Friday, 2 December 2011

CORELLI Interview

Secret Admirer had the pleasure of interviewing Marcus Hutton and Tommy Greaves, the writing duo behind the band Corelli in Tommy’s car.

As well as finishing songs together, they are very good at finishing each other's sentences.

Secret Admirer took our good friend Nick Doyle (Flaming Fields) along for the ride.
Get it? Ride.
Before we got down to talking about the band however, an important discussion about car air fresheners was taking place. Tommy had to express his love for his dangling smiley car freshener before we could go any further.

Tommy Greaves: It’s the boy this is, the boy rides up front, always.

Shotgun, he calls shotgun.

Tommy: Yeah, he’s mid-ship. It’s the ultimate place.

Right, when did the band start?

Tommy: Originally, long long ago, it started with me, me and Harris and Smalley. But in the way we are now, we used to rehearse and I used to sing. And Marc joined…well we looked for a singer and Smiley used to play football with him. And well, you are probably best at saying this bit to be honest.

Marcus Hutton: Yeah, well, I met Luke, socially. And I was into music, obviously but I’d never like, literally contemplated being in a band. I just kind of got influences, I’d never sung before.

Really? Wow.

Marcus: Never even done like a karaoke appearance. Never even imagined myself doing that and we just…I know it sounds like a lad thing to say but we kind of just went to the pub one night. Just had a few drinks and walked back to my house and I was just like, singing merrily on the way home. And he was like ‘oh you should come and sing with our band’. I was like ‘nah, you’re alright, you’re alright’. He pestered me for a couple of days and I realised he was actually serious. Because he asked me when he was sober. I was like ‘errr, nah’. Then he was like ‘we’ve got a practice this Friday, come and see what you can do’. I remember I think it was like a nice summer’s evening and I thought no, I’m not going to go. Up until ten minutes before hand when I was like ‘nah, I’m gonna do it’. Just, you know, to see if I can. Then I went there and I kind of didn’t feel comfortable still.

Tommy: I remember when you first pulled up and I walked up and I was like…it’s that, kind of like them weird meetings. I was like ‘you alright, I’m Tom’ and he was like ‘I’m Mark’. And we just shook hands.

Marcus: I think the fact that I had a van as well.

Tommy: Yeah.

Marcus: That sealed the fact that I was going to be in the band.

Tommy: It’s weird like, after the first rehearsals at Neon, it still didn’t feel totally gelled. Do you know what I mean? It still didn’t feel like ‘oh that’s definitely happening’. And I phoned you up and I was like we need to see if we write well. I want to write, I want somebody who I can write with. Because I was doing all the writing at the time, we went up by The Chaser near us. If you know The Chaser, it’s a big massive forest near us.

Marcus: It’s a national park.

Tommy: It’s like a huge forest. We just drove towards Cannock in Stratford. We just parked there…

Marcus: It’s where all the doggers go. It’s like the dogging capital of Great Britain.

Tommy: (Laughs) Then we just walked, for probably about a mile until we found this tree. Just had an acoustic guitar, a pad and a pen. Sat there and just wrote like, three or four songs, just that was it then. We just knew.

Marcus: We hadn’t sealed the natural friendship by then either.

Tommy: I think that was it then.

Marcus: I think as soon as we did that, it was meant to be. It kinda sounds a bit cheesy but I think that’s how the best things probably happen though.

Tommy: The most long-winded ever response.

Marcus: Is it alright talking naturally about it all?

It’s fine. Do you go there a lot to write?

Tommy: We haven’t since. That’s the weird thing, like, you just…it was that one time.

Marcus: We landed our own rehearsal space; we kind of just locked ourselves away in there.

Tommy: That became our new one.

You could always put pictures of trees up.

Marcus: (Laughs) Yeah! That’s become like Corelli central now.

Tommy: We’ve wrote in some weird places.

Why did you choose the name Corelli for the band?

Marcus: We won’t talk about past incarnations of the band, purely since we’ve been Corelli…we were after a name. We were already together, we’d got our songs written and we kinda just wanted one word. We didn’t want ‘The…’. Sounds a bit capitalist but we kind of wanted a brand.

Well it’s more memorable isn’t it? One word.

Marcus: To be honest, I’m not going to try and say that it was really…what word sums us up? I just kind of…at the time I was reading Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. And the story kind of evoked a thing in me where I thought like, because where we are coming from, there is not a lot going on. And it’s kind of a bit bleak, people are a bit bleak. Not Birmingham, we are a Birmingham band but where we live…where we sleep basically. That’s what we class it as.

Tommy: But at the time, we wasn’t a Birmingham band, we was a Cannock band.

Marcus: No we weren’t, yeah.

Tommy: We gave ourselves that name because it was like we were in a stop gap. We were in an area where you just felt like nothing was happening. It kind of summed up the fact that, with the book it’s kind of like he’s going to war. I know that going to war and living in a shit hole aren’t really the same thing but it’s like he’s going to war…

Marcus: Despite everything going on around him…

Tommy: He’s still got music. We’ve had shitty jobs and rubbish social lives we still had like…

Marcus: It’s like an escape basically.

Tommy: It’s our music.

Marcus: We like escaping.

Tommy: Then we got into Birmingham and it kind of cemented us really.

Does it benefit you as a band being based in Birmingham?

Marcus: Definitely.

Tommy: Definitely yeah.

