Formed in 2008 by brothers Dion and Cynyr Hamer, the trio, which also includes Calvin Thomas, call the village of Llanrug in North-West Wales their home. Situated close to the Snowdonia mountain ranges, the love they feel for the gorgeous countryside which surrounds them can be heard on their predominantly Welsh-language debut album ‘Fforesteering‘. Released in November 2016 after a successful summer performing at festivals around the UK, their dreamy blend of 60’s psychedelic folk rock with electronic flourishes and the vocal harmonies of the Hamer brothers has earned them praise from the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson and saw them named as The Guardian’s ‘New Band of the Week’ last December. In the fourth of our series of interviews with the Liverpool Psych Fest congregation, we spoke to CaStLeS about their upcoming appearance at the festival.
How would you describe your music?
Dion: Psych-infused Welsh rock with a hint of surf and experiment.
Who or what have been the biggest influences on your sound?
Cynyr: We listen to a variety of music really, and can get influenced easily by most of it. And as a songwriter, I have always felt inspired by locations and surroundings, especially in Snowdonia, where we live, where there’s a lot of nature and natural beauty.
What made you want to play at Liverpool Psych Fest and will this be your first time?
Cynyr: We got invited to play this year, which was a very nice surprise. We’ve heard so much good things about the festival, so we’re very excited about being a part of it this year, and yes it is our first time!
How well do you know Liverpool and what’s your favourite thing about the city?
Cynyr: We’ve been to Liverpool plenty of times, it’s the closest big city to where we’re based, but still don’t know it too well. I think most would guess that our favourite thing about Liverpool is that it gave birth to The Beatles.
Indoor festivals have been growing in popularity in recent years, have you played at many of them and how do they compare to outdoor events?
Calvin: We’ve played Swn in Cardiff and FOCUS Wales in Wrexham, the venues are scattered around the city so the atmosphere of the city changes so much, they’re always exciting to play and to attend.
What’s your favourite festival memory?
Dion: This year’s FOCUS Wales was amazing, we played to a packed crowd after the headliners on the Thursday, initially we didn’t think the crowd would stay around for our set. Also, both Reading & Leeds Festival last year are highlights, we bumped into Sky Sports man Bryn Law after our set at Leeds, who’s now a fan!
Have you ever dabbled in psychedelics? If so, how would you describe your experience?
Dion: Hmm, if we become rich to the point we no longer rely on our day jobs to pay the bills then we’ll come back to that one!
Apart from yourselves, who would you recommend people see at Liverpool Psych Fest?
Cynyr: Songhoy Blues, Laetitia Sadier and Gulp!
Why should festival goers take time out to come and see you play? What can they expect from your live set?
Cynyr: Our live set is very loose and free I guess, we never play our live set the same all the time, or play the songs the same note for note, we feel that that’s a bit boring, so there’s a lot of experimenting and on the spot stuff in places, which keeps us on our toes. And in doing so our live performance is exciting for us to play, which we hope in turn makes it exciting to watch also.
Dion: I’m sure our set will have changed a bit by the time we play in September, but the audience can definitely expect to hear songs in Welsh as well as English, and probably some new material!
The sixth edition of Liverpool Psych Fest will take place at Camp & Furnace on 22nd and 23rd of September. Check out our review of last year’s festival here. For more details about this year’s event head over to www.LiverpoolPsychFest.com. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here