Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Leanne Smith Interview: 10/01/14

Posted: February 11, 2014 in Interviews

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Leanne Smith is a twenty-year-old guitarist from Macduff who loves to sing and write songs.

Leanne studied music at Aberdeen College which proved to be a fantastic learning experience. She is currently based in Perth, Scotland, where she is continuing her studies in music at Perth College UHI.

She has supported Lucy Rose, John Smith, Fossil Collective, Sandi Thom, The Birthday Suit, The Darling Mundaring, Kate McGil, Cara Mitchell and various other artists and bands.

In an interview with Band Age, Smith tells us what life as an upcoming musician is really like and how she juggles her career and college at the same time.

 

Dead Poets Interview

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Interviews

Since forming in 2008, Mark and Mixy have been challenging the preconceptions of poetry and hip-hop across the country. As ‘Dead Poets,’ they have performed in venues ranging from nightclubs to secondary schools; from festivals to formal dinners. They appeared on Radio 6 Live with Steve Merchant and have recently been on a National tour with Phrased and Confused.

‘Dead Poets’ now have an extended show with the help of Arts Council funding. The new show is gearing up for another tour, and they are currently taking bookings for hip-hop and/or poetry gigs.

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Mc Mixy has been writing and performing from the age of 13 in and around the Peterborough area, and for the last three years has become increasingly present within hip hop and poetry circles across the UK. Along with being half of the double act ‘Dead Poets’ with mark grist Mixy is founder, host, resident and promoter of Peterborough’s ‘Locality’ along with a team of other artists local to the Peterborough area.

Locality aims to give local artists the chance to perform and develop their skills, whilst bringing some of the best names in UK hiphop to the city. Mixy has performed across clubs, pubs, schools, bus stops and festival tents across the country and spends a lot of spare time being involved with various local youth projects.

On his 2009 Mixtape (the MMIX Mixture Mixtape by Mixy) he has collaborated with 13 other artists including singers, guitarists, beatboxers, poets, producers and a wide range of MCs. He is currently working on another solo project to follow up the MMIX Mixture Mixtape. Mixy likes to stray from the stereotypes of hip hop and a lot of his material is rooted in issues and events he has experienced in his time. Always keen on experimenting with the art form, Mixy employs a range of styles and storytelling techniques in his performances and the pieces vary in their content, from fact to fiction, from serious to humorous.

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Mark Grist is an overly enthusiastic English teacher based in Peterborough. Described as ‘fast paced’ and ‘a favourite on the spoken word scene,’ Mark’s poetry has gone down surprisingly well with those who probably know a lot more about it than he does. He has been fortunate enough to have performed in a range of pubs, theatres and clubs across the country, as well as hitting several festivals during the summer.

Over the past two years he has gained the title ‘Peterborough Poet Laureate in 2008’ and ‘Chief Bard of the Fens in 2009,’ much to his Mother’s delight. Mark’s double act, ‘Dead Poets’ with hiphop artist MC Mixy has been on a National tour and was featured on Steve Merchant’s show on Radio 6.

After an extended writing break/holiday in jersey, ‘Dead Poets’ are touring again in the spring as well as hitting the Edinburgh Fringe in the summer. Mark is currently working on a solo project titled ‘Shetland Boy’ that involves him returning to Unst (the most northern island in Great Britain) where he grew up. When this is finished he looks forward to having a nap in his hammock.

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After opening for Bon Jovi on their 2013 UK stadium tour in front of 250,000 people, Of Kings And Captains plan to release their second single in the autumn of 2013. Of Kings And Captains is a four-piece rock/pop band made up of lead vocalist Luke Wassell, drummer Kieran Lock, Bass guitarist Dean Greatbatch and guitarist Joshua Lomas. All four members were born and raised in Stourbridge just outside Birmingham; cousins Luke and Dean met their future band members while studying music at university. Currently on tour promoting their recent single ‘Maybe Just Ok” I went along to Glasgow’s famous King Tuts to meet them.

I know that you are a fairly new band, but what would you say has been your career highlight so far? We just did a UK tour with Bon Jovi and played some major cities in the UK like Glasgow, Birmingham and Cardiff. We also shared a stage with one of main influences, Kids in Glasshouses. Getting to meet them was a good thing but to be able to play with them and have a drink and a laugh with them as well was even better. We actually went to see them play live about three years ago and we said that we would play with them one day and we got that dream.

So playing alongside Kids in Glasshouses was a childhood dream?  Not childhood but through college, like they were a newish band so our influences back then were pretty much 90s punk rock, early on like your Blinks, fallout boy, but Kids In Glasshouses are defiantly a modern influence. It’s more like their sound rather than their genre.

What’s your favourite song to perform? Josh: actually my favourite one no one has heard because we only wrote it like about two weeks ago and tonight is the first time we are playing it live, it’s called Breathe In. Dean, Luke: our favourite would have to be Takes All Night, it’s just really fun to play and gets the crowd going. Kieran: for me it has to be gossip, it’s got like a good beat to it that I find is quite nice.

What’s the hardest song to perform? (Laughs) All of them, depending on how much you’ve had to drink I suppose. Though You and I can be quite funny to play cause of the key it’s played in and its fairly new so that could make it hard to play at times.

You all seem really close but after spending all day, every day together on tour, do you find that there are a lot of fights and disagreements? Josh: They all bully me. Luke: Me and Kieran always fight and when we get bored we pick on Josh. The Dean chips in sometimes and he often change which side he’s on, some would say that Josh is the runt of the band.

What sort of pranks do you play on each other? (All laugh) the best one we have ever done, we were at our local studio and some of our friends were rehearsing in another room and we dared josh to get naked and run in but instead of telling him what room our friends were in we told him to run in one were some old men were playing in, he was clueless, meanwhile we are outside rolling on the floor laughing. The next day the drummer from that band and in and says, ‘I recognise you from somewhere’ and Josh just says sorry for running in on you naked. A more recent one was when we taped Josh’s hat to the seat, we thought he fell asleep and the hat was covering his face so when he went to sit up he would be stuck. So we have just kind of learned to sleep with one eye open really.

If you could say one thing to your fans right now, what would you say? Just basically ‘thank you’, we are a new band so any support we get is much appreciated, already we have some dedicated fans who go out their way to help us and promote our music, without them we wouldn’t have gotten the chance to play alongside Bon Jovi.

Of Kings And Captains continue to tour the UK in venues similar to Glasgow’s King Tuts in hope to gain more fans and promote their new single. The boys hope to have their own stadium tour one day saying ‘once we become more established we would love to get bands that we have met who were like us, trying to make it big, and take them on tour with us, give them the chance we got whilst touring with Bon Jovi’

-Words By Michele Kennedy-