Marcus: Well I don’t think it’s even a conscious decision, we are, whether we like it or not.

Are there any other bands in Birmingham that you like playing gigs with?

Tommy: Loads yeah.

Marcus: Before we like the sound of a band or what they are doing, first and foremost we just make good friends.

Tommy: We’re just all friends, we all go on the same nights out. It’s like Troumaca and Swim Deep.

Marcus: Peace.

Tommy: Silver Souvenirs and Guile.

Marcus: The Arcadian Kicks, which is kind of…they are good friends first and foremost. And then you see your friends play on stage and you’re like ‘actually you’re really good’. There’s something kind of going on, even though we are not doing exactly the same thing. Which I think is brilliant, I think it’s better in terms of a scene because…

Tommy: Well Tom, you know Tom? He’s a good friend.

Yeah, he goes to our Uni.

Marcus: He goes to Uni? 

Yeah, he's on our course.

I know he goes to Uni but he goes to Uni?


Tommy: We’ve been working with Gavin…Gavin Monaghan. He’s done like, Kings Of Leon, Editors…whatever else. We got that through Simon Bailey and Tom came into the studio with us and was just chilling with us. It feels like people aren’t just your mates on nights out, they’re you’re friends. I know it’s saying the same thing that I’ve read a lot of other bands have said, but it’s like even though all the bands aren’t doing the same thing…there isn’t like a math rock scene, punk rock scene, there isn’t a grunge pop, there isn’t an indie…swag. (Laughs)

Marcus: I think that is quite indicative of Birmingham as well. Even if you look through the past, the multiculturalism, the diversity of people…I think it’s indicative of Birmingham really. I think that is something to be proud of.

With your songs do you feel like you have found your sound at the moment? Or are you still trying to find your sound?

Marcus: I think we’ve maybe…found it…maybe…

Tommy: We’ve got a batch of songs, we’ve got a sound, I wouldn’t say perfected but we’ve got to a point where we are like yeah that’s what we want to sound like. And then we write a whole other batch of songs and they are like a new thing we want to do.

Marcus: There is obviously elements in music and style that we are heavily into and then someone might bring an album out tomorrow that blows us away and we are like, you can’t help that coming through.
Tommy: And it always sounds like us.
Marcus: It’s like Arcade Fire, not comparing ourselves to Arcade Fire in any extent of the imagination but it kind of like…Arcade Fire do it and The Fall. They kind of take all these influences in and no matter what they do, it always sounds like them.

Marcus: Tom has got a very distinctive style…

Tommy: Of playing, and your singing obviously. I think it’s some of the most driving characteristics of the band. I’d say but I’m saying that as a guitarist. I don’t know…It’s more of the listener’s opinion I suppose.
Marcus: So I think whatever we do, it’s going to have that Corelli…

Tommy: Initially, we are the writers. We write everything and it’ll manifest itself into a song with all the rest of them. We always have an idea that we sort of want to go with. Else it wouldn’t happen to be honest.

Marcus: In terms of sound, although there is going to be lots of influences, the next song might sound completely different to the one before in terms of like, you know. Sometimes the guitars might be really drone-y, and then the next song they might be really bright. We want to keep people guessing I suppose. And not get stuck in a rut, move with…

Tommy: Move with the music.

Marcus: I think that is important to the longevity of a band, to not get caught up too much in a particular sound.

Tommy: I suppose that’s another thing that’s really important to us as a band now. We didn’t want a name where people go…you say your name, it’s like…The Monotones, oh ok they are like a Mod sort of band. Say like, oh we are The Rascals and it’s like an indie band. We wanted a name where it’s like, Corelli, ‘oh well what are they doing?’ Do you know what I mean? ‘I don’t actually know what that could possibly be.’ I don’t want to be a band where your name ties you down to something. Do you know what I mean? I’d hate that. Because Corelli, it’s an inventive name, it’s imaginative…there’s no borders, there’s no boundaries. That’s what I want really.

What’s the best gig you have played so far, do you think? Or your favourite one you have played?

Tommy: Zombie Prom was really good, it’s first birthday. We love Zombie Prom anyway, so…

Do you play there a lot?

Marcus: We’ve played there twice.

Tommy: We DJ there regularly.

Marcus: We’ve kind of attached ourselves to that as not our club night but…the other bands as well. Like Swim Deep, Silver Souvenirs…

Tommy: Troumaca. Peace.

Marcus: Peace, obviously. You know they are gonna be there, you know they are going to be at the Adam and Eve after. You know they are going to be at Face. So I think we’ve all kind of attached ourselves to that as our kind of club night without it being a band’s club night. Which is another spontaneous thing which has kind of happened. I think that’s how the best things happen. Spontaneously.

Have you played any gigs outside of Birmingham? How did they go?

Tommy: Hit and miss.

Marcus: We’ve only been officially going with how we are now, for a year. Under a year really. 2011 has been our ‘here we are…’.

Tommy: Coventry we always get a good…

Marcus: Yeah we played Coventry a couple of months ago. And we always go down well down there. We go down better to a student crowd, when I say student crowd it kind of…like the younger student crowd. Without sounding like One Direction…

Tommy: Just people who like music. I don’t know…

Marcus: Again, like, we play a gig like tonight and I’d say it was a more mature demographic. And to be honest, I actually enjoyed that a lot more because I just felt like people were actually listening to what I was saying. Or what Tom was playing or the beat, it actually felt like people were…

Tommy: Interested and cared.

