If you had to describe your music/style in a sentence, what would you say?

Piano-driven progressive rock. There’s loads more stuff shoved in there, but this is the closest thing we can pin it to!

How did you get into music?

For all of us, our parents were a big influence on the music we grew up with and listened to. Funnily enough, Matt and Lyns were both shown Rick Wakeman’s King Arthur as children, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall along with Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds still remain as two of Jonny’s favourite albums after being exposed to them as a kid.

What’s the latest song you have out – and what does it say about you?

Back in October we put out our first single The Baptism. We reckon it’s a song that encompasses what we do – weird arrangements with pretty melodies on top. Though we have something new to share in early March, which has been described as our ‘great gig in the sky’…

Did you have any particular artists in mind as an influence when you started out? What about them do you think you’ve taken into your music?

There are tonnes of bands that we love and take little bits of inspiration from, but the artists that spring to mind the fastest would probably be Kate Bush, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and GoGo Penguin. Lyns takes a lot of influence from Kate Bush and her use of crazy vocal arrangements, and the keys/bass/drums format that make up ELP and GoGo is something we stumbled across when we first started writing, as opposed to set out to replicate.

Do you feel a responsibility to respond to current affairs or contemporary situations through your music?

In a nutshell, no. We have a load of respect for artists that do though, because it’s often pretty divisive and is tricky to do well. We tend to write about real life situations, but leave things open for interpretation a lot of the time. We also love ourselves a concept (we’re prog, we have to), so have also written a lot of music that surrounds a particular story.

How does where you are from affect your writing (if at all)?

Our music doesn’t really tend to be colloquial or anything of the sort, and we often deliberately remove ourselves from writing about everyday life. So with us, it hasn’t affected our writing much. However, individually we’re from Tamworth, Bradford and Bolton, all of which are obviously known for musical diversity and freedom of expression…

Would you say there’s a distinction between yourself as a songwriter and as a musician?

Aside from all the nerdy prog stuff, Matt and Lyns write a lot of pop music too. So, in this sense, there definitely is a difference between the way each position is treated. A lot of the skills we’ve gained as musicians also help us as songwriters though, so they more or less go hand in hand.

“A huge aim for us has been to bridge the gap between prog and pop”

What are the overriding external influences on your music?

We have a really keen interest in writing conceptually, and have had ideas about certain potential songs based on pieces of art. As mentioned previously, a lot of our music is based on a concept, and the largest influence on that has been poetry. In particular, Seamus Heaney’s Bye Child. If you can, definitely check out the story behind it.

How do you see your career progressing from where you are now (in an ideal situation)?

Prog and the rest of the world of music seem to be pretty disconnected, so a huge aim for us from the very start has been to bridge the gap between prog and pop as best we can. We might not top the charts any time soon, but we think a lot of our music – especially melodically – is something a lot of people would be able to enjoy. On top of that – and we’d love to give an answer slightly less cliché – but to be able to take our music all over the world to audiences that genuinely love it is the dream.

Why is music important to you?

For all three of us, it’s all we’ve ever wanted to do, and it’s the only thing we’re half decent at!

 

exploringbirdsong.bandcamp.com

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