I caught up with SMOKE FAIRIES, after the release of their single DISCONNECT

Smoke Fairies released two songs from their newest album ‘Darkness Brings the Wonders Home’. I thought it would be a good opportunity for a catch up…

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For those who haven’t heard of the Smoke Fairies before, how would you describe yourself?

We are two guitarists who write and sing melancholy, riffy songs. We’ve been making music for an age. 

Who is in the band and how did you all meet?

There are 2 of us in the band. We met on the first day of secondary school in 1994. We didn’t like each other because we both had the same bag but maybe it was a sign.

If I was to use the phrase “for fans of”, who would you best compare yourselves to?

I think our music is a bit odd and has never really fit into any boxes, which is a blessing a curse. We have been described as dream pop, folk, and more recently stoner metal which is the description I like the best, even if its not entirely accurate.  

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Who produced the album? Have you worked with them before? How was it working with them?

We went to Seattle to work with Producer Phil EK for our latest album. We hadn’t met before and only had a few phone conversations where we discussed the weather before we flew out there. He really pushed us to be the best we could be which meant having to be told we were sounding weak and weren’t playing our guitar riffs in the best way. It was a hard experience to go through but he inspired us to be better.  

Where did the lyric inspiration for these songs come from?

Modern isolation, the feeling that the whole world is doomed, ponds, insects, people who can’t commit, the Croydon cat killer, doomed love, hope, the woods. 

Where was the video for ‘Disconnect’ shot and who directed it?

We shot the video to Disconnect in our house. We had to move everything out of the way to make room but the space was tight and towards the end of the day, things were falling off the shelves and lights were falling over. 
The worst moment of the day happened when we had to move the cat litter tray, I backed into it and all the used cat litter tipped down the back of my legs into my boots, so gross.
It was directed by Annick Wolfers who also shot our video for Out of the Woods. We can trust Annick to always get a beautiful shot. 

When are you next on tour, and where can we catch you?

We are doing a UK tour in February. You can catch us at these venues: 
Manchester Soup Kitchen – February 1st
Leeds Oporto – February 2nd
Norwich Arts Centre – February 3rd
Oxford Bullingdon – February 5th
London Hoxton Hall – February 6th
Birmingham Sunflower Lounge – February 7th
Bristol Rough Trade – February 8th
Portsmouth The Square Tower – February 9th

And finally, where can we find out more about you?

We have a podcast called Smoke Signals that is available wherever you get podcasts from. You can hear us chatting about our time in the music industry and discussing our disappointment with modern biscuit ranges.
www.SmokeFairies.com is our website and on socials it’s: Instagram: https://instagram.com/SmokeFairies, Facebook: https://facebook.com/SmokeFairies, Youtube https://youtube.com/SmokeFairies 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SmokeFairies

I’d like to thank the Smoke Fairies for taking the time to answer my questions, and I cannot wait to see them on tour next year.

I chatted to Rory from LUCIFER GUNNE, an alternative rock band from Wellington, New Zealand. Read our conversation here…

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Lucifer Gunne on Facebook

For those who haven’t heard of Lucifer Gunne before, how would you describe the band?

A beautiful compilation of rock-like noise, tailor made for people who like to question and love everything, including themselves and their peers. The world’s a pretty freaky place.

Who is in the band and how did you all meet?

Currently, we have Don Mackenzie, backing vocals and guitar thing 1, who has been their since the band’s first iteration (there’s a long story to the creation of the band that I’m sure you can find online, but the short answer is I met him at a pixies concert). Steve Henwood, starring as guitar thing 2, we found him asking if there was any bands that wanted a guitarist in our area, so we decided to take him in, beautiful bastard he is. Finally, we have Jackson Kidd, professional stick hitter and keeper of all time, who we knew from another project of his (check out Speaking to Houses on Facebook!), so we got him on board when we were without a drummer a couple of months ago. His middle name is ‘Campbell Zultan’, so he automatically qualifies as a cool guy.

Oh yeah, and me, I play that thing with four strings and am the main vocalist. No cool facts for me. Nothing to see here, people.

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Lucifer Gunne on Facebook

If I was to use the phrase “for fans of”, who would you best compare yourselves to?

