‘I want people to invest their time and become a part of Serge’. And after checking out the latest collection at the launch party for Serge DeNimes pop-up-store at Wolf & Badger on 32 Dover Street, it’s easy to do so. During the night, the urban Serge lifestyle was peppered with elements of Chelsea mixed with Japanese Beer and Vodka and Cranberry. Guests flooded in-store while street artists were drawing on a wall and were treated to a live DJ as well as a street vintage atmosphere. BerlinLondon caught up with the founder of Serge DeNimes Oliver Proudlock to find out more. Young, determined and creative, this brand will go very far. Check out the latest collection for yourself at the pop-up-store until the 23rd December.
How would you describe Serge in 3 words?
In three words – Urban, creative and young.
And now even harder, how would you describe your personality in 2 words?
Ambitious and creative. Using creative twice.
Where did the idea for your brand actually begin?
I suppose it began probably about 2 years ago. I have always been really into fashion ever since I was a kid, which I get kind of from my mum. My mum had her own clothes company where she used to design knitwear jumpers. And my mum is just all about style. Everything’s about style.
She sounds amazing.
She is pretty awesome. So yeah, since a young age I have always been really into fashion but art was my main thing. I specialized in painting. From about 16 I became really serious about it and kind of focused all of my time into that. And while I was doing art exhibitions, I always used to print my designs on t-shirts and stuff like that. So there was always that aspect of mixing my art with fashion. I used to have a rail of t-shirts up at exhibitions and give my friends a chance to buy something. When I came back to London, I really wanted a break from art. I’d been painting for the last 4 years. So I came back here and then I was like I wanted to start to do something fresh but at the same time I wanted to continue doing something creative and doing something that I’m really passion about.
Always since a young age, I’ve tried to do my own thing. And I remember I was one day at my mums in the countryside and I was looking through this book she did on Rio Carnival in 1978 and I was thinking back to when I went to Brazil when I was 18. I was looking at these images and thought “they are so cool”. I was like “I would like to print these images on t-shirts” because they are really bright, colourful and bold. Then I was thinking that maybe I could take this further and make it my own clothes brand. And one of the things I was always into was denim – I love denim more than anything. My mum as well has her own denim company. She sells the material. And I was thinking how I’d love to have my own denim brand and that’s when I came up with the name Serge DeNimes, which is obviously the origin of denim.
But I wanted to start with one product that I am familiar with and just focus on that one product and establish a brand around it. I decided t-shirts as I had done t-shirts before. And I have got an amazing contact in Portugal so I went back out there, picked a really great factory and started focusing on the cotton and the cut. Then I made some samples and then it all just happened so quickly. We then started a website. It’s been a year and a half now and it’s gone from strength to strength.
You’re making it sound very easy, but it must have been challenging along the way?
It has been quite hard. I think it is mainly because so many people nowadays have their own ideas and they want to go out and do their own thing. But it’s actually about taking this step, that leap of faith. There’s quite a big difference from saying that you are going to do something to actually doing it. I was learning along the way. I didn’t know how to set up company or how to do this and that. I was going into the unknown. But as you do it, everyday you learn new things. You have the days when you are freaking out, where you can’t sleep because when you do it, it is always on your mind and you can’t just switch it off. But it is just so amazing and so rewarding to set up your own thing and to get a great response from people and to see the positive feedback.
What is involved in the design process?
From the starting point; just brainstorming and coming up with the ideas. It takes days to fire ideas back and forth. And then we start doing sketches, put a few things into the computer, put up some designs, get some samples made and then from those samples we decide which designs we like and which we don’t.And then picking the tees themselves is very important for me. I want the print to be amazing, the image to be really bold and stand out but I also want the t-shirt itself to be fundamentally really good, the cut to be amazing and the touch to be really nice.
Exactly! Perfectionist which is good but on the other side it kills me as I just can’t sleep. So then I go to the factory, pick up the cottons, get some cuts made, put in the order. It sounds so easy but it takes time. I want everything to be perfect.
You have been stock by some incredible places such as Harrods. How did you do that?
Yes, that was great. That was when I did my launch party in June last year. I got the buyer from Harrods to come down to the night and we put on a fashion show and exhibited all the collection. He loved the stuff and we had a meeting next day.
