There are singer-songwriters and then there’s Jake Morley. Ever since I was first exposed to the the wonderfully upbeat and incredibly infectious Freddie Laid The Smackdown/Feet Don’t Fail Me Now single (first released last year) I became a little obsessed with the music of Jake Morley, I found myself humming his melodies in the street, in the bath and just about everywhere inbetween.
Jake then graced our finest local venue, The Marrs Bar where he showcased his inventive lap guitar work, delivering a stunning set of hook-laden acoustic pop alongside his incredible backing band, leaving everyone baying for more.
With all this is in mind and with the re-release of his debut album Many Fish To Fry, I thought it was about time I caught up with Jake to find out what makes him tick, here’s what he has to say.
1. Hi Jake how’s things with you? Let’s start at the beginning, what are your first memories of music? And did you grow up with much of a musical background?
There’s a classic photo of me aged about 5, sitting asleep on my dad’s lap while he played piano. I was a very fortunate to grow up in a household with so many opportunities to discover music – a piano, a drum kit, an acoustic, an electric, a bass guitar… As quite a shy child, music became a way to communicate without being tied up by language.
2. Can you remember when you started really taking notice of music, was there a particular artist that you first identified with? And what was the first record/CD you bought?
I had an unusual fascination with Bob Marley when I was really tiny. What was that about?! I just got it I dunno. And that thing happened where you mention something in passing once in December, then word spreads around the family and suddenly you’ve got nothing but Bob Marley presents for Christmas.
I loved all kinds of things, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, The Cats Musical Soundtrack… But I don’t know if you can truly love music until you hit your teens. Something magical happens then. You start really feeling it, in ways you’re not equipped to describe. It’s no longer just a bit of fun it’s fucking serious – life, love, death and friends are at stake. There’s suddenly a whole world to explore, and for me music was the map.
3. When did you start writing/playing music and who influenced those early beginnings?
I remember being about 15 and strumming Oasis songs at my mate’s house. Everyone was singing along and pretending to be wasted and it was the first time I realised music was something I could take part in rather than just listen to. That feeling got burned into me very deeply around then. I’d learned piano, drums, guitars, a bit of singing, and every song by Oasis, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and Gomez. Me and some mates formed a band, and we played cover songs and our own first experiments with songwriting.
Anyway… I turned out to be a bit of a control freak. I didn’t think anyone could play my songs better than I could so I started recording all the parts myself on an 8-track. By the time I left for university I’d finished a 7-song EP of my own songs called Fit Of Panic.
4. I’m intrigued by your inventive use of guitar, how did you develop this style of playing and have you always used your guitar as a percussion instrument in your performance?
I always used to take the piss out of anything that looked a bit flashy. I’d be like “why do people play like that? It must be just to feed their big rock star egos.” I preferred John Frusciante solos where he’d only play 4 notes but they were the best 4 notes in the world.
But when I was a bit older and still hadn’t found a reason to believe in myself yet and out of nowhere it was a flashy guitar song that was the spark that got me passionate about songwriting again. It was by an american songwriter called Stuart Davis – “Nothing In Between”. It showed me that guitars can be more than an accompaniment to the words or an ego trip for the guitarist. They can be an incredibly beautiful expression in their own right, weaving with the words to make the song better. It was a mad thrill. So I ditched all my old songs and started exploring that for a while.
5. When did you first think you could make a career out of music?
I remember the first time I topped up my oyster card with £10 instead of £5!
I’m still broke cos there’s no money in music outside mainstream pop. But careers aren’t about fat paychecks they’re about paying rent doing what you love. I’m privileged to have a shot at that.
6. You’re just about to re-release your debut album Many Fish To Fry, how has the album been received to date?
Everyone seems to love it apart from the Guardian. It was actually first released on my own label in early 2011, and I’m honoured to be able to release it properly now. Obviously in the meantime Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard have changed the landscape, and some people write that I’ve cooked this up now just to ride their wave. Haha! What can you say to that? It’s always the same old story with music scenes, the same patterns destined to repeat themselves over and over again. I’m just gonna stay out of it.
7. The album has a number of varied influences from the funk of Freddie Laid The Smack Down to the country-ish Be With Me Once More via the choral pop Feet Don’t Fail Me Now, was it always your intention to write a varied album and will you continue to mix and match styles?