We’re a band for fans of getting through difficult times, consistently working to improve yourself and cutting out the bullshit in your life. As well as idles and early Arctic Monkeys material.

Who produced Energenetic? Have you worked with them before? How was it working with them?

Ah yes, the lovely people over at Elysian Studios. Though I cannot say who they are, they were the best people to work with, super helpful and weren’t afraid to speak their minds if they had an idea. Love working with creative folk like that. It was our first time working on something with them, and I cannot thank them enough for the opportunity they gave!

Where did the lyric inspiration for these songs come from?

Anywhere and everywhere. Life. Friends. Enemies. Inner demons. The world as we know it.

You recently released the video for ‘Energenetic’. Is this a hint at more new music on the way?

We’re currently gift-wrapping something very special for all to hear. I’m unfortunately a bit of a perfectionist and am currently analysing everything down to the most minute detail, but as soon as I’ve finished doing that, I’ll let you know.

Where was the video shot and who produced it?

That was actually up on my old work building, I used to work on the top floor so just decided to ask my manager “hey, can we use this space for a music video?”, thankfully, the response was positive and I love how it turned out in the end.

Stephen Press was the guy who worked on it. 5 trillion gold stars to him, he put in a lot of hours and it really shows.

When are you next on tour, and where can we catch you?

Touring information is currently locked up in our vaults and nobody is sure where the key is right now, but I promise you the plans are in there somewhere. We do have a final wrap-up show for the year on December 29th in Valhalla, the best venue in Wellington, New Zealand.

And finally, where can we find out more about you?

Check out Lucifer Gunne on Facebook and Instagram. That’s where you’ll be able to find our tour dates, announcements, giveaways and more. Spotify and all your other favorite streaming services is where you can find that thing we make called music.

Anything else you would like to tell us?

Every dead body on Everest was once a highly motivated individual.

I would like to thank Rory for taking the time to answer our questions and I hope to catch Lucifer Gunne when they make it over to the UK.

Frank Turner announces new Solo tour for 2020, and tickets go on sale TOMORROW at 10am…

After the success of his Be More Kind world tour and the No Man’s Land America and UK tour, Frank Turner’s back at it again, this time announcing a solo tour around the UK, visiting a host of cities and towns not normally included tours.

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Most people who have seen Frank live in the last few years are probably used to also hearing the sounds of the Sleeping souls, but this tour goes back to his older routes, with just him and his guitar on the stage.

Frank is also being supported by his Wife – Jess Guise – and the wonderful sounds of Micah Schnabel. This looks to be a great show.

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£1 from every ticket will also be going to Way Out Arts, a charity Frank has been supporting for many years.

I look forward to chatting to Frank before he sets off at the start of March and seeing his show at the Bath Forum.

I recently chatted to REWS after the release of their latest single BIRDSONG…

REWS are making good headway after their release of their newest single BIRDSONG. I chatted to Shauna from the band, have a read of our conversation below:

For those out there who haven’t heard of Rews before, how would you describe the Band?

I would say the REWS sound is high energy fierce femme alternative rock / pop sound.  The inspiration behind a lot of the songs is deeply rooted in wanting to share a bit more positivity and comfort through tough situations.  The band is a revolving cast of awesome musicians who I get to play with during different events but usually compromises of a drummer, bassist and myself! 🙂 

Dot to Dot festival 2019

If I were to use the phrase “for fans of”, who would you say you are similar to?

Hmmm… maybe Yungblud, Royal Blood, Paramore, Foo Fighters, Deftones??  Bit of an eclectic mix! Haha!

You recently released your latest single “birdsong”. Is the hinting at more new music on the way?

It sure is!  I’ve just finished recording the album actually!  I’m very very veryyyyy excited to release more soon! :). The new year will be full of musical treats!

Who was the song (and album) produced by? Have you worked with them before?

The song (and the rest of the second album) was produced by Alex Loring and Tom Andrews.  I hadn’t worked with them before but it was super fun and I’m delighted with the sound we’ve created together! 

Where did the inspiration for the lyrics for Birdsong come from?