How did it feel when you saw it there?
That was awesome. Obviously I have always loved Harrods and to be able to say that my stuff is stocked there…. And I remember the day when I went down into the men’s lab and saw it first hand. They had a really nice little stand with the t-shirts and it was right next to Acne, which is one of my favourite brands so I was literally like “Oh My God this is the best day ever”.
And when you go to Harrods do you just pass by your section?
Yeah I occasionally sneak by and just check it out.
Advise people to buy it?
Yeah, I just stand there like “these t-shirts are so cool”. And I get people to go down there the whole time. But Harrods have been amazing and they have been very cool people to work with.
So who else would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Well, I can think of some big brands I’d love to work with. I’d love to do one with Nike. But obviously that would be way down the line.
That would be amazing! I think you could do it now.
I would love to do some trainers for Nike. That would just be epic. We’ve got actually coming up in a summer a brand called Fin’s – it is a shoe brand. We are just waiting for samples from them. They’re going to be similar to Espadrilles but there’s more to them. It’s going to be like vintage denim. Should be really cool. That’s what I want to focus now on – bringing in more denim.
And would you like to collaborate with any artists for your t-shirts?
Yes, definitely. One artist I want to collaborate with is actually a friend of mine called Kate Bellm who is a photographer currently living in Berlin. She is really a very cool photographer – I really would love to do a collaboration with her. Another thing I want to do as well is go out to Nepal. A friend of mine who is working in a retreat out there, works with animals who are going extinct. And they have a big charity push there and I want to go out there to do a collaboration with them and maybe bring Kate with me and shoot some of these live animals up close. Then print some of the images on the t-shirts and then do a big documentary about it – film the whole process. And then proceeds will go towards that charity. So that’s the kind of thing I want to do. I really want to start to do some really cool creative collaborations involving documentaries and going to different parts of the world. Just connecting Serge with loads of different aspects.
And would you like to feature Serge at London Fashion Week?
I would love to. We haven’t been ready for it yet. Maybe when we have got some more products and when there are a few more pieces out there. When we are a bit more established, I would definitely love to do London fashion week. 100%.
Would you do your own Denim jeans?
That is the end game. That’s where I want to head. I want to slowly build the brand and for people to recognize that this is a brand of quality. Then they invest into that and when we’re more established will start to bring out larger products such as jeans and things like that.
So by next year where do you see the brand?
Next year, firstly I want to hopefully push out to more stockists. And also more outside the UK. Crack China and the States. That would be a dream. And then we are expanding into products.
And if you could put any photos from any London carnival onto your t-shirts, which carnival would you choose?
Notting Hill Carnival. Maybe next year, we can take a section or something and do a Serge party at Notting Hill Carnival. I think that would be really cool.
Would you like your mum to photograph them as she did for the other ones?
Why not? I am sure mum would love to come down and take some photos. But I think that would be very cool to do a Serge party at Notting Hill Carnival. Have a little float, a van and some music. Get that Brazilian vibe in Notting Hill.
And you also have your style blog. Did you find that it has made you more fashion conscious by doing it?
Not really. I guess it makes me think more about what I wear to office every day. Before I would put a pair of tracksuit bottoms on whereas now every day when I come into the office, I’ve got to be thinking about what I am going to wear today.
Good luck with everything!
Check out Serge DeNimes at http://sergedenimes.com/ and Proudlock’s style blog http://www.proudlockstyle.com/ . And if you have a chance – definitely visit the pop-up store!
South London pop-rock band FranKo have already had their fair share of success. They have played for London’s City Showcase, toured Thailand, supported successful acts such as Elliot Minor, won Best Rock Act 2011 at the inaugural St Helier Cider Online Music Awards and they have built up an international fan base. Lead singer Tommy Bastow (well-known as the character ‘Dave the Laugh’ in the film Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and as Jo in the BT adverts) and bass/backing vocalist Chris Gilbertson chat to BerlinLondon about their music, touring and plans for the future.
How did you first meet each other?
Tommy: I met Rich in science class back in 07. We were both in bands and when those bands had split we decided to start writing together.
Where did the name FranKo come from?
Tommy: I have a lot of relatives in Italy called Franco, cousins, uncles and even my old man. We were put off by having a “the” in the name because at that time there was an explosion of indie bands that began with “The”.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your music?