I definitely intended a varied album because I’m a varied person and I wanted to open up each part of me, even the parts that contradict other parts. This first album is just about an introduction, a bit like when people meet at a party and try to tell each other everything about themselves in one go.
Now the introduction’s done I feel more free to write about certain things in more detail. So album two will have a different personality I think.
8. What influences your songwriting?
I don’t like to think about it cos you’ve just got to let things seep into you first. It doesn’t go straight from influence to a song, otherwise where does the writer come into it? How is he saying anything original? It has to go from influence to you as a person. Then you sit with it and let it stew inside you. And that’s the same for everyone whether they write songs or not. So I just try to be a good person, to keep learning, keep being a passionate music fan and a lover of life, then write whatever comes naturally.
9. You’ve played with a number of different artists from modern day blues-man Joe Bonamassa to Ed Sheeran do you think your sound compliments a variety of styles and is there anyone you’d like to perform with in the future?
There are probably as many kinds of music as there are people, but we all overlap a bit too. Even rich bankers have things in common with people sleeping rough, though you have to look harder to see it. I’ve not done many gigs where I felt totally in the wrong place, but I’m not looking to appeal to everyone. I’ve got no problem if people say it’s not their thing. In my comfort zone I’d love to tour with Imogen Heap or Elbow or artists like that. But I like to challenge myself too and if that means someone quite different then bring it on.
10. You’ve been nominated as one of HMV’s Next Big Thing, how did this come about and what does it mean to you?
That’s phrase is just industry people talk. I’m not sure what it means. But it’s very nice of them to choose me, and I’m honoured to have my CD on the same HMVs racks where I spent my youth.
11. You’ve just issued a DVD with Many Fish To Fry, can you tell us about that and where your video ideas come from?
I always like to stick my oar in with that, much to the misery of my director friend Alex Genn-Bash who shoots all my videos. It normally involves us sitting around throwing a massive stack of ideas back and forth until we fix on one. Then we do that about 5 times, then we run out of time and shoot something else.
12. I see you have a UK tour lined up, are you performing any festivals in the summer?
My main focus is our full band UK tour in May which is gonna be long and intense. I get a big thrill out of touring, especially with my band who are like brothers to me now. We give a lot on stage. It does mess with my head quite a lot too though. I like to write blogs for each gig to make sense of it.
But yeah there’s quite a lot of festivals too, including some I’m not able to announce yet, and a few in Europe which will be exciting.
13. What’s next in store for Jake Morley?
I’m getting ready for album two which is taking shape in my head. I see it all as a process and I want to think that my best work is still ahead of me. Just keep playing that’s the trick. Keep playing.
14. Thanks for your time Jake, is there anything you’d like to leave our readers with?
If their twin gods are Rhythm and Booze I think they’re managing quite well without me actually.
I may have mentioned elsewhere that Rhythm & Booze don’t do end of year polls, half the reason is that I’ll forget someone that I reviewed earlier in the year, the other and main reason is that every other site, zine, blah, blah, blah do it!!!
However if I was to conform there would be one group who’d be pretty much nigh on for best new band, a young group who capture the energy and who give’s a fuck attitude that we all once had. A band who are all about plug in, bash out and leave a shellshocked room and that band are……The Savage Nomads.
So I thought that it was only right to catch up with frontman, Cole Salewicz to find out a little bit more about the potent, full force frantic sound of the band and what makes them tick.
1. Firstly I thought we’d start with a few getting to know the band questions, so can you tell us who you are and who does what?
The Savage Nomads consist of four vagrants from South London. I (Cole) play guitar and sing, Billy hits the drums rather hard, Joe picks and chooses riffs from his collection and Josh is the rock, the sleeping giant, the milk man, the true taco. He plays bass.
2. How did The Savage Nomads first form? And where did the name come from, I read somewhere their used to be a gang with the same monicker.
Well you read right, bro! Yes there was/is a gang in the Bronx (NEW YOIK) called The Savage Nomads but they’re pretty chill. I reckon they’d probably be pretty happy with us using their name and definitely want to make us their gorgeous leather jackets with ‘THE SAVAGE NOMADS’ adorning the back. That’s probably hours of stitching. How did we form? Ya know man, however people meet people.
