Art & Design blog: Music

XETH meet Nashville rockers Staying For The Weekend

Artist / designer:   Staying For The Weekend

Warning: Use of undefined constant author - assumed 'author' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/xeth/public_html/wp-content/themes/xeth2015/loop.php on line 123
Article author:   Charlotte Bradford
Published:   Fri, 8 Sep 2017

 

Photographer: Christina Morgan

Photographer: Christina Morgan

Indie – garage rockers Staying For The Weekend hail from Nashville Tennessee.  Their most recent single Hell No was debuted in Alternative Press magazine. They released a music video, showcasing their penchant for competition and hot peppers, for the track with Highlark Entertainment  shortly after their EP release in February and toured America in June. Xeth met the band when supporting The Boobies at The Bowery Electric. We asked them about their proudest achievement so far and what they like to listen to on tour.

XETH: At what age did you start to take an interest in the field you work in?

SFTW: We all started playing together in early high school, around 9 years ago. Although, I wouldn’t consider us a full time band until the more recent years

X: What’s your proudest achievement so far?

We just did our first tour in June up to New York City and back. It was nice to meet some longtime fans and make some new ones.

X: What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?

Balancing our outside lives with our band lives. It is hard to find time to have a strong social life and participate in a band, while also working a job.

X: What are your top three favourite songs to listen to when on tour?

Toast by Evan Stephens Hall

Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings

Roses by Outkast

Photographer: Erik Maynard

Photographer: Erik Maynard

X: What is your favourite music venue and why?

The End in Nashville Tennessee. It was our first show where we played to no one and also our first sold out show, so it is kind of Home to us.

X: Name three creatives who have inspired you over the past 10 years?

David Byrne from Talking Heads

Nels Cline from Wilco

Evan Stephens Hall from Pinegrove

X: Have you got any exciting projects coming up in the near future?

We just finished recording a new single called Alive and are going back into the studio in September to record some more tunes. We will release a single in late fall/early winter and then a full EP or LP in Spring.

Photographer: Erik Maynard

Photographer: Erik Maynard

X: If you weren’t musicians what other careers would you have chosen?          

I, Kürt, have no idea what I would have done, maybe something with brewing beer. Wade, our bassist, would be a fly fishing guide. Mac, our drummer, would be an audio engineer/ coffee enthusiast.

X: What advice would you give to younger people who want to work in the music industry?

It takes a lot of grit and persistence. You need to show yourself and everyone else that it is something you truly want to do.

XETH meet recording & mix engineer Olga Fitzroy

Artist / designer:   Olga Fitzroy

Warning: Use of undefined constant author - assumed 'author' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/xeth/public_html/wp-content/themes/xeth2015/loop.php on line 123
Article author:   Charlotte Bradford
Published:   Tue, 15 Aug 2017

Photographer: Nigel Jopson

Photographer: Nigel Jopson

Olga Fitzroy is a recording and mix sound engineer who joined AIR Management in 2013. In 2016, she won the MPG Award for Recording Engineer and has worked on many projects with different artists, most notably with Coldplay on Ghost Stories and A Head Full of Dreams, Guillemots and Noah & The Whale.

In 2012, Olga mixed many of the performances featured in the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony and accompanying album. She also provided pre-production for Coldplay’s Paralympic Closing Ceremony performance and also engineered on their live album/DVD. Olga’s film credits include Atonement, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Hobbit. XETH were delighted to catch up with the engineer this month and hear how she juggles such a busy schedule.

XETH: At what age did you start to take an interest in the field you work in? 

Olga Fitzroy: Probably from about 15, I was really into my music at the time, and had just completed a week’s work-experience working with Sound and Lighting technicians at a local theatre.

X: What’s your proudest achievement so far? 

O: It’s difficult to choose. Engineering Ghost Stories for Coldplay was pretty cool, as was mixing the music for the Olympics Closing Ceremony in 2012.

X: What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?

O: I guess the most challenging thing is trying to figure out what the client wants or needs when sometimes they don’t even know themselves. That’s where experience comes in. The chances are, that after 14 years in the studio, I’ve probably seen a similar situation before or been faced with a similar decision to make and can sometimes guide the client into making the right decision on something.