I wrote the song after finding a little wounded bird whilst out for a run one day.  I was reading ‘You Are A Bad-Ass’ which is a kind of self-help style book (its pretty good!) around the time and I kind of imagined how that bird would feel if it were feeling human emotions.  I reflected some of the stuff I had been reading and I really wanted to write something that would inspire others to get rid of negativity in their lives and just get up, accept who they are, where they are and do their best to fight for the things they love and forget about peoples negative opinions.  And I guess the writing process inspired me to keep my chin up and keep striving to do what I love too.  

The music video for Birdsong looked like a lot of fun to make. Where was it recorded and what did it involve?

It was a hell of a lot of fun to make!!  Jonathan Finnis Films and James A Chisholm made the video – total legends!!  

Basically, I had a very strong idea visually of how the video should look and that was to go through a metamorphosis from feeling trapped in a cocoon to floating in the sky – similar to the message in the song.  I was keen to make it a bit darker than the previous videos, and because REWS has went through a line up change, wanted to show that they band was different too.  SO we all put our heads together, gathered up two of the fab musicians who I get the pleasure to play with (Ele Lucas on Bass, Karen Jones on drums) for the live stuff & as a narrative, we came up with the silks idea.  So James arranged a session with an amazing silk artist (Nix Pretlove) and she showed me some great movements on the silks and what I could do to go through that metamorphosis and ‘fly’ on the silks!  It was great fun!!  The day came and we had half a day of band shoot and half a day of silk shoot – I actually developed motion sickness reallllly badly during the spinning and almost threw up a few times… the things you do for art hey??  

When are you next on tour, and where can we catch you?

Heading off on Sunday to Ireland – I’m supporting The Darkness on my UK tour up until the 20th Nov and then I have my own headline run in March 2020 across the UK – which has been called ’The Phoenix Tour’!  I’m delighted to be playing along with the fantastic Scott Hislop on drums and Ele Lucas on bass!  <3. Check out the tour dates at www.rewsmusic.com/listings

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@rewsmusic – twitter

March 2020

11th – King Tuts, GLASGOW

12th – The Key Club, LEEDS

13th – Night People, MANCHESTER

14th – Bodega, NOTTINGHAM

19th – Camden Assembly, LONDON

20th – Waterfront Studios, NORWICH

21st – O2 Institute, BIRMINGHAM

26th – The Exchange, BRISTOL

27th – Joiners, SOUTHAMPTON

And finally, where can we find out more about you?

You can check out the website – www.rewsmusic.com 

Socials:

Instagram @rewsmusic

Twitter @rewsmusic

Facebook @wearerewsmusic

Youtube /wearerewsmusic

I’d like to say a massive thank you to Shauna for taking the time to answer my questions and wish her and the rest of the band the best of luck with the upcoming album release and tour!

Singer songwriter Seán McGowan shook the Exchange on Friday night, playing a mix of soft and gritty songs with his solo acoustic set…

With the release of his latest EP ‘Curate Calm, Create Chaos’, Sean McGowan came over to Bristol as part of his 12 stop tour, showing off a range of old songs and new throughout the night.

The evening was opened by the amazing Kate Stapley, who played a few of her songs, some of which were titled and from various Eps or Two Sides, others with no name. One song, about a pigeon being hit with a bicycle, was described by Stapley as “Yellow taxi meets Parklife”, and I felt it fitted perfectly. Kate’s set lasted a little over half-hour, and we were delightfully informed both her and Seán are the first acts to play all three rooms of the Exchange, a pretty good achievement.

And then, at just after 9:30, Seán took to the spotlight of the small, but brilliant, basement stage. He opened with a spoken word piece, a traditional folk show beginning, drawing everyone’s attention in, before diving into the instant sing-along ‘Cuppa Tea’.

Seán then delighted in telling us with how the tour was going so far. The previous night had been in Bideford, to a crowd of 12 people, three of which left early to catch a train. There is no train station in Bideford. The crowd made sure to remind Seán of this throughout the night.

The mood of the evening was already established with the first song, and was further helped by ‘Romance Ain’t Dead’, an uplifting song that Seán delightfully informed us was about a girl, who is now engaged to a rich guy. Nice way to set the tone for the evening.

This was followed by the first song lifted from “Curate Calm, Create Chaos”, ‘Money’. A song which was described as about being fucking broke, and one that touches on money, hope and dreams in an optimistic way.

