Made up of the Morgan brothers and others, Callum Morgan (vocals, guitars) explains the man behind the road behind their band name. The “dirty country” outfit are currently touring No Tomorrows, their debut EP out 29 July.
Tell us a bit about your sound and your influences.
Someone at a recent show described our sound as dirty country. We also throw in a bit of rock, folk and pop for good measure. We came together with a shared love of the West Coast sound from the 1970s – bands like Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Eagles, Jackson Browne, as well as Bruce Springsteen and more contemporary music like Ryan Adams, Haim, Shovels & Rope and The Lumineers: ggood songs championed by gritty guitars and charismatic vocals. We’re big on harmonies too.
How have you evolved as a band over the years?
When we first got together we were very much a West Coast rock band born in the wrong decade. Then our drummer left, and we spent the best part of the year gigging up and down the country as an Americana folk outfit. A stomp box and tambourine became our drum kit. We’d play a lot of folk clubs where everyone else would be predominantly acoustic, and then we’d show up and we would sound a lot heavier. People loved it though, and we gained a lot of confidence in ourselves. We won some competitions and played some great festivals like Latitude and Secret Garden Party, and then last summer we found our new drummer, Simon Tinmouth. Since he’s joined we’ve expanded our sound so it’s a bit less folky, re-embracing some of those rock and pop elements that first drew us together, but with clearer collective vision.
Were there any alternative band names before you arrived at this one?
My brother Kieran and me had played in a band called The Sharps before this one. We toured around a bit and when Yve Mary B (vocals) and Matt (keys) first joined the band we were still calling ourselves that. Our surname is Morgan, and Kieran and me felt we needed an ego boost, so we changed the name to Morganway. Jokes aside, it actually refers to a road in rural Norfolk that was named after our granddad – a local vicar.
What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Mainly we’re rehearsing for our summer tour in support of No Tomorrows, our debut EP out 29 July. Other than that we’re always writing new songs, and we plan to hit the studio again as soon as we have a break in the tour.
How do you stand out from the crowd in a saturated industry?
I think what a lot of people like is that we’re not straight-out country, we’re not straight-out folk or indie, but we blend a lot of those sounds and create a vibe of our own. We’re not part of one specific scene and we’re not trying to be.
What’s on your rider?
Nothing is set in stone, but Yve loves a bit of pineapple juice and lemonade, and maybe an Irish whiskey on the side. Kieran and me like our beer. Matt loves cider and Simon is very much a Coca-Cola man.
Tell us about your worst live show.
I have two, both with my previous band. The first was at a school talent show. It started off bad – our singer’s mic wasn’t working and our drummer’s bass drum pedal broke so he had to literally kick the kick drum. It got worse when my brother’s guitar solo was cut short by me knocking his lead out while frolicking about and believing I was the coolest guy on earth. The second was when we played a house party and our drummer got so drunk he fell in a pond right before we played. He did the gig soaking wet, and halfway through my brother jumped off his amp, hit his head on the ceiling and was nearly knocked out. Good times.