Tommy: We listen to a wide range of music which is important. We like rock, pop, hip hop, jazz, classical, you name it. I find you can become lyrically more creative if you take on the persona of a different character; it lets you distance yourself from what you are writing and in a way that allows you to write more personal and genuine lyrics.
You have started to work on new tracks with Dan Weller – what can we expect?
Tommy: Dan is a powerhouse of a producer, he knows how to handle bands and speak their language. The results we got for Eye of the Storm were unbelievable and we can’t wait to work with him again.
You have also supported McFly, headlined around the UK with The Hype Theory, and supported No Lights at Lockdown. What has been your most interesting fan experience?
Chris: Seeing fans sing back the words to songs we haven’t released is up there, it’s interesting for us to see what songs different people favour of ours.
You have also toured many countries such as Singapore and NYC. What do you miss most about London when you are touring?
Tommy: I don’t miss anything, I get sick of having a schedule and existing in the same place for a long period of time.
What has been your favourite touring destination?
Tommy: Thailand, it’s so beautiful and we have a dedicated fan base out there which makes us feel at home!
Just to add to your list of achievements, you also won St Helier Cider Online Music Awards ‘Best Rock Act of 2011’. Who is your favourite rock act?
Chris: Safe to say I think Richard’s is Incubus, Ricky’s is Muse, mine’s the Chili Peppers and Tommy’s has to be the Beatles, the best rock n roll act of all!
What was the first gig you ever did? How much do you feel that you have improved since then?
Tommy: Our first gig was a showcase for our parents and family friends (we were about 14/15 at the time) WE SUCKED! But it’s all a learning curve and because we have now been gigging for over 4 years there is a certain amount of confidence that comes through on stage where we all know we are in control.
What are the rest of your plans for 2012? Any ideas for 2013?
Tommy: We are going into musical hibernation, creating a whole new sound/vibe. We have turned down tours and gig opportunities for the rest of the year so we can focus on creating something completely new and really push ourselves to make something that will set us apart. We need change.
We are looking forward to it!
How would you describe each other’s characters?
James – Placid, friendly and mischievous, like a newborn turtle that’s been dunked in PVA glue and rolled in the clippings at a barbers.
Nathan – Friendly but quick tempered giant, a great friend to have but don’t try and cross his bridge because he’ll come out from underneath and try and swat you with his mighty fists.
Tom – Warm, erudite, like a pirate who’s been brought to the year 2015 to be a Geography teacher.
Stef – Outgoing, driven, relentless, can sniff a drop of blood in the ocean from a mile away, SHARK.
Why did you all decide to get involved in music?
Because we wanted a bit of a challenge and we can do everything else already, so we picked the thing we’re all collectively worst at.
How did you form the band?
We met at the midnight release of ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ in Waterstones, Ipswich. They had one copy left so, despite having never met each other before, we decided to all chip in and share the copy. Having to go through the journey of Dumbledore’s death together, it created an unbreakable vow between us. Thus ‘The Cads’ was formed.
What’s a regular day in the life of a Cad?
All of us apart from Nathan play an enormous amount of table tennis, practicing almost 10 hours a day. Garrithy just swims up and down the river under his bridge all day, then we meet for 45 minutes and do a practice before bed. (we wish… our days consist of drinking tea, playing Fifa, and not practicing music, amongst other things)
Where did the name ‘The Cads’ come from?
We wanted it originally to be called ‘The Dads’ but none of us are dads, and the name was already taken. So we just went with something that rhymed.
Do you have nicknames for each other?
No, except Garrithy, who we sometimes call Nathan, Daddy Boob who we sometimes call James or Princess who we sometimes call Stef.
You have often performed in Germany. Where has been your favourite place which you have visited?
Nathan said he had a really nice time in Morocco as a kid.
Who would be your dream person to collaborate with?
Blind Lemon Jefferson, we all really dig his vibe. If he was around today, he’d definitely be playing synth and providing some BV’s for us.
Do you write all your songs yourselves? Where do you get your inspiration?
Most of the songs come fully formed to Nathan in prophetic visions that he has, then its just a race against the clock to get to the studio and get them down before he forgets them.
