We were lucky enough to catch up with Manchester based band THE CELADORS, following the release of ‘Too Little, Too Late’. Read the full interview now!
What is your earliest music memory?
My Dad plays guitar and used to sing me, my sister and brother, to sleep on camping trips. I also used to enjoy making up nonsense songs when I was little. Playing around with words and melodies for fun.
Who or what got you into music?
I think hearing my Dad play his guitar helped me to associate music with being able to comfort yourself. Once I started to write lyrics and sing, there was a drive to learn the guitar to accompany it. Music let all the doubts and confusion come flooding out. Things I would never admit to in conversations with family and friends would suddenly be fair game in a song. Music became an outlet and an escape.
Who influenced your latest release ‘Too Little, Too Late’?
Perhaps strangely, it was the death of Michael Jackson. I was becoming more and more concerned by the climate situation after reading an article about it, and it got me thinking that considering the enormity of the subject, there are relatively few songs that are universally recognised as raising awareness of it.
If you dig a little and study the metaphors, you will see lots of artists have been concerned about the environment, but Jackson was much more literal about it. Whilst it might not seem cool to be so literal, he got his message across – and to a broad audience. Too Little, Too Late deliberately contradicts itself by refusing to sing about the literal problems, and in doing so, raises them. Music can be a real force for change – but sometimes I think you have to ensure the key message is getting through to people.
The Celadors cross many genres, which is your favourite genre to write in?
Increasingly, I’m enjoying my folk music. Especially at the moment, with all the surreal events of the pandemic, and not being about to record with others in studios, just recording music that feels very real, simple and organic, is appealing. That said though, I’m a huge Radiohead fan and can see myself moving into more electronic sounds when things get back to normal.
What’s the music scene like in Manchester?
It’s so sad how the pandemic has seen the music scene hit particularly hard. When it’s alive, Manchester has an incredibly vibrant scene – with lots going on and warm audiences. As more and more venues close, it’s becoming a challenge to find your audience though. Oh for a gig right now!
What’s your dream venue to play?
As much as it’s exciting to play to a larger audience, most of my favourite gigs are the intimate ones – where people really seem to connect with the songs. I know as a fan, a small theatre gig watching King Creosote was amazing. An even smaller bar watching Kings of Convenience, where you could hear a pin drop as they performed, was just incredible.
The artists seem more accessible in those intimate settings, and the audience seems to bond more too – almost like you know you’re sharing something special with a small, lucky group of fellow hardcore fans.
Other than music, what are you passionate about?
I’m actually a qualified football coach, and I am Head Coach for a couple of clubs including the Uni of Manchester men’s club. It’s a totally different side of my brain, which is activated compared to music. I feel like two different people in how I approach them, which can feel strange, but I do like the different challenges my music and my sport throw my way.
What changes would you like to see in the music business?
On the one hand, it’s never been easier to get your music out there, but on the other, financially it’s really difficult. A genuine artist isn’t doing it for the money, but increasingly it seems like if you haven’t got money behind you, you won’t be able to afford to gig and record for long enough to get noticed. Unless you’re playing covers, or get lucky, unsigned artists will spend far more than they make back in trying to share their music.
If you could choose one thing for fans to take away from your music, what would it be?
That they’re not alone in how they are feeling. A lot of my songs touch on mental health struggles and relationships breaking down – inspired from really difficult times in my life – but times that we all go through in our own ways. I love it when someone really hears a song and relates to it. I want them to take comfort from it: their pain isn’t quite so heavy when it’s a shared experience.
Have you started working on your next release?
Yes! Like many, I need to keep myself busy, especially with things as they are right now. I’ve got loads of songs to work on, and I’m planning to release them as a solo artist for a while now. Currently stocking up on home recording equipment so will hopefully be able to release lots of new material throughout the year.
FVMusicBlog January 2021
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