Music Q&A:
Speak, Brother

The harmony-laden, folk-tinged four piece are currently touring tracks from their forthcoming debut album. They play Sheffield Greystones, 14 June

Hero image

What informs your music and songwriting?
We love a good story. Our songs are inspired by powerful stories that move us and build us up. Whether it’s about our grandparents, losing something dear to us or the incredible emotion felt when holding a newborn child, they are scenarios we can all relate to and sing about and remind us we aren’t on our own in the struggle.

How has the band evolved over the years?

All four of us grew up in different rock bands as kids. A few years ago James (Herring – vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin) shared some songs with Nath (Morris – bass, percussion) and Matt (Cotterill – keys) and later Dan (Smith – percussion) to form the four piece we are now.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
In July 2016 we started writing our debut album. Previously we’ve written songs as we went along but writing a collective piece of art was a really exciting prospect. Previously James has written much of the core of the song, but the album presented an opportunity to be more collaborative. It’d also been the first time writing with Dan on percussion so we felt we had a whole lot more options to explore. We’re also working with amazing producer Gavin Monaghan too, which is really exciting. It feels like it’s been a year of firsts for us, which is really challenging as it seems we’re just about head above water and just on the edge of tripping up. It’s testing friendships and our limits, but at the same time, exciting and rewarding as heck. It’s a fresh place to be.

What’s it like to operate in the music industry today?
It’s great to have so much accessible music out, although it also feels harder than ever to stand out and get your music heard. Our goal isn’t to just get a record deal and get rich. But at the same time we’ve realised we can’t do this on our own and isolated. And so we have looked to build a good team around us that believe in what we do that can help.

What’s on your rider?
If we had one it’d include a home cooked lasagna like we had once at a house concert. It was bliss.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.

One picture in our minds that will never leave us – we once supported ‪The Wurzels‬ and during their last song (an electric dance version of the Combine Harvester song) the accordion player Tommy stripped off to a black thong. Crazy, lovable guys.

What song do you wish you’d written?

Burden by ‪Foy Vance‬ instantly comes to mind – such a great song, full of warmth and love.

What’s your worst lyric?
Not particularly proud of this, haha, but this is from one of the first songs we’d written: “A scrap piece of paper, ripped and torn, littered with lies is the state of my heart.”

If you liked this article, we think you’ll enjoy these:

Interact: Responses to Music Q&A:
Speak, Brother

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.