What tracks are you listening to at the moment?
1. James: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Garden
2. Tom: Beach House – Lazuli
3. Stef: The Wanted – Glad You Came
What is your favourite song which you have produced?
We’re really happy with the new album, but not really sure what song to choose as the favourite?
What are you working on at the moment?
Getting good grades in our GCSE’s so we can go to sixth form.
You have performed at Latitude Festival as well as at a variety of gigs. Do you prefer playing festivals or venues?
I dont think there’s really a preference, they’re two different atmospheres, festival goers are up for dancing and getting on it and we get to see other bands which is always a plus. At venues there’s a more focused audience and people are there to see you instead of coming across you by chance. They’re different experiences but there both good experiences.
What’s the most entertaining thing that has happened on tour?
Our manager. He’s an absolute comical genius most of the time anyway, but being with him 24/7 on tour just makes it even better. We’ve had too many laughs to even think about choosing the most entertaining… some that will only ever be heard by the ears of a Cad.
Please complete this sentence: I couldn’t live without my…
Berlin or London? Why?
Berlin, because we’ve been to London many times before, and we don’t feel like we’ve seen enough of Berlin yet. It might change… but I doubt it.
‘Hi there, do you do requests?’ I ask the man lying on his side outside the bakery. He introduces himself as Ben – but of course I knew that, I’d seen the Chewing Gum Artist for years around Muswell Hill, intricately painting the tiny spontaneous canvases with bright acrylic paints. Ben takes out a scrappy notebook and flips open a new page, handing it to me. Feeling immensely humbled, I start to sketch out two figures and write the date of my sister’s wedding across the top. As I hand the notebook back, Ben starts to tell me more about his experiences as an artist.
Ben’s been painting chewing gum for seven and a half years now, and says another main passion is carpentry, which has seen him travel across the world to Finland and the US. Ben has branched out into canvas work as well, with a recent exhibition of chewing gum pieces in the Tate as part of the Hidden Trails exhibition. ‘I melted the chewing gum into some foil and blu-taked it to the walls. I wanted to see if people would notice them if I painted on a realistic spider or stuck them on ledges.’ Ben explains his infatuation with art is born out of a compulsion to depict the stories of those around him, ‘it’s a passion for colours, and just life really’. As we talk, I watch Ben outline a design of a lilac background with an intensely detailed slice of cake in the middle and ‘Lillian’ painted above.
This is despite some road bumps along the way, ‘I’ve spoken with thousands of police officers’ he grins. As I take a seat on the pavement beside his dozens of paint pots, I find myself involved in a tale of Ben’s misadventures with the immigration staff at the US border. We actually talk for quite a while about this – which is weird because I remember asking about the most commission he’d ever taken on a chewing gum request. But as we talk, I notice how open and intriguing a person he is, and how much a necessity his artwork was for him. It wasn’t something he had to push himself to do, but rather a compulsion that literally knew no borders. And did his detention under the immigration authorities have an effect on his art? Most definitely: in 2003, Ben created a series of ‘darker’ works reflecting his experiences. ‘It felt so dehumanising, I didn’t realise I would be kept in solitary confinement’
As he’s developed as an artist, Ben reiterates the ‘responsibility’ he feels he has to stay true to his art form. As a street artist, he’s clearly all about interacting with the community, because his artwork is influenced so heavily by the people around him. ‘At first it was the homeless people, then the drunks and school kids who got interested in my paintings. Then the rich people – and I find myself painting chewing gum in Highgate’. His popularity is evident as we’re interrupted by passers-by who address him by name. An elderly Italian man exclaims that this guy is really ‘the best’, and Ben’s genuine humility is evident from his bashful response.
And how long do these miniature masterpieces take? He nods at my childish scrawl, ‘yours will probably take around 4 hours’, he estimates. I’m tempted to feel guilty at exploiting Ben’s creative spirit, but actually I can see that he takes inspiration from the community around him. I look forward to spotting his paintings on the streets of my neighbourhood.