3. There’s a definite garage rock influence in your sound, what bands do you consider as an influence to The Savage Nomads?
I could not tell you that there was a ‘definite garage rock influence’, I definitely definitely could not tell you anything definite. I suppose that’s your job. What bands? Ok, right now, off the top of my head. Modest Mouse, MF Doom, Prince, Metallica, Dr Octagon, The Kingstonians, King Tubby, Kieran Hebden, Suicide, Frank Zappa, Tune-Yards, Dirty Projectors, Elvis Presley, Biggie Smalls.
4. And as a young band how did you discover the rawer end of garage rock and punk?
Um, I think billy had a ‘Cramps’ cassette and we used to just put our face up to the stereo. I was into NOFX when I was like 8, used to play Tony Hawks and listen to NOFX and Green Day but the early Green Day not the fucking Pepsi sponsored Green Day. And oh yeah obviously The Clash rock my socks hardcore. I don’t really dig punk beyond The Clash to be honest. I think they’re the starting point and understood about developing the sound, everyone else was concerned with playing 3 chords. Boring.
5. You released your debut album, Coloured Clatter earlier in the year, what influenced your songwriting on the album?
Ok, off the top of my head this time, Jay Electronica, Oasis, The Offspring, Panda Bear, Blink 182, Scientist, Soulwax, Paul Simon, Eddie Cochran. ANYTHING THAT HAS A PULSE!
6. Where did the title of album come from?
It’s a mish-mash of all our favourite sounds and sights. It’s Coloured Clutter baby.
7. How has the disc been received so far? And were you surprised by Artrocker claiming it to be the debut album of the year?
I wasn’t really that surprised if I’m completely honest with you, that ain’t no egotistical bullshit, if I were to compare it with other debut albums this year I don’t really think there’s many that stand up to it. I’m not saying that it is indefinitely the best because there’s a shitload of records that I didn’t hear but I think it’s definitely in the top 5. And yeah the CD’s been received with a lot of love which gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling when I go to sleep at night.
8. For those people who are yet to hear the album, how would you describe it and what do you think is it’s unique selling point?
I would just point to that Artrocker quote and say shut up and listen. Its unique selling point is that it breathes and is bold and beautiful.
9. So you’re latest single is What The Angel Said, why did you choose this to be the new single? Personally I’d say it’s perhaps the most instant track on the album do you agree?
Yeah it’s like a slap in the face with a merkle-circle spatula. We chose it for that reason and that reason only. Oh and because the bassline is funky as a catsuit.
10. What are you hopes for the single?
Well it’s had very positive response, you guys gave it a smashing review and it got 10/10 on another blog the other day. I suppose more nice press like that is cool. I think it should get continuous radio play if any of those DJs could take their face away fro the latest Killers release or whatever is being thrust at them by the majors this week. The video has had 50,000 hits (yeeaaa-heaaaaah) in like a month which is dope, I wanna another 950,000 hits.
11. For a band such as yours I imagine you rely heavily on press such as Artrocker, etc and blogs to spread the word, do you feel there are enough media outlets for new and up & coming bands? And should mainstream Radio be doing more to help promote these bands?
No there are not enough media outlets and the fact that there are only a few major players that can actually make or break a band is an absolute disgrace. But fuck it, eventually you’ll beat them. NME hated Radiohead when they dropped their first few records and now everytime Thom Yorke takes a shit it makes the front page. So whatever, there are smart people working on those important media outlets and they do eventually take notice so just keep plugging away man. Mainstream radio on the other hand is an even tougher cookie.
12. How would you describe a Savage Nomads live performance?
It’s the absolute nuts man. Just come check it. We got the sickest moves.
13. You’re website is somewhat unique and quirky, why did you decide on a blog format and what inspires the content?
Stuff that I like that day. I really love the website and it’s fun to blog weird shit (as well as savage nomads content) and know that thousands of people are watching it and posting back. We get a lot of love on tumblr/twitter/facebook. It’s nice. It’s an amazing opportunity to voice your opinion if you think about it, the internet isn’t just a whole lotta porn and funny cat videos baby.
