Thursday, 4 August 2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH JEKYLL - 04/08/2016


JEKYLL - photo credit to Nidge Luhg Sanders of Trust A Fox Photography
From left to right - Lewis, Jonny, Joel and Liam

JEKYLL are a captivating and fresh-sounding alternative-rock band from Blackpool.

Beginning back in 2011, this band have been and are continuing to try their best to get the name Jekyll known and get Blackpool on the map musically as there are not a lot of bands and artists of which I've heard of from that particular area.

Until 2013 this band were a three-piece but then they welcomed another guitarist alongside frontman Joel, this helped them to further show their dedication to music and help them to develop their sound even more to help get them sounding exactly how they wish to sound.

This four-piece consisting of Joel Foster (guitar and lead vocals), Jonny Chatterton (guitar and backing vocals), Lewis Armistead (bass) and Liam Singleton (drums) have so far managed to gig at venues throughout the North-West such as; The Ritz, The Cavern Club, Night & Day Café and Sound Control.

Jekyll have also played with other up and coming bands like October Drift, Hyena Kill and Racing Glaciers.

This band have an energetic and perfectionist approach towards every performance they give and this approach is one I have been lucky enough to see on more than one occasion from Jekyll and it showed me exactly why this band have attained acclaimed recognition from every audience they perform to.

When I first saw this band I knew they were one I wanted to see again, they do put on quite the performance and they seem so together as a band.
 
Back in 2015, the band carried out a BBC Introducing Live Session. They also received an invitation to record with the award-winning producer and front of house for the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and All Time Low, Phil Gornell of Steel City Studios, Sheffield.
 
After this experience, on 3rd December 2015 they released their first four-track EP of which was called 'Wounds'.
 
I managed to get an interview with this brilliant up and coming band.
 
The boys played Tramlines for the first time this summer - photo
credit to Dean Stead Photography.
 
1. Firstly, how did you all meet?

Lewis and Joel met in highschool after finding a shared interest in music. After being spurred on to form a band they recruited Liam as the drummer and remained a 3 piece until college age where Lewis met Jonny. To fill out their sound and add intricacies, Jonny became the 4th member of Jekyll and they all lived happily ever after.
 
2. Where did the name 'Jekyll' come from?
 
We really struggled to find a name that we had confidence in and were adamant that, whatever we chose, it would have to be fully representative of our sound. Literature features very heavily in our influences and the novel 'Jekyll and Hyde' seemed very appropriate as a source for our name; the themes of secrecy, immorality and internal conflict present in the book can also be found in many of our lyrics. We felt it was a name that offered both light and darkness in equal part but was still pretty cool.
 
3. Did you all at instruments before the band began?
 
Yes, we all started learning our instruments in our early teens, with the intention of joining a band, but we had not yet formed Jekyll.
 
4. When did you all realise music was something you wanted to pursue and why?
 
Throughout school, music became more and more important to all of us. Everywhere we would go, we would have music in one ear and, in our breaks, we would either watch our favourite bands playing live on the Internet or go and make noise in the music rooms. We all grew up in houses were music was always present and we, initially, adopted our parents' musical tastes. Being raised in an environment where music is thoroughly appreciated and going to loads of gigs in our teens nurtured a desire in us all to play our own music and make a living out of it. Getting to travel and perform songs to new faces is a wonderful thing.
 
Boys of Blackpool - photo credit to Nidge Luhg Sanders of Trust A Fox Photography
From left to right - Jonny, Joel, Liam and Lewis.
5. What would you describe your genre to be at present?

At the moment, we would describe ourselves, simply, as alternative rock. However, many people who have reviewed our music or seen us live have said that we have elements of goth, shoegaze and grunge in our sound.
 
6. Who would you say the biggest influences for your band are?
 
Our favourite bands include Radiohead, Editors, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Jeff Buckley. However, our individual musical influences are far more varied than that and we also love artists such as Tame Impala, Kate Bush, REM and Joel also has a passion for Western Classical Music and composition, after studying it, and his favourite composers include Debussy, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Dvorjak and Tchaikovsky.
 
7. What are all of your favourite venues to play?
 
Our favourite venues that we have played, so far, are The O2 Ritz, Manchester, The Deaf Institute, Manchester, and Crystal, Sheffield, as part of Tramlines. All of these venues were fantastic and stand out in our memories.

8. Where in the world do you want to gig the most?
 
We would love to gig in Japan as the culture over there is just so different to here and the crowds look sensational. However, we would settle for travelling anywhere and seeing all the new places we can.
 
9. Individually, what do you think makes a good gig?
 
Obviously, good musicianship and a tight performance are essential for a good gig, but we think that there is nothing more exciting than when a band really engages the audience and throws themselves about on stage. When a band all completely lose themselves in their own music it can translate over to the crowd and, sometimes, the experience can be meditative and unforgettable. Our favourite live acts have this effect on us.
 
10. In terms of the band, what is something you all want to fulfil?
 
We would love to get to a point where we can play to packed out venues every night and everyone in the audience is singing along and having a fantastic time. For us, it is just as much about the crowd's experience. More specifically though, we would love to be able to sell out The Empress Ballroom, in Blackpool, as a thank you to everyone who supports us back home and, also, as a sneer to anyone who dismissed us as dreamers.
 
11. Other than being musicians in a band, what would your ideal careers be?
 
We currently all have very normal jobs: Joel works in a dental laboratory; Lewis works as an apprentice engineer; Jonny works in retail; Liam is a supervisor in a restaurant. Our Ideal careers are very different... Joel studies classical music and orchestral composition and would love to be a composer for film and tv. Liam would enjoy being a session musician or pursuing a producer role in the music industry.
 
Boys in the band - photo credit to Dean Stead Photography.
 12. Out of all the up and coming bands and artists, who are Jekyll listening to?
 
Our favourite up and coming artists are October Drift, Peur, The Tapestry, Novahands and Saytr Play (plus many more). All of these bands are very different but are all, undoubtedly exceptional as musicians and as songwriters. But they are all, also, extremely nice people who always have time to listen and lend advice when you need it and that goes a very long way in music; making friendships and helping each other out is, probably, the most important thing you can do. Each of these bands have inspired us and helped us to improve and aim higher.
 
13. In your spare time, what do you find yourselves doing?
 
Liam dabbles in music technology and likes to record demos at home. Jonny loves photography and editing photos. Lewis enjoys RKOs and memes whilst Joel has a soft spot for a surprise reach around.
 
14. What would you say your weirdest quirks are?
 
It is a tie between Lewis's obsession with memes and Joel's tendency to wear a flat cap.
 
15. What can expect from Jekyll throughout the rest of 2016?
 
Throughout the rest of 2016 we are just going to keep writing, keep recording and keep playing as many brilliant shows as we can. We are looking to make sure 2017 is the best year yet so we want to roll into it with some momentum.

You can catch Jekyll at The Soup Kitchen in Manchester on the 27th August at gig put on by Scruff of the Neck Records -  tickets can be bought here.
 
You can listen to 'The Wounds We've Ignored' and other tracks by Jekyll from their EP 'Wounds' and tracks from their BBC Introducing Live set on their Soundcloud which can be accessed below:
 
 
You can watch the video for 'The Wounds We've Ignored' below:



 Written by Sophie.

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