X: What are your top three favourite songs?

O: Really difficult this oneDreaming by Blondie, Faith by George Michael and Broken Heart by Spiritualized. Not necessarily the top 3 ever, but the top 3 that pop into my head right now.

Photographer: Rianna Tamara

Photographer: Rianna Tamara

X: What is your favourite London music venue and why?

O: I like The 100 Club for small things. The Electric Brixton I think is fantastic. It’s like a smaller and better version of the O2 Academy Brixton.

X: Name three creatives who have inspired you over the past 10 years?

O: I think Chris Martin is inspiring as he always challenges himself to try something new. It may not all be to everybody’s taste, but he does stuff that he loves and that is new to him, regardless of what people think. I think Nick Cave is amazing and I love Billy Bragg as he brings politics into music which I think is important.

X: Have you got any exciting projects coming up in the near future?

O: I’m working on a couple of projects this summer that unfortunately I can’t talk about till they’re announced, but I’ve just finished mixing the Mario Grigorov‘s score for  Look Away by film director Assaf Bernstein. A gorgeous orchestral score with some darker electronic elements as well.

X: If you weren’t a recording and mix engineer what other career would you have chosen?

O: I think politics is really fascinating. I wouldn’t be a front-line politician as I don’t really like being centre of attention, but maybe working in research or journalism would be interesting. I’ve recently started a campaign for Shared Parental Pay for self-employed people and during the course of this have been lobbying politicians and getting a little glimpse of how it all works.

X: What advice would you give to younger people who want to work in the music industry? 

O: Only do this job if you really really want to do it. There absolutely are opportunities out there, but you have to be incredibly committed. If you go about it in a half-arsed only-interested-some-of-the-time kind of way you won’t get anywhere, and just end up wasting your time.

For more information, visit Olga Fitzroy’s website

XETH meet garage-pop four piece The Boobies

Artist / designer:   The Boobies

Warning: Use of undefined constant author - assumed 'author' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/xeth/public_html/wp-content/themes/xeth2015/loop.php on line 123
Article author:   Charlotte Bradford
Published:   Fri, 4 Aug 2017

Photographer: Kevin W Condon

Photographer: Kevin W Condon

The Boobies, originating from North Carolina and Texas, are Andrew Jernigan (Ace) on drums & backing vocals, Jesse Starr on bass & backing vocals, Joshua Brocki (Josh) on lead vocals & rhythm guitar and Manquillian Minniefee (Manq) on lead guitar & vocals. I was fortunate to meet the band in New York City this summer after their Bowery Electric gig and hear what they have to say about the music industry, what inspires them and the most challenging aspect of their work.

XETH: At what age did you start to take an interest in the field you work in?

Andrew: After a few “jam sessions”, complete with six packs of Tecate and Budweiser, we were hooked on our collaboration and the original music that we were creating out of our different tastes in genre. We were discovering our own sound, our own energy, and after our first show in east Bushwick at the since closed Goodbye Blue Monday, we found that our music attracted our friends as well as walk-ins from the street. So the momentum was set and we started this band.

Jesse: I was 12 when I saw Mark Harshfield play a guitar solo in the talent show at my elementary school. He was wearing a Winnie the Pooh costume and played with his mouth. It was awesome and it inspired me to pick up the guitar.

Josh: I started making songs when I was teenager. I would have melodies in my head and would write out lyrics to them even though I couldn’t play an instrument at the time. I ended up getting into poetry and performing live readings in my local coffee shops

Manq: I knew I wanted to play music when my dad showed me a video tape of The Talking Heads “Stop Making Sense” tour. I wanted to play the drums and my mom got me a practice pad for Christmas which was not satisfying for me. When I was about 12 or 13 years old I finally picked up a guitar and learned and had an older kid teach me how to play “Wild Thing”. It felt so good to play a song. The rest was history.

X: What’s your proudest achievement so far?

A: The biggest thrill is gaining clout in the competitive circle of musicians and venues in the NYC area. The reaction to The Boobies has consistently been one of excitement, and for those who hear us for the first time, seeing their surprise and finding their support at future shows gives us fuel to make more music and broaden our audience as much as possible.

