These Reigning Days
BBC Club, London
added: 20 Jun 2012
interviewed by: Alasdair Byers
If one word could describe new Devon-based Indie-clash group These Reigning Days, it would be Pace. Forming in September of last year, the groups first live gig, weeks later, was in support of global name Metronomy. Since then a string of successful gigs around the South West saw them talent-spotted and sent as one of just twenty bands to perform at proving ground MusExpo in LA in May. Now back and gearing up for a string of gigs and festival appearances for the summer, Music-News caught up with front man Dan Steer, bassist Jonny Finnis and Drummer Joe Samsone following a gig at London's BBC Club.
Words by Alasdair Byers
Q: So you've just come back from MusExpo LA, where you were one of just twenty bands picked to perform. How was it?
Dan: It was amazing! We met some really great people. The gigs were held in SIR studios, which is a really well known venue. So just meeting the people that worked there, and people from LA itself was a massive learning curve.
Jonny: - It was just the best of everything -
Joe: - I mean in the studio next to us was Jennifer Lopez and the studio opposite us was Incubus, it was that kind of place.
Q: So being out in America and playing to bigger crowds and also to an American audience, how do you feel thats going to affect your music here?
Dan: I think we're on the right track as a band. Over there that seemed recognised, people were really responsive to us, they loved it because it was different, they could tell we were from England by the music, which was nice. It's nice to think we sound quite English!
Q: You've had a single, Changes, and you've got a debut album on the way. You've attracted attention by refusing to define yourself as a specific genre -
Dan: We don't refuse, its just really hard!
Q: - A lot of music nowadays is becoming a mish-mash of genres. Do you feel thats trend you're part of, or is that just becoming the norm?
Dan: I think its becoming the norm
Joe: We write per song. We don't have an aim, in that we don't decide 'I like this, and this is what we're gonna do' We've literally just put the time in in the studio, fed off each other and its come up to where it is.
Jonny: I mean its had its good points and bad points though-
- I guess its quite hard to start if you're working off a blank canvas?
Joe: Yeah, and people feel more comfortable when they can look at a band and go 'Right, thats that genre, I'm in my comfort zone'. So when you are testing the waters, it's quite hard to genre-fy
Dan - Seems to work though!
Q: You guys have moved so fast, and its been said one thing thats helped was playing as a support act to Metronomy. How did that come about?
Dan: That came about because there's quite a tight unit of aspiring bands around the South West, like our friends Moriarty and I think people all put it together and help each other out, so word got round and we got put in with Metronomy
Joe: I don't think Metronomy actually got in touch and were like "We need those guys!" but still!
Jonny: It was our first gig as well
Dan: Yeah! yeah it was. It was a good one to start with, and nice to think, right, we've got to give it everything now
Q: You've done some of the US, you've done some of the UK now, do you have a plan in place for future gigs?
Dan: I definitely wanna do Europe on a larger scale
Joe: Yeah, yeah Japan
Dan: Just anywhere really. We're lucky in that the job we do enables us to see quite a bit of the world and meet some really interesting people, so we'll play anywhere really where theres a demand and people wanna see us.
Q: Do you have a dream?
Joe: I think we've all got different ones. I mean mine, Royal Albert Hall, headline act
Dan: (Points to Joe) Well he's a massive Motley Crew fan, so he probably wants to go on tour with them!
Joe: Yeah If I can get mad drunk and get on the roller-coaster with Tommy Lee then, game over, Id' quit! I'd quit while Im ahead!
Jon: Just touring, and playing big gigs, to appreciative audiences.
Dan: For me It's making music I love, and people responding to the fact that they love it as well. Thats what makes me happy. Being there, and watching someone else enjoy what I'm doing. That's it really.
Jon: And the more the merrier.
Joe: Gigging in front of ten people or ten million people I mean -
Dan: - Ten million people Joe, dunno if we've got the technology for that yet. Would be great though.
Q: You've only been going since last September. You've moved astonishingly fast. you've got backing, you've got sponsorship, you've got music videos, you've got everything covered really. Do you have any advice to aspiring musicians?
Joe: Don't ever follow the trends
Dan: Yeah, seriously, its harder, but you just blend in if you're the same as everyone else. Just gig as much as possible, even if you're just doing covers. We've all been in various bands so we learned how to play, to build up our confidence and get to know what we wanted to do in future but, just be yourselves. Just because people at one specific gig didn't get it doesn't mean people at the next gig will be the same.
Joe: That's not so much following trends musically, thats in general. I mean, we're from the South West and there's no difference between playing in Torquay and playing in Plymouth, so just cut your own path. Be aware that Its quite closely knit and people expect you to follow these rules like 'Right, your a new band so play these venues-
(Entire group in unison) '-For free!' (laughter)
'- And you need to release a single with these elements in it' You think there's a system you need to follow, but there isn't. Any opportunity, good or bad, that comes up, just do it, you never know what'll happen.
These Reigning Days recent single, 'Changes' produced by Pet Shop Boys / Goldfrapp / Duran Duran's Yoad Nevo is available on the ITunes store now. New single 'Livin it Up' are available is scheduled for release on the 23rd of July, with an album out later in the year.
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