Q&A with Among The Echoes
Ian & Phil have kindly taken time out from their busy schedules to be the next victims of Revival Synths Q&A Section.
Q1. Hi Guys - Please introduce yourself
Ian..Greetings, I am Ian Wall the vocalist of Birmingham based band Among The Echoes.
Phil..Hello everyone i'm Phillip Brandon Lockhart, please call me Lockhart. I'm 50 and a self employed bricklayer , married to Claire with a 14 year old son and a 11 year old daughter. I'm obsessed with Music and also building construction, and home cinema.
Q2..12 months ago we hadn't heard of Among The Echoes – When was the band formed?
Ian..Twelve months ago, Among The Echoes was just taking shape…The first rehearsal as a band was in May 2012. The line-up has changed a little as we have developed our sound and there is always a possibility that more new members may join the band. We are a very organised band who keeps setting small realistic targets and hopefully we will be around for a fair while yet..
Phil..I was in a synth type band with Ian about 24 years ago and every few years we would bump into each other. Out of the blue , Ian phoned me and as proud as punch said he was in a band and the ideas are really cool and would i like to listen? Well i was shocked by how good the demos were, and even tho i had given up playing my bass guitar 19 years ago i cheekily asked if they would like a bass player(little did i know but guitar supremo and tech wizzard Mr Sam Wale was also considering this role.So i was given an audition in late july 2012 at coventry rehearsal studios and was asked to continue auditioning for the next 12 months....lol
Q3. You have just released a new EP 'Midnight'. How different is it from your last EP 'Freak'
Ian..We hope that we are continuing to grow and develop as artists and with each new release it is important that you try to improve on previous recordings. As a debut EP we are very proud of Freak, yes if we was working on those tracks today, we would make changes, however they represent who we was at the moment in time. Although Midnight was released only four months after Freak, the production of Midnight is a step up from Freak. The next single ‘Sin’ has already been recorded and will be released in September and hopefully will give an indication of what you can expect from Among the Echoes as we continue to push things forward.
Phil..Midnight, just like the Freak ep has a great variety of songs, but Sams creativity and Ian and Steves writing have delivered a darker musical landscape
Q4.. Who is the mastermind behind Among The Echoes
Ian..Strong word that…I would like to think we are a good team, each bringing something to the table. Most people who know our band will know me as I tend to be the person who arranges the gigs, interviews and is the point of contact. Steve has been a quiet genius with the hours and work he puts into the composing and then we have Sam a fantastic music producer who really has started raising the bar for us all. Phil is a real font of knowledge with bands and influences and a vast amount of experience playing live. As we work together more, all members are influencing and contributing to shaping new songs, however to answer the question in short…I am answering the questions, so for today at least.. It is me ;-)
Phil..The real mastermind behind the Echoes is Steve...the man at the back. We have a very unconventional writing pattern, most bands jam together and form ideas for songs. Well Steve composes and records these beautiful songs and presents them to us as finished articles, where upon we go away and destroy all his work and ideas and come up with something completely different....so yes always watch the quiet ones..lol.
Q5.. So that's two EPs released, Is there an album in the pipelines?
Phil..I know another Echoes ep is planned, and then a joint side project of Ian and Bridget and myself and Bridget as "Displacement" possibly releasing a side project ep...with Sam Wale at the controls.As far as an album goes....best to ask Ian.
Ian..In short yes! We will release at least one more track, however we shall soon start work on putting new tracks towards an album. Being a new band we wanted to make sure we released a number of tracks fairly quickly to help establish us and get a following. We are fairly confident that we could have all the tracks written and recorded to enable us to release something in the first part of 2014…however let’s not set a date yet…
Q6.. Who has been your biggest influence?
Ian..I guess each band member would give a different answer to this; however an artist we do admire is Gary Numan. He has been on an amazing journey and continues to develop his sound and has influenced so many great bands.
