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Music Interview: Cult Icon – ‘Cold Street Shade’ Out Now!

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We were lucky enough to catchy up with Liverpool-based band Cult Icon following the release of their superb debut single ‘Cold Street Shade’. Enjoy!

How did you first get into music?

I come from quite a music orientated family, my mum and dad were punks, so I was always around the sounds of The Clash and Sex Pistols, my grandparents were into Elvis, Johnny Cash and Sinatra etc. And I can remember my nan playing reggae a lot too.

The moment I’d pinpoint when I first realised music was more than just what’s in the charts was when I visited my aunty and uncle up in Newcastle. My Uncle Trevor is an avid guitar player (and a brilliant one at that), and he got me into the guitar, He then played me a band called ‘The Beatles’ and that lit the fuse…

Who influenced your latest release ‘Cold Street Shade’?

We tried to go for a vibe linked to “The Black Keys”, something heavy but not too heavy and quite bluesy. It started off as a jam in a practice room and originally had a slide guitar playing the main riff…

That’s been dropped, but the track has still stayed as the first time we jammed it. Lyrics wise, they’re written by James Candlish, our singer. I’m not sure what the inspiration behind them is, but I put them down to being on a night out, getting a bit too lairy, losing your friends and just trying to get in any bar you can.

What’s the music scene like in Birkenhead?

Nonexistent, unless you know where to look. It’s bleak, but it’s looking up, There’s one music venue, but I’ve never seen an original act play there. They book mainly cover bands to get the punters in… There’s a new venue being opened called “Future Yard” which is exciting.

You recorded ‘Cold Street Shade’ at Material Studios, what was the process like?

We originally we’re booked in to shoot a live video but, being the way the world is at the minute, the cameraman had to self-isolate, so we decided to record an EP instead. It was very quick, four tracks in eight hours. We’re getting back in there in January to do another two tracks. Highly recommended studio. Jim, who did the recording, mixing and mastering of the tracks is great and knows how to get that sound you’re looking for.

We see you have an EP due for release in early 2021, can you tell us any more?

It’ll be four tracks, two are already recorded, and two more will be done soon. We’re releasing the EP around March. I think people will be surprised; It’s not as blues heavy as Cold Street Shade. We got the masters for the tracks last week, and I’ve had them on repeat, We’re all really happy with them and can’t wait to get them out there.

What motivates you to make music?

It’s just pure enjoyment. I challenge anybody to find a better feeling than taking an idea into a practice room and watching it come together in front of your eyes with the rest of the band’s input. It’s great to work with musicians who bounce ideas off each other and aren’t scared to call out if something isn’t good.

Music is the one thing that’s there for you throughout your whole life, no matter what. You could be facing your darkest hour but put on your favourite record, and everything is good again.

What are your other passions aside from music?

We’re all big football fans. We’re split through the band, 3 of them support Liverpool. Myself and Taaffe (Our Bassist) made the right choice and support Everton. Peach (our drummer) is a brilliant player too and heavily involved with local teams.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Now you’ve started something… I think X-factor and all those other reality pop star shows ruined it. If you give an artist a few million to throw into ad campaigns and promotion, they’re going to sell records, They’re going to chart, and they’re going to convince people that the music they’re putting out is listenable.

Saying that I love the fact that it’s easier now for musicians to do it themselves. Take Catfish and The Bottlemen or Tame Impala, for example. Artists don’t need the industry anymore; the industry needs Artists.

What new music are you listening to at the moment?

I’m listening to Fontaines D.C. at this very moment. Deja vega is a great band to check out too. Some local bands that I’m listening to are Dr. Orange, Rhine Valley, The Jagz and Aimee Steven.

What musical plans do you have for the next two years?

We’re hoping to be able to gig again! But out plans are to release the EP, gig more, write more and hopefully get ourselves on some festivals.

FV Music Blog December 2020

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