‘£5.25’ was next, another crowd mover, with the next two songs from “Curate Calm, Create Chaos” following on. ‘I’m OK’, a song about being in a rough place, but accepting it (and even helping to get better…), and then ‘heartbreaker’, a fingerpicked, softly spoken song about love and romance, came next, before we were told a story as an explanation for a song.

‘Springhill’ is a song about Seán’s best friend’s mother, who passed away the day after his 18th. Sadly something most of us can relate to, the song delves into the emotional side of grief, something no one is ever prepared for, and touched a lot of hearts.

We were then told “things are going to get proper fucking emo”, as Seán was about to play ‘Unstuck’, but first we were told about the small, up and coming artist who featured on the record – Frank Turner. We were told some stories about the “lanky stream of piss” that is Mr Turner, but it was all in good humour as Seán got into the song, another hard hitting emotional song.

This was proceeded by ‘Neverland’ and ‘Costa Del Solution’, two high energy songs about some not-so-happy topics regarding life as we know it. Throughout the rest of the set, Seán truly did become the “king of awkwardness”, with his almost trademark longer-than-need-be pauses and overly exaggerated notes.

The whole audience then joined in with singing Dan a happy Birthday, before another singalong was played. ‘Off the rails’ was met with enthusiasm from everyone in the room. A high energy song about friendship and life, and real crowd pleaser, it managed to lift the already heightened spirits of the room.

‘Queen of the West’ was followed, after a short story from Seán, about his Grandmother and all she has done, and what an amazing woman she is. Another soft, fingerpicked song with a raw, strummed acoustic mid-section, the song captivated Margret’s amazingness and was a real tribute to the Queen of the west.

After realising the show was going to run over, Seán expressed a political message, that was, in short, “Get those fucking Tories out”, before the penultimate show of the evening, ‘Millbrook Road’. Another crowd sing-along about hopeless love and romance, before we were treated to the big finale.

“No Show”, conveniently closed the show for us, with most of the crowd singing, or even shouting, the words back to the front man. This was met with thundering rounds of applause and cheers at the end, and although there was no fancy lighting or special effects, it was an amazing gig, demonstrating the true colours of good music with good people.

Seán was even kind enough to stick around to have a chat and take photos.

And with that, a massive thanks goes to Seán and Kate, for being incredible performers, and to the exchange crew, for hosting yet another good show.

The Exchange is an independent venue that relies on people coming to shows in order to stay in business. If you would like to check out a show click here.

See also:

I spoke to Southampton’s Seán McGowan ahead of the second leg of his UK tour…

I spoke to Southampton’s Seán McGowan ahead of the second leg of his UK tour…

With the release of his latest EP ‘Curate Calm, Create Chaos’, I thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up with Seán before he heads back out on the road for a few weeks.

For those out there who haven’t heard of you before, how would you describe yourself?

Ermmm, I’d say I’m best described as a Singer Songwriter. Someone who tries their hardest to call it how they see it. 

If I were to use the phrase “for fans of”, who would you say you are similar to?

I mean this is best answered by listing other artists I’m told I sound like haha. So; Billy Bragg, The Clash, Levellers, Frank Turner, Jack Penate, Jamie T, The Pogues.

Your latest EP “Curate calm, Create chaos” takes your music into different direction that we are used to. Is this style one to carry on into the future?

I don’t think it’s that different really, myself. I’ve touched on the more sentimental acoustic side of things on every record I’ve ever released. This was just a record dedicated to that side of my writing. It’s hard to say where I’ll go next without having ‘too’ much future stuff written yet. But, I will say, I do miss playing Electric Guitar! ha. 

The songs “Queen of the west” and “Heartbreaker” have a female backing voice on them. Who was this singer?

Katie Lynn! She’s the absolute best. She also plays Violin on my stuff too! 

The song “Queen of the West” sounds as if it’s about someone. Is this the case, and if so who?

It’s about my Grandmother Margaret. She’s formidable and I adore the bones of her! 

Where did the inspiration for the lyrics for the songs on this EP come from?

I had a bit of a rough patch for various reasons. The inspiration was coming out of that just as much as going through it. I wanted to record to not pull any punches but I wanted their to be an angle of hope as well. 

Who produced the EP, and have you worked with them before?