Marcus: Not being too judgemental.

Tommy: There was obvious mistakes but…they don’t judge too high.

Marcus: And I got a lot of satisfaction from that but we played in London on Saturday at 93 Feet East.

Tommy: We had a brilliant weekend but we didn’t have a brilliant gig. I think there was issues with our playing…I don’t know, we didn’t play too badly it’s just you feel like you are playing to a different crowd. Like in Birmingham you have more of a…

Marcus: I think we were just really eager to present ourselves the best we could.

Tommy: It kind of felt like because we were in London, it was like: ‘oh the man’s watching’. Do you know what I mean?

Marcus: I think now we’ve got that monkey off our back, next time we go, hopefully before the beginning of next year.

Tommy: It would be great to play some shows with some other bands round here. Sort of bring a bit of Birmingham…

Marcus: Take Birmingham round to London a little bit. I think people go to gigs more in London to be honest.

Tommy: In our phase of me and you playing together, we’ve had three gigs in London. One of our best ever gigs, one of our worst ever gigs and that one was sort of like…

Marcus: We supported Post War Years.

Tommy: And White Rose Movement.

Marcus: In Brixton.

Tommy: It was a White Lies DJ set.

Marcus: Yeah, and we played really well without patting yourself on the back too much. We were really happy with that.

Tommy: We took a lot of people down with us.

Marcus: We got a really good reception. So we’re not alien to it, we are just trying to get…

Tommy: This new thing going, Corelli.

That’s cool, have you got any gigs coming up in the future?

Tommy: We’re playing with The Arcadian Kicks on the 14th, get the flyers out.

Their single launch isn’t it?

Marcus: Yeah you obviously know about it.

Tommy: I need to grab the flyer anyway.

Marcus: It’s on the 14th. We’re playing there, it’s going to be downstairs in the basement. And I think it’s only like, a hundred capacity down there. And I think…

Tommy: Tom said if there isn’t people standing on the stairs, he’s hanging his guitar up.

Marcus: I think it’s going to be absolutely packed out. Hopefully we can be on top form for it. And make it a really good night because I’d like to play well for those guys as well because I heard their new single. That single, and I just think it’s absolutely immense. They deserve to do well really because they are a really hard working band. And it’s something that we could learn a lot from. Not that we don’t work hard but they’ve been around a while.

Tommy: We supported them in Walsall, like, years ago when we was in other bands and stuff. So we know how long they have been going, doing the same…not the same thing but doing the same line up and same sound. They are trying to get that same, they have perfected it haven’t they? Whereas we keep trying something different, trying something different. We are trying to find the winning formula. Because Tom is, I’d say the main writer …

Marcus: Maybe we should get two girls.

Tommy: Yeah, get two girls.

So, in terms of your songs and recordings, have you got any plans to release them?

Marcus: We are recording at…well we played two new songs tonight. “Shoulders” and…

Tommy: “It’s Ok To Cry”

Marcus: We are literally going to start recording those two songs this weekend, with the guy who did the Peace demos. And they are really good, have you heard them?

Yeah, I’ve heard them and I saw Peace at The Adam and Eve, they smashed it.

Marcus: Yeah, a lot of people have been impressed with those. We are going to go record with Dom. And he’s hopefully going to pick our sound up for those. I think once we’ve got those in the can, I think we’d like to get a single out early part of next year, maybe February. We’ve got a video planned as well. We just need some money first.

Tommy: The video is brilliant. Really good, like really good. (Laughs)

You’ve planned it out already?

Tommy: Yeah.

Marcus: We just need some money to fund it then it’s ready to go. It’s a budget video, obviously. But we still need that budget because we are all poor.

Have you sent your work to any at all labels yet?

Marcus: As we’ve said before, I think we are still a bit…we don’t want to throw anything out there that we think is not representative…although we feel like we’ve found a sound, we’re still crafting.

Tommy: I think we are getting there, the new stuff we are writing now is more representative, it’s more mature I suppose.

Marcus: It’s more of a mix of everything we’ve ever done.

Tommy: Rather than thinking of something and trying to replicate it. It’s easy to listen to a CD and go ‘love that, let’s replicate it a little bit’. You need to go ‘ok, what are we? What do we want to do?’. We like this, we like that, the other, let’s sort of pull it together.

Marcus: Yeah, I think those two songs are an incorporation of everything. Everything we’ve done really, so we may send those off.

Do you have any labels in mind at all?

Marcus: I think there is…you’ve always got dream labels that you want to sign with but I’m not really that…
Tommy: Arrogant to think they’d be interested. I suppose.

Marcus: I think as people as well, we are quite…

Tommy: We’re not blowing our own trumpets.

Marcus: We’re not shy obviously but we’re kind of…

Nick Doyle: Down to earth.

Marcus: Yeah. I think it would favour us more if we were more cock-sure. And made sure that people told other people we were the best band ever. Which most people do, but I don’t think that’s in our nature.

It’s my job to do that.

Tommy: Yeah. (Laughs)

Marcus: We kind of just let people make their own minds up.

Nick’s phone goes off with a buzz, which in turn signals the end of the interview.

Thanks for that guys, thanks for taking the time out.

Tommy: Thanks for coming.

Live photographs by Jack Parker

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Secret Admirer found out just a tiny little bit more about Pandas And People after witnessing their soothing live show. More soothing than stroking a cat made entirely out of yoghurt.

