Hey there, I’m doing good thanks! Just sat struggling with the typical 9 to 5 but got the new Royal Blood album on in the background keeping me sane. Charlie’s been nagging Max and I to listen to it; it’s an absolute beast of an album!
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
We’re quite rhythmic but with a lot of bite. We’ve got quite a mixed sound spanning from shoe-gaze to disco. We get compared to Foals, Maccabees and Bombay Bicycle Clubs later work quite a lot.
What’s the story behind your name?
H: The name comes from when I was watching “The Darjeeling Limited” round a friend’s one morning after a night out. At the end, the three main characters leap on a train called “the Bengal Lancer” whilst the Kinks are being played on the soundtrack. It really stood out.
M: Sometimes Harry’s written an entire song and we just play it, but generally someone writes a riff or chord progression, then we get together and experiment with it until a song comes together. Harry then writes lyrics and that’s it!
M: Yeah, sometimes we’ll have been playing a song for months and suddenly someone will change what they’re playing, and the whole song will be completely different.
Where do you find inspiration?
M: Most of my lyrics are kind of depressing, generally about negative things that have happened to me, or I see happening to other people. I can’t write songs when I’m happy!
How do you work around a lack of inspiration?
H: I usually end up looking back over old ideas that have picked up dust to see if there’s anything in them or go back to learning other tracks by other bands. I’ve started learning some Ben Howard and it’s done wonders for my finger-picking/creativity!
What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
H: Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American: This was the album that got me into playing guitar, I remember hearing the solo to “Get it faster” in the car and going “This! This is what I want to do!” The whole album is perfect from start to finish.
Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight: I’m an absolute sucker for the Scottish rock scene; We were promised Jetpacks, Biffy Clyro, Twilight Sad are all fantastic, but Frightened Rabbit stole the show. This album opened my eyes to them. Everything about this blew me away and I’ve been a huge fan of the Frabbit ever since.
Queens of the Stone Age – It’s hard to pick an exact album for these guys; “you think I ain’t worth a dollar…” on ‘Songs for the Deaf” still stands as one of the most explosive intros to an album I’m ever heard. The presence these boys have on stage is something else. Josh Homme is a Demi-God.
Interpol – I’d be lying if I didn’t include Interpol up here: the ambient guitar work on “Turn on the Bright Lights” has massively influenced my sound as a player in the past few years. It’s great to hear them stepping up the game in El Pintor this year. Bank’s solo work as Julien Plenti is fantastic as well.
Bon Iver – Bon Iver: This album really made me start thinking about songwriting. The honesty of the whole thing and the sheer simplicity of it gets to you. This is one man bearing it all and it’s an absolute masterpiece.
Who would you most like to go on tour with?
M: Definitely Bombay Bicycle Club. Music style fits and they just seem like a nice bunch of guys.
What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?
H: I’ve been listening to a lot of Death Cab for Cutie at the moment, they’re great albums to travel with. I can tell you 100% that we’ve all been listening to Royal Blood. I still can’t understand how two guys can make that much noise!
What are your guilty listening pleasures?
M: I really love all the remixes of the One Pound Fish song. Outstanding.
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
It has to be Main stage at the Leicester O2 for our university’s Summer Ball … bagging a supporting spot with Wretch 32 and Rudimental.
What’s the worst gig you have ever done and why?
H: Before Max was lumped up with us, Charlie and I were playing acoustic sets around Leicester. We played our first gig together in a student bar and it was absolutely jam-packed. To substitute a drummer I often just used my loop pedal. After layering up and getting our groove on all of a sudden everything cut out. The power to the pedals cut, stopping everything we’d layered in the process. Safe to say we stood there in silence for a while, equally as confused as every one else. We managed to get the power back, but the damage was done. I felt like an absolute arsehat.
What can we expect from you in the foreseeable future?
We have a couple of gigs coming up, and a couple more in the pipeline. The dates are Sunday 21st of September at the New Cross Inn, and the 18th October at Brixton Oxjam, but you’ll be able to find more details on our Facebook page nearer the time!
Finally, if you weren’t a musician what would you be?
I’d probably end up in Journalism. I’d love to get in to travel or gig write ups – free food, free music, free travel! That’d be the life.
Check out Morning Light below, and keep your eyes peeled for more info about their upcoming releases.