Interview with Simon Talbot (Vocals/Guitar) with Halo and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
ST: A music lover from the age of six apparently. I’m told I used to boogie to Yellow Submarine back in the sixties and having an older brother I was pretty much into everything going Rock music wise, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s up to today.
Describing the band …We/I have been categorised as Alternative Rock, but there are so many influences in my music, I think if you like rock music, you will love us!
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
ST: I am originally from the West Country, Weymouth to be precise, I came to playing an instrument late in life (30’s) so all these influences just keep coming out of my fingers each time I play (guitar in particular). Halo, my band was started in 2012, and though like many bands here in London, we’ve gone through a few members, we are about to release our fifth album in January 2023 (singles October, November, December 2022).
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
ST: I’m just a music lover first and foremost, so many bands have influenced me over the years. Might be easier to tell you a few of my favourite bands. Porcupine Tree would probably be my favourite, but I still listen to The Beatles, Love the Cure, and can listen diversly to David Sylvian and soundscapes at the other end of the spectrum. Big fan of all things 4AD as well, so you might be getting a bit of a picture now. Last big gig I went to was the Pixies at the Roundhouse in Camden.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
ST: Well, firstly, just playing with my friends live in Halo, I’m a musician that loves to play live. As a band, I feel we are quite an established act here in London, so to spread our wings a bit more would be fantastic… Any Festival organisers reading this, feel free to contact!
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
ST: Without doubt being nominated by Radio Wigwam in 2021 for best Alternative Rock Act, I’m hoping the new album will see us nominated again in 2022.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
ST: Yes, it’s tough out there as I’m sure you have been told by many others. Over the ten years that the band has been formed, we have built up a lot of radio stations that play our music, we so are so grateful for this of course. Social media platforms have steadily grown as well over the duration, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have all brought new challenges and to fair fans as well. We have a good local following, but as I said before, the next step for us now is to get out of London and spread the H A L O.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
ST: We are fortunate to work with a couple of promoters here in London, MCC Promotions and Festival Jam Live, though always open to work with others. We have just made it on to the roster at Big Bear Music in Birmingham too, so lots of new opportunities coming up we hope!
Performances coming up:-
22/09 Croydon Showcase, King of the South, South Croydon ticket www.skiddle.com
28/10 The Underbelly Hoxton
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
ST: TBH I’m happy for music to be downloaded online, I’ve grown up/lived through all formats that play music. What is more important for me is that people support their favourite artists by buying their music…it’s not cheap to produce, even in your bedroom! As a producer, I think the sound of music these days varies, I’m not a fan of digital sound, but analogue will always be king for me.
Halo or any of my other projects do not use Spotify or Apple music, we/I am massive fans of Bandcamp, it’s like a record store online. I wish more people knew about it, as the artists are treated really well, and fans can listen to music and buy it in many different formats.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
ST: Oh boy this is so hard as there are so many! So, I’m going to go with Porcupine Tree’s song entitled Even Less. Why? It’s a song that got me back into progressive music, albeit “New Prog” (God how we love labels!), it just gives me goose bumps every time I listen. The structure, lyrics and musicality are just amazing as is of course all things Steven Wilson. Check it out you wont be disappointed.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
ST: Not really, we are established Indie Artists, so we kind of live without them. I don’t like the way many of them push themselves on promoters, distributers, and festival organisers, but that’s music life I suppose!
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
ST: So, I’m in my home studio finishing off the new Halo album, as well as recording for the next one too! My side projects are always ongoing as I’m constantly writing and producing new music. I’m nonstop basically.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?