Catching up with Alex Singh and Leighton Rees from the band on a picnic bench outside The Hare And Hounds post show was lot's of fun, if a little cold...

Let’s get it started then, why did you choose the name Pandas And People?
Leighton Rees: It was a controversial text book that I read whilst I was at university. We couldn’t really come up with a band name so I kinda just said it.
It just sounded cool?
Leighton: Yeah. It was originally Of Pandas And People, because that’s the name of the book. But we dropped the ‘Of’.
Alex Singh: If you read the book, we are not associated with that shit.
Leighton: It’s some hard core American religious stuff…
When did the band start and why did you start the band?
Alex: July 10th 2010?
Leighton: July 10th 2010
That exact date?
Leighton: That exact date. Alex and Tom had this like, solo…
Alex: We are all writing and recording tracks but we never thought about playing a gig. Then we thought about playing a gig and all the songs that we had accumulated over doing this…played a gig then just carried it on.
Was it a conscious decision to have everyone singing when you write songs?
Leighton: I can’t sing, so I just try but I don’t know because there is quite a lot of…
Leighton starts drumming on the table. Alex gets annoyed. The drumming stops.
Leighton: There is quite a lot of harmonies in the recordings so…so live you sort of have to…
Alex: It’s fun. It’s just fun doing it.
Do you have to practice the instrument swaps that you do on stage, when you are rehearsing?
Alex: We should, because we don’t.
How do you go about writing songs together?
Alex: We write ideas, then send it around and build on top of that.
Leighton: Yeah we don’t really do it live, we kind of record stuff and do it that way. Then we work it out live afterwards.
Alex: We’ve got a demo before we’ve got a song kind of thing. Just mess around recording. Doing shit like that.

"I can't sing" - Leighton Rees
What is the best gig you have played so far?
Alex: I reckon when we played with Gardens And Villa. I don’t think we were best…
Leighton: It depends what you mean by best gig.
Just your favourite one that you have played.
Alex: Joan Of Arc was exciting.
Leighton: Yeah we played Joan Of Arc here, in the summer. We also played with Johnny Foreigner, their third album launch. So yeah.
How did you start getting gigs in Birmingham?
Alex: We were in a band years before and we kind of knew Matthew Beck (This Is Tomorrow promotions). Our first gig, Gregg got us it. You know, Gregg Haynes. We played at The Sound Bar because…I don’t know. We played at the sound bar then Gregg saw us and said do you want to come and play? Then we played with Toro Y Moi and then sort of building up relationships from there.
Leighton: Like we’ve said, there’s nothing in Redditch, so it’s the obvious place to go really. Our home town for playing gigs is Birmingham.
Do you feel like you are a part of a certain music scene in Birmingham at all?
Alex: No, not at all.
That’s cool, are there any other bands you like playing with locally?
Leighton: There is a silence because we are trying to think, not because we don’t like playing with other people. We’re looking forward to playing with Victories At Sea at The Flapper on the 17th December.
Alex: And Johnny Foreigner, they can be classed as a Birmingham band still, I guess.
What do you want people to get from your music?
Alex: Just enjoy it.
Leighton: Yeah, general enjoyment. We don’t really fit into any scenes or anything so I don’t know…
Do you consciously try and do something different then? Is that what you want to do with your music?
Leighton: When we write stuff we don’t really think well…
Alex: The thing is we just listen to so much music, different types of shit, it just kind of mushes. Are these shit answers?
It’s fine, they are honest answers.
Alex: We sound like the most boring band in the world. It’s not really an answer, I’ll just say a few words.
Do you create any other music apart from in this band? Any of you?
Alex: We do solo stuff when it happens…if I write something that isn’t suitable, then obviously I won’t use it. I won’t use it for anything, I’ll just do it.
Do you feel as though you have found your sound as a band yet?
Alex: I don’t really want to, I just want to keep doing shit differently every time.
Keep experimenting.
Leighton: Yeah…our songs are quite different to each other. It’s hard to define our sound.
Have you got any gigs coming up?
Leighton: One at The Flapper on the 17th December, playing Sheffield 21st December. Basically only two gigs that we got lined up.
What about songs and recordings, have you got any singles or any albums coming out?
Alex: Got an album, it’s not released…
It’s on Soundcloud?
Alex: Yeah.
Have you sent it to any record labels? Is that something you are interested in? Getting signed?
Alex: Yeah, I’d say so.
Leighton: Yeah that would be nice. We’ve sent it around radio stations and stuff like that.
Alex: Your bloody tapping! It’s going to come through like a kick drum on there!
Leighton: Backing music by Leighton!
Thanks for the quick interview guys.

Monday, 14 November 2011


The Young Friends keep their music refreshingly simple and free of complication.
Much like their answers to Secret Admirer's questions.

The Young Friends exist in America, Secret Admirer exists in England.
Thanks to the power of email, we were able to find out more about the guitar twangin' twosome.

How and why did the band start?

My best friend, Brant, and I wanted to be cool in high school and we thought that being a in a band would be the best way to go about doing that.
Why did you choose the name The Young Friends?

Just thought the name fit the music we made.
What do you want people to get from listening to your music?

To feel care free.
What equipment do you use to create your songs?

We made the songs with a guitar and garageband.

What inspires your song writing?

Whenever we feel strongly about something, good or bad, writing songs is a release.
Do you feel like you are rebelling against anything with your music?

