Interview with JOE SYMES & The Loving Kind

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Eager to know what’s going on behind the scenes with  JOE SYMES & The Loving Kind, I went ahead and sent them this Q & A. I really enjoyed their responses. I always trust bands with string arrangements. I also like how everyone did his best  in answering the questions and really being keen on detail. These artists are certainly not just sounding good, I also love the way they think!
1. What was the goal in recording your debut album and do you think you finally hit the goal upon completion?
JOE…The goal for me personally was for the band to present an honest debut album that has a fresh collection of
songs from a new band, for the public to interact with the band, to enjoy the music, follow what we do, and spread the word about us and our music.
DAVE….Personally I think the goal was to highlight what we are as a band. As previously anything before was just Joe and Colin. So it was a great way of introducing “The Loving Kind”, so to speak.  In addition it also gave us the opportunity to express our ideas and our eclecticism within Joe’s songwriting abilities and our craftsmanship as a band.  As we say Joe gives us the outline and we “colour it in”.
PAUL….To produce the initial sample of what we’re all about was very important to us all, and this album showcases Joe’s songwriting combined with the range of soundscapes and layers that the band can add. The sheer variety of the tracks has achieved this and combined with the bands input into the artwork and various other oddities on the recording I think we have given a good snapshot of where we are now and provides a hint the direction future recordings will take.
CHRIS…. I think the main goal for me was to bring out an album that represents the band and that people will enjoy listening to. Hopefully we have done that. We’re really happy with it!
COLIN….To get an album out there that’s of a very high standard on every level. I Definitely think we’re hitting the goal. I’m proud to be part of it.
2. You are very picky when it comes to the bands you like to be compared to. Why do you love The Beatles so much?
CHRIS…..I don’t think it’s necessarily being picky. It’s just not being pigeon-holed as a specific type of band! The Beatles were just so fresh at the time, but their songs have more than stood the test of time! I read a good quote once, think it was Graham Coxon who said he doesn’t trust anyone who doesn’t like The Beatles. I like that. Ha!
PAUL…. Their songs are still now just so fresh sounding and unique, something we are trying to and can only hope to achieve.
JOE….I Love The Beatles because they are the band that made me want to pursue music as a career. They did and achieved so much in such a short space of time that they had as a band. If only other’s would merit themselves and what has gone before instead of trying to be something they are not.joe_symes_loving_kind_album_cover_300
DAVE…. I do love The Beatles and what they stand for in terms of musicality and what they mean culturally. Lets not beat around the bush, they put Liverpool on the map. The city and all of the musicians who came after them are eternally grateful for what they achieved for themselves and for the city of Liverpool. For me it goes beyond the music and I’m sure the rest of the band will attest to this.
COLIN….Firstly, I’d just like to clarify that I don’t just like The Beatles because I’m from Liverpool. I’m not biased. Ha! Ha! The Beatles were a band that set standards. They reintroduced American music to America, they’ve inspired every person who’s listened to their albums, they make you feel better when you’re down, they’re just…..well, what can I say, they’re the greatest band that’s ever walked the face of the earth. Anyone who doesn’t like The Beatles needs their head examining, as far as I’m concerned.
3. As I have mentioned in my review: the album takes you to sunny places. Did you plan the album to be a combination of uplifting, easy to the ears and atmospheric in terms of crafting?
JOE….I wrote the songs and it just happened. It’s all come together even better than what I thought it would have turned out like. The response around the world and UK has been amazing. Playing them Live is even better.
DAVE….I think I’ve mentioned this briefly in question 1, but it’s more than that. We wanted to give the listener a different experience when listening to the album. It’s not about track 1, track 2, E.T.C.  There is a theme which evolves through the album and although it’s autobiographical to Joe in most instances, everyone who listens to it can take something from the album and be able to relate. We felt that the album should involve the listener right from the start to the end. Every song touches on a certain instance or event that happens in everyday life and it helps to reflect that in our music.
COLIN….I’ve never really thought about that. I just hoped people enjoyed the songs.
PAUL….Each song conjurers up imagery whilst listening and this really just came from connecting the dots…. one idea leading to another…. the whole thing built and grew in that way.
CHRIS….It wasn’t a conscious decision to make the songs come out that, it was just how they have come out when we were happy with them. They are feel good songs. We tried to get that across in performance
4. What were the difficult things that the band had to surmount during the process of the recording? And how did you guys put your heads together to resolve these difficulties?
DAVE….Ah yes, the string arrangement. That was a testing time to say the least but we managed to get through it in the end. Apart from that I can’t think of anything being particularly problematic.  Although there might be something about a slide whistle! Ask Colin on that one!
CHRIS….Any difficulties were only minor, so didn’t take long to sort out. A lot of pre-production went into the album to make sure we were happy with it.
COLIN….For me it was a very smooth process. It’s very rare we get bitchy about silly things. I’ve heard terrible stories about bands who moan about stupid crap in the studio or rehearsal room. Oh, yes, the guys made me do about 16 bloody takes of a slide whistle on the song Fine Line. Thanks, guys.
PAUL….Not so much difficulties more just things that we’d not done before like adding string sections or producing the cover. Like any line of work though between the 5 of us someone can always take the lead and knock round ideas until we all agree on the best option.
JOE….For me it was getting the string arrangements to sound the way I wanted them as I was hearing them in my head on the track “Love Is The Reason.” I myself don’t think there were any difficulties in the recording. It was really enjoyable for me to record this album.
5. How’s the current musical atmosphere in Liverpool?
PAUL….From our experience there seems to be hundreds of bands around now, this combined with certain venues like the legendary Eric’s up and running again can only be a positive and long overdue thing for our live music scene.

COLIN….I don’t really pay attention to it. Nothing personal to anyone out there, not at all. There are some talented musicians out there. Just focused with what we’re doing at the moment.

JOE….Yeah, it seems to be getting a lot of great feedback at the moment. A lot of people who are involved in the music industry such as Alan McGee who signed Primal Scream, Oasis, and The Jesus & Mary Chain have now relocated to Liverpool. Even Steve Levine who worked with John Lennon and U2 have set up base here. It seems we are back on the map.
DAVE….I think the way the scene is at the moment is really strong and will only get better. The fact that it’s Liverpool makes the music scene so vibrant and chock full of musicians,some really talented, and some who just like to play on an amateur basis. And this I find more interesting as there are more and more people picking up an instrument more than ever before. So the trend is always going to be there and will only get stronger. And with the likes of Alan McGee bringing his wealth of experience and expertise to the fore and also Steve Levine in the city it shows that major players in the industry are not just making it happen in London.  They obviously see something here, as do we! Long may it continue!  
CHRIS….Liverpool is buzzing at the moment with some really good acts just waiting to break into the big time. Like Joe says it shows with the big names that are starting to work in the area. Exciting times.
6. What’s great about performing live?
COLIN….Playing the songs in front of an audience and getting a positive reaction. Enough said.
DAVE….For me it’s all about the interaction with the audience and seeing their reactions to different songs.
From the likes of Fallen Down to Happy When It Hurts. Love it!
JOE….To be able to project the songs to the public in a live setting, and seeing and hearing the songs live. That’s a big thing for me to see the reaction from the audience and the compliments after the gigs.
CHRIS…..It’s what you live for as a musician. There’s no better feeling than playing live and seeing people enjoying what you’re doing.
PAUL….From high adrenaline songs like “I’m Gonna Find Out Someday” to the mellower “Lovers Undercover,” there’s a great contrast in sound and playing styles and for me this ensures every gig an amazing experience to play.
7. The memorable feedback you received from fans of the band?
JOE…When are we going to play in Brasil & the USA, E.T.C…And the songs have made them want to re-start their musical careers from people who gave up playing music, another one was that someone wanted “Lover’s Undercover ” to be the song that they danced to at their wedding. LOL
COLIN….Someone said to me once that a song of ours called To Be The Best That I Can Be sounded like a tradition old European folk song. That was nice. I can’t imagine a lot bands getting told that about one of their songs. The amount of feedback we’ve had in the short time the band’s been together as a whole has been amazing.
DAVE….Someone asking for our autograph after playing for Steve Cradock. That was a sure way of seeing that we’d made an impression on someone!!
CHRIS…..Telling us they’re going to come and see us again next time were playing. Can’t get better than that. Ha!
8. Albums versus singles: what’s your take in this issue?
COLIN….Both are equally good in different ways.
JOE….I love both, I love vinyl also
PAUL….So long as they’ve got great songs on them…. then both.
CHRIS….Both, definitely. I like singles that are brought out without being on an album, like what were doing with our double A side that we’re bringing out next year.
DAVE….I like both, but albums for me. It encapsulates the character of the band/artist and that’s something I enjoy as it unfolds!
9. What’s next for the band in 2014?
JOE….We are just about to mix our new double A side single, which we’re hoping to release in February/March 2014, playing even bigger gigs and support slots, more TV and more radio play.
COLIN….Yeah, the new single will be out around March. Work on the next album will start after that too. I hope we go to the U.S. There’s a lot of people over there who are desperate for us to go over.
DAVE….Finishing our double A side single, then starting our 14 track album. Obviously lots of gigs with some high profile ones in the mix.
CHRIS….Bringing out the single,  then hopefully hitting the festival circuit. Looking forward to getting some big radio airtime as well
PAUL….Watch out for more videos coming next year.
10. Where can listeners buy and download your album?
JOE….You can buy our debut album from our official band website at http://www.joesymes.co.uk
it is also available on iTunes. You can find the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/JOE-Symes/206169176086266
We are also on Youtube, Twitter, Reverbnation and Fit4talent.

