THE guys of Club Paradise have been speaking with me…
about their new release, Brother, and what its story is. I ask what the scene is like where they are in Newcastle upon Tyne; whether there is more material coming their way; if they are ready for the summer gig trail – they reveal the sort of music they grew up around.
I ask the guys if they get chance to unwind away from music and the advice they’d give artists coming through; which upcoming acts we need to get behind; what their fondest memories from music are – they each choose a track to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Nathan: Hi. We’re tremendous. It’s been such a pleasure seeing how people have reacted and warmed to the single since its release. We’re still over the moon with how the single launch went – so, that set this week up fantastically.
Jackson: Sweaty (to both)
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re Club Paradise; a four-piece Indie-Rock band from Newcastle upon Tyne. I’m Ryan; I sing and play guitar; I’m Jackson I play guitar; I’m Nathan - the dummer; I’m Harry and I play bass!
Brother is your new tune. What is the story behind the song?
Ryan: The song principally is about greed - specifically, the story behind the Martin Shkreli drug price-hike scandal in America. That’s what came naturally and effortlessly when we wrote the song as it was going on at the time. Really, though, it can be applied, metaphorically, in other ways - how do you feel cheated?
It seems like it is ready for the summer and prepared to get a good tan! Do you have plans to get the song on the road?
We do! Although…we couldn’t possibly spoil the surprise just yet...
You hail from Newcastle upon Tyne. What is the music scene like there? Do you think it gets the attention it deserves?
Nathan: It’s certainly growing, that’s for sure. There’s a sense of unity with the majority of bands up here; everybody understands, for the scene to grow, there needs to be a communal aspect. All the bands and music lovers up here support one another and the crowds understand good music when they hear it. We have a number of very slick venues - and the younger generation is making a big effort to get out in numbers to support local bands.
There are artists such as Sam Fender and The Pale White who are getting quite a name for themselves amongst the country; gaining momentum every day whilst sticking to their northern roots. So, attention is starting to arise.
Ryan: Yeah. I agree. It’s important to know that the scene was totally dead when we first arrived under a different guise a few years back but now to see it flourish the way it does is really exciting and a privilege to be a part of!
What comes next for the band? Do Club Paradise have new material brewing?
Jackson: Absolutely. We have some bangers in the oven.
Nathan: We’re always writing new tunes. It keeps us refreshed knowing we can tweak the set and chop-and-change songs to keep things interesting for us and the people who come and see us. We opened our headline gig just gone with a new song that we love. It hasn’t got a name we’ve all settled on yet but it has a very engaging sample taken from an ‘80s coming-of-age film that fits it phenomenally. The song itself is nostalgic and anthemic and a joy to play live. We got goosebumps performing it.
Given that interesting name; is there a club, historic or music-based, you’d consider being ‘paradise’.
Ryan: for me, I’m not associating it that way. Our single launch party was the creation of Club Paradise - not only as the headline act but the start of its own place and the event name. We want to create Club Paradise for ourselves and have everyone else associate it with that. Our name is boundless…
Nathan: What springs to mind for me is a club located in Budapest named Corvinteto. I stumbled across it with my friends when I was travelling around Europe in May and fell in love with it instantaneously. It had everything: pulsating neon lights, ear-crumbling speakers; an idyllic rooftop overlooking the city and a real sense of togetherness with everybody who attended. I didn’t see one person not enjoying themselves - and that’s my idea of real paradise.
Give me a sense of the music you all grew up around. If we combined your record collections; what might we find in there?
Harry: Favourite Worst Nightmare by Arctic Monkeys was the first album I bought. Klaxons really got me into Electronic music. I was really into Indie stuff.
Ryan: I’ve been surrounded by such a diverse selection growing up. My mother listens to Northern Soul and Motown, so I’m heavily into all that stuff - and a lot of Soul, too. At the same time, my dad listens to everything from Phil Collins to Duran Duran and I think that sort of stuff comes in a lot more with what we do, musically. I chose a lot of different stuff growing up but myself and Nathan we were so heavily into the early Kings of Leon stuff.
I remember; we would just sit for hours on end listening to what was going on in the early-'00s and just being blown away. From being around eight-years-old, we wanted to do this because of everyone from Kings of Leon - even to Razorlight and everything in-between. But, the best physical record I own from start to finish has to be Funkadelic - Uncle Jam Wants You.
Jackson: Kerrang! Class of 2006.
Where are you heading on tour? Where can we catch you?
We can’t announce that just yet!
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
Ryan: We want to establish ourselves as a main player in the North East. We’ve been around for so many years under a previous name and that was our warm-up; we were prepping to do this. We’re much more focused and refined now. We have a set of songs we’re continuously expanding and we know exactly what we want to achieve. We’re here now and we’re not going anywhere but forward.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Nathan: I remember so vividly being in primary-school and waiting for the Christmas talent show every day so me and my friend could perform for the first time. We must’ve been about ten-years-old and we got up, drums and guitar; dressed in trilby hats, neckerchiefs and skinny jeans and blasted out a cover of Back in Black by AC/DC. It was exhilarating.
There are photos of me next to this drum kit that was twice the size of me. The teachers and parents were shocked. They thought it was going to be terrible but we smashed it. Looking back, it was probably awful but, from that point on, I knew all I wanted to do was play live in front of big crowds - maybe minus the trilby.
Harry: Writing music on Boxing Day when we started the band and we all received new gear for Christmas. We wrote several songs that day. They did not age well at all but we were exploring sounds and our instruments. It was a fun process.
Jackson: First time I heard a song I liked was on a Rey Mysterio website where it was, literally, just pictures of him with Numb Encore playing. I asked my sister what song it was and then I downloaded it.
Ryan: When we finished our first song as a band, around the age of fifteen/sixteen, I remember just playing it over and over for hours and I got home and I was so adamant that we were on to something…I’d never think the same thing if I wrote it now but it was such a significant transition to us: we went from musicians who played covers to artists then. It was spine tingling.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Jackson: Last Dinosaurs/The Jungle Giants.
My rider would be a bucket of ice, a can of Relentless; some vodka and a cinnamon swirl from the Co-Op.
Harry: Tame Impala. They had the best live show I have seen.
Ryan: Tame Impala are up there for me, too, but I’m not disappointed in changing that to Bear’s Den. I can never get bored of their music.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
If you’re doing something and you think: ‘But, wait; nobody else is doing that’, it’s not a bad thing. You’re doing the right thing by making a sound for yourself. No self-respecting band has ever become successful by being derivative - make your mark.
Harry: When starting out, say ‘yes’ to every gig. You network, get experience and improve as a band. We played an obscene amount of shows in our first three years.
IN THIS PHOTO: The Old Pink House/PHOTO CREDIT: Alex Robson
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Nathan: There’s another four-piece from Newcastle I’d highly recommend called The Old Pink House. Every song they have released on Spotify is an anthem. The singer has a very distinguishable voice and the guitar riffs are melodic; supported by a thumping, stylish rhythm section and moody, room-filling synths.
Harry: I am into a band called courtship. Right now, they just released their debut L.P. They have some great tunes, especially for summer.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Harry: Not really. It is always on the mind. I unwind by listening to music - so that doesn't help.
Ryan: The great thing about music is that you can use it for everything, including downtime. I do enjoy a cinema trip or reading, though.
Jackson: Playing Xbox babyyyyyy. Fortnite master.
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).
Jackson: As U Wave - HALFNOISE
Nathan: Everything She Wants – Wham!
Harry: Sunroof – courtship.
Ryan: Girlfriend - Christine and the Queens (ft. Dâm-Funk)
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