Brighton garage rock duo
So how long have you guys been a band? Was there ever a bass player?
Hannah (vocals, guitar): I started the band a while ago but there have been various line-ups, some including bass. In February I asked Kate, one of my best friends from uni, to play a show with me, and it worked so well that we stayed together. She brought a new, much heavier sound to the band.
We've thought about adding bass, but we're happy just the two of us at the moment. We're trying out new sounds in terms of equipment to fill the lower frequencies live.
Who are your influences?
That's a tricky one because we both have really varied influences. As a band we draw inspiration from bands such as: Bright Eyes, Nirvana, Deap Vally, Alabama Shakes. But personally we're quite different.
Hannah - In terms of song writing Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes) is my favourite artist. I also love The Who, Kate Nash,The Kinks, Suzi Quatro, Fleetwood Mac, HAIM, Hanz Zimmer etc. Oh and Dolly Parton, I love her! But certainly, the band became what it is now after I went to see Deap Vally live. They blew my mind!
You describe your sound as garage rock - but the songs are quite eclectic in style I think. Moments at a Time is quite garage rock though, almost sounds a bit like Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And Bodies in a Room reminds me of a band called Cat Bear Tree.. do you know them?
We've also been described by a local journalist as Gospel Garage Rock. We call ourselves 'Garage Rock' though because that's the direction our sound is moving towards. It's awesome that you said it sounds like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, we love them! We've heard of Cat Bear Tree, but not listened as of yet. We shall do now!
Gospel? Where did they get that from?
We reckon it's because of the vocals. He was commenting on the track, She's My Demon, and we use a sort of call and response thing in the chorus which I suppose is relevant to Gospel.
That song is so great! I saw you play at Queer Prom in Brighton and that was the first song you played. It just rocked!
Aw thanks so much, that was a fun gig. The audience was really up for it and the setting was really intimate. We love that!
As musicians, have either of you had any experiences of sexism?
Not really sexism as such. Sometimes people are surprised that we're a heavier band, but we've not had outward rudeness. I think if you turn up and are really sure of what you are doing, people (at least in Brighton) tend to respect you for it. We are lucky in Brighton though, that has to be said. It's such a progressive place to live.
Kate - how is it when you walk into drum shops to buy gear?
Personally I've never had any problems with it myself. I've always gone with my dad when I was younger and living in Brighton it's not been an issue for me. I feel sorry for the people that get those kind of problems though, it's not fair.
It definitely is a cool place - when I was there over Pride weekend. the local Morrisons had rainbow flags on all the checkouts. That just blew my mind. Pretty much everywhere else it's a nightmare for musicians who are female or present as female - I think drummers get the worst of it.
So are all the sound engineers in Brighton are cool as well?
We've played shows where there have been female sound engineers anyway. We also have a good friend who amongst her many talents is also a sound engineer and she said she's willing to work with us in the future. From our experience, if a sound engineer is being a bit of a douche they are generally being a douche to everybody, which in a strange way makes it more acceptable.
So what's next for ARX? Any plans to tour?
Our current plans are to just play as many shows as we can and establish ourselves in Brighton and get the EP selling. We're also hoping to push up to London in the near future too. We'd absolutely love to tour, and we have our sights on that for the not too distant future. We'd really like to come up and play in Scotland!