1914s have been getting us excited with their slightly mental and utterly unique sound. With echoes of Crystal Castles' razor sharp electronica, lead singer singer Shay seems to embody the spirit of Alison Mosshart and Karen O! The band dropped by Blank Studios to record exclusive live tracks including amazing favourite, Never Before.
First things first, how did you come to decide upon your name?
The name really came from a love of art and all things foreign, we wanted a name that would ask more questions than give answers. 1914 was the year that the anti-art movement of dada started in Zürich, and a great source of inspiration for us. Like musical photomontage in our backing tapes.
How did you guys get together?
We came from two bands, both prolific in their own rights within the London music scene. The Veez and Fatels. The Veez was our lead singer Shay's baby, a female rock band with plenty of swagger. Josephine joined as bass player a couple of years down the line (they then shared Glastonbury stages with Mystery Jets, Jersey Live with Does It Offend You Yeah? and Koko. Shay and Josephine kicked off the new band in 2009 and auditioned 20 guitarists before Jimi strolled in with the sound we were looking for. And our name.
Having been in bands before, do you find it's getting more and more difficult for emerging artists to get noticed?
We're just getting to the point of realising just how difficult it is to break a band to the public, and getting your music heard by wider audiences. In London things are super competitive, with five or more bands playing every night, in every venue, in every borough. It's just so hard to stand out and pull any sort of audience, this is really where amazing has truly helped us. We had a great response from many of your listeners and gained quite a few new fans.
What advice would you give to bands who aren't quite there yet - any top tips for getting your music heard?
Work really hard kids! That's the best advice we can give, just night and day dedicate all your thoughts and energy into your project. Even when we're not rehearsing, we're constantly thinking of ways to tighten and present ourselves at shows and in the studio. Also don't forget the business aspect of a band. When things start to roll, the logistics of moving gear and organising rehearsal space can be really hard to manage if you're too focused on the artistic side of things. Delegation is key too, it should become clear quite quickly within your band what you're all individually good at, as far as running a band goes. Play on those personal strengths, focus on teamwork and things will happen faster and better than you first thought was possible.
Obviously London is an excellent place to be for new music, were there any gigs/venues that you would say particularly helped you on your way?
We would say that London is more of a place to be inspired by other artists, so for other bands coming in from outside of London it's important to become a part of London music scene and network. You can play live shows for a selection of established promoters and best venues, right from the beginning. Great venues are all about the audience, the vibe and the treatment of the bands. The Good Ship in Kilburn can be busy on Fridays and John McCooke loves his bands and looks after you really well, similarly with Ed Pearson at the Queen of Hoxton for Club the Mammoth.
Did you enjoy your Amazing Session?
We loved driving up to Newcastle and meeting Chris and Sam to record the Amazing Sessions. We've all done a bit of radio stuff before in our previous bands and it's great when you meet people who are so dedicated to good music and are a good laugh too. And they built their own studio! We were sent the tracks really quickly and we're chuffed with how they sound. It sounds daft but obviously we can't hear ourselves like punters do at our gigs - so it's interesting to hear everything so clearly! We're particularly loving Dead Morning as we only had a YouTube video recording of that.
What's next for 1914s?
We are presently filming a music video for Never Before, and recording our new material in studio. Touring, touring and more shows from us around the country, it'll be nice to kick it outside of London for a bit... We're writing loads of new material at the moment, it's coming out of our ears, eyes and noses. And we'll be honing our sound forevermore. Oh and more food and drinks in Newcastle, and this time with the Amazing Radio crew, yeah?
Check out more from the band at their amazingtunes.com profile