Thursday, 29 December 2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH I KEPT THE WOLVES AWAY - 29/12/2016


I KEPT THE WOLVES AWAY - photo credit to Scott Hukins
From left to right - Ash, Dan and Matt
I KEPT THE WOLVES AWAY are a Sheffield based three piece.

Consisting of Dan Williamson (lead vocalist and guitarist), Ash Romans (bassist) and Matt Harrop (drummer and backing vocalist) this bands sound is laced with different dynamics, from ballads which evolve into riff-driven rockers to quirky verses which become sing along anthems.

Last Friday they played their last show of 2016 at The Leopard, Doncaster on behalf of JM Promotions.

Before they took to the stage I had a quick interview with the trio!


The boys of the band at The Leopard, Doncaster following our interview
How was it that you all first met?
 
Dan: 'Urm. How did we meet?' [To Ash] 'We just sorta, we were in a band together before this weren't we and then before that just the Sheffield music scene, you were in a band called 'Silence' and I was 'Dan Williamson Acoustic' and then we met Matt cos he was in a band as well that used to use our practise room. What were you called?'
Matt: 'Ivory Keys. Terrible name, sorry Brad.'
Dan: 'So we all just sorta knew each other from the Sheffield music scene which at the time was quite vibrant.'
Ash: 'Even though Matty's not from Sheffield. Well, none of us are from Sheffield really.'
Matt: 'I bumped into your mate didn't I, Howarth in The Green Room and he said 'Oh Matt's back' and then three days later I think you text me.'
Dan: 'That's right yeah. We were looking for a drummer for our band basically and we saw Howarth out and he was like 'Ah Matt is back from Brit School, give him a call' so I gave him a call and urm Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt and now we're a band.'
 
 
When was it that you first realised music was something you wished to pursue? Was there something specific that triggered this?
 
Ash: 'Like individually?'
Sophie (interviewer): 'Yeah.'
Ash: 'I wanted to be a mechanic and I did mechanics at college and got my certificates but I couldn't get a job in a garage and so my dad said 'well you like music' and that's when I ended up meeting loads of people from Sheffield and ended up moving to Sheffield and that's about it really, for me.'
Dan: [To Matt] 'What about you?'
Matt: 'I don't think you know mine. I went to my grandads church thing on a sunday.'
Dan: 'It sounds like mine this.'
Matt: 'Does it? I haven't stolen your story I promise... And urm he said 'we need a drummer' and I started and went for few lessons and that was it.'
Dan: 'Little Donkey?'
Matt: 'Little Donkey yeah. I can't remember the songs.'
Ash: 'You can but you just don't wanna repeat them on camera.'
Matt: 'I can't. They were all religious ones.  That was it really.'
Dan: 'Mine, I was just brought up on music from day one really, my dad was into T-Rex, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, anything like that. Just as far back as I can remember I was always listening to that and my dads a guitarist as well so it were just in me.'
 
 
Back on the 9th you headlined a sold-out The Rocking Chair in Sheffield with support from Howarth, Glass Caves and The Wholls. How was that?
 
Dan: 'Reyt good. Best gig to date I think, really nice surprise to see so many people turn out to watch us.'
Matty 'And Glass Caves did us a favour with the acoustic gig. Well, semi-acoustic.'
Dan: 'We're quite good mates with Glass Caves and Howarth obviously you [Ash] used to be in a band with him so that was just natural and The Wholls, Aaron Procter (AMP Live Presents) got them up. Great band, they got the crowd moving for us didn't they.'
Ash: 'They we brought them back down.'
Dan: 'Yeah, then we brought them back down. No, it was great for us that gig. We've been building up to it for about a year so it was nice to end up in Sheffield on that one.'
Ash: 'Yeah, it was meant to be our last gig but then we're doing this one so it's not. it was like a Christmas end of year, Christmas.'
Matt: 'Bonanza.'
Ash: 'Bonanza with friends and family but yeah it was really good. It's not hard to sell that venue out is it really but it's good.'
Dan: 'What we did was we got five people to come then put mirrors in everywhere.'
Ash: 'And we just told people to get good shots of the back of their heads.'
Dan: 'Crowd were quiet bit.'
Ash: 'Mellow but you know.'
 
 
Last month you released your video for 'Mulligan'. What was the reception for this video like?
 
Ash: 'What the fuck are you doing?'
Dan: 'Well what was it like, I think it was generally quite positive.'
Ash: 'It's just one of them like.'
Matt: 'Just daft.'
Ash: 'Me and Dan like comedians and stuff that don't make sense like Vick Reeves and Bob Mortimer and stuff like that, that doesn't really make sense and just said right, get a camera, empty the wardrobe and well just go to Endcliffe Park, we'll go all these different places and just act a tit and urm then we put it to lyrics and even me own family were saying like 'well we don't get it' and we were like well there's nothing to get. Like, it was Carl Maloney who did like a little review of the video and was like 'it's a good song and that but I don't understand the video' and we were like well if he doesn't get it.'
Dan: 'There's nothing we can do.'
Ash: 'Yeah, our jobs done.'
Matt: 'Worst thing was I was hanging out my head. I was proper hungover.'
Dan: 'Always hungover this one.'
Ash: 'That's the probel with him, whenever we've got an important day; a gig, an interview, a video and he's hungover. Even recording, he like gets excited the night before and thinks 'oh, lets celebrate'.'
Matt: 'Premature celebrations.'
Dan: 'Then he comes and fucks shit up the next day.'
Matt: 'Yeah but I did fall out of a tree.'
Ash: 'Luckily tonight we're doing the gig before. He did, he fell out of a tree.'
Dan: 'It works in his favour sometimes.'
Ash: 'He did loads of stuff. We made him jump in a river, he fell in some horse shit I think.'
Dan: 'He pulled his shorts down.'
Matt: 'Did I?'
Ash: 'Yeah. He had a dressing gown on in the middle of a field.'
Dan: 'Oh yeah' [slight laughter] 'We waited till he went to the shop as well and then we nicked his van and drove it round the corner.'
Ash: 'Went to the shop in all this daft clothing and then we fucking nicked his van.'
 
