#MyStyleMySound with Gengahr
Reading Time: 5 minutes
ellesse: Do you remember when you first became interested in music, or knew that was definitely something you wanted to persue?
Felix: I think music started for me at secondary school mostly, that was when it became something that I really wanted to do. It was my real passion, that and wanting to become a skateboarder I think were the two things which were definitely going to happen. So myself, Dan and Hugh, we used to play in rehearsal rooms during lunch time a lot of the time, we would write our own songs long before we knew how to play instruments and they were obviously horrible. But we kept going and we kept torturing people in assemblies by playing those songs and grew pretty thick skin as a result of that I think. Yeah, we just kept going so we’ve been making music together for such a long time now. It kind of feels like we’ve always done that, but I think when we met for the first time we all wanted to make music, it just seemed like something we should do, and yeah, we stuck with it.
ellesse: Did you all meet at school?
Felix: Three of us, we met John later on, he was playing in another band, but there were a few other kids at school that we would play with and there were maybe two or three bands that came through there. Our school was quite musical, it was a comprehensive state school, but it was an arts and media school, so there was a lot of music stuff going on there and we had our music teacher at the time, a guy called Alex, and he was making music with ‘Pro. Green’ outside of school, so he was making his beats, I guess and ‘Labrinth’, was in the year above us at school. His brother Timothy was drumming for Daniel Bedingfield, so it was a much more kind of urban music sort of landscape for us, but there was a couple of us who were adamant that we were going to make more alternative, guitar-based music, so we were definitely the minority in that one.
ellesse: Do you remember when you started to become interested in music?
Felix: You know, I think that listening to music in the car on the way to school was a big thing, I really liked stuff like ‘James Taylor’ from a really young age and ‘The Beatles’, ‘The Rolling stones’, they were the more kind of folky, rock sort of stuff. ‘Lou Reed’ was something I loved before I really understood a lot of what the songs were about I think, thankfully. And he’s stuck as one of my main influences I think, and ‘Bowie’ as well. So, I think you know, we always owe a lot of our musical tastes to what our parents listen to, because that’s where you get exposed to at such a young age and that stuff always sticks and I don’t think you every stop really liking it even if you realise that it’s a bit cheesy later on.
ellesse: Do you have any musical inspirations?
Felix: ‘Steely Dan’ and ‘Carole king’.
ellesse: Do you still have the time to listen to new music and do you think this is important?
Felix: I think it’s varied for me, we spend a lot of time playing shows and at festivals and seeing bands that we think are great all the time so finding the headspace to listen to new music is something you have to go out of your way to do a bit, but I think it’s really important because genuinely the people making the music you haven’t heard yet are probably doing things little bit more interesting. Over the last few years sort of stuff like ‘Keerang’ has been great, when we first started out bands just felt very different to other guitar bands. In the UK we were exposed to brit-pop and ‘Oasis’ and ‘Blur’ and ‘Pulp’ and that kind of guitar music and that was perhaps the only kind of real style of indie guitar music that we could aspire to but then I think that seeing what the newer indie bands were doing that was a bit of a game changer for us I think, and kind of opened us up to the new things we could do with guitars.
ellesse: Do you have a specific routine when it comes to writing music or something that helps you to write?
Felix:I don’t really have a routine, I think songs can start a couple of different ways, I think if you have an idea for a song, that narrative is something you start with before you out music around and other times you’ll have music you really like and you’ll have to find words or a feeling or emotion to attach to that music so there’s not set way to. I don’t like to have a template or formula to make music, I think that’s probably not a good idea. So, it kind of changes I guess from song to song. A lot of process is involved in writing good music I think, sometimes maybe it happens very quickly but a lot of the time you do have to work at it and keep coming back to it and refining bits, maybe phrases that don’t really fit right or whatever, or different pieces of imagery you might want to put into the song, so it’s a lot of time for the best part and you’ve got to enjoy that process and self-edit quite a lot.
ellesse: Are you planning on releasing any new music soon?
Felix: Next year we will be releasing a new album.
ellesse: Can you say any more about the album? Title?
Felix:I can’t tell you any more than that.
ellesse: Do you follow any rules or guidelines for song writing?
Felix: I think genuinely rules are a little bit problematic by nature you know, because when you’re setting out to do something creative, if you already have an idea of how you’ve made something previously, the best thing you can do is throw that away and start again. So, you know, we’re always conscious about not repeating ourselves, and that’s probably the most import thing for us a band is to always feel like we are doing something new and try and do something we haven’t done previously. So, I think probably our main rule is to not repeat ourselves and not to re-track round what we’ve already done.
ellesse: What do you think the purpose of music is? Do think it is linked to people’s emotions? Can it make people feel better or worse?
Felix: I think that we’re in a world where we’re so ready to self-medicate and prescribe, I think music’s been around for a hell of a long time and it’s always fuelled the purpose of making people feel better, feel happier. And we’ve had fans tell us that our music helps with their depression and such, and I think that that’s a very powerful thing. I think that it’s not to be undervalued in any sense, I think it is a very powerful thing, I think going to see live music is equally cathartic in its own way, bringing people together and forgetting what it is they’ve been doing prior to that and just being able to enjoy the moment. I think that those special breaths, are to and far between, so we kind of have to save them.