By Sabrina Dougall
Images from: telgraph.co.uk; Wallflowerdispatches.com;
‘Loki’ – A name originally associated with the Norse God of mischief and trickery. Now there’s a new connotation to the name: Brother in laws, Fredrik Ferrier and Bjarni Margeirsson. With their music project initially beginning with the coercion of Fred’s sister, there’s nothing stopping the super-duo. Having both already become distinguished, with Bjarni being in the band Shadow Parade and Fredrik being on the cult TV show Made in Chelsea, they discuss their latest collaboration with BerlinLondon.
How did you come up with the name ‘Loki’?
B: That was Freddie’s choice.
F: We went through a lot of different names.
B: It was a painful process.
Oh really? How many names were there?
F: 50! I really like Norse mythology and Loki doesn’t sound too intense – It’s quite sort of light. And also do you know who Loki is? God of mischief.
So is that how you would describe your personalities? Mischievous?
F: Just Gods actually.
B: We are like Gods.
F: I hope these things (Dictaphone) detect sarcasm.
So if you could compare yourselves to any Gods – would it be Loki?
B: To be honest if he were to choose just by looks alone, you’d probably choose Thor.
F: Thor. Long blond hair. Thor’s probably the coolest.
B. I’d be Odin I think.
F: Odin is just the God of Gods. It’s very understated.
So, what were your first impressions of each other?
B: My girlfriend’s little brother.
F: I thought Bjarni was very reserved. He was very quiet. But no, I thought that it was quite cool that he was Icelandic and I was like it’s sort of strengthening the Icelandic bond, which I thought was quite impressive. I just like the exotic.
So when was the first time that you ever sang in front of Bjarni?
F: That was in the music department.
B: Yeah, yeah, yeah – I remember that.
F: And I think he was totally blown away.
B: I was amazed.
F: Stunned. No he wasn’t. Well I don’t know – maybe he was. That’s up to him.
B: No comment.
You evidently left a really good impression. How long have you been singing for Fred and Bjarni how long have you been playing the keyboard and composing?
F: I think I started on the violin when I was 6. And then I was doing the Suzuki method. And then I was also a chorister from the age of 8 in St Andrew’s Cathedral in Aberdeen. And then we’ve always done a lot of singing in my family.
B: The Von Trap Family.
F: Yeah. We always perform at every dinner party we have.
B: And for me the piano started quite early on – 6 I think. And I did practical piano from the age of 6 until about 16. And then I kind of got fed up at the whole thing so I started playing jazz piano, sort of doing my own thing. I kept going back to jazz, not until I quit entirely when I was about 19 and then I’ve just been sort of doing my own thing. And I kind of just fell into composition. It’s not a very romantic story but I kind of just fell into it. I’ve always been producing stuff since I was 15. I’ve always been fiddling with computer programs and stuff and making music like that so that kind of kept going and then I’ve kind of ended up doing a BA degree in composition and then decided to go on to do an MA as well.
Do you guys have any other hidden talents?
B: Juggling. It’s not really a hidden talent though. What’s your hidden talent Fred?
F: Sport. I used to love sports. I used to be quite good at gymnastics.
B: As you can see.
What’s your favourite song of yours?
B: Just can’t stop.
F: I think it’s the most complete. It’s got a beginning middle and end.
B: It’s quite melancholic as well. It’s quite Icelandic.
F: What’s yours?
F: That’s a funny story with that song.
B: That song was written as a Eurovision song originally by me for an Icelandic singer. So there is an Icelandic version of that song. Actually my plan was to do it in 24 hours, create a skeleton. I brought it to my friend and he was staying over and he was like yeah ‘this is definitely going on Eurovision’. We didn’t get into Eurovision – I was really sad. It was written as a Eurovision song and then I showed it to Freddie and was like ‘we should do this song’.
F: I loved the skeleton of it without the vocals. I just thought it was such a nice instrumental.
B: We almost threw it away actually.
Would you guys ever consider doing live performances?
B: Yes! We need to finish more songs first and then I need to design the actual live set and figure out how we’re going to perform it live.
F: A lot of the songs are all worked with the players. We have these major overlays. Especially Kria, you know the way it builds. It has this big building up and eventually about 12 voices.
B: Yeah 6 voices all doubled. But I mean it’s not a problem. It’s just a problem I have to deal with – to set up the live sets. And we have to practice as well. And I’d like to have some live players as well with us. And I need to find them. And being a music student as well it’s quite easy because I know a lot of players and drummers and stuff and we can work with them. Hopefully within 2 months we’ll have some more songs and a live set.