14. What’s next for The Savage Nomads?
We’re still promoting the shit out of ‘Coloured Clutter’: we’re about to headline the Lockstock festival in Camden next Thursday (the 1st) and then the following week our residency at the Notting Hill Arts Club kicks off on the 7th (free entry). The following night we are supporting MICK JONES at The Scala. He’s playing Clash songs for the first time in 29 years in aid of the Justice for Hillsborough campaign. We’re really honoured, Bobby Gillespie, James Dean Bradfield and Pete Wylie are all playing too (and other special guests) and it’s gonna be a fantastic night. We’re also about to start recording demos for the next record, we gotta couple of dope tunes that’ll blow your mind. You’ll hear them in the new year. There’ll be another single in like march too.
15. Are there any bands you’d like to recommend to our readers?
Yes. All the bands and artists I mentioned earlier in this interview.
16. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Get on the facebook/twitter/tumblr love in. We love talking to anyone about music anytime. And if you wanna start a band do NOT listen to anything that is ‘hot’ right now…except The Savage Nomads of course
A year or so ago (or is it two?) reviewed a single by Missing Andy, a wonderfully catchy affair entitled The Way We Were Made (MIE), a brilliant combination of cockney punk, contagious indie and frantic pop that caught the imagination and welded a smile to the face. Later on that same year the band appeared on short lived Sky music talent search program Must Be The Music, storming through the rounds and capitivating music lovers across the country. From there the band have performed across the UK, taken in a number of festivals, released an intoxicating album, and are now bidding for the converted Christmas Number One slot. We thought it was high time that we caught up with the band to find out who looks better in a dress, what’s the deal with biscuits and what makes the band tick.
1. The first question that I know a lot of people are wondering is who is Andy and have you found him yet? Or on a more serious note how did you guys get together and come up with the name of the band?
We all got together about 4 years ago after I moved to Braintree in Essex. Rob, Elliot and Steve had been in bands together for years, but wanted to try something new. I first met them at the local college where they heard me beatboxing and asked if I’d open up for their band at shows. after about 6 months they invited me to join the band, 3 years later, Jonnie joined the band and we continued to conquer the world. No we haven’t found Andy and no, that question doesn’t get boring!
2. Most people know you got to the final of ‘Must be the Music’ do you think this helped launch the band and how do you really feel about all these battling reality TV shows?
Well, it’s difficult really. On one hand it was a great way for us to showcase our music to a huge television audience, but on the other hand there are certain stigmas that are attached to these kind of shows. Some people see it as a ‘sell-out’ but in this industry you have to do anything you can to get ahead. When they asked us to come in and audition we were slightly dubious about the whole thing, because of these stigmas, but we went along anyway and stayed true to what we were about as a band, played all of our own songs. Anyone who thinks we ‘sold-out’ can fuck off.
3. Are you still in contact with any of the other acts from the show?
No we never really spoke to any of the other acts much, not through choice, but because of the timing of everything and the show kept acts quite seperate.
4. We noticed from Facebook that Rob wanted to “burn the TV” after a soul destroying “gaga” performance, so wondered what kind of sounds you guys are really into and what bands inspired you as you were growing up?
We all come from different musical backgrounds, I was brought up in an area where most of the kids listened to Hip Hop so that’s what I was into as a kid, and I still like some of it. My older brother got me into The Specials when I was about 13 and I fell in love with that music instantly, then after checking out some other bands from that era I grew fond of The Jam, The Clash and lots of other bands that connected with normal people, and wrote songs about what was happening to them and millions of other people.
5. “The way we were made” soon became popular after the show and is a favourite with most fans, so we had to wonder why you chose not to put it on the album?
Pretty simple really, it was on our EP we released last year called ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ and there were plenty of other songs we wanted on the album. There were tons of songs that got binned. We’re all chuffed with what’s on the album.
6. Your fans may not be aware that your debut album Generation Silenced has been self produced – did you enjoying putting it all together?
We try to do everything ourselves, any time we get anyone else involved with our ideas, they tend to fuck them up! haha
7. And how do you feel the album has been received so far?
We’ve had nothing but love for the album so far. Everyone keeps telling us they can’t stop listening to it and we love hearing people’s thoughts. It’s all good!
8. Gotta say that we love the new video for “Dave” – Why did you choose that as a single and where did the ideas for the video come from?
