Posted by: rowenawilcox | June 7, 2010

#Music_Monday: I Am Hope

Take one member (Alex ‘Pedro’ Carr) from the pop-rock-tastic I Am Hope and ask a few of the music questions we ask everyone. Throw in a handful of nostalgia, memories and band secrets and season to taste with the revelation the band demand cheese backstage and house a chorizo addict. Take a few minutes to read our #Music_Monday interview and the recipe is complete. Enjoy!

Tweet Cardiff: How did you guys get started as a band?
I Am Hope: We met in Bridgend College studying music in the loosest sense of the word and all in separate bands, trying to make the chunkiest metal music possible. After those bands dithered out (due to a lack of playing ability and a desire to throw our instruments around on stage) we eventually came together to build on some acoustic tracks that Jodie had been writing in a dashboard confessional style, but ended up creating new songs very quickly with a very different vibe to what any of us had been making beforehand. It suddenly became liberating to think about the writing process with an ‘anything goes’ ethos and got into the studio ASAP to try to capture a sound that hopefully is our own.

TC: How long have you been together?

IAH: Officially our first show was in the legendary TJs with The Guns and Straight Lines [Said Mike at the Time]. That was April 2008 and pretty much the start of it. I think we had only practised a few times previously but it was obvious from the start that people could connect with what we were doing. 

TC: What’s been your fave gig so far?

IAH: Probably the show we played in Barfly on May 15th. It was all done in the name of charity and on the bill were some of our favourite local bands inc. Samoans, Solutions and Caesars Rome. It was a bit of an emotional one as we got paid in unnamed quantities of alcohol and it was Gar’s last show as our drummer; we ended our set quite aptly with the first song we ever wrote together as a band [‘The Poet is Dead’].

TC: Any backstage info from behind the scenes at your gigs?

IAH: No crazy antics behind the scenes really; we’re usually jamming together down to the last minute before going on stage, as sad as that sounds. Although, Steve and I do take on hideously American accents before we get into the set just to take the piss out of ourselves and calm the nerves.

TC: Who are your musical influences?

IAH: It’s a cliché statement but we really do listen to all sorts of genres and styles to draw influence – anything from Bjork to Biffy Clyro.  As far as the music goes, there’s the obvious melodic rock influences such as Jimmy Eat World and Idlewild but, our past listening to transatlantic bands like Poison the Well and Glassjaw has helped us write poppy hooks in songs that have real rock balls to them. As far as Lyrical influence goes, a lot of inspiration is taking from angry poets and novelists like Buckowski, Orwell and Fante.

TC: What would you be doing if you weren’t in the band?
IAH: To be honest I don’t think we’d be doing anything else bar some kind of creative role within the music industry. I don’t think there’s much else we can do.  I wouldn’t describe us as the most intellectual bunch. Besides song writing and performing, we’re probably lacking in any other talents. So, in answer to your question, we’d probably be homeless drunks or maybe work in government as an MP.

TC: Where do you see yourselves in five years time?

IAH: I predict we’ll be on our third album disappointing our fans because it was nowhere near as good as the first one. So then we’ll probably just do a greatest hits to repay the label the millions we owe. Then your probably going to see us on X Factor trying to win over Simon Cowell with our rendition of Westlife’s ‘Flying Without Wings’.  

TC: Any diva demands backstage?

IAH: Just alcohol and blocks of cheese at the moment. I’m sure as the gigs become more frequent the demands will become increasingly ridiculous. Joe will want seven different curries on one plate, Steve will need an arsenal of beauty products and hair styling equipment and I’ll settle for chorizo. Can’t get enough of that stuff…I’m pretty much an addict.

TC: Which three guests would you invite to dinner (dead or alive)?

IAH: I’d invite Mark ‘Chopper’ Read for an insight on the funny side of Australian criminal mentality, George Carlin because he was the smartest comedian alive and Jeff Buckley because nobody has ever come close to any piece of music as perfect as the album grace.

TC: Anything you guys would like to add?

IAH: Apologies for anyone who has been following us, waiting for merch and CDs. The ball is finally rolling though: CDs are on the way and three different t-shirt designs are being printed as we speak. We’re going to be arranging two release shows (one in HOBO’s in Bridgend (+16) and Cardiff Barfly probably in late June/early July with details to follow shortly).  We’ll be putting up one new song from the EP each week until it’s released so for a sneak preview visit our MySpace.

#Tweet_Tip: Check out I Am Hope’s MySpace to hear what all the fuss is about (‘Serenade’ is a personal favourite).

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