Interview Volcanoes: It’s Easy To Get Left Behind

Leeds and Sheffield based four piece Volcanoes release their new EP ‘Shaking That Brass’ on 26th October.

Leeds and Sheffield based four piece Volcanoes release their new EP ‘Shaking That Brass’ on 26th October. Frontman Samson Bedford tells us about it, as well as their ideas for a debut album, and appearing on that Orange Unsigned thing on E4

Hello Sam! How are you?
Mint and knackered but mostly mint.

So, you’ve got an EP out later this month, ‘Shaking That Brass’. You seem a bit enamored with the brass - is it something you’re going to incorporate into everything now, or is it a phase and you’ll be trying wind instruments next?
We just fancied adding a bit of spice to this EP and elaborate on our sound a little. We’re definitely not going to have a brass section on every song from now but we’ve managed to mix things up and turn a few heads at the same time. We’re working with DJ S Unit on a few new tracks, he’s adding samples and beats and the tunes are sounding really unique and upbeat. In the future I hope we can involve all sorts of instruments to keep our songs sounding fresh.

Your debut album is also due in early 2010 - how close are you to finishing it? Or is it already sat there, ready to go?
We’ve probably got enough tunes to lay down three albums. There’s just no point recording one until we’ve got a decent following though.

When you do put it together, will it sound similar to the EP, do you think?
We’ll have all sorts on it from over the past four years. I’m not interested in giving the album a certain sound. I’d just be happy if every song tells it’s own story like the Beatles were able to do. It would be ace to work with a producer with loads of ideas and direction though.

The EP’s press release says you’re ‘super productive’, and ‘spend every other waking minute in the studio writing and recording’ - do you produce a lot of songs, or is this you spending a long of time working on the same few tracks?
We do write songs all the time. Good songs leave our bedrooms and get worked on. We’re currently working on six new tunes for a new EP that we’ll record in December. We’ve got two song writers now - sweet. I’ve got over 200 song ideas on my phone, all is good.

Do you find it difficult choosing which tracks to release? Are there any you’d like to get ‘out there’ that you haven’t been able to yet?
Given more time we’ve got shit loads of tunes we could work on I’m sure, just got to kick in these damn day jobs.

How do you decide when a song’s had enough work, when it’s finished? How tempting is it to re-visit them later on?
There just comes a point in the development of a new tune where it clicks with all four of us. At this stage we’ll probably start gigging the tune and refining it each practice. Then the night before we record it I’ll pen the lyrics. It’s funny because even though I’m singing absolute nonsense before then, no-one seems to notice.

Back in 2008 you took part in that Orange Unsigned thing on E4, but were voted off. Any regrets? The general consensus on that program seems to be that bands are better off out of it.
Aaaarrrggghhhh - sore point. I felt like a right mug after appearing on that show. Getting rejected on TV like that is just fucking embarrassing. My immediate reaction was that we’d made fools of ourselves but we hadn’t had any decent opportunities for some time and we took our chances. We were heroic that day - fuck knows why we didn’t get through. Their loss… maybe.

You mention in your MySpace blog that it’s tough being unsigned - it can’t all be doom and gloom, are there any good bits?
Nah I love it really, you just run into a few knobheads from time to time. My pet hate is selling a load of tickets when we’ve got a decent support slot, only to be pushed down the bill on the night when the record company squeezes another act on. They’re normally shite too.

One of you has also said in the blog that they hate Twitter - what’s not to love about hearing what Andi Peters had for breakfast, or Matt Willis’s latest tattoo?!
Facebook and MySpace are ace for band promo etc, Twitter is just a pain in the clems. Who actually cares about what I’m doing right now? It’s just insignificant tweety toss. There!

And finally: The band’s partially based in Leeds, which seemed to be at the height of it’s ‘scene’ around-about 2005. How is it now? Apart from the whole ‘Yorkshire’ thing going on up there, is there much of a community? Are there many good new bands coming through?
Two of us live in Leeds and two in Sheff but we’re from all over originally. Yorkshire is buzzing and it’s inspirational musically. The problem is that there are millions of bands so it’s easy to get left behind. Every night there’s about ten gigs going on, so you have to be on the ball to pull a decent crowd. We’re getting there though.

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