Jay Malhotra. Jay has engineered both Graft & Grief and Son of the Smith. And Look Lively. And Kick off. And he plays Bass in my band. Jay is basically superman. If Superman was 5 foot 5 and his superpower was bullying me. 

Is there any plans for any music videos alongside the new EP?

In short, no, unfortunately. I’m restricted to such a low budget it really inflicts hard boundaries of what I can do and where I can take a release. I’d absolutely love to. In this day and age of YouTube you kind of have to if you want to reach potential. But, I felt I had to concentrate more on the music, production and quality of the record. If I had more money (maybe one day I will) videos would definitely be a priority! 

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And finally, where can we find out more about you?

www.sean-mcgowan.co.uk

www.twitter.com/seanmcgowanuk

www.instagram.com/seanmcgowanuk

I would like to thank Seán for taking the time to answer our questions and I’m excited to see him live this Friday

See also:

Seán McGowan announces leak of third song off new his EP TONIGH at 7PM

Southampton’s Seán McGowan recently released the second track off his new EP “Curate Calm, Create Chaos”. Here’s what I thought…

Seán McGowan announces leak of third song off new his EP TONIGH at 7PM

After releasing the first two songs his latest EP “Curate Calm, Create Chaos” within the last couple of months, Seán McGowan announced today on his social media that he will be leaking the next track to everyone who has already purchased tickets for his upcoming shows in November and December.

@seanmcgowanuk on twitter

The shows are selling out fast, with Bristol, Winchester and the first night in Southampton already sold out, and other venues selling out quick.

Link to get tickets here.

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The full EP is due to be released on the 1st November on Xtramile Recordings, Seán’s third release with the label (although I’m unsure how the Label is reacting to the news of the leak…)

Seán is also doing a run of shows in Ireland this month, supporting The Slow Readers Club.

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Tickets for these shows can be found here

More:

Southampton’s Seán McGowan recently released the second track off his new EP “Curate Calm, Create Chaos”. Here’s what I thought…

Southampton’s Seán McGowan recently released the second track off his new EP “Curate Calm, Create Chaos”. Here’s what I thought…

Seán McGowan at the O2 Academy 2, Bristol for Dot to Dot festival. 25th May 2019

After the success of two albums in as many years, Seán McGowan is back again, with a new EP and a whole new style. Seán started hinting at this with blacked out profile pictures a little while ago, and hints of singing clips, and on the 12th September released the first song, “Silk”.

An emotional, hard hitting song, “Silk” delves into the new age of social media, and all that comes with it. Schizophrenic lifestyles and social media profiles are explored, and how we don’t always see the true meaning behind the post. The soft vocals and lightly strummed guitar are a contrast to Seán’s earlier work, but the mixture of soft lyrics and strong accent work well together. Furthermore, the track explores the lies behind the profile, and how we can be someone else when we’re behind that screen, but eventually we will all be caught in the web.

The second track is “Heartbreaker”. A real tear-jerker, Seán pre-warned us about the new track with an Instagram post

Instagram @seanmcgowanuk

The song opens with a figure picking acoustic guitar – something relatively unheard of from Seán, who we are used to big, bold and brash openings, before an almost rap style introduction, looking at the emotional gamble of being in a relationship, that, deep down, is destined to fail. The song examines helplessly begging for attention, the realisation of the end and the turmoil that comes with it. Again, the combination of Seán’s gruff accent and the softly spoken words work amazing together, accompanied by the brilliant backing vocals.

So far, the first two songs have set this EP out to be an emotional banger. I cannot wait to hear the EP in full and I’m even more excited to see it live and have a catch up with Seán in Bristol in November.

Phoenix, Arizona based indie rockers NEW CHUMS recently released their latest EP ‘Future Towns’, here’s what we thought….

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The EP opens with ‘I won’t let you go’, the first song to be released early on all streaming services. A unique sound, however still amazing. This song looks at the reality of love and relationships and everything in between in an upbeat manor. At just under three minutes, this song is the shortest on the EP, but still manages to pack one hell of a punch.

Second up is ‘Burn it down’, a song with an opening guitar riff and general sound that call to ‘The Weakerthans’, but still none the less, absolutely brilliant. This is another track that explores love and relationships, including hope and despair, even shock and relief. It’s packed full of awesome guitar riffs, tight bass lines and a killer drum beat, this song has easily made its way onto my ‘on the go’ playlist!

