54-46 bumped into Homes earlier this week to talk gigs out of a helicopter over Rome, Protestant Hymnals and his contemporary musical influences.. Catch his latest single Dualities Cave here.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCVG-0JrdV0
For non-believers and future converts, how would you best describe the Homes experience?
Harmonies, 1970’s track arrangements, soul chord progressions and a good old story!
Tell us a bit about your musical journey so far?
As far as I’m aware it started with my dads influence on me from a young age forcing copious amounts of Motown, Soul and 60/70s Garage Rock bands down my ears! He’s a drummer that’s been playing in bands since the 60s. He made sure that I had a very good understanding of rhythm before id ever even think of playing an instrument. My mother was a trained secondary school and a concert level pianist which probably explains my love for the classical and 19th century romantic composers. Unfortunately my school was pretty backward and I was told i was ‘ an unsuitable student to play music’ which has probably given me an urge to prove them wrong after all these years!
The first band I started was pretty awful Deep Purple wannabe band when i was 14 called the Outback. We were bad, but it gave me my first taste of playing to an audience and under pressure. It was where i started to write songs, arrange and learnt to record which I’ve developed over the last few years to where i am now. Since then I’ve played in dozens of bands and a number of different guises from solo to 6 piece world dance outfits. HOMES is the full band outlet for my songwriting and Dylan Morgan is what i go under for solo purposes. =
You describe your music as an amalgam of trip hop, neo-psychadelia, romantic composers of the 19th century and country. That’s quite an eclectic mix! Who would you describe as your biggest contemporary musical influences?
Good question and one I usually find hard to answer. I come from deepest darkest wales which is musically steeped in protestant hymnals, country and psychedelia which i believe manifests itself somewhat in the music I write for HOMES. But some contemporary artists and bands I really rate at the moment have to be Wave Pictures, Metronomy, Chilly Gonzales and Roberta Fonseca. They all have a big influence on my songwriting at the moment for all sorts of different reasons. Including arrangement, storytelling, use of harmony and all out energy!
What is the way forward for Homes? Any releases on the horizon?
Well at the moment we are recording an EP that is as yet untitled, but are really excited about. We’re hoping to have it out in the new year, but can’t guarantee a specific date as its a work in progress. What I can say is that we’re taken a step back playing live for the time being to get this done, but are gonna be playing plenty of shows and festivals next year!
As a Cardiff Band, how would you rate the health of the current South Wales music scene?
The music industry as a whole, is in a bit of low point at the moment. Live music venues closing down, record companies folding and numbers are down for attending shows! I’ve been living in Cardiff for about a year and half now and am so happy to see the music scene not only alive and well but thriving as well. There’s an amazing community feel to the music scene here, which I never experienced when I was living in London. Of course like any industry there are cliques, but to be honest I’ve never really felt that here. If you’ve got something good to show for what you do musically and work hard, peoples ears will pick up and word will begin to travel. I love it and feel there’s something going on in Cardiff that the rest of the country need to wake up and pay attention to!
Any plans to tour?
Absolutely, once we have the EP out then we can book some shows to promote it.
Best gig you have ever played?
Easy, i once played a gig in a helicopter above Rome in Italy. It was pretty bonkers!
(Ed- Surely this needs some elaboration?!!?!?)
Best gig you have ever been to?
To be honest one of the best bands I’ve ever seen has to a band from Bristol called Goan Dogs. They’re a 6 piece that mix tropical soca and cypso beats with desert rock. Their harmonies are extraordinary as is their songwriting.
Favourite venue in Wales?
My favourite venue in wales is either the Moon in Cardiff, because it has a lot of character and sounds amazing. Or the Penarth Pavillion because its pretty grand.
If you had to burn a 5 track tape to impress a lover… what tracks would you pick?
Oh I’d just play her Astral Weeks by Van Morrison. But if she wasn’t into too much smultzy lovey dovey then probably The Meters – Rejuvenation
Vinyl, Mp3 or Other?
Vinyl hands down.
Your favourite musical decade?
The one were living in. There’s more incredible music being made now than ever before and am very fortunate to grow up in this digital age where we can access any type of music on the planet in an instant.
Wish you all the best in your upcoming EP…