Haha, cheers. We chose it because it just gets such a great reception everywhere we play it and seems to be the new fan favourite. We were all sat in the pub talking about video ideas and after a few pints all of those ridiculous ideas started pouring out. Thanks beer!
9. You all seemed to be really enjoying yourselves in the video – we have to wonder if there will be a tribute band “Missing Andrea”? Who do you think really looks better in a dress Alex or Rob?
Well Rob obviously makes a better woman with all that facial hair, any tribute bands are out of our hands!
10. Also Steve, do you find more people end up calling you DAVE since the video came out?
Yeah I can’t seem to shake it now! Every birthday message I got on Facebook seemed to say “happy birthday Steve….or should I say Dave!? ” Started to lose its comedy value pretty quick haha
11. We’ve helped start a Facebook campaign to get ‘DAVE’ to Christmas number 1 – Do you think the singles charts are still relevant and can anyone really compete with the likes of dominant XFactor wannabies over the festive period?
Brilliant, thanks. I think they can, that’s been proved with the RATM track that beat it the year before last. It just takes enough people to stand up and want change. I thought it was brilliant, that simple act of buying a different song shows people are pissed of and bored with the same thing happening every year. What a Christmas it would eh for all if Dave was Xmas no 1 haha.
12. And after last year s Facebook success to get RATM to no 1- do you think these social media networks can help push lesser known bands in the same way?
They can to a certain extent, but now every single band or artist has a social networking page, it’s almost impossible for an artist to make a career based on the success of a social networking page. Having said that, it does help bands get a chance for their material to be heard where they might not get the chance.
13. Only a few more sleeps till Santa, and we’ve heard there’s talk of a Xmas b-side to the DAVE single – are the rumours true and can what can we expect to hear?
All will be revealed in good time
14. We also heard that the band has a biscuit addiction! So other than hobnobs what is on your Xmas lists this year?
Nah that’s just Rob and Jonnie, I don’t understand why they have such an obsession, I mean, everyone likes a biscuit from time to time, but they take it too far! haha. This year I want world peace and all that bollocks.
15. The R&B Team enjoyed seeing you live at Rhythm Festival in Biggleswade and feel your performance was really well received – what’s been your favourite live gig and festival to date?
That one was quite special for us, when we got there we heard a few of the other bands that were playing and we didn’t really think that the audience would take to us. A lot of the other bands played country music and we were wondering how we would go down. But we had an amazing reception and some great feedback after. We hope we’re back next time!
16. Can you describe to our readers that haven’t yet seen you of what to expect from a Missing Andy live performance?
Well we’re always lively! Lots of great tracks, lots of beer and lots of fun.
17. Your due to support Madness at the House of Fun weekender at the end of the month, which is pretty cool – Are there any other artists you’d really like to support or collaborate with in the future?
I’m a big Weller fan so working with him would be cool, I’d like to gig with him. I’d love to write a song with Madness, but being more current, I’d love to work with Adele. I think she’s one of the only chart artists at the moment that truly connects with her listeners. I respect that a lot.
18. You’re currently working on an acoustic album – tell us more about that and what’s next for Missing Andy??
Yeah we’re putting together some acoustic versions of the songs on Generation Silenced and we’ve already started writing album 2, plenty of gigs which all up on our facebook, the release of ‘Dave’ and seeing it go to number 1 for Xmas haha. Just generally making plenty of racket and helping the Generation find themselves a voice!
19. Finally are there any secrets or jokes that you’d like to share with our readers?
Interview By Stacey Munn
Some band’s defy classifiction or even description, some band’s don’t easily sit in anyone catergory or genre, the majority of the time these are the same bands that intrigue, that demand repeat spins and full attention, often these band’s become favourites.
Forest Fire are one such band, sure you can hear influences from the likes of Velvet Underground at A Mt Silver Zion but they add folk, pop, strings and horns to create a unique and original sound that hooks the listener in.
And so I thought that I should catch up with Forest Fire songwriter Mark Thresher to find out what makes the band tick.
1. Hi guys, how are you? Thought we’d start off with a quick introductionary questions for those readers who may not have come across your music before. So can you start by introducing yourselves and telling us what part you all play in the band?
Mark Thresher, Capricorn, Songwriter, Hot & Cold.
