Welsh psychedelic electro-pop rock three-piece HMS are a fantastic band. Another great example of an extremely talented and unearthed band that seem to be in abundance around South Wales at the moment. Dont believe me? Check out their soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/hmsmorris
Their music is reflective, transcendental and melody laden. The hypnotic voice of Heledd leads you away on a mystical journey. It is a beautiful all round experience to listen to their music. The wondrous soundscapes painted by the band are analogous to Melody Protchets Melody’s Echo Chamber, a fantastic comparison to garner for such a fledgling band.
Photo Credit: HMS MORRIS
We had a chat to the band about their diverse musical backgrounds, favourite venue and if they do infact, need more cowbell.
How is the band doing? Anything in the pipeline?
Good thanks, ticking along nicely, we’re gigging quite a bit early next year around Cardiff, Bristol and London and we’re in the last stages of writing an album, hopefully it’ll be out in the public by spring.
Find HMS Morris’ Gigs on their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/HMSMorrisband
Please tell us a bit about the band’s musical background.
We’re all pretty diverse, my family (Heledd) are all musical, I grew up surrounded by quite a lot of classical music, my gran was an organist and Dad’s a singer. I soon rebelled from the classical stuff and listened to a lot of 90s grunge and pop and learnt to play the bass, it all kicked off from there really.
For those yet to experience HMS MORRIS, how would you best describe what you do?
Always a toughie this one. It’s psych-pop I suppose, guitars, synths, catchy melodies, some of the arrangements are quite ‘in your face’ especially some of the synth sounds, I’d like to describe it as a bit 80s.
Photo Credit: HMS Morris
How would you rate the current health of the South Wales Music scene?
I’d say it’s doing quite well, thanks to the Horizons Scheme and the Welsh Music Prize we all have something to fight for, a little competition always helps to keep things alive. It’s such a strong community, everyone knows everyone and everyone’s up for helping each other out. Seeing Houdini Dax and Cate Le Bon reach audiences further afield really gives us a lot of hope. I grew up in the Carmarthenshire Welsh Language rock scene, it was pretty quiet back then but even that’s kicking off right now.
What could be done to improve things?
Hummmmm, dunno, more TV exposure somehow, Welsh language bands get quite a bit on Ochr 1 but there isn’t really that opportunity for anyone else.
Best gig you’ve ever done?
We did a lovely acoustic gig at Hay festival this year, good vibes all round, also we did a festival in Cardigan called Crug Mawr in a small tent decorated as a chapel, everyone was so supportive, we played some new tunes for the first time and we didn’t cock em up so that’s always good.
Hay Festival’s Website Here: https://www.hayfestival.com/portal/index.aspx?skinid=1&localesetting=en-GB
Favourite one we’ve played? The grottier the better, In Cardiff: Jacob’s Market. Other than that Union Chapel in London’s a sight worth seeing.
Who would you site as your biggest influences musically?
I’m blown away by St Vincent, innovative, huge tunes and great moves. I’ve always loved Gwen Stefani and Jack White aswell.
(Ed- cannot recommend St Vincent Enough – listen to her latest effort Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcmfZvAnksA)
And outside of music?
Any grandmother, it just looks like a lot of hard work.
If you could augment your band with the addition of any musician and instrument – what would you choose and why?
A giant pipe organ and an orchestra of cowbells, I like drama and I think an organ would compliment our sound very well. I just like the clang of a cowbell, not before 10am though.
Favourite band of 2014?
Wowzers, that’s a question.
Quite like the ‘Jungle’ album, I’m not that up-do date on new music to be honest.
Vinyl, MP3, CD or other?
CD with a full list of lyrics inside the booklet just like the good old days.
Credit: HMS MORRIS
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