A lot of new bands are coming through…
and London is hosting a fair few of them! It is hard deciding which acts are worth a shout – those that will fade out of the mind and not return. There is no doubt After London are in the first category (emphatically): a stunning and fascinating young band that is already getting people talking. I ask them about their eponymous E.P. and the songs, they feel, are highlights.
The band look ahead to gigs and plans; they tell me about their influences and new artists worth a poke; how things got started for them and how their E.P. launch gig – at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen – went; how important London and its people are to them – and whether they each have a treasured memory from their time in music.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Frank: We are good, thank you! It’s been busy. Last Wednesday, we had our E.P. launch party at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen and, tomorrow, we go back into the studio to add the finishing touches to our next single...
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Of course...hello! We are After London…and it’s nice to meet you (smiles). We’re a Rock band - and you can usually find us performing at one of the city’s live music venue. Come and see us.
Your E.P., After London, is out. What has the reaction been like to it? How did the launch go at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen (7th February)?
Jake: Seeing our fans sing and jam to the songs that we have been preparing for so long made the process so worthwhile.
Frank: Yeah, it’s been great. It’s just nice to have a set of songs out there available for people to listen to. We had a great turnout at our launch party and it felt really good to finally play our full E.P. live to an audience. Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen is a wicked venue to play. Such a gem!
Is there a standout track on the E.P. for you? Which song means the most to you individually – or is there a band consensus?
I, personally, really like Bitter Man. It’s quite a big and powerful song, which I like.
Will: Agree. Bitter Man makes me wanna drive fast.
Jake: I’m a big old Dreams fan, personally: air-drummin’-guaranteed.
What were the main themes and ideas that inspired the E.P.’s songs?
Frank: These four tracks are pretty much the first songs we properly wrote together as a band.
Will: There are darker, heavier parts which were a tonne of fun to write – stuff you can break out to. There is also pretty, delicate and intricate part, too. It’s a diverse palette (like life!).
How did After London get together? Did you all know one another before the band formed?
Frank: It feels like we’ve known each other forever. That’s sort of the truth for me, Byron and Will as we’re actually family - but Will met Alex at uni. We started writing and playing as a Folk band but then slowly realised we were writing heavier Rock songs.
Then in came Jake who instantly filled the missing hole in our heart…and here we are, talking with you!
Jake: After searching for a band that satisfied me, musically as well as emotionally; I couldn’t have got any luckier than meeting these weirdos.
It seems like a busy time for you guys. Are you already working on new material – or gigging the E.P. as much as possible?
Will: We’re going pretty hard at it! We’re in the studio this week putting the finishing touches to our next single and, for sure, we’ll be following up the E.P. launch show with a gig at The Finsbury on 24th Feb. Come!
Your sound is fresh - but I am interesting learning your influences. Which artists have impacted you all?
Jake: We draw our inspirations from all over the place; venturing into as many genres as possible helps us really hone into our own sound. We draw influence from similar-sounding bands like Wolf Alice - but we have plenty of love for Fleetwood Mac!
How important is London itself to your music and development? Do the people inspire the music at all?
Frank: For us three; we grew up in a small town in Hampshire. There was never really that much to do - which was probably a good thing, as we ended up playing music or some of us were in bands and putting nights on. What’s wicked about London is that there is so much going on. There’s so much opportunity to be creative...which is pretty nice.
Jake: I was born and raised in London so it has definitely had an influence on my music. I think that’s because London is one of the most diverse places on Earth. I end up putting a bit of everything in there.
Alex: I’m from the sticks, too but, since moving to London, I can’t get enough of how much this amazing city has to offer - it’s like nowhere else.
IN THIS PHOTO: Dream Wife
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
Frank: Dream Wife! Haha. I think I may be their number-one fan, but I really love them. Hey Heartbreaker is such a tune.
If you each had to choose the one album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Frank: Whaaat…there are way too many...
As a band-favourite-album, I think, probably Rumours – Fleetwood Mac. It’s an all-round, eleven-song banger.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
We’re playing The Finsbury on 24th February. I love this venue as it’s always a guaranteed good night out. More details for live shows to follow (smiles).
What do you all hope to achieve, personally, in 2018?
Our first U.K. tour!
Jake: Headline Reading/Leeds…
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
We once spent a solid thirty minutes writing a song dedicated to Squashies. We couldn’t stop. Best song we ever wrote.
Frank: Aha, yes! We were going through an experimental stage...
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).
Seeing as we’re close to Valentine’s Day; I’ll go for Wolf Alice – Don’t Delete the Kisses
Either that or Dream Wife – Hey Heartbreaker
Jake: Bernadette Carroll – Laughing on the Outside (I can’t get this bloody song out of my head – put on blog at own risk)
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