I sure hope not, we're not trying to be trendsetters or associate ourselves with anything cool.
What has been the best show you have played so far?

We got to play on the main stage at Webster Hall in New York City, it was an unforgettable experience. We felt like such bad-asses.
Will you ever come and play some shows in the UK?

We were supposed to do a European tour this winter, however our school schedules conflicted with the dates we wanted to do. We're planning on doing it this summer instead.
Do you think it's important to release music for free these days?

Yes, I couldn't care less if someone bought our music or took it off of a torrent. It's unfortunate that people are not willing to pay for music anymore, sort of taking it for granted, but that's the way things are. 
Do you feel as though you are a part of a scene or musical movement?

I'm not sure.
What bands are you currently digging at the moment?

I'm obsessed with this band called Cut Your Hair, they're from England I think. Also, King Krule is amazing. I love that so many young people are making such impressive music these days.

Final words?

Peace and blessings, love The Young Friends.

Photo taken from The Young Friends Facebook page.

Friday, 11 November 2011


When Secret Admirer met Silver Souvenirs.
Fresh from being on tour with The Twang, these guys are ready for more.
The dance-ability factor of their music being the main priority.

Band Identification System
Stephen Hutton
- Lead Vocals
Gary Geerlings - Rhythm Guitar
Samuel Hart - Lead Guitar
Karl Faulkner - Bass
Jeremy Hatton – Drums

