Continuing our mission to bring you bands from across the world and as many different genres we can manage, today’s Band of the Day is a multi-national outfit with a grunge sound you’d expect to have come straight from Seattle. So let’s see how this lot handle our standard questions…
Arthur (guitar): Me and our frontman Tom are from Riga, Latvia. Our drummer, Bart, is from the South of Italy and the other Arthur in the band who plays bass is from somewhere in the South of England. Where again exactly?
Arthur (bass): near High Wycombe
Tom: Exactly… where?
Arthur (bass): Near London
How did you meet?
Arthur (guitar): Me and Tom started the band in high school playing Nirvana, Silverchair and Metallica covers, mostly in the evening when classes were empty. Several years later Tom moved over to England, collaborated with multiple musicians and finally reunited with me in Leeds. In the next few months, the band was enhanced by a new bass player, Arthur, and then drummer, Bart. We have just started playing live with our close friend and mandolin player, Yuri, too.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Arthur (guitar): The current lineup has been active for nearly a year, yet 1996 in Riga is technically the starting point of this musical project.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Arthur (guitar): The name was suggested by our first bass player, Alexander, days before our first live gig in Club Depo (Riga). It has never been questioned since, it just sounds right for us and this project.
What are your influences?
Arthur (guitar): Music and other art that is not limited by different genres, cultures or popular trends. Whether it is some Russian bard, trendy R’n’B singer or Swedish melodic death metal band. It would take 50 people 20 hours each day for whole a month to compile a full list of everything that influenced us!
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Arthur (guitar): We combine elements of grunge, indie, funk and punk using a cooking pot of abrasive manic vocals, noisy guitars, punchy bass and heavy drums with dashes of mandolin and a sprinkling of mellow piano.
Arthur (bass): I like to think our band sounds a bit like what would happen if System of a Down’s Serj Tankian fronted a band with members of Radiohead and Pixies and they all went on a prog rock adventure together to find R.E.M.’s lost mandolin.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Tom: Addiction, mental health, joy, altered states of mind, evolution.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Tom: Too many to remember! Well over 100 since the beginning.
Arthur (guitar): A lot, yet still not enough.
Tom: We’ve played in different venues in Leeds and Yorkshire and our live performance is full of energy. We played some festivals in Moscow, Russia. We’ve also played shows in Riga, Latvia.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Arthur (guitar): In true lead guitarist style, I sometimes solo with one leg on a monitor…
Arthur (bass): I think the wildest thing at our own gigs might have been at our most recent when a mime artist shaved their head on stage whilst we were playing.
Tom: Yes, that was pretty crazy!
Arthur (bass): I think the wildest thing I’ve ever seen at live shows of other bands was the frontman of Aussie band Airbourne climb up the mainstage rigging at Sonisphere festival and do a guitar solo standing on top of one of the big screens. Weirdly that same festival I also saw Sid of Slipknot dive off the sound tower. Check them both on YouTube, they’re pretty nuts.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Arthur (guitar): Most of our gear is breaking all the time, so it’s hard to keep up.
Arthur (bass): Yes, we feel blessed when it all works together!
Tom: I play a Squire Jagmaster, known to us as the Squire Stringbreaker because the strings break so often.
Bart: I play Tama B/B and Sabina AAX cymbals.
Arthur: I play a P-bass running through an Ampeg PF-50T all tube head. It gives a great warm sound and still packs a serious punch for a portable amp. The XLR out is great for recording demos and playing live.
Arthur (guitar): I play a Les Paul, Yamaha keys and a Weltmeister Accordion
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Tom: We just released our Games People Play EP. We released a video for the lead track last week which we filmed in Berlin. There’s much more on the way!
What are your plans for 2018?
Tom: Releasing some more music videos, new singles, recording new songs, a tour around Asia.
Arthur (guitar): We quite want to play a few festivals and explore different towns and cities across England and Europe.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Arthur (guitar): Adore//Repel
Tom: Yeah, they’re a great band!
Arthur (bass): If we’re keeping it Leeds, Pulled Apart By Horses or Fizzy Blood? Or if not, I’m really digging a Brighton band called Demob Happy at the moment. I would love to support any of them! There’s so many great bands in Leeds!
From previous Band of the Day, Drama Scream: who is the “diva” of the band?
Tom: We’re all very laid back really….
Arthur (guitar): It’s Tom.
Bart: Yeah Tom.
Arthur (bass): I guess he does spend an unbearable amount of time asking the sound tech to perfect his monitor levels at gigs. Oh, and he insists on having all the lights off when he’s recording vocals. That’s probably as diva as any of us get though!
From previous Band of the Day, Viboras: why do you play, what makes you devoted to playing in spite of how hard it has become in recent years?
Arthur (guitar): Playing is hard? I don’t agree with that. I find it hard being a couch potato. Music is my main stress relief method and it allows me to take my mind away from everyday routine nonsense.
Arthur (bass): Agreed, music is a healer and we play because we love it. For me, advances in communication and music technology mean it’s easier now than ever to connect with like-minded musicians and others in the industry to create and share music.
And from Sirius: what is the motivation that made you choose to make music?
Arthur (guitar): Tom and his passion towards music was my motivation.
Arthur (bass): I first started when two friends at school needed a bassist for their band. As soon as I realised how much fun it is, I knew that I wouldn’t ever want to stop.
Bart: Passion for music.