Like four other musicians who also called this major northwest city their home, they take great pride in the fact they churn out songs that are not only catchy, memorable, and instantly appealing, but cater to a wide range of people from all walks of life.
What was the moment you knew you were on to something?
JS&TLK – It was moment me (Joe Symes – Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica), and Colin (Colin White – Drums/Percussion/Backing Vocals) started working together. The chemistry was there, it worked, and all came together instantly. We then met Andy (Andy Cleary – Bass/Backing Vocals) through an ad we put up and haven’t looked back since.
How did this record come together?
JS&TLK – Well, the first album was what you might call a resume of what the band can do; how versatile we can be. There was a mixture of rock, psychedelia, easy listening, jazz, dah dah, and country on that. It was like a mini White Album.
The second is a reflection of where the band is currently. Playing heavy, catchy rock/pop songs, and the ten we felt strongly about at the time of recording became the album . It was a very smooth process, but we did do a lot of traveling to make it, as it was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Solid State Logic Studios in Oxfordshire, The Motor Museum in Liverpool, Abbey Road in London, then finally mixed and mastered at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool. A lot of traveling, but worth it, plus we had some songs leftover, which will be the basis of a four-track E.P that will be out later this year.
When did you decide to start asking for opinions on the new songs?
JS&TLK – We’ve always been like that from the beginning. We believe strongly in what we do, and are not at all afraid of putting our music out there for everyone to hear.
As an artist, you choose to show your emotions to the world. Is it always comfortable to do so?
JS&TLK – We’re all confident people, and again, believe 100% in what we do collectively and individually. When we play that’s us expressing ourselves, and showing who we are. We’re not in the least bit ashamed of that, and in all honesty, we’re very proud of that.
Any ideas about how to turn this one into a million-seller?
JS&TLK – Ha! Ha! I guess it’s a case of getting it out there to as many people as possible, and for those people to spread the word, then they can pass it on, and so on, and so on.
You can pick 3 co-writers to write new songs with. Who? …and why?
JS&TLK – I don’t think we’d want to co-write anything with anyone else. The balance we have right now is just right, and to add others would tip that balance. “Too many cooks spoil the broth,” as the old saying goes. Plus, if – and this is a big if – if we were to have any guest co-writers, I think the ones we’d choose have unfortunately passed on.
What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?
JS&TLK – Ah, tough one. I don’t think we could name just one gig.
The two after-show parties we did for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on the main stage of the 02 Academy 1 in Liverpool are up there, supporting The Christians at the Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, headlining the Brecon Theatre in Wales, supporting Republica on the main stage of the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, all the gigs we did at the Box in Crewe, headlining the Folk on the Dock Festival in Liverpool, Scala in London, supporting Dodgy at the Frodsham Festival, our unofficial album launch at the Arts Club, Liverpool, so many to name.
When was the last time you thought, ‘I just wrote a hit?’
JS&TLK – Ha! Ha! Probably earlier this week.
Is recording a record easier than getting it heard nowadays?
JS&TLK – Interesting question. I think with the internet there are a lot more avenues to take than 20….30 years ago. The net made the world a much smaller place, and if you have music you want to get out there, you can contact companies, radio stations, magazines, reviewers within the click of a button. Also because the industry is very different these days, it’s much easier to distribute yourself now, which is what we do.
Which 5 records would you bring with you for your stay on Mars?
JS&TLK – Another interesting one. That would be very difficult. Any Beatles album, any Doors album, Any Dionne Warwick album that Burt Bacharach/Hal David was involved with, a Motown compilation, and I think Colin would bring an album by Art Blakey. Ha! Ha!
Recording music. What’s all the fun about?
JS&TLK – It gives you the chance to put down the songs you’ve written the way they should sound, and for others to hear it and enjoy it. There’s nothing better than seeing people love what you’ve created. That’s the biggest payoff.
Playing music in front of a crowd. What’s all the fun about?
JS&TLK – Again, seeing people love what you’ve created, and reacting to it while you’re actually performing. All part of that big pay off. People enjoying the records, people enjoying the gigs. The two go hand in hand.
Always proud to answer ‘I am a musician’ to the question ‘what are you doing?’
JS&TLK – Absolutely! We’re not at all ashamed of who we are, and what we do. Being musicians is our reason to exist. If there were people who thought less of us for it, they’re perfectly entitled to think that, but we’re perfectly entitled to have nothing to do with them, and it would in no way stop us from doing what we do best.
You can’t control the way people hear your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects you think set your songs apart, what would they be?
JS&TLK – I think deep down the songs speak for themselves. We’ve always believed that we write catchy songs that appeal to a wide audience, and that has certainly shown since the band has existed.
Vinyl is back, Spotify is ruling, tickets for concerts are becoming more expensive, everybody can record songs, social media is the marketing tool, Coldplay stops touring….how will the music industry look like in 5 years?
JS&TLK – It’s hard to say. Things advance at an alarming rate these days, so it’s almost impossible to predict what will be around the corner. We just hope there are platforms where you can be heard, and get what you’re doing across to as many people as you can. As long as we can make records the way we want, and get them out there to those who will enjoy it, we’ll be happy.