Je: Although it has yet to be achieved I am super proud of the record we’re about to release. It took a ton of effort by a lot of amazing people to prepare us for these latest tracks.

Jo: This band.

M: Honestly, I’m most proud of how far this band has come. We’re writing songs that we’re proud of and traction.

Photographer: Kevin W Condon

Photographer: Kevin W Condon

X: What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?

A: “Mo’ money, mo’ problems”. With financial support, we are now building an album, buying a van, developing merchandise and branding, and working towards a touring schedule. The Boobies are a small business and we are beholden to more people than just ourselves. Figuring out that transition from musicians to business people has been a challenge and a learning experience for us. But we got this.

Je: Other work is the most challenging aspect of the work I do with The Boobies. Piecing together 4 different schedules is tough.

Jo: I have a habit of trashing songs before they come to their fruition because I lose interest or I just get stuck. I’m learning to have patience with the work.

M: Learning how the music industry works has been a challenge. I think we all got into this for the love of writing, playing and performing and the general love for the music. We’ve found that the industry isn’t always about the music or the performance. It’s tough balancing what we love about what we do and why we do it in the first place, and what is necessary to further our career in the industry without sacrificing our integrity as musicians first and business men second. That’s definitely been a challenge.

What are your top three favourite songs to listen to when on tour?

A: The Only Moment We Were Alone by Explosions In The Sky on tour in Texas, The Good Times Are Killing Me by Modest Mouse and Run For Your Life by The Beatles.

Je: I enjoy listening to music on repeat but that list is ever-changing. So at the moment my top 3 are Fingerprints by Hiatus Kaiyote, Easy Money by King Crimson and Rae Sremmurd by Black Beatles Ft. Gucci Mane.

Jo: Surf Wax America by Weezer, Search and Destroy by The Stooges and Add It Up by Violent Femmes.

M: Iggy Pop always gets me in show mode. Duke Ellington always helps calm my nerves. And John Prine just puts a big smile on my face. Especially his self titled album.

Photographer: Kevin W Condon

Photographer: Kevin W Condon

What is your favourite music venue and why?

All: Rockwood Music Hall – Lower East Side, NYC. We’ve played a multitude of shows here, including New Year’s Eve 2016 and 2017. Rockwood has consistently been one of our biggest supporters, from their sound team, to the bartenders, to ol’ Ken Rockwood himself. Their stage boasts vibrant red walls, two levels of audience, three stages, and a finessed sound system to boot.

Name three creatives who have inspired you over the past 10 years?

A: Damon Albarn, Louis CK and Bernie Sanders

Je: The politician Bernie Sanders proved that anything is possible, even when navigating a broken industry. The writer Tom Robbins is my favorite author and I self-medicate with his prose. The musician Adrian Belew and his ability to blend pop and progressive rock has helped me define my approach to writing music.

Jo: Iggy Pop, Pee Wee Herman and Bob Fosse

M: Gary Clarke Jr. is an amazing guitarist. Taking rock n’ roll to a place that was lost in the grunge and indie flood that came from the 90’s and early 2000’s. Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong have always been a great study for me as far as chord arrangement and creative melody lines (I know that’s two but I’m putting them together as one). And the first two Kings of Leon albums just remind me that if it ain’t fun and if it don’t feel good, then what’s the point.

Have you got any exciting projects coming up in the near future?

A: We are dangerously close to our debut album, currently titled One Night Stand. We’ve been working on it for almost a year, and feel the hunger to get it out there. The studio roughs themselves sound amazing.

Je: I just received a text that we purchased a van, so installing a mini fridge and disco ball is the next exciting project.

Children of a Dark Art

If you weren’t musicians what other careers would you have chosen?

A: Film and Video

Je: Eating from the trash and drinking from the toilet

Jo: Bartending by the beach

M: I think I would have gone into some sort of field related to anthropology. One of the reasons I love writing songs and then performing them is I like seeing how different chord combos and feels are received by an audience. I think I would enjoy studying people and the things that affect them culturally and socially and why. So yeah.

What advice would you give to younger people who want to work in the music industry?

