THANKS to Passive...
for telling me about their new single, Like This, and what inspired it. I ask how they all got together and if they already have plans for next year – they reveal some albums important to them and select some rising musicians we need to get involved with.
With some tour dates coming along - 15/12: Zigfrid von Underbelly, Hoxton; 18/12: The Horns, Watford; 22/12: The Camden Assembly, Camden; 31/12: Trinity, Harrow; 10/01: The Dublin Castle, Camden –, I was eager to learn more about them and the music they’d drawn to; the advice they’d give to upcoming artists and how they spend time away from music.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! This week’s been good! Looking real forward to Xmas and the gigs we have coming up.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are an Indie-Rock band originally from Watford, London. We've all known each other since school and have been playing with each other for years, but started up Passive in the summer of 2017.
Can you tell me how Passive began? When did you find one another?
All four of us met in school and we've been playing together since the age of seventeen. At this early age, we'd all been in different bands with other musicians but came together once recognising we enjoyed the sound we made together. It was only last year (July 2017) we formally announced ourselves as Passive. We all knew from early on that being in a band was what we wanted to do with our lives and we've played every gig possible since.
Like This is your new single. Is there a story behind it?
Like This was a song that Elliott wrote about a particular relationship a long time ago. Originally, the song had quite a positive meaning - that ‘when (relationships are bad) it's like this, I'll do what I do best (to fix things of course)’. Upon reflection, Elliott may have been putting his head in the sand a little. We wanted the album art to represent this. The Burial of Atala by Roussy-Trioson depicts a man who's closing his eyes, gripping his partner's legs and hoping for the best.
Might we see more material next year?
We've got loads more material to record and a couple of things ready to release, so more singles are on the way and, if we’re lucky, eventually we should smash out an E.P.!
Is North London a great area when it comes to influence and musical peers?
North London is great. Like many others, we started out playing home town gigs in Watford and Harrow and have now moved onto venues in Camden and Shoreditch, all north of the river. We've met a lot of great bands on the way and predict we'll meet many more! You realise early on that London’s a pretty tight-knit community of musicians.
In terms of music; which artists are you drawn to?
Seasick Steve, The Strokes; Jamie Cullum, John Mayer; Travis Barker, Peace; John Mayer, Florence and the Machine and Noel Gallagher. Coldplay…?
As Christmas is coming; what one present would you each like if you could have anything?
Elliott: Boots with no holes in.
Phil: A free hot yoga class.
Josh: Some LUSH bath bombs.
Matt: A Liverpool season ticket.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
We are playing The Dublin Caste on Thursday, 10th January!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
We did a New Year’s Eve gig at our local pub/club - the Trinity in Harrow. It gets pretty packed and sweaty but it was a great set; we had a great time and it was certainly a top-notch mem!
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Elliott: Back to Bedlam - James Blunt. It was the first album I bought from HMV.
Phil: Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane. Mum always plays it in the car.
Josh: I love the first Two Door Cinema Club album but Elliott borrowed it and broke the case...
Matt: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? It made me wanna join a band.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I think we can all agree that we'd love to support Peace and that we'd want four shots of tequila beforehand.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Go to pubs, see some live music, find out who's putting on the night and then ask if they’ll put you on in future!
IN THIS PHOTO: Anteros
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
We. Love. The. Pub. Also...we’re huge Peaky Blinders and Peep Show fans.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Elliott: Hopopono by GoGo Penguin
Josh: 5 dollars by Christine and the Queens
Phil: Stop This Train by John Mayer
Matt: Little by Little by Oasis
PHOTOS OF PASSIVE: