Wednesday, October 26, 2011

INTERVIEW// Hot Vestry

After listening to (and loving) Mancunian trio Hot Vestry and their EP, 'Dust', I was more than eager to interview them to find out more. A trio composed of Harry Ward and Will Taylor, I chatted via email with third member, drummer, and all-round percussionist Joe Ward, to see what I could dissect. Read the interview below, and when you're done, check out both my review and the free download of all six tracks via the links at the very bottom!

Music Dissection: First off then, I know you're a trio, but how did the three of you come together to form the band, and how did the name 'Hot Vestry' come about? 

Joe Ward: We first met Will when me and Harry were two weeks old. (me and Harry are twins). We have been best friends ever since really. The name 'Hot Vestry' came about when we practised in the local church. We kept the microphone stands in the room in the church called the Vestry. One day, as Harry and Will were walking into the room, Harry pulled the cord above his head, while Will switched the switch on the wall. They thought nothing more of it, as they both thought they'd turned the light on. We practised and put everything away and that was that. A couple of days later Steve Rathbone (the Vicar) phoned our mum. He said how hot the Vestry was, and how it felt like an oven! He said it was a 'Hot Vestry', because someone had left the heater on! Luckily he likes us so he wasn't annoyed. So we were like, lets call ourselves Hot Vestry, after nearly burning a church down!

MD: That's fantastic! Now, I hope you don't mind me saying, but you're quite a young band, age-wise. How did you manage to get an EP recorded, and what advice would you give to an aspiring group who want to do the same?

JW: We found someone local who recorded bands, so we got in contact with him and asked if he wanted to record us. He'd worked with Babyshambles so we were pretty nervous and thought he wouldn't want to waste time on us! He said yes and we set a date and a place where we would record. We recorded in our local church, which probably added to the sounds of 'Dust EP'. It ended up being quite an amazing place to record music, especially for us and for him! We'd advise a young group who wanted to record to probably find someone local, or maybe a friend who does or has done Music Technology at school. They would probably record you for free, or maybe for a small price. The quality of the recordings should be good enough to get you gigs in your local big city, and take you further afield in your musical careers! 

MD: So, you and Harry are twins. Growing up, what influenced you most, music wise? An artist or band in particular that inspired you to record music?

JW: While we were growing up, I'd say we were mostly influenced by bands like Green Day, Oasis, The White Stripes, Bloc Party, System Of A Down and Arctic Monkeys. Mostly well known guitar bands. I think the band that influenced us the most at the start was probably Green Day. Now we're influenced by New Order, Metronomy, Television, Pink Floyd, Blur, Joy Division, Radiohead, Nirvana, The Beatles, The Horrors, Airship, Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem to name just a few!

MD: That rock influence certainly shows up in your work, and as far as I can tell, people love it! As the band progresses and you record more music though, do you think your sound and style will change? Is there any particular genre you want to explore more in the future, for example?

The excellent cover to the 'Dust' EP!
JW: Thank you! I hope they do. Our style will definitely change. If you listen to our first EP 'Life Is For Leisure' you can hear how we have progressed on 'Dust' EP. And with our third EP thats being released soon, we've changed a lot more. As we've said, we are intrigued by lots of music. The drops in Dubstep interest us, and how songs can just change into something completely different. As you can hear in our song 'Commiserations', the bridge drops quite like a Dubstep song would. I don't think we are aiming to be any type of genre or trying to fit in with a certain type of music. We just put bits of genres that we like into our music subconsciously. I think thats a natural way to make the music you want and enjoy. If you try and be something you're not it won't be fun and it won't work!

MD: Very well said! Having listened to both EPs, the band doesn't seem to be short on great lyricism! Do you take turns to write, or do you sit down and come up with the lyrics together? Do you have any favourite lines?

JW: Thank you! We don't really take turns to write, so while we do write some lyrics together, Harry mostly writes them by himself.  I think its best for the singer to write the lyrics. If the the signer doesn't understand the lyrics, I think that takes away a big element of what a singer should be doing. If Harry sang lyrics he didn't understand or could relate too, there wouldn't be any point in him singing them! Our favourite lyrics are probably from the chorus of our song 'Dust'. "You've got to help me hide / you got to help me / you're going to watch me cry / you're going to watch me / you've got suspicion in your eyes / you've got suspicion in your eyes /  you're the ruby in the dust / the ruby in the dust". When Harry sings it, it goes really well with the music and the words work together well. The whole feel of desperation makes it easy to relate to as well, especially as it's in first person. Its a chorus that people just want to sing back!

MD: Drawing to a close then, you mentioned a third EP earlier on. Any idea on a release date, and after that - can we anticipate an album? 

JW: The third EP will definitely be released before Christmas 2011. And yes, an album is also on the cards. We're trying to decide on the best way to release all this new music, as we want as many people to hear it as possible! Thank you for taking the time to interview us Music Dissection!  

And there you have it! Music Dissection's first interview, with three extremely friendly and incredibly gifted guys, Manchester's very own Hot Vestry! Thanks are extended to all three of the talented teens, and I hope anyone and everyone reading this is already downloading their work (at no cost, as though you needed any more incentive) over at the Bandcamp. I for one am keeping an eye out for that third EP, and you can all look forward to a review when it drops. For now however, lend your ears to 'Dust's stunning title track!