A: Find musicians that you like to work with and who’s specific set of skills you admire. Ourselves, we’re a rag tag team of musicians, artists and performers, with different talents that balance out our supposed weaknesses. Then get lucky and find a manager who believes in your unique voice rather than one that tries to shape you into another numb nut in the music industry.

Je: Be honest, humble, outstanding, and don’t be an asshole or take things personally.

Jo: Be honest and fuck up. That’s the best way to make a story.

M: If you want to be a musician then be a musician and believe in what you do and don’t compromise your integrity. If you want to be a business man then be a business man and believe in your product. If you can manage to be both then balance the integrity of both sides. I’ve only had a tiny nibble of the music industry and it’s already baffling. I would say make your own music industry. Make your own community of likeminded musicians and producers and engineers and creatives. Create your own buzz. Your own hype. Don’t rely on record deals from the multibillion dollar business. Look for the record labels that are in it for the music not the money. And stay away from the cocaine.

For more information and tour dates, visit We Are The Boobies

 

XETH interview Jay Clique

Artist / designer:   Jay Clique

Warning: Use of undefined constant author - assumed 'author' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/xeth/public_html/wp-content/themes/xeth2015/loop.php on line 123
Article author:   Charlotte Bradford
Published:   Wed, 2 Aug 2017

AirBrush_20170623194318

Photographer: PDL II

Multi-talented artist Jay Clique originates from the steel city of Sheffield and has developed his sound over the years taking inspiration from his childhood music. Gospel music plays an integral role as well as R&B and Hip-hop. Jay often refers to Ludacris as the “first rapper I really got into”. XETH met with the producer, rapper & singer this month to discuss the album he’s working on and what inspires him in the studio.

XETH: At what age did you start to take an interest in the field you work in?

Jay Clique: I started rapping at 13 although I used to write poems and lyrics before. Age 13 was when I featured on my first track. I did that for years and it was only when I turned 20 that I turned to production. At first it was out of necessity as I needed beats to rap on, but slowly my interest in the creativity of production grew so I combined the two.

X: What’s your proudest achievement so far?

J: Releasing my first album, The Rebuild, online would be up there especially for the vocalist in me. I pushed myself to do things I wasn’t comfortable doing on there, singing being one of them. One song in particular, which is called ‘That Dress’, was the first song I ever sang a verse on. I remember going to the studio and Seppy, the sound engineer, heard the demo. He was like “yeah man this is fire” so I asked him to sing it and I’d do the rapping. He challenged me to do it and I haven’t looked back since.

X: What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?

J: I think getting people’s attention, these days it’s not just down to talent. A lot of the work you do in music today has to have a gimmick. Due to this it’s hard to get people to even hear your stuff because you need a dance move or repetition or videos which can be expensive.

AirBrush_20170624094215

Photographer: PDL II

X: What are your top three favourite songs?

J: I have a lot of favorites which change so this is such a hard question. However there are a few songs I found myself singing as a kid and still sing them from time to time so I’ll give you those. Not necessarily in this order but…
Leave Me Alone by Michael Jackson
My Way by Frank Sinatra
I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly

X: What is your favourite London music venue and why?

J: In terms of a place I’d love to perform, I love The Jazz Cafe in Camden. I’ve only been once but the energy in that place was amazing. The stage and surrounding area is quite engaging and it’s got a beautiful balcony which differs from other venues of that size that I’ve seen. The event was a soul orchestra and I was definitely in my element. The music and vocals complement each other nicely

X: Name three creatives who have inspired you over the past 10 years?

J: Again there are more than these three but being exposed to music by these artists has definitely had an effect on me. Kanye West for his production style as well as lyrical content. Ludacris for the pronunciation of his bars and the way he plays with concepts. Producer, Rapper & Singer Ryan Leslie; this man is definitely where I aim to be creatively

AirBrush_20170623193715

Photographer: PDL II

X: Have you got any exciting projects coming up in the near future?

J: I am working on a new project to release hopefully this year. It already has a name which will be ‘10,000hrs’. The reason for this is to do with the famous rule created by Malcolm Gladwell, which is to say if you spend 10,000 hours at something you will perfect it. As I’ve been spending a lot of time doing music in its different forms, this project is to kind of address this. I’ve already got some features lined up and I’m really excited about it all. I will be producing the majority but not all of it too so this will be nice to have both sides of me on a full project.

