Q&A: Talking with Sheffield band Arkham Karvers
Arkham Karvers released their latest EP ‘The Prices They Pay’ on Tiny Teeth Records, co-owned by the ex Little Man Tate frontman Jon Windle. They’ve been back in the studio to record what could be a new single for next year and they’ve supported ‘Sonic Boom Six’.
In between the band gigging, recording and working hard, I caught up with Arkham Karvers’ lead singer and guitarist, Dave Gash. He told me all about their latest EP, what it’s like working with Jon Windle, the band’s influences and hopes for the future.
Interviewer: EB Interviewee: Dave Gash – DG
EB: What does the EP mean for the band?
DG: It’s a very very good opportunity for us and it just means that more and more people will be able to get our music as its available to almost everyone, which is what we want. And we’re just really happy and thankful for those guys putting their faith in us and our music.
EB: What are your hopes for the EP release?
DG: Grammy? A local reviewer’s ‘recognition’ at an awards ceremony? Maybe not…We just want people to hear it and share it.
EB: So how can people get hold of it?
DG: There’s loads of places these days! iTunes is definitely one and if you buy it off there you get an extra track ‘Traveller’s Rest’ which is a blinder! You can also get it on Amazon, selected record shops and HMV’s around the country and on our website www.arkhamkarvers.com.
EB: Where do you see the band in a year’s time?
DG: Hopefully we’ll still be out there. Towards Easter we hope to be out on tour so hopefully doing more tours and eventually having the album done!
EB: How is this EP different to the first?
The songs on this EP are ‘more mature’
DG: It’s different in loads of ways. The overall quality of the recording is so noticeable and that’s thanks to the amazing work of Alan Smyth and Dave Sanderson at 2fly studios in Sheffield. The songs are generally better written than the first EP and more mature, well I think they are anyway, we just seem to have stepped up in so many ways whether that’s our skills, or having the addition of Josh our amazing drummer who wasn’t with us when we did ‘The Big Slick’. You tell me!
EB: What influences the band?
DG: We’re not shy of our influences and we have never denied who we look up to. For me personally I was raised listening to a lot of soul and Motown, but then at a very early age started listening to more alternative music. My first album was…believe it or not ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana. But the main influence for me has to be your more rootsy influenced music like Bedouin Soundclash and Fat Freddy’s Drop, then obviously the 80’s reggae stuff like The Police and The Clash, that’s also what Thom our bassist has said is a big influence to him. Greg brings the brit pop side to our stuff and Josh well he has always said that Travis Barker from Blink is his main influence and I guess you can probably take some of that from our tunes…Who hasn’t been listening to blink since they were 11? Greg hasn’t actually!
EB: What’s your fondest musical memory?
DG: There’s a few. Playing the main stage of the Academy Sheffield is always a great memory. Some of our favourite bands have played that stage, that was a great one. Also hearing our finished EP was just a great moment.
EB: What’s been the best gig you’ve done?
DG: I can probably speak for all of the band here so the best gig we’ve ever done was at my old high school. We went in one lunchtime and played a gig for whoever wanted to listen. There had to be 300+ kids there, and they went absolutely mental for us so that was definitely a stand out moment.
EB: How would you describe the sound of your music?
DG: It really takes all of our influences. There is an obvious off-beat style that flows throughout all of our songs, and then there’s indie vibes coming from the guitars, but also some folk and some pop stuff that comes through on certain tracks. We always like to say that you can take what you want from our band…interpret it as you will.
Someone so influential backing us helps
EB: How do you get your music out there in such a competitive market?
EB: Does working with people like Jon Windle help out?
DG: Jon has helped us out without a doubt. And obviously having someone so influential backing our band can always help us. But we try and promote our band as best we can.
We do this mainly through Facebook and YouTube where we do our own online mini series that’s actually not so mini anymore…The Karver Chronicles which is just collections of videos we make between gigs and recording etc that I edit together and put online for our followers to see.
EB: What’s the first song you learnt?
DG: There was two riffs that I learnt on guitar the Christmas day I got it when I was about 8 and they where ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple like most people and ‘Song 2’ by Blur.
EB: Who is your musical inspiration?
DG: Bob Marley, The Beatles, Bedouin Soundclash, Little Man Tate, Milburn, Blur, Oasis, Damien Rice, The Police…there are so many.
EB: How does the writing process work?
DG: I usually come up with a basic idea and then bring it into the practice room and then we sort of jam it and see what happens from there. But some songs just come from a single idea while we are all together.
EB: Are you writing any new material at the moment?
DG: We always try to have new stuff in the pipeline. We’ll usually play a new tune at a gig and see how it goes down and then take it from there.
EB: What will the next EP sound like?
Our songs come from our experiences
DG: It really depends on how we’re feeling around that time…our songs come mainly from experiences from either us or our friends, films we watch or places we go. So it really just depends…wait and see.
EB: How do you feel when you perform?
EB: What would you say to aspiring musicians?
DG: All I can say is that any band especially us needs to keep gigging and getting their names out there.
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