Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Interview: REWS

REWS Interview REMY
Photo: Jonny Finnis

REWS - Shake Shake

Info: London & Belfast pop rock duo REWS kick-off their U.K. & Irish Tour today in Nottingham, a tour which will conclude with shows in Dublin (23rd March, Whelan's) and Belfast (24th March, McHugh's). Today also sees the release of the official video for latest single 'Shake Shake' from their critically acclaimed debut album Pyro which was released in November at the end of last year on Marshall Records and recorded at Abbey Studios. 

Shauna and Collette took time out of their busy schedule to chat to REMY about beginnings, balance and current happenings.

REMY: On previous singles and of course your debut album Pyro which was released towards the end of last year, you’ve consistently applied your hard-rock sound across everything you do. For both of you, which acts within the genre have gripped you the most, not necessarily in terms of their releases, but more with regard to the type of impact you both want your music to make on an audience / listener?

Collette: Personally, I'd say it's been an eclectic mix of old and new! For me it's everything from Foo Fighters to Bring Me the Horizon, Nothing But Thieves and Biffy Clyro. We love their energy and try to honour that in our own delivery.

Shauna: Yep, totally agree. We’re also really keen to empower people and encourage them to sing their hearts out and so any artists who connect with their audiences in this way, we aspire to. Recently I’ve been in awe of Annie (St. Vincent) what an amazing talent!! Seeing her live just shows how important performance and interaction is. She has such a radiating, strong aura with an incredible band! Her audience are totally captivated & transported to a really magical place and we try to bring that to our performance too. 

REMY: Casting your minds back to the beginning of REWS, I recall you had a live session with BBC Radio Ulster in 2015 where you recorded two videos, with just vocals and piano. It was (is) a really interesting side of the band many people might not be aware of. Is that unstripped format of vocals and piano how you write songs together at their inception before throwing the wall of noise into the mix or what is your most common composition method?

REWS: Blimey, yeah that was a while back!! Has someone been trawling through YouTube..? Haha! 

The writing process is quite varied! Usually one of us comes with an idea or a fully formed song that we flesh out together and other times we have a fully fledged jam session and develop something epic together from the bones out!  Either way a lot of it requires time spent in front of both electric and acoustic instruments... and scrappy lyric pads! It is great fun! We still do acoustic shows now and again which are more stripped back like that session, usually acoustic guitar and cajon and we love the dynamic of this!

REWS - Your Tears

REMY: You guys have had huge support, and rightly so, from BBC Radio, particularly the Across The Line show since you started out. As a medium, how important do you think radio airplay is in the Internet Age?

REWS: Yeah, thank you! We are very appreciative of the play from Across the Line and all our radio supporters! We've been really lucky with radio support. Recently we were BBC Introducing 'Track of the Week' on Radio 1 and we saw so much traffic from that and new fans! Radio is definitely is still an important medium as it does open up new doors to audiences - but also the internet age has changed the impact in someways... so it's equally as important to gain support across streaming sites (such as Spotify) and get onto taste-maker playlists. 

REMY: Your achievements since starting out roughly 2 and a half years ago have been impressive in such a short space of time. You played the John Peel Glastonbury Stage last year, received unanimous praise (including some hard to please music critics!) for debut LP Pyro across the U.K. and Ireland, from the likes of Hot Press, The Moshville Times and The Last Mixed Tape. In addition to the aforementioned radio play you also have respected fans on the airwaves via Kerrang! and The London Ear on RTÉ’s 2XM. Have you become accustomed to where you find yourselves today or do you still pinch yourselves? And what have been both of your stand out highlights since you started out, that special moment?

Collette: Oh definitely still pinch ourselves. We don't take anything for granted at all. We might have caviar on the rider but we're still down to earth...(joke!). We will always continue to work harder and not let it go to our heads, but on the flip side it's really amazing to be receiving so much support and appraise for what we're doing. For me, that game changer had to be Glastonbury, we both looked at each other on stage and had that 'Fucking hell!!' Moment. 

Shauna: Yep, Collette hit the nail on the head! It has been quite an epic journey so far and we are continually being surprised! But it is a lot of hard work that is paying off too - and that hard work helps to keep you grounded! There have been so many little special moments. I loved Glastonbury too... but I do recall on our last tour, we had an epic London show (sold out!) with loads of our fans, friends and family there and there was a beautiful moment when everyone was singing and dancing along... it's so nice to see people getting lost in the music!

REWS - Miss You In The Dark

REMY: Something I’ve started to notice with more frequency among independent artists at all levels is fatigue relating to the huge demands put on them, some are quite open about it and others reflect on it in their song-writing. It must feel like the online era acts almost like an open door that can be hard to close at times, with very little time to contemplate on commitments. Is that a space you've found yourselves in at any point and if so, how have you learned to cope with?

Shauna: Totally, I actually have been trying to create some kind of schedule to dedicate to 'online' times - because its so easy to get caught up in everything and when you feel like you’re constantly connected, it leaves very little space as you say, to be creative, to contemplate or to be mindful - all of which are so important to help yourself healthy and balanced!  I find that forcing myself to do some yoga or go for a run really helps to gain a bit of clarity and time out from it all. 

Collette: I think that’s a really realistic observation. Yes, I think most artists must feel like that. Personally, in the digital age everything is about instant gratification. People want more, and right away. It's difficult to juggle that with a day job and trying to make sure your fans remain happy. It's all about finding that happy medium and realising that you're not super human, everyone needs their own time and space. It's an ever changing industry and I guess you gotta just surf the waves.

REMY: Finally. Latest single ‘Shake Shake’ has just released ahead of your next two Irish dates in Dublin & Belfast on the 23rd and 24th of March, true to form it’s an infectious piece of simultaneously moody and hook-laden gratification for rock fans like myself. Although it will be a while away with Pyro just hot off the press, have you had any early thoughts on ideas or shifts in sound for album No.2 yet?

REWS: Yes! We're already thinking forward to the next record. Obviously we're still blissfully delivering Pyro at our live shows, but new ideas are bubbling away in the background. I think our sound is rooted in an energetic, hooky delivery and that will remain, but we're both excited to see which direction our next offerings will take. 

REWS plays upstairs at Whelans on Friday 23rd March – Tickets €13.75 on sale now from Ticketmaster Ireland
REWS UK Irish Tour Whelan's Ticketmaster

No comments:

Post a Comment