The Franklys Interview!

How did you all meet?

In the great city of London, we were all just in the right place at the right time I guess.

Has your initial style of music changed a lot since the band first formed?

I think we have becoming more powerful and more confident in our sound. We try not to stick to a formula when it comes to writing songs and just go with the flow, in that respect we are the same. We’ve always been rock ‘n’ roll, and now the ‘rock’ part is becoming more prominent.

Who are your greatest influences as a band?

Individually we all have a variety of influences, but some of the common ones are The Hives, The Strokes, The Who, Blondie, Mando Diao, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys and Led Zeppelin.

How would you describe your music to people?

Loud, hard, fast uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll.

Do you have a particular song-writing process?

We don’t really have a process no. Usually we will just jam together and the beginning of something will start from there. Sometimes someone comes in with a riff or a beat that we then work on and build up. Overall, as long as something sounds good and sticks in our heads then we’ll work on it.

What’s your favourite song to perform live?

Personally it’s hard to choose just one, so I’ll choose three – ‘My Love’, ‘What You Said’ and ‘Bad News’. All of these are so powerful and everyone seems to go extra mental when we play these, it’s a big lift.

What’s the biggest source of annoyance when playing live? There always seems to be something!

Probably carrying all our gear to the venues! I’m sure pretty much everyone can relate to this, especially in London…the lack of lifts and the like. If anyone wants to come be our roadie, get in touch!!

Is there a date on your upcoming tour that you’re most looking forward to?

All of them! I know it sounds so cliché but it’s impossible to choose!

What is Bad News about musically and lyrically?

Musically it’s dark, driving and a packs a helluva punch. Lyrically it’s about dealing with the consequences bad choices can have, in particular when you ignore your instincts about something or someone.

What can we look forward to from The Franklys?

We’ve got a pretty packed next few months ahead of us, and we can’t wait! The ‘Bad News EP’ is coming out on 27th April; we’re throwing a big party for this with some help from This Feeling and some other great bands on 25th April at The Amersham Arms. Then we will be setting off on the ‘Bad News Tour’ with festival dates, shows in Europe and throughout the UK to support the release and just to play as much as we can! (Check out the specifics here ) We also plan to fit eating, sleeping, drinking and a few other activities in there at some point too.

Questions by Charlotte Broomfield and Owen Riddle

Ronya Interview! The Finnish/British Alt-Pop artist answers questions on her influences, the difference between British and Finnish music and what to expect from her second album…

Q. Who is Ronya and what are you about?

I’m a half-Finnish half-British Helsinki based singer-songwriter, born in ‘91 but inspired but the 80’s. My music could be described as melodic pop with a Scandinavian touch.

Q. Who are the main influences to your music and sound?

I grew up with Phil Collins, Toto, Michael Jackson and Prince to name a few, which could explain why I’m so drawn to 80’s inspired sounds and melodies. Blood Orange, Robyn and HAIM are perhaps the most current influences whom I’m feel I can relate to in terms of writing music lyrically and sonically.

Q. Do you think there are any differences between British and Finnish Music? How have you faired in each country?

It’s well known that music coming out of Scandinavia tends to have a flavour of it’s own – I guess a certain amount of isolation creates a different platform for making music. Finland isn’t nearly as versatile as the UK for example, and our music scene still has a lot of evolving to do in order to become as vivid and rich. On how well I’ve faired in each country, I’ve released an album here in Finland (2012) and I’m preparing the release of my next single and working towards a second album – the UK is still a working progress but I’m on my way!

Q. Could you tell us what your latest single ‘Work Harder’ is about? Musically and lyrically? 

‘Work Harder’ is a reflection on my journey as an artist and an individual. Initially I wrote the song to give myself the confidence to keep going and work towards my goals and dreams, but I’m hoping anyone can relate to it. Musically I wanted to make something more fun and upbeat, with hints of 80’s inspired sounds.

Q. You worked with Taito Kawata for the song’s video; what do you think a video can add to a song if anything? 

In this case the video not only illustrates the feeling and energy of the song but it also gives the audience a chance to get to know me. My previous video was a tad more dramatic and “colder” – this time around I wanted to express a warmer and more colourful and happy/goofy side of myself. Setting that aside it’s a great platform to channel 80’s tackiness and dance around for no reason.

Q. There’s a big 80’s influence on the track; will this sound carry over on to your upcoming album and what’s the finest thing about the decade?

‘Work Harder’ is definitely a taste of what is to come. I love how music from the 80’s is the perfect combination of happy/uplifting and melancholic, music had more depth to it and although some tackiness was involved it was still soo good.

Q. How will your second studio album differ from your first? 

Like night and day. My first album was an explosion of sounds, genres and teenage angst. What can be expected from this album is a more uplifting and energetic sound with an 80’s feel throughout. More singing and less screaming.

Q. You signed to Cocoa Records last year; what difference has that made for you if any?

I now have a team I can work closely with, that understands my vision as an artist. But a lot of the bigger changes are mostly related to my own development and growth as an artist, and knowing what I want.

