‘All thing’s must pass’, a Beatle once sang. A harsh reality it may be, but occasionally there is some good that comes from the demise of something special. In this case it is the end of Far From the Dance and the birth of Sons Of Mischief.
The band from Huddersfield, England, comprises three of the former members of the now-defunct Far From The Dance; lead vocalist and guitarist Alec Townsend, bassist Jake Miller and drummer ‘Rocker‘ Thom are not giving up the gun just yet, moving forward under their new guise with ambitious intent. They’ve distanced themselves from the prog rock influenced sound of their former band and taken on a new direction that draws its inspiration from Britpop bands of the nineties.
The trio are now gearing up for the release of their debut EP this autumn and will be touring extensively and no doubt getting up to a bit mischief to spread the word.
What is your song writing process? Do you write individually or together?
Alec: Majority of the time I write songs by myself, not always completed fully, but we choose songs that we think we can develop as a band and make into Sons Of Mischief tracks. Due to the nature of our music now being punchier and faster I need the other band members to stamp their authority on them to fulfil their potential.
Jake: It’s always been a really organic process with all the past line ups but it’s great that it’s working so fluidly as a three piece.
How would you describe the sound of your bands music?
Alec: With SOM we wanted to get back to our roots a bit. Our last band was influenced by a lot of dance music and psychedelic prog but our roots lie in early nineties rock/pop bands like Placebo, Supergrass and all the obvious Britpop stuff. So it was a natural progression for us to relive our youth through our music and have some fun with the song writing again.
How does the chemistry in this new band compare to your previous outfit Far From The Dance?
Alec: Now being a three-piece band it’s a big change for us. It’s quite liberating for us to just turn our amps up and play shorter songs with lots of power behind them. It’s important for us to create as much energy out of our instruments by playing with more aggression and I think it highlights our talents a bit more. Thommy’s always been a great rock drummer influenced by a lot of metal bands so I think me and Jake slot into his mind frame easily.
Thom: We’ve been playing music together for years now and the writing progress is certainly a lot faster and more natural playing as a more stripped down outfit.
Does the band have a leader or is it more of a democracy? Who calls the shots?
Alec: I wouldn’t say we have a leader. Obviously being the song writer I try and set the mood for the band’s music but it’s rare that we disagree on the parts that we each write for the songs mainly because we have a good understanding to what the music needs.
Who are your main influences?
Alec: Influences are a funny thing to explain. Oasis were the band that made me pick up a guitar and start writing but I don’t hear a lot of their sound in ours. Lyrically I’m influenced by lots of singer songwriters that also don’t sound like us but I think musically we play music that rocks with passion and melody really and the list of bands that have influenced us is endless.
Jake: Me and Thommy grew up on a healthy helping of rock and metal as kids so it’s nice to let loose and rock out in this new outfit.
What has been your most memorable gig to date? What made it so special?
Alec: It’s only been 8 months since we took SOM on the road but the trip to Brighton in May to play the Great Escape festival was a good one. The city was really vibrant and our gig was busy with people passing by and coming in to check us out. By the end no one else could get into the venue, the crowd really appreciated our finale too.
Jake: As Al says the project is very much in it’s infancy but I loved playing our home town gig with our producer Fred Kindt’s band The Slow Show at Bar 122.
What is your opinion on current state of the British music scene? Are there any new bands you’re particularly enjoying at the moment?
Alec: I think that there’s certainly a lot more rock bands in the mainstream now so that’s an improvement for us. Most of the things I listen to now are by artists very unlike myself to be honest. None of us really listen to the new scene bands, we’re totally interested in new bands but there’s not much I can say we’ve taken influence from for a while.
Jake: I love the wealth of music that comes out of the UK but we’d love to expand our live shows to Europe and the US as soon as we get chance.
What is the best and worst thing about being in a band?
Alec: The best thing would have to be just the feeling of getting either onstage or in the practice room together and playing or writing. There’s really nothing I can think of for worst, it really is a pleasure to be in a band that we feel so passionately about.
How difficult is it keeping the band going alongside your current day jobs?
Alec: We make it work. Obviously we have to keep ourselves and be realistic about the situation but it has a way of just flowing easily to be honest.
How useful have social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook been for you in the promotion of your music? Do you see it as a valuable medium?
Alec: Yes of course it’s been a big help to keep fans informed on our status and generate interest about the band. Online profile is a big thing now in the music industry for sure and we’re trying to use it wisely. We still feel that physically connecting with people and being in peoples faces is important too though so it’s trying to strike the right balance nowadays.
How well do you think you’d cope with success if your band was to
become extremely popular?
Alec: We’ve been playing live since we were kids so gigging every night is what we want to do and we’d enjoy doing it. We’re a band that wants to work hard and we’d relish the chance to make a go of any success that comes our way.
What are your plans for the rest of 2011?
Alec: We’re writing some new songs at the moment in preparation for some more recordings in late summer/ early autumn back at Blue Print Studios with Fred.
Thom: We want to go to Europe and do some gigs and will be releasing our debut EP online and a single to follow too so there’s lots for us to focus on and work towards this year.
If your band were to have a motto, what would it be?
Alec: Probably to impress people. Certainly live we try and put our all into the shows and I think people see that in our performance. We make music that makes ourselves feel good but that’s exactly what we want it to do to the audience.
Jake: For me the main focus is to try translate how much we enjoy writing and performing onto the audience. Hopefully they’ll enjoy the end product as much as we enjoy making it.
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