 
When was the last time you played Doncaster? Where was it you played?
 
Matt: 'Urm, when was it now? Towards the beginning of the year wasn't it?'
Dan: 'March, April, something like that.'
Matt: 'Yeah. Cask Corner, that's the only venue here we've really played isn't it?'
Dan: 'Yeah, we've got quite a good relationship with the lass that runs it, Julie. So we've played it a few times now and last time we played it we headlined it didn't we?'
Matt: 'Yeah.'
Dan: 'With Indigo Bones.'
Ash: 'And we did a 'Hot Chocolate' cover.
Matt: 'Everyone's a Winner Babe.'
Ash: 'And I sung it, I don't even sing. I just thought 'fuck it, it's Donny init' and that probably went down the best. We did a Beyoncé when was it, it was just when David Bowie died and we sad we'd do a David Bowie cover and we knew we'd not do it justice so we did Beyoncé instead, 'Running' by Beyoncé. Smashed it.'
Matt: 'Literally smashed it.'

Video for 'Mulligan'.
 
What are you most looking forward to about tonight?
 
Ash: 'Journey home.'
Dan: 'Twenty-four hour Tesco, I need to pick up some sprouts for dinner.'
Ash: 'He actually does.'
Dan: 'Nah, we just always enjoy playing don't we and the sound is great in here. We've worked with Steve the sound guy before, he's top.'
Ash: 'Yeah, it's nice to play like we've never played here and it's nice to play somewhere for the first time. It's new. Dunno what the crowds gonna be like but we're gonna have a laugh.'
Matt: 'I think last time I came here it was for Catfish and the Bottlemen so its like good to say we've played the same stage.'
Ash: 'It's good to compare it to how full it were to how full its not gonna be when we get on.'
Dan: 'Have you brought the mirrors?'
Ash: 'Oh yeah, I've bought the mirrors and the lights. It looks like Jimmy's put this gig on and it's gonna be a blinder.'
 
 
What are your favourite venues to play?
 
 Dan: 'Gotta say The Rocking Chair haven't we, just cos we've played it about a million times.'
Matt: 'It's like a stable go-to venue isn't it.'
Dan: 'I think just like small dive bars suit us at the moment cos we like having a bit of a laugh, we like having the audience being involved.'
Ash: 'I know it's cliché for so may like unsigned bands to say dive bars but it is really like you're playing these bigger venues and its a bit too clean. You feel a bit putt out by it sometimes with the size of the stage and stuff and I get reyt bad with nerves and anxiety and I hate it. Like when you're playing a bigger stage I just wanna get back off it.'
Dan: 'Me and Matt enjoy doing it though.'
Ash: 'Yeah I struggle with all this band stuff. I hate it, it's just a nightmare form day to day like you're in your own little bubble when you're on a smaller stage I think. We've played main stages like Leadmill in other bands and stuff like that in other bands and it is alright depending on how manys in but it's scary.'
Matt: 'Definitely The Rocking Chair.'
Ash: 'Yeah, The Rocking Chair.'
Dan: 'Smaller venues with people close up so you can see the whites of their eyes.'
 
 
Out of all the up and coming bands & artists. Who are I Kept The Wolves Away listening to?
 
 Dan: 'Up and coming, up and coming.' [To Matt] 'You're the 'up and coming' guy aren't you?'
Matt: 'I'm gonna say Glass Caves I think and The Wholls.'
Ash: 'Sheafs.'
Matt: 'Yeah, Sheafs.'
Dan: 'I quite like Paves as well, I think they're pretty awesome.'
Matt: 'Lisbon too.'
Ash: 'We don't get out much, Matt does - he's always out.'
Dan: 'Urm, I dunno. It's hard to say cos everyone's sounding really good.'
 
 
Musically, what have been your highlights of 2016?
 
 Ash: 'Musically?'
Sophie (interviewer): 'Yeah.'
Dan: 'Urm, ooh we've written some good songs in 2016 haven't we boys.'
Matt: 'Yeah.'
[Laughter]
Dan: 'No, I think we've sorta found our sound in 2016. The last half of 2015 we were just getting together and playing some old songs but this year we've really been writing together, like every song we've released is a collaboration of our three minds and I think that's a really important thing going into 2017 we're just gonna do more of the same. I'm reyt looking forward to that really.'
Matt: 'Release more daft videos I'm sure.'
Dan: 'No I think we might take a serious turn.. Nah it's gonna be daft as fuck init.'
 
 
2017 is fast approaching, what can we expect from I Kept The Wolves Away in the first few months of next year?
 
 Dan: '2017, what's coming out man.'
Matt: 'Going back into the studio aren't we.'
Dan: 'Yeah, back in the studio soon, getting into writing again in the next couple of months, another video coming out probably about February sorta time, festivals, festivals, festivals, gigs, gigs, gigs. Probably what every band says. I might get some new clothes, might get a hair cut.'
Ash: 'We're gonna play every festival you can imagine.'
Sophie (interviewer): 'That's everything. Thank you.'
Dan: 'Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us.'
Matt: 'Cheers.'

You can listen to the latest track from the band 'Mulligan' here:



Written by Sophie.

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