PHOTO CREDIT: Lottie Turner
ONE hears the music of White Room…
and gets an instant blast of urgency and nostalgia. There is a great combination and fusion of ideas that make their songs a cut above the rest. I have been speaking with the Brighton-based band about their latest single, Twisted Celebration, and what inspired their E.P., Eight.
The band – Jake leads the questions – tell me about their formation and future gigs; artists that have inspired their music; how important touring and being on stage is; new artists we should check out – and why Brighton is a great place to inspire music.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Jake: It’s been good, thanks, yeah. Just had pre-production rehearsals for our shows coming up at the end of the week – so, pretty busy (but that’s never a bad thing).
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Hey there people of the Interweb. We’re White Room; made up of Jake (Vocals, Keys), Tristan (Guitar, Keys); Jacob (Guitar, Vocals), Josie (Bass, Vocals) and Hen (Drums).
Twisted Celebration is your new song. Is there a story behind the song?
Well, to me, it’s really a song about isolation and how, the further you allow yourself to sink into it, the harder it is to crawl out again.
The video is interesting! What was it like putting it together?!
A lot of the filming actually took place syncing over a half-speed version of the track so, when sped back up to full-speed, you’d get the effect that we’re actually spinning twice as fast as the carousel can go. So, there was a lot of awkward shots hanging off horses singing along in slow-motion while attempting to keep as still as possible. Much easier said than done.
The carousel is actually an original from Brighton in 1888 and has been run by the same family for generations. Each horse is named after a different family member through the years.
Twisted Celebration is from the double-E.P., Eight. What was the reason for releasing a double-E.P.? What sort of themes and ideas inspires the music?
Well. The concepts originated around the number-eight, so it only seemed fitting we had eight tracks - and that didn’t feel long enough to call an album, so it took its form as a double-E.P., which we drip-fed over the course of a few months.
The tracks interlock around themes such as escapism, positivity and togetherness.
How did White Room get together? Was it quite a quick bond?
We all knew each other when we were young and just always had that musical connection with each other. So, yes; it was a quick bond - but a bond that has developed since we were young.
Is Brighton a perfect place to create music? Would you recommend other artists base themselves there to get inspired?
Brighton is a great city to live and create in, yes. There’s always a lot happening within the arts world down here which, of course, will be a catalyst for inspiration. It’s got that relaxed vibe - but it’s still very much a happening city with lots to sink your teeth into.
What sort of music did you all grow up around? When did you decide music is what you wanted to do?
We all grew up with music in our lives and, as I said, most of us knew each other from a young age – so, we shared a lot of what we’d hear at home with each other and probably formed a lot of our tastes these days together back then.
For me, music was always the obvious route really; ever since I was a little’un, really. Although, when I was a young, I was pretty dreadful at every instrument I tried. Haha. But music has just always been in my bones, you know? It’s all I really want to do and I know how to do.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
We have our two biggest headline shows to date coming up this week in Brighton (15th) and London (16th) at Patterns and Moth Club. After that we have a string of city festivals coming up in the spring.
How does your music differ from the studio to the stage? Does the reaction from the crowd affect you?
Of course, yeah. Live, you work from the fans almost entirely. You feed off them...
Sonically-speaking; our recordings inevitably have a larger production element than we can produce in a live situation…but isn’t that part of the beauty of watching a live performance?! If you heard the same as the record you’d almost feel cheated. We’ve just recorded a few new tracks that will feature in these next shows - and arranging them into a live performance has been one of the most enjoyable parts of putting the show together.
IN THIS PHOTO: BARBUDO
What do you all hope to achieve, personally, in 2018?
I’d like to become a more prolific writer and question my train of thought less often while I do so.
Tristan: To be able to play synth, organ and guitar simultaneously while reciting Churchill’s classic speech without making a mistake.
Jacob: To increase my grasp of alternate tunings...
Josie: To articulate myself better in what I create...
Hen: Learn how to sing like Jake and Josie.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Jake: Holding the 12” of Eight and flipping our own record for the first time.
Tristan: Watching Josie curling Jake’s hair on the drive up to a show in Sheffield sticks in my mind. Oh, the burns. So many, many burns.
Josie: FestEvol 2017.
Jacob: Telling Jack White I loved his new record - and him insulting my nationality in return.
Hen: Y Not Festival 2017.
I guess being tipped and backed by Paul Weller stands as a highlight! How did that make you all feel?!
Jake: When I found out he wanted to meet us and had invited us to record at his, I cried. I think that was the moment we all decided to really get our heads down and work.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Just to write as much as you can and go out and play as much as you can. We’re still trying to figure it out for ourselves. Haha.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
People often don’t see the other side of music and how much work you have to put into it. With any passion, you have to give it your complete all and then some. It’s strenuous but the reward is always greater.
No one wants to sit in a room running a set over and over again but, when you then play the show of your life, all the work instantly becomes a joyous memory. Everyone in the band has their way of unwinding.
I personally love to cook and to fish.
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).
Jake - Mellow Custard by BARBUDO
Tristan: Dust on Trial by Shame
Jacob: Tslamp by MGMT
Josie: Exit Only by Warehouse
Hen: The Rabies Are Back by The Moonlandingz
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