When and why did the band start?
Samuel Hart: Erm, when did we start? Well, me and Gaz, we started learning guitar together. And then I guess as soon as we could play, we just started writing as well. Didn’t we? That was like when we were sixteen. But then Silver Souvenirs didn’t come into fruition until like, what?
Hart’s band mates question his use of the word ‘fruition’.
Hart: Into fruition, that’s a good word isn’t it? Good, well until like three years ago, something? But again, we wouldn’t call it, we wouldn’t say that’s when it started either because it was just like we met Karl, and he was learning the bass. So we started writing songs but we didn’t really settle on drummers.
Stephen Hutton: How long were you going before I appeared? It’s learning for me too, you asking these questions.
Hart: Don’t know actually.
Jeremy Hatton: About six or seven weeks wasn’t it?
Hart: Yeah, about that. We were just writing little crappy songs and recording it on, like a dictaphone. But, this line up has only been together for bang on a year.
Hatton: Almost to the day I reckon.
Hart: Alright, ok. Happy anniversary.
Gary Geerlings: So, to shorten that answer, one year.
Why did you choose the name Silver Souvenirs, was there a reason behind it?
Geerlings: Quite a nice story behind it.
Hart: Yeah, it’s quite nice. Yeah, it’s an alright reason. Basically, my grandma wrote a book of poetry, called Souvenirs. And I keep it, like it’s always in my room somewhere. And me and Gaz were just trying to think of band names at one point. Then we looked over and I think one of us said souvenirs. And then I don’t think we wanted to just be called Souvenirs. Did we? For some reason.
Karl Faulkner: Wasn’t there another band called Souvenirs?
Hart: Yeah, there might have been another band called Souvenirs. So we whacked Silver in front of it.
Geerlings: We don’t know why actually. We put it in brackets as well.
Hatton: It was at the risk of it being shortened to The S.S.
Geerlings: Yeah yeah, that’s why. It couldn’t be Silver Souvenirs without it being shortened to the S.S.
Faulkner: Which people still do.
Hutton: People message us going: how’s the S.S going?
I’ll make sure I don’t do that.
Hart: Yeah, that’s good! (Laughs)
Hatton: The S.S, Birmingham faction!
Is there a specific style of music you aim to make when you write music?
Geerlings: When we write, it’s really important just to write something we think people can dance to.
Hatton: Yeah that’s definitely been…the last year has been us thinking of what we would like to dance to and trying to write stuff, musically, that people would respond to in that way.
Geerlings: We write songs to play live.
Hart: Yeah, it’s all about the gigs.
Hatton: It’s about making it a show and getting that response. As a band that has to try and get an audience, you know, get the attention of an audience. When we write songs, we do it to try and get them involved. And so, a lot of our stuff is, you know. It grabs an audience in. Yeah, we are really pleased with that’s the way it’s gone.
What’s the best song to play live? Which one goes down best?
Hart: That’s hard, but for some reason we get a really good response to ‘Shapes’. Haven’t we? Recently, which is like, it’s a fairly old song now, compared to the rest of our set.
Hatton: It’s also our slowest song. It’s the biggest song but it’s by no means the dance-iest song.
Hart: Definitely not, we put it in the middle of the set, because we thought it would be the down time.
Hatton: People starting asking us to play it at the end.
Hart: People seem to be like, nodding along, bobbing along to it more. I think all our songs get a really good response.
Hatton: ‘Divide’ has been going down really well. The sort of, audience participation part is really good.
Hart: Songs like ‘Divide’ haven’t been recorded yet, so no one’s heard of them.
Hatton: Soon to be recorded.
What are your upcoming plans in terms of recording?
Hutton: It’s an expensive process, that’s the problem. I’ve got my own home studio set up, just looking into doing the drums at the moment. It’s the hardest, most expensive part. So hopefully when we can sort that out, we can get recording in the next month. Like, really get going with that.
Hart: We are wanting to like, do it all ourselves. Because like Steve is all set up and he’s getting to know what we do.
Hatton: Trying to get something out for like, Christmas. Around that time, another EP. Because it’s been seven months since the last one and we don’t want to wait a year before doing another few tracks. That’s the plan.
I’m sure it’ll be on a lot of people’s Christmas lists.
Hart: Yeah, I hope so. We are going to do a launch party as well, around that kind of time. So hopefully we are just going to have a massive party, invite all our mates and just get somewhere for the whole night and then we’ll have DJs and that, just make a proper night of it.
Hutton: I’m thinking The Hare And Hounds. It’s really good around Christmas, really good atmosphere there as well. Get a massive night down there.
Do you feel as though you are building a fan base locally?
Hart: Well, yeah we seem to be now, don’t we?
Faulkner: Especially in the last few weeks because of like touring and stuff. Just, a lot of people seem to like…they are coming up and talking to us after gigs. It’s good man.
Hutton: It’s weird that our first gigs outside of Birmingham, were on this tour. All the different cities, they do have like, literally, different crowds. Different reactions. Each city is different to the next. It’s weird seeing it from that angle as well now.
Hatton: It’s interesting as well, we’ve done these gigs now, out of Birmingham and we are starting to see the response on our Facebook page. And the downloads we’ve had. It’s great that we are getting people from other places that are coming up to us and saying: what have you got coming out, whens the next thing coming, whens the next gig? And seeing familiar faces that aren’t just our friends, coming to different gigs. And you kind of, that’s really positive for us. People are coming and we’re looking around and seeing people posting our stuff saying: come to this gig. It’s really positive.
Hutton: It’s weird because we are getting to the point where Karl is getting stalkers now.
Hart: You’ve got the worst, what are you on about?
Who has got the creepy fans then?
Hart: Not going to mention any names.
Faulkner: Probably shouldn’t mention it on here…
Geerlings: They are probably going to read it!
Silver Souvenirs proceed to burst into laughter before explaining the story behind their not so secret admirers.
Hart: But, but off the record, there’s a woman that comments on every one of Steve’s Facebook statuses. Where is she from? Leeds? Or Sheffield?
Hutton: I’m not going to say her name, just in case. But I changed my settings on Facebook, on custom profile, then went to ‘hide everything from this person’. Because literally, like I’ll put a music video or something up, saying oh I like this song. Then she’ll be like: this is great, I’ve seen these live so many times. Then she’ll message me saying: ‘admiration on your music taste’. It’s like, leave me alone! (Laughs)
Hart: It was like, pissing it down the other day, and you put ‘rain’ and she commented going ‘sunny in Barnsley’.
The band erupt once again into laughter.
Hutton: Ten seconds after I posted it.
Is she always at your gigs then?
Hart: No, no. It’s not like Flight Of The Conchords yet.
Faulkner: Saying that, it is good that people are taking an interest in what we are doing in our personal life as well.
Hutton: With the band pages on Facebook, you can see how many people have shared your stuff, talking about it and stuff, so…Soundcloud as well, with graphs and stuff.
Soundcloud is great.
Hart: Yeah, just seeing the percentages of how much your downloads have gone up in the week, stuff like that.
Do you feel like you are a part of a music scene in Birmingham at all?
Hart: Mmmm….
Hutton: I’d say from when we started, about two years ago, it has changed a lot. With bands coming up, like there’s a, different generation coming through. Like in The Rainbow, around that area, there is different bands coming through. Like last week, at Zom B Prom, there was a band playing and I just had no idea who they were.
Hart: They were from London. The Dirty Projects…Projectors?
A debate begins over their name, the band eventually settle on The Dirty Secrets.
Hutton: It’s definitely changed though, again, going back to when we started, at The Adam And Eve round the corner. You go play a gig there and there’d be three people there, and that would be the bar staff basically. You’d be playing to an empty room, whereas now, it’s just completely changed. There are packed out nights, you can’t move in there. It’s definitely changing, like, it’s an interesting time.
Geerlings: There is a bit of a buzz about Birmingham music at the moment.
Do you feel like you have made a difference to the scene, as a band?
Hart: I don’t know, I’d like to think so. I’ve never really thought about that. I dunno.
Hutton: It’s strange like, thinking where we fit in as well. Over the past two years, we’ve had a change of drummers and things like that and we are just trying to find our sound. And where we fit into the scene has kind of changed over time as well. Hopefully, you know, we don’t want to be pigeon-holed and stuff like that. It’s a good thing I think.
Hart: I don’t know if we like, have much of an impact though. Do we? I don’t know, because I look at Troumaca and they are like, a bit influential on what we try and do. You think? I don’t know. I think so. Watching them live and stuff like that, it’s like…
Hutton: It’s because they’ve been doing it the longest I think. They were Scarlet Harlets and now they have sort of, taken that extra step. Gone up another level I think.
Faulkner: I think people look up to them because they have been doing it the longest.
Do you think you will ever experiment with different styles of music?
Hart: I think we like what we are doing now and there is still room for us to progress.
Hatton: It’s always progressing, because if you think about what we wrote a year ago, when I first joined, it’s very different to what we are doing now. It’s still identifiably us, but I think there is a greater maturity to what we are doing now. We are thinking about, not just what we like the sound of in the studio, but a bigger picture. Like how would it sound on record, how would it sound to a group of people listening to it? Would they respond to it? Are we going to respond to that? So I think, especially in the last three or four months particularly, especially coming up to this tour, a lot more thought has gone into how we put stuff together.
Geerlings: We’re not just a band who can go with it. We are very…we have a thought process.
Hatton: We are almost too critical of ourselves. We are perfectionists and we don’t want it to be anything other than 100%.
It’s good to have some quality control in place.
Hatton: Yeah, we have to tell each other to reign it in. Me usually, because I play the loudest instrument.
Hutton: Before we went on the tour, the gig before that, we had someone record it on video for us. And Jeremy, with the adrenaline and him getting into the music, some of our songs ended up like punk songs.
Hart: So fast!
Hatton: I think you just stitched me up there, but that’s fine.

