May we recorded some new material with Stew Baxter at The Warren in Hull as well as with The Talks lead singer, Pat Pretorius. We took those recordings to producer Matt Peel at Cottage Road Studios in Leeds to finish and mix. It was great to spend time with the three of them and to spend a longer amount of time on recording, catching the energy we play live and transferring it onto our recordings. With help from Adult Teeth we’re releasing our debut E.P on October 13th along with a tour of the UK. We’re in the perfect position of working in jobs that can give us the freedom to have a couple of weeks free to play shows.
Do you enjoy the intensity of playing Festivals where you have to win people over quite quickly and are you playing some this summer?
Ask any young band touring the UK today, and they’ll probably tell you it’s a constant effort to win over crowds whatever gig you play. We play 20 minute sets full of adrenaline and always think about the set as a showcase of what we can do. What makes festivals different is each one has it’s own unique atmosphere and gives us the chance to play in front of a lot of new people. Sometimes it’s hard for me to convince our friends that the band is more then just a hobby, and that the hours we put into music couldn’t be better spent on something else. In fact sometimes it’s so difficult that we ask ourselves those same questions. But when we perform, it gives me the adrenaline and positive feeling that makes me proud to have been onstage with my best mates doing something I love. Festivals in the past have made me realise how much I need this band as an outlet in my life and I can’t wait for future festivals to play like Tramlines festival this year, along with Freedom Festival and Humber Street Sesh before we promote our E.P.