Stoke Band Release New Single Ahead Of Local Headline Show
Beck Clewlow || August 22nd
Beck Clewlow || Photography
Acoustic Song Recorded By Beck Clewlow
Release matter a lot to the Stoke music scene and to me. The crack team of talented miscreants have accumulatively written some of the best local music within the last two years that I've known the band personally. However, front man Caleb's lyricism and performance have always managed to stand particularly out in every environment since my first Release experience. I've attempted to map some of the proverbial cogs of Calebs very real inner workings, excluding the cigarettes and Wetherspoons day-trips.
What was the first rock record you distinctly remember enjoying and how old must you have been?
I would probably say Nevermind by Nirvana. I was just obsessed with them from about 4 to 13, my early teens. I just remember my dad always playing it in the car on the way to football.
That's some pretty heavy writing artist wise for the age, what impact do you think that must have had on yourself?
It gave me the impression that it's [music] not entirely about the sound; it's the demeanor and attitude, the message that it comes with. I'd say the two bands that I was obsessed with were Nirvana and Rage, they both gave out two very powerful messages that stood out to me.
As far as songwriting goes, when would you say you began to vocalize yourself lyrically?
I was at a beer festival when I was about 16, just before I started college. People had said before I was a good singer but I wouldn’t sing to many because, well – nobody likes singing in front of anybody at first. You’ve got no self belief, everybody has got an acquired taste as to what they like in a voice, it takes some real balls – but I get ballsy when I'm pissed.
At the beer festival my dad was singing a few covers on stage when I went, 'Oi ! Let me sing one mate!' I think it was Siouxsie and the Banshees. When I got of the stage, people I didn't even know were telling me‘you were really good.'
So from then on, as I was a bassist before, I decided I wanted to be a lead singer.
Did you find it entertaining at first to sing something quite anarchistic like The Buzzcocks or The Jam?
Yes! Definitely, you've got more freedom. To me there is nothing better than singing lyrics that you believe in.
You personally have allowed me previously to experiment in terms of your album designs, such as those for EP Num 2 which I'll touch again on later, and from this amongst other things I gather a very open minded approach in terms of general direction as an artist, however if you were to have a sit down with any other current artist who would that be.
One day I will be listening to one artist, and the next day someone completely different. Whenever I write a song I want to think originally, but also integrate different genres and sounds of music by all sorts of different artists. Like yesterday, we were recording a song with Riff Factory when we were trying to think of an opening. The days before I was listening to Joy Orbison – Wetlook and recognized the heavy tremolo in some string parts, I thought of doing something like this which really paid off. I just thought it was a little different.
So, I guess I'd say I'd like to exchange ideas with someone like Joy or Jamie xx, because, I would like to re-create there music, but I'd love to take elements of their music and put them in a guitar track just for a totally new window of sound. I'm open to ideas, we all are as a band, it the best way to be.
Your bands incredibly interactive aura in their performance provides a fantastic sense of community amongst the gigs I've attended, however whether you like it or not, your sheer aggressive expression will in certain cases take the center stage. What are you angry about. Please take your time on this one.
The reason I wanted to start writing lyrics came around the time of the General Election, when Nigel Farrage and his cronies entered the scene, when the mainstream thought he was the best thing since sliced bread, and took advantage of the workingman. It had a grip on people; it made me really pissed off. The first track that I wrote lyrically was a song called Human Being, the lyrics still mean a lot to me because of how angry I was at people being brainwashed. I have always been a political person, my family have always been heavily political people, I just wanted people to hear my voice and to provide a voice for the people who think the same as me, for people who aren't multi-millionaires that can broadcast their opinion all over the television. I think now more than ever people are genuinely scared of how the modern British world as we know it is a fucking mess again. I don't despise every mainstream politician, but a lot of them can burn in hell.
Well it's important because, without sounding too conflicting, there's not many artists who have a political standpoint and, if so, there are very few that show it to know knowledge.
Yeh, there isn't really anymore, and it's a shame because music is probably the most powerful thing to grasp peoples attention. Who do you know that doesn't enjoy music? Not all of my tracks are political but a lot of 'em are.
You have a fantastic bunch of passionate musicians to work with, including a violinist. Do you see the other members as an essentially inspiration in your song writing process or do you each share a musical direction from elsewhere?
I think both. For me personally everybody in the band is a massive influence to me. I think without Aarons (bassist) influence from what we have discovered together, music wise in the last year, I wouldn't be writing the songs I am today. When we got together in the band without Jack (violinist) and Aaron we had all come from different directions which had a fantastic imprint on one another in the band.
You personally seem to have a overwhelming support for local music, who other than yourself do you see musically worthy of a future spotlight and why?
You [[Lost Russle] 'thank you'], I'm a massive fan of Exit Pupils, just proper west-head with original music that is also politically influenced, they are brilliant. Who are you into at the moment?
I saw this guy called Matt Cook; He's been making some good stuff, it's great. He's very clever and it's really nice to meet someone local that you never knew about like that.
Yeh I know, I think everybody in Stoke has so much potential in them; we've got quite a strong music scene for all-sorts of genres – Black Coast, they'e a post-hardcore band which I think are f***ing brilliant and will get far. For the indie scene I think Rinse are an ace band who are really doing well. There are strong bands in every genre around in Stoke at the moment.
Do you think stoke has got quite a good formula then when it comes to culture and music writing?
I think Stoke has got a great formula, it just never got the mainstream eye because of how the industry left us. I'd compare it to Manchester in the 70's where the loss of industry left them in essentially rubble really, but music transported them into a revolutionary time in music and culture. I do think Stoke could be like that.
Your lyrical repertoire portrays quite a severe hindrance on the Tory power, austerity and the lower class of Britain, aside from politics what else fuels your songwriting abilities?
I've only ever written one song around love, but I don't knock it. It's very hard to capture somebody with a love song nowadays. Personally though I usually think I have more important things to write about. Family, college, things like that.
In 1977, the voyager spacecraft was launched carrying a golden phonographic record engraved with sounds from planet earth for alien life to apprehend and study. If you were to chose a record to send into space what would it be.
I wouldn't actually mind sending EP No.2 out there. Perhaps Jamie XX, Aphex Twin, David Bowie, good music.
The Inevitable, the new single from Release, has already been given the title of Record Of The Week by BBC Introducing from Stoke. Release will be performing the single at The Underground in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday 4th September. Book tickets here.