Phil.. My biggest influences...well i will try and keep this short as its really massive in all honesty.I was fascinated by Jean Jaque Burnels bass sound and playing,but even then he was still so very acomplished and proffesional, then i watched Joy Division on the Something Else bbc 2 music show , and was blown away by Ian and could see hooky was playing very catchy but simple and very distinctive basslines, i thought maybe just maybe i could do that....
It wasnt until 1984 when i purchased the factory records band Stockholm Monsters National Pastime single (produced by peter Hook) that the lightning struck. The energic playing and woeful lyrics just entranced me and i just had to get a bass guitar...cos i knew i could play along to their songs and maybe even form my own group. I owe everything to the Stockholm Monsters for giving me that kick up the arse.
Q7.. Syntheticity Gig with Spacebuoy & Johnny Normal in Birmingham on the 19th October and it's sold out – Am I right in thinking this event is the start of many more?
Phil..Is best answered by Ian as he is the Echoes organiser supremo extraordinaire.
Ian..We have started to make some plans for Synthetic City II which will be announced soon as we are able to formalise and action the proposals. Should future events continue to get the amazing support that the first event has received, then yes more shows will be arranged.
Q8.. Do you think it has to be the way forward for bands to come together before the music gets noticed?
Phil..A very Big Yes...the more we take "Teneks" way of helping bands get a sucsessful start instead of keeping everyone down...will only help us all. It's vital that our Djs are supported so thank you Rob Harvey, Dave Charles, Phil Marsh and in our case Mr Johnny Normal (cos without him introducing us to this amazing community of musicians) we would still be doodling in rehearsal studios. And also you Andy for providing a great hub for us all to congregate and find new music and bands to investigate.
Ian..Unless we all become major recording artist overnight…then yes. There are lots of really good unsigned bands with the current electronic scene, I believe that by bands working together (especially putting on gigs) it gives more people the chance to see bands they like at one venue, saving money and the valuable thing we all treasure ‘time’. Each band has people who favour their music, so bringing people together to see a show with similar bands playing on the bill, can only be good for all concerned.
Q9.. You are friends with a lot of bands out there at the mo – Who would you like to share the stage with ?
Phil..Im not friends with bands as im very quiet and shy...until i get to know you...lol. but i would love to play a gig with Analog Angel , as i think Mr John Brown is an unsung musical genius. His understanding of rythmn and electronics and how they sound together is staggering, lyrically , he is very poetic and his writing has stopped me in my tracks on more than one occasion.I did try to speak to John in Doncaster , but due to my reserved nature, it was like a Kevin and Perry episode, lol.There's a banging shit in the bog Phil that wont flush and will need scooping out.....lol
Ian..Apart from Gary Numan….We have been really lucky that we have already had the chance to work with or will be working with: Shiny Darkness, Johnny Normal, Spacebuoy and not forgetting Bridget from Destination who featured on the Midnight EP. We have made no secret that we would like to arrange a gig with Sinestar and it would be great to sort something with Tenek once their album is complete. I have also exchanged a few messages with Analog Angel. Mesh would also be high on our list, however to be honest hopefully we get opportunities to work with lots of band in the current scene. I think there will be some excellent shows for people to see over the coming years…The future is certainly looking ‘electronic’!
Q10.. Ian, You are well know for having more charm than James Bond. Are you really a Ladies man lol ;-) ?
Phil.. Ian a Ladies man? A Gentleman would never talk of such things , so i will leave it to Ian to answer that....lmfao.
A massive "thank you" to Ian is in order cos without him cajolling me out of retirement, i would never had met Steve,Sam , Johnny Normal,Bridget Kyle Gray and Analog Angel
Ian..My beautiful wife is a lucky woman :-)….No wait, I have just been corrected…it is me who is the lucky one.
There is nothing wrong with being nice and polite to people and complimenting a lady, it is a quality often lacking in society.
Thanks Ian & Phil :)
Keep that train without the brakes rolling at high speed ;-)
BRIDGET GUEST VOCAL