This week Victoria welcomes Essex Heavy Rock trio White Raven Down to the Sunday Sofa. Having won Rising New Artist award at HRH late 2022 the band have toured the UK extensively, impressing audiences with their powerful live performances.
Find out more about what makes White Raven Down tick.
VL: Welcome, White Raven Down! Tell us a bit about your band.
WRD – We are a heavy rock band based in south Essex, UK.
We are a modern sounding band that has its roots in classic riff rock, taking inspiration but not sounding like bands from the 70’s, 90’s and 00’s grunge, prog and metal.
Our audience is anyone who likes a fresh take on heavy rock.
VL: What’s the band’s background – where you’re from, how you came to start making music?
WRD – We started in 2017 and released our debut EP “Conspiracy” in 2018; we were touring the UK playing whatever we could get and just as things were looking great, we had the pandemic and we had to build momentum up again after that. However, the pandemic did give us time to record our debut album “Don’t Shoot The Messenger” which we released in Spring 2022 through Roulette Media Records and things have been going really well for us since its release (bar losing a band member of course).
I (Stu Bailey guitar and vocals) started the band and gradually picked up each band member through adverts on various websites – Luke Chappell on bass and Tomas Mrazek on drums. We’ve grown very close as a unit, even becoming a family. We all have families that we regularly get together with and relax/socialise together. We’re very lucky like that.
We’re from Southend on Sea, Essex. Heavy Rock is not a popular genre of music where we are from, we had to travel to get to audiences in other parts of the UK who we thought would understand what we were about.
Our families are extremely supportive of what we do. We spend a lot of time away from home and without their support we would not be able to tour the way we do. We are eternally grateful.
VL: 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?
WRD – Being in a band is a way of life… it keeps us poor.. lol.
For us music is about expression and creativity, without it all three of us are miserable and unbearable to live with according to our partners! It’s about being true to ourselves as people. As for song writing subject matter so far, it’s been about personal experience, but we expect to expand on that on future recordings.
VL: What are your aspirations as a band?
WRD – We want to get our music heard and feel that it is good enough to be performed live at venues around Europe and hopefully further afield. In fact, we are heading to Europe later this year which will be our first experience performing abroad.
We’d love to get over to America sometime.
VL: What has been the proudest moment in your music career so far?
WRD – I think when we won the Rising New Artist award at HRH late 2022. We released our debut album “Don’t Shoot The Messenger” April 2022 and we lost our vocalist in May 2022 (all ok and amicable) but with each performance we played as a 3 piece band we got stronger and better which helped us get more festival appearances as the year went on and that helped us grow our following.
We also performed at Giants Of Rock in January 2022 to over 2000 people which was an incredible feeling.
Then there was working with John Cornfield when we were producing our album.
There have been a lot of high points for us really. We have been very fortunate.
VL: How are you all feeling about coming on tour with Heats and Hand Grenades next month?
WRD – We’re absolutely stoked to hit the road with those guys. We’ve chatted online and they seem lovely so we’re looking forward to meeting them in person.
I’m particularly excited about Edinburgh. We’ve been trying to get there for a long time with previous attempts being cancelled because of the pandemic so this one is particularly overdue.
VL: What are you working on at the moment?
WRD – We’re working on new material, between a lot of shows we have currently booked up between now and the end of the summer.
We have just shot a music video for a release that we have coming out soon, but we can’t tell you about that just yet.
VL: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
WRD – I wish I’d written “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath.
The song has many different sections that meander across a doomy musical landscape. I love the simplicity but effectiveness of each and every riff that creates the strong imagery to the listener with its very important anti-war message hitting home.
A true masterpiece.
VL: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, that you would change if you could?
WRD – Where do I start! Ha ha…
Streaming, venue cuts on merchandise, gate keeping… there’s a lot to choose from.
I think I’d change the big record labels taking on fame hungry winners of TV shows like The Voice, X Factor and all of the rest of them. These companies, who are associated with panel judges of these shows anyway, help feed the mainstream. People who are not into music believe that the mainstream is all modern music has to offer. This could not be further from the truth.
If the record companies stuck to seeking real musicians in real venues who are out there touring and building followers I believe music would be better off for it. Instead, we get young impressionable people who crave fame singing karaoke hits from 40 plus years ago that offer nothing new or creative. Too much money involved, with these winners being manipulated to generate more money. And when their short lifespan is concluded they are replaced with another poor soul who is backed by the same team of writers and stylists.
People do not get excited by this and are unaware of the rich underground music scene we have in the UK right now. Yes, they can go and look for it but how can they look for it when they don’t know it’s there?
VL: What’s the most outrageous thing you/your band has ever done?
WRD – Well, being in our late thirties we’ve grown up a bit and tend to treat people and the places we visit with respect.
One funny story we did have was when we shot our first music video it was minus 4 degrees Celsius in Sheffield and we’d had a few too many beers the night before. We were on the motorway heading for the location when I need to answer the call of nature. Sheer panic set in as we were nowhere near any junctions, but we managed to stumble across the only lay-by we had seen for miles. So I get out in rather a rush and just about make it in time to sit on the edge of a field with snow everywhere whilst I’m taking my no. 2. That when I realise that I have no toilet paper or tissue paper or anything on me to clean up… and to my horror neither did anyone in the van.
Thankfully, our good friend who was a photographer for the day donated his vest so I could tidy up…lol
Poor guy… he never accepted my offer of returning it.
VL: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
WRD – You can learn more about who we are and what we do on the social links below:
Here you will find links to all of our social media platforms consisting of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.
Thank you very much for having me.
White Raven Down links:
Band/Artist location – Southend-on-Sea, Essex. England
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Merch – Reverbnation –
Twitter – Instagram – Itunes – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer –
Check our page for White Raven Down