So what’s the best gig you have played so far?
Another band debate takes place until a mutual agreement on Sheffield settles it.
Hatton: In Sheffield, we got the best response and we weren’t expecting it.
Faulkner: It was a really big, wide room as well.
Geerlings: Yeah, we played to like, about six hundred people.
Hatton: And six hundred people watched. It wasn’t just, like, on the tour we would get hit and miss responses. Because The Twang are a little bit older, there a bit older than us aren’t they? And the people would sort of be there to see them, and Sheffield…we recorded that one as well. We looked out and it was just packed, and we watched the video and it was mind blowing. Felt like, for us…
Hart: It was scary!
Hatton: And especially like, on the stage, struggling to see, with stage lights, who is there and stuff like that. We had a few people come to watch, so we recognised them. We looked at the video, and it was just right to the back, wall to wall. And like…
Hart: They were dancing. I can remember looking out and I could see people looking at your mouth and trying to sing back at you.
Hatton: The whole tour was good. There were some nights when we didn’t enjoy playing as much because we didn’t enjoy our own performances. But we recorded most of the performances and even on some of the ones where it wasn’t as packed like the Sheffield one or the Manchester one, people are still really going for it. That was what was really positive. Because we came out thinking: aww, that wasn’t the best, you know, we haven’t had a great night doing that, I’ve messed up or he’s messed up. But still, there is that good response. Which is really good and really positive for us.
Hutton: Playing to a room of people who aren’t there for you, at all. You never go to a gig thinking: ooh, I wonder what the support is.
Hart: It could’ve been a lot worse. I’ve seen support bands go down…
Geerlings: We thought of it as our own show, not supporting The Twang. We say, right, this is our show, we are going to do it.
Hatton: Yeah, it stood us in good stead. We said: we are going to do our thing, regardless. You know, we are supporting The Twang, really grateful to be here but we are not going to go into, like, not play our show. Not be who we are. I think that came across, like a lot of personality comes through in our shows.
Hutton: We like to look like we are enjoying it as well. Instead of taking it that seriously. We don’t want people just looking at us playing our instruments.
Hart: That’s why supporting Tribes was so good. I think we were all, well I was fucked. Were you fucked?
Hatton: Yeah, we just didn’t give a shit.
Hart: We just were like, we’ve done all these dates around the country, back in Birmingham, we were just like we’re going Snobs later, let’s just have a good night.
Hatton: I think we were more relaxed there than at any other point. It’s really odd because it didn’t dawn on me until we played that gig that we probably were quite a bit nervous each night on the Twang tour. Obviously that went away.
Hutton: Just looking out into the crowd, there is obviously those people just looking at you. And a few weeks ago, that really would of put us off but we just get into the habit off…
Hatton: Oi you, start dancing!
Hutton: You know, they should put their pint down and start smiling.
Hatton: Sam got really cocky, he was like: I’ve seen you dance, now I wanna see you sing. He pointed and just went: I wanna see you dance. That was really good, and they did!
Hutton: I was gonna say that to the guy down at the bar but he would probably just punch me. But luckily I had the barrier of about 40 people and some metal beams.
I think it’s good that you are writing music for people, not just yourselves. But is there any aspect of the band that you are doing just for yourselves? Is it therapeutic in any way?
Hutton: The song writing thing, definitely.
The actual playing of it. The doing it is the…
Hart: It’s just like, it’s a break isn’t it? You know, you get home from work and you think I’m going to go hang out with my mates now and play some music. Yeah. It’s definitely like, it’s down time. And also, the things that we write about and that are in our lyrics are all pretty…like we aren’t just talking about going out and getting pissed or whatever. We are talking about, well, we hope more meaningful stuff. So it is, like you say, kind of therapeutic to express it in that way. And that definitely helps.
How do you go about writing songs together?
Hart: It’s kind of changed recently actually. Before, it used to be a lot of me, Gaz and Karl getting together and just…
Faulkner: Three chords and a verse sort of thing.
Hart: Yeah, then we’d show Steve and Steve would put some lyrics or whatever to it. Now it’s like, it’s more a group process. Everyone is just involved now.
Faulkner: Mainly because of the lock up now, isn’t it? We have our own lock up now, so we can meet whenever, for as long as we want. It just makes sense for just all of us to be there while we are writing.
Hatton: It’s more of a democratic process, we can do it now instead of like, let’s wait to see what he thinks. Like, he’s not here tonight so we gotta wait to see what lyrics he’s going to do. But at the same time, you will sit and play at home. You’ll think of something and bring it to the table.
Faulkner: Before Jeremy came along, it was like, us four and a drummer. We would kind of go, we’ve written this, now play to that. But we had problems getting the chemistry right. But now, with Jezz, because Jezz is like a good singer as well.
Geerlings: A creative mind.
Faulkner: We are all on the same page.
