Weekends are for rocking out. Thankfully we’re here to help you with some inspiration…
We’re based in Sunderland but all come from small towns surrounding it. Our singer, Stephen, and our guitarist, James, are both from South Shields. Our bassist, Callum, is from Bournmoor and our drummer, Luke, is from Seaham.
How did you meet?
James (Guitar) and I (Stephen, Vocals) have been mates since birth. Our mams are really good mates and were pregnant around the same time, so we literally grew up together. When we decided we wanted to start a band, it was really difficult finding a drummer at first. After a couple of months, Luke (Drums) responded to an ad I put on Facebook, and said he was interested in joining, and then he brought Callum (bass) in a few months later.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Our current lineup has been around since the start of this year, and that’s when stuff really started happening for us, and we started to get more done as far as writing and gigging was concerned. So, we’d say we properly started as of 2019.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
I love this question if I’m honest, because every time we get asked it, we’re expected to talk about, either a really cool story about how we came up with the name, or some tale about how the name came to us and we were destined to be called that. But, in all honesty, Luke just thought of it and said “lads, what do yous think of Envy Motel?” and we were just like “Aye we’ll have that, that’s really cool.” It’s quite a boring story but I like it when we’re asked about it, just because of the simplicity of it.
What are your influences?
We all have different tastes in music, so we all bring something different to the table, in terms of our writing. To name a few influences we’d say bands like Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Royal Blood, Biffy Clyro, Velvet Revolver, Jimi Hendrix and Audioslave. So, we’ve got a wide variety that we’re inspired by.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I’d say the wide variety of genres that we all bring to the table is what makes us unique. We chose to adopt the Alt-Rock label as our genre, because we felt it was the best one to use whilst being able to use all of our different tastes as influences. I don’t think we’re the type of people to really commit to one style and never mix things up, because it would eventually get boring for us and we’d want to try something else. That’s just the type of people we are.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
We didn’t intentionally set out to have a lyrical theme, but when we were writing our debut EP “Perspectives”, we realised that the lyrics in our songs had a certain similarity about them, as they were all written from a particular outlook on life. One song was about not allowing people to bring you down, whilst another was about refusing to let depressive thoughts bring you down. We’re really passionate about stuff to do with just letting people be themselves. We hate people who go out of their way to put other people down because there’s just no need for it, and I think those beliefs probably reflect in most of the songs in “Perspectives”, as well as our two most recent singles “Medusa” and “Tied Down”.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We’ve played quite a few shows now. We’ve been gigging for about 8 months and we just try to make each show better than the last. We’re constantly pushing ourselves to do better in every aspect of this band, from our writing, to our playing, to our stage presence. So, in that sense, we just try to bring as much energy to our shows as possible. When we bring that energy, our crowds do too, which is amazing.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
We did a cover gig in the summer and we had people in the crowd get up on the bar during our last few songs and just go nuts. So that was really funny. We haven’t had loads of wild things happen at our shows, or done many wild things yet. I mean, when our crowds grow and we get higher-profile shows, we want to change that and get crazier to make things more fun.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
The guitars we use are a Fender Telecaster and an Epiphone Les Paul. Callum uses a Fender Jazz Bass Guitar and Luke uses a Pearl Export drum kit.
What are your plans for 2020?
We’ve got a headline show at Independent in Sunderland on January 18th, which is going to be insane. I’ve wanted to play there for so long and it’s going to be our first show there. So, we’re really looking forward to that. I don’t want to give too much away with that as we’re still planning stuff. But what I can tell you is that it’s going to be a busy year for us.
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!
We’d love to support Royal Blood. We think that would just be insane. Everything about that atmosphere would be unreal, especially performing in front of such an energetic crowd that they get. There’s a band that supported us in Newcastle in November called Kickin Lilies, and we think they’d be a great opening act for a show like that. They have a similar energy to us and they’re a great bunch of lads, so it would be amazing to gig with them again.