JOE SYMES & The Loving Kind Takes You To Sunny Places

Hey JOE SYMES & The Loving Kind is such a sweet surprise in this gloomy December. I think of Paul Weller (or Paul McCartney) when I hear the vocals. As for the music? It’s this fondness of The Smiths and The Sundays that gets rekindled when I hear their songs. Songs like Lovers Undercover , Ready to Ride, Happy When it Hurts among others, remind me of the best dream pop sounds of the late 80s. This is way before guitar effects took too much dominance. And oh yes, I hear The Beatles in them!

The debut self-titled album is a must-hear. It’s dreamy, textured and lyrically gratifying. I read a couple of reviews posted on their site and I agree with other listeners that everything works. The album cover tells you what to expect in terms of sound. They are also from Liverpool, the home of great music in the UK. They have  their official youtube channel which I am sure will be updated with more videos.

If you are feeling kind of down this month, I suggest you grab this album because it will make your world brighter. Music is therapy. It can be sad or happy. regardless of the style a beautiful tune and lift you up. And the main ingredient is always the hard work that a band can put in the recording of an album. And I think they put a lot in this one.  If you are looking for beautiful songs that take you to sunny places and better times, this is it!

You can buy the album by clicking this link to their official site: http://www.joesymes.co.uk/

Black Swans, Ready to Go.

Black Swans

Band: Black Swans

Members: Jamie Wright and  Ade Crane

Genre: Alt Rock

I like the music of Black Swans. There is something infectious, catchy and uplifting about their sound. The melodies make you feel like you are riding in a flying car. The adequate around of sonic enhancement really works here. The guitars are like what I would expect from bands like Snow Patrol or current bands of the same league. You can also hear traces of Echo & the Bunnymen ..and other influences. Obviously this is UK music at its best. As for the vocals, Jamie Wright really sings, giving all what he’s got into the music. His voice is a beautiful instrument that soars and makes you feel emotional.  Black Swan is a feel good band. Not in a Cocteau Twins of The Sundays sense but the vibes are always getting you there.

The band has an interesting history and even praise from such greats as Sir Paul McCartney (“Great guitar playing, it felt like I was playing with George.”). It is undeniable that  Black Swans will be huge one day like Coldplay. They have what it takes to make it: melodies that court mainstream listeners, great stage presence, photogenic performers and awesome recording. They just need to get the music around and the name to be heard and they are ready to go. It’s obvious from the first time I heard The Life We Chose that it’s a potential top 40. Killing Time reflects the band’s love for ethereal sounding guitar effects. Heaven is simply…heavenly. They are part of the Millbury Music Group which has just released a compilation. I will be featuring more artists from the same management as I can tell that they really deserve to get their names out!

Thanks to Rachael Harris for pointing me to the right direction.

Go ahead and like them in facebook https://www.facebook.com/BlackSwansMusic or visit http://www.blackswansmusic.co.uk/