Interview with Lewis (Bass) of Five Days North and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
L: We like to call ourselves Indie Pop; we like to think we take the best bits from both. Having that said, as a five-piece we all bring our own personal influences to the table which makes for some interesting name-checking when we’re writing or rehearsing (I hope we’re not the only people to wonder what The Byrds would sound like if they made a synthwave track, for example).
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
L: The band (Darryl, Dave, Sam, Lewis & Zo) formed whilst we were studying at Uni in Manchester. After establishing ourselves on the gigging circuit in we released our first singles (including fan favourite “Won’t Stop for Nothing”) and went on to win the ‘Best Unsigned Band’ award at the Best of British Awards 2017.
At the time we were quite influenced by folk rock and Dave’s lightning banjo fingers. We soon realised this wasn’t exactly us; none of us had a porch nor a rocking chair and we realised that dungarees didn’t suit us. Then one day Dave came home with a synth and the rest is history – we all loved this new direction and a slew of singles, gigs and festival appearances followed.
Most recently, we opened the Calling Out stage at Kendal Calling 2019 and headlined Manchester’s Gorilla and Academy 3. We’ve kept this momentum going and have packed our 2020 full of livestream gigs, writing and recording, releasing “Take Me Higher” and “Heaven Hold Us” in June and October respectively.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
L: We bring five very different tastes to the table, however our common influences would be bands like The 1975, Gengahr and Fickle Friends who are proving that the concept of the “guitar band” is alive and well. Personally, my non-musical influences are Welsh footballer John Charles and Bob Ross of TV painting fame.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
L: Our dream is to inspire as many people as possible with our music. For us, music has always been the medium through which we express our individual personalities and has done wonders in bringing five very diverse people together – we all got another family simply from our craft!
Writing, performing and listening to great artists helped us grow as people and get through tougher times. We hope that we can do the same for others and prove that collaboration and creative freedom can change lives, stand for something meaningful and disrupt the status quo.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
L: We all chip in when writing our songs, but usually one of the band comes to the table with the main seed idea. We write about our relationships, personal and experiences and our thoughts and musings; the hard part is to try and say your piece in a unique and interesting way through a song.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
L: We love using social media to connect with our fans; if people are prepared to support your band then they deserve more than just a few releases a year and some live shows.
Social media, particularly our Instagram, is such a powerful tool to give the people who support your music extra little things like Q&As, merch giveaways, and our frontman Darryl’s acapella sessions where he’ll do some of ours and take requests.
Busking is also great fun; it’s another way to just get out there, meet people and have some fun making music whilst doing it.
PD: What do you think about downloading and streaming music online?
L: From a listener’s perspective it’s incredible; to have all this music available at your fingertips. You can really see the effect it’s had on people’s listening habits; we are all listening to a much broader range of genres and artists and that can only be a good thing.
From an artist’s perspective it can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand you can get your music out to every corner of the internet and bypass the traditional gatekeepers as an unsigned artist, however I feel lots of artists also have concerns with the way we’re paid for streams. Then there’s also the issue of streaming sites needing to do more to level the playing field for non-white, non-male artists. If streaming sites have become the new gatekeepers then they really have an opportunity to make a positive impact.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
L: Probably Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. As a song it just has everything; brooding, questioning lyrics and a great hook that also doubles as a monster bassline. We’ve long enjoyed jamming it and even recorded our own take on it recently which you can find on YouTube.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
L: Plugging in a guitar with non right-angled jack cables. Trying to sit down and play a Les Paul or a Telecaster with 3 inches of jack plug digging in your leg is no fun and quite frankly I don’t see why anyone would put themselves through that. See also playing guitar whilst sat on a chair with arms; horrible.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
L: We are lucky to have had so many moments to choose from (and hopefully many more to come), however it has to be opening the Calling Out stage at Kendal Calling last year. To be playing on a huge festival stage alongside acts we love like Idles, The Snuts and Dream Wife was a buzz like no other.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
L: We have just released our latest single “Heaven Hold Us” and are currently writing and recording more new music with The Courteeners’ own Joe Cross. We are looking forward to 2021 being even bigger and better than 2020 but we’re not done with it yet – we’re also planning a very special livestream gig to see out the year.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
L: Our music is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music and is available to buy on Amazon Music. Alternatively, if you’re old school, have run out of coasters or are keen to support unsigned music (if so, you’re the best) you can also buy CDs directly from the band.
Five Days North links:
Band/Artist location – Manchester England
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Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer
Check our page for Five Days North