An Interview With Possum

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Leeds born 3 piece Possum consists of Adam Crockett (guitar/vocals), Reece Allen (bass) and Andrew Horn (drums). The band formed in 2015, with their musical style being described as colourful twiddly emo rock, whatever that means. With a new EP only a few months away and a double a-side single expected on the 30th of April, I catch up with the band and ask them a few questions about the past, the present and the future.

Tell us about yourselves, who and what is Possum?

Adam: We’re a 3 people band from Yorkshire, I play guitar and sorta sing.

Andy: I play drums… Sometimes in time.

Reece: I play bass but it’s kind of a guitar.

So considering your sound can be described as ‘colourful twiddly emo rock’ who are your main inspirations? and how do you emit such inspirations into your own sound if you do at all?

Andy: We started playing grunge with the use of reverby effects like in post rock, then we started to combine a emo/math feel. I also love reggae.

Adam: We’re all into a lot of different stuff, like i really like older 80’s music but i think we find a middle ground in emo and math rock bands from the 90’s to now.

Reece: Yeah we’re all big math and emo fans so it kind of felt natural that we’ve moved in that direction musically.

Taking into account such inspirations did it then take you guys long to find your own sound? Or did you know what sound you were going for from the start?

Adam: I think we’ve only really recently found our sound, our first ep was just songs we wrote to kill time while we were bored at college. It was a really fun and easy time don’t get me wrong, but when Reece joined the band in august i think we started actually thinking a lot more about what type band we wanted to be.

Reece: You’re fucking welcome.

I personally really like the song Okishima Island, what inspired that and how did it come to be?

Adam: Thanks man that’s the first song we ever wrote together! It came from again, me and Andy bored during college days. I bought a reverb pedal and we started jamming some post rock stuff and that’s what stuck.

Andy: Yeah its a fun one to play! The name came from a pretty interesting film called ‘Battle Royale’.

Hands down one of the best films I’ve ever watched that, knew i recognised the name from somewhere. Moving on though, tell us more about your upcoming ep ‘Wake Up Kid’ and what we can expect?

Andy: It has a much more energetic sound than the last ep. But still follows the post rock influence.

Adam: Yeah I think its more focused than our last release musically. Lyrically I’m definitely opening myself up a lot more and treating songs more like a diary. A lot of stuff changed for me in a very short amount of time, I moved away from my parents house in Leeds to Manchester for Uni and being caught in the awkward age of not being a kid anymore but not an adult either. Like weighing up the thoughts of missing your carefree life, doing nothing but hanging with your mates in a field booting footballs at each other and being naive to everything. Then realising you cant do that anymore, and maybe that’s a good thing because you can’t spend your life like that forever.

Yeah I know those feelings man, but until we can somehow fathom time travel, the only way is forward, well that’s the way I think of it anyway. Speaking of the future, what are your plans, do you have anything big lined up?

Andy: To bring possums the justice they deserve.

Adam: We’re setting up a weekender for the ep launch which’ll be sometime in June we’re guessing. Then we’re gonna release our dj side project PSM soundsystem.

I think I like PSM Orchestra better, in-jokes aside though and back to the questions, have you always wanted to be musicians? If so, when did your love for music bloom? and when did a career as musicians become a reality?

Adam: Started pretty late and started playing guitar around 14/15. I never really learnt how to play properly I just wanted to write songs, like I never bothered to learn scales at all. Then I joined a few bands and this one seems to have stayed longer than the rest.

Andy: I’ve been performing at festivals in a folk band since I was 15 so it was cool to play in a different style with Possum…It’s a shame we don’t play any reggae though.

Reece: I’ve been playing with a bunch of different bands for the last 6-7 years and as soon as I started I knew it was what I wanted to do.

Have you guys stepped into festival territory yet? Like I know you have Andy, but I mean as Possum? If not, would you like to play festivals?

Andy: I’ve played at many festivals but never with Possum.(apart from one my family organised which was a blast!) I’m excited to approach some with our new ep because I think it’s got the feel good vibe people are looking for at festivals.

Adam: Yeah like Andy said we’ve only really played one his family set up which was pretty awesome. I think we’d all like to play at Boomtown but i doubt we’d fit in much.

Reece: I’d love for Possum to hit up some festivals but i think with the new ep taking us so long to finish we may have to wait till next year.

It would certainly be a very odd booking for Boomtown, but you never know ey, hopefully we’ll get to see you guys on some festival line ups next year then! Finally, how did your gig in York go last night, good I hope? 

Adam: Was good man thanks! Its always fun to play in york there’s always a lot of drunkards.

Andy: Aye! we have some friends in York who always show enthusiasm for us which is really great.

That’s great to hear and it’s been a pleasure talking to you guys!