Would you prefer a more intimate gig? Or an O2 styled gig?
B: It’s easier to be in front of 60,000 people than 60 people. 60 people is much harder I think. I was with my band and we were in front of 40,000 people and that’s like the easiest gig I’ve ever done. But when you’re in an intimate setting with like 60 people, it’s like if you do a mistake – you’re screwed.
F: I was in Copenhagen last year and I was with my mum, my dad and my Icelandic grandparents and my sister and a boy friend and we were in the living room and they said ‘oh go on sing’ and that was tense, singing in the living room with no music or anything.
B: With people you know as well that’s even harder.
F: It was quite intense.
If you could be as big as anyone, who would it be?
F: Justin Timberlake.
Do you see yourself as JT?
F: Don’t see why not?
B: Icelandic version of JT.
F: If you don’t aim high then you have no hope.
If we were too fast forward a year, where do you see Loki going?
B: I have no idea – wait what happens. The most important thing for me at least is to keep making music.
F: Yeah, it’s more important to just keep making music.
And before you were in the band ‘Shadow Parade’. What have you learnt from your past experiences that you would say have helped you now for Loki?
B: Well, we recorded our own album ourselves so I mean it’s all the skills required to do big productions and stuff. It’s just experience. Life experience. Studio experience. Logistical experience as well. Knowing how to set all these things ups and how to do live concerts and how to record.
F: I have no idea what he does half the time. I look at the computer screen. There are so many dials, switches and buttons on the computer screen.
B: It’s a very good school for me personally. The best school is being forced to do these things.
And also – Your artwork for your songs is beautiful. Who designed it? How did you come up with concept?
B: It’s me. I wanted to release a track and we had a deadline so I was like ‘by this day we have to reach it’. So basically I had to go back and design an album cover. So I found a bunch of online websites and just made it and it came out quite well – so just kept it. And it was no concept really. I just found some birds and made them white and that was that.
Online it says that you (Fred) are involved with an art dealership named Geist Galleries. Would you classify music as an art?
F: 100 per cent.
B: It’s the king of the arts. It’s a fact.
So what would you say in your opinion constitutes art?
F: It’s the lifelong eternal question. It hasn’t been answered for decades.
You can try now..? Here in Starbucks.
F: I think it’s a way of expressing oneself. But then again the other thing is that for me art is talent. I think a lot of it is talent. There’s got to be some sort of talent involved. At least that is what constitutes art for me. I don’t like it when someone does something and they go ‘this art’ and I’m like well… It’s a skill.
B: It has to speak to people as well. You have to be truthful in what you do. You can’t say what art is because what are we to say what art is. But I mean I suppose it depends on what you as an individual define as art I guess.
And what do you love most about living in London?
B: You (points at Fred).
B: I meant you go first…
F: Oh. (Laughs) I like how many people I know here. It’s nice to have a sense of belonging. And I quite like how it’s a bit ridiculous in some parts of this town.
F: It’s so excessive. You know places like Belgravia, Knightsbridge and those sorts of glamorous places. What actually can happen is that you spend so much time there you get kind of sucked into it. And I like how different it is to the rest of the world. And the opportunities. That’s my favourite thing in London.
B: The same as Freddie. It’s the opportunities here. It’s basically for music and film composition and sort of commercial companies. Career wise it’s really good.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
B: He’s got the art gallery and I have a film competition project that I have to do.
F: We just need to write more songs. And then…
B: We might do a summer song – I really feel like doing a summer song. Because it’s hot and sunny.
F: I’m up for doing that. You heard it here first.
B: A new track for Loki is coming out here at the end of the month. Beginning of the next maybe. We were inspired by the interview.
Check out Loki at http://www.loki-music.com
The song “Let Me Sign” (co-written by Bobby Long) which Robert Pattinson sang in Twilight
How did you first establish yourself onto the music scene?
Just by playing as much as possible really. You need a little luck along the way and hope that you get a following. I’ve been able to get some really great supporters that I’m indebted too.
What problems did you initially face when first starting out in the music industry?
It’s basically being noticed and having a voice that cuts through. There are so many bands out there that it’s really hard to be noticed. Also, the music industry is a changing vessel that is hard to understand sometimes.