Q. Do you have any advice for teenage artists? What did you learn from starting your career at a young age?

I really hope that any young artists that want to have a career in the music industry really take their time, and I can’t stress that enough, to find out who they are as individuals and artists. I feel like singing competitions on TV may send a message to young artist that to “”make it” and be a star, you need to be like someone else – the world doesn’t need an army of Beyoncés and Drakes (although they are fabulous!). What made the biggest artists of our time into what they are is having something that no one else has. Create your own identity, your own voice and most importantly WORK on your own material and listen to your heart, be open to learning new things and taking advice (you’ll need it). Oh, and don’t take shit from anyone. When I had my first record deal at 16 I didn’t have enough experience or understanding of the industry to actually know what I wanted, or how to get it. You have to be the boss, otherwise someone will run you over with their own vision and ideas of who they think you are or should be as an artist.

Q. What can we expect from Ronya in 2015?

New material – I’ll be releasing a new single this spring, and writing songs so I can share my music live as well as online.

Thanks to Ronya for the answers and keep an eye out for her second studio album.

Questions by Owen Riddle



The Vinyl’s Q+A

The Vinyl’s are a four piece from Brighton. They’ve kindly answered some questions on the process of recording their debut album, their take on music from Brighton and where they’ll be off to on tour.

Who are The Vinyls and what are you about?

We are a Brighton based, upbeat melo-pop four piece. We like our big choruses, catchy hooks, instant melodies and we love to go out of our way to put on a show. 

 Who are your main influences?
Britain’s long tradition of guitar pop bands, The Kinks, Small Faces, Elvis Costello, T Rex, Bowie through to Blur, Pulp and The Vaccines.
Are there any songs that you like to cover?
We love to cover oldies and give them our own spin. The best way we’ve found is if one person brings a song to cover that nobody else has heard and then we just go for it. Recently we covered The Beatles album track “Anytime at All”.
Your single; Hurry was released this week. What is it about lyrically and musically?
Hurry is certainly an odd one, in that it is, or was written as, a character song that turned personal. Matt wrote it originally about a heartbreaker pushing someone away in the same vein as the Rolling Stones’ “Play with Fire”. The funny thing is how many people we have had tell us that they identify with the person in the song which is pretty cool but not expected! As for musically, there are those songs that you write almost instantly and then those which you trial over for years – Hurry is the latter. Matt had something like 15 different versions before we found the right one but we’re delighted with the results.  
What sort of experience did you have recording Catch? Did you just roll up and run through all your tracks or was it more complex? 
Being that it was never really originally meant as an album, Catch was the result of 7 or so bedroom recordings that turned out much better than expected. Recording it all ourselves was a pretty great learning experience because it gave us the opportunity to play around with a load of different sounds. After a while we thought, the hell with it, we should just make an album out of it. Catch was released to our fans online on June 2012 and has since sold nearly 500 copies which we never expected.  
What’s the best venue you’ve played at? What would be your ideal venue?
The best venues are probably The Dublin Castle in London or Concorde2 in Brighton. However the best gig we ever did was on the mainstage at Grendon Festival in 2012 in front of 2500 people. As for our ideal venue? We’d have to say a festival like Glastonbury or Leeds, the atmosphere is just incredible and there’s nothing like playing in the sun.  
What’s the reaction been like to your music so far?
Really generous and pretty humbling. We’ve had such a positive response from music fans over the last two years. Its really great when people recite the lyrics of our songs to us or send us really kind emails and messages. Having our music on the internet has given us a whole new audience and in the most unusual of places. There’s definitely a huge amount of music fans we’ve yet to reach but our experiences so far have filled us with confidence.
Where do you record your tunes? How easy is it to do so?
Apart from Catch which we did in a bedroom, we have recorded several tracks, including our new release ‘Hurry’ with Kenny Jones at Alchemy Studios in London. Kenny has a lot of experience, having worked with people like The Smiths, The La’s and producing a load of Billy Bragg albums. He’s got a real ear for things and we have definitely benefited from that.
What do you think of Brighton’s music and bands?
Brighton’s an unusual place because instead of having one significant music scene, it has several all mixed in together – anything from Ska to Metal to Electro to Indie to Folk. This does mean we’ve been booked on some pretty unusual nights, but its given us the chance to work with and get ideas from musicians with completely different backgrounds. Brighton has a very big scene for such a small place. This makes the standard pretty high and pretty competitive but there are a lot of great venues here and its a fantastic place to try new things out.
 You’re about to embark on a tour if I’m right! Where are you off to? Who dictates where you go?  
The UK. North to South. Over the last two years, we must have gigged 120+ times but we’ve never gone North of Oxford. We’re so excited to finally get to the places we’ve had response from and where all our favourite bands came from. Starting at Glasgow on Tuesday 3rd of December we’re slowly making our way South through Edinburgh (4th), Newcastle (5th), Manchester (6th), Liverpool (7th), Leicester (8th), Oxford (9th), Southampton (11th), Birmingham (12th) and finishing off in London on the 14th.
Apart from that; what’s next for The Vinyl’s?
Right now with the UK Tour and our new release for ‘Hurry’ coming out, we’re totally focused on that. However we have some pretty big ideas for 2014 including more tours, festivals and new songs – and a plan to broaden our sound in places we’ve not been.
Thanks to The Vinyl’s for their answers and take a note of those tour dates!