You may remember that way back in the by-gone era of June, that we produced a review of this band, Of Allies, and to be honest I’ve been listening to it intently ever since. It’s magnificent and I did not do it justice with the review, but that time has past and we’re here now in the midst of a disgustingly warm July and we managed to catch up with guitarist and backing vocalist of the band, Tom Hewson. Not only does he have the best first name in the world, unbiased of course, but he brought with him some gloriously tantalizing hints towards a full-length album from the Hull boys in the near future.
HUNOW: Hi, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. We’re all excited about you as a band, and after hearing your EP, I can’t help but feel you’ll go from strength to strength. What drives you as a band?
TH: We all love music and playing live, it’s what we have all wanted to do with our lives since we were young and we really feel this band might has something special. We are very driven and work hard but love what we do!
HUNOW: There is a high level of quality and talent from every member of the band, it all feels very tight and well executed which is something you don’t often see so early on in a band. What do you think gives you guys that level of performance?
TH: We have all been playing in bands for years, before Rich joined the band the rest of us have been playing together for a few years before in different bands. Then Rich stepped in and it all flowed really naturally, writing songs pretty quickly.
HUNOW: Do you find that this talent has helped you come as far as you have while so many others are struggling in the music industry?
TH: The industry is a tough one to break and there is so much talent out there. I suppose its gaining experience of what to do/what not to do and believing in what you do.
HUNOW: With that being said, do you think there’s been a shift recently away from bigger bands and labels with more and more independent and small of each coming out and producing some amazing work?
TH: A lot more people are discovering their own music these days with the help of the internet, up and coming bands are being noticed by people a lot more. People don’t have to rely on the radio or music TV so much any more.
HUNOW: With the advent of crowd-sourcing, social media bands can pretty much manage and publish themselves, is this something you think will help other bands? And will you be looking to work this way?
TH: It’s one of the main ways we get the word out to people. We still promote shows by handing out flyers and putting up posters but using social media is a very handy tool.
HUNOW: Your music feels very British, something that quite a few bands seem to be aiming for recently. The age of American Rock seems to be dying off and so many talented British acts are coming out of the works. What do you think is causing this surge?
TH: I suppose a lot of the music is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. More people are making their own music and making it available to everyone. I think the surge of British bands is people choosing an alternative to what they are exposed to on a daily basis – of X-Factor winners, or the same old rapper featuring on someone else’s dance tune, or another artist who has had his new single produced by another major artist. It’s all becoming very similar and a bit boring . People are noticing. I’m not sure if the same is happening in America but I’m pretty sure there will be some equally amazing American bands popping up in the near future if this is the case.
HUNOW: The majority of these bands seem to come from Northern cities as well, the notable ones at least. What makes the scene up there better than everywhere else?
TH: There seems to be more of a heavier feel to the music up north and heavy music sounds good loud and live, so I guess that appeals to a lot of people. It might just be something in the water!
HUNOW: You have quite a distinct style of music, I remember fondly the times of my youth listening to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Fightstar, you’ve got a similar vibe. Is that something you went for or something that just happened?
TH: It just happened really. We all have similar yet very different tastes but mainly in rock and metal music, and were combining our influences on whatever comes out. We can be quite strict with our writing, if there’s something we’re not happy with we try something else.
HUNOW: Does anyone in the band have any special routines or strange habits for on tour or when recording?
TH: We are all good friends, so on tour we stick together. We feel we put on a better performance and play tighter while we are all on the same page. We all love live music so we enjoy watching the other bands that are on the billing.
HUNOW: A little sillier here, which one of you guys would do best in a zombie apocalypse?
TH: Definitely Dan. He’d probably build his way out of any situation and cave the zombies heads in with his big drummers fists!
HUNOW: For the readers of HOLDUPNOW, what is the best piece of advice you have ever been given and how has it affected your life?
TH: If you’ve got something you believe is good, don’t give up. Stick at it through thick and thin!
HUNOW: Thanks for taking the time to do this, what are your plans for the near future? Any hopes of a full length album in the next year?
TH: We are going back into the studio in the very near future but in the meantime we are planning our tour for the autumn so keep a lookout for tour dates on our website.
So there we have it. An upcoming tour, an album sometime soon, zombies, X-Factor discussions and even life advice from a brilliantly talented member of a brilliantly talented band. Keep your eyes peeled guys, this is one band that plans to stick around.
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