I have really enjoyed getting to know Ed Poole...
and discovering how his new song, Knives, started life. He discusses the song’s awesome video and reveals the music that captivates him – Poole selects a few albums that mean a lot to him and highlights some rising artists worth exploring.
I ask when there might be some tour dates and whether he gets chance to chill away from music; what we will get from his upcoming album, Envelop/Erase; how important it is being on the stage and whether Poole has a favourite memory from his time in music – he ends the interview by selecting a great song.
Hi, Ed. How are you? How has your week been?
My week has been great, thanks. Busy but great!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Hi! I’m Ed Poole. I’m a singer/songwriter based in Liverpool, U.K. - although I’m originally from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. I’ve been writing, releasing and performing music on my own since 2012. I’ve released two E.P.s called Winters and in the Company of Old Friends.
I recently signed to a new indie label in Liverpool called Doing Life Records who have helped me put out a split-E.P. (with my friend Seven Years Behind) and two standalone singles since 2016. I’ve played all over the U.K. and I’ve been lucky enough to open for some of my favourite artists, such as Kevin Devine, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly; The Xcerts and Vinnie Caruana.
I like movies, coffee; sport (some of it) and food (all of it)!
The music video for Knives has been released. What is the tale behind the song?
I wanted to write something that sounded really catchy and fun but also a bit more personal, lyrically, than I had done before. I demoed it a few times and, during that time, it went through loads of different versions. I eventually hit upon the dry 808 beat that drives it along which was something I hadn’t really tried before and it really excited me.
It’s about my own personal experiences of feeling a bit helpless and overwhelmed. Sometimes, I feel like you aren’t able to chase the demons away by yourself and you’re scrambling around in the dark.
Ultimately, however, the only way to find your way out is to learn to trust the inner-voice that comes from a place of self-confidence, rather than self-doubt.
The video was filmed in Liverpool. Was it a great video to shoot?
Yeah, it was a lot of fun. We filmed it one Saturday afternoon in my bedroom! I wanted to do something that was relatively quick and easy to shoot as well as being fun and representative of the song. I think we achieved that! We put a camera on top of a foot stool, a stack of books and a biscuit tin and just let it roll.
The hands you see popping into shot throughout belong to Simon (from Doing Life Records) and my wife, Nic. The hardest part was not bursting into laughter during takes because all of us had the giggles, throughout. It’s safe to say they enjoyed throwing sponge balls at my head.
Envelop/Erase is your upcoming album. Do you think there are common themes and ideas that unite the songs?
Certainly. The idea that there are certain societal pressures - that have grown stronger over the last decade or so and have been exacerbated by social media - that can lead a person to feel as though they must outwardly project an idealised version of themselves as opposed to the ‘real’ version. I wanted the album to explore the idea that, when these ‘idealised versions’ are placed on such a pedestal, they can consume a person’s true identity and ultimately lead to loneliness and dissociation: kind of a long-winded way of saying “Oi! There’s nothing wrong with being boring, sometimes. Enjoy it!”
Also, I thought longer and harder about lyrics - something I usually struggle with - than before and made a conscious effort to be more open and honest about my personal feelings and experiences than I’d perhaps been before. I think this has resulted in the most honest set of songs that I’ve ever written. Hopefully, this comes across when people listen to it!
Is there a song from the album that you count as a favourite?
I keep changing from one to the other but I would have to say Knives. I think it best encapsulates what I wanted the whole album to be about, both musically and lyrically.
What do you think of the modern scene? Do you listen to a lot of new artists?
I think it’s much harder to build and maintain a strong music scene in the modern day. We are losing venues at a faster rate than in the past and there are, of course, more methods of entertainment available which may contribute to fewer people going out to check out local gigs. That being said, new venues still spring up all the time and there are so many incredible artists out there making music, right now. We just need to support and look after them (venues and artists alike).
Personally, I try to keep up to speed with new music as much as possible and I’m always open to new recommendations. Where I am, in Liverpool, we have a really exciting scene at the moment.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
I’d have to say my first experience of playing 2000trees Festival which was back in 2013. I was due to play an unplugged set (after hours) and was absolutely bricking it. Probably the most nervous I’ve ever been before going on stage. It was in the area which is now the Forest stage and it was packed with drunk festival goers. I was convinced I’d have empty tins of Strongbow bouncing off my head. As it turned out, they were all incredibly quiet and listened intently throughout the set. The buzz I felt afterwards was phenomenal!
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
By the Way - Red Hot Chili Peppers
This is such a nostalgic album for me. When I listen to this record, I can literally close my eyes and remember almost everything I did in the summer of 2002, just after I left secondary school, being soundtracked by this album. Growing up, I was a huge Chilis fan and, whilst some of their output hasn’t aged all that well, this one seems to get better the older it becomes.
The '59 Sound - The Gaslight Anthem
This album was the first time my wife ever recommended any music to me, just after we had started dating. It had just come out and has been a favourite that we have shared ever since.
Sprained Ankle - Julien Baker
I can’t think of another artist that has had a more significant and immediate impact on me than the first time I heard Julien Baker. Everything about this album punches me right in the guts (in a good way). I love how minimal it is yet it sounds so huge at the same time. How she can tear you to pieces and then pick you back up all within the same song never fails to astound me.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I’d support Bruce Springsteen and my rider would contain a signed photo of Bruce, three cans of Beavertown Neck Oil IPA and a packet of Imodium Instants.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Practice hard, gig as much as you can and be polite and kind to everyone you meet on the road!
How important is it being on the stage and performing to people?
To me, it’s incredibly important. The best feeling I get from music is from playing gigs. As much fun as it is to write and record, there’s no feeling like performing live. I’m convinced I’ll be doing it forever, in one capacity or another. I couldn’t give it up.
Do you think there are going to be any tour dates coming up?
There certainly are! I’ll be heading out for a few shows with my friend, B-Sydes, in February. B-Sydes and I have known each other for a while and I’m hugely excited to be able to get out on the road and play some shows with him.
16th February - Cambridge, Relevant Records Café
19th February - Worcester, Paradiddle’s Café Music Bar
22nd February - Manchester, Gulliver’s (supporting Andy Oliveri)
23rd February - Album Launch Show @ Liverpool, Outpost
IN THIS PHOTO: SPQR
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
In terms of Liverpool-based artists, I would strongly recommend checking out SPQR, A Burial At Sea and COLOUR. From elsewhere in the U.K., there is an amazing band called PEAKES (from Leeds) who I highly recommend. I think Lizzy Farrall is cool, too.
IN THIS PHOTO: PEAKES
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I am a huge fan of sitting and doing nothing - literally, just sitting. I cannot stress enough how relaxing a good sit can be. You can dress it up by adding a beer, glass of wine; cup of tea or whatever but the act of deciding you are done for the day and having a sit down is just the best.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Barbados by Lizzy Farrall, please!
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