Following on is ‘Gone’, a slower and more raw, stripped back, emotional song, exploring failed attempts at repairing a damaged relationship and the difficulty of acceptance and moving on in life. This song cuts deep, and is one that many will relate to on a personal level.

‘City with no Dreams’ comes next. This song is (somehow), an entirely different style from the rest of the EP, with an opener that goes straight into the vocals and delves into despair and depression, as well as grasping at hope and seeking an excuse to stay. I could really hear the emotion in Seth’s vocals and the lead guitar really helps to accompany it.

The final song of the EP is ‘I can’t get over me’, and with any band, especially one as good as NEW CHUMS, I expected it to be a big one, I can safely say that they didn’t disappoint! The track opens in a way that reminds me of Green Day, before going into a sound reminiscent of the first track on the EP, ‘I won’t let you go’, giving the EP a wonderfully ‘cyclical’ feel. The song explores depression and schizophrenic lifestyles, giving the whole thing a different meaning altogether and maybe making it not about relationships, but rather ones fight with themselves. This is another song that really hits you as you listen to the lyrics, and to put it lightly – it’s an absolute fucking banger!

New Chums are a band that have their finger on the pulse and I really listening to this EP. I hope to be hearing more from them in the near future.

Please take a moment to check the EP out for yourselves and maybe even buy a copy of it via Bandcamp so the band can eat and pay some bills!

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Originally posted to musomuso.co.uk Original post here

We chatted to NEW CHUMS who are an indie rock ‘n roll band from Phoenix, Arizona…..

Owing to the nature of where we’re based, we rarely get the chance to reach out to bands or artists outside of the UK but from time to time, we do. We recently chatted to an indie rock quartet called NEW CHUMS who are based in Phoenix, Arizona which as the crow flies is 5180 miles away, a little further afield than we’re used to….

We caught up with Matt Lloyd from the band to chat about their latest single, music videos and future plans to play in Europe, read on to see how we got on….

A lot of our UK fans have probably never heard of you before. Please tell us a little bit about the band, how you all came together and what sort of music you play?

We are a indie pop/rock band based out of Phoenix, AZ. The four of us met through online musician ads and began working on music in early 2017 and released our first EP later that Fall.

If I were to use the phrase “for fans of”, who would you say you are similar to?

Bands that come up consistently are The Strokes, Neon Trees, Catfish & the Bottlemen, JimmyEatWorld.

So your latest single “I Won’t Let You Go” was released on June 14th, is this a taste of more to come?

It certainly is! This is our first single release for the new music but we will be releasing five new songs as an EP in total throughout 2019.

Who produced the single, and have you previously worked with them? How did you find working with them?

The Arizona music legend himself, BOB HOAG has recorded and produced both of our EP’s. So anything we have released has been with him and has his stamp on it. We love working with Bob, he has a great energy and knowledge of music. He is peppered throughout our recordings as well with different BGV’s and tambourine tracks!

How did you find the recording process of this song compared to your previous EP See it For Myself?

Since we had worked with Bob before and been in his studio, we had a better idea of the flow of how he liked to do preproduction and tracking. So recording IWLYG went pretty smooth from that stand point. Going into this recording session, we were pretty sure IWLYG would be our first single from the new EP so we came in with the song and production idea pretty intact. We didn’t end up changing the recording much from from the way we had already been playing it at recent shows.

Can we expect a music video alongside the new single? 

Yes! We’ve not finished the video yet, but we do plan on releasing one for the song soon….watch this space!

Have you got any plans for any tours or festivals? Are you looking at coming overseas to the UK and Europe one day?

We would love to play in the UK and Europe sometime soon. The more word spreads for us the better!

We did just play Lakeside Music Festival with SMASHMOUTH a few weeks back and also played a 4th of July festival in Flagstaff, AZ. More dates are in the works. 

And finally, where can we find out more about you?

newchumsband.com

instagram.com/newchums

twitter.com/newchumsband

facebook.com/newchumsband

We’d like to thank Matt for taking the time to chat to us and we wish the band every success in the future.

Originally posted to musomuso.co.uk Original post here