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Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Carpels Interview

The Carpels are a Birmingham - based band consisting of Dylan Williams (vocals); Michael Darby (guitar & vocals); Tom Michin (lead guitar); Ewan Wallace (bass) & Jacob McQue (drums). They are a post-punk, new wave indie band and are signed to the independent record label 'One Beat Records'. I sent them some questions about
their background, influences and ambitions.

When, where and how did you form as a band?
Dylan Williams: "We all went to the same secondary school in Moseley, Birmingham and in year 7 Jacob (Drummer), Ewan (bass) and Michael (guitar and vocals) started the band. Back then it started as like a proper rock and roll trio with song titles such as 'death will get you in the end'. It was nothing serious, just a bit of fun and then after a couple of years Tom (lead guitarist) joined and the band took off in a completely different direction creating and writing tricky and spikey intertwining guitar riffs. That was really the foundations upon which the band's music is built upon today. Another couple years later just as we were entering our last year of school the lads appraoched me and asked if I wanted to have a go at singing in the band and I just went for it and yeah, its all gone from there really."

How long have you each being playing your respective instruments?
Dylan Williams: "Jacob had never picked up a pair of sticks until the band started about 6 years ago. Its probably the same for Ewan with his bass as well actually. To be honest, none of us really knew how to play any of our instruments before we joined the bands at our different times, so really the band itself has kind of taught us entirely to be the musicians we are now in that respect."

Who are your musical inspirations?
Dylan Williams: "We all have our different opinions and love for different artists. For example, Tom is mad for that Johnny Marr sound with his guitar and he is really into bands like The Stone Roses and My Bloody Valentine. I know Jacob loves Travis Barker and Ewan takes inspiration from Joy Division and Metronomy esque bass lines. Michael's baratone vocals are influenced hugely by bands like New Order and again Joy Division. Vocally I'm very influenced by bands such as The Cribs and The Libertines. Although we all kind of take our own inspirations and put it into our personal performances, as a band our inspirations come from artists such as The Maccabees and The Strokes."

You released your brilliant new single 'Bears' last week, what is the song about?
Dylan Williams: "Its a song about a girl who is in love with a guy who isn't a very nice guy at all. He beats her up and goes out and robs people and stuff. She kinda knows she shouldn't be with him but its that whole concept of a girl being attracted to the 'bad boy'. I suppose its kind of a punky episode of that Rihanna song 'We Found Love' if you know what I mean. It took influence from the riots in Britain last summer and has a kind of domestic violence theme running through it but from a friend's point of view instead of the girl's."

When can we expect the new album?
Dylan Williams: "Well we are still writing a lot of new material and have recently recorded some rough demo's which will be put up on Youtube soon and will be accompanied by a video. They won't be released, just to be heard on Youtube to keep people going before we release anything proper. Album wise, i'm not sure to be honest with you."

How do you feel about the general absence of guitar bands in the charts?
Dylan Williams: "It's funny you ask that actually because we were talking about this the other day. Like I cant remember guitar music ever being in the charts and its just weird to think that like The stone roses and others used to get into it. The charts in my memory has always just been populated by people like Rihanna and Eminem. Don't get me wrong though, I love chart music, Rihanna is the best!!! Haha you need some cheesy synth lines and a bit of Dappy every now again I think! But yeah to answer your question I don't really mind that guitar music doesn't make it into the charts. It would ruin it I think because everybody would be trying to do it and it could create a kind of generic sound that the charts have turned r'n'b music into. Guitar music will be loved by its fans no matter where it appears."

What are you most looking forward to this year?
Dylan Williams: "We all leave college this year and are taking a year out to focus entirely on the band so that will be fun. We are hopefully going to do some festivals in the summer and I cant wait to get back into the studio to get some proper recordings down."

What are your aspirations as a band?
We just want to keep writing and gigging which will hopefully lead us to the next level where we find our selves making a proper career out of doing what we do. We have a drive and passion for this and we want to do it all day everyday and if we are lucky that can happen at some point in the future.