Frontman Phil Etheridge and co-frontman Martin Saunders from The Twang, joined us at Splendour festival to give their low down on the industry, their exciting new projects and their words of wisdom!
The brummie five piece have been around since 2001 and have recorded four albums in that time. The band have also just opened a new recording studio in Birmingham “We want to get some local bands in and give something back!”
How are you enjoying Splendour So far?
Splendid! Haha no, its great to be here.
Have you got any other festivals/gigs lined up this summer?
We’ve got some bits and bobs, we are pretty quiet at the moment. We are just writing at the moment and we are just opening a studio in Birmingham we have been doing up for a bit. We want to get some local bands in and give something back! We have been concentrating on that really.
Do you have any advice for any up and coming bands starting out in the industry?
It’s quite tough isn’t it really, unless you’re capable of writing good songs, you’re kind of buggerd really arent you? Surround yourself with some good friends and hopefully between all of you, you can write a good song or two and have a good laugh. Definately, otherwise there is no point doing it is there? I know it sounds quite obvious, but I mean for us starting out, it was what I wanted to do, you know? We wanted to be in a room together having a laugh, most of the songs started out like that. Making each other laugh and before you know it it becomes serious.
Are there any bands/artists that influence you and are there any artists/bands you would like to collab with?
In terms of influences, you listen to all sorts dont you? I think it subconciously goes into your music, whereas I don’t think we sit down and think I want to sound like that…
I think people are making out at the moment there’s not that many good bands out at the moment, I think that there are alot. Especially bands like Dive. I think there’s people doing interesting stuff.
It’s just not so much in the spotlight anymore is it bands? But there is good stuff out there.
If you could go back to the start of the band is there anything you would have done differently?
We would definately do everything differently but thats hindsight isn’t it? And we would all be millionaires! We would of bought property in London and sold it and wouldn’t have to do fuck all for the rest of our life! So I mean, you would always do things differently wouldnt you? I don’t think because we write songs and are so involved in them, we would always forever be at them , do you know what I mean? But then the people that like you and come to see you, they dont see that side of it. So to them they take it on and it means what it means to them. (Pause) Has that made sense? (Laughs)
What have you got planned for 2015?
More writing and see where it goes from there. We have some shows at the end of the year. We have time on our side.
I think we have toured 2 to 3 times a year for the last 8 years, so I think we are just going to concentrate on writing for a bit. If we write something of worth and feel we need to share with the public, then we will put it out there. I guess thats the plan really, we’re just going to go away and see what the plan is. Life changes, you know, we have all got kids now, things have changed. Its just finding a happy balance.
That leads onto my final question: How do you create that balance of the band and family life? What do you do to keep your focus?
Don’t really get any spare time. But I do like spending time with my kids. I think thats one of the luxury’s that the band has given all of us really. When you realise how lucky you are really, we get to see our kids loads, some of our friends who have got jobs don’t get that luxury. Because they go to work at 7 and come home and see them on the weekend. I see my kids all day everyday when I am around.
We are lucky in that sense, thats something the band gives us, without sounding cheesy, because you are privilidged, you’ve got young kids who can spend so much time with their Dad.