Your latest studio album A WINTER TALE is produced by Liam Watson (White Stripes). What was it like working with him?
It was a joy to be honest. It was a great experience working with him and I would love to do so again. We both had a lot of fun making it and we’re really happy with the album.
Did you write all your own music for the album?
Yes I wrote the songs.
Where do you get your inspiration from when song writing? Who are your musical influences?
I get it from everywhere really. You have to be open to grab it from anywhere and ready when it hits. I get a lot of inspiration from watching live shows and seeing bands play live. At the moment I’m on tour with Steve Winwood and watching his band has been really great for me.
I’m not really writing from personal experiences but there is always an element of me in it I guess.
What are you working on at the moment?
I just wrote and recorded a new album and released a poetry book so I’m starting a bunch of new things at the moment which is always exciting.
You currently live in New York where you moved to from London. What are the main differences that you have found between the cities?
They’re just different. There are similarities that I really appreciate like diversity of cultures and energy but they are there own places.
You also studied Music in Film at London Metropolitan University. If you could study anything else, what would it be?
I would probably study history. I have always be fascinated about why things are like they are now because of happenings from the past. I think it’s important to understand.
Whilst you were at university, you established yourself on the open mic circuit. Do you remember your first open mic? If so, do you feel completely different towards them now in comparison to the past?
I remember my first one and being sick in the toilet. I turned up to two or three without performing because I couldn’t get the nerve.
I think they are important to songwriters and I think you have to do them to appreciate and grow your trade.
If you could be compared to any singer, who would it be?
When it’s my time to go if someone spoke about me in the same sentence with Elliott Smith or Leonard Cohen I’ll be happy… And dead.
Please complete this sentence. I couldn’t live without my… self
You all met at school. What were your first impressions of each other?
James and I met at school aged about 11 or 12, and I seem to remember being quite scared of him. He smacked me around the head with a pool cue (accidentally) and we’ve been best mates since that day!
When did you decide to create the band?
We shared a love for the same bands and similar music. We started going to lots of shows of bands we loved, and the natural progression of enjoying them so much was to pick up some guitars, learn a couple of chords, and start a band. We’ve been in bands which eventually became Canterbury since we were about 13.
You’ve toured with the likes of Enter Shikari, Against Me, Twin Atlantic,You Me At Six and We Are The Ocean. Who would be your dream artist to tour with next?
I’ve always had a dream of touring the USA with Jimmy Eat World, far-fetched maybe, but anything is possible! Also, the Gaslight Anthem would be another dream come true.
You have also done several headline tours! Do you do anything special for good luck before a show?
Recently we’ve been singing a little chanting song to get us in the mood. We also sometimes have a few rounds of ‘heads-shoulders-knees and toes’ to get us warmed up and in the mood.
What’s your most entertaining ‘backstage’ story?
It involves a backstage room in beautiful Berlin, You Me At Six, and a game called slippery orange…but I can’t go into any more detail than that because there is a 10 year silence on it.
You write all your songs yourselves. Have you ever got inspired by a fan?
Absolutely anything and everything can inspire the writing of a song. There’s not ever been a conscious effort to write a song inspired by a fan, but that’s not saying that some subliminal inspiration could have bought about a lyric or 2. Everybody is inspiring, fans included.
In November 2009 you self-released your debut album Thank You which had around 40,000 downloads. Why did you choose to do this? Do you think more music should be streamed for free?
We chose to do it because we were a tiny band, and wanted them opportunity to get our music heard by as wide an audience as possible, and we thought that offering the album for free would be one of the most successful ways of doing this! I don’t necessarily think that more music should be streamed for free, because I believe that music being a product should be bought, and a lot of musicians are having to call it a day because of the lack of sales, BUT, I do think it’s a fantastic thing for a band to have the option to do, especially a very small band.
October 2010 was also the time where you released your album Calm Down EP. This gained huge support amongst TV and Radio including Radio 1. Did you listen to your song on the radio? What were your reactions?
It’s an extremely strange feeling that’s very hard to explain. The first time hearing that track on Radio One was definitely a dream come true, a life ambition box certainly ticked.
You currently specialize in rock. Would you ever branch out to different style of music?
