Here's my interview with the band Thee Rakevines
How'd you get started in music?
I grew up surrounded by music, my mam and dad were massive Motown and Stax fans and I heard a lot of this (along with loads of rock, glam rock and pop) growing up! Always wanted to play an instrument but never felt good enough…so didn't! I did buy a guitar that I occasionally picked up and plucked a string or two but really lacked focus! Then, when I was about 21 I was approached by a lad in a club who asked me if I'd be in his band…I explained that I had a guitar but had never learned to play and he said not to worry…he'd teach me! The rest is history and a succession of mod/freakbeat/garage bands followed!
Who are your inspirations or influences?
Musically, I'm massively into the 60s garage punk/rock/psyche that you'll hear on the Pebbles, Nuggets, Back from the Grave and Garage Punk Unknowns compilation albums. From there it was the likes of The Standells, The Shadows of Knight, The Chocolate Watchband, The Stooges, The MC5, The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, The Prisoners, The Jam, The Stones, The Pretty Things, Thee Mighty Caesars…the list goes on and on but always circles back to those kids in garage bands knocking out three chord songs with fuzz pedals and snotty vocals. That's who I want to 'be' when I pick up a guitar. I never wanted to be a Hendrix or a Clapton. Three chords and the truth for me! In terms of recent influences and inspirations it would be the artists I've met since getting active on Twitter! People and bands such as The La La Lettes, Marc Schuster, The Negatrons, Silva, Fuzzruckus, Only Rainyday Rainbow, Skoopski, The Star Crumbles, Feralman, The Long Agos, The Empty Mirrors, The Cave Slinkies and many others that I've chatted to and more importantly, listened to!
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
Just do what you want to do and don't try to fit in with prevailing trends…be honest I guess, be true to your art! Also, practice till you're sick of it and get your band tight, turn up for gigs on time and be nice to people…it costs nothing! Also, social media is important. As is writing a bio for your Spotify profile…drives me mad when people don't do that!
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
I don't think we do really. Thee Rakevines is me and a loose collection of musicians (basically whoever has some free time to get involved!). We're not trying to compete with anybody else, we're just making music we love and if others dig it too…well that's a bonus.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
As I say, we're a pretty loose collective and while there are plans to solidify the line up and get some gigs sorted, it a bit like trying to herd cats at the moment but watch this space as they say! It'll happen I'm sure, it's the when is the problem! In terms of music, there are several singles that have been recorded but are waiting on mixing and mastering and a plethora of songs in the pipeline to be recorded (including a Welsh language song about a squirrel named Wyn and his efforts to gather food for his family as winter approaches!). Again, watch this space I guess! In the meantime, I'm gigging with my other band 'These Thrilling Lies' and having a blast with them!