Hatton: We are all looking to try and do the same thing. And because we are all friends, we can say what we like. And although we can’t sort of, swap instruments, we’ll say: what about trying this? So guitar will often help out bass. And they’ll say Jezz, what about trying this on drums? Or lyrics, or harmonies, that sort of thing. It’s really open in that way. And that’s good because no one takes it personally. Like, not anymore.
Do you ever have any disagreements?
Geerlings: Definitely.
Hutton: All the time. But that’s really healthy.
Faulkner: I don’t think any band is like…
Hatton: If a band is painting a picture that they don’t, they are lying.
Hart: Well…I think some bands don’t argue. I reckon they just…
Hutton: Well some bands it’s not democratic, it’s like: I’ve written this song. You have one person that does all the writing behind it.
Hart: There is a lot of like, strong personalities in this...sitting here right now. So like, they can conflict sometimes. Can’t they? But it’s all good, it’s all healthy.
Have any of you been in bands before Silver Souvenirs?
Hart: Come on Karl!
Faulkner: What man?
Hart: Come on, tell us about your band. What was it called?
Faulkner: The first band I was in was like a metal, screamo band. Which I was the singer of.
Sam Hart can’t contain his amusement over this fact, and starts laughing.
Faulkner: And then I was in like a, sort of pop punk band.
Geerlings: What were they called again?
Faulkner: Which one?
Hart: Both of them.
Faulkner: The first band was called Hope Fails.
Hart: Ahh, that’s very negative.
Faulkner: Second band was called…I have no idea. Dunno, can’t remember.
Are you glad to be in Silver Souvenirs now?
Faulkner: Definitely. In the second band I was with, that was when I started to play bass. And then I met Gaz and Sam. And since, like, as soon as I met them, my ability to play just went like loads loads better. Just because I was playing more and they were just helping me. Sort of. Because I never really had any lessons or anything. Just meeting Gaz and Sam who had been playing guitar for a couple of years just helped me progress loads. And now, I’m doing pretty well man.
Hart: You’re alright now, aint yah?
Faulkner: I wasn’t that good before.
Do any of you make music on your own at all?  Are there any side projects going on?
Hutton: I’ve just been messing around with the production side of things. I really like the sort of future garage, stuff like bass music, Jamie XX and the like. That’s something I really like getting into on the side. But it’s really time consuming as well, trying to be, like, doing that and being a lyricist whilst trying to learn how to record stuff. It can be time consuming just trying to fit all that in. And talking about past bands, I was in a little blues band. That’s how I started out. I was the bass player. When I met Gaz, he was like: I need a singer. I was like: I can kind of sing. It was really weird, that first gig. I always had the guitar in front of me but it went from that to a mic stand. Which on the first gig we played as Silver Souvenirs, just as the intro was ending, I kicked something and all four mic stands just went down. That’s the problem with first impressions, you only get one.
Geerlings: It was about fifteen seconds into our first song. And he just kicked everything over.
Hutton: I’m always some how kicking Gaz or unplugging a guitar.
Hart: It’s hard to fit five people on some stages. He kicked a monitor off the stage one time. It just went clunk.
Hutton: I was trying to do that thing where you know, the singer goes and puts his foot up on the thing.
Hatton: A good one actually was when we had a gig at the O2, in April I think, maybe later. And Steve plays the drums in one of the tracks. He plays a tom in one of the songs. And we watched the video, like: oh we’ll check the performance out. It was like bang bang, drum stick gone.
Hutton: I dropped both sticks. I was just trying to enjoy it and I wasn’t thinking about it. That was the first gig where I probably could of cried but I just couldn’t help but laugh at myself. I was drumming away in this song, like, trying to get all into it. Then I dropped one drum stick, and I was like, it’s fine, I’ve got another one. Then that’s gone as well.
Hatton: It looks good on video. It’s comedic.
Have you got any gigs coming up?
Hart: Well yeah, we got the EP in Christmas.
Hatton: In Christmas?
Hart: In Christmas. We’re supporting Dutch Uncles on the 23rd November at The Hare And Hounds. Yeah, can’t wait for that. And Corelli as well. Who are sound, and really good as well. There’s that but then after that we’ve got a couple of things in December but nothing has been finalized. We can’t really say about that. There’s at least one or two things that are pretty big man! We can’t wait but…
Hatton: It’s all paper work.
Hart: Yeah, we’ve gotta sign something. But yeah, December will be really good if those two things go off.
Hatton: They will coincide nicely with an EP release.
Hart: Then I think in January, we are playing with Troumaca actually. Does anyone know that?
Is that going to be a Troumaca And Friends show?
Hart: Yeah, we were going to do it last month but we were away over Summer so we wouldn’t have been ready.
Hutton: We ended up doing our first DJ thing there though.
Is that something you’ll carry on doing?
Hutton: Yeah, but again it’s an expensive thing to get your own CDJs. I use a laptop.
Hatton: It keeps the name out there as well, don’t it?
Hart: Yeah it seems like most bands now are doing DJ sets. It’s a good way to be involved with the gig even if you aren’t playing it.
Hutton: Instead of playing your music to people, you are saying this is the kind of music I like and that inspires me. And we can share that with people.
You can cheekily drop your own track in.
Faulkner: Got played in Snobs the other day.
Hutton: You know you’ve made it when you’ve been played in Snobs.