The latest single, Still by Oranj Son is in part a throw back to the golden era of the synth. There are echoes of Joy Division running through it. However they have many other influences as GIGsoup discovered when writer Jane Davies caught up with three of the Ellesmere Port quartet: Lew Yii, Brad Welch and Matthew Linford…
First of all, many congratulations on getting invited to Sound City 2017. Tell us a bit about yourselves, when were you formed?
Brad Welch: Thank you. We were formed in 2015. We met on the Ellesmere Port music circuit. Matthew and Kieran are brothers . Lew was the only kid in Ellesmere Port wearing a Jesus and Mary Chain t-shirt so we knew we had to start a band with him. Kieran sent demos out to lots of labels, and it was Carl Hunter at The Label at Edge Hill Uni who took us onboard. Our first single in 2015, Psycho Disco Face took us 6 hours to complete with Chris Taylor at Parr Street Studios.
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That’s pretty good going that, some bands take three days! So who are your musical influences?
Lew Yii: Punk bands such as the Clash and the Ramones.
Matthew Linford: Funk and soul bands. I like Prince. Kieran likes electronic music such as New Order, Can, Neu, La Dusseldorf, Future Islands and Kraftwerk. We’re going to see them on 17th June in Liverpool.
Have you had many opportunities to play live?
Brad Welch: We played quite a few gigs in 2015, Constellations, Kazamier (both Liverpool) but then later that year Kieran left to study for a year in Shanghai.
Wow, so he’s a fluent Speaker now, that’s handy as China are establishing record labels now and one is coming to Liverpool Sound City isn’t it?
Brad Welch: Yes he’s fluent in Mandarin. Yes, Modern Sky are coming to Sound City.
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Lew Yii: Sound City in 2015 was one of our earliest gigs. I remember we played in a big tent and that it went well.
Matthew Linford: This time around we will be playing a half hour set on a stage at Sound City. We feel more relaxed and more prepared. I feel we are more synth smart in that our sound has evolved to incorporate more synth.
I certainly approve of that. A few bands are using synth nowadays, but I feel it is drowned out a bit too much by the guitars. Do you use Analogue or Digital keyboards?
Matthew Linford: I use both. A Korg Minilog and a Yamaha. It was great to look at all the old synths down at Parr Street. I have a Yamaha that I have had since I was ten and it still sounds great.
So without giving too much away, what are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Lew Yii: To get out more. Play more gigs this year.
Brad Welch: To finish uni, its mine and Kieran’s final year.
Matthew Linford: We are all going to Glastonbury.
4 – The Label Recordings Showcase at the Arts Centre, Edge Hill University,
27-28 – Liverpool Sound City, Clarence Dock, Liverpool.