All age groups and people from all over the world gathered in Kreuzberg, the most multicultural district in Berlin: Costumes in any shade of colour, delicious dishes, huge performances and a great amusement for everybody. Once a year the Karneval der Kulturen festival is arranged and celebrated for 3 days. This year BerlinLondon was part of it and joined the colourful parade.
Eye-catching Style in Berlin
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.