2. And how did you come to be Forest Fire? Were you involved in any other bands prior to your formation?
Forest Fire was my first band. Nathan has played in The Shaky Hands, The Album Leaf & Castanets. We all met in New York.
3. I’ve read a number of reviews that have compared you to all sorts of bands everyone from The Velvet Underground to A Silver Mt Zion via cosmic folk, do you think these comparisons are fair? Is there a pop element to your sound? And are there any bands that you would agree on as influences to your sound?
I think these comparisons are fair to us, but not to the bands.
4. Do you believe there is a scene in NYC/Brooklyn and if so where does Forest Fire fit into that scene?
I believe there is a scene. I have no idea how, or if, we fit into that scene. I like to think you can hear New York & its influence in our music.
5. What kind of subjects influence your songwriting, are they more about the human condition or do you set out to write stories?
I’m not very good at storytelling. I don’t try to understand much about the human condition. Stress, caffeine & sleep deprivation are all huge influences on me. I can’t speak for the rest of the band.
6. I’m intrigued with your use of strings and trumpets, did you always set out to have such an expansive sound and is this something you’re likely to investigate further?
We are still trying to expand our sound & allow as many textures as we can – gracefully – into our songs. Horns are tricky, sometimes less is more. Sometimes more is more.
7. Your debut album Survival reached the end of year top ten polls for Rough Trade and had favourable reviews from the likes of the Guardian, were you happy with the reaction to the debut album?
Yes, we were all very pleased. Survival brought us more than expected.
8. You’re about to release your second album, Staring At The X, where did the title to the new release come from?
It came to me very quickly, early in the morning near Seattle, Washington.
9. How would you say your sound has developed from the debut album?
I think in many ways Staring At The X is the dark sister album to Survival. I believe everything about this record is a step forward from the songwriting to the production to the arrangements. Hopefully the people who enjoyed Survival will see Staring At The X similarly.
10. Future Shadows has an electronic element complimenting the more organic sounds, is this something you’re going to expand upon?
At this point, we are just trying to get better at writing songs, making records, and playing live. We really want to get better at all of these things.
11. You’ve shared the stage with everyone from Anna Calvi to Papercuts via Gang Gang Dance, which is quite an array of acts, how have you been received by the audiences of those acts? And is there anyone you’d ideally like to tour with?
I love all those groups so much. it was an honor to play with each of them. If memory serves, those shows all went off without a hitch. I’d ideally like to tour with huge important bands.
12. What can people expect from a Forest Fire performance?
Oh it’s getting wilder all the time! Some of us wear full makeup now. There’s even a little bloodshed from time to time. We try to be as dynamic as possible. Loud quiet Loud quiet. Whisper. Kiss Kiss.
13. With the album and new single out in October, what’s the immediate plans for the band? Are you hitting the road in support of the album? Will we see you over here in the UK?
We will be in the UK late November through early December. So far confirmed: Liverpool, Nottingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, York & London.
14. Is there anyone out there you’d like to recommend to the readers of Rhythm & Booze?
Death Songs. Goodbye The Band. Both friends of mine who are making great music from the heart. Well worth your time.
15. Thank you very much for your time are there any parting words you’d like to leave us with?
Thank you, glad to do this. I hope my answers have been satisfactory.
In this day and age there seem to be hundreds of singer-songwriters out there, numerous sound-a-likes and loads of middle of the road wannabes but in an over crowded scene there are those that truly stand out. One such artist is Dana Jade, a singer-songwriter who crafts raw primal rock that has to be heard to be believed. Dana is just about to release a brand new single, Little Sister and so I thought to coincide with the new single it was high time I caught up with Dana to find out more.
1. Hi Dana, how are you today? What are you’re early memories of music, did you grow up with a musical background?
Hello great thanks! There was always music around the house my Mother constantly had the radio on and she would sing to me and my brother. We were in Church & School choirs but I wouldn’t say we were a musical family but I wouldn’t say were were not either if that makes any sense?
2.And when did you first start writing and performing?
I have always been obsessed with guitar but I only seriously started pursuing music after I left school. That’s just the way it is in Trinidad. There’s no Brit school or performance arts colleges and certainly no school of rock n roll! Music isn’t seen as a real career or a real job. But why the hell would anyone want one of those?
