How would you describe your sound for people who don’t know you?
Folk music – there’s no real way that I could sugarcoat it other than that.
Who are you influenced by?
I love all kinds of music, but I’d say mostly folk music, grunge music and punk rock. My favourite stuff to listen to at the minute is Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams, Bayside and The Gaslight Anthem. With regards to songwriting, I’d say that I just write from an autobiographical point of view.
Right, you’ve got a choice – you can headline Glastonbury or release a definitive, generation defining album – which one would you choose and why?
I’d say Glastonbury. If I were to release a definitive album then I’d have so much trouble following it up. Neutral Milk Hotel never released anything after In The Aeroplane Over The Sea and that album’s a complete masterpiece. If you think of bands like Oasis, who have had some really amazing songs since, but have had so much trouble following up (What’s The Story?) Morning Glory it really puts things into perspective.
Who were your main musical influences growing up?
My Mum used to overplay Bat Out Of Hell II – I wouldn’t say that it’s an influence but that’s probably my earliest music memory. She also likes Leonard Cohen, and I permenantly borrowed his first album from her. My Dad is still really into The Beatles, Queen and Electric Light Orchestra.
Which song do you wish you had written?
It’s between AMY by Ryan Adams and Creature Fear by Bon Iver. AMY has this really ethereal and relatable environment and if I were to pick one song from his masterpiece Heartbreaker, it would probably be that. Creature Fear, on the other hand, changes in dynamics so much… The first time I heard it I wasn’t expecting any of these crashing dynamics counteracted by a hushed Justin Vernon.
Have you got any advice for new bands or artists starting off at the moment?
Don’t try to be the next big band. I see a lot of bands that are trying to be the next Oasis or the next Blink 182. Why ride their coat-tails?
What are your hopes for 2012?
To release my second EP and to play more shows in different places. I’m also trying to get together a band at the minute.
What’s your favourite track on the EP?
I play favourites based on the response I get from people, to be completely honest. I didn’t like the Exit Strategy EP that much as I wrote, recorded, mixed, mastered and continued to perform it. I would say it changes a lot, as it started out as the title track, but right now it’s Everything, Up In Smoke.
What comes first for you – the lyrics or the music?
With Exit Strategy the lyrics came first entirely, but it depends. I like to experiment with my writing a lot but this second EP is totally comprised of songs which were lyrics first.