Okishima Island Video:

You can listen to Possums EP ‘Words and Sounds’ here:

https://possumband.bandcamp.com/releases

Social Media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Possumsongs/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Possumband

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2-XNhMqUF0dSVd0I41z3NQ

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/possumsongs 

 

 

We talk to Dollhouse about their inspirations, being on the road, and their plans for the future

Dollhouse are a 4-piece ‘neo kraut fuzz’ band originating from Stroud, Gloucestershire, in the South of England. They are Zak Thomas-Akoo (vocals), Will Ainsley (guitar/backing vocals), Nick Browning (bass) and Tom Stevens (drums). Their exciting blend of pulsing motorik rhythms reminiscent of Krautrock pioneers Can and Neu!, atmospheric soundscapes and urgent, compelling vocals akin to the likes of Faris Badwan and Ian Curtis, but with their own unique identity, make this group of promising young lads ones to keep an eye on. We interviewed Will from the band to talk about their influences, what it’s like being on the road, and their plans for the future.

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Photo by Rich Ainsley

So how long have you guys been a band for? And how did the band initially come into existence?

We’ve been a band for four years, but in this current incarnation we have been going for one and a half years. The band initially came into existence when Zak, the singer, was sitting at home listening to The Clash, and he thought, “you know what, I could do this”. He then enlisted the talents of I (Will), first on bass, then on guitar. A year later, Tom the drummer came on-board, then a year after that, Nick the bassist.

Did a mutual love of genres such as Krautrock bring you together then? Any bands of that genre, or any other genre for that matter, that have particularly had an influence on you or inspired you?

It wasn’t so much of a mutual love of genres, rather a mutual love of a few select artists. We all have different interests in music. Nick is more into Electronica, whereas Tom is a Shoegaze scholar. I love Krautrock and Experimentalism, the avant garde etc, Zak likes nothing more than disco and sleazy ballads. We all find common ground in the music of The Velvet Underground, Fat White Family, The Monks, Primal Scream and the Modern Lovers.

Do you believe in wearing your influences on your sleeve in plain sight? Or do you think bands should focus more on delivering their own concept to the world?

We like to think that we don’t wear our influences too heavily. It’s great if people pick up on little parallels they can draw between our music, and another artist they like, but we try and make music that is resolutely us rather than anything else.

You’ve just come off the back of a mini-tour of the South of the UK, and only yesterday supported Joseph Coward in your hometown of Stroud. How were those experiences? Is being on the road something you’ve always loved, or did it take a bit of adjustment to fully enjoy it at first?

I’d say the mini-tour was fun, we don’t get to do shows too often so doing four almost back-to-back was great- we also really enjoyed supporting Joseph, a lovely person and a fantastic song-writer. We’ve never done a tour like this per se so it was a bit of a learning curve, with regards to organising transport and not getting each riled up too much!

You’re also supporting Moon Duo on the 9th of June in Cardiff. Is it still as exciting and rewarding as ever when you get called up to support bands like Moon Duo?

The show with Moon Duo will probably be our biggest one to date. We’ve never supported such a big name before, but it is very rewarding supporting big names, especially ones you like, like Joseph Coward or Filthy Boy.

You’ve also got a split-EP with Mysteron coming out in the near future, can you tell us a little bit about how that came to fruition?

I saw them supporting The Moonlandingz on tour and really enjoyed their set. They seemed to be in a similar situation as us- both fairly young and still up and coming. I contacted them to see if they’d like to release anything together, and the split-EP kind of came from that.

Many bands these days are cutting out the middle man and releasing their material on their own D.I.Y. labels, such as Radiohead and Fat White Family. Would setting up your own label in the future and releasing your own stuff be something you’d be interested in doing if you had the opportunity?

We’d like to release things ourselves because we’d like to have much more control over the process and what happens to it. However, this is just a question of funds. We’re going to see where we are with the EP before we make any decisions about how to release it.

Summer’s just around the corner, are you hoping to play any festivals this year? Do you have any already lined-up?

We’d love to play some festivals this year, although we haven’t got any lined-up this year. It’s one of our biggest ambitions as a band to start playing festivals.

Finally, if someone was coming to see you live for the first time, how would you describe to them the kind of show they’d expect to see?

Loud, hard, fast on the ears and easy on the eyes.

 

Dollhouse have just finished a small tour of the UK, but you can catch them on the following dates:

9th June at The Globe, Cardiff (Opening for Moon Duo)

21st June at the Betsey Trotwood, London (Free entry)

 

Check out Dollhouse’s Soundcloud below to hear more from them:

http://soundcloud.com/dollhouseuk

Or give them a like on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/thedollhouseband/?fref=ts