X: If you weren’t a musician what other career would you have chosen?

J: Acting. I would definitely have gone down that route. I used to write plays for a local youth club and also star in them. It’s always been close to my heart but music definitely had a stronger pull.

X: What advice would you give to younger people who want to work in the creative industry?

J: Throw yourself in and don’t wait for people to do it with you. If you see an opportunity, take it and run with it because there is absolutely no telling when the next one will come up.

For more information and tour dates, visit Jay’s website

 

 

XETH meet Indie Folk-Pop Artist Connor Roff

Artist / designer:   Connor Roff

Warning: Use of undefined constant author - assumed 'author' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/xeth/public_html/wp-content/themes/xeth2015/loop.php on line 123
Article author:   Charlotte Bradford
Published:   Tue, 6 Jun 2017

ConnorRoff10 (1 of 1) (1) - small

Photographer: Emi O’Connell

Singer-songwriter Connor Roff combines West Coast Canada with London’s urban sprawl, cleverly blurring the lines between indie folk – pop and gritty realism. His 2016 EP “Chasing Dreams” won him a place in the Roundhouse Rising Sounds Program and this year he’s been long listed for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition as well as touring the UK.

Roff is also one of the front men for leading alternative choir London Contemporary Voices and will be singing at their third annual show at Union Chapel on Saturday 10th June. Special guests include Reeps One, Amber Run and Martin Grech. Tickets are available on the venue’s website.

XETH: At what age did you start to take an interest in the field you work in?

Connor Roff: I was 19 years old and had just left university after finishing my first year to take take time off school, while working and living in Vancouver. I was creating, performing and singing more and more until it got to a point when I thought to myself “this is what I want to do. I want to be an artist, I want to make that my career.”

X: What’s your proudest achievement so far?

C: I think moving to London by myself without knowing a single soul in the city, finding my feet, and setting myself up as an artist in this transient town. At times I was terrified, but I’ve managed to make it work, for the most part haha.

X: What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?

C: Managing daily life including affording to live in such an expensive city while staying motivated towards my passion and career.

_20170402_234641

Photographer: Emi O’Connell

X: What are your top three favourite songs?

C: That is impossible to answer! Some nostalgic ones are Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley and A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke

X: What is your favourite London music venue and why?

C: London Bridge’s latest venue addition Omeara is a great new and exciting place to watch live shows. Plus it’s run by the lovely Ben Lovett from Communion Records!

CR emi (1)- small

Photographer: Emi O’Connell

X: Name three creatives who have inspired you over the past 10 years?

C: Fleetwood Mac, Ben Howard and James Vincent McMorrow

X: Have you got any exciting projects coming up in the near future?

C: Yes! I’ve started a little side project with a good friend of mine called Becky CJ, it’s a male/female duo called ‘Little Water’. Both singer-songwriters in our own right, we’ve been doing some writing together over the past few months and are excited to get something fresh off the ground. I’m also writing as much as I can right now for my solo stuff with the hopes of embarking on the recording of my debut album. Then there’s all the work I do with the fantastic London Contemporary Voices choir which is always ongoing and exciting.

X: If you weren’t a musician what other career would you have chosen?

C: God another hard one, at this point probably something else just as creative and unpredictable. An actor or yoga instructor.

X: What advice would you give to younger people who want to work in the creative industry?

C: Have a vision. Work hard. Make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t give up. Be prepared to make sacrifices for your art. Write prolifically.

 

Brother Cover

More from the blog

Behind the scenes: Palmolive + Prudence photoshoot

A few behind the scenes shots from our photoshoot with Palmolive + Prudence. Don’t forget to check out the results from the photoshoot itself.

‘Running horses’ mural for Stella McCartney, by Giles Miller Studio

XETH co-founder, Ricky Thakrar, followed the creation of Giles Miller‘s four-metre high mural for Stella McCartney. A transcript of the interview is also available, beneath the video. “I’m Giles Miller, I’m a designer, and I […]