3. Who were your original influences when you first started becoming involved in music? I read somewhere that you grew up with Soca and Reggae did these tropical sounds influence you in anyway, did relocating to London via New York ?
So many influences! PJ Harvey, Tori Amos, Nirvana, Hole/Courtney Love were among the first to inspire me to pick up a guitar. I discovered many bands during the time I spent in NY visiting my Dad. Grunge, the intense energy of Sonic Youth, Riot Grrrl and classic British punk like The Clash and the Pistols have played a big part in shaping my sound. Punk was one of the reasons why I moved to London. That movement really spoke to me, obviously I didn’t live through it but I’d love to see something like that happen again. Please Universe?
The rhythm of the Caribbean is hard to ignore and like any other red blooded Trinidadian I like to dance! So those soca and reggae infused “riddims” started finding their way in to the sound.
4.Your sound has been described as dirty, gritty rock n roll and blues do you think this is an accurate description to your sound?
I’ve always found it hard to describe the music in words and then Time Out London managed to do it in 4 words!
“Attitudinal bluesy punk and roll from this member of Gaggle.”
I’d like to think it is danceable as well!
5. I also see that you’re involved with 24 piece collective Gaggle, can you describe to our readers what Gaggle are about and how you became involved in the collective?
Gaggle is hard to describe but I can tell you what it means to me. It has been the single most powerful and heartening example of sisterhood I have ever come across. It really disarms the woman whose MO is to hate other women on sight. That bs needs to die! It is 2011! Join us in solidarity, support and positivity.
6. So to date you’ve released a couple of singles and striking videos, how they’ve been received? And you’re just about to release a brand new single, Little Sister, what are your hopes for the new single?
People really seem to like and connect with the video for Little Sister which I’m very proud of because it was my very first foray into art direction.
What are my hopes for the single? World Domination obviously!
7. The new single is backed with a cover of M.I.A’s Galang, why did you decide to cover this particular track and what do you think you bring to the song?
Some fans of hers have been really pissed off that I touched that song but ffs I am a fan too! I just always thought it would lend itself to guitars and a post punk approach and thankfully most people I’ve encountered agree with me. I just thought wouldn’t it be a surprise if I added this to the set? It always goes down a storm in the live shows. Give thanks!
8.You’ve released a couple of singles now, can we expect to see an album in the near future? And if so what can we expect to hear from a full length Dana Jade release?
I’m working on the album right now and hope to release it in early 2012. Expect to find my blood, sweat, guts, heart, love, lust and tears in this collection of 10 possibly more tracks.
9. I read that in the past you supported John Parrish (PJ Harvey), how did that come about and I imagine it was something of a dream come true, is there anyone else you’d like to perform with?
Omg yes! It really was. The promoter just thought I would fit on the bill. It’s not everyday that you get to support an artist whose albums you actually own. I’d love to perform with Ms. Harvey herself of course and The Kills and Skunk Anansie and the list goes on…
10. I get the impression that from listening to your songs that in a live situation it’s all very raw and almost primal, is that a fair description of a Dana Jade show?
I’d like to think so. You’d really have to come to a show and make up your own mind. I do try to bring the energy I’d like to see when I go to see a band. People dance at our show; I love a dancing crowd! I do engage with the audience as much as possible. I make eye contact; I talk to them and thank them profusely. I love the moment when a crowd isn’t that sure about you then they suddenly warm up because they can see that you’re working your arse off and you have actually lived the lyrics you are singing. People respond to sincerity that is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes!
11. Do you have a tour in support of the new single lined-up?
Not yet! Why? Do you know a booking agent? Does anyone know a booking agent? Help!
12.What’s next for the immediate future for Dana Jade?
I am actually planning an event to raise awareness/funds for the prevention of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) called “Clit Rock” a term coined by Skin of Skunk Anansie fame. I felt it worked here on many levels. Hopefully she’ll give us her blessing or even get involved! That would be amazing!
13.Thanks for your time Dana, is there anything you’d like to leave our readers with?
Yes. Support independent music! Dead artists don’t eat. If you love a band share their videos introduce them to your friends. Request them on your favourite radio shows etc. You can’t complain about how rubbish the charts are if don’t do your part. I’m obsessed with Nneka right now, go… listen to Heartbeat. Thank me later.
Peace, Love & Riddim.
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