THE CLAREMONTS - photo credit to Tilly Wigley
From left to right - Ryan, Nathan, Imogen and Finn
Freshly formed THE CLAREMONTS are young Manchester based indie-rock four-piece. Consisting of Finn Gildea (vocals and guitar), Nathan Rowbotham (guitar), Ryan Stevens (bass) and Imogen Shortall (drums) this band have currently released four of their tracks on Soundcloud which I definitely recommend you take a listen to, my favourites of the four being The Only One and Money.
I was able to have an interview with the lead singer of the band, Finn.
How do you all know each other?
Me and the guitarist, Nathan had been best mates since we were about 11. Doing acoustic covers and stuff for a few years. Then we got Ryan in on bass who Nathan knew from primary school. We then had a few different drummers which didn't work and only picked up Imogen on drums at the start of 2016, she'd known Ryan from school as well. So it's all people knowing people from school really.
Where did the name The Claremonts come from?
before Imogen was about we practiced at a local music centre on Claremont Road in Sale. We now practice elsewhere but The Claremonts is much catchier than The Alty Rehearsal Rooms, as a band name I reckon.
What would you describe your genre to be?
Indie rock, I suppose that's quite a broad category but yeah that's how I'd put it. With us, our songs are all very varied and I don't think any of us could identify an archetypal song to summarise us so indie rock will do.
What was it that made you want to become a band, was there a specific thing in which wanting this was triggered?
Being in a band is just something most people want to do, I think becoming infatuated with a song and knowing that you could create something like that yourself is very inspiring. Now we're playing gigs it's just nice to watch our mates come and watch us on a Saturday and have a laugh, the buzz we get from that is great.
Did any of you begin playing an instrument when the idea of a band came about or did you all already play something?
Nathan, Ryan and Imogen have all been playing their instruments for ages and it shows. I recently started teaching myself guitar to give myself something to do on stage, but as for the others they're brilliant at what they do and their playing long outlives the band.
Who would you say as band your biggest influences are?
Personally I remember listening to The Libertines on my mum's mp3 on car journeys when I was younger and that album just making me really happy. Then me and Ryan seeing The Cribs a year or so ago, leaving that gig and thinking 'that's what I want to be doing'. As for influences on our sound there's definitely huge ones from Manchester bands like The Smiths and The Stone Roses and Oasis.
What do you tend to base your songs on when you write them?
It depends, we all contribute to the song writing and some of our songs are very bitter, others endearing. When I'm writing it can be about anything, a lot of it comes from an emotion that you feel which provides inspiration, then I just get carried away and emphasise the feelings until I've got 4 sides of words that I need to cut down. Sometimes I'll focus on a local area and what goes down there for inspiration.
Do you think the songs you write are songs you would listen to if other bands had written and produced them?
Of course, if we wouldn't there'd be no point. I think it's important when writing you don't fall into the trap of just ripping off the last thing you wrote yourself or the last tune you heard.
Out of all the currently up and coming bands / artists, who do you listen to?
There are loads. Our favourite new act as a band would be No Hot Ashes. There's also The Sisters and Sky Valley Mistress, they're all well worth checking out if you haven't already.
In terms of your band, what is something you wish to fulfil?
We just love seeing people having fun at our gigs, whether it's people we know or someone who just happened to be there early waiting for another act, seeing bodies move to your music is class. Obviously there's the dream of travelling the world and everyone knowing your songs but for now we'll keep trying to put on good shows and work our way up bills.
What do you think the biggest musical based achievement of yours is?
I'd say playing our first Manchester gig only weeks after completing our line up was up there. It was Club Academy and we were the first band on but it felt great being able to get up on stage and show people the songs we'd been writing.
What are each of your all-time favourite albums?
Mine is The Strokes - Is This It
Nathan's) The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
Ryan's) The Stone Roses
Imogen's) Amy Winehouse - Frank
What can we expect from The Claremonts in 2016?
Loads of gigs, mainly in Manchester and new songs out on soundcloud. We're also looking to go into the studio to make our first single too so that's something to look out for.
You can catch this band at the following venues on the following dates:
Academy 3, Manchester - 29th April
Rebellion Bar, Manchester - 1st May
AATMA, Manchester - 31st May
Written by Sophie.