I think the cool think about Canterbury is that we are a rock band, but we definitely have other sides to us as song writers and performers. Each song has its own identity, and although there is a common rocky sound throughout, there are elements of different styles all over the place.
Your second studio album Heavy In The Day is set to be released in July. Can you give us an insight into your album?
If you’ve heard our band before, then you can expect a step up from what you’ve experienced so far. It’s eclectic, it’s heavy at the same time as being pretty and delicate. It’s quite a personal insight into our feelings and thoughts lyrically, but it’s wholly accessible to anyone. We’re very excited about people hearing it!
How did you celebrate when you finished all the tracks for your upcoming album?
To be honest, when we finished our recording session, we weren’t convinced that we’d completely finished the album, and sure enough we did tweak here and there for some time after. But on the last night before leaving the studio we had a slap up curry and dined like kings. Some good takeaway food, the ultimate celebration.
Check out Canterbury’s brand new single Saviour.
British indie rock band One Night Only have it all. The music. The looks. And the personality. They’ve had huge success already with hits such as “Say You Don’t Want It”, “Just For Tonight” and “Can You Feel It” (song officially released for Coca Cola’s 125th Anniversary) and they’ve toured with great artists such as NERD and Milburn and The Pigeon Detectives.Their upcoming album LONG TIME COMING is due to be released on the 4th May so BerlinLondon caught up with the band to find out more.
According to the trusted source of Wikipedia, the name ‘One Night Only’ came about as you were asked to play a gig and as you didn’t have a name, you decided that you’d name the band literally. The name stuck. Firstly is this true? And if so, if you could go back in time, would you change the name? What to?
We would not change anything if we could go back in time, we feel things always work out the way they are supposed to. We are great believers in fate.
If you could add one more member to your band, who would it be?
I think we are pretty happy with the band as it is. It would be hard to add any new members as we are such a tight bunch, we all grew up together.
In one word, how would you describe your music?
Where do you get your inspiration from for your music?
Life, love, hope, death, people, places etc etc.
You have all toured with Milburn and The Pigeon Detectives, performed at festivals such as Isle of Wight, Oxegen and Glastonbury as well as had your own headline tours. What can we expect next?
You can expect us to show a side to us that perhaps people have not seen before in that we feel we are starting to hit our stride as musicians. We got signed when we where 15 / 16 years old and have grown a lot since then. We are excited about this next stage of the band’s development.
What has been your most ‘interesting’ fan encounter?
Haha if I told you that I would have to kill you…
Who takes the longest to get ready?
How would each of you describe your personal style?
We just like being ourselves. I think that is what a lot of people don’t realise about us, we don’t really care what trends or fashions or the flavours of the months are, we just like doing our own thing.
Who’s the funny one? What’s your best joke?
James again. Joke is too rude.
If you weren’t doing music, what profession would you all enter?
George – butcher
Mark – baker
Jack – candlestick maker
James – wizard
Dan – warlock
If you wouldn’t have gained your success, would you go on the X Factor?
If you could date any celebrity, who would it be?
Best way for a girl to get your heart?
Cook for us like Nigella.
If you had one night only left to live, what would you do?
I would have the biggest blow out ever and get really really…..
Not to forget..
BerlinLondon stood in the first row at their live gig during Coke Sound Up Festival 2011 in Berlin. Definitely an awesome and unforgettable performance!
BerlinLondon meet’The Heartbreaks’, a British Indie rock band comprised of 4 talented artists from Morecambe, who are sure to dominate the charts. Watch clips from the interview, so you too can learn a bit more about each ‘Heartbreak’.
Their new single ‘Delay, Delay’is out to download on the 30th of April.
Watch the official video for ‘Delay, Delay’.
To describe British singer/songwriter Sam Beeton in one word – multi-talented. Starting out in music from the mere age of 14, Sam has since performed with James Morrison, The Script, Scouting for Girls, modelled for Burberry and set up the Record Club. Currently, he is touring with Charlie Simpson and BerlinLondon caught up with him right before his performance at KOKO in London to find out more about the rising star.
Interview with Sam Beeton
Check out Sam’s latest release – Storyteller
To find out more about Sam Beeton and